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JD Nikki Beach

Merry Wedding Recap

Hey folks! Hope everyone's having a great holiday season. It's been a month and a half since I last updated so I figured I would check in real fast.

Firstly, I can honestly say that my wedding was fabulous. I don't say that conceitedly either. I say that because all those involved made it as such. It was certainly the best day of my life...and how could it not be? I married the love of my life with most of my family and friends in attendance. I think, given those details, if your wedding day is not the best, or at least, one of the best days of your life then you're probably doing something wrong.

I remember looking out into that crowd and seeing all the familiar faces. I said this last time and I'll repeat it now, it was a literal Who's-Who. It was very...biographical. You just look around and have so many special connections with everyone in attendance. You can't help reflecting on what they mean to you and if applicable, what they've meant to your relationship. Again, all those in attendance were a fabulous support system.

The fun really began two nights earlier at our rehearsal dinner. Father Kevin led the way as he tried to guide 10 groomsmen, 8 bridesmaids, our parents, friends' significant others, family, and certainly one ring bearer and three flower girls. I'm sure that was a bit of a struggle for Father Kevin who had to restore some order along the way. For instance, Ayla and Eliza were playing with the bells that usually ring during the Eucharist and you could see his eyes bulging out of his face. His overall reactions were pretty funny and people got a kick out of him, even if that wasn't exactly the intention, haha.

Following that we had gone to Donovan's Pub, which was right across the street, and had a fabulous dinner in there. The room was split up pretty evenly and, as Wilfredo said, kind of reminded me of Gaston's Tavern from Beauty and The Beast. Even on that night, I looked around and couldn't believe that I was at my own wedding rehearsal.

The day after, Friday, was a bit hectic for us as we had to do so many last minute things. You can plan as far as in advance as possible but you can never plan enough. It's like trying to plan for a birthday party x10. Nicole and I ran around like chickens without our heads but luckily managed to do mostly everything we needed to before we parted ways around 3:00. The rest of the night we stayed with our respective families which was rather cool. I had dinner with my parents and then Erica and Victoria came by as they were sleeping over. I also hung out with Ashley and Stephen that night as we grabbed some drinks at the nearby Manor Oktoberfest. My sister even joined us for a little while, which was pretty shocking because she hasn't gone out like that in a long time.

When I had gotten home, I worked on a few more ins and outs and got to bed by 1:00. Not terrible, considering I thought I'd get to bed even later. I remember thinking to myself how crazy it was that I was tying the knot the following day. It was a feeling that I hope I never forget. It was almost like the way you feel on Christmas Eve...but again...that feeling x10.

I'm also happy to report that I actually slept a good six hours. I didn't think I'd sleep at all if I'm being honest, so I exceeded my own expectations. I woke up and actually squeezed in a viewing of Laurel & Hardy's "Our Wife" which had Ollie marrying his sweetheart Dulcey and Stan, of course, was the best man. Rather fitting, I thought. I also fit in a quick listening of Sinatra's version of "Get Me to the Church" aka "I'm Getting Married in the Morning."

I'll never forget even such small details like where I showered. My parents had recently renovated their master bathroom with a beautifully tiled shower stall. As I was showering, again, that feeling of, "Am I really getting married today?" popped up. But it was super exciting and extremely happy feeling. I was on top of the world.

The guys came by in the morning, with Stephen being first, followed by the rest of the gang...Michael (Corrigan), Chris (Corrigan), Jason, Wilfredo, Chris (Maurer), my BIL John, Johnny, Mikey G, Sal, and last but certainly not least, good ol' Richie Parker. Even that moment was kind of surreal, being in my dining room, sharing a toast with my parents, my groomsmen, and even my Godparents (who are more like aunt and uncle), Sal and Teresa. Robbie, our photographer, was also over with his crew and since he knows our family very well (he's married to my BIL's cousin Daniella) he felt more like extra family at the house vs a vendor that you barely know. At the same time this was going on, my bride-to-be was at her parents' house with all her bridesmaids.

Soon after was our church ceremony and I truly enjoyed it. That feeling I got when Nicole was walking down the aisle to me...man...it was pretty awesome. And another part I'll never forget is walking down the aisle after we were officially wed. Just seeing all those flashing lights, smiling faces, and people applauding. Wow, it was super cool.

The same can go for the reception. We saw whomever wasn't at the church, which was actually quite a lot more people. We tried to make as many rounds as we could but it's hard to talk to people in depth, naturally, when you're being tugged in so many different directions. But again, that feeling of seeing those that you really love sitting at tables, mingling, enjoying themselves. It's awesome. That's why I say, the wedding isn't just about you and the love of your life. It's about that support system too and your love for them. At least, that's the way I felt.

