jill and steve get married! (and the rest of us are invited to the wedding event of the season)
Hello! And welcome to what's about to be the longest teendrama recap ever. As you may have read this is the summer of 1000 weddings (or 6). Mike.d + Jos a month ago, Sara + Stephen two weekends ago and, maybe the highlight of the Friend Summer Wedding Season: Jill + Steve's wedding (july 14!).
Come'on, you know these kids - Jill is literally my Very First Friend from college (you know, I should put that on-line one of these days). We've been friends for, what, 13 years, all the way from Syracuse through NYC. And of course we've still all bestest friends with the rest of the Dinner Club(tm) crew from NYC, the west coast and, er, the midwest and DC and Texas.
Steve is one of MF's bestest friends from college. We met years ago at Bates College, again in Pamplona (6 years ago!) and have survived five trips to Beaver Creek together and hundreds of dollars worth of Big Big Hunter tours.
This was one of the wedding of the events of the season for two reasons - (a) I introduced them (recognize!) way back in, I dunno, 2002? and (b) waaaay back when Jill + Steve first started dating I remember chatting w/ MF and saying, "Can you imagine if they ever got married - what an amazing wedding that would be???"
... oh happy couple (at the rehearsal dinner) just in case you had no idea who I was talking about for the last 3 minutes. I'm just setting the stage here, people.
So Friday! Rehearsal dinner was at 7p so I skipped out on work and drove up w/ Ann (my babygirl date!). Masterplan was to get out of NYC 8am (whatever) and spend the day lounging by the pool at our what-we-though-was-a-luxury-hotel. However, due to the internet and it's procrastination powers (and the fact that I had to pick my newly fixed car) we didn't get out of the city till around 12:30. Oops.
Oh, wedding was up in Skaneateles, way in upstate NY (about 30m from Syracuse). We hit the Friendly's on the way up: waffle fries, grilled cheese, burger and a mf'ing FRIBBLE (Ann, scared of the Fribble brand, opted out and ended up with a milkshake - sucker!)
And five hours later, the sweet-sweet Birds Nest Motel. Nice on the outside...
... pretty shitty on the inside. Nice and 70s'd up, reeking of smoke and sporting a sliding glass door w/ no screen.
Pre-rehearsal, we lounged near the pool w/ Jay.L (Bates + Beaver Creek) and his loveley wife. Enjoyed a few rounds of Bud cans...
... pulled some dead frogs out of the pool (... just a lil' sip, buddy) ...
... and relaxed with vintage sodas. (I heart this machine, btw)
7p = rehearsal dinner time! Huge rehearsal dinner - what? 8 tables - at the super classy Sherwood Inn. We had half of the Syracuse crew with us - Mel + Paul, me + Ann...
... Jason + Lauren....
.. Jackie (stuffing her face w/ the most delicious filet of all time) and Kiley (in the background, hands in the air all Ante Up style).
So Kiley. Another friend from Syracuse. And, hold on, one of 16 (!!) in his giant family. Not sure how this came up at dinner - perhaps from our Your Name / Where You From / Favorite Ice Cream game??? - but anyway, their family made up these info cards for all the non-believers out there. Family picture on the front...
... FAQ on the back. Ha! Awesome.
Dinner = delicious. Dessert = delicious. Followed by the Best Toast in the History of All Toasts (courtesy of Alisa) and a teary slideshow of Jill + Steve as kids, adults, and making out.
Rehearsal dinner time = a great time for making little speeches about how much you love Jill + Steve or to tell tales of how you + Jill once stakled Ad Rock or maybe, how the two of you puked up San Loco in same sink after getting escorted out of some dumb club for dancing on the couches - whatever. Anyway, after Alisa SLAYED IT, anyone with anything else to say was left with cold feet. (cut to scene of me + MF = Grossman in the men's bathroom being all "What are we supposed to do NOW?!? Haha.)
Post dinner, we took over the bar at the Sherwood and got good at liquored up (always a good idea for an early-afternoon wedding).
I spied some ladies doing a self-group shot...
... and squeezed up in there (also squeezing out someone in the process). ps: Maid of Honor Sara in the front.
