Friday, January 10, 2014


After we thanked everyone, in attendance or not, the party was allowed to seek its own identity. We were able to socialize a bit and see how everyone else was faring on such a magical day. I went to the bar to get my very own Eternitini. As I was waiting for the concoction to be prepared, I inquired of a friend if he had had a chance to try one. He said they were tasty but got a bit sweet after eight. Let the love flow. This may be unrelated, but a couple hours later, it was discovered that one could make the sound equipment skip by jumping and landing in a certain spot on the dance floor. This provided a good fifteen minutes of entertainment and signaled that our time to depart had come.

We made it out front and into the awaiting limo. I held her hand, and we began our glorious ride into ever after.

“Do you think everyone had fun?” she asked.

“Everyone I spoke to loved it. Was it your dream wedding?”

“It was perfect.”

We kissed, and the limo stopped. The convenient location of the hotel, around the corner, had made our glorious ride into the ever after gloriously short, at least the limo portion of it.

“We should have told him to go around the block a couple of times,” I said.

“Next time, we are going straight to the airport,” she replied.

“Next time?”

I don’t remember anything after that.
- Drew Lloyd
From "Will You?" to "I Do.": A Groom's Tale of Survival

Thursday, January 9, 2014


We arrived and sent word in to the DJ that we were ready. From the female contingent, there arose quite a clatter, the bride’s not bustled, nor have I a cheese platter. I must keep these rhyme schemes from tales of Christmas yore out of my head. What I witnessed next was remarkable, in at least a couple of ways: part Victorian flashback, part peep show, and part engineering marvel. First the ladies lifted up the back of Christa’s dress, as if it was perfectly natural to do so. I was taken aback by the friskiness of the bridesmaids but realized that Christa had plenty of material covering all the fancy parts. The throwback part was the so-called maidens busying themselves with the lady of the manor’s appearance. The peep-show part was the momentary curiosity that comes from any female’s dress being lifted. I marveled at the process itself. I think someone removed an instruction card from under there somewhere, and as I moved around to the front to allow Christa some modesty, I could have sworn I saw pieces of material labeled with letters. There was an entire puzzle hidden under there. I didn’t spec out the material dimensions or see the handiwork that produced the equivalent of a drawn Roman shade, within a couple of minutes, but it was an impressive feat. I did a quick clasp readjust on my expandable pants to feel as though I too, was being fussed over. I figured my groomsmen wouldn’t want to help.

DJ re-signaled, intros made, tables sat at, quiz began. It was as honest as the guess-your-weight game, but it did allow for a carnival atmosphere, and no one parties like the carnies.

Our master plan scheduled our first dance immediately after we finished eating, while everyone else, hopefully, was still at it. We wanted our guests’ primary focus to be on the food in front of them, so they wouldn’t realize that we weren’t really moving around that much. Though I wouldn’t have dazzled a three-legged hippo with my grace, it was the best dance ever. If my life ever flashes before my eyes, that moment is one of a handful of snapshots I would want to see.

Toasts were made (by Matt and Angie). Then we moved to cake cutting. This was not an instantaneous move. We weren’t transported, and we didn’t actually cut the cake, at first. We pretended to cut the cake. We pretended to cut the cake twice, or maybe we continued the initial pretending. This was one of several moments when the photographer wanted us to simulate doing something that we were about to do. Why he doesn’t use his vision of the future to prevent crime, I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want to be immersed in a nutrient pool, while Tom Cruise gets all the credit. After we fake-cut the cake, we cut the cake. I mangled the hell out of that first piece, but I won’t blame the equipment. We had decided long ago, individually, and more recently in a bridal congress, not to smash, force, or smear any portion of cake on one another’s face. There was too much to mess up: makeup, hair, the dress, and our painstakingly crafted, cost-effective image of class and elegance. We delicately fed one another, making extra certain not to bite fingers in the process. They say it is better to give than to receive, which I think depends on the circumstances, but it is certainly more difficult to give and receive at the same time. We kissed afterwards, and the pre-cog nailed it, best photo of the day, hands down.

Another toast made (by Marvin), bouquet thrown, garter tossed, danced with parents, danced with bridal party, danced in general.

At the completion of the bridal dance, the DJ tried to seize on the momentum and brought out the pre-selected ringer. We were about to witness the making or breaking of the reception. This one song would determine the dancing future of the rest of our lives. It was our only match to ignite the passion of the dance. I heard the intro, and now the voice-over to put fuel on the fire and start the inferno. It’s “Celebration” time.

“There is cake available for those who want it on the tables by the bar,” he announced.

There was a saboteur in our mix! The single most important decision in our entire planning, the foreteller of our marital bliss, the ringer, was preceded by an announcement regarding the availability of cake. You’ve ruined us. You saw the cake. You knew how tempting it was. You were here to liberate the people from the confines of their chairs, to feel the freedom of the dance, and make our reception a success. But when your moment came, you turned your back on us and pursued the true prize, the fossil-fuel thick chocolate goodness of gluttonous excess.

Toast made (by Christa), toast made (by Drew). I thanked everyone for coming, those who couldn’t make it, and even those we hadn’t invited, because we don’t discriminate and do love all people.
- Drew Lloyd
From "Will You?" to "I Do.": A Groom's Tale of Survival

Monday, January 6, 2014

Here Begins the Rest of My Life

Pre-wedding, Jimmy came over and asked me where I would like the pauses to be in my vows. He said Christa had already chosen hers, and it was up to me where I wanted mine. So I selected my pauses. The problem was that the vows remained the same, but our pauses were slightly different. This caused Christa to at least contemplate: “These are not the pauses I agreed to. Whose vows are these?

