The reviews are in, and apparently it was a good wedding. We've heard from many, many people (not just our parents) that it was the best wedding they've ever attended. Since they could easily have satisfied their social obligations with a simple, "It was lovely," we're inclined to take them at their word and not try to figure out what favor they're buttering us up to ask for.

There were a lot of things that went right. We had great weather, the location was gorgeous, the flowers and decorations came together to create a whole greater than the sum of their parts, making the ceremony and reception look beautiful. The W and I were disappointed with the food, which took far too long to appear and wasn't up to the same standard as the plates they prepared for us at the tasting, but it got good marks from many guests, so OK. The dancing started late, but our celebrants more than made up for that with their enthusiasm. A particular highlight was when a guest requested the DJ play Baby Got Back in honor of a friend who couldn't attend because of a bicycle wipeout, and the DJ responded with "No way" until the bride gave her approval. Suddenly the dance floor was packed as everyone cut loose. I only wish we had video.

One thing we've heard again and again from people is how much they loved the ceremony, which embraced traditions from both our backgrounds and was very personal and romantic. I suspect that's in large part due to the Ten (11) Reasons portion of the ceremony, for which my bride and I had each written a list of eleven reasons we loved the other. My best man read mine, and her maid of honor read hers, alternating back and forth one reason at a time. Neither of us had seen or heard the other's list until that moment, and there were some great points of intersection that had us laughing and crying at the same time.

There are precious few moments in your life when so many friends and family come together at once to celebrate YOU with unbridled joy. Being at the center of that outpouring of affection was intoxicating. Merely having all those people in one place at one time was something to cherish forever.

We had multiple events over the course of the week leading up to the wedding-- a bachelor party, a BBQ at our home for our out-of-town guests, and an ice-cream-and-chocolate-chip-cookie fireworks celebration, and my best man Michael was there at all of them with a set of pool noodles in tow. He set about posing people with those noodles in photographs just so, and his infectious enthusiasm for the project and skill with the shmooze had everyone wondering what it was all about. "Have you been noodled?" became the question of the week as new guests arrived at each event, gamely posing with the noodles while having no idea why. The big reveal came at the reception, but since it was daytime and outdoors the lighting made it difficult to see the fruits of Michael's efforts. It is reproduced below. Click on it for a bigger view. You may have to squinch your eyes a bit to see how it all comes together, but the fact that it came together at all is wonderful and a testament to Michael's planning and doggedness. Bravo!

A heartlifting work of staggering genius


Pete, is there any way to make this even bigger, my friends would really enjoy seeing the end result, and we old folks have poor eyesight. Michael did a fantastic job putting this together. All my friends think he is just terrific and feel you are so lucky to have him as a friend. We agree! Hugs to our new daughter-in-law. Yeh!!!

Fantastic! I am happy to host the original on my SmugMug account if you want - then people can download the original from there, or just zoom in real big. Just let me know.

can you reveal the contents of both lists of 11?

Now that? Is cool! Your friend is clearly an obsessive-compulsive detail-oriented FREAK after my own heart.

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