Wedding: Finally Jansen

Yesterday I attended the wedding of a coworker of mine. Their wedding was postponed due to Covid. In fact, his original wedding date was going to be on July 10, 2021 That date was actually my 20th Anniversary with my wife. We would not have been able to attend my friends wedding had it happened on that day. Fast forward to 2022…

Back in April, I went to Dillon’s bachelor party in Vegas. That was where I had a chance to meet some of his other friends. I realized that we all genuinely have a similar sense of humor and comradery. It was great to see them again last night and share a few laughs.

At the wedding, I didn’t take many photos with my cellphone. The couple had a sign out front stating it was an “Unplugged” celebration. Some old school disposable cameras were handed out, so I filled one with photos (which I hope turned out!) The couple will get a chance to see the final products once they develop the films. I think this was a neat idea and will be more genuine for the feel of the party as there is no way to manipulate or see the pictures ahead of time.

They did have a photo booth set up, so my wife and I did a couple pictures together. We were also given some lovely coasters as a wedding favor that we took home.

For the reception- our table was filled with a few of my coworkers. We became known as “Table 12” throughout the night. We were also the reason the open bar wasn’t starting until 8pm. Our group was a bit raucous, full of laughter, and entertaining the crowd. I did tell a joke that was not very family friendly. But entertaining nonetheless.

It was a good time and I’m glad that we attended the festivities. Big congratulations to Dillon and Taryn for finally getting their day in the spotlight! I wish them all the best for their future together!

The “I Do” BBQ

Yesterday afternoon, some of my friends tied the knot. They did it in a way that was special and meaningful to them. It wasn’t extravagant or lavish. The service was humble and friendly. It was exactly the kind of service you would expect from them.

First of all, it was a fairly short announcement to the wedding day. Even though Jay and Leona have been a couple for quite some time, it was just the right time to get married. The venue was at a friend’s place where they (or we if you wish) have spent many a weekend enjoying each other’s company over food and drinks.

Jay and Leona kept it low key and simple. Their friends came together to setup tents, tables, decor and made food. Even though it was raining periodically, that didn’t stop the festivities. It was essentially a large BBQ with a wedding thrown in. In fact, right after the “I Do’s” were said, the two of them got changed back into their street clothes to relax. It was wonderful that they shared their love with us and we all got to hang out.

Sometimes I think back to when I first met them. Each was in a different aspect in my life within a couple years of each other. As well, their lives intersected periodically until the universe finally linked them together.

It was a good time yesterday with loads of smiles and laughs. I wish many more years of happiness to Jay and Leona! Congratulations once more.

Just What I Needed

Nine days ago my wife and I attended the wedding of some old friends. It was a small intimate wedding about the size of ours.  I knew about half of the people there from meeting them over the many years of friendship with the groom. It was great to socialize and laugh. In fact I had the most fun being sober at this wedding.

Those who know me know that I enjoy having a few drinks at these types of events.  Even more so if the booze is running freely.  This time around, I agreed with my wife to give her a chance to let loose.  So she did and had a great time. We sat with some friends and laughed.

Throughout the night music played and people sang.  They sang quite well in fact.  It was a lot of fun. I began having some intense discussions with the non-sober people about music.  Turns out, everyone knows songs from The Cars and Kenny Loggins.

So as we sat at the table singing “The Cars Greatest Hits” over dinner, I realized that I enjoy sobriety as much as I enjoy intoxication. “Let the good times roll.”  We discussed Kenny Loggins impact on the films of the 80’s and how each of the songs he wrote that appeared on sound tracks helped defined the movie.  

The topics we had throughout the night kept everyone in great spirits.  We joked about drugs, dildos, and dinosaurs. At one point, one person was writing a song for my wife and I.  I believe it was called “Pound Town”.  

The night was a riot.  For the car ride home, I drove a couple of other friends home as well who had been enjoying the drinks.  My wife really let loose at the wedding and people began to question who was the more “adult” person in the relationship.

