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this is for couples that are engaged, especially the ones with a “-zilla” attached to their title. it is the true story of a couple whose wedding day was perfectly imperfect.

they met in a bar on an island far from home and quickly discovered they were both originally from the same city. she was traveling with friends. he was living on the island with a girlfriend at the time. for them to be a couple he would have to end his current relationship, she would have to fend off the advances of every man that saw her, and then they would have to re-connect over a year later when he was able to move back home from the island.

check, check, and check.

he loved this beautiful girl so much that one day he picked her up as she was clocking out from a long day at work and he drove her straight to his secret spot. he had a plan. she wouldn’t have a chance to shower, put on makeup, or change into something a little less “business-casual.” he wanted her to know that he would always love her, no matter what she looked like, dressed like, or smelled like. in this simple place overlooking the city they call home, in front of strangers and the pacific ocean, he dropped to his knee and asked her to marry him.

she said yes.

they were young, broke, and had no clue about how to plan a wedding. the one thing they did have was each other. they knew with that everything else would fall into place.

on paper, it looks like it was a disaster.

he lost his job about a month before the wedding so the groom sold his car, atv’s, and just about everything else he owned that was worth more than a can of beets to help pay for the wedding. she continued working hard to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads. there was more than one night when dinner consisted of that can of beets, a can of cream corn, or a few vienna sausages.

as the wedding day approached, one of the bridesmaids had to back out due to a pregnancy. another bridesmaid got food poisoning the morning of the wedding. the maid of honor didn’t like the bride’s choice of wedding dress so she decided not to do a bachelorette party for the bride. when the wedding day came she chose not to speak with the bride the whole day (and every day that followed for the next 4 years).

from the moment they awoke on their wedding day, they were reminded by a higher power that this day was about the two of them being together, and nothing else.  with no girls to help her, the bride-to-be turned to her mother for help.

first stop was a hair and makeup appointment. first stop was disastrous. in fact, the trip over to the first stop was disastrous. the bride’s mother became upset when another driver nearly caused her to crash. when she reached the salon she dropped the bride off and left her there without a car. the groom and his friend had to drive another car over and drop it off for the bride. meanwhile, inside the salon, the bride was getting the full wedding treatment. she has a natural beauty and never wears much makeup, so she requested a clean, simple look with minimal makeup. she came out, in her opinion, looking like a painted lady from the 80’s. the stylist dismissed the bride’s requests and did what she thought would look good instead. the hairstyle she did was not at all what the bride had in mind, but it was too late to change it. the bride was way beyond upset when she left. as she sat in her car looking in her mirror she hesitated to turn the key. her happiness was worth way more than the $180 given to the stylist. right there, in the salon parking lot, she wiped off all the makeup that had just been applied and started over from scratch by herself.

everything that had gone wrong leading up to this point was like scattered showers, the storm was yet to come. the couple already had every reason to be anxious, frustrated, and even angry, but here’s a little bit of how the rest of the wedding day went.

the air conditioning was broken in the hotel room where the bride was getting ready. since there were no bridesmaids available, a (male) friend that went through training in the navy with the groom stepped up and helped the bride finish getting dressed. the father of the bride and her uncle got lost on their way to the ceremony site. the ceremony was outside on a lawn overlooking the ocean. nothing wrong with that, but 10 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to start there were no chairs for the guests. the groom had to call the chair supplier and quickly get someone there to help set up. the wind was blowing so hard that it knocked over all the flower arrangements at the ceremony. there was no way to anchor them down, so 2 of the groom’s younger cousins had to stand next to the arrangements, through the whole ceremony, to hold them in place. since they didn’t have much money, the bride was unable to get the bouquet that she really loved. the flower girl tripped as she was walking down the aisle, then ran over and stood on the groom’s side. the balloons that were set up in the reception were the wrong colors. it looked more like a baby shower than a wedding. the linens were not the color the couple had chosen. there were no chair covers and the chairs were mis-matched. one of the wedding favors was supposed to be a small bag full of mints, but each bag contained only 3 mints. the d.j. scored a hat trick. he showed up to the reception wearing a vest with birthday balloons on it, announced the couple during their grand entrance by the wrong name, and he played numerous songs the bride and groom specifically requested him not to play. the groom’s grandparents didn’t like the mexican food buffet dinner so they left as soon as it was served. the photographer chose to put the couple out in the wind so in most of their portraits the groom’s hair is standing straight up. there were numerous wedding crashers, one of which was interviewed by the videographer unknowingly. his interview was included on the couple’s wedding video. a bottle of dom perignon that the couple was going to do their toasts with was stolen. some of the guests became intoxicated and began pouring drinks on the groom, completely soaking his tuxedo with beer, wine, and mixed drinks. other guests took whipped cream cans from the hot chocolate station and began spraying other guests in the face with them. some guests were partially disrobed and dancing on tables.

and to top it all off…

it was the greatest day of our lives.

yes, the couple was kim and i. we could have let all those things stress us out or ruin our wedding, but we didn’t. our wedding day was a celebration of our love, not tiny details or differences of opinion. when our reception ended at midnight we invited everyone that was drunk or that still wanted to hang out back to our hotel room. as they headed to our room, we stayed behind to clean up the huge mess. (we needed that security deposit back.) by the time we made it to our hotel room one of our drunk friends had broken a lamp in the room, sprayed champagne all over the ceiling, and tossed the ice bucket into the pool 8 stories below. we forfeited all sleep that night as we watched over our friends to make sure they were ok, cleaned their second mess, and finally headed to the airport for our 6am flight to hawaii. oh, and when we watched our wedding video we found out who swiped our bottle of dom. our groomsmen still owe us one.

in the end, we have an awesome story to tell. even with all the things that went wrong, kim and i still got married. our families, our crazy friends, and even a few strangers were in the same place, at the same time, with us. kim and i just celebrated another anniversary last month and to this day we both say that we’d get married again just to get everyone back together. it’s the relationships in our lives that matter most, not the color of balloons, not linens that don’t match, not some random guy getting on our wedding video. good or bad, we look at everything as a story to tell. life would be pretty boring if there were no challenges. even if you don’t think something’s funny when it’s going down, you will laugh about it in time. i once heard that tragedy plus time equals comedy. that formula definitely applies to our wedding, and many others that i’ve been to.

so, brides and grooms out there, the moral to this story is…

don’t sweat the small stuff. don’t let some stupid little detail stress you out or ruin your day. none of your guests care if your makeup makes you look like a raccoon or if your tuxedo pants are 3 sizes too short. roll with it. pretend you’re huck finn and his little furry friend. whatever you do, enjoy it for what it is…

your wedding day.

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check my sweet hair.

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if you can’t have fun on your wedding day, when will you?

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who needs a limo when you can rent a green chrysler sebring? i got game.

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since we weren’t too stoked on the windblown faux hawk look, kim and i got suited up again after we got home from our honeymoon in hawaii and talked our photographer into doing a trash the dress session before they were called trash the dress sessions. we also did some portraits of me in my tux, sans wind. and yes, my wingtips are steel toe.

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stand aside ben folds. i am the luckiest.

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this is where the whip cream landed in our faces! (if you don’t see 2 videos below you can click these links to watch the awesomeness – video one –  video two )

these awesome 1990s video effects get harder to watch with every passing year.

happy anniversary kim! when i sat down to write this the first word that came to mind was love. it is the word that makes me think of you. it is the feeling i have when i hold your hand. it is what’s in my heart whenever you are close. i love you kim. even though i drive you nuts sometimes, i’m so thankful we get to share every day together. you are my lobster, my best friend, my love.

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