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This weekend I went to Rhinelander, WI to help celebrate the union of two of my friends, Eric (Gator) and Jen (Dwe). There are weddings that are a quiet gathering of close friends and family. There are weddings that are huge affairs in which family, friends, friends of friends, friends of family, small puppies and a goldfish are invited. Then there are weddings that will go down in the annals of time as weddings where you just had to be there. This was one of those weddings. I think the fact that it was held in Northern Wisconsin helped.

The ceremony started at 1pm at St. Joseph's church. Despite most of the crowd being friends of both the bride and the groom, most of us sat on the grooms' side, filling up the pews with a rat tag bunch of miscreants and joyful friends (how many people will be able to say they had a guy with a blue mohawk that matched his suit at their wedding? Eric and Jen can). The ceremony was catholic and at the start of the first prayer we were already stiffeling our giggles. The priest who presided over the wedding was, quite possibly, the gayest priest ever. Sharkbait made a comment that he sounded like he kept switching from Irish Priest to Gay Priest. Halfway through the opening prayers I turned to Muddy and whispered about the gayity of it all. Zinka, on the other side of her, whispered back "Dude! That's what I'm SAYIN'!" Mike made the observation that it was as if the Mooninites from Aqua Teen Hunger Force were reciting the mass. CJ and Elaine sat in the back pew whispering quotes from The Princess Bride. "Mawwage. Mawwage is whaa bwings us togetha today...Mawwage, that bwessed awwangment...tha dweam wiffin a dweam..." Never was a group of mixed religious backgrounds ever so devoted to praying, if only to hide our faces as we tried not to laugh too loudly.

At the end, Keifer played the processional on his trumpet, but the dryness of the air got to him and he was well trumpeted out, though made a very good effort before finally giving up. The congregation applauded him, so he jumped up on the pew and took a bow. Only Keifer could get a standing ovation at somebody elses wedding as he screwed up.

The reception was held at The Pizza Haven on the outskirts of town. Truth be told, you don't have to go far to find the outskirts, but still. Dinner was family style and long tables were laid out. Mike and I rang our forks against the fish bowl centerpiece when everybody else just clinked their glasses. Mike and Guil lobbed hershey kisses at the couple, never fully succeeding in their target, but beaning a guest in the head. In order of first appearance, dinner was herb potatoes, turkey, vegetarian lasagna, and gravy. Our places all had plastic cups that said "I went all the way to Rhinelander for Eric and Jen's wedding and all I got was this lousy cup" with a picture of the couple, rendered in stick figure form, with the groom TOTALLY groping the bride. Many jokes were made. All of them were funny. Especially after we located the free wine and beer.

Backstory time. Gator in college was known for being a flirt and a guy who liked to party. Also, after a few drinks, he was also known for removing articles of clothing from himself. A memorable story was when he walked from Erbs&Gerbs two blocks to the Rectory, completely stripping himself as he went, in February, at 2am. Adrianne followed behind picking up his clothes. ANYWAYS - the best man, who made a very good speech, made a comment about how, while the bride has seen him naked - unfortunately, so has probably half the room. At that time, a rousing chorus of "NAKED GATOR! *clap clap clap-clap-clap* was started. The looks on the faces of the family in attendance was amazing. The toasts went on until all members of the wedding party had spoken, including a few not in said party. A drinking game was quickly established of anytime someone said "I knew (blank) before I met (blank)" you took a drink. Sadly, this game was only invented after all the talking.

Now for the traditions. We're all familiar with the garter and bouquet toss. For the garter toss, Eric had to crawl on his hands and knees to Jen, who was using the best man as a chair. Then, without his hands, he had to get the garter. The first time he went under, he came back out with a pair of handcuffs in his mouth. Quit fitting, really. In the end, Ghost got the garter (a spectacular blue number made by a friend) and Laura got the bouquet. Then came the testing of the bride and groom. Eric was blindfolded and Jen and her bridesmaids all sat down in chairs on the dance floor. Eric had to find his wife by feeling their legs. He tripped up only once, but eventually correctly named his wife. Then they blindfolded Jen and she had to name Eric by feeling the rear ends of the men. Luke, one of the ushers and who was quite intoxicated at this point, loudly proclaimed "This is another tradition I think I hate."

The wine flowed, the kegs were never tapped, the dance train circled the dance floor then went through the adjoining bar and back. A BIG photo was taken, the girls were rounded up for and EC photo that never happened. Cheers were called out in the parking lot and Laudies were sung (far away from little ears who shouldn't know what rhymes with "Dweezil" and why it's so funny). Small children were traumatized by the pelvic thrusts done by EC girls during The Time Warp and my wonderful display of grinding abilities up against sharkbait.

Also of note were the fact that the dresses kept falling apart. Jen had to pull up her dress many times during the wedding, and during the wedding march at the reception, MR had to race to the bathroom after the clasp on her halter broke, threatening to unleash her bosomy goodness to all the wedding. Jen's zipper kept busting open and Laura's was held together by safety pins and a prayer (one that I think a lot of the preteen boys were against). Cries of "MY DRESS JUST POPPED!" would litter the dance floor.

To Sum Up: gay priest, pizza haven dinner, embarrassing chants bringing up groom's sordid past, slightly inappropriate feeling, even more slightly inappropriate laudies, wardrobe malfunctions, traumatized children, and the wonders of Northern Wisconsin.

I guess, even after all that I wrote, you just had to have been there.

Congrats, Eric and Jen. You'll always be Gator and Dwe to me.
as i usually say about all these events . . . i wish i could've been there.

congratulations to the happy couple! :-D
Damn best wedding every. I feel bad for the fact that their dresses where falling apart...and that is all I will say on that. It was good to see you, even though you forgot who I was :: Pouts::.
Who do you take Molly and Sasha to for vet visits?

I'm not digging Banfield, and I'm looking for recommendations.

Thanks! =)