Jonathan and Jackie get married - Eight years in the making told in 100 photos
Hey! Sorry to take so long to get these pics online, but it literally took me *days* recover from the wedding event of the season: J and Jackie's wedding!!! Just breathe that in a bit... my little brother all married up!! Now, let's rewind just about two weeks ago (Aug 31) and lemme walk you through the three-day event. (ps: Is wedding season almost over??? Four down, two to go!)
(Quick special thanks to Erin + Rob.J + Shoops for letting me steal yer pix!)
So, I wish I had some pics of Thursday's roadtrip up - me and McD picking up ten tuxes, grabbing a sandwich, getting stuck in midtown NYC traffic, realizing we're kind-of running late for the rehearsal dinner, then realizing we're definitely going to be late, then fielding the "this is NOT the type of thing you're late for - CLICK" phone call from my Dad, pushing the Hovepod close to 100mph, getting a $250+ speeding ticket (despite pulling the "I'm the best man and I've got all the tuxes in the back!" line)... and then pulling into ever-so-classy Holiday Inn in Schenectady, NY with exactly five minutes to shower and iron it up.
And when I say ever-so-classy, I mean Duct Tape Holding the Soap Dish In Place classy. Ha!
Me + McD, all spruced up, race to the church (20 mins away). Dad calls me while we're stuck in traffic on the Schenectady backroads and gives me the whole "You know, you're so late don't even bother coming... just meet us at the restaurant" (which makes my heart sink - I'm the best man! I need to practice!") but of course ol' Dig is just joshin' me. By the time we rolled in - 20 mins late - the pastor was just getting her rehearse on.
You ever been to a wedding rehearsal? Usually a fifteen minute job - "You stand here. You walk with her. Then someone's going to sing annnndd we're done!" type of thing. Not this time. This one lasted almost two hours (someone back me up?) - we practiced walking in, walking out, waking in, walking out. Jackie and J practiced their vows (all of them!), the "I Do's", everything. By the end we were starving and exhausted. If I was still five years old, I'd be on the floor kicking and crying.
But that's okay cause the rehearsal dinner (!) had this whole raw bar spread! Crab legs, skrimps, oystahs = delicious. We barely made a dent in the thing (foreshadowing) - I mean, do you really need to stuff yer face with raw seafood on a stomach full of Bud bottles just 12 hours before your brother's wedding?
Open bar, family + friends = good times. Please bathe in this magical scene of one of last photos of me + the unmarried version of my brother that you'll ever see on the teendrama.
And then breathe in this photo of Dig + some whiskey. (What you drinking anyway, Dad?)
What, no pics of the buffet? Oh well. Dig gave a heartfelt little talk which J followed it up with a little pre-wedding toast of his own. I just happened to be sitting at the ladies' (bridesmaids!) table at the time - J's talking about love + Jackie + love + kittens + love + family + love + <banging bottle on the table for emphasis> and I'm looking around and everyone is in *tears*. Girls crying *everywhere* as if Timberlake himself was on the mic. (Come'on J, I'm just busting on you - well done!)
Late nite, Gam followed up by gathering everyone around to tell the tale of how she turned down Ted Williams after he asked her out. (just think, I could have been able to count the stitches on a moving fastball instead of having these shit eyes that can barely read the Monday Night Football score - wah!)
Late(r) nite and we retreated back to our hotel. I had one of the big boy suites - a standard room with another 600 sq foot room attached to it - aka, After Hours City for the weekend. Um, 600 sq feet = bigger than my old apt!
My classy lil' sister brown bagging 40s in her cocktail dress. I had most of the rehearsal dinner crew on over, including such special guests as...
... my brand new second-cousin, baby Emma! You know cousin Paul and Erin right? Married a few years back and they just had a weelittle baby (10 lbs!). Super cute. Here's Paul (the dad - oh man, I can't believe I just wrote that!) and Baby E.
Like a dark horse, McD prob had the best baby skills - knowing instinctively how to bounce and rock much to Emma's delight.
