The Southerner and I got married last week. Yay!!! We had a beautiful ceremony surrounded by 39 people who love us a lot at a ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana. The Southerner wrote the entire ceremony and we were married by his longtime family fishing guide, a.ka. “spiritual advisor,” Jim. After the wedding, we had a group honeymoon at a cabin in Missoula with our siblings and a few friends.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite moments/highlights:
1. We spent the week before the wedding fishing with the Southerner’s family. While I don’t necessarily recommend going on a fishing vacation a week prior to your wedding since imbibing massive quantities of beer and chicken fried steak don’t exactly flatter your pre-wedding figure, the trip was amazing. On the day that the Southerner and I got to fish with Jim, we hooked a double on dry flies on the Big Horn. The moment meant a lot and solidified for me that we had chosen the right person to marry us. If Jim could guide us toward the fish he was certainly qualified to guide us through our ceremony, right?
2. We got our marriage license at the Big Horn County Courthouse. The process was very easy, and now whenever we fish the Big Horn we’ll get to drive by the courthouse.
3. The Southerner and I karaoked to Johnny Cash and June Carter’s Jackson at our rehearsal dinner. Also, my closest ladies performed a rap about me and the Southerner for the whole crowd. All of these things took balls and love, two things I think we could all use a little more of in life.
4. We had a fire dancer at our rehearsal dinner. Jim mentioned to me and the Southerner that a fire dancer lived close to where we were having the dinner and did we want to try to hire her. A fire dancer? Yes, please.
5. My father-in-law made a slideshow with pictures and video from all of the different stages of mine and the Southerner’s lives. Wow. I happy-cried the entire time. It was one of the many moments during the wedding-weekend when I realized how much love and energy people had invested in making us feel special.
6. All of the toasts were amazing. Particularly, when the Southerner’s 15 year-old brother told the crowd that he thought our marriage was really going to work because I was basically “the female version” of the Southerner.
7. I walked down an aisle filled with giant orange balloons to Cat Power’s Sea of Love.
8. During the ceremony, the Southerner’s sister read my favorite quote from Julia Child, “Travel, we agreed, was a litmus test: if we could make the best of the chaos and serendipity that we’d inevitably meet in transit, then we’d surely be able to sail through the rest of life together just fine. So far, we’d done pretty well.”
9. The Southerner made the groomsmen and the dad’s boutonnieres out of orange flies.
10. Jim performed an Indian blessing using sweetgrass and after the ceremony we had everyone throw stones into the creek behind us as they read us their wishes for our marriage. As the first person came up to throw their stone, a fish rose in the creek.
11. Our first dance was a tango that we had been practicing for six weeks prior to the wedding. I think the fact that the Southerner did not drop me during the two dips we had incorporated into our dance says a lot about the future of our marriage.
12. My mom and all the Southerner’s siblings danced to Soulja Boy together. Mom danced to Soulja Boy. Brother J called it “one of the top five moments of my life.”
13. The Southerner surprised me by seating me on a chair in the middle of the dance floor and serenading me to Morphine’s You Look Like Rain.
14. The Southerner’s dad slapped my ass on the dance floor. And then I slapped his.
15. The three shower heads in the master bedroom of our honeymoon cabin in Missoula. Three shower heads in one shower. All pointed towards me.
16. On our way to a girls lunch in Missoula, the Southerner’s 21 year-old cousin used the acronym “fupa” in conversation. “Fupa? What’s a fupa?” I asked, and promptly learned the meaning of a word that has been missing my entire life. I know it’s rude and insensitive, but I plan on using it as much as humanly possible until someone punches me in my fupa.
17. Committing to spend the rest of my life with the Southerner.