When I got in bed last night I thought, “Well, Amanda’s not here, so maybe at least I can spread out on the bed tonight.” See, she generally tends to pull all the covers over to her side and I have to grab some of it and turn my whole body to get enough. I missed her anyway.

I got up this morning at about 9:30. Bruce had already abandoned me a little while after I’d let him out earlier in the morning so I woke up all alone. Poor me.  Bonnie Narron, our across-the-street neighbor, called to say there was a really good write up about our church, PC3, in today’s paper, so Bruce and I went over there to get it and talk to Bonnie for a little bit.
I got dressed up- my dark gray producer pants from Express, a blue button-up shirt and a tie. It was already 75 degrees out and, since the wedding of Stephanie Albrecht and Greg Zugrave was at the beach I decided not to wear my jacket.

I got to the beach house where Stephanie and her family were staying right at 1:00 and started taking pictures. Parking was at a premium, so I called Anna Frazelle and asked if somebody could come move my car to their place, but they did one better and parked it at the church. I rode over to the church with the bridal party after taking a bunch of pictures at the house.

The ceremony was nice. The batteries in my flash died during it though, and apparently my backup batteries, and even my rechargeable backup batteries all were dead. Fortunately I got some pretty good pictures. Unfortunately I pissed off the priest.

After the ceremony I followed Stephanie and Greg out to the courtyard where the priest was talking to the happy new couple. After he finished having a few words with them he came over to me and asked my name. I said “I’m Zach, Father. Nice to meet you.” Then I shook his hand and he asked me if I’d taken pictures there before. I told him, “No, this was my first time here.” He then proceeded to tell me that I was very distracting and that in his five years he had never seen anyone so distracting during a wedding.

I was taken quite aback by that. In all my years going to Catholic churches and even a year of Catholic school, I had never, to my recollection, been admonished by a priest for anything. I apologized and he said it was okay, I didn’t know and that if I do another wedding there that we could talk beforehand. It was really a bit embarrassing. Looking back on it I wish I hadn’t apologized- I was there to capture images to remind Greg and Stephanie of their wedding day, and if that meant I had to move around, so be it.
Stephanie asked what the priest had told me and told me not to feel bad about it- that I didn’t distract her at all. I later found out that he’d fussed at Stephanie’s sister, the maid of honor, the night before at the rehearsal for being too fidgety.

Anyhoo, I took pictures of just about everybody who came out to hug Greg and Stephanie then we took a bunch of group pictures at a gazebo behind the church. After all the family left we walked out to the beach to take some bridal party pictures.

The reception wasn’t until later in the night, so Stephanie told me I could go home for a bit and meet them back at the Bellamy Mansion at a quarter of seven. Amanda had come home by then with Karen Mercer, her mother, in tow. Karen had come back because she had bought us a nice new gas grill for our anniversary and it wouldn’t fit in Amanda’s car. I hung out there for a bit, getting some new batteries and downloading all the pictures I’d taken so far. Then Amanda, Karen and I went to a Mexican restaurant before I headed back out to the reception.

Michael, by the way, was going out with a girl tonight. I don’t remember her name, but apparently she used to go out with Michael’s best friend (now married), Chris Flowers. Michael had dropped her a line on MySpace since he saw she was in Wilmington now and they decided to get some dinner. Michael was pretty sure it wasn’t a date.

The reception was fun. I got there a little bit early and got to walk all up and down the Bellamy Mansion, which I found cool. Greg had told me before that if I ever wanted to go there to take some pictures that he could hook me up, so I’ll have to take him up on that some time.

Greg, Stephanie and the bridal party were a little late in arriving, but that gave me plenty of time to take pictures of the setup and whatnot. I ended up there until a little after 11:00 and I had a good time. The families were friendly and easy to joke around with. I got to talking basketball with one of the bartenders; he was a State fan so we griped a bunch about the Tar Heels.

At the end of the night just a few minutes after I’d told Stephanie I was about to take off (after checking, of course that there weren’t any other particular pictures she wanted and specifically checking to see if they were having a birdseed exit) Greg noticed me and said, “What about this guy! He’s been here since 2:00!” (Actually it had been 1:00, but who’s counting?) Greg then got a friend of his to take a picture of me, him and Stephanie and we all talked about getting together some. I like them, and I think Amanda would like them too.

Oh, I got mistaken for Greg a lot today. We’re about the same height and build and we both have dark, curly hair. It started with Greg’s sister when I got to the beach house. I’d knocked on the door and she came up thinking “What’s Greg doing here?” Then apparently one of the ring bearers had followed me around or come up to me thinking I was Greg, and it was remarked upon by just about everybody I talked to. I didn’t mind or anything; it became a bit of a running joke for me.

So I left. Stephanie insisted I take a bottle of wine home and Greg’s dad gave me a pretty impressive tip. He insisted, saying that as he was the father of the groom he hadn’t gotten to spend much money. I didn’t realize until I got into the car just how much he’d tipped me.

Mike Paschal called yesterday and asked if I could direct the church services tomorrow. Everything was already set up he said, so I didn’t have to be there until 8:00. So I’m directing tomorrow.

Zach Dotsey