The end of a year often comes with thoughts of the great cool things that we might actually (and possible not ever) do in the coming year. It is seen as a time to move forward and plan new goals. Before I do the traditional goal setting I want to reflect on one of the many things that has happened to me over the course of this last year. While it might be hard to find one thing to talk about, for me I only need to look to October 8th…
I Got Married
Huan Zhu and I had been dating since November 29th of 2009. We had spent both time together and apart and had decided in April that we wanted to make sure that all of our future time was together. This is what we had been working toward since that night in November when I had given her our first kiss goodnight. October 8th of 2011 was the date where we proclaimed our love to our friends and family and it is easily the highest point of my 2011!
In the weeks building up to October 8th, me, Huan, my parents and her parents trumpeted through the stressful wedding planning phases and were able to pull together a wonderful event. The wedding was wonderful and could not have been done without the help of so many. While I can’t list everybody, huge thanks go out to our parents, my brother Ben, Cliff and Kellie McGuiness, Chad and Rachelle McGuiness and Professor Andrew Torrance and family. The wedding was held in a small church in Strafford, MO. (as shown in the following map from google).
The wedding was attended by approximately 50 guests, some of which traveled half way across the country (big hugs to you Marc). Church was decorated with various shades of white and pink which are Huan’s favorite colors, candles and bows. The center of the pews was highlighted by a long red carpet leading from the back doors all the way to the alter. A white unity candle surrounded by flowers. Last but not least, a piano awaiting a bride…
I will of course never forget when the doors opened and Huan stood by her father. This was the first time that I had seen her in her wedding dress, I could not help but smile.
Just before the door was opened for her, a white carpet was layered atop the red walkway and then adorned with rose petrels reflecting our favorite shades of red and white. As Huan walked with her father I could feel her nervousness. She later told me that she was very concerned that she would trip when trying to climb the steps up to the alter. She of course did no such thing and was nothing but grace.
The ceremony went flawlessly and we then took off to the reception which was approximately one mile down the road. We had worked for countless hours the night before setting up the reception hall. Everybody had chipped in to pull it all together. It worked out great!
The front of the room was focused on a single large table that would hold both Huan and I along with our respective parents. Just behind us was a pink and white rainbow of balloons. Each table in the room was coated in white table cloths draping to the floor with spectacular center pieces made by Kellie. The chairs surrounding the tables were draped white and each had a pink bow tied from the back. Huans mother worked so hard to teach me how to tie the bows so that they would be horizontal. To her credit, I was able to do it at the end of the night. Unfortunately, I have already forgotten how to tie them… So sad… I must say though that I do not think it will be a skill that I need all the time. I shall just call on her in the future.
The reception was of course great. My brother did a wonderful job on the food! He had decided to serve up some meatballs along with some other finger foods and some Chinese dishes for the Asian members of our party. Unfortunately, everybody ate the Chinese food before Huan, her parents, or her Asian friends could get to it. It should also be stated that meatballs are one of my more favorite dishes. My father, brother, and Huan’s maid of honor spoke during the event. Each did a wonderful job and brought smiles to the room.
The wedding had been a success! Both Huan and I could not have imagined that it would go so well with so little planning time. Just after the reception, Huan and I followed the photographers to a private countryside pond area to take some more pictures of the two of us. Everything went great and we got some fantastic shots. At the far end of the pond there was an old wood cabin where we wanted to get some pictures. On the way to the cabin, I saw a floating dock and had the crazy idea of me and Huan out in the middle of the pond with pictures taken from the shore. I thought those would be great pictures. The owners of the land graciously allowed us to do this but hooking up a trolling motor to the dock. Unfortunately, shortly after leaving shore the motor died and we were stranded in the middle of the pond with no motor or oar to paddle back with. Luckily, there was a strong wind which pushed us toward an island in the middle of the pond and one of the photographers was able to pass us an oar so that I could paddle us back. That was some of the most difficult paddling that I have ever had to do.
There is of course so much that I could say about so many other aspects of this event. Unfortuanatly, there simply is not the room to do so. I shall leave you with just a few shots of us from the photography session. Again, both Huan and I were extremely happy with the wedding and the reception and want to send our thanks to all who participated!