Well, I finally got rid of my little brother Ives two weeks ago. After 35 (almost 36) years, he finally found someone who can put up with him long enough to marry him. All jokes aside, Aimee is a wonderful woman with great family and friends. My brother seems very content now and is lucky to have her. I just hope Aimee knows what she's getting...
Aimee and Ives had the wedding in Evanston, a suburb just north of Chicago and the home of Northwestern University. This was the first time I'd been to Evanston. It's a cute town, right on Lake Michigan. I see now why my Northwestern alumni friends really like it there. We stayed at the Hotel Orrington, which was centrally located, so we could walk everywhere.
The rehearsal and the wedding were very nice. My brother has a habit of getting teary on days ending in y and was a mess at my wedding so long ago. Of course, his wedding was no exception. At the rehearsal dinner, he choked up while handing out gifts, but I do give him and Aimee credit for holding it together during the ceremony itself (although it looked like they came close to losing it.)
As the best man, I gave a short toast (4 min, 30 seconds as timed by my friends - I had a reputation for overly-long toasts. Under five minutes is OK...) I was doing fine through the toast, working without notes and was almost done when out of nowhere, my throat constricted and I couldn't speak. I had a a terrified thought that I might dissolve into a teary mess and wouldn't be able to finish, but I pulled it together and got through it. I honestly hadn't seen or felt the surge of emotion coming. Wild.
After my toast, our fraternity brothers (Ives and I were both Kappa Alpha at Stanford) sang Kappa Alpha Rose to Aimee, a tradition at KA weddings. Aimee was a good sport about it, even though she doesn't have the "wealth of golden hair" described in the song (we did change the "eyes of blue" to "eyes of brown" in the song though.) Despite the fact most of us haven't sung the song for 10+ years, it didn't sound terrible (I sent the words to everyone ahead of time as a refresher.)
The boys looked really good in their black suits. Andrew (10) was the ring bearer, and Michael (7) was an "honor guard" along with another little boy. Michael wanted to carry ninja swords to help protect the ring, but Ives wisely demurred.
The weekend was especially fun for me because I got a chance to see tons of family and friends. We had almost all of our cousins, aunts, and uncles from both sides. It's been a long time since I'd seen most of them, and this was the first time I'd met my cousin Alice's husband and daughter. I also went out with my cousin Gary for beers, which was a new experience since the last time I saw him he was still way underage.
Ives and I have a lot of friends in common since we were both in the same fraternity at Stanford (Kappa Alpha) and both worked at Microsoft, plus one of Ives' friends from high school came out. As a result, I knew almost all of his out-of-town guests and had a great time catching up with them all.
Anyway, I wish Aimee and Ives well. I'm looking forward to having nephews and/or nieces soon...