Per aspera ad astra

J & J Wedding

June 20th, 2009

Last week, Brandon & I made the long journey in my beautiful year-old Corolla through the area just east of the Great Plains that we might refer to as ‘least interesting part of America’ (though our return trip through LA and MS was quite lovely- check out the map). Why would we willingly visit Oklahoma (albeit only for the night)? Good people and wine, of course!

Brandon’s best friend of many, many (16?) years got married on June 13th and B was the best man.  We drove down Tuesday and Wednesday, spent Thursday and Friday relaxing by the pool and reading (okay, only I did that. Brandon rushed around getting his tux and delivering way overdue senior fundraiser gifts). Friday evening was the rehearsal/dinner, at which newlyweds-to-be Jay and Jen practiced feeding each other cake, with varying degrees of success. 

Meanwhile, Brandon and I practiced posing for the camera. Hey, as the best man, you’re in a lot of photos- you need the practice.

I bravely wore my hair down for the dinner, but I didn’t trust the Texas humidity to take it easy on me for the wedding. Brandon’s fantastic mom and I trekked off early Saturday morning to get my hair done by Huna, an incredibly interesting woman from Pakistan who managed to tame my hair into this:

The wedding was at St. Anne’s, a Houston church that the coordinator said brides ‘die to get married in’. Very beautiful place, which doesn’t come through photos as nicely when one of the church’s Big Rules is no flash photography.

The ceremony began and one of the most adorable ring bearers made his way down the aisle. Interestingly, the groomsmen/groom waited at the altar while the bridesmaids came down the aisle- I’ve never been to that kind of wedding before.

This was the best (not blurry mess) photo of Jen & her dad that I could get.

The gang’s all here! Including that pesky woman who also wanted to take photos. You can’t tell in the photo, but the bridesmaids had very pretty olive green dresses (think this color) and darker orange-red bouquets.

After the wedding (you guessed it!) came a ton of photos. Here’s Brandon taking a break from BM duties to ham it up with me.

And his family! (B, mom, dad, Austin-of-the-welcoming-smile)

The reception was further north at a very posh country club. Delicious food (chicken/fish/roast beef & all the extras), endless wine (see?), and dancing.

Fairly traditional reception- the couple danced, mom/groom, bride/dad danced, everyone did the Hokey Pokey. And then there was cake! A lovely white for Jen and (to the right in the photo below) a groom’s cake in the style of a baseball field (Jay is a huge Astros fan, which I’ve graciously forgiven him for).

Then Brandon had to fulfill his final role (after throwing a bachelor party and being photographed a hundred times) and join MOH Patricia in toasting the couple.

Brandon’s toast was excellent- short, simple, funny, sappy- and with a genuine “Live Long and Prosper” to conclude. He also looks about ten times less nervous than I would feel in his shoes.

Cue some champagne, cake-for-all, more dancing and wine– and all before 5pm!

Best wishes to the beautiful, happy, intelligent couple (oh, and Jay & Jen too)!

You know, some statistics say that 50% of all marriages end in divorce, but I prefer my stats:

States visited: 8 (MO, KS, OK, TX, LA, MS, AR, TN)
Miles driven: 2,335
Average MPG: 37-38–  <3 the Corolla!
Cute golden retrievers playd with: 1
Puns created: at least 6 (including one of my best- Wichitalkin’ about Kansas?)
People wed: 2
Adorable photos taken: Too many to count. Here’s one of my absolute favorites from the week:



  1. Brandon's mom says

    Mandy, the pictures are almost as great as the blog! And almost as adorable and you are! Brandon, she is a prize!!! Love, MOM

    June 20th, 2009 | #

  2. Lee Janda says

    Brandon and Amanda are too adorable for words! Brandon looks just like his beautiful mom. Looks to me like another wedding may be in the works?? Thanks for sharing this lovely blog. . . . Oh, and best wishes to the new married couple!

    June 20th, 2009 | #

  3. Barb says

    Love the pics! All were cute and LOVED the last one. You guys are too cute! Loved the blog and happy you liked mine. Thanks for sharing your trip stories because I know I will never get there. Love to you and Brandon too!

    June 22nd, 2009 | #

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