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OK, maybe I’m biased. But that wedding I just threw with my shiny new husband? It rocked. It rocked so hard, it was even better than I ever thought. And for a girl who was engaged for a year, you know that day got a lot of thought.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to blog it properly, how to possibly condense this amazing day full of fun and love and dancing and family and friends into a post. And what it keeps coming back to is WHY our wedding was so good.

1) A close friend of ours married us. Every time I go to a religious wedding, there is at least one point that makes me gag, usually something about the wife doing what the husband says. (If you got married religiously, I get it, seriously. There is something beautiful and timeless about following in the tradition of those before you. However, my hubby and I made a different choice.) Meanwhile, every wedding I’ve attended where a friend or family member acted as officiant has been so personal, so wrought with meeting. Amanda wrote our ceremony for US. It talked about OUR relationship, and MY quirks, and JEFF’S quirks. Our readings were poems and writings that had meaning to us, and we weren’t constricted by where those readings came from.

It allowed us to be so very much us. I walked down the aisle to the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. When I put Jeff’s ring on the wrong finger at first, I said, “Oh, shit!” loud enough for the first few rows to hear, and I didn’t feel badly about it. Our photographer told me, “This is the first wedding I’ve ever shot where the bride snorted during the ceremony.” Don’t remember why it happened, but something clearly struck me as funny.

Jac, Jeff and Amanda. I was told more than once that our ceremony was beautiful. It really was; Amanda did an incredible job.

2) We gave our guests other things to do than eat and dance. Granted, the food was actually GOOD (my cousin got a job as a sous chef at the country club like a month before the wedding, so I think he had something to do with it all actually being HOT when it was served), and the DJ was superb. But our wedding favors were strips of photos from the photo booth. Folks dressed up like fools and said cheese (we got a copy of each strip in a book for guests to sign — the best guestbook ever). Our hall was upstairs and had a balcony, where we had two boxes of cigars. People wandered in and out all night.

Jac and Amanda the officiant, each feeling much less nervous

A photo booth prop made it to the dance floor for R. Kelly’s “Remix to Ignition.” Sample lyric: “Running her hands through my ‘fro.” Also, this photo brings together a friend from college, from high school, from adulthood and from childhood, plus a gal whose diapers I’ve changed. No where but a wedding!

3) I’ve moved around a lot, so my mom hasn’t mean a number of my close friends. After the wedding, my mom told me, “You’re friends are amazing.” And they are. In my 30 years, I’ve surrounded myself with beautiful, friendly, quirky, hilarious, brilliant, generous people. A wedding filled with lovely people can’t be bad.

4) One word: Shuttles. They picked guests up from hotels and brought them to the club, and they brought them home at the end of the night. Open bar + no driving = a good time was had by all. (Don’t look at me — I didn’t get drunk. I didn’t even get a bite of wedding cake — tiramisu — until an hour after it was served, and that’s when I stole someone else’s piece left alone at a table.)

5) When things went wrong, I had no idea. People took care of it without telling me. I didn’t find out until the next day, for example, that 30 minutes before the ceremony, one of the vases for our sand ceremony broke. The officiant’s husband and a friend directed a barely-holding-it-together Amanda toward Jeff, and they found two vases. (A sand ceremony is when the bride and groom — or bride and bride or groom and groom — each pour a different colored sand into a single vase. It’s like a unity candle that can’t blow out in an outdoor ceremony, AND it’s something Jeff and I will keep forever.)

Sand ceremony’ing

Everything was stupendous. Everything was beautiful. Everything surpassed every cliche.

And at the end of the day, I get to spend forever with the love of my life.

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