Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tying the knot

Matt and Vivian Johnson

July 19, 2008

The light of my life, the woman of my dreams, Vivian Marie Taber, you have made me the happiest man on earth today. My lovely fiancée walked down the aisle with her father, and together we walked back down as husband and wife. It's difficult to write a blog entry about the biggest day of my life. I'm at a constant loss for words, but I'll do the best I can.

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We held the ceremony at Twin Valley Church in Bellevue. We had the honor of having my Uncle Ben, a true man of God, perform the ceremony for us. My groomsmen were my brothers Nathan (my best man) and Jonathan, as well as my good friend Mike Duweling. Vivian was accompanied by her maid of honor (and former roommate) Jenny, and her good friends Venche and Tamra. Our ring bearer and flower girl were my cousin Barbara's children, Ben and Shannon. Barbara also played the piano for the ceremony, while Vivian's neighbor Toni sang "The Wedding Song" as we lit the unity candle. It was a beautiful ceremony, and it was quite a thrill to see so many friends and family gathered in one spot to celebrate with us.

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After greeting everyone in the reception line and getting a few pictures taken, Vivian and I headed off to our reception at the Bellevue Social Center, where we got to have our first dance as husband and wife. My cousin-in-law Arlan took the liberty of decorating my car with stickers, funny foam, and toilet paper. I actually wanted someone to do that, which is why I didn't spend too much time hiding my car before the ceremony.

I had hardly eaten all day, so I was famished when it was time to hit the buffet table for dinner. It felt so strange to be first in line without feeling like a pig. We ate and drank some sparkling champagne and got ready for a couple toasts, courtesy of the Best Man and Maid of Honor. Eric also had a surprise tribute song for us that he performed with Micah and Sarah Epperly, a song so sweet I was nearly left speechless when it was time for me to say a few words afterward.

IMG_5783After dinner, of course, came the dancing. Vivian and her father were the first ones to take to the floor, then I got to do a little east coast swing with Donna as Vivian winced and mouthed the words "slowly" from the head table. Then came the dollar dances — the biggest workout I've had on the dance floor to date (and that includes the Jack and Jill competition of 2006). Troy played song after song as Nathan and Jenny collected money from our family and friends. It was amazing to see how many people wound up paying to dance with me, especially guys like Eric, Dean, and Ben. I was sweating through my tux by the end of it all, but I kept on dancing afterward when we opened the floor for everyone else.

When it came time to cut the cake, I found myself at the opposite end of a dozen or more cameras. I suppose it served me right, considering how brazen I am with my little pocket Canon. Donna spent a week or two working on our gorgeous wedding cake, complete with three tiers and hand-made flowers all around. It was delicious, though I only had a small sliver before the dancing resumed.

IMG_5824Vivian and I got to do all the other wonderful wedding traditions, including tossing the bouquet and the garter and doing the chicken dance together. The party wound down relatively early (for us youngsters, anyhow) around ten o'clock, so Vivian and I changed into our getaway clothes and made our escape. I feel such gratitude to all of our friends and family who helped put this together. There are too many people to thank in one posting.
  • Donna, who made such a beautiful wedding cake (and a groom's cake we got to eat after our honeymoon)
  • Eric, Sarah, and Micah who gave us such a wonderful tribute song
  • All the friends who helped decorate the reception hall
  • Jessica Ritchie for doing our video, and Jim Scheifelbein for taking our photos
  • My Uncle Ben for giving us such a beautiful ceremony
  • Toni and Barbara and Micah for their musical accompaniment
  • Everyone who stayed to clean up the dance hall so Vivian and I could enjoy our wedding night (mostly by collapsing in exhaustion).
Vivian and I owe you and everyone else who helped us get here an enormous debt of gratitude. Thank you all for being a part of our lives and sharing this day with us!

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