by Matthew Pedone
This is going WAY back, but bear with me. In 2008, I met the love of my life. She doesn’t remember. Fortunately, I took some initiative and contacted her. We both posted on a certain message board; I responded to one of her posts directly, then became Facebook friends, then AIM friends (AOL Instant Messenger, not Advanced Idea Mechanics, just in case you’re too young to remember the instant messenger, but somehow know villainous organizations in Marvel Comics). Late in 2008, I asked her out, then we got married. Not right away. On a lovely August day in 2014.
Let me tell you, all those people who bitch about planning a wedding? Don’t listen to them. It was a ton of fun. Sure, lots of stress (how hard can it be to find blue aquarium stones?), and expensive, but also just tons of fun. Right from the get-go, we knew we didn’t want to have the "standard" wedding. We wanted our own vows, our own décor, our own flair. And so, we designed pretty much everything for our wedding. We designed our own Save the Date cards and invitations. We planned and assembled our own centerpieces. We built our own card box, chose our own flower arrangements, and picked all of our own music. Our first dance was to Pearl Jam’s cover of Love, Reign O’er Me, because who says the first dance needs to be a slow song? If I could go back and do all of that all over again, I would, in a heartbeat, with almost no changes, though I would have asked our DJ to play Word Crimes instead of Blurred Lines. I also would have like to figure out how to dance better to Love, Reign O’er Me, but I think we did just fine.
Partly due to the amount of work involved planning the wedding, and partly due to weather concerns, we chose to delay the honeymoon instead of flying someplace the very next day. I did take Monday off, and my new wife and I spent the day doing little errands together that we normally couldn’t. Also, relaxing. Our plan was to head to San Francisco in October. We’d initially discussed doing a week in New York City, hitting as many of the fantastic restaurants we’d heard about but had never been to, and just seeing the sights. After a not-so-great experience in the city a couple of years earlier, and with a desire to go someplace just a little more exotic, we decided to go to San Francisco. On the advice of my in-laws, we chose to go in October, instead of August, which also led to a night in Detroit (talk about exotic!). First, we had to get out there, though, so, that’s where this little (well, metaphorically little) travelogue will start, on the evening of October 16th, 2014.