On her turn, she naturally sought to watch Jimmy recite the vows, to get a confirmation that she was hearing what she thought she should be hearing, in the appropriate-sized chunks. This did not register with either of us, as we were being sprinkled with the Lord’s love droppings. But later, she was accused of being a cyborg by one of our guests—or more specifically, one of our guest’s guests. This is why you have a gift registry and table assignments—to redirect and isolate poor taste as much as possible.

Reciting our vows to one another was the most emotional part of the ceremony. It was not the official expiration of my checklist that got me worked up. Nine months of preparation and stress had disappeared with six sentences. I don’t know how to describe it, but I could have saved Christmas for all of Whoville.

We exchanged rings, lit a candle, and waited for the music to end. Prayer said, union confirmed, kiss initiated, kiss completed, announcement made, departures commenced. As I passed my dad in the front row, he gave me a backhand pat on the butt, like I had just come out of a baseball game. “Way to go, Boo,” probably accompanied it but was inaudible to me.

The entire ceremony can be summed up best by the following conversation with my groomsman Andy.

“That went well,” he said.

“Which part?” I inquired.

“The whole thing.”

Was any more explanation needed?

We had a fake limo send-off, drove around the block, and then returned for pictures. We went through every combination of family and bridal party members possible, utilizing the perfect combination of angled shoulders and invasion of personal space to make everyone appear natural and at ease. Our photographer also insisted on a series of highly unnatural-looking handshakes, as if my groomsmen and I had recently ended a prolonged military conflict.
- Drew Lloyd
From "Will You?" to "I Do.": A Groom's Tale of Survival

Friday, January 3, 2014

Don’t Hug Your Children

The blessings began. All four of our parents were asked to join us at center stage. We felt we should give The MOB and The MG a little time in the spotlight, as this was their day too. Ask them, you’ll see. Jimmy asked each set of parents for their blessing and support of our union, now and in the future. We received an affirmative on each side, with no accompanying suggestions. I thought that was an excellent sign.

The parents lit their respective unity candles. It was during this lighting period that Christa asked again, “Is my mascara running?”

She verified the condition of her mascara and makeup three times during the ceremony. It was perfect, and I told her so. I don’t know if she was expecting to be able to run off to the powder room mid-ceremony. My fanny pack was only equipped for craft projects. I could have touched it up, but it would have been with a Sharpie.

As the parents returned from candle lighting, they all had a twinkle in their eyes. Love had not just overwhelmed them, oh no. They had something up their sleeves. They had decided to deviate from plan and hug their children before returning to their seats. We’ve all hugged before, this was nothing new. The MG and The MOB were exploiting the moment of shared glory we had given them to implement their own plans, one last time, without approval, and the dads were right there with them. So mocking, they even told us, “This wasn’t in the plan.” I had my laminated copy right there, and it mostly definitely was not.
- Drew Lloyd
From "Will You?" to "I Do.": A Groom's Tale of Survival

Monday, December 30, 2013


We entered the church, one minister and four athletically built, tuxedo-jacket-wearing men at, or nearing, thirty. I could tell there were people in the church and smiled at our parents. The procession began. Everything started out well, and the bridesmaids made it down without any trouble. As Angie, the maid of honor, started off, the musical selection for that portion apparently ran out of time. Our guitarist had made a big deal about needing the approximate duration for each musical selection, as he was incapable of simply stopping when the time was right. (Your favorite accent can be reapplied here.) Could you stop the tide from coming in? Would you stop making love simply because the fire alarm went off? Would you start wearing pants simply because it’s cold out?

In this continued silence, the first of our two fantastic recruits came, the Ring Bear. He had a somewhat varying pace and a slightly nonlinear approach to arriving at the altar. It wasn’t the swagger of a drunken buffoon, something more like the slight missteps taken by someone in a strong wind. I personally did not detect a breeze.

“You did a great job,” I told him and patted his head.

“Do you want to play?” he asked.

“Maybe a little later. I’ve got some things to do first.”


You have to admire his ability to keep his priorities straight. Play first, everything else second.

Next was Daphane, our flower girl, looking lovely in her dress, with accompanying non-cleavage-enhancing locket. She was very attentive to form. She alternated hands in support and distribution, making lovely sweeping gestures out to the side and depositing rose petals off to the side of the runner, a portion of one deposit actually made it into someone’s lap. I was only able to eyeball it, but I guesstimated the foci of the petal distributions were four and one-half feet apart, or two smaller-person strides, with all deviations under six inches, perfected through nine months of practice.

The music finally returned as Christa appeared at the end of the aisle, making it a magical moment on two fronts, love and musical accompaniment. This was the first time I had seen her in her wedding dress. There was late afternoon sun coming in the west-facing doors behind her, and she was simply glowing. Remarkably, the glow didn’t leave as she came down the aisle. Her beauty in the magical mystery dress, and her excitement and anticipation created such a wonderful feeling in me. About halfway down, her emotions almost got the better of her. Her eyes got big, and her lower lip quivered a bit. The good news was: I never thought for a moment that she was suddenly overwhelmed with fear and doubt, instead of pure happiness. The even better news was that I had correctly interpreted someone else’s feelings, and we weren’t actually about to have our own Runaway Bride moment.

As we met one another at the head of the aisle, we both smiled really big and said how pretty we were and took the last couple of steps up to the altar. The music continued for another thirty seconds, as that part of the magic subsided.

We declared our intent to marry. The intent was like a checkpoint at an amusement park, where they make sure you’re tall enough and that you understand the risks and waive all potential injury claims for the ride you’re about to take. We both assented with “Yes, I will.”
- Drew Lloyd
From "Will You?" to "I Do.": A Groom's Tale of Survival