Commentary

Race to the altar better than any podium finish

Sarah Fisher traded her driving gloves for a wedding bouquet, then spent an unforgettable sun-splashed week frolicking on the beaches of Oahu, she writes in her diary.

Updated: September 26, 2007, 4:43 PM ET
By Sarah Fisher | Special to ESPN.com

The week leading up to the wedding wasn't bad, but really busy. As soon as the Chicago race was over, the week completely flew by. With all of the handmade things we planned to put out for the big day, it was more laborious work than we all thought. Perhaps I should have gotten a wedding planner -- although I had fun doing it all. I never thought it would take hours to put together CDs and favors. I created CDs with all of our favorite music on them.

Luckily, my future in-laws and my friend Kris really helped sort through it. The only last-minute crisis was that we had to add 20 more tables and make the tent a lot larger for the amount of people who RSVP'd, so we had to come up with another bunch of centerpieces, CDs and favors.

Sarah Fisher
Tonya Wittig PhotographySarah and Andy: Their first dance as a married couple.

I was so busy that I had forgotten to get my dress pressed, thinking I could do it myself, so we called in a favor from Lamping Cleaners, which actually got all the dresses pressed overnight (talk about amazing). Plus, it's crazy how many little things you think you've got covered and then forget, even with my little handy-dandy notebook I carried with me 24/7.

Setting up the tables commenced on Thursday afternoon -- thank goodness for my Dad and our friend from the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team, Joe Ward. With his hospitality experience, the tables were arranged in no time! But then all the work began of hauling out to the tent all the centerpieces, favors, wine, candles, etc. I love balloons, so my Aunt Robyn (my mom's twin sister), my Mom, Kris, Alissa and I blew up balloons and put them all around the tent.

Lighting was a bit of an issue. You should have seen Andy (my soon-to-be husband) monkey up the tent poles to hang our lights. They were beautiful once it got dark, and all of us who had worked all day finally got to see the tent put together with no people in it. It was a lot of work! The O'Gara family really chipped in, along with our friends (Lupe and John Piccione were so key in making it all happen!).

I think, overall, the wedding was a success. One of the neater parts of the ceremony was actually at the end, when our recessional played "Back Home Again in Indiana." It was cool to hear everyone's reaction to it. The only time I really teared up was when the prayers of the faithful were being read and the mention of family and friends who have passed and couldn't be here with us for that day. My thoughts were definitely with my Aunt Cathy and my Grandma Grindell. I would have loved to have seen them there -- that was really tough. And I know at the same time that Andy was thinking the same of his Uncle Dan. Our family means so much to us that the loss of any of them is completely devastating and never seems to go away.

Afterward, pictures went pretty quick, and Andy and I took off in our loaner '62 'Vette (from our good DRR friend, Art). When we pulled up to the reception, I don't ever remember a bigger cheer! I thought the tent was coming down. Just like my outdoor dream wedding had always been! My maid of honor, Alissa, gave a wonderful speech, which made me tear up. I had been doing great up until that point!

I was really impressed with some of the people who made it out, folks I knew cared but didn't think would join us. I certainly didn't want to leave anybody out of this beautiful day, although I know there will be someone down the line I will feel bad for who didn't get to come.

Andy really helped out leading up to the weekend. I have never seen him do so much yard work in all my life! The place really looked amazing before the tent went up. And even more so after, our honeymoon was in Hawaii on Oahu.

We had such a great time that I think Megan (Andy's sister) and Sean (her future husband) might be going there now for their honeymoon. At least we could point them in the right direction of some things on the island. I have never seen a place more beautiful. For once, I went on a vacation and those seven days were not enough. I would love to go back as soon as tomorrow! The best part about it was that after a long season, I got to spend all week with Andy all to myself. We had a wonderful time seeing the beaches, Pearl Harbor, Manoa Falls, the luaus -- it was all wonderful.

Now that I am back home, it's all about sorting out the sea of presents and getting our house back to normal, while at the same time getting back to training (oh, I was not a good dieter on the trip!) and working on the program for the IndyCar Series in 2008.

I appreciate all the support throughout the entire season from all the fans, the DRR crew and my friends and family.

Hope to see you soon!

-- S

IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher drives the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing No. 5 Dallara/Honda (her husband, Andy O'Gara, is also her DRR crew chief). She is providing a diary for ESPN.com. For more on Sarah, go to www.sarahfisher.com.