Me? I look like the cool cucumber in this pic though everyone in the room could tell that I hadn't held a baby since Shoops was pocket-sized. (thoguh by the end of the weekend I had the rocking + boucing *down* - back me up, Paul!)
Late night got a little sloppy. And not just J + Dad eating the leftover raw bar out of a cooler. My room was outfitted with some conference room gear - think: dining room table. Which, by the end of the night, ended up looking more like this...
Huh. Holiday Inn Security may be quick to blame the kids with a mini-fridge stocked with luke warm Bud Lights, but let's go to the tape...
Now I'd give anything in the world to have the actual video of Dig's flop. I sent a dball ("my dad just bellyflopped onto a table in our suite n broke it into 1000 pieces! happy wedding J!") and got a flurry of replies - one of which from Dianne who asked if it looked anything like this...
... and it kind of did (except for the fact that Dig kept his sports coat on - Crowley's like to class it up a bit). DISCLAIMER: This is NOT my Dad in this video.
ps: I *love* how the official song of No Data Good Times in playing in the background. It's like Jesus himself was DJ'ing.
Dad, you know, I debated whether or not to fill in This Space with the story of how you invented a slide-across-the-gym-floor-on-your-belly dance while chaperoning one of my 7th grade dances back in the day - and providing me with one of the most embarassing moments of my entire life - buuuuttt I'll save that for another time. Anyway for those who know what I'm talking about (Mom, Dad, PW, MF, LTJG, Mike.D, etc... anyone from Medway?) you know what I'm talking about.
Broken table = freestyle slide! Despite the fact that a drunken Arish spent a good 15 minutes filming this, we somehow only ended up with 2 seconds of video.
Anyway, with the table broken, we explored our options for discarding the evidence - including such grand ideas as 'let's throw it into the parking lot' and 'let's hide it on the balcony'. Of course, there is no balcony - the safety windows open no more than six inches - but we evaluated that option anyway by squeezing ourselves through the mini gap. Going out = easy. Coming back in = hard. For a bit, I was afraid we'd have to find some alternate way to get Fat Timmy back inside. (ps: Dig ended up owning up to breaking the table with the hotel management, "I just hopped up on it and it broke!" Ha!)
Once we got everyone safely inside, there wasn't much left to do but...
... get kicked out of the pool! I'm proud to add the Holiday Inn, Schenectady to the list of hotels who's pool / jacuzzi areas I've been asked to leave. This hotel was weird - pool was inside with all the rooms surrounding it. Meaning any sound, splash, really, any noise at all is amplified 800x. We lasted about three minutes.
Closed pool = we had to hop the gate wall to get out. I took the hugest digger ever. It hurt. A lot. Actually, it still kind of hurts. Ouch.
Just shy of 1am. Overheard: "He's reinvented the game. He's the Tiger Woods of late night."
Arish = sleepytime.
Is it morning yet? I actually got up super early, ironed a bit (yeah!), dropped off some party favors with Lil' Sister Katie (bridesmaids had to leave at 9am - suckas!) and grabbed some Holiday Inn breakfast with Gam + Anne + Dad (ugh, worst omelette ever).
ps: Who doesn't love a good 1000 temporary tattoos? For anyone that remember how Alex + Karen's wedding ended up - I provide you with a taste of foreshadowing)
We started Getting Our Tux On around four. J classed it up with my late Grandfather Paul's gold cufflinks. So rad.
Hannan joined us for a drink beforehand. J entrusted me with Jackie's ring. You can't lose it if you're wearing it, right?
About an hour before. Groomsmen unite... just outside the HUMMER LIMO (!!!) - Really??? No one has a pic of the limo?!?
Oh, real quick, let's get to know your groomsmen (left to right): Timmy.F (friend from Medway), Neil.P (Black20), McD (Syracuse), J, mini-DPS (best man!), Arish (Syracuse), Matt.H (high school). Where's Johnny? (Jackie's brother)
And maybe the 3rd to last pic of me + my unmarried brother? I kind of love this pic... if anything because we look more Put Together than we've ever looked together in our whole lives *despite* the fact that we're rolling in a HUMMER LIMO that looks like this on the inside...
