July 29, 2016

Wedding Highlight Reel

It took me six years to edit together this short highlight reel, and another four years to remember to post it here. The soundtrack is one of our favorite sappy songs—it was true when I’d known Erica for two years and it’s even more true after ten years of marriage.

December 19, 2006

Thank you

Thank you front - Mustapha and Parker

We kept extending our deadline -- first the end of August, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving -- but I am proud to say that we got all our wedding thank you notes written before Christmas. We're done! And I'm happy to say that we both wrote on every note -- we're in the marriage together, we should thank people for the presents together, we figure.

It's really been brought home to us during this whole wedding process that Chicago postal service is terrible -- so if you don't get a thank you note from us, let us know and we'll get another one out to you, lickety split. We want you to know our gratitude.

And a final "thank you" is due to Kate O'Leary, who drew the illustrations that we used for the front and back (above and below, respectively) of the thank you card.

Thank you back - Latte

September 25, 2006

Mr. Gerdes, Miss Reid exchange vows

Vicksburg Post, September 10, 2006Just as I was ignorant of the fact that we needed to post our engagment annoucement in Erica's hometown paper, I didn't realize that the wedding report was also very important. But a phone call from Erica's parents telling us that dozens of people around town had been asking when it would be in the paper prompted us to get off our duffs and fill out the extensive form. (What did our tea girls wear? Did we have tea girls?) In any case, we got it filed just under the deadline and it was printed in the Sunday, September 10 edition of of the Vicksburg Post. We just got a copy and if you click on the little image it'll pop-up into a larger, more readable copy.

August 24, 2006

The Band: R. Buzzy

R. Buzzy

We got a lot of compliments on the band at the wedding. Rightly so -- I've been a fan of those guys since I booked Honest Engine (Matt and Phil and wassisname) at the Guru Java Coffeehouse so many years ago. These days Matt and Phil and Paul are R. Buzzy and they're better than ever.

When the guys showed up at the space they warned me that I had booked R. Buzzy, but that they had added Paul's brother Jim on guitar and learned a lot of cover tunes, so I shouldn't expect the same RB I knew and loved. Fortunately, WeddingBandRuthBuzzy rocks just as hard (and as fun) as RegularRuthBuzzy.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that you can get their last CD, Mission Statement, for the bargain price of $10. Also, the band will be playing a show tonight (Friday, August 24) at Cal's (400 S Wells) and Elbo Room (2871 N Lincoln in Chicago) on Friday, September 22, 2006.

I was sad that I was so busy during the wedding that I couldn't just sit and listen (or dance and listen) to all the stuff the band was playing. After the jump, the complete set list (including all of of Jim's just-for-the-band notes):

Continue reading "The Band: R. Buzzy" »

August 18, 2006

Why Pirates?

Wedding Pirates

If you looked through the thousands of wedding photos we posted, you may have noticed a recurring image: pirates.

What, you may well ask, is up with that?

It goes like this: Erica has a lot of friends. A lot of close, personal friends. But she didn't want to be one of those Southern Belle brides with eleven hot-pink-clad bridesmaids lined up behind her. So after agonizing over who to ask, she asked Rebecca, Rebecca, and her brother to be her bridal party. She also knew she'd be relying a lot on her friends Leslie and Mel. "They'll be around all the time," she said, "they'll be my... entourage." She also wanted to involve her old Jackson friends Erica and Sara. But they both live in New York now, so they wouldn't be able to be there for a lot of the pre-wedding stuff. "I'm sure they'd be happy to help in any way they can," I said, "They can be wedding pirates and pillage the reception."

Sara and Erica were happy to help out, and their role shifted to something much more like a traditional usher. But we remembered my off-the-cuff remark and when I was making a crayon order from Oriental Trading, I did a search for "pirate" out of curiosity. Holy cow. In a way, we're lucky I showed such remarkable restraint in only getting plastic swords and eye patches and temporary tattoos and gold coins and fake mustaches.

So, we didn't have a pirate-themed wedding, but we did have a pirate accent. And it makes all the sense in the world.

