So I promised you guys my daughter’s wedding story. This is going to be a long one but if you hang in there until the end, I think it will be worth your time reading it. I am going to have to break it into two posts so if you come back tomorrow to finish “the rest of the story” you won’t be sorry.
#1 and her boyfriend (now husband) had been dating since her sophomore year of college (his junior year). They had both finished college and he had done grad school and gotten accepted at Vanderbilt to go get his doctorate so they moved to Nashville. He still had not proposed, even though they had already been cohabiting for over a year. Finally she found “evidence” that he had bought a ring and she kept waiting for a proposal and it didn’t come. He finally proposed and we were able to start with the planning. It was December and they set a date for August 23 so we only 8 months to plan. And knowing #1 I knew things would have to be “just so”. I am not saying she’s difficult but she knows just what she wants and usually eventually gets it! Right, boo? See… I know she’s reading this and right now has a pretend pout and scrunched face saying “that’s not me!”
But it is!
She made several trips to Atlanta and we went to David’s bridal a few times. Once we just went looking for her dress and then we went with the bridesmaids to pick out their dresses. Turns out that picking out their dresses was a lot simpler than picking hers. She picked out a nice cocktail length strapless dress for them and we decided on a deep chocolate brown with the pink (rose) sash and had to have them all fitted and ordered. Before we had left David’s bridal she had narrowed it down to about 3 different dresses for her. They all looked great on her but nothing was really JUMPING out and screaming “pick me, pick me” ala Meredith Grey and her pleas to Dr. McDreamy (or was it choose me, choose me?). Anyway, she had decided she wanted a short simple veil and David’s did not have what she wanted.
We decided to go to a little bridal shop in Douglasville (in addition to a few others) on the way home just to check out the veils. We had no intention whatsoever of even looking at dresses since we had narrowed it down to THREE. We go in the bridal shop and ask where their veils are and the lady behind the counter pointed down the stairs so we go down the stairs and they didn’t have what she wanted either and we turned to go back up the stairs and leave and as we walked up the steps the same mannequin caught our eye. We both simultaneously looked at the mannequin then at each other and said “Oooohhhh I like that dress!”. I always tease her because we seem to have this thing about saying the same thing at the same time and I tell her she is so much like me it’s not even funny, which drives her crazy.
The lady asked her if she wanted to try it on and she hesitated and said, “Nah, that’s fine.” And the lady asked if she was sure and again she hesitated and then said “Well, where do you have them hanging?” She informed us that that particular dress was the only one they had gotten in like that one but they’d be happy to take it off the mannequin for her to try on. She said no one else had tried it on yet because they had just gotten it in and put it straight on the mannequin. #1 told her that was okay, she didn’t want to put her to any trouble and the woman told her, nonsense, they do it all the time. Then she added “Besides, if this is your dress you’ll know it immediately. It will speak to you. You’ll just know.” They told her it might not fit properly but that we could get a sense of how it draped and that they could order her the size she needed. BUT, IF by chance, this dress did fit, then they’d knock off an extra percentage since it was the floor model even though no one else had even tried it on!
She tried the dress on and it was magical. The dress fit her perfectly. It was exactly as if it was made just for her. No alterations even needed (other than adding the button to the back so they could “bustle” it when they danced and during the rehearsal so she wouldn’t trip over it. It was a little more than she wanted to pay for her dress but the discount and the fact that it needed no alterations and it was right there in town? Perfect! Serendipity? Divine intervention? What do you think?
Then we started looking for places to have the actual ceremony. We checked several venues and thought we had found the “right” place several times. They had kind of decided they wanted an outdoor ceremony so we checked all kinds of places. One of them was a large Victorian house here in town that does “events” and they insisted you had to use their food (which we knew wouldn’t be as good as hubby’s) AND they wanted $18,000 to start for light h’ordeourves for 100 people! WTH? Are you frigging kidding me? What’s in that filling? GOLD??? That wasn’t even including the actual ceremony or cake! I had NO IDEA how expensive these places were.