Yeah, that one - the one who's face I'm licking.
Oh, hey there Little Lauren Horse - it was you we squeezed out two pictures ago! Hello again!
Let's get some of the Bates kids in there! KostalakakakakakBOOM and Sanders on the bottom.
And then someone dropped a drink and broken glass and spilled-drink went all over the place.
Which went well with MF's broken dreams. No idea what that means (or why he's all posed up Mrs. Levitt heads-down-thumbs-up style).
Annnnndddd.. went to bed at, what, 12:30am? Know what's next?!
CHURCH TIME! None of us realized the church was 15 minutes away (nor did any of us have directions) which led to us being lost and a little late... but man, look at this church, it's huge. (This pic is great, no? I stole it from Nat. Thanks!)
A little scale for comparison. Huge! Oh, we were literally about two minutes late and we still missed Jill + Steve going down the aisle! Apparently they got started early (summer wedding season and all). No worries as we got some nice...
... ALTAR SHOTS!
Check out that 10x Digital Zoom! That's Sara on the way left and Steve's dad and Tyler, co-best men, on the right.
We sat waaaaay in the back. That's what getting there late does for you. (Mom, I didn't want to take a photo in church but the girls MADE ME!)
But we found this excellent little kids book...
... where I learned that when I leave chuch I'm supposed to go home and live as a good Christian (and NOT sprint as fast as my little eight-year-old legs can carry me down to Fiskes General Store so I can buy baseball cards and Skittles)
I felt bad about missing the walk-down-the-aisle shots, but maybe if I photoshop the pics I have of them leaving the chuch, I could probably make it so. Wait, hold on...
... see? Now they're heading to the altar. How sweet. (nevermind that everyone's facing backwards - why you got to be such a hater all the time!!!)
After the wedding = picture time for all the folks in fancy tuxes and dresses. The rest of us? About two hours to kill. To the Sherwood!
... and - whoa - right past this giant Genesse Beer billboard. I took this pic while stopped at a red light and the high school girl in the car in the next lane started heckling us. Whatever, stoopid high school girl.
At the Sherwood. We muscled our way into a table when I went undercover as a hostess. We dined on the finest of seard scallops (ska-LOPS), jumbo shrimp cocktail and Bloody Mary's. Just the right amount of food and drink to hold us
... RECEPTION TIME! Hey, here's me + Ann looking all giddied-up as we rolled into the Skaneateles Country Club. Faaaannnnnccccyyy! Jackie gave me her best, "Oh my Lord I can't believe the Freedman's are driving THAT this year" to get us in that special exclusivity mood. Hey, free putting green in the background!
Inside = supernice. Right on the water (finger lakes), big outdoor deck, lots of little finger pork chops and mimosas (no thanks) and Arnold Palmers (yes please!)
And as it gets a little more crowded. The setting was beautiful - lake and all. Too bad my piece-o-shit digicam can't capture the wonder of it all.
Ladies, please, just one photo? ps: ladies = Mel, Jack, Sherri.
Thanks to a late Friday night and the pounding of Bloody Marys just a few hours earlier, an early start time on the reception, *and* the knowledge (some may call it experience) of what it takes to get through a BFF's wedding, I waited and waited and waited to crack open at first delicious Bud bottle. I tried to make it to 5:30, but the dinner bells were ringing. (ps: 226 in Wii Bowling - beat that, sucka!)
Let's take our seats for the first dance, please. Same table setup as before (me + Ann + Kiley + Mel + Paul + Lauren + Jason + Jackie - aka Table 8), conveinetly placed in the roudy section right near the dance floor. A quiz for you:
First dance was...
(a) M.O.P., Ante Up
(b) Michael Jackson, Thriller
(c) Richard Marx, Right Here Waiting
(d) Beastie Boys, BBoys Making With the Freak Freak
(e) Firehouse, Finally Found the Love of a Lifetiiiimmmmeeeeeeee
(hint: go with the write-in... I can't remember what the song was)
I can tell you that we all joined in afterward... oh how sweet...
