Ten years ago today, I wed Clifford Stanislas Geiselmayr in a little white church at the bottom of a mountain near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was probably the best weekend of my life and not just because I was marrying that silly South African I met the second day of orientation, but because I was surrounded by love, not just Clifford’s, but our families’ and our friends’ as well.
I wanted to write this amazing post dedicated to our day, divulging every detail, but words really can’t articulate what I want to say. When I think back to that weekend and our wedding day, my heart just fills – with what? I can’t really explain. It just fills…
I thank God for my now brother-in-law who documented the whole weekend because it was such a whirlwind that when it was all over, I couldn’t remember much at all. Thanks to him, I have proof that it wasn’t a dream. And pictures do say what words can’t convey.
So with that said, I’m going to give you the Cliffs Notes version of events. It’s the version that my Cliff would prefer anyway.
There was a rehearsal.
There was a rehearsal dinner. With a lamb roast. It was an all day affair.
The Big Day.
Stranded and forgotten on the mountain top. Saved by my father-in-law. Late to my own wedding.
The shortest ceremony in all Creation. (it was seriously like 10 minutes in all – there were witnesses and I’m sure my dad was looking at his watch, so he can probably verify it. It’s fine, the preacher had to get to a Tennessee game anyway. He had season tickets.)
So it happened. The wedding party was thrilled …
Then we had the reception back at the lodge. The top floor for dancing, the main floor for food and the bottom floor for football. No matter your interest, there was something for you. So we ate, and we laughed, and mingled. Then it was time to cut the cake.
Now I’m going to pause for a second in my visual narrative because the cake cutting really shouldn’t be a Cliff Note.
It was time to cut the cake and feed each other. It’s tradition. Clifford was totally adorable. He was smiling so much and just so full of joy (which is not a thing ANYONE would EVER accuse my husband of being). He knew nothing about feeding the cake to each other. Every little thing about getting married was totally new to him. Bless his heart …
We cut the cake together and he carved out a small piece to feed me first. It was one of the sweetest moments I have ever shared with Cliff. Anyone that knows him, knows he’s not one for sentimentality, or feelings, or caring about anything in general really, but this moment he was so engaged and so happy. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I ate the cake he fed me, smiling back at him adoringly. He looked down at me all starry eyed and glowing. Then he opened his mouth for me to feed him in return.
Now, I readily admit I am probably a very wretched wretched human being for what I was about to do, but I’d made a promise to myself when I was a girl that no matter who I married, this was going to happen. So know that if I’d married you, I would have done the same damn thing.
I took the cake and held it up to him. He leaned in … then I smashed it in his face. And then I smeared it all around after I smashed it. Clifford was STUNNED. He just looked at me with the most stricken expression I’d probably ever seen him wear. Everyone was laughing. After a moment, he laughed, too, but he kept giving me a look like what the hell? He never saw it coming. It was priceless. But because I love him, I leaned up and kissed him, getting it on my face, too.
I think the part that sealed it for me was when we were cleaning our faces in the bathroom. There was purple icing everywhere (I was going through a purple phase – don’t judge). As we were wiping things down, Clifford looked at me. He’s only given me sad puppy dog eyes once in my life and this was it. The saddest, most pathetic puppiest of puppy eyes were on me as he said, in his little South African accent, “Why would you do that to me? I don’t understand.” I just can’t with this one!
I started laughing all over again. He looked even more confused. I explained to him it’s a thing. It’s a tradition to feed the cake and shove it in their face. I watched his eyes as he was trying to process what I was saying and then as understanding set in. “Oh.” He began to laugh. Then he laughed harder.
Clifford, suddenly not laughing: “But wait, then why did I go first? Because I didn’t know…”
Me: “Because you didn’t know.”
Continuing on with the abridged version of events.
Did I mention Stylist Extraordinaire may have had a DANCE OFF with my dad? …. Yeah. They did – and to all who know my dad, seriously, they did.
It had finally come to an end. My last memory of our wedding reception was walking to Chelle’s cabin with my husband in tow. We were staying there for the night. As we peered through the sliding glass doors to the bottom level of the lodge. There was my father, Clifford’s father, and my uncle opening another bottle of wine. It was 3AM.
And that’s what happened ten years ago today. I love you Clifford Stanislas Geiselmayr.