Then on a whim I remembered that our “town square” had a brick area with a fountain (although due to the drought at the time we couldn’t use the fountain ) and surrounded by old buildings. There was also a “convention center” about a half a block away that we could use for the reception! Then, after she found out that the name of the plaza was the same as what her last name was going to be (different spelling though) she said it was like divine intervention (again). She just had to have it there.
We have a friend whose mother owns a florist who ended up getting us the flowers for the bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and for the cake at her cost and then ended up actually putting then all together for us (other than the cake)!
Hubby had been stockpiling liquor forever so we had what I thought would have been WAY too much. Never underestimate the power of twentysomethings and baby boomers to drink alcohol. OMG…. Never seen so many drunk people in my life. In addition to the liquor we also had about 25 cases of beer and I think 75 bottles of wine. We only had 3 bottles of wine left at the end of the evening. I kid you not… out of ALL that. Let’s just say we had some HUNG OVER people at brunch the next morning!
We had a fiasco with the photographer about a month before the wedding but that all worked out and I won’t even go into it because it just makes my blood boil. Let’s just suffice it to say he got it subcontracted out to another photographer who did a wonderful job and I couldn’t be happier.
Hubby had told #1 that he could either do the food OR the cake, but not BOTH. He said it would be way too much to try to get both done. The only reason we even had him do the food (besides the fact that he’s the best cook in the world) was that we all knew he was going to fall apart at the wedding so we figured if we gave him something he had to take care of at the wedding he’d be concentrating on that too much to actually fall apart. We underestimated his ability to multitask!
She decided she wanted her dad to cook a full “Southern dinner” for her reception and we found someone else to do the cake. About a month before the wedding the person who was supposed to do the cake bailed on us. Then we found someone else who said they would do it and about two weeks before the wedding this person remembered that they were going to be out of town that weekend. By this time hubby had done a cake for one of our dearest friends daughter’s wedding and #1 had seen pictures of the cake. She told her daddy she would really like one like it herself but with pink flowers. Could he do it? Let’s just say the week before the wedding I think he was running on about 10 hours sleep for the whole week.
So in addition to the little blips here and there all was smooth sailing. Three days before the wedding hubby put together the ingredients for the cake batter and left it in the cooler at his restaurant to come back and cook the next day. He forgot to label it and one of his employees, not knowing what it was, threw it out! So, back to square one, two days before the wedding. A couple of days before that our second refrigerator in our garage that we were using for storage for the wedding stuff went out! Just decided to die! Every penny we had extra was going into that wedding and now no place to store all that food! Thank God for family! Hubby’s younger brother was in town for the wedding from Arizona and he and his wife went out to Lowe’s and bought a refrigerator and had it delivered that afternoon. Now that is a great brother. We will be eternally grateful to him for that. His (and his wife’s) kindness and generosity went above and beyond.
Hubby had also run into an old friend of ours we hadn’t seen in years a few weeks before the wedding and he mentioned that our oldest was getting married and he told his wife and she called and asked if I needed anything and I think I pretty much broke down and told her how overwhelmed I was feeling. I was coming home from work every night and making table centerpieces and running all over in preparation and she said “Why don’t you let me help? I will be more than glad.”
Boy, did they help! She and her hubby pretty much took over with the “planning/decorating” stuff and I have no clue what we would have done without them. Her entire family ended up helping in one way or another. Both of her sons helped in the kitchen the day of for the reception. Her hubby and boys helped with the chair set up for the ceremony and he picked up and took back all the chairs because we don’t have a truck plus they brought their own ferns and stuff from their house to decorate and she made theses gorgeous taffeta decorations to put on the ends of the rows of chairs. And her daughters helped decorate all the tables and lit all the candles before the reception and helped place the flowers on the cake with hubby. They were so instrumental in helping that I don’t know how we could ever thank them.
Then our ex neighbors from our old neighborhood stepped up to the plate and he asked some of his friends from his church and The Knights of Columbus to help out with the reception and even though hubby had spent the whole week cooking and storing, he and his friends brought their grills and stuff and stayed in the kitchen almost the entire day heating up and making the fruit bowls, etc., and serving. They did an awesome job and we will be forever grateful to them too.
I think I’ll stop part one here. Enough of boring you for one day. Please come back tomorrow for the most amusing part of the wedding saga. It’s a doozy!