There’s A First Time For Many Things


How are you?

Good. I’m glad.

I hope your weekend was splendid.

Mine was. I was in Charlotte, NC, watching my best friend get married!


Along the way I experienced many “firsts.” Now I will tell you about them.

It was my first time attending a bridal luncheon. Here in the north, tradition usually just involves a bridal shower and bachelorette party sometime before the bride says “I Do.” But I guess in the southern states, the bride sometimes throws a bridal luncheon, and that’s what Becky did, so she could “thank all the women in her life.”


You’re welcome. Thanks for the lunch!

The bridesmaids and one of two flower girls. The flower girls are twins, so just pretend to see double and you've got the whole party.

The event was low-key, and it was basically the bridal party and the bride’s lady relatives. We ate, Becky gave us presents (Lululemon outfits!) and then I ate a little more.

It was the first time I got a shellac manicure. I don’t get manicures. I’ve had two or three in my entire life, because I just don’t get the point in spending money to have someone paint my nails when we all know I’m going to chip it and mess it up within five minutes of throwing down my debit card. There are better investments for me to make. But for a wedding, you make an exception, and that’s what I did this weekend. The other bridesmaids were all, “Are you going to get shellac?” and I was all, “Can you speak in English, please?”

Here we are at the nail salon: the bride, her bridesmaids, the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride. Pretty stellar group, if you ask me...which you did, right?

So apparently (I’m aware you all know this already, but it was new to me) you can get this kind of manicure called a “shellac manicure” where it’s like a gel polish and your nails dry right there, quickly, at the nail salon. By the time you leave, you don’t have to be all awkward trying not to chip it. And, turns out, it looks pretty shiny and nice, too. And I haven’t chipped it yet. Good to know.

It was the first time I signed a marriage license. When Becky asked me to be her maid of honor, the first thing I asked her was if I would get to sign the marriage license. I was oddly excited about this. Maybe it’s because it’s a document that Becky will have for the rest of her life, and it’ll have my name on it, too, so that basically means she has to be my friend forever.


I even tried to make my signature look nice instead of just scribbling it like I usually do.

It was the first time I had to get up at a church and read something. This was slightly terrifying. I am in no way afraid of public speaking. I love it, actually. But when Becky’s original reader started going into labor and stuff, Becky thought maybe she should have a backup plan, and that was to have her maid of honor do two of the Catholic readings.

Yes, the half-Jew was the chosen one…to speak in church.

In this photo, Father Frank asked if I planned to sing the psalm or read it, and I truly did laugh directly in his face. Obviously I'm planning to sing it, Father.

I practiced a few times, and I got through it fine during the ceremony. My dad told me he was going to start the wave during my reading, but he didn’t. Apparently that’s not good church etiquette. Bummer. I think it would have been fun.

It was the first time I planned to run and then didn’t and was mostly OK with it. Friday morning I woke up planning to run. I spent the morning in the bathroom instead and then didn’t have time to go out. Saturday morning, Becky and I were going to run a “Bridal 5K” (the two of us running 3.1 miles, untimed, before going to the hair salon), but my stomach hurt too much to do that, either. Ultimately, not running all weekend was OK by me. I got some extra rest that my body probably needed and no one died. Crazy.

It was the first time I was unhappy with something and asked for it to be re-done. I never send back food at a restaurant and if I get a bad haircut I’m not likely to speak up. But on Saturday morning, I wasn’t thrilled with how the hairstylist did my hair, and after fighting back tears (I’ve told you once and I’ll say it again, I am not dramatic!!!) I decided to go back to the lady and ask her to change it. I’m so glad I did, because I was much happier with my hair afterward. The initial hairstyle involved slight cornrows, which shockingly is not a good look on me.

It was my first time being Maid of Honor!

Awww best friends since age three!

It was tough being far away from Becky during all the wedding preparation and planning, and I hated that. I tried to be as involved as possible, but it’s just hard not being there in person for most things, like the dress fittings and, most importantly, the wedding cake tastings. I always felt like I was missing out on something, but this weekend I got to be by Becky’s side for every single thing that happened, including every time she had to pee during the ceremony and needed to have her dress held up.

Here I am "buttoning up the dress." Really, her mom did it, and I just stepped in to do the last button because the photographer wanted a picture. Also there is a little flower girl monkey crawling all over things.

I felt very important this weekend, especially at the ceremony when everyone knew me as the Maid of Honor. Nice to meet you, too, people! Thanks for coming!

But really, it was awesome standing up there with the girl I’ve known since we were three and watching her get married. I took many of my tasks very seriously, like making sure her train was perfectly straight and arranged while she was at the altar.

I got to practice arranging her train at the rehearsal, at which point I realized it was extremely likely that I was going to flash the entire crowd as I did so. Oh well. The train looked GREAT.