Laser light show. Strobe lights. Little wheels that shoot electric bolts?! Where are we?! (it took us half the trip before we figured out how to turn all this crap off - where's the sound???)
ps: Note to future best men who may read this recap: bring some beers for the limo!
And at the church. Best man gets to run around and fix all the last minute stuff - does the mic work? Is there a bible to read from? Where's the guy who presses play on the CD player? Good times! Oh, and I get to carry *both* rings - they come in a little box. More on that in a second.
I took this photo literally about 30 seconds before we started walking down the aisle.
I got to escore Gam. J took Anne down the aisle and then we doubled back to pick up Mom. Apparently Dad put on a show as he walked behind us.
Anne Margaret Mary Elizabeth Jane Sheridan II (J's godmother) read us a bit from the Velveteen Rabbit.
Double-checking the status of my J+J tattoo.
And, ladies and gents, the *last* shot you'll ever see on teendrama of an unmarried JJ.
This is right before I bobbled my most important job of the day - the wedding ring hand off. No one told me you're supposed to take them out of the box! Overheard (via the wireless mic):
Pastor Ho: "And the rings..."
Me: [handing the box over]
Pastor Ho: "... um, can you take them out of the box?"
Jonathan: "A+ job, Den."
Me: "We didn't rehearse that!"
It's husband and wife time, and you know what that means... MAKE OUT! I got a little weepy.
And then we entered The Land of 1000 Photos. I hope they came out better than this one.
Bridesmaids. Still looking slamming. (ps: btw, Jackie wore the same wedding dress her Mom wore years ago.. and then switched into another dress for the reception. Clever!)
Annnndddd... I got to go in the little room in the back after the wedding and sign all the official wedding docs. Huh - always wanted to do that.
After the photos, etc. J + Jackie took off in their private sexy-time limo. The rest of us piled into the HUMMER LIMO (in case, you haven't caught on yet, you should be saying "HUMMER LIMO" like McD would - Huuummmmeerrrrrr LIIMMMOOOOO! Aloud, please).
Champagne for everyone! Stonecold McD in the background.
We let Timmy Hangover have the way-way back all to himself. Hannan nearly shot his eye out with bottle #4.
Excess champagne = perfect for applying extra tattoos.
Meanwhile, mirrors on the ceiling = pefect for after-wedding after-prom make out sessions.
And to the reception! J and Jackie = first pic as husband and wife (well, at least as far as this recap goes). The reception was about 15 mins away from the church. I heard there was slamming cocktail hour, though we missed most of it due to the photo shoot... which was kind-of a-okay with me as it kept me far far away from the delicious Bud bottles (remember, best man speech!)... even though we be pounding that rose colored champagne in the HUMMER LIMO. (champagne = wildcard, btw)
All the Groomsmen + bridesmaid's got announced as pairs. J + Jackie emceed the intros and cued up custom soundtracks for each of us (me + Brooke strolled in to a track from Rad). In return, we all busted out custom dance moves during our intro struts - our robot slayed. Hannan + Megan's baseball dance may have taken bestest. Post intros, Michael Torpey from Black20 fame took over as guest emcee.
First dance = Luckiest by Ben Folds Five? Would it kill a brother to cue up some Guster? (I. SPY. so. damn. tired!)
Best man speech. I was sweating this *hard* for a good week or so. That notepad in my hand?
Um, my notes for all 12 minutes of my toast. A little long maybe. Oops.
ps: Gabe, I remember seeing you writing Alex's Best Man Speech a few hours before the wedding and I was thinking "what a slacker!" and - despite trying to plan ahead of time - I did *exactly* the same thing... sometimes you just can't get anything in yer head until the super last minute.
