My Groomsman and I began the day with SportsCenter and the usual banter that comes when 10 guys share a room. It had been a tight fit, but everyone managed to get some sleep the night before. After breakfast, the Groomsman and I returned to our room and began to get ready. We had been instructed by the bride and wedding planner to be ready by 1:30pm so that pictures could begin.
Between breakfast and that time Elijah, Nema and Jerad accompanied me to go pick up the SUVs from Enterprise. When we got to Enterprise, we were happy to find that there were 3 Chevy SUVs available, 2 Suburbans and 1 Tahoe. We all quickly jumped into the cars and sped back to the hotel, testing the capabilities of these massive trucks.
It was here that Nema gets all the credit for a great decision. With all the commotion of last minute details, our bride was nervous and what do nervous brides love best? Their cuddly, needy, lick-you-to-death dog...Duke. After a quick trip to Doggie Central, Nema and I returned with Duke in hand and hurried him up to the bridal suite. Well played Nema.
As crunch time approached, the Groomsman and I began putting the final touches on their tuxes and celebrated the long honored tradition of toasting the day together with a stiff drink. Despite not having enough cups to go around, Lucas and the groomsman improvised for the sake of alcohol and made do.
With the day properly toasted, the wedding could go on. All that remained before it was time to begin taking pictures was for me to open Mahina's gift. I had been thinking long and hard trying to figure out what it was since the gifts were exchanged through Elijah and Alex. To my surprise I found inside a gorgeous watch that Mahina had picked out for me, the perfect final touch to my tux.
Finally, picture time. I must say the next couple of hours are a blur as Mahina and I took more photos than you could ever imagine. My jaw hurt from smiling so much.
The ceremony was even better than I could have imagined; Fr. Scholla had surprised us at the rehearsal and told us that Fr. Fulco would be joining him in the ceremony. Fr. Fulco is the faculty advisor of SigEp and has become a very close friend and confidant.
I remember standing in the back room waiting for the ceremony to begin listening to Fr. Scholla and Fr. Fulco trade stories of the different weddings they had presided over. I couldn't help but laugh when Fr. Scholla told of a wedding in which one of the Groomsman passed out from the heat, landing right on the Bride. I counted my blessings that our wedding was inside.
A second later I looked up and Fr. Scholla and Fr. Fulco were walking to the altar, it was time to begin. The last wave of nerves hit as I walked out to the altar, but once those doors opened it was all smiles.
The ceremony went by quickly, with Elise, Kasey, Elijah, Alex and Kainoa all doing their readings flawlessly. We can't forget about Jill's amazing performance of "How Beautiful" during Communion or Jomar and Ellen. I am truly grateful to everyone for making our wedding ceremony so special. The nuptial blessing was another special moment within the ceremony that I won't soon forget. Fr. Fulco led us through the blessing and it was a special moment to share with Mahina.
I was also really excited to pin Mahina and welcome her into the Sigma Phi Epsilon family during the reception. With the help of all the Brothers at the wedding, we were able to properly pin Mahina and present her with her own set of SigEp letters, follow with the SigEp toast. Each of the guys that were there got a chance to give Mahina a rose and before she knew it she was surrounded by red roses.
The traditional garter toss was next and after a quick trip "down under" to retrieve the garter I was back up and ready to toss it. As the guys crowded around I lined up the shot and launched the garter as far as it would fly. Mike Ross was the lucky man who caught the garter... I'll be expecting an announcement anytime Mike.
The reception was a riot. There isn't anything better than celebrating with family and friends. DJ Tee kept the party going the whole night and left people partying long after he had left. And with a special performance by a local hula halau and some oh so tasty cake, the night went off without a hitch.
There are too many other great stories of that night to tell in one sitting. But, I will let you ponder the hilarity of Carlos' cab ride to the McDonald's across the street from the hotel...