One only gets married about one time in his lifetime. Indeed a special occasion. Its a time of romance, of love, of family, of white dresses, people throwing rice (Condolisa ?) and more. But what happens if 2 cyber citizens get married ? What happens if you get a ceremony that had an intense digital coverage AND is connected to the internet about 24 hours a day ? Well .. Then you get this : An extensive digital diary .. Of a wedding.
- 6.00 AM : Good morning Groom-To-Be. After burning the midnight oil to get all the preparations done last night , my alarm clock rings. I'm amazingly chipper and drudge downstairs for the complementary cup of cappuchino, just so my morning mood does not feel lonely. The cat complains extensivly because I can't let him go outside. As we leave on our honeymoon tomorrow, he will have to check into a cats – hotel. To prevent him going "AWAL" just before we have to check him in.. I'll just ground him for the day. The first task of the day is : Uploading a long overdue podcast ! Its a shame how the preparations for the wedding have screwed up my podcasting schedule. Oh well. At 7 am the podcast is live and I am relieved to have another show out. My bride to be is amazingly calm. She got up about half an hour ago and is in her morning routine of doing some ironing and stuff. Aside from all the fancy glasses standing on the counter .. you would not realy say its a special day today 🙂 My first digital bump occured when my cellphone died. Battery deprivation syndrome never comes at a good time. So a mad dash for the charger and some power forcefeed should help that out. Next up is checking the digital camera(s) and preparing the Iriver (mp3 recorder) for the event. Make sure everything is nicely wired away into the background but ready to fire at a moments notice. The first guests should arive in about two hours and i do still have a bit of stuff to do (sign some 30 something wedding cards). But .. first its cappuchino time !
- 8 Am : 0.0.0.0 destination host unreachable ! : Oh Oh ! Trouble in Lalaland. TODAY (of all days) my adsl router is acting up BADLY. Dropping connection with the internet , not reconnecting, not responding to pings. Its NOT good ! Thanx to the neighbours free wifi i'm able to get this up. Darn ! Of all the days WHY today. I'm not nervous about the wedding, its just my digital coverage that is lies in the balance. Live happily ever after : Sure . but not without a broadband line ! Meanwhile the tables are setup outside. Yes I know our concrete deck looks like a scene straight out of Armageddon , but we are going to fix that up this summer. Meanwhile Nyana is being the celeb-of-the-day as se is sighning the great wedding cartoon cards to pass out to people who come and have a peek at city hall. After I sign the cards of I feel like a celeb too.
- In loving memory of those not here. As I ramp up the gear in firing mode and double check all the battery levels, its time to pause and think of those who cannot be here today. My dad died about a year ago after losing the battle with "captain Cancer" and I know he would have loved to be here. But knowing him his spirit will probably be around all day. Just in case i'll put the tour de france on on TV and leave the remote on the couch. It used to be his favorite passtime and he would not miss that for the world. So have a seat and enjoy dad :).
- 9.00 Am : Here come the paparazzi : After I dive into the shower I rush upstairs to put on my wedding suit. As I ravage through my underwear drawer a sly smile creeps across my face. What boxer-short or briefs do I get married in ? The answer screams me in the face. Big black letters saying : “ Looks hot but Feels cool “ printed on a bright orange silk underground. Yep : The boxer-short from hell, once bought for me as a prank gift by Nyana and her sister. It is so hideous that Nyana swore I was never allowed to wear it again. I think they are perfect for the occasion. So a few minutes later I’m in my very formal and serious wedding suit with a bright orange secret underneath 🙂 Nyana will have kittens on our first night as man and wife :). I’m barely done when the doorbell rings. Nyana’s youngest sister and her boyfriend are the first to arrive. Rudy who volunteered to be the official wedding photographer promised he would be the first to get there. He also doubles as the provider of the ceremonial car that the happy couple can drive to city hall. As he is the owner of a very nice BMW Z3 convertible AND a black belt in tae Kwon Do … I know better then to object. As i open up the door I'm amazed at the beautifully decorated car that he drove all the way from Leuven to Hasselt. On the freeway He and Anneleen got a lot of thumbs up and happy hunks from people who mistook them for a married couple. Hilarious !
