It seems crazy to think about but within the past two months I have graduated college, gotten married and started my first job. That’s 3 major life milestones in less than 60 days. The NFL lockout has lasted twice that long. I’ve been wanting to write about my wedding for awhile now but I had to wait until the photos were ready because words alone can’t quite capture the day.
Mrs. GLP and I have been together since high school, roughly 5 and a half years, and had been engaged for a year and a half before getting married on June 18. We always knew that we wanted a beach wedding and we were elated to find a pavillion on the beach available at Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It combined the best of both worlds, amazing vistas of Lake Michigan without the hastle of actually being in the sand. During the week leading up to the ceremony, we kept a close eye on the weather, a major concern with an outdoor wedding. There was about a 40% chance of thunderstorms during the wedding, so we just prayed and hoped for the best. Despite ominous clouds rolling in over Lake Michigan, the weather held off, and the clouds made for excellent backdrops in the photos.
The reception was held at the Priscilla U. Byrns Heritage Center, a charming venue that has a very Southern charm with its tall white columns, just across the St. Joseph River in St. Joseph, Michigan. The great part about having the wedding in the St. Joseph area, an area where her sister lives and one we have fell in love with over the years, was that it was a semi-destination wedding since our hometowns were an hour away and a lot of our friends and family made an entire weekend trip out of it.
The reception was buffet style with Jamaican jerk pork and chicken imperial and an open bar (If you are having alcohol at your wedding, have an open bar. It lends to a much better atmosphere than if everyone is having to pay for their drinks. It’s really not that expensive, plus, if you’re like me, it satisfies that lifetime goal of buying a round of drinks for everyone in the bar). The music started off with a piano player during dinner and led into a live band, local group Alligator Blackbird, who kept the party going with their reggae-tinged and acoustic covers. They even played “Wagon Wheel” per my special request.
Now, this wouldn’t be a proper post without discussing the sartorial elements of the big day. The guys wore khaki suits with white shirts and lime green neckties. Unfortunately, these were rentals so the pants were too baggy for my tastes. I would have much prefered to buy suits but it wasn’t practical to require all of my groomsmen to spend that much. As mentioned in a previous post, I wore a Green Seersucker Bow Tie by The Cordial Churchman. This actually almost wasn’t the case. We had to drive up to Northern Indiana on Thursday night from Indianapolis and halfway there I realized I had left my bow tie on my couch. It was too late at that point to turn around so I spent the next few hours trying to figure out what to do. Unfortunately, the area around my hometown has a dearth of quality menswear providers. My choices were pretty much limited to Macy’s and JC Penney’s, both of which had very few green bow ties and the ones that they did have either didn’t match right or were downright hideous. I was very close to making the hour drive to a Brooks Brothers outlet store to try my luck when one of my fraternity brothers pulled through. He was still in Indy and able to go to my apartment and pick up my bow tie and drop it off at the park roughly two hours before the ceremony. I was extremely grateful.
The bridesmaids wore pink dresses from J. Crew, sandals from Alfani and pearls. The bride’s dress was from Galina.
It was absolutely the greatest day of my life. I was told by our pastor beforehand that there are two absolutely beautiful moments in the lives of most men. One is the birth of your child and the other is when you first see your bride walking down the aisle. He was right.
As promised earlier here are some pictures from the wedding. You can see more on our photographer, Kate Podjan’s, blog.