I stoke this pic from Erin (baby Emma's mom!) - it came right after the last one (er, two above) so it *looks* like people are laughing *with me* (and not at me). 12 minutes! Sit tight!
During the course of the toast, I got three (count em, *three*) finger-across-the-neck motions... the universal 'cut it out' sign? One from Jackie for mentioning grandkids (oops), one from Mom (actually it was more of a rolling of the eyes - can't remember at what tho) and one from my dear 'ol Gam who gave me one for no reason at all about half-way though... er, to which I responded "GAM, I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE"... um, right into the mic. If anything in the toast Came From The Heart, it may have been that.
Meanwhile, Shoops got up right after me and *slayed* a perfect 60 second toast off the top of her head. No notes. What the heck!?! Hate you, Shoops!
And man, is there anything sweeter than finishing the toast at your brother's wedding - symbolizing *no more responsibility* for the rest of the weekend. SCHOOL'S OUT FOOOOOORRREEEEVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEERRRRR!
Oh, dinner came next (about 12 minutes late - ha!)
I had the prime rib. And some of Jackie's shrimp. And half of Gam's chicken. Fat Denny lives!
After dinner, Jackie and J got their cupcakes on (said in Jackie's tiny voice)
Shoops and Gam. Is this the hustle?
Mom and Dad. Looking pretty good, no?
And the rest of the crowd starting to get into it...
... as it turned into a good two hour dance party.
Dig battling Shoops...
... Shoops battling Dig.
Kid battlin' Play. (f'fwd 2/3 in!)
All this provided courtesy of DJ Randeeeeeeeeeezie. Welcome aboard!
And as for you, I don't care whose Grandpa you are... get yer damn hands off my Grandmother!
ps: jk, Grandpa Mangino!
And only one of these pics all night! That's Ashley.F (Tim's sister) and Mike.C sporting a napkin (??) on the bottom.
Jackie's side of the family. (Uncle Tony!)
By the way, J + Jackie took their honeymoon in Spain. They've been emailing in every few days - I got this from J yesterday:
"pics from the wedding are starting to trickle in. to all those who said i'd be saying 20 years from now 'i can't believe i wore my hair like that mess' - you're all wrong. i'm saying that now. dennis and I look like two wet dogs barely surviving a hurricane."
Transportation back to the hotel provided by THE PARTY BUS! Please enjoy for the 80th time this recap Christian's PARTY BUS face.
Sweet sweet bus takes us back to the hotel - not for bedtime, not for afterparty, but for...
CASINO NIGHT! Rad! Dig sprung for some craps tables, a few blackjack dealers and a roulette table. Everyone got a handful of fake money on the way in - whoever leaves w/ the most of it by 2am gets their hotel room comp'ed!
Of course, we knew the craps table better than the rent-a-stickman and when we complained about the odds not being paid out on the pass line or the payments on the six and eight being off, the dealers just threw cash at us to shut us up.
Not that it mattered - most everyone was walking around with a Kanye West style wad of cash by the end. In the free-room contest, I think it came down to Katie and <insert some other relative here> and one final spin of the roulette wheel. Who won? I dunno... I was too distracted by...
... another special guest appearance by Baby Emma!
(and Christian pouring a beer down McD's tux shirt... please do look closely)
Did I mention we went through just about all the tattoos? They lasted just into the after-after party...
... where this poor bridesmaid fell asleep.
Maybe we'll just give her one tattoo.
Okay, just one more.
Well, if Brooke wants in too...
Eek, I hope they're not poisonous.
You know, I think they actually look good. And she'll definitely appreciate these during her 8 hour flight back to Alaska at 7am the next morning.
Now, before all of you email in with your "leave the poor girl alone!" protests, I'd like to direct you toward Exhibit A: The Shoes Rule (below) and Exhibit B: the photo with Brooke (scroll up two)...
The Shoes Rule: A rule in colleges that states that if one falls asleep with his shoes on, he is fair game for shaming. If one has the presence of mind to take off thier shoes before going to bed, it is ruled that he has merely fallen asleep, rather than passed out in a drunken stupor.
