Weddings make me nervous. They made me nervous before I got married and they make me even more nervous now that I've been through it myself. I might actually get more anxious at weddings than the people getting married.
As is my way, I was disturbingly calm when it came to my own wedding. Yes, I was anxious about it before, but when it happened I was the picture of serenity. I am, if nothing, cool under pressure. It's the time leading up to the pressure that always freaks me out.
I remember when our photographer, Wendy, came to where my brother and I were standing. She had just come down the elevator with Nicole. She said "you're a very lucky man." I said something along the lines of "oh, I know, believe me."
Weddings make me nervous because the bond that makes up a marriage is private. What Nicole and I have is no one's business but ours, even if I do seem to make a habit of writing about it. I'm all for big parties with your family and friends, but the whole ceremony proclaiming your love in front of a bunch of people never sat well with me.
I managed to get through it, though, and it's ultimately the shortest scene of that particular wedding movie.
I remember going to Round Table pizza with my friends from Kent just a few hours before I had to get ready. We watched the Bulls play the Celtics in the NBA playoffs, as our Cavs had already beaten the Pistons by 18 earlier. I had no idea that the Round Table we went to was not far from Nicole's parents' house, because I didn't know the area that well.
I remember my brother and my parents coming to my room beforehand. The Indians were in the process of beating the Yankees 22-4, which was just about the best wedding present I could have gotten. Clearly, it was a sign.
I don't spend much time with my family. I think my mom was just happy that this day had finally arrived, and that the girl I was marrying was smart and responsible and didn't have a bunch of tattoos.
It's weird to think that Nicole got ready for our wedding at her parents' house. She had pictures taken with her dad and her maid of honor, Nina, in the back yard. That all happened here, in a house that's now ours. We had no idea back then, of course.
Both Nicole's dad and her brother probably had cancer already at that point, we just didn't know. Her dad would leave us less than a year later. Her brother is currently in remission.
What we did know, however, was that there were two very pregnant women at the wedding. One of those children would be Nicole's god son. I suppose there's some kind of balance in there.
Our wedding was amazing, but I suppose most people say that about their weddings. It was a blur and I know that everyone says that. It went by too fast.
Our DJ played "Raised by Wolves" by Voxtrot and only a handful of people danced to it. He also played "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by the Darkness. Only a handful of people danced to that, too.
He played "Rock Lobster," all nearly 7 minutes of it. I requested it for my brother. He left the reception to go to bed, came back down for some reason, and it was still playing.
Our first song was the cover of Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" by Iron and Wine. Our last song was "Question" by Old 97's.
A lot has happened in the last four years. I know people say that, but I can't imagine that there are many newlyweds that have had to deal with as much over the first four years of marriage as we have. We've only survived it all because we have each other. Always and forever, we have each other.
I proposed in the rain in the parking lot of an Irish bar. It was the second best thing I ever did at an Irish bar.
The first was meeting Nicole.