One enchanted evening
Over two hours after I returned to my hotel in St. Joseph, and I’m still awake.
This is the good kind of still awake at 2:30 a.m., the kind which comes from the built up energy from a big event. I have usually felt it after driving home from a football game, a basketball game, a track meet or other sporting event.
Right now, it’s all because two people who love each other completely invited me to be a part of the biggest day of their lives.
I arrived at the reception hall, The Grand Ballroom in downtown St. Joseph, just before 6 p.m. I then began to saw people dressed up entering the building, and I began to get a little worried.
I was worried that I was underdressed for the event. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I bypassed the shirt and tie for something which would be more appropriate, at least to some, at a barbecue: tropical print silk blend shirt, pale yellow shorts (which came down to the knees), green Polo Ralph Lauren socks and all-white Stan Smith Adidas sneakers. I even wore a new cologne from Lacoste and used the Soda scented after shave from Wm. Neumann for the first time. The only thing not new was the blue dial Fossil watch.
Turns out I was fine. Many other people showed up in polo shirts and shorts, and a lot of people were in polo shirts and long pants. I was better off the way I was because the ballroom was not air conditioned. There were fans keeping it bearable, but it should have had air conditioning. Sure, St. Joseph isn’t New Orleans, Houston or Miami in the summer, but it’s still brutally hot most of the time.
I went inside at 6:15, and the only person there I knew for the first 30 minutes was Tori, who was one of the two bartenders for the event. We took a couple of pictures together and I waited for other people I knew to show up, which finally came at 6:45 when Shannon and Kyndal from Buffalo Wild Wings came in.
A little after 7, Brittany, Zach and the rest of their party disembarked from a large van (no limo??!!) in front of the ballroom. I went outside to catch a glimpse. I didn’t expect Brittany and Zach to greet me, which would not have bothered me, but when Brittany saw me, she came up and hugged me as fast as she could. Zach hugged me too.
The newlyweds were very impressed by the video I made for them Friday. I recorded it on my phone at the Courtyard before I left. I let Alex, Raymie and Liz see some of it before I posted it for Brittany and Zach Friday night after 11.
Lisa was in the bridal party. She looked beautiful in her blue dress. She announced she and Jeff will be having a boy in late December, and they’ve already picked out a name–Liam Gearhart Daniels. I gave Lisa the $200 gift card from Dillard’s which i picked up Thursday. She and Jeff loved it, of course.
Raymie, Casey, Lindsey, Stephanie and Ashlie from Buffalo Wild Wings showed up, as did Sandra Rodriguez, who worked there through the first half of 2014 before leaving. Lindsey and Ashlie were there with their husbands, Justin and Ryan, a couple of good guys.
Alex Mullinax was supposed to make it, but her boyfriend, Justin, was sick. Raymie didn’t come with Brennan, her boyfriend, so I was kind of surprised Alex would miss it. She could easily have come alone. Oh well.
Zach’s grandmother made Brittany’s dress. It was amazing. Words would do it no justice. Vera Wang could not have designed a more beautiful gown for the bride. Brittany showed me a few pictures of the dress two weeks ago, but I didn’t know it would be this beautiful on her until last night.
I got to dance with Brittany–twice. I was the first to pony up money into the hat, so I got to dance with the bride first. Then I danced with Zach, which drew huge laughs from the Buffalo Wild Wings gals, especially Shannon. I got the last dance with Brittany, too, and Shannon got pictures of that.
Brittany and Zach left 45 minutes before the reception ended. I was one of the last ones out of there at 11:10.
Tori and Jordan, the other bartender, gave me some pop to enjoy. Brittany encouraged me to take cupcakes baked for the occasion, and I did–18 to be exact. Some will be going to Liz later today at Buffalo Wild Wings, since she had to work last night.
I felt bad Liz couldn’t make it. She told me it was fine, though. When she and Sean get married, i’m sure I’ll be invited. I’ll do all I can to make sure Brittany and Zach get an invite, too, but if the wedding is in Michigan, we’ll have to figure something out on how to get there.
I also felt bad Morgan Gilliland, whose seven month old daughter, Faith, is ridiculously cute, couldn’t make it either. Felt bad there, too.
All in all, a beautiful night with people I care about deeply, and who care about me deeply as well. I hope Brittany and Zach and I can remain friends until, as Liz once put it, we’re all old and feeble and walking around with canes. Of course, I’m getting there faster than Mr. and Mrs. Morgan since I’ve got a good head start (10 years on Zach, 13 on Brittany).
In a few hours, I’ll be back in Kansas City, sitting on the same barstool at Buffalo Wild Wings. I’m sure the reception will be the conversation. But I’m looking forward to that.
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, I wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness. Nobody deserves it more. Love, Foots