Maid of Awesome – Sweet Words from my Sweet Sista

Wedding Wednesday Thursday is at it again.  We did speeches throughout dinner to try and combat the “these speeches are going on forever are they ever going to end?!” syndrome. First up was Sista, she requested going first – not so much because she was super eager to speak – but because she couldn’t eat until she got it over with.

Sista didn’t write anything down – very uncharacteristic of her. She did an AWESOME job and made me laugh right away so that I only welled but didn’t flat out ugly cry. Bonus! The only shortfall of not writing anything down, it was a one-time show.  There’s no perfect recreation of this part since following w-day was the first year of a new school and Sista literally had NO TIME to write down her thoughts until this week when I gave her a firm deadline. Yesterday.

But she once again did a great job and remembered all the major parts – it once again made me well up, but no ugly crying at the office.  Bonus.  I give you Wedding guest post from Sista (once again with a few key edits from me).

Maid of Honour Speech/Groomsmen Toast…..or what I can remember of it and created anew 10 months later. By Sista 

I’m a little bit nervous (said to the table of people sitting beside the podium).

I have probably known that I would be giving this speech most of my life and a time frame was finally nailed down for me last November when The Boy and Meaghan got engaged. I knew then that at some point this summer I would need to sit down and write a speech but as can be expected of a procrastinator I kept putting this Maid of Honour job off.  Not such a smart idea, since during Meaghan and The Boy’s final two weeks of wedding preparation I started a new job at a private school in Toronto.  Needless to say writing a speech has not been a top priority as the school year starts up.  So here I am with nothing written down and a speech to deliver.

As part of the very overwhelming start to my new job, a psychologist was invited to speak to the faculty at my new school for a professional development session.  One of the things he focused on was how memories are formed.  Specifically long term memories.  I’m definitely over simplifying this but basically what he told us was that if you want a short term memory to become a long term memory, they have to be emotionally charged.  Without a significant emotion our short term memories are simply forgotten.  When strong emotions are involved long term memories are formed.  A valuable piece of information for all the teachers in the room but it also got me thinking about my first memories of Meaghan and The Boy.

One of my very first memories, is of Meaghan.  I would have been almost 4 and there is no doubt that I still have this memory because of the strong emotions attached to it. Pure loathing.  Upon hearing that I had a baby sister, I felt nothing but hatred, disappointment and loathing as I ran up the Newton’s stairs.  The memory is a little fuzzy around the edges but I can remember exactly what the carpet on the stairs looked like as I ran up them, and the wallpaper in Tim’s room as I cried myself to sleep.  And I can remember the emotion.  I loathed her.  As you probably know from the wedding website, I quite simply wanted a baby brother and my first memory of Meaghan was charged with bitter disappointment.

Fortunately for both of us, these emotions did not last long.  Meaghan and I have grown up to become incredibly close and the best of friends.  We often say that we are almost too close, simply because we generally don’t feel the need to seek out other friendships, as we have everything we need in each other. We are so close that I don’t need to look over at Megs right now, to know what she’s doing, feeling or thinking.  I have never met sisters that are as close or closer then we are – except maybe Darcy and Olivia, but they’re twins.

If I’m being honest, I don’t remember the first time I met The Boy.  It must not have been an emotionally charged event for me.  When The Boy and Meaghan first started dating I was living in Victoria, and it wasn’t until the year I spent at Western that The Boy and I really got to know each other.  Many of my first memories of The Boy are a bit fuzzy around the edges as well, but for different reasons (pretend drink taken here).

The strongest long term memory that I have about The Boy is one that he probably won’t remember but is also one that speaks volumes about the man my sister has just married.  In February of my year at teachers college, Kate and Meaghan were off on reading week, while The Boy and I for whatever reason were both in London and still pseudo living out of their apartment, even though they weren’t there.  One evening during this week the phone rang non-stop.  My cell phone and the apartment phone rang all night as I had just received some not so very good news and calls between doctors and family went on for hours.  At one point in the other room, The Boy got hold of Meaghan and asked her why the heck the phone was ringing so much.  What on earth was going on?  Meaghan filled him in and a while later when I emerged from the bedroom, phone calls done, and head spinning with “what if” possibilities, The Boy looked at me and simply said “We need Dairy Queen.”

The Boy drove us to Dairy Queen, I had a Reese Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard while he had strawberry (because he always has strawberry).  He even paid.  We didn’t even really talk about my not so good news or the phone ringing or anything in particular really.  The Boy took me for ice cream and with that gesture my short term memory was charged not with emotions of fear and panic but of safety and security and became one of my favourite long term memories.

It’s these types of simple thoughtful gestures that make The Boy and Meaghan such an incredible match for each other.  They think nothing of putting themselves out there for their friends.  It doesn’t matter if it means driving hours after a long work week to be in the audience at your first gig, knitting you hats and sweaters for your newest arrival, inviting you out for a drink or taking you for Dairy Queen at just the right moment, The Boy and Meaghan are a couple that define themselves by the thoughtful little things they do for the people they love.  They do them quietly and without fanfare or wanting to be recognized, they do them simply as natural extensions of their genuine nature.

This is probably part of the reason why The Boy has such a large collection of friends.  While this is a great asset to have it certainly makes choosing a wedding party very difficult.  I’m not sure that the Best Man and Groomsmen know this but it took The Boy a long time to decide on who he wanted to stand at his side today.  The fact that you are sitting here should indicate to you that The Boy counts you as his most trusted friends.  Friends he would do anything for, big or small, and friends that he knows will return the favor when he needs it.  I’m certain all of you have your own emotionally charged long term memories of The Boy, he wouldn’t have chosen you if you didn’t.  He also would not have chosen you if he didn’t anticipate many more memories with you at his side. So as I wrap this speech up, I’d like everyone to raise a glass and toast the groomsmen and the many more emotional charged memories to come.

