Sunday, June 08, 2008

Our wedding!

We were worried. After all, that weekend of our wedding saw the worst rain in the midwest in decades. You probably read about it on CNN. Several tornadoes were sighted in the state the Friday and Saturday. Thunderstorms were forecast for the weekend.
We had our rehearsal and dinner Friday evening, a meeting of our closest friends and family who would be involved in the wedding. Miraculously, despite the forecast, we woke up to a sunny, cool day on Saturday. Per tradition, Kristin and I had said our goodnights the night before and I was not to see her until she walked down the aisle with my future father-in-law. And so, on Saturday morning, my mates and I got ready in one section of the church, safely segregated from my bride-to-be. I know I wondered several times how her gown looked (again, another tradition here; I was not allowed to see her wedding gown).

My groomsmen were TS, the best man and my housemate for the last 5 years, who at his last PET scan was in clinical remission, Nick and LP, my pals from IMU who did medical school in Canada. It was through God's grace that TS has responded so well to the treatment and has recovered enough to help with the wedding. Our ushers included ET, the first friend of mine to have met Kristin. We've all shared so much that it feels right to have them as my groomsmen, perhaps as one more saga in our friendship beofre LP returned to practice nephrology in Malaysia, and before I moved to Iowa.
My family, including my sister, brother and sister-in-law, flew in for the wedding. It was nice to have then share this day with me, for it would not have been complete without them.

The mothers and the bride. My Kristin.

"But dad, I wanted tall, dark and handsome"

Both Kristin and I got teary at the wedding. It's inexplicable why; to have my family and dear friends there to witness this, and to see the woman I love walk down the aisle towards me, it was, simply put, the happiest day of my life (well, so far. Who knows how happy I'll be when I get my Mercedes SLK!)
Brendan and Shavon, the ring-bearer and flower girl. Kids of our very good friends here.

Kristin looked positively radiant (well, aside from the red-eyes), walking down the aisle with her dad, David. She wore a white gown with an apple-red sash and a tiara. My friends tell me that when they saw me crying too, many of them sheds tears too. It was a very intimate, emotional event.

Kristin's bridesmaids were her sisters and her buddy from nursing school.

We had our lunch reception at Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, a Zagat-rated French restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan, whose chef recently won the James Beard culinary award for the midwest. The restaurant was cozy but big enough to hold the 120 guests with room for a dance floor, and the food was spectacular (then again, it was our wedding so I'm biased!).
Just after we wrapped up our day and checked in to our hotel, the rains started again, to cause havoc in the Midwest. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. It was like some divine power held out an umbrella for us just long enough to enjoy our wedding day.
We're back in MN. Phew, it's done; one wedding down, another to go (July 5th in Malaysia. To the same woman, in case you're wondering!). I'm still off work for another few days, before I have to fly off to San Francisco to present my research at a meeting. So far, it still seems surreal at many levels.
For one, the name 'Mrs. Vagus' conjures up images of my mom, not my new bride. Secondly, I joke about this but really, the ring on my left ring finger really does feel heavy and big. And I still catch myself thinking of Kris as my girlfriend, not wife.
But with all that, this is an exciting new chapter and a whole new beginning. So life, here we come!