Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Playing With Our Wedding Band

We had a band at our wedding instead of a DJ (which is another story for another day). When we decided on a band, though, Pete said that he really wanted to play with them on our day. He plays guitar in a garage band (that, unfortunately, doesn't get out of the garage).

When we were booking the band, I asked if Pete could play with them. Of course, they said yes and let him pick the song. They hadn't rehearsed together ever; they were planning on winging it.

I asked them one other favor. Ever since I met Pete, he had told me his dream guitar was a Gibson Les Paul Standard. I didn't know what that meant, really, but I made sure to memorize the words. And, before our wedding, I bought Pete his dream guitar as a wedding gift. But he didn't know. I asked the band if they wouldn't mind setting that guitar up with their equipment, along with Pete's current guitar that he brought and packed himself. Both guitars sat on stage, waiting for the reveal.

Now that you know the backstory, Pete makes his blog debut to tell you his story ... 

Talk about not being able to take a hint. I'll just blame it on the seemingly endless stream of alcohol that flowed from the hands of the guests at our wedding. I mean, I knew I was going to be playing a rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Pride & Joy" for Lisa with the wedding band, but I had no idea when. Honestly though, even if I knew when, I still wouldn’t have been prepared. This was our wedding! I mean, I had come to the conclusion years ago that weddings were something that other people did, but not me! As far as I was concerned there wasn’t a woman on this earth who would put up with me.

But here I was, spinning around at a wedding where I was the groom, being pulled hither and thither by screaming guest after screaming guest in a blur of laughter and screams of joy. But beneath it all ran a raging river of anxiety over the fact that I was going to be getting up on stage to play a song of devotion for my dream-angel-inspiration-too-good-to-be-true-but-actually-is (aka Lisa), and doing it in front of about 100 people who I loved and adored, and who had never even seen me play guitar!

At this point almost a year later, I remember it going down like this (as I pull the memory from the long term storage bank in my mind):

I was in the lounge across from the ballroom, laughing, drinking, and clanking bottles, one uproarious "CHEERS!" after another, hugs, sweating, laughing, having six conversations at once, a blur of a face here, a face there, then someone calls my name, and I spin to see another face, then POW!

I snapped out of it when Lisa grabbed my arm and told me the two words that made the reality of all of this as real as it could possibly get: “You’re on!” As Lisa lead me to the stage by my hand I’m thinking, "Wait…what…now? But I can’t go on cold. I was gonna warm up first ... "

Then screams of joy, people yelling my name, applause, blinding neon lights. I’ve got my shades on, I’m totally overstimulated, don’t know where to look, what’s happening or what is even supposed to be happening. Then I’m handed my guitar.

"But wait that’s not my guitar," I thought. "It’s a freakin' Gibson LES PAUL!" And then I noticed a note hanging from it. It read: Happy Wedding Day! Love, your wife.

"Wow," I thought. "Lisa asked the band if I could borrow a Les Paul to play! Man, that’s my dream guitar. How’d she know? She’s a woman; women remember everything, especially Lisa."

With an ear to ear grin, I threw the Les on my back -- the feel, the sound, the slim and smooth rosewood neck -- wow. I just savored it, was immersed in it so deeply I didn't see the blinding lights, I didn't hear the screaming and cheering. I was snapped out of it by the guitarist.

"Hey man," he said. "You want me to take the intro and you take the solo?"

Time resumes. The screaming, the lights, the anxiety, it all comes fading back in. "Yea man, sure!" I said. And we’re off and running, cold, no warm up, with the blind hope that my fingers will do what I taught them on their own.

When the song was over, I wasn’t quite sure what had just happened. I could have sworn I just played SRV with the wedding band, but it felt like it was a dream. I wandered into the crowd of guests and was hugged innumerable times. I recall a voice in the crowd saying, "That was great! I didn't even know you played guitar!"

Then Lisa materialized out of the crowd and said, "You know that’s your guitar, right?"

Mine? I thought. My reply was something to the effect of ,“Yeah, mine to play for that song."

"No," said Lisa. "Yours to take home. Forever. That's your guitar. Happy wedding day."

Then it started to sink in, and as it did I felt my soul being apprehended by shock, like I couldn’t reconcile what Lisa had just said with the possibility that I actually now possess my dream guitar, the guitar I’ve only been so lucky to touch and play briefly in so many guitar shops, only to think to myself as I put it back on the rack, "Wow that guitar is perfect, too bad I’ll never afford one."

Then my head fell onto Lisa’s shoulder, and I wept as I thought to myself, "How did I get so lucky? The perfect guitar and the perfect woman. Man I don’t deserve this ... "

BRIDAL BABBLE: What did you think of Pete's first post?


  1. This post has me in tears. Tears are just streaming down my face. I am considering this to be my official favorite post EVER on ABOAB. So many times, you get to hear how the women feel after their wedding. But seeing a guy open up about his feelings on his wedding is something that you don't see very often. The love that Pete has for Lisa is so beautiful and so deep. I love this post so much and love seeing the pictures from your wedding all the time!

  2. What an amazing way to start your life together. Now that is a priceless moment!

  3. I love this. Not many men open up about how they feel about ANYTHING. I really enjoyed reading about a man's perspective of his wedding.

  4. And now I'm crying. What an awesome story! You guys are so cute! Pete's first post is dynamite!

  5. What a fantastic post. Great memories all around!

  6. What a perfect wedding gift. You can tell he appreciated it as much as you thought he would!

  7. Love this story! Made my day for sure! Such a beautiful thing when a man can be so open with his feelings.

  8. omg, so beautiful. Dreams coming true, professions of love, plus it's so cool!