Again, I must give the disclaimer that I have slept more than once since these events occurred and therefore cannot vouch for the accuracy of my recount of the events on the day of my brother's wedding. Also, I must also say that being the SOG (sister of the groom) is a much easier role than just about any other character in the drama of a wedding. I consider this my compensation for living most of my life in a frat house both as a sister and a mom. I realize that I am now the grandmother of a girl child which means eventually, should the Lord leave me here on this earth long enough, I will eventually be the GOB (grandmother of the bride) but I am convinced that by that point people will have lowered their expectations of me such that I will be able to wear a lovely frock and be wheeled in and out without adopting any of the stress of the day.
I give you exhibit A of why it's great to be an SOG - our house on the day of the wedding:
At Tantummaheag (the bride's family home) they had a printed out schedule for the day that began with water aerobics in the pool at 7:30am for the bride and her maids. There was a carefully organized schedule for each girls' hair and makeup. There was a buffet table spread with munchies, juice and champagne. There was a flurry of activity...
but back at the Home of the Naughty Mermaid we were just sittin'. I took a "before" photo of my brother when I first stumbled down the stairs that morning but he had a blanket covering his legs and his hands under the blanket and it looked pretty creepy and inappropriate so I took another "before" photo.
After this photo was taken he went on a three hour bike ride with the FOB (father of the bride) and some other athletic, adventurous folks. Jim and Angie went for a walk. People drifted in and out and I tried to figure out my schedule for the day. I finally decided that I would just hang with Angie all day. She knew when and where we had to be so sticking with her absolved me of any stress on the day.
For comparison... things at Tantummaheag prior to the wedding:
The wedding was scheduled for 4:30 WHICH seemed like really late in the day when we first got up and while we were lounging around. At some point we had to take my mom and the girls to Tantummaheag for their glam sessions and so they could catch the bridesmaid shuttle to the church. Before we took them it seemed like we had a long time to go and somehow after we got back from dropping them off we really only had about thirty minutes before we had to leave for the ceremony.
Bryan's "after" picture:
Me and Angie in our unintentionally matching dresses, Pop and Jim in their suits but minus their eyeglasses (just trying something new) and the lovely Lady Sara, girlfriend of my oldest child, standing in front of the pipes of the organ in the church.
People arrived. Bagpipes began playing. No, really... bagpipes. I gave my phone to my oldest son to figure out how to turn it off. (This is an important detail for later....) The pews filled up with people dressed in their wedding finery.
One funny detail from right before the ceremony... the wedding planner's assistant had put programs down on the designated pews for the extended family. I asked her why... and she said to save the space for the family. A few minutes before the wedding started I noticed that Helen's grandma and other family members were seated behind me on the groom's side. I asked her why... and she said that obviously someone was saving the space in the pew they were supposed to sit in... and I said, "no, it's being saved for you...really... I'm sure of it...". Around that time the wedding planner's assistant came back by and I pointed out to her that the OBs ("of the bride"s) were in the wrong place. It's one of those things that wasn't a big deal and wouldn't have changed the ceremony or anything but... yeah, that was something that happened.
Not long after they relocated the processional began... my parents... bride's mom... bridesmaids... and, of course, the bride. I kept the tears in check until I saw my nieces all dressed up and made up and looking beautiful and of course until I saw the mothers (both OB and OG) come down the aisle fighting tears. I was feeling all the feels. Something unique to this wedding (for me, anyways) was that instead of lining the attendants up across the front of the church they sat in pews at the front of the church. I thought this was special in that the focus was entirely on the bride and groom and not on the attendants. I think it also allowed the attendants to be more focused on the ceremony instead of worrying about how they looked in front of the crowd.
The bride's dress was gorgeous... I'll post a picture from the reception so you can see... I believe it was from Carolina Herrera. She wore a thirty foot long veil that has been worn by four generations of her family. Her grandmother gave her a lovely gift at the shower - a book with photos of all the brides who had worn that veil. Her sister was tasked with arranging the veil across the front of the church and it was both sweet and funny as she did it.
We had been asked not to take photos during the ceremony (and you know I just about had to sit on my hands to keep from doing it). On one hand I'd like to share every single detail of the ceremony with you and for posterity but on the other hand it was such a sweet, private, intimate event that it almost feels sacrilegious to share. It was like we were all in a bubble, like we all were initiated into a select group of people who love Bryan and Helen and will support them throughout their married life. Just in brief summary I'll say that there were some selected readings. There were two congregational hymns. Bryan and Helen said private vows to each other that were whispered quietly between them while we waited. This was really sweet as a peaceful sense of agreement lingered in the air. Then there were the traditional public vows, exchange of rings and so forth. He did and she did too and they kissed and all of that.
We exited to the lawn in front of the church. Introductions were made and hugs were exchanged among the congregants. One of the ladies who hosted the bridal shower that I attended back in May had just found out before the wedding that she was going to be a grandmother and she was excited to share the news with me as she had been coveting my new title of "Nana" when we first met. Folks were determining their mode of transport to Tantummaheag for the reception. I had ridden to the church with Pop and we had parked on the side of the church in the handicapped parking. We were blocked in by one of the big shuttle buses so I made the executive decision (executive of me, myself and I) to ride to the reception with Ryan and Sara. I knew photos were going to happen during the cocktail hour and I had to hustle my bustle over there if I was going to participate. I never miss a photo op! Traffic backed up on the road to Tantummaheag and there was a long line at the Valet Parking waiting for the golf cart shuttle to the house. I elected to hoof it and made it breathlessly in time for photos.
And... I'll pick up there on my next blog entry because the next part is the longest and most fun part of the recap! Thanks for reading! Love and hugs, y'all!