The day of the actual wedding is pretty much a blur, and I'm sure not just for me. We woke up kinda late-ish from whatever we did the night before, couldn't find an open Waffle House with available parking or seats (I did not get to eat at Awffle House the WHOLE TRIP, boo) and so finally settled on Popeye's, as it was already lunchtime. It was fun having lunch with Joe's brothers, Joe, and Becca. What's fun about these types of affairs is the permutations that they generate; not in a few thousand years could I imagine the five of us eating together. Katy and Katie were off getting girled up, and so it came to be. We were driving home when the heavens opened up. I dropped everyone off in front of Joe's apartment and by the time Becca closed the doors the passenger seat was soaked. Since we'd had five people in the cab when I left, I'd thoughtlessly put my jacket in the back with the chairs (when did we get the chairs? Must've been the day before... I saw a sick 'Busa parked across the street). I parked the truck around back, psyched myself, and then calmly and deliberately jumped out of the cab, stalked to the back of the truck, unlocked and opened the bed in one motion, reached in and threw my jacket on, screaming like John Goodman in similar rain in Raising Arizona. I then walked to the glass door at the back of Joe's, which was fogged from the sudden change in temperature. Once inside, I dripped like a wet dog. It was fun. Fortunately, I'd had the foresight to bring the towels in earlier (I always have huge towels with me on long trips) and so was able to get reasonably dry.
Once the rain slowed, Joe called his Uncle Don, who surveilled the gazebo where the wedding was to have been held. Joe then called Katy, and somewhere along the line, the decision was made to have the ceremony at the site of the reception, which was a restaurant called the Black An[g]us (the G is silent). Joe and I went there and spoke with the owner/manager who was very nice and accomodating and agreed to help us out. We went back, and then went back to the hotel briefly to get ready to get ready. On the way back to Joe's, we spied a man in the gazeebo, setting up someting that looked like a wedding decoration. We then proceeded to have the most obtuse and circular conversation in the history of man, reaffirming in my mind that though the panhandle is in the north of Florida, it's in the south of the United States. Getting any information out of this man was excruciating, and all we were trying to do was help him not waste time setting things up for the wedding that was no longer going to be outdoors. It turned out he was not with the wedding, but knew about it from talking to Joe's dad and uncle earlier. So when he asked if I was with the wedding, it was not because he was with the wedding either, but because he had already spoken to someone who told him there was to be a wedding there later that day earlier. Confused? So were we.
Back at Joe's, we got dressed. I couldn't find my white t-shirt (it was on my bed when I got home), so Joe lent me his "Know Your Roots" t-shirt. Choice. We then returned to the Black Anus. Everyone started arriving and I barely had time to pin on my boutiniere or whatever when they came out of the back of the place to tell us we could use the banquet hall for the ceremony as long as we were out by six. I headed for the back of the restaurant, but not before being asked by one of the other patrons if they had high-chairs. I was too busy to feign being Black Angus (with my Sean Connery accent and tux), alas. I had important best man duties to attend to! Since Katy was in the back near the banquet hall, he couldn't go back there (since seeing her before the wedding would make them not love one another and the marriage catastropically fall apart even though legally they were already married... it's a very complex tapestry, this marriage thing), so I was left to check it out and make the decision. Best man takes decisive action, film at eleven. I grabbed some chairs and started putting them on the dance floor since that was the best location for the ceremony. So we went from having a procession for the bride to having no procession to having a procession again; very exciting. I think Katie was glad I was there because she'd missed the rehearsal which had been scrapped anyway and so had no clue how we were to walk in. Neither did I, but we winged it alright. Most everyone helped set up and again the folks from the Angus were supernice, and even agreed to handle the music for us, which was a significant cause for concern for a disproportionately large number of people. It was such a flurry of last minute activity, I barely had time to compliment the bride and maid of honor, who I must tastefully say both looked slammin. I think I'd just caught my breath when the procession music started and Katie and I trotted out to meet Joe at the front and take our places. Then Katy walked in and everybody went nuts, as is appropriate in such an occasion. She was certainly worth going nuts over! She and Joe did a good job of making it through the ceremony and then like everybody was crying.
Then we walked across the restaurant and had the reception dinner. I proceeded to make a total ass out of myself with a completely extemporaneous (read: off-the-cuff) and heartfelt speech which everyone complimented me on later. Joe and Katy did something awesome with their vows. Since they were technically already married, rather than ask if anyone had a problem with the union they instead asked if everyone agreed to support them, so my speech made this a central theme. I'd come to understand that weekend that keeping the marriage together was not only the function of the bride and the groom but also a strong network of friends and family. Joe and Katy have both.
Oh, gosh. Don't start crying on me now.
The food was awesome (grouper imperial = fish + crab, a winning combination, oh and their garlicky-buttery sourdough bread). The cake was awesomer, and probably a big factor in my bringing seven extra pounds home. Becca and Katie were getting along, while I, as usual, completely refused to know how to get along in a strange social situation. Having dispatched my duties as Best Man, I was somewhat out of steam. I had to actual interact with people on a non-problem-solving level, which we all know I am not good at. I think I faked it ok.
Afters, we all got changed (at long last) and then decided to go to see the Hitchhiker's movie as planned earlier. Except Becca and Katie, who were both too tired to join us. Well, we went, and I proceeded to fall asleep midway through. I woke up a bit later, and I think I could visibly see the tension lift from Katy, who herself proceeded to fall asleep. Joe was the only one who managed to see the whole film, but I think the relaxation was more the point of the evening. Then we went back home.
This next bit is likely to get me killed, but that just means you know it's good. Read on only if you are brave; it's not for the faint of butt.
We came back to Joe's to find Adam (Joe's middle brother) asleep on the couch we'd left Becca asleep on. It's very lucky I didn't leap upon him. Joe and I sort of exchanged glances, wondering where Becca could be, and more to the point, where she could be with reference to Katie. We'd joked about finding them in bed together, but... did we dare hope? We headed upstairs, only to find Joe and Katy's bed empty. Joe: "It looks like... maybe...." I sprinted downstairs to get my camera, and I now have several pictures of my girlfriend in bed sleeping with another woman. Of course, there was plenty of space between them. Not sure of what to do, I asked Joe for advice, which led to me crawling in bed with them, which promptly ruined everything. Aww, too bad. Turns out it was completely platonic co-tiredness. A boy can dream. Eventually, we went back to the hotel.