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Husband and Wife
10/25/99



It's over. I'm married.

And I am Jen Wood-Bowien. No offense to James, but I do have my own identity so don't address me as Mrs. Bowien. That is his mother. Deal with the hyphen. Learn to love it.

All things considered, the wedding was beautiful. I guess I shouldn't say all things considered because in the end it doesn't matter at all. It was beautiful and we got a lot of compliments on the ceremony, the music, the food . . . I didn't think it would be that way on Friday morning.

Imagine the flashback sound effect from Wayne's World (or Wayne's World II - whichever works best for you. I must insist though, that the first is a far superior film)

Ok. It's Friday morning. I get up early, have coffee and start to finish wrapping the wedding bubbles. I do this because it needed to be done and I thought it would preoccupy my mind. See, when I got a $2000 bid for the flowers, I said, "Screw this!" and decided to do them myself. The FedEx package was due to arrive at 10:30 that morning.

My best friend (and the best woman) got there about 9:00 and helped to ease my anxiety with a cherry blow pop. I didn't get nervous until 10:30. Then I called FedEx. Apparently, the grower had shipped the flowers standard overnight instead of priority. That meant that I wouldn't see them until 3:00. Much time was wasted.

Sonya and I left to go pick up James from work around 11:00 and we ran some last minute errands. Then I get the call. The flowers had arrived. Only not all of the flowers were there.

This caused a cell phone screaming match with my mother and several nasty voicemail messages to the flower grower in California. My fears are realized when I get home. One box is missing. The box with the ivy. The all-important box of ivy that I have to have to decorate the room since you can't buy the stuff locally (believe me, I tried). So, I freak out a bit more and promptly leave to try and find a replacement. James goes to get the tuxedos from the shop and Sonya and I head to Samís and Garden Ridge. We find some suitable filler and ribbons and begin the long trek back to the parentís house. Then I get the other call.

James is at the tuxedo shop. I was nervous about the tuxes because Michael (James' old army bud from Houston) had filled in as a groomsman at the last minute when Rick couldn't get the day off from work. I immediately think that it's a problem with his tux. It's not. They are trying to tell James that we ordered Euro ties. We didn't. I have much better taste than that. We ordered Windsor ties. I get the guy on the phone and he is feeding me this line of "That is what you ordered.", (which it wasn't) and, "We wouldn't have told you that we can special order that kind of tie for you because no one makes it. We can't get it." Yeah right. I ripped him a new asshole and called the Gingiss formalwear in Germantown. Within five minutes, I had purchased (not rented, purchased) five black satin Windsor knot ties. They don't make them my ass! I felt better having that done so Sonya and I went down to the basement to start on the flowers. Damn the rehearsal dinner in two hours, we had boutonniŤres and corsages to make! I hear my dad coming down the steps. He has a rather wet cardboard box filled with wilted ivy. Seems as though they shipped it via Airborne express two day delivery and the morons had left it sitting by the mailbox in the sun all day!! Luckily, we managed to salvage almost all of it.

While we are slaving in the basement, the guests start to arrive . . . an hour early!!! It seems that my grandmother (however well intentioned) told the family that it started at 6:00 instead of 7:00. So here I am running around, sweaty and oily headed as my guests arrive. I take a quick shower and manage to get dressed before absolutely everyone arrives. Unfortunately, I didn't look my best and a lot of pictures were taken. Isn't that always the way?

But despite everything, we had a good time. There was lots of Barbeque and beer to go around - which helped! The last of the guests left or went to bed by midnight and I took a long, hot, and very bubbly bath in the parent's Jacuzzi tub. One more beer and I felt good enough to fall asleep.

I was awakened the next morning by the sound of a battery operated "crazy ball". My two second cousins, Willem and Ewan, had found the thing and were tormenting - I mean playing - with Chewbacca (the Maine Coon). So, I got up and had a coffee. We had to load in to the space at 9:00 so I got on the road. I have good friends and they met me there ready to work. My cousin Kathleen and her new husband Jim were lifesavers. They came straight from the airport and did all of the ivy work in the joint. I couldn't have done it without them.

