A little over a year ago, I got married to the most amazing lady of all time. We had been engaged for the previous year and had been planning our special day for most of that time. Because Lady took on most of the planning, I was unaware of just how many seemingly minor and inconsequential things need to be accounted for. That unawareness really came to a head on the morning of our wedding when I realized that there were a number of logistical details I had neglected to think about.

This is how my wedding morning went.

I first tried to check out of the hotel. This should have been a relatively straightforward and painless process. Except, it wasn’t. I had (theoretically) transferred enough money into my account to cover the hotel charges, but those funds apparently were delayed, meaning I was $100 short on my bill. Thankfully, my mom stepped in and paid for the room. And by “paid for” I mean “spent an hour at the front desk trying to put my bill onto her bill and erase the payment made by my card so that my account was not overdrawn.” A relatively straightforward task, but for some reason, there was complication after complication. A half hour into the process, my mom told me to just leave and get ready and that she would handle everything. She ended up paying for my hotel bill and depositing more money in my account because the hotel couldn’t immediately withdraw the charge.

Next, I had to take my car downtown and park it next to the reception hall. The ceremony was at the Calvin Seminary Chapel and the reception down on Division Street, so I needed my car down there so that Lady and I would have a ride to the hotel post-reception. But that meant that I would be giving up my car and placing my fate and all the timing of the entire day in somebody else’s hands. I already am super weird about being on time, and a lot of my friends seem to view a deadline as more of a suggestion, rather than a hard fact, so I was dreading giving up my means of independence. Nevertheless, I drove downtown, parked my car, and waited for my buddy to pick me up to take me to the ceremony venue.

So there I am downtown, waiting to be picked up, holding my bagged tuxedo, pacing nervously, and wound up tighter than a drum. It is maybe 9 a.m., and there is already a swarm of crusty, homeless alcoholics on Division/Fulton, and they are all saying things like, “Hey man, you getting married?” or “You look great!” or “I was married twice!” or “Aw, congrats man! Can you spare some change?

All I wanted to say was, “Look, I had a shit morning at the hotel, I am stressed beyond belief, but I don’t want to smoke because I don’t want to smell badly when I get married, and my ride is three minutes late—could you please give me that bottle of Colt .45 you are drinking so that I can calm down?” Thankfully, my old roommate was with me, and he both kept me calm and prevented me from scoring any malt liquor off the homeless dudes.

Finally, my ride arrived. In all honesty, he was right on time, but in my mind, he was ten minutes late. He drove me back to the Prince Conference Center where he was staying with three of my other good friends from my hometown. There was still at least an hour and a half before I needed to be at the chapel to get ready, so it was great to see them, relax for a bit, and calm my nerves with them.

This is not an exhaustive list of everything that happened the morning of my wedding that made me stress out, just a sampling. The wedding itself and the following reception all went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful day, but it is a bit of a surreal blur. However, I still remember just all the small acts of kindness that my family and friends showed me on the morning leading up to the best moment in my life, and I am so thankful that they kept me sane.

Paul Menn
Paul ('10) lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Emma ('10), and cat, HandsomeMarcoCat. He loves board games, Babylon 5, and honey-curry chicken. Everything else is negotiable.

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