That’s a good sign.  It means that we both still enjoy life and all it has to offer. Be it sober or a bit tipsy. Or a lot tipsy as was the case for my wife and our friends. Like Kenny Loggins once said, “I’m alright, nobody worry about me.”

Tom’s Diner

When my wife and I married we had everything planned out and budgeted.  We paid for everything on our own.  We also did it without going into debt. It was the one thing that we really felt was important in starting a new life together. Our food was selected, flowers paid for, center pieces were hand made, we even burned some CDs for our dances and special songs.  It wasn’t until the day before our wedding that it dawned on us… we didn’t have a song to walk into for our reception.  

One of our friends was doing the DJ work for us- so we looked through his list of songs.  He had suggested many that other couples had used.  But we weren’t like other couples- we weren’t going to enter to the Star Wars Imperial March.  On the night before our wedding, as we decorated the hall for our reception, we listened to part of his playlist.  The night was growing old and we still hadn’t chosen a song.  One last look into the DJ’s list and we found a song.  

“Tom’s Diner” was to be our entrance song.  

Besides it being a beautifully spoken word style song, it wasn’t a song that my wife and I had ever heard while together.  It’s just a simple observation style of song.  It’s a song about people watching.  It made me think of our coffee dates and late nights.  

It was a song that people would recognize but not fully know the words for.  So there was no fear of people singing along.    But every time I hear the song, it now reminds me of the first time we entered a room as husband and wife.

Today I was driving to work in the rain when the song came on the radio.  The last few lines brought joy to me.

“Oh, this rain

It will continue

Through the morning

As I’m listening

To the bells

Of the cathedral

I am thinking

Of your voice

And of the midnight

Once upon a time

Before the rain began

I finish up my coffee

It’s time to catch the train.”

This is what 15 years does…

On Tuesday July 10th, 2001 my wife and I got married.  The friends and family we invited out numbered around forty five including our wedding party.  We were married in a 100+ year old church that heated up like a sauna that day so the doors remained open.  As our ceremony began, a film crew from across the way stopped and gathered by the entry to watch.  

After the ceremony we went and had our wedding photos taken by a friend of ours. It was a lot of fun.  Our reception was in a small Legion hall that we had rented and decorated with balloons and streamers.  The photographer’s soon to be husband was our DJ.  My father-in-law bottled his own wine and we had an open bar.  The bartender was a friend of mine who had just finished bartending school.  We had the main table with the wedding party set up in a U shape in front of the stage where the MC was.

There was only four round tables set up in the hall for our guests.  The tables were labeled “Truth Beauty Freedom Love” from Moulin Rouge.  For our wedding we spent about $5,000 on everything.  We have a videotape of the festivities that we’ve never dusted off to rewatch.

Fifteen years of marriage has been a fun ride.  From having three children together to traveling around the continent- our lives are full of adventure. We’ve been on train rides, plane rides, hot air balloon rides, limo rides, flown a plane & driven a train.  We’ve started a business, met celebraties, made new friends and had numerous one of a kind experiences.  Most of it on a budget or nearly free.

Our children have excelled in school, become excellent little musicians and are the kindest souls you will meet.  Our friends have even fought over our children in the hypothetical case of my wife and I becoming deceased.  My wife and I have no idea how to parent- but people look at our children and seem to think we are doing it right.

We’ve owned a house for nearly a decade now that has truly become a home.  It’s filled with knickknacks, artwork, toys, family and love.  We love our neighborhood and the peace that our home brings us.  Sharing the fun of our journey in person, on social media and through my blogs has been a blast.  

From our 6th Anniversary.

Without trying to sound cheesy, but it will, I would marry the woman next to me in a heartbeat all over again.  Our paths joined a little over sixteen years ago.  We have risen above the many challenges thrown our way.

We must have known it was going to be, because on our first date- we set our wedding day and stuck to it.  (Or else I was about to start dating a crazy lady…)

The secret to our happiness?  It’s probably is a combination of mutual respect, communication, hardwork, and silliness.  Lots of silliness.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

-Moulin Rouge