August 15, 2006

Photos by Fuzzy Gerdes


I'd been craving a mid-sized camera for a while -- I have a fancy, but big, camera and a tiny one (most people call it a spy-camera when they see it) that I can carry everywhere, but it doesn't always take the best pictures. I wanted a pack-of-cards sized camera that I could slip in a pocket, but that would have some manual controls so I could take long exposures, etc. All this is to say that Erica gave me a very nice Sony W100 for a wedding present, so I had it in my tuxedo pocket all day and took some shots when I could. I am, in fact, incorrigible.

August 14, 2006

Photos by James Trevenen

Erica and Fuzzy

Here it is -- the big kahuna -- the set of photos by the official photographer, James Trevenen. James took over 800 photos and we were able to whittle it down to a barely manageable 321. (Remember to take water breaks if you try to browse through the whole set.) (But, I figure, if you can't be self-indulgent with your wedding photos, when can you?)

I'm guessing that these will be the ones that friends and family will want prints of, so here's how you get copies:

  • Sign up for a free Flickr account, if you don't already have one, and then when you view pictures in the set (or any of my pictures, for that matter) you'll see a button labeled "order prints" along the top of the photo. You can have the prints shipped to you or pick them up at a local Target.
  • Or, drop me a line and I'll burn you a DVD (or several CDs) of all the wedding pictures and you can do whatever you like with them -- get prints made at your local photoshop or Walgreens, use them as your desktop wallpaper, etc.
  • Or, if you really can't figure out how any of that works, there's a number in parentheses under each of the pictures in that set. Let me know the numbers and I'll send you prints.

Easy enough? Yay!

August 10, 2006

Photos by Kate O'Leary

Kate O'Leary, my Best Person, has posted a set of blurry (her word) photos from the wedding.

August 9, 2006

Photos by Don Gerdes


Here's a set of photos from my dad that starts at the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, goes through the wedding, and then continues with the post-wedding brunch we had on Sunday.

August 8, 2006

Photos by Rebecca Rine-Stone


Years ago, I coached Rebecca Rine-Stone (back when she was just Rebecca Rine) in an improv group at The Playground. Years ago, Erica and Rebecca got so tired of people asking if they were sisters that they wrote a two-woman sketch comedy show about it. Last week, Rebecca did all the flower arrangements for our wedding AND was in Erica's bridal party. And still had time to take some lovely behind-the-scenes pictures.

Photos by Karl Ahlrichs


That "everyone has their own digital camera" paradigm I mentioned? My cousin Karl, award-winning photographer and former stringer for the AP, subverted that notion by bringing his own disposable camera and handing it to me as he headed out the door. I present you with the entire set of 23 images, unedited, to give you the flavor of one person's experience of our wedding day.

The Coloring Book

When I went out to the Phoenix Improv Festival this last April, one of the nifty things in our welcome bags was a coloring book featuring work by members of Phoenix improv groups illustrating all the visiting groups. When Erica and I were thinking of what kind of wedding favor we'd like to give our guests, we thought of the coloring book. We deciding to ask our many artistically-talented friends (and nepotisically, ourselves) to draw pictures of, or inspired by, us.

Our friends blew us away. So many wonderful drawings. Such creativity. So many cakes.

If you didn't get a copy at the wedding, I'll be posting the pictures after the jump. Or you can download a copy: if you just want to look at the pictures, here's a 6.5 MB PDF. If you want to print out your own copy, here's a different 6.5 MB PDF with the pages in the right order for printing on both sides of letter paper and then folding into a half-size booklet.

And now, on to the pictures:

Continue reading "The Coloring Book" »

Photos by Alex Farlow


In the olden times of the 90s, clever people would set out disposable cameras so that their wedding guests could capture the experience of the wedding from a dozen different prespectives. Here in the aughts, I assumed (correctly, I think) that a significant proportion of our guests would be bringing their own digital cameras. So I asked in the wedding program for people to send us (via email or on CD) copies of the pictures they took. Some people made it even more immediate and just handed me their memory cards at the brunch on Sunday to copy.

So here's photos from the first of those on-the-ball-friends, Alex Farlow. Thanks, Alex.

Photos by Christopher and Katie Reid

Christopher and Erica

If you followed the link to Erica's brother Christopher's extensive post about the wedding below, you'll have already seen some of these pictures, but I wanted to highlight that he has a nice set of pictures that he and his wife, Katie, took during the wedding weekend.

