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We'd set alarms for 8:30, but the phone rang at ten minutes before eight. Room service wanted to speak with Mrs. oidhche, so I pretended to be someone who didn't yet exist. I answered the questions, and they brought up the food promptly at 8:00. (It had been ordered for 8:45, incidentally). palingyuan got up and we ate and talked, and amy_pearlman finished up the food when she came down the hall at 9.

lurse picked up palingyuan for their hair appointments, and I showered while Amy attempted to stem the chaos that we'd already been generating. They came back at about 11:25, and we took some quick pictures of both of their hairdos and then rushed palingyuan to her 11:45 makeup appointment at Short Hills Mall.

Back at the hotel around one, turtle_morn, her husband N, and leftsphenoid had brought bread, cheese, and fruit so that we could all get a light lunch. N got kicked out before too long, as we were by then running short on time to do the girly thing and get ourselves ready. Eventually we were all dressed and ready, with only minor glitches.

Speaking of the minor glitches, at the rehearsal on Friday, the priest mentioned that a wedding just doesn't happen without a few minor catastrophes. Of course, demongrey immediately got the glint in his eye that heralds trouble, which told us all he was coming up with a few of his own - but he was talked out of all of them. I think. However, comparing notes with The Boys after the fact, we managed to come up with a list that should satisfy the requirement:

1. The centerpiece design didn't hold water. Literally. I understand that after several soggy tables and soggy boys, the remaining bowls of water were removed before they could shatter.

2. One thoroughly clogged toilet. Fortunately, this is the one thing that the hotel managed to fix promptly.

3. The Black Fog around blackfog. The tuxedo still didn't fit, including broken buckles on the pants such that he had to be pinned into them. Shortly before leaving for the church, he broke a glass and cut himself. I don't know if that was it, or if there was more.

4. A clerical error. A clerical clerical error, even. Not of large proportions, no worries.

At any rate, at five minutes to three, Amy, palingyuan, leftsphenoid and I, and all the flowers, piled into Amy’s car and drove down the street to the church (lurse was already there). There was a lot of bustling back and forth, arranging for the lineup to work without oidhche seeing palingyuan, but very soon we were ready to go. As the music started, I took one last look back at palingyuan, to make sure she wasn't going to have any last minute doubts. She looked nervous, but very radiant, excited and happy.

Being in the middle of it all, I couldn't really tell how the ceremony looked to the audience. I was up front where I could see the flashcards, and hear the whispered comments between the happy couple. It wasn't easy to not giggle and to maintain composure. Then again, I was also whispering with demongrey off and on whenever we could be discreet. The service fascinated me, because in many ways it was very similar to the service I was raised with and know by heart, and in others it was vastly different. We didn't have programs, so I was pretty much just following demongrey's lead for the bits I didn't know. I'm pretty quick at catching on, though, so I suspect I may have looked and sounded even more comfortable than I was.

And then it was over, and we were recessing out. Mr. and Mrs. oidhche and palingyuan LastName and their parents did a receiving line, I believe, but the rest of us were spared. demongrey and I went back in to sign the marriage license and witness that yes, in fact, it was for real. I witness a lot of important life-changing documents in my line of work, so that didn't really strike me as a big deal at the time, but as I look back on it, I wish I'd felt a little more awe.

A lot of the friends gathered in the back of the church and chatted while the family took pictures up front. We realized that there was a service at 5, however, and we all needed to go, so the photographer took only a few outdoor pictures of the bridal party at the church before we loaded up to go to Drew.

Still more to come...