It was my first time decorating a wedding cake. Oh that’s right. When we arrived at the reception site, the photographer informed the bridal party that “the cake wasn’t decorated” and that we would have to do it. She gave us a bunch of hydrangeas and we went to town arranging them all over the cake. The only downfall was that, in the aggressive decorating process, I managed to dip my left boob into the cake. The cake came out unharmed, but I had frosting on my dress for much of the evening. Delicious.

Would you like some cake with that boob frosting?

It was my first time giving a wedding toast! I loved this part. In the days leading up to the wedding, every time I mentioned giving a toast to Brian he would ask, “Are you going to try to be funny?” I think he was afraid that I’d attempt some jokes and they would be lame and no one would laugh and then he’d be “the guy at the wedding with the tragic girlfriend.” But the toast was a hit! Or at least, that’s what everyone told me afterward. People can be so nice.

I concluded my toast by telling John and Becky to have millions of babies. She did not seem thrilled with that part.

It was fun standing up there with Becky and John and telling them all my thoughts, like about how I like John because he’s kind and charming, but really all I care about is the fact that he’s tall. People laughed at all the right parts. Success!

It was my first time attending a wedding with Brian. Turns out, he’s a great date. He had to be on his own a lot while I was off doing wedding things, but he showed up at all the right times and was great at the drinking, eating and dancing.

Tell me about it...stud.

My parents came down for the wedding, too, which was awesome, and they kept Brian entertained when I was off doing important things like dipping my boob in cake. And they definitely showed everyone up on the dance floor.

Yes, Mom & Dad Feller WILL be auditioning for the next season of "So You Think You Can Dance." Be sure to vote for them. They have the best moves.

Everything went totally smoothly all weekend, and now the bride and groom are off to St. Lucia and I’m back in NYC where it is completely downpouring. Lovely!

Brian and I flew out early yesterday morning and were back in the city by noon. I really wanted to do some form of exercise after being quite gluttonous all weekend, but my stomach is still in super-Crohn’s mode. I’m annoyed, but I’m trying to be all chill about it, because Crohn’s likes stress, and I’m not stressed. Right?

Unfortunately, being sick did play a pretty major role in the weekend. I felt like I was constantly running off to a bathroom, and I didn’t get to partake in the, “I’m at a wedding so I’m as drunk as possible” fun. I did still have a kickass time, that’s for sure, but it would have been even better without a rumbling stomach.

I suck at sober dancing. I probably suck at drunk dancing, too, but I THINK I'm awesome at it.

So I wanted to run yesterday, but I was legitimately scared. I knew that if I had any expectations, I wouldn’t meet them, and then I’d get upset. I knew I’d probably have to run slowly, and I knew bathroom stops were likely. It was late in the day, it was hot, and Central Park was going to be more crowded than usual.

It was the first time I just did my best and let that be good enough. Before I went out, Brian said, “Just do your best, and that will be good enough.” I always laugh at motivational crap like this, but yesterday I kind of embraced it. Yes, I had to make several bathroom stops, and yes, my later miles were significantly slower than my early miles. But I ended up doing my first double-digit run in well over a month (with no shin pain!). I ran 10 miles, and they were really tough, but I did it and I felt damn good afterward.

I was pretty sore and tired last night, and this morning I did some Yoga On Demand, and it turns out no, I cannot touch my toes. Pathetic.

It was also the first time I made an urgent bathroom stop in a church. What up, Sarah? The lines for all the park bathrooms were crazy long with tourists, so I bolted out of the park, found a holy place and thanked God for lending me his lavatory.

Finally, today marks the first time I have been in a relationship with someone for one year and not had any doubts about it. It’s been one year since I sent Brian a drunk little Facebook message saying, “Hey neighbor,” and one year since our first date.

We were trying to take a nice photo. I guess I ruined it with my laughter.

Usually by the time I’ve hit the one-year mark with someone, we’ve gotten in plenty of fights, and I start to get a little annoyed by every single thing that person does, including breathing. But we’re one year in, and I still think Brian is the coolest guy I know. Happy Anniversary, Bri. Thanks for being so funny and pushing me to be a better person. Keep it up. I’ll try to keep the Crohn’s at bay.

That’s all for now!

Happy Monday!



52 Responses

  1. congrats on your one year anniversary and successful maid of honor-ship? (is that even a thing? it is now) keep on shining, even with the crohn’s, though i know you don’t really need the reminding.

    1. I have the shortest legs of all time! I’m like, 70% torso with little stump legs. I’m just wildly, sadly not flexible at all. Lucky you, with your monkey arms…

  2. Can you report back at how long the Shellac lasts? My sis said hers lasted about 2 weeks. I want a confirmation of this.

    Looks like a beautiful wedding!

  3. Seriously funny! Where to even start? The nails, the hair, the dress, the boob. I am SO GLAD you got up the nerve to ask for a ‘do-re-do so you could feel good about it during this really special day. It looked BEAUTIFUL (as did you!) and I know that feeling of not wanting to speak up and then regretting it. And happy anniv!