August 7, 2006

Our Ceremony

The text of the ceremony was a collaboration between ourselves and Sara McGuire, our officiant. We all got together and looked at structures of traditional weddings and decided what was important to us (e.g. making promises to each other) and what wasn't (say, having a separate declaration of our intention to get married). Sara came up with a draft ceremony and then Erica and I traded emails further refining it. And this is what we came up with:

Welcome family, friends, and fans of these two most wonderful people, Erica Reid and Fuzzy Gerdes. We’re all gathered here for their wedding. Erica and Fuzzy’s marriage will ultimately depend on them, but a marriage is strongest when it has the support and encouragement of the couple’s family and community.

David and Tricia, do you offer your support and blessing to Erica and Fuzzy?

David and Tricia:
We do

Don and Rachael, do you offer your support and blessing to Erica and Fuzzy?

Don and Rachael:
We do

Those gathered here today, if you would offer your support and blessing to Erica and Fuzzy, chime in with a “we do” now.


Those of you who have chairs can now be seated.
(At this time chair is placed for Sara, and Erica and Fuzzy and Sara switch places)

Mawridge. Mawridge is what bwings us togewver. (Pause for laughter.) Marriage is a solemn vow between two people, a religious ceremony and a civic event. But it is not just those things, it is also a celebration of love and friendship. It is the rolling laughter for no apparent reason, the prick of tears from the swelling of heart, and the joining of two souls to create something new, a kind of love that has never existed before these two people met. WE are here today to say Yes, it is there. Yes, it is yours, and yes the sky is full of dreaming for you. Marriage is a bond between two, a joining of families, and a celebration of all that is joy.

And what two better people to show us the expression of love and friendship. People who can talk very seriously about monkeys, pirates, and ancient celebrations all in the same breath and none are surprised that the conversation makes absolute sense. People who feel so deep that they are overwhelmed by tears, and in the next moment can make you laugh so hard that you are crying! People like Erica and Fuzzy. Let me speak for everyone here when I say we are honored to know you, love you deeply, appreciate you for who you and are proud to be here today.

So. Y’all are ready for this now right? Lets make some promises, and exchange vows and rings. Erica, are there any promises you’d like to make to Fuzzy?

My dearest Fuzzy, from this day forward I choose you to be my beloved husband. To live with you, laugh with you, stand by your side, and sleep in your arms. I promise to support you in every way, to encourage you, and to do my best to make all of your dreams come true. I will be faithful to you always, and love you with all of the love in my heart and soul. You are my best friend and my greatest love, and I am excited to see what the future holds for us. Together, we can do anything and everything! I love you so much.

Fuzzy, are there any promises you’d like to make to Erica?

My sweet Erica, from this day forward I choose you to be my beloved wife. To live with you, laugh with you, stand by your side, and sleep in your arms. I promise to support you in every way, to encourage you, and to do my best to make all of your dreams come true. I will be faithful to you always, and love you with all of the love in my heart and soul. You are my best friend and my greatest love, and I am excited to see what the future holds for us. Together, we can do anything and everything! I love you the most.

Can we have the rings? (The best lady and dude of honor bring forward the rings.) Rings are a perfect symbol for perfect love and devotion, having neither beginning nor end.

Do you accept this ring as my promise?

I do

Do you accept this ring as my promise?

I do

Your feet shall dance because of the other, your eyes will open and see a new world because of the other, your minds think, your hearts leap, your laughter boom, and your souls know love, because of the other.

At this time, in front of God, your family and friends, by the power of YOUR love, and by the authority vested in me by Dorothy Brown, the Clerk of Cook County, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

Y’all can kiss now.

Accounts of our wedding have been greatly exaggerated

While we get our wedding memories and photos in order, other people have written about the day and so you can read what they've had to say...

Christopher Reid (and a picture)
Devin Savage
Faelyn McGuire
Justin Kaufmann
Katie Waldie Reid
Margaret Hicks
Trent Wilson
Tricia Reid (and more and more)

July 30, 2006

Open Scrapbook

Wow! What a great time the wedding was! (Sorry about the 1000° weather.) There's so much to say and share... and we're going to be gone for a week honey-mooning, so it's unlikely we're going get any photos or anything up here until we get back. But please use the comments of this post to share wedding memories, well-wishes, etc.

(Thanks to Lawrence for yet another good idea.)