Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Wedding Day Part 3: Before the Ceremony Started

After the calmness I felt all morning I arrived at my wedding venue.  And that’s when the out of body experience began.

Along with all the furniture Adam’s family moved the morning before, and the decorating I did yesterday afternoon, there were now flowers.  I didn’t know where the mom’s corsages, boutonnieres, or bouquets were, but if they were anything like the ones on the guestbook table I was happy.  And then there was the altar.  I’d thought Darlene said there would be tall, thin vases with white orchids, which I wasn’t really sure about, but instead they were amazing roses.  It was gorgeous, and I was shocked.

But then again, there were no chairs yet.  The dining room table was set, but there was no tablecloth on it!  The programs were tossed onto the guestbook table all messy.  The candles weren't lit (though that was on someone's to do list, so I figured it would be done soon).  Adam was SOMEWHERE, and I didn’t want him to see me.   My sister had gone ahead to alert them, but I still felt unsure.  I wished I could have called him earlier today.  And of course the photographer was somewhere waiting for me.  I felt like there was lots more I wanted to do!  There was more to decorate, I didn’t get to make that signature drink I wanted even after mom went and got the ingredients yesterday, and I had no time to write Adam a touching Email. 

But it didn’t really matter.  I could either let all that get to me, or relax and enjoy what I DID accomplish.  I was only going to have one wedding day.  And even that wasn’t as important as the marriage itself.  I needed to relax, smile, and share my happiness with Adam’s and my friends and family.

Sarah must have noticed me looking a little lost at that point, and asked me if there was anything she could do.  I thought a moment about all the "shoulda woulda couldas" and prioritized one thing that seemed the most doable at the time.  "I notice the table is set, but there's no tablecloth?"  She explained that Adam's mum got overly eager.  I said hesitantly, "Could you, um, clear it for the caterer?"  She nodded kindly.  I felt better.

Then I had my next problem.  My mom told me that the caterer did NOT bring in the extra table.  Just a quick recap: the homeowner’s suggestion was to have seating for 8, and 4 at the breakfast bar.  I said that was unacceptable; I wasn’t going to pick 4 guests to be exiled from the group.  “Then you’re going to need to really squish those chairs in, because I’m not going to have people at the bar.”  I said.  Mom said, “We’ll take care of it.”  So I tried to put it out of my mind.

Relax.  Easier said than done.  The best I could do was to just go numb.  I didn’t say much, I didn’t offer to do much.  All I could think to do was to go upstairs because I knew the photographer would need me to get ready.  He was in the “bridal prep room,” which I could see ALSO needed work.  After all, it was someone else’s temporary living space this week, so it wasn’t really photograph-ready.  So I dug in and moved things that needed moving.  He shot the dress, and mom zipping up my dress, and me putting on my jewelry.  I wondered the whole time if I looked okay, if the fly-aways on my hair were going to be noticeable, if the makeup was settling into my wrinkles again, if the angle of the camera was giving me a double chin or making my arms look too big.  So I told myself again, none of that really matters.


The next problem was when the musicians came in.  Apparently the chairs had arrived, and they looked at the seating and decided there wasn’t enough room.  I could only imagine what they’d have said if we were unable to get the big couch out of there.  They wanted to move Sarah to the “bride’s side” apparently, and my mom said that wasn’t right.  (Now, in retrospect, this would have been the perfect opportunity to solve a bunch of little issues later on, which I’ll explain in another post).  And again, Mom told me they’d take care of it.

So just then, for a little comic relief, Mike told me that he wanted to get a shot of my sister putting on my shoes.

Whaaaat.

I almost said there was no way in hell that was going to happen.  But then I thought this was an opportunity I would never have again.  So I called her in, told her his request, and enjoyed the look on her face.

Whaaaat.

I guess there’s a little bit of evil in every bride.  Two years ago I said that bridesmaids aren’t servants, but that changed today!  He snapped a couple photos and she and I had a laugh.

But then the photographer finished and I figured I could let myself relax again.  But then I heard the musicians starting.  So much for “This is good; we have a lot of time for pictures before.  I’m glad I didn’t come at 1.”  We had JUST enough time!

As they played the first couple songs as guests entered, Mom and mum talked about who would go first when they played the song for seating the mothers, “Ave Maria.”  The song I picked because I know Adam likes it, for one thing.  And also because it was Adam’s ringtone for his mum, I came to associate it with her as well.  Mum said whatever the order was fine with her, and my mom said she was happy to follow.  I joked, “What sort of self respecting Leo are you?”  She agreed with a laugh.

So then the photographer coached me.  He told me that I would need to stop at the door while he photographed Adam’s face when I entered, then wait, and he’d circle around, and photograph me as I approached.  I knew too, from reading plenty of bridal blogs that I was supposed to hold my bouquet down low.  It was a lot to think about, I was nervous, and I was unsure if I would remember.  I worried that I would get lost in the moment. 

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