It all started out at the Chapel, the Shrine Chapel of our Lady of Orchard Lake on the Campus of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. It was very fitting that we were married at St. Mary’s since that is where I saw Chelsea for the first time.
I’m not that emotional of a guy and most people think that the groom will cry when he first sees the bride coming down the aisle, but I didn’t. I didn’t even make it that far! When I came out into the church for the first time and saw both of our families and all of our friends in one room it was very overwhelming.
To think that so many people came to share in our celebration meant a lot – we had people travel halfway around the world to come and share with us. Being Catholic, we had a traditional Mass with a lot of of our family involved , both in the readings and in the music.
It was of great importance to both of us getting married in the Church – with all of the tradition that goes with it, both in the preparation for Marriage and the actual ceremony.
After the Mass, we took a large amount of family photos while the massive wedding party (11 bridesmaids, 12 groomsmen) went to the limo bus to relax. Part of the planning we did (OK, Chelsea did the planning, not me) was to make sure that the wedding party had fun the entire time. We know most people don’t like to take 100s of photos in wedding parties so we only had a few taken with the group – all of which were on the St. Mary’s football field.
At the time we were taking the photos, I was skeptical of the whole setup, but they turned out awesome (nice work Marek). Chelsea and I took another 30 minutes worth of photos while the wedding party went back again to the limo bus to relax yet again.
From the photos we had a short ride to the reception at the Centerpoint Marriot in Pontiac, MI. Everyone there did an awesome job of taking care of our big wedding – they went above and beyond in both service and kindness which is ultimately why we chose that venue.
(Along with the fact we wanted to have it at a hotel – once again Chelsea’s planning on making sure everyone else can have the best time possible – i.e not having to worry about driving).
The biggest surprise of the entire wedding day was my first dance with my wife. We had picked out our wedding song months prior – so I was shocked when a different song was playing during our first dance. It was a song I had never heard before – because it was my wife singing to me.
It caught me off guard because I always beg her to sing for me. She has a great voice – but had never sang to me before – she saved it for our wedding day and surprised everyone there with her hidden vocal talent. After our first dance came the speeches…
We had four people give tremendous speeches, and my best man did a phenomenal job of balancing his comedic wit and genuine thoughtfulness in his speech. It seemed like everyone at the wedding commented on how great all of the speeches were from top to bottom, because face it, at most weddings at least one person drops the ball with the speech because of too many beverages.
After the speeches and the food (which was excellent!) came the rest of the party. There was a point in time when I sat back with Chelsea, looked at the dance floor, and told her that it looked like a full blown Nightclub. I had never seen so many people on a wedding dance floor before, ever. The DJ kept playing well beyond the scheduled end time because everyone on the dance floor would not let him leave.
Chelsea and I dipped out around 11:45pm – and took our limo back to another private hotel. It was scheduled to come at 12:30am but they arrived earlier by chance and it was perfect timing.
The best advice I can give a guy about to get married is plan to have the end of the night car/limo pick you up at least one hour before the reception ends.
By the end of the night you just want to get away with your wife, not because you don’t want to be around your family, but just because you want to be with only her. It is better to have the option of the car waiting for you, as opposed to you waiting for the car.
Most people say that your wedding goes by in the blink of an eye, but I disagree. We were able to take the entire day in just by simply being with each other and enjoying that everyone was having a great time.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for all of the well wishes, e-mails, and congratulations – it means a lot. Part of the point of this blog is to not only share what I have learned in my life, but also things in my life as I am experiencing them, so thanks for being a part of it.
If you would like to see some more wedding photos, join the mailing list because I will be sending out an e-mail update shortly!