... flip-flops = on! = fair game, no?
(And one more thing, if you think this is bad, you obviously weren't around for the tail end of Alex + Karen's wedding (click and scoll all the way down) where we found some random dude passed out on *our* karaoke room and *covered* the poor dudes FACE in A+K tattoos! Ha!)
Now onto Saturday! After hitting up four weddings so far this summer, I got to tell you I'm a huge fan on the day-after events - Jill and Steve had a day at the family lake house and J and Jackie had a day at the race track (Saratoga = 30 mins from the good ol' Schenectady Holiday Inn). Day after wedding = no pressure to do anything, just hang out with all your friends who are already at the wedding! Dig arranged for buses to take us to and from, while Mom prepped us ahead of time that Saratgoa = fancy track = fancy track attire. Dress accordingly.
... so we sent McD on a mission the day before to pick us up some real nice getups. Pretty hot, eh? You may be asking yerself "where'd you get such a fine vest?"
All while Mom and Michelle busted out their fancy big hats.
J waited a extra day to give us our Groomsmen gifts - engraved flasks pre-filled with the finest Makers Mark this side of the Finger Lakes. (though no way did I need a flask of whiskey for a hungover Saturday - I left mine on the bus)
Man, I haven't been to a race track in forever... actually, last time was up in Saratoga, what, 6 years ago? (2001!)
I just dug into the teendrama archives... back to 2001 Holy shit, look how young we are! Katie is just a wee little baby! [go back in time!]
Maybe we we looked better with our old dot-com haircuts?
Dig's Big Day at the Track = free food and drink for everyone! That whole entourage in the background are day-after wedding guests
Mom and her lady friends showing off the remains of last night's tattoo fest. PG-13!
We got our food + drink on and then headed over to the robot betting booths. I mean, how am I *not* going to bet on the Legend of Zelda horse.
ps: $5 show = WINNER!
Me + McD. Classy. Kind of. Maybe. I guess.
Race 5 = the special Jackie + Jonathan race! Look at the title! Come'on, that's pretty awesome - esp as it's in *every book!* (and annouced over the loundspeaker, etc). J had a $100 bet on the #4 hourse (the favorite) to win. No suck luck.
You know, I was actually doing pretty well for the first part of the day. Sure, I was betting super conservatively (usually placing a $5 box and a $5 show bet). I think I went 5-6 races in a row where I won at least my $5 back. And then race #9 came along...
Christian, frustrated from dropping cash on a whole bunch of losers, threw the rest of his daily budget ($15) on the long shot (20-1!) to win... apparetly because he had some relevation that the jockey was on a tear after winning two other races that day. Whatever. I was standing next to him as he walked away pre-race - "Everything on the 9!", he says as he walks away. I didn't know it was a 20-1 shot, so I threw my standard $5-to-show down. I definitely didn't know he was placing a $15 win (ha!).
Fast forward to the race. The nine horse starts off so far behind that he doesn't even show up on the monitor. Johnny Announcer doens't even mention him.... until the very end (prob the last 100 yards!) when out of NOWHERE the 9 horse somehow gets himself up to the front. Me? I'm stoked that I may win on my $5 bet. Christian meanwhile is out of his seat as the 9 may have just won the whole thing... and then 30 seconds later - holy shit - they announce 9 as the winner! He's going crazy, the people in front of us (who also bet on the 9) are going crazy... I mean, that horse was a huge longshot - we thought 20-1, but the pre-race odds bumped it to 40-1 (!!).
I look at the ticket and try to calculate the winnings in my head... "Man, I think you may have won $200 bucks!!!" (says me, who knows nothing about horse racing).
Now fast forward to the win-collectin'-machine...
Christian throws in his ticket and... oh, we have to wait till the *official race results* are posted. In the meantime, we run into *everyone else* and find out that a whole crew of us (Mary + McD + Uff) also put money on the 9!