... except for our pal Kiley, dateless and alone at table #8. (ps: ladies, before you start with the 'awwwwwwwwwww's, Kiley is 800% hamming it up for the photo opp!)
Wait, it's time to eat you say? And what do we have here...
PASTA STATION! Oh man, my favorite. Some chicken, more ska-LOPS, some stir-fry, a lil' cream sauce.
And then onto the cake. Cut some cake.
Feed some cake.
Eat come cake.
I did my patented slide-the-digicam-across-the-floor trick (a Xtina/ Loreley favorite) to bring you this classy behind the scenes pic of the cake eating process.
And we all know what's next...
DANCE PARTY! The headliner at the wedding (besides bride + groom) was the band - Atlas - "the same band that played Jim Boeheim's wedding!". I'll tell you, I'm normally skeptical of wedding bands and their ability to fuel quality dance parties, but these guys were pretty awesome. (wait, is there a chance we'll make it onto their website??)
Kids going bananas.
Jill going bananas. (quiz #2: who's the guy with the trombone look like?)
Me + Grossman starring in an awkard bathroom shot. Awkard hand-placement, Rob.
"Hey, Tyler and MF, what are you guys doing here??" (sorry, I had to throw that in at least once considering it was the big joke for past 4 years as we led up to this magical day). ps: Where'd I get that wicked comb over?
More. Witness the Grossman Shuffle (Hustle?) in the background, Johnny Knoxville a bit in the foreground and Jill's face way in the front.
I heard a rumor that Steve wanted the First Dance to be this choreographed version of Thriller with the whole wedding party. Come to think of it, that would have been amazing. No such luck before the dinner, but here's Jason and Jackie representing on a full stomach.
Maybe the best pic of Mel ever? Lots of devil horns thrown by Caroline.
See? Sarah in the middle (blocked out!) and Grossman playing his best 007.
Round 3. Come'on Caroline!
Oh, by the way, it's still kind of light out while a lot of this is happening.
Hey, can we queue up some group shots?
Syracuse represent! (And Scuba squeezing himself into the background)
Which dissolved into this.
And into this. Ha - Nat looking all gangster. For a sec while writing this I was thinking, "who's that girl in the white." Ha!
And another of these.
Mmm... not sure about this one. Like our nametags? (Actually if you scroll though a bunch of those pics above there's a bunch w/ nametags - ha!)
Near the end of the reception dance party, ATLAS (the band!) does their whole "this is the last track... but it's the Motown Medely we're famous for!" and of course everyone goes bananas. I kind of love
this video as it pretty much sums up the whole night in just 2 minutes. video
Did I fail to mention that the lead singer (and trombonist) of ATLAS (the band!) looked *exactly* like Al Gore? Before the dance party, before the dinner, I passed him in the wallway and completely did a double-take. When asked if he ever gets that (er, that he looks *exactly* like Al Gore) he replied, "Never." Lies!
Oh the way out, we posed it up 90201-style on this granite slab *emblazoned* with the official Skaneateles Country Club seal.
Again! (makeout picture omitted for the sake of my sweet sweet Grandma who's probably reading this here blog right now)
Sign - and then it was over. Kiley battled an army of bugs in the parking lot and we soon decended upon this dive bar a few doors shy from the classiness of the Sherwood.
The only divebar in all of Skaneateles (the town is classy!) = Morris'. Or more accurately, "World Famous Morris' Grill". At least, that's what the website says...
... as do the 20 shirts we purchased as an alternative to our wedding outfits. That's Morris on the right, $26 richer from the sale of these two tees. We lobbied for a STAFF shirt ("come-on, we're like family!") but Morris wasn't having it.
We ordered round after round after round of the finest of fried foods. Meg looks scared, Steve's on a mission, Tyler is on a rampage. The mozarella sticks tasted as if Jesus himself has dipped them into the deep fryer.
Me + Ann were the first to swap into our new duds.
Kiley followed. I think John eventually broke down. (Overheard: "Who brought the suit?!?!")
And then Alisa jumped on the bandwagon (at least with the orange).
Not Mike and Meg tho. Keep it clean kids.