  4. Where did you guys get your bridesmaid dresses from? I love the cut/ color. I am a bridesmaid in a month and we are (eek) still having issues finding the right dress!

    1. They were actually from David’s Bridal! We got them a year ago, but I think they pretty much always carry that style, because I wore it in black for my brother’s wedding in 2009. Bonus: It was only $99!! Pretty sweet.

  5. I asked the woman at my sister’s wedding to redo my hair too. I felt like such a drama queen but in the end I was soo much happier with it and I’m really glad I did it!
    Happy anniversary, you guys are awesome : )

  6. What a fun weekend! Love your hairstyle. You and Brian look sooo happy together in all your pictures, have a happy, happy anniversary!!

  7. You and Brian are such a cute couple. I love the photos of the two of you in this post. 🙂 I’m glad you did not have corn rows at Becky’s wedding. That would have been weird. I love that coral dress you had on at the wedding rehearsal and the made of honor dress.
    It sounds like you had a very successful weekend despite not getting more exercise in.

    Feel better, remember you said you were going to look for a new Crohn’s doctor when you got back…..

    Happy anniversary to you and Brian.
    P.S. I got my new Sweat shirt in the mail on Friday. Thanks Brian for pulling the all nighter to get them out.


    1. I think you have more Sweat shirts than I do! You are the best, Linda. Congratulations on Brooklyn!!

  8. SO much i love about this post.

    I love weddings. I love your orange dress. I love that you and Brian have been together a year now. I love that your boob dipped in the cake – my boobs have never been dipped anywhere. Not jealous at all. I love that photo of you and Brian. I love your Mum’s dress.

    Best of all, I love my ‘I heart sweat’ Tshirt that arrived on Saturday. Worn with pride at Bay to Breakers!!! Thank you both.

  9. Hey Ali,

    I just wanted to let you know, I received my I Heart Sweat shirt in the mail today and I LOVE IT!! I have been sidelined from running thelast month or so and I simply can’t wait to wear this shirt in my first race back!!! They are fantastic and for such a wonderful cause!! 🙂

    1. Aw yay! So glad you got it — take it easy getting back into the running game. Be smart, and happy sweating!

  10. Your hair turned out great, but I wished you’d taken a picture of the cornrow style. And Happy 1 Year Anniversary!! Only 9 days away from the “Month of Ali!”

  11. Also, the first time I’ve commented on your blog. It sure has been an awesome year. Here’s to much more running, biking, sweating, laughing, and amazing times!

    Thanks for the Facebook message, neighbor.

  12. I also couldn’t run on Saturday morning like I planned because of my stomach. It was actually the first time my stomach prevented me from going to a race. Ugh… I also cry and get upset when someone does my hair wrong, and I am too scared to speak up about half the time. A lot of the time when I do they “fix” it and it’s never any better, so I am glad yours ended up looking great. Also, did I not know you were half Jewish?? Lastly, I’ve been getting Shellac manicures since November — they changed my life!

    1. I’m not *really* any religion: My dad is Jewish, my mom isn’t. So I was raised celebrating all the holidays, but doing so as a tradition thing, not a religious thing. I don’t actually practice/believe in any religion.

      So sorry to hear your stomach held you back from Brooklyn 🙁 Hope you’re resting and feeling much better!

  13. Because I like lists, too:

    1.) I’m so glad you asked the hairstylist to re-do your hair. I never ask, but ended up needing to for my mom’s wedding. SO glad I did, and I’m happy to know I’m not the only crazy person who never speaks up about stuff like that.

    2.) I LOVED getting to sign my best friend’s marriage license. And I said to her, “now you’re stuck with me forever. muahahaha.”

    3.) Happy Anniversary to you and Brian!

  14. Love all the wedding pics – I think the hair lady did a great job! Congrats on the 10 miler yesterday with no shin pain!!

  15. How sweet! My best friend is getting married in September and I can definitely relate to you being far away and feeling bad. She is in California and I live in Holland at the moment! It is so hard and it kills me that I won’t see her dress until, nearly when everyone else does… as in, on her wedding day. But the fact that you were there for all the important parts is what counts 🙂 oh and the twenty something years of friendship before her wedding!

    Happy anniversary!! x

    1. It was so hard being far away — but being there for all the prep and day-of festivities kind of made me forget about the fact that I had been absent for so much before then. So don’t feel bad — it’s tough, but you’ll be there at the end when it really matters!

  16. When I got married, I was so scattered that when I signed the marriage license I just scribbled. Then I realized what I did. I’m still not happy about it. Husband and I need a new wedding now.

    I’m glad you had a great weekend! You look beautiful 🙂

    1. Haha I fully support a second wedding for the sole purpose of getting a new marriage license. Party time!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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