Remember, we have *no idea* how much Christian won until we put the ticket in the magic box. (nor did we realize the odds went from 20-1 to 40-1 until after the payout!)
... HOLY SHIT! Christian walks away with $625!!!! $15 win on a 40-1 longshot!!! So awesome! (seriously, if you watch any video watch this one - the first 10 seconds of "What, this machine must be broken!" are just awesome,
... in hundred dollar billz! Will took in $60. I took in $20. Uff scored a dollar. Ha!
And after Christian's win, I was done with my litle nickel and dime bets. I was taking piece of shit horses to win left and right...
... which, not surprisingly, led to me being broke. I had to borrow $20 from Christian at the end of the day to scrap together this poor man's "all in" bet on the last race. I think I ended up $50 down (it didn't help that I lost one of my vouchers worth $30. Stoopid,)
After the last race (around 6pm) we caught Dig's Private Shuttle Bus back to Schenectady. We were all pretty exhaused, McD was especially crunked up - actually most of us were on our second hangovers. Note Mary's whiskey face - ha! (don't forget about all that flask whiskey we left in the bus!)
What better way to kill time than with some Bingo Bongo! (for anyone not familiar with the magic of the Tunkhannock, PA carnival, my apologies... I'll put those pix online someday to showcase the birthplace of the Bingo Bongo phenemenon).
Anyway, we sold tickets for a buck apiece...
... higest bingo score (Meghan McG) keeps the loot. And yes, I did squirrel these away about a month ago in hopes of breaking them out sometime during J's wedding).
Fast forward again... back at the hotel, friends and relatives are packing their bags. We grabbed one last group dinner at the shitty Italian / Greek fusion place across the street from the hotel and then retreated back to the suite for another round of thirty-pack fever.
Mom came over to say her goodnights play some wiffleball (Nice hit, Mom! Look top center! You cranked it!)
This could not have been more a lazy night (besides the shotgunning and failed karaoke mission)... until Arish dreamed up the most magical game of all time: "Kick Over the Light".
Rules: start with a lamp on a chair and try to kick *over* it (NOT "kick it over"). If your *heel* clears the lamp (clean!) you advance (and something new is added to the mix). If not (or if you dig Millberger style), you're out (welcome to the loser's bracket!) Ready?
Round 2: K1 clearing the lamp + karaoke box.
Round 4: Rob advances after cleaning the lamp + box + ice bucket.
Round 5: Cranekick over the lamp + box + ice bucket + Miller Lite? Legendary.
And this video is in case you had any doubts about the athleticism required to compete in the Kick Over The Light 2007 Tournament of Champions. Sorry this is so hacked together, but as an athlete I gotta spend my time training, not chopping up video for you nerds.
("Where's all this video come from?", you ask? We shot *everything*... for the purpose of instant replay of course. The judges were cutthroat.)
ps: These pics were *hilarious* at the time (you've got to understand that we were at the tail end of a three-day bender). Denny Short Legs + Mary tied for gold medal status (me = USA salute!), Arish takes silver, Mike "Sweep the Leg!" Milberger with the bronze. Hey man, bronze is nothing to be ashamed at! And magically, *nothing* was broken. Ha!
And just so you can see the height - we're talking at least 5'8" (er, 5'9!!). This is with chair + box + phone book + ice bucket + can.
And just when we should have gone to bed, McD rolls in with 2 more cases of beers... fresh from the bar downstairs (and at full retail price!). Let's see, 24 x 2 = 48 x $3.50 each = $168!?!
Yeah, that's about right. F'ing Crunky McDonough!
And wait, that's the end? Thanksfully, yes. (After 100 pics! Longest. recap. ever.)
Sooooooo J + Jackie, congrat (ha!) again. Maybe the most fun wedding ever? It took me days to recover actually. I had my never-going-to-drink-again face on (er, at least until Randy's wedding - 9/21!) when I made it back to NYC, though that only lasted a few days. Special thanks to Mom + Dad + Mr. + Mrs. Rink for all the good times!