9.30 Am : Here comes the gang. As family starts to pour in, I get the distinct feeling our house would not be big enough for 20 people, thank god only two of them are the actual residents. Nyana’s mom arrives with the wedding bouquet and I have to make sure to apprehend it myself before she (in all her eagerness) gives it to the bride to be. My best-woman arrives and I give her the frodo-esque task of being the ring-bearer until we reach the city hall of mordor. Time is pressing and my bride is waiting at the top of the stairs. As photogs take tactical positions at the top and the bottom of the stairs … Nyana comes downstairs and makes her formal entrance. She looks beautiful and we have to kiss at least three times before all the shots are in the can 🙂
11.00 Am : Traffic control : Tower is clear. We rush everybody outside and I start directing everybody into their cars. My next important mission is : lead this caravan through the heart of Hasselt. I wish I had a siren and some flashlights , but a Beamer convertible with red roses all over the place does attract enough attention as it is. With the precision that would make the traffic controller at LA-X blush I wave and shout and before it know it .. we are off.
- 10.15 AM : arrival ! We run at least ONE red light in the process but arrive on time at city hall. Parking the par
ade is proving to be a tad difficult thanx to some semi autistic public servant that insists the cars be parked in a certain (but impossible) fashion. As I point out that the laws of physics do not allow a 1.5 meter wide Jag to be parked in a 1.3 meter wide space between two solid concrete blocks, he foams at the mouth .. and agrees with me. We rush everyone into city hall and wait for Nyana’s grandmother to levitate to the appropriate level using the wheelchair elevator at the back of city hall. Thus she makes her entry a little later then the rest and I swear , it makes her look like the emperor from Star wars 🙂 everybody is standing when she is being rolled in. quite majestically !
- 10.16 : Crunch time. Before you know it .. its over : Before you know it .. its over : Two very eager and nervous members of the town council preform the ceremony. We sit down and they start right away , droning down the formal text with their own personal improvisations along the way. As they wish us lots of offspring the entire city hall snickers and wait for me to make my classic ovary joke. ( Luckily I don’t) . As we exchange rings I go for the bigger ring to give to Nyana. The council member tries to correct me , but she is ignorant to the fact that my fingers are thinner then Nyana’s. So the rings go on the right way round and its a very touching moment. We are declared man and wife .. applause and the classic : “you may kiss the bride” As I kiss my wife for the first time, Rudy feigns a misfire with his camera and lets us kiss FOUR MORE TIMES until being satisfied with the shot. As we all congratulate each-other the council member looks at her watch .. cause the next happy couple is loaded in the chamber.
- Listen to the wedding ceremony (MP3.)
- 10.30 : Man and wife. We go outside for the formal picture – taking of everybody and its a very chaotic scene 🙂 As we walk to the car , the next happy couple is already waiting in line. The brides puffed face, the grooms claustrophobic expression and the two bridal-brats cramped up on the front seat , make me realize we where lucky to have a convertible all for ourselves. Suddenly another paparazzi jumps us , notebook in hand , to ask us some questions. Its the reporter for the local ‘good news” section in the paper. Very official and all that. He asks us some questions and wants to take a picture… only to come to the conclusion .. that he has been hit by battery deprivation syndrome : No juice in tha caboose ! I offer him our website where he can download plenty of shots of the event, but he insists on coming by LATER to pop the official shot.
- 10.45 : Hey everybody ! We are married. Hey everybody ! We are married. As we leave city hall under the fuming glaze of the next couple in line, a little mistake in Nyana’s infallible GPS sends us through the heart of Hasselt, the very heart ! So we have to take our Beamer through the main shopping street, the main restaurant corner and all around the causeway. Many many people almost hang out of their passenger window to catch a glance of bride and groom to be. I’m proud to have such a lovely wife .. but feel like a dressed up version of Ken in his Z3. Come on barbie ! Lets go home.
The Rest of the pictures can be found HERE.
- And after that : A great party with a select group of people. One of the greatest things is mingling people around across a table , that never met each-other before and see how well they get it off. My mother in law, sisters in law and the two of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Getting everybody drinks, food and so forth. Meanwhile my ‘please dump smartcard here’ setup of the Macbook starts to work. As people give me their digital camera’s we upload the pictures straight away to Flickr and let get them posted on the site too. A local copy of the pictures is used as screen-saver and before you know it : Instant gratification. A Skype call from Sebastian and Dave of the GGP brings us best wishes and the sitestats show that nosy people are already checking everything out on Flickr..At about three o’clock the newspaper guy comes back with a ha
ppyly charged digicam. He asks us the standard questions where we mett and stuff like that , because he needs some padding for the picture. So its time to take ANOTHER formal wedding shot and let the dude plug the site in the newspaper. Meanwhile my little idea of letting everybody dump their digital flashcards in my macbook and uploading them straight to Flickr is doing very very well. You can find all the pictures of the event on the flickr site. And thats about it. Before you know it the day is over and I must say : Its been wonderfull. My eagerness to cover the event digitally has left me with a ton of pictures video and audio to get through .. So i hope you enjoyed this little snippet so far. I'm off to pack my suitcase and dive into my honeymoon with my ever so lovely wife !