My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Going To The Chapel - Day 5 - The Rest of The Story

Mawmaw, Jamie, Sarabeth, Cory, Matthew, Pop
Let me just say that here in the South, at least among my peers, weddings take place in the sanctuary of the church and receptions take place in the fellowship hall. You have punch, cake and maybe a few snacky things like fruit and nuts. That's what we did at my first wedding. That's what most of my friends' weddings were like. I know that there are big weddings in the South that involve a different venue and menu but I'm accustomed to the cake and punch scenario. Except at Grandma's second wedding where the cake didn't make it to the reception. She has a pretty funny write up of that story that I ought to type up for you sometime. At any rate...

When we last left the story I had just hauled my chunky butt from the valet parking to in front of the carriage house at Tantummaheag. Tasha asked me today how to pronounce Tantummaheag and I can't do it justice. I think the emphasis is more on the second syllable but... yeah... I spent all last week saying it wrong. The important thing to remember at this juncture is that it is a vast property and the distance from the valet to the carriage house is more than I usually walk in the course of a week. Fortunately I crossed through the garden where the cocktail hour was being held and was able to grab a seltzer water with ice to refresh myself. Somehow... and I don't know how... the rest of the family was already there and photos were being taken. I handed my drink and sweater to one of Helen's brothers (Ian, who is very much like Austin) and found my spot. I shudder to think of how I am going to look in those photos because trust me, sweaty Heather is not cute Heather.
Pop, me, Michael, mom, Bryan, Jim
Also, on a TMI tangent, I have been having hot flashes for the past few weeks. I thought that it was either the new meds I was on or my hormones because I am of a certain age, you know. My primary care physician confirmed that it's the new meds (which are helping in a lot of ways that makes the hot flashes worth the trouble)  so I spent a good part of last week sweating even though the temperature was quite mild and sometimes downright chilly in Connecticut. There is a photo of me at Oliver's shower that looks like I literally just got out of the shower and I'm guessing the formal wedding photos will look similar. I hope not.

We didn't spend much time doing photos. I feel like Helen really struck a good balance between making memories and ... well, making memories. There were photos but not so many that it felt tedious or that you felt like you were missing out on things. I would say maybe ten minutes, max, and then we headed to the garden for cocktails. For the most part we Gants aren't big drinkers. It's not that we sit in judgement of those who consume adult beverages. Some of my brothers drink socially. For me personally I'm a lightweight when it comes to drinking. I'm sleepy after the first drink and throwing up after the second. So in my mind I was not really excited about the prospect of a cocktail hour. Honestly, in my head "cocktail hour" is a fancy way of saying, "dinner's not ready yet". Keep in mind that I'm used to weddings where the punch and cake is the whole of the post wedding celebration so... I confess that I was not crazy excited about having cocktails.

Except it was so much more than adult beverages! I think I could have asked for just about any beverage and gotten it. I had a really nice passionfruit juice. The food... oh my word!... I could have sustained myself for a week off of the hors de oeuvres! There was a seafood bar with lobster, shrimp and raw oysters. There was a dip station with all kinds of raw veggies (crudites, if you will) crackers and dips. There were passed hors de oevres that included just about any "party food" you could think of from pigs in blankets to mini crab cakes. Every time a waiter went by with a tray I had to check it out. My brother Michael was excellent at scouting out the good stuff. Every time I'd see him come back with a different gnosh I'd have to find out what he was eating. Color me a new fan of the cocktail hour.
Cory and Matthew, my nephews

Our immediate family sort of set up camp at a lovely stone bench where we took lots of photos and enjoyed each other's company in addition to chatting with other guests as they went by. For me it was a great time to catch up with Ryan and Sara and my nephews Cory and Matthew and of course, my nieces. It lasted just long enough for us to taste everything and catch our breath from the ceremony and the trip from the church. I was eager to check out the "big top" - the big tent where the reception was being held so Sarabeth, Jamie and myself walked on over.
Helen had told me that I would be at the same table as Sarabeth and Jamie (because I always sit at the kids' table at every family gathering). I was a little sad to not sit with Ryan and Sara but they ended up at a table with Helen's cousins who were about their age and I *think* they all had a pretty good time together. I know the girls and I had a great time! I was assigned to the seat right between Sarabeth and Jamie. Also at our table was Uncle Bruce (my dad's brother) and his wife Vicky, Grandma, Jim and Angie and my brother Michael. Michael's sons were at the same table as Ryan and Sara and my parents were seated at the table with the bride and groom.


I wish that I had words to truly set the stage for you in my recap. The band was sort of a retro creole jazz sort of zydeco vibe. There's a better description for them but it escapes me. The temperature was chilly but not cold. I gave Jamie my sweater because my lace jacket that went with my dress was warm enough (especially with the hot flashes. At one point I had goosebumps on my arms but was pouring sweat under my hair to the extent that I put my hair in a ponytail.) Despite being in circumstances that were a bit foreign to me (the formal dinner and all that) it was incredibly laid back and comfortable. I know the pictures make it look all Martha Stewart and all that but it was such a great vibe and the love that people felt for Helen and Bryan was palpable. It was a celebration in the purest sense of the word.

There were toasts made by the FOB and the FOG (father of bride/groom). There were toasts made by the Maid of Honor (Helen's sister) and the Best Man (my brother Jim). And then there were toasts made by Helen and Bryan.

A funny thing about the toast portion of the evening... the night before during the rehearsal at the church, Helen's mom's cellphone rang and there was a little bit of ... well, it just was frowned upon, rightfully so. OF course if you have folks setting up a circus tent on your front lawn, a random call can be expected. And then... fast forward to the reception... to an intimate little gathering of 250 folks who are maintaining the silence of a library while listening to my father give his toast... and.... my cellphone which is NEVER turned up much beyond the lowest level above vibrate... which NEVER rings because people know to email/text me rather than call... which Ryan had turned off for me before the ceremony because I don't know how to turn it off and on... RINGS during the toast. On the loudest setting. And I can't FIND IT IN MY PURSE! I was mortified! And Helen's mom who had been scolded the night before gave me a conspiratorial wink and a nod - sisters in cellphone shame. And get this... it was a WRONG NUMBER!
Jamie, Helen, Sarabeth

Anyways... I survived. The food was probably the best I've ever had... a salad with lobster, really good lobster!... Fillet of beef with gnocci and veggies in this amazing gravy (that Jamie got on my sweater, that washed out easily)... Lots of little sweets and seriously, the best cake I've ever had. I can't even describe it and I didn't take photos because I was loving this cake so very much. There was wine in abundance but we were lucky enough to have a sweet waiter who very thoughtfully asked what those of us who weren't wine drinkers might like. I asked for iced tea for the girls and then remembered that we were in the land of the unsweetened tea. But NO! There was sweet tea available and we rejoiced over it! It's the little things...
Mom and Bryan

There was a photo booth set up at the reception which served as great entertainment for most people. I'll post some of those photos in a separate post because this one is so very long already! Let me just wrap this up by saying the reception was absolutely perfect, we had a wonderful time and although I had some pain it was completely worth it! We went back to the rental house and crashed in the big bed in the master suite. Jamie and Sarabeth fell asleep watching me play sudoku and I fell asleep not long afterwards. It was such a magical night and I'm so grateful to have been included.

In my next blog entry I'll describe the post-wedding brunch and the trip home. Thanks for reading! Love and hugs, y'all!




monique said...

The lobster salad looks illegal, in the best way.
How tall is your tallest brother?
Do you have any pics of the bride and groom?