Two things I'm elated to say went over so well were as follows. At the church, when the priest asked us to kiss, I brought out a couple of phone books. I gestured for Stephen (my BM) to grab them and then I put them on the altar as we were about to kiss. Part of me thought the joke would bomb but how wrong I was. I turned around and saw every single person in that room smiling and laughing. Mission: accomplished!

The second thing that was rather awesome was our entrance at the reception. I had this idea to come out as Chris Jericho, with his light up jacket and all. I got the inspiration for this over a year prior. It was August of 2013 and I was with the Libertas at the IHOP in Ozone Park. I was talking to Antonio about our proposed entrance for the wedding. I thought we would just have the countdown go and then pose like Jericho and turn around. It was he who suggested I wear the light-up jacket as well and I was game. Over a year later, he not only supported me, but he created the jacket for me! He bought the lights and jewels in Michaels Arts and Crafts store and worked on it for several weeks. When he presented it to me the night before the wedding, I just couldn't believe it! So, fast forward. There were Nicole and I, at our wedding, behind the doors, ready to enter the main hall. First, we heard the Y2J countdown which got a pop from the crowd, especially the wrestling fans. Then we came out, I put the lights on, and Nicole and I posed. Although Nicole didn't have a lightup jacket of her own, she still posed with her back to the crowd and arms outstretched and it looked amazing. We even had belts (me, the WWE WH championship, and Nicole, the Divas championship) on our arms! It definitely got some cheers from the crowd and I think both fans and non-wrestling fans appreciated it. We chose that because whether you follow or not, it's still a pretty cool entrance and you don't have to know Jericho to understand it.

The one thing I will say about a wedding (or anything of that magnitude) that I learned on that day...not everything's going to go your way or as planned. We planned and planned and planned but sometimes, like I said, it may not play out the way you imagined. Examples: 1) At the church, the priest said the readings would be there for our readers. The readings were not. Two of the readers read off of their phones (I had sent them the PDF file just to practice on) while my cousin Alexis didn't have her phone on her so the priest repeated the passage to her, which personally I thought was embarrassing for my cousin but appreciated her going through with it. 2) Again, at church, the florist was supposed to leave us flowers for the Blessed Mother Mary. However, they had already put the flowers by Mary without us realizing it. My brother-in-law shouted, "I think they're already there!" and he was absolutely right. Again, something not according to plan, but oh well. 3) At the reception, the DJ played a video montage of pictures with music. Nicole and I spent hours filtering the pictures and choosing the right ones. There were four folders of photos he was suppose to use (one of Nicole from youth with friends and family, one of me from youth with friends and family, one of the two of us with our mutual friends and family, and then one of us alone) but he only ended up using three...he essentially skipped the folder of us together with mutual friends and family. We were a bit flustered about that. However, I bring ALL of this up because, we both kind of just shrugged it off. What was the sense of getting upset? Everybody was having a grand ol' time and didn't give a crap about some of these minor snags that I'm sure only we noticed anyway. As long as it was a good time, that's ALL that mattered.

After the reception, most people left, but there were a few that were staying overnight at the neighboring hotel, including Nicole and I. Those people included: Kim, Vinnie, Lauren, Mike (Nieves), Ed, Giacomo, Teddy, and Chris M and Steve (though the last two didn't stay overnight they just came to the after-party). That was fun in-and-of itself. Very appreciative to all who joined us at the hotel. We even had Denny's for breakfast the following morning!

The day following the wedding, we spent most of it opening up our various generous gifts from our family and friends and packing for our (almost) two week honeymoon. That was another hectic day that saw us get to bed at an ungodly hour. But, it was totally worth it. The Honeymoon was absolutely fabulous. We stayed two days in California at Disneyland, then we flew to Hawaii where we stayed 3 days on land in Waikiki and then hopped on NCL's Pride of America which cruised around the Hawaiian islands. It was unbelievable and so, so relaxing. We loved it!

And now that brings me to today. It has been a bit of a struggle getting back to reality. For so long, you're in this wedding bubble and then *poof* it disappears. Again, it takes a little while for you to come back down to earth. As stressful as wedding planning could be, I really miss it. It gave me an extra pep in my step knowing that it was approaching. And not just these past few months before the wedding but I'm talking about when we actually booked it. We had 14 months worth of anticipation. In any case, I thank you ALL for taking this journey with us. It was an absolute pleasure. I'll never, ever forget this time in my life for as long as I live.

In some good news, the holidays are here! I hope to update more on this shortly.

Until next time...

-- J[o]n[a]t[h]a[n]

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November 2015

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