I call this one "skaneateles_muscle.jpg"
Honestly, those last 40 photos are kind of a blur. I ended up pulling an Irish Goodbye after realizing that I had 800 too many Buds in me and was having a hard time keeping my shirt on. Estimated departure time: 2am??? - which brings the evening's tally to just over 12 hours worth of Jill + Steve Wedding Madness? Whew.
No regrets about retiring early, though by sneaking out, I did miss out on Sherri and Kiley getting caught by the Skaneateles police as they tried to shotgun a beer using, um, a stick (er, not making this up). Ha!
And next morning... somehow we got up in time to meet everyone at the Sherwood around 10:30am to coordinate our way to the post-reception party at Jill's Aunt's lakehouse. An amazing after-plan, only problem was that it was POURING out. The Syracuse crew was split between making a day trip to the SU campus (lunch @ Faegans!) or waiting out the rain to see if we could get in some water sports at the lake house in.
Me + Ann + Kiley choose the wait-it-out strategy...
... which worked out perfectly. As soon as we got on the road the weather started clearing up. We drove about 20 mins to - literally - the middle of nowhere, took a left at some abandoned barn, and then drove down this steep, windy gravel road for about 5 minutes before eventually hitting the lake.
We waited out the rain inside (was still drizzling), snacking on leftover reception desserts while we wated for the Bates entourage to arrive with the ingredients required for a breakfast ingredients. I ate about 12 cookies.
And by "proper breakfast" I mean this magical breakfast sandwich Aurora introduced me to called Bagel Egg and Cream Cheese. The bacon was my idea (read: Top 30 Innovators Under 35, sucka!)
Hey, can someone make me this t-shirt please?
When the sky cleared we headed down to the dock - come'on, look at this place!
We lounged on this pontoon boat like we were Jay-Z and Beyonce's house guests, only we were tossing Bud cans back and forth instead of, say, doing whatever Jay-Z and Beyonce would do on a pontoon boat.
So rad. Perfect way to spend a hung-over, post-wedding Sunday.
After a bit, we fired up the speedboat (!!) and took the water skis out for a bit.
Steve - a master of all things classified as "Water Sports" - slayed it, despite the choppy conditions.
Me, on the other hand - I haven't been water skiing since I was about 8 years old and my dad told me he'd get me the G.I. Joe Tomax and Xamot set if I was able to stand up on the skis for a few seconds. I let that boat drag me all over the place (water up my nose worse than I can remember in my whole life) and I was never able to stand up on them.
To be honest, half the reason I was so adamant about hitting the lake house (instead of heading to SU, etc.) was that I wanted a second chance to see if I was physicaly campable of standing up on a pair of skis (um, some 23 years later).
Well, I was able to stand up a bit - maybe 10 seconds at most, but like that feeling you get the first time you stand up on a surfboard, I think I could do it again no problem and I definitely *get* it (get why people love love love the waterskis). I'd like to give it another chance sometime when the water is less choppy (and my ass and balls aren't all beat up from massive wipeouts). By the way, I spent most of my time on skis like this, treading water hoping that fresh water sharks* wouldn't eat me.
The rest of the day? Oh man, rewind six photos - see that giant circular raft? Well, that thing got hooked up the speedboat and Jill's Uncle drove the boat around and around and around attempting to whip me + Steve + Grossman, etc.
off the thing. Oh man, so so so so much fun. I swear, Steve and I must have been thrown 10 feet in the air at one point (at 20mph?!?). I was so super sore the next day.
* Sharkweek (which I'm watching now) says that freshwater Bull Sharks are responsible for more shark attacks than any other type of shark!
Annnnnd eventually the weekend had to come to a close. Nat + John + KIley + Alisa + Alexis had to fly out of Syracuse and me + Ann had a 5 hour ride back (ugh).
The ride home. Traffic, I hate you... Fribble I looovvvvveee you. (and Ann wised up and went Fribble this time :) BTW, difference between a Fribble and mikeshake? Milkshake = ice cream; Fribble = soft serve (and 98% fat free!) - who knew?!?
Oh, and more photos (in the rare case that you haven't seen enough):
+ Nat (Kodak Gallery)