In the fall of 2001, as Brian and I were settling into life on the University of Wisconsin campus and into our new relationship, I met another amazing person, Brian's college roommate, Matt. The long and short of it is that I grew up with Brian and Matt, among others. During those college years when we learned so much about ourselves and about life, Matt was there learning with us, making memories with us and getting into just a bit of trouble with us, so when Brian and I got married, Matt was one of the people we knew had to be there, and indeed he was. This past weekend, it was an honor to be with him on the day he married his lovely wife, Shaneda.
Aside from getting to watch Matt and Shaneda get married, this weekend was also a chance to visit with some of our other great friends, Rob, Bobby and Leah, Erin and Grant, and Mike and Lisa. Leah and I, who now have been each other's dates for a few weddings since Brian and Bobby seem always to be in them, got to catch up during the wedding rehearsal and dinner, and everyone was together for a night out at the Terrace. We even made an obligatory stop at an old college favorite, Ian's. That night, Bobby and Leah, Brian and I hosted Matt in our hotel room. It was quite the slumber party, all of us packed into a room with one bed and one tiny pullout sofa, but we made it work. We piled into one dorm room or one college apartment bedroom a number of times after a night out in Madtown, so surely we could do it one more time. Add that to the list of memories made over the weekend.
Saturday afternoon's ceremony was lovely. Leah, and I decided we would claim one of the front pews, which afforded us the opportunity to see and capture images of Matt and Shandea as they saw each other for the first time that day, as they exchanged their vows and as they were declared husband and wife. It was so very obvious that Matt has found his soulmate, and I could not be happier for him. He is one of those genuinely good people, the kind of guy who remembers all the little things you tell him, has a kind and generous heart and can make you laugh until you cry (be it through jokes, weird walks or silly faces - he's a master of all trades, it turns out). He certainly deserves all the happiness in the world, and I do believe he has found it with Shaneda.
I must note that Brian and Bobby did looked very handsome in their tuxes -- such dapper guys Leah and I have! And Shaneda, as you can see from the picture below, was stunning. The weather was great (especially considering it is Wisconsin in August), the ceremony was great, everyone looked fabulous.
Fast forward to that night and the reception, and it was an absolute blast. We talked, laughed, drank and danced until we couldn't walk -- it must have been quite the sight as Leah and I both limped out of the reception. We got to represent our Badger pride when "Jump Around" played -- so many UW grads in the house that night!! -- and we got to learn a new dance courtesy of Bobby and Leah. I laughed so much, both at that dance and at the boys dancing and snapping their suspender straps that stomach hurt almost as much as my feet did.
The night ended with talk of Taco John's, another college tradition, and everyone heading to the dance floor to surround the bride and groom as "Piano Man" played. Those of you who were at our wedding will recall a similar occurrence, one of my most cherished wedding day memories, and seeing the new couple, thinking back to our day and being surrounded by so many of our great friends made me tear up. It was the sweetest moment of the night.
|Brian and Bobby with the groom-to-be and their groomsmen's gifts|
|Rob, Brian, Bobby and Mike|
these four go way, way back
|me and my groom :)|
|and this is why we limped out of the reception -|
dancing all night long!
*Credit for a number of these photos goes to Bobby, whose camera we can always count on to be present!