I think I've recovered enough to talk about Kevin and Crystal's wedding now. The whole weekend felt like one non-stop party.
Thursday night the ladies and gents went out for their hen and stag parties. At the start of the evening Crystal was surprised to learn she would be wearing a pink spandex outfit and bunny ears. Of course there was The List to complete: 40 tasks of bravery and embarrassment. Crystal had been in charge of planning at least four previous bridal showers, complete with embarrassing costumes and wicked challenges, so you could say a few of us were looking forward to revenge. But of course, she outmaneuvered us all and completed a surprising number of tasks (including: shaving a C into a man's chest hair, doing an Irish jig on stage with a live band, and starting a conga line) having a blast in the process.
I was designated driver for the evening (being the only pregnant lady around), and I carted around 20 women in a massive van until 4:30am. I don't know how I managed to hang in so long, but it felt great to party into the wee hours.
Friday afternoon brought the rehearsal followed by the Rehearsal/Out of Towner Dinner. The Doyle's hosted 100 people with a beautiful backyard BBQ. My dad and Thom tended bar and I do believe they had their hands full with the German and Irish crowd all night.
I, on the other hand, realized that I didn't have a copy of the poem I was to read in the wedding, and since it had been compiled by Kevin and Crystal from a 230 line Walt Whitman poem, there was no way I was recreating it on my own. Kevin and Crystal were very gracious about sitting down and working through it again, even finding some new stanzas to include, so it worked out in the end. (It's wonderful to be related to people who are also absentminded, resourceful, and not easily ruffled.)
Finally the day of the wedding arrived and I spent the morning getting ready with Crystal and her bridesmaids in her suite. I indulged myself with professional make-up and hair, and came out looking not too shabby (but I should have warned Crystal about the stray boob--those puppies hate to stay put). Crystal was relaxed and beautiful and seemed to enjoy the morning with her ladies.
Around 1pm I went to the wedding site with friend and wedding planner Ashley to help decorate and organize the reception hall before the festivities. Everyone had done such a beautiful job of picking out flowers and settings, the space looked gorgeous.
Finally, the big moment arrived and the ceremony went off without a hitch (I even remembered to bring my poem).
I loved Kevin and Crystal' vows, which they wrote together (in rhyming couplets no less!). I was not surprised to see that Crystal cleans up quite well as a girl; they look good married, don't they?
Here's their massive wedding party including bridesmaids and groomsmen, ushers, flower girls, and ring bearer.
The reception got off to a great start and after a bit of maneuvering Thom and I had seats at two tables (you know, because that's how we roll). Dinner started and when it came time for the speeches, Thom and I retreated to complete our master plan.
Thom and Kevin have a tradition of doing some sort of prank at the wedding receptions of their close friends. Usually it involves a sketch and/or singing. The male victims of these pranks have felt the need to get revenge, so every year the ante is upped a bit (at our wedding Kevin juggled chickens during his speech and Mike and Bill handcuffed Thom and tossed the key into a fountain).
With their wedding, Kevin and Crystal were closing the circle, so we wanted to go out with a bang. Thom and I prepared ourselves in the back, and when the time came, we emerged with the Bielefeld Express Extravaganza Variety Show starring "Kevin" and "Crystal."
The show featured a number of acts--The Flying Zucchini Brothers' Bunny Slippers, Handcuffs, and Chicken Act, a sketch: The Courtship of Kevin and Crystal: How it Could Have all Gone Horribly Horribly Wrong, and a love-song serenade with audience participation.
Thom and I were beyond pleased with the outcome (Kevin and Crystal even got out of the handcuffs eventually).
Music started soon after that, and the rest of the evening is just a blur. As you can see, there were a lot of White Guy Moves happening here:
It was really a fantastic evening. Kevin and Crystal are so lucky to be surrounded by people who love them and encourage all of their kookiness. And Thom and I are so lucky to have them so close. I can't wait to see how married life settles on them; I'm sure it's going to be beautiful.
Here's the last shot of the night; a strange one that I like for its strangeness. This was taken as Thom walked away from a dance with the bride, at a moment that was somehow captured in purple:
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