Thank you SO MUCH Sista – I knew you would do an awesome job but you really out did yourself.  Love you!! XOXO

The Night Before – The Groom

(*Author’s note – I know, this was supposed to be posted last week.  I waited trying to remember to take the pictures from The Boy’s phone into the post.  But now it’s Wedding Wednesday again and The Boy is out on the town so wait no more… I guess what happens in Alliston, stays in Alliston.)

The night before for the Boy was slightly different than mine.  He was a little stressed when I left him in the morning, but headed north for a round of golf with my dad, his dad, a groomsman, my brother, all of my uncles and a few of their wives.  I think there were about 12 of them or so. He insists he was having a terrible round until about the 4th hole (coincidentally that is the hole my parent’s live on) when he chugged a beer and things got much better from there.

The biggest inconvenience for the Boy around the whole wedding deal was its effect on his golf game.  It went in the crapper for about 2 weeks before and he was not happy about it.  Much beer was enjoyed by all, as I understand it – apparently my brother was incoherent by the time they were off the course and the Boy was not far behind him.

Dad planned a delicious Man Feast of steak, potatoes and Caesar Salad, and then they broke out into games of poker.  Most of the groomsmen were able to join in the festivities by dinner time, which the Boy really appreciated – he was getting pretty nervous and they all ensured that with the help of some Steamwhistle they would take his mind right off his nervousness… I believe they succeeded.

It’s difficult to tell who won the poker games since there seems to be prize presentation pictures with everyone that was there, but in the end, the Boy walked away with most if not all the money and both $50 gift cards to Golf Town – score!

By 1am my Dad took on the role of responsible adult and sent the boys to bed. I think a few heads were hurting in the morning.

The Boy wants everyone to know that he had an awesome day and night before.  He was so appreciative to everyone that came to hang out with him. While he was excited to get married, he hates being in the spotlight especially in a church and he was really couldn’t wait for the whole thing to be over!  His number one fear was that he was going to pass out at the front of the church (he didn’t).

1 more sleep for The Boy!

Tuxedos or Suits? That is the Question

We have gone back and forth. Back and forth. Tuxedo or suit.  Tuxedo or suit.

In my original w-day vision, I saw all the boys in suits.  They didn’t match.  They were all grey.  I figured what better time for the Boy to get a suit that fit him well, than for his wedding.  I even considered made-to-measure.

My mom’s original vision was tuxedos.  “It’s a formal wedding and you’re in a traditional white dress – the guys should all be in tuxes,” she said. “Boys will not want to buy a grey suit, if they’re going to buy a suit they’ll want a black one,” she said.  I listened.

I considered the tux option.

Then w-day expenses started creeping up and a quick look into a made-to-measure option for the Boy quickly threw that idea out the window.  And I found a grey tux.  Hmm… decision made?

We decided we would do some investigating into the tux option.  We went to Moores – they did not have a grey tux option.  They had grey vests under black tuxes – would that work?  No.  We went to Tip Top Tailor who is partnered with Freeman’s Formalwear and had this picture in their brochure.  I asked if they had one that we could see – for colour and to get a better idea.  No.  We would have to order it from the picture. I asked if they had orange ties to go with it.  Yes!  Our sales person then proceeded to show me swatches of peach, pink and brown all the while trying to convince me that what I was looking at was orange.  As I continued to veto what he showed me he really won me over by asking, “Does she ever say yes?”

Not to you jerk.

We were on the fence given the cost of renting (for this particular tux we would be looking at about $250 by the time we added a vest and shoes) and that we weren’t really finding something we loved.  The Boy ended up vetoing the entire tux when I showed him pictures from a Style Me Pretty blog of a wedding party in this tux.  Too light he said.  I agreed.  While September 10 is still very much warm weather – this dove grey is a summer colour.  We’re getting married in the fall.  We wanted a darker grey.

Back to the drawing board.

This week I heard on the radio that Moores was having a sale.  So I checked out their site and not only was it a sale – it was BOGO – for suits! The Boy and I went in on Thursday night to see what we could find.  We found 3 different options for him and learned that EVERYTHING was BOGO in the store, so all of the groomsmen could get a suit for half price. Only hiccup – the sale ended on Sunday.

The Boy made several calls and sent many text messages but we were able to get all of the groomsmen measurements, 2 of them in person and another was able to meet us virtually at Moores in London BOGO shopping with the Boy’s dad. After much debate back and forth our wonderful sales person Liz (she was awesome if you’re in need of a suit in York Region – she’s worth the drive to Newmarket) was able to pull a suit for all of the groomsmen and a different one for the Boy.  She then pulled shirts and gave us a wonderful tip – since I’m not wearing true white the boys should not wear white shirts since my dress will look dirty when standing beside them.  Brilliant.  I never would have thought of that.

"Umm... you two aren't standing right beside each other during the ceremony are you?" ~ our sales associate Liz

At the end of an hour all 5 boys plus the Boy’s dad had suits and shirts for w-day. For the groomsmen they ended up with a $525 suit and $80 shirt for $342.  SCORE!  $90 more and they get to keep it.

The best part?  The 8 different items I got to check off the website checklists.  Grooms and groomsmen attire – researched, decision, purchased and ordered.  Check Check Check and Check!

These boys are SUITING UP! I couldn’t be happier with the result.