Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A great reason to come home

On 7/11, Hans and I attended my son's wedding.

It started on a Thursday when the parents of the groom met the parents of the bride for the very first time, and I realize in this day and age of helicopter parents this is a bit unusual. But, we live many states away, my son is 32 years old, and we'd already met his future bride (a fabulous girl) and loved her, but I do realize her parents might have been wondering about us.

I have to admit we had to do a bit of scrambling to prepare for the big event. After putting the boat on the hard, we drove a rental car to Pennsylvania where we then found a place to stay for the summer, ditched the rental and bought a car (that we'll sell after we go back to Florida this fall), and I fell into a job. We then had two weeks to get ready. I'd already buzzed Hans' head with clippers I purchased at Walmart (no more Christopher Lloyd look for him), and I, who had been cutting my own hair with rusty scissors for three months, was now sporting a style I can only refer to as a Bahamian mullet with gray roots. However, I was very careful and didn't cut it so short that it couldn't be fixed before the big day.

So, in addition to a good cut and color, I needed some clothes that weren't sweat stained and full of holes. After visiting a local upscale department store, along with the Salvation Army and having no luck (I've found some of my greatest buys at 'Sally's'), I resigned myself to the fact that I'd have to drive over an hour away to a mall, and I hate malls. As it happened, I found myself in the vicinity of a consignment store that I'd shopped at many times in the past and not only did I find a dress for the rehearsal dinner, I found one for the wedding. Add a pair of Payless shoes ordered blindly online, I was good to go.

I love this dress!

Hans and the groom

Friday, the rehearsal dinner was very wisely held at the hotel so no driving was involved, and I was looking forward to a hot bath as I had to be up bright and early in the morning for make-up and hair with the girls. However, Hans' brother and his partner arrived very late from Toronto and of course we invited them to our suite for a get together and didn't end up getting to bed until around 1AM. We had a great time but needless to say, late night hours don't sit quite as well on my mid-fifty self the way they did years ago and I'm afraid I created quite a challenge to the make-over team the next morning. And after years of living on the boat I'm not used to wearing a lot of makeup and when I looked in the mirror I couldn't help but think of Baby Jane, so when I got back to my room I rubbed a good bit of it off.
Hans and his baby brother

Selfie Stick fun during the hair and makeup session. A super nice group of girls

The ceremony was performed by the same priest who married the bride's parents thirty-two years ago (actually, their wedding was his first). He's well into his 80's now and we all held our breath when his feet got tangled in the aisle runner and it looked like he was gonna take a header right into the bride and groom but, thankfully, he stayed on his feet. This very same priest (who was so sweet and had a wonderful sense of humor) also performed the bride's brother's wedding last year and I was told he inadvertently had them repeat their vows twice. Now that's a marriage that should surely stick.

The reception venue was incredible (and as a veteran waitress I should know). The weather cooperated beyond belief which meant guests could mingle and enjoy drinks and appetizers both inside and outside before the actual reception began. Thanks to the DJ (and believe me a DJ can make or break a reception), the dance floor was never empty and if the guests weren't dancing, they were in the photo booth. Now, the last time I saw a photo booth was way back when I was a teenager and 50 cents would buy you 4 black and white pictures (of such poor quality they would fade within weeks of their development) of you and your weird friends. Well, times have changed and in this new digital age we were offered all kinds of props and masks like Super Heroes etc... so Hans and I opted for the police line up theme. All I can say is, I really hope to never be arrested as I'd hate for that picture to be blasted over the Internet, it was that bad.

As a waitress, I know hours went into setting this up. Inside those envelopes were scratch off lottery tickets. We didn't win anything but someone at the next table won $50.00

And I guess no wedding is complete without the horribly uncomfortable guest known as the Drunk Uncle. However, in our case it was the Drunk Usher.

Drunk Usher gave the toast at the rehearsal dinner. Actually, it was an oddly satyrical, yet nice toast, in that he pointed out the typical teenage and college obstacles our son faced and over came through the years, culminating in a successful career and marriage to such a wonderful girl. And like a ticking time bomb Drunk Usher then proceeded to socialize with many friends and family members from both sides. While some of his questions and comments could have been taken the wrong way by a few (he was later escorted to his room after falling asleep face down at the hotel bar) they really weren't, and luckily no explosions occurred. I didn't realize the extent of all this until early the next morning when the bridal party and I, while waiting in the lobby before departing for our makeup, were laughing ourselves silly over Drunk Usher's antics.

My son called me in a panic and my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law was mortified.

The bridesmaids and I assured one and all that Drunk Usher said absolutely nothing to offend any of us. However, don't think my son wasn't sweating bullets when it came time for the wedding toast, but by that time Drunk Usher was on his best behavior, and most likely fearing for his life, didn't speak. The rest of the evening flew by and I felt sorry for my son who seemed to constantly be on the run chasing down people at the behest of their three photographers. He later compared it to herding cats and also said he intended to sleep for the solid week of his honeymoon.

Another wise move on the bridal couples' part was to provide a shuttle service from the reception to the hotel, so when the evening ended somewhere around 2 AM, everyone was safely delivered back to their room.

Like I said before; for me, this was the wedding of the century. And while I've never desired to step back in time for even a second, I would re-live that weekend over in a heartbeat. It was just that great.

However, one thing I would change; I would not attempt to read a brand new library book in the bathtub after such an exhausting day. I may not have drowned but that stupid book ended up setting me back $28.95.