Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Ninth Wedding Anniversary -- Part One

Today begins the story of our wedding. I love writing about this each year, and have written about it here, here and here. So pour a cup or glass of your favorite drink and settle in for another edition of

First, how did we meet?

Rick and I met while serving in the US Air Force, but hadn't been friends during the three years I spent in Korea. Don't get me wrong, we didn't dislike each other; he was just quite a few stripes higher in rank than I was and more or less ran the show, and I had a completely different place in the flight. But ten years later, via an email list that a colleague started (we are forever in his debt), we got back in touch. After a year of emailing back and forth, the rest, as they say, is history.

By necessity, the wedding was going to be small -- about 50 people. All of our friends are scattered far and wide, in various states and countries, and only about four people actually lived in the town of the wedding. This was going to have to be a destination wedding.

Charlottesville, VA, is special to me because I attended the University of Virginia and bought my first house in this lovely town. This was also the place Rick and I saw each other for the first time after the year of emails.

The wedding was going to take place at the UVA Chapel, which was an amazing feat of skill in and of itself. A lottery system is used to book the chapel for weddings, and you have to call the first working day of the month, one year before the wedding. Except for football season, which has its own set of rules, and our wedding fell during football season. (Is your head spinning yet?) Thankfully, in 2000 they moved the lottery to a phone lottery, and I was given a specific time to call, rather than the way brides-to-be USED to grab a slot -- sleep outside the door of the office the day the lottery opened to get a good spot in line the one day you could register.

There are always problems in planning weddings, though, aren't there? My particular problem was the day of my lottery, I had a presentation to give to a customer. My good friend Katie called in and pretended to be me, but when the time slot we wanted wasn't available, she was afraid to commit to another, so she faked a sneezing fit or something (I forget now) and raced in to interrupt my meeting to whisper in my ear for approval. That's a true friend.

Katie, as a member of Farmington Country Club, also sponsored me so we could have our reception there. It's a beautiful, beautiful place with wonderful food and amazing grounds, and since Rick and I opted to see each other before the wedding, it was a terrific place to have that happen. Also, since our wedding coincided with a home football game at UVA, there was zero parking on Grounds. We were providing transportation for our guests, having them all meet at the country club first so they could relax beforehand if they wanted. What a great change from the norm!

The dress. Ah, the dress. I flew to St. Paul, MN to see my maid of honor, Kristin, for help choosing a dress. That was a rather humbling experience. I've recently become an enormous fan of "Say Yes to the Dress" and if I had gone to Kleinfeld, I wouldn't have been sneered at for not being a size 2. The boutique we first went to was horribly rude, and I was in tears when I left.

We ended up at, of all places, David's Bridal. I know that many people look at DB as the Walmart of bridal stores, but when Kristin and I walked in, the place was full of life and energy and laughter. I found a dress that I loved, in my size, so I could see it right then, not guessing at how it might look. I still wish I had known about Kleinfeld, though -- the trip to New York would have been worth it.

And speaking again of "Say Yes to the Dress" and Kleinfeld, I loved the episode where they talked about having larger sizes and helping women make the most of their figures, no matter what that figure may be.

(my dress, photo by Ken Graham)

Our rehearsal dinner was a relaxed, fun affair, held at a brick oven pizzeria that made creative, utterly delicious concoctions. I purposely wanted this dinner to be casual because the wedding dinner was going to be a sumptuous extravaganza. One of the good things about having a small wedding was that we could splurge on food, and the country club wouldn't know a rubber chicken if it flew in the window and bit the chef on the bottom.

The next day dawned utterly, completely perfect -- and I'm not just saying that. Being the end of October, we hit the peak of the leaves turning, but the day was balmy and clear and delightful.

When I woke and looked out the window, seeing the beauty of the sun on the leaves and the green of the grass, the softness of the air and just the sheer magic of the day -- yes, I thought. It's a wonderful day to get married.

Thus ends Part One. Part Two will begin tomorrow, and I hope you'll join me to read more!

When Lori isn't reminiscing, she's creating jewelry. You can see it at



  1. I love hearing the details! Thanks for sharing and CONGRATULATIONS!

  2. Happy, Happy Anniversary. I'm loving reading about you two.

  3. I can't wait for part two!

  4. What an enjoyable read..I will definitely join you for Part II.

  5. Love how you write and how you met. Thanks for serving in the Air Force too! I'll be back for the next chapter tomorrow.

  6. Beautiful.

    *happy sigh*

  7. Happy Anniversary! I just had my 23rd this month, and we in the military, too. Your dress was lovely. This was fun to read. Happy Anniversary to both of you.


  8. Happy Anniversary darling! What a beautiful spot for the wedding, and the perfect time of year. I love all the fall colors. I can't wait for part 2 and to see your pictures!
    (Say Yes to the Dress usually makes me want to punch someone though, one of the bride's sisters of friends!)

  9. what a wonderful story....happy,happy day!

  10. Oh, I love that black and white photo! It's so fun to hear the story -- I can't wait for part 2!

  11. Wow! I was able to see your pre-wedding activities with my eyes; Congratulations on 9 wonderful years together.

  12. Happy Anniversary, Lori! This reads like a fairy tale--I can't wait for part two!

  13. Thanks for the reference to me. A link to my site would be also appreciated

    Looks like a Grand Event!

  14. You got it, Charles! We miss C'ville SOOO much, but Rick has such a specializes job that NGIC is about the only option. We'd call on you in a heartbeat for a house!

  15. Happy Anniversary Lori!! I enjoyed reading...headed now to read part II

  16. Happy Anniversary, Lori!!! It's amazing the clarity that you remember it was yesterday. This is like reading a great romance book..... :-)


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