Things did get crazy around noon and I finally convinced my dad that I had to go home and shower since my hair appointment was at 2:30. I got home, ate a bite, showered, and waited for my dad. Finally at 2:15, I took my car since the salon is at least a half-hour drive from the house. Then I get behind a bulldozer doing 10 miles an hour on a two-lane winding country road. It's almost 3:30 by the time I get to the salon. I'm fuming at this point. Luckily Sonya (the best woman) and Scot (my hairdresser of many years) and Shawn (Sonya's hairdresser and friend) know how to soothe my fried nerves. A little lavender on the wrists and the back of the neck and I am much better.

When I get back to the venue, it is still hot. Apparently one of the air conditioning units is out. The beer is still hot, and the tuxedo shirts are the wrong color (we ordered ivory, they sent us shirts that were once ivory, but had been bleached white). I try to remain calm. By this point it is 4:45. My parents are still not there. Pictures are supposed to be at 5:00. I go get dressed, and my parents get there and we actually start taking pictures. It's 5:30 by now and guests are arriving. I cut the photo session and leave the room. Weddings are all about entrances and I don't want to ruin mine for everyone.

We stand and wait. Mom fans me with a piece of paper because my face is getting all blotchy. I'm trying to explain how the ceremony is going to go down, and I end up confusing everyone. Because we were so far behind getting started, we didn't have time for that all-important walk through. I am also quite nervous because the minister hasn't shown up yet. I begin to panic at 6:00. Luckily the nice men in the antique shop were kind enough to let us come in (since they had air conditioning). I squirmed wondering what to do if we don't have an officiant when two people bolt in. They gave some excuse about Pat (the woman who was supposed to be there) and her daughter having to go to the hospital. I hope they were telling the truth because that is a pretty sick excuse otherwise. I have a minister, but he is wearing a yellow shirt, kakhis, and brown bucks under his robe. He also looked as though he didn't shave on Saturdays. At that point I didn't care, though.

We walked back out to hear the last of Jeff and Leah singing and went in.

James and his mother, and my mom and dad and I all came in together to Midnight Sun. I suppose that makes me the ultimate dork!. Our wedding programs even had it listed:

Midnight Sun
Cuccurullo, LeBon, Rhodes
arranged by Jeff DeGarmo

Less than ten minutes later, we were married.



Then the party began. We were our own DJ so the music rocked. James and I had our first dance to Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer, and Sonya got a piece of glass in her foot (don't ask me how!). Andy Winemiller caught my bouquet and Paul got the garter since he was the only single male left in the room (think that might have been planned?) Finally, I had had enough of the dress and shoes so I threw some jeans on and relaxed. My friends from Theatreworks came over after their show and we finished off the open bottles of wine. We rolled out about 12:15. I had lost my shoes so I went home barefoot. I was so tired that I didn't care about walking downtown in bare feet.

If you're waiting to read a hot sexual exploit, you're out of luck. We were too exhausted for that. James made us something to eat (since we hardly ate anything at the wedding) and I started a crying fit. In a half hour, I let out three months of frustration. It was very cathartic if not sexy.

The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast with James' brother Ken and his friend Michael and Michael's wife Terri. They're Wood's but no relation. Odd, huh. We were late (of course) and they kidded us about the newlywed thing. We were just dead tired. It took all I had to take a shower. Oh - my feet were so black from walking barefoot the night before that I left a charcoal film all over the shower floor. Ewww.

So we're at Waffle House in West Memphis and we have the worst service known to mankind! But our bellies are full and we see the Wood's off on their way back to Houston. Then James and I headed back out to my parents to see some family who was still around. We opened presents and headed back to pack.

Of course we didn't make it there until much, much later. We had to go and pay the musicians (which we forgot to do at the wedding) and stop for last minute toiletries. After a lovely dinner at Perkins we went home to pack. We ended up staying up all night. Our flight left at 6:00 so we got to the airport at 5:00. This is a.m. mind you.

The plane ride was uneventful, and we arrived in the land of the mouse around noon. After checking in to our resort, we had lunch and promplty passed out from sheer exhaustion. At 5:00 that afternoon, we ventured out to the parks for the first time.

I'll tell you all about that later.

I also plan to have more wedding pictures up here soon. It's a page with no pictures right now, but check back in a day or two. And I'll finish the story of the honeymoon as soon as I get those pictures back.

I'm too tired to write any more today.
PS - as a request to my readers and friends, I have some missing things . . . a gift from one of the bridesmaids, my bouquet . . . if you know their whereabouts notify me immediately!!
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