Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thoughts on Tying the Knot and Cutting Ties

Every wedding has a horror story. Leading up to my own nuptials, I heard everyone else’s. Perhaps over the years, they’d become embellished, but they all served as little hiccups in an otherwise perfect day. That’s why, as my wedding day approached, I waited for something to go terribly wrong and leave Lauren and I scrambling at the last minute. Would the restaurant we chose for our rehearsal dinner lose power, ruining all the food? Would our priest come down with dysentery, leaving him unable to perform the ceremony? Perhaps our caterer got the wrong day, or my parents’ flight would be cancelled. The eve of the wedding came and went with everything running smoothly. The rehearsal was easy. The dinner was fantastic. Some of our guests were delayed by a traffic jam on 95 somewhere between Washington and Charlotte, but everyone made it in time for the food to be served and the wine to be poured. There were speeches that made me feel as if I were at a roast. The perfect mixture of laughter and tears.

Saturday morning, I set out on 16+ mile run with a group of nearly 30 people. I watched every step, looking for errant twigs, branches and trash bags. No open wounds, or worse yet, broken bones for me! The hours between the run and the ceremony were filled with a delicious brunch, a stop to pick up the kegs, a brief shopping spree at Jos. A Bank and most importantly, a nap. I was at the church in time for pictures, and despite the humidity, it was a beautiful day. Of course, Lauren looked stunning in her dress, which I saw for the first time when I walked into the courtyard for our photos together.

At one point, I imagined a paralyzing nervousness would overcome me. Aaron said it could happen when I walked into the church for the first time and saw all the people staring at me. But, it never happened. I remained as cool as the other side of the pillow for the entire ceremony. I guess that’s one side effect of extreme confidence. The music was perfect, the sermon was perfect and Lauren said, “I will.” With the exception of jumping the gun on the kiss, the hard part of getting hitched went off without a hitch.

Our reception was the perfect party. It was a low-key Carolina Barbecue feast with local beer, good wine, delicious desserts and our best friends and closest family members. Lauren’s dad made the room in the church look like a bonafide banquet hall. The DJ didn’t play anything on my “Do Not Play List” (Nickleback, Nikki Minaj, etc.) and did play “Bye, Bye, Bye”, “Ride Wit Me”, and “New York, New York”…ya know, wedding classics. There was a champagne shower, heartfelt speeches and a photo memory book that will last a lifetime. There were so many friends we would have loved to have invited to share the occasion with us, but it just wasn’t possible. If we had invited our entire fantasy guest list we would have needed a bigger church and a bigger budget.

Our mini-moon was…wait for it…perfect. Farrell and Steve let us use their cabin in Ashe County for a few days. The entire time we were there it poured, allowing us to do absolutely nothing for a solid 48 hours. Until you have planned and executed a wedding, you have no idea how draining it is. And this, coming from me who did about 25% of the work to Lauren’s 75%. We were both totally wiped out. Neither of us stayed awake past 10pm and we slept both until at least 8. I managed to get some light running in, although, I didn’t push it on the hilly terrain and I had to stop and walk for territorial dogs. We ate like royalty. On the first night, we made a pasta primavera with hot Italian sausage. The second night, I grilled steaks (burning them a bit), while Lauren made asparagus and roasted sweet potatoes. It was a short, but sweet trip.

Now, we’re back in the big city. Our wedding marks not only the beginning of our life together, but the official end to our time in Charlotte. True, I’ve been in New York since June 18th, but with Lauren there, it felt like I had one foot in each city. Now, both feet are firmly planted in Manhattan. I plan to submerse myself in the community, the culture and the job here just like I did in Charlotte. I’ve already dove headfirst into my new position at ABC. I’m on a competitive running team sponsored by a local store and Adidas and a member of the New York Road Runners. I am getting to know people in our very unique neighborhood nestled in the heart of eclectic Chelsea. We are going to be here for at least three years and now that Lauren has joined me here, we are well on our way to planting roots and making this our home.

We will never have what we had in Charlotte, but we hope to have an experience that is equally as rewarding and life-changing. That said, I’d be lying if I said a part of me won’t stay in Charlotte. In the past, I’ve picked up and left town never to be heard from again. College. Syracuse to some extent. That’s all well and great for a while because it’s easy to vanish, but in the end, I’ve ended up regretting not making the minimal effort to stay in touch with people who were integral parts of my life. On my fifth major move of my life, it’s time to try a different approach. I won’t cut ties with Charlotte, I’ll just loosen them. For my sanity and the sanity of others, I will be a silent, paying member of the running club. But, I’ll keep in contact and follow the successes, trials, tribulations and major life events of my closest friends. For them, I want to remain no farther than a phone call away. Who knows what the future holds? It’s a cliché’, but it is so because it is true. Lauren and I love Charlotte, and after three years in the middle of Manhattan, we will find ourselves at another crossroads. Going back is not unrealistic. It is as much of a possibility as anything else. We have talked about settling down there because of its location, it’s climate and most importantly, its people.

Look, I don’t know where “home” is yet. I know where it is for now. I know who it is with. We have the rest of our lives to figure out the rest.


  1. Just a phone call away, hum, I'll remember that! What a wonderful ceremony that was last to you and Lauren!

  2. You two were perfect on your perfect day :) Thank you for letting the Hovii be a part of it!