So Friday 11:00AM rolls around. I remember Paul's alarm going off at 7 or 8 or some other ridiculously early hour to wake up (given our circumstances)... but, it was his wedding day, so I'm sure he had plenty of things to do and probably should have woken up then. But he didn't. After a few minutes of annoyance by the alarm, and Paul clearly not waking to it, I shut it off and went back to sleep.
Paul wakes me at 11 and asks me if I want to go with him to pick up a rental car (since his car is pretty banged up from an accident, his dad got it for him so he could run around doing all the last minute things that day). I didn't, I was still tired... so I continued sleeping.
I woke up about 12:30PM and had a bowl of cereal, and shortly after, Paul's brother was going to head over to Paul's house and the church (which happen to be right next to each other). So I got a ride with him over there. Things seemed pretty calm when I got there, though it was clear much was still to be done for the wedding at 7PM. The stress level slowly increased throughout the afternoon though.
It was fun for me, because I didn't really expect to necessarily help out with the wedding or anything, but I was able to a good amount actually. I helped decorate the church by covering some tables, a piano, and pulpit with this silky black cloth, then covering every flat area on that with candles... there were a lot of candles. There was one of these “structures” on each side of the altar. Later, I actually got to light the candles, too... and since that's an “important part of a wedding” (I guess) the photographers took a picture of me doing that. So I'll be in their wedding photos!
Kandie, Paul's wife (well, she wasn't yet...), is really nice. They're a perfect match, which is always a cool thing to see in a couple. Throughout the day I got to meet and know (a little) some of Kandie's family and Paul's friends. It was somewhat funny for me, because the only person I really knew there was Paul. I just met his wife the day of their wedding. :] So there's the fact that Paul and I are really good friends, but I don't really know anyone else... I heard “so you must be Paul's friend from Teen Mania?” many times.
Finally the big moment arrived... 7PM. It was a non-traditional wedding, which was not surprising to me at all. Kandie came down the aisle to a Cranberries song (don't know which one). The preacher and his wife, who were Paul's former youth pastors, performed the ceremony. Dude, the guy looks just like Drew Carey, glasses and everything. It was a lovely ceremony.
Later at the reception I got to talk to “Drew” (preacher). He was a really cool guy, I enjoyed talking to him. He asked real questions which was cool because it was not some corny just-in-passing conversation. He asked how I knew Paul and that got us talking a bit about Teen Mania and my experiences there, as well as what I want to do with my life, etc. I feel if I saw the guy again in 6 months or something, he would actually remember me and come up and talk to me again. Anyway, it was just cool... very personable and easy-going, a good trait for anyone in ministry I'd venture.
what, you thought this was the end? Stay tuned, gang... for Part III!