Ok, so getting a ceremony picture is harder than I thought- no more waiting. Here's part one. I'm going to post pictures in their own posts. And so we travel back to the last week of August...
Placecards, programs, vendor details, traveller issues, table markers, candles, decorations, and a million other things consumed the week before the wedding. J's Mom and Dad were sleeping on our futon in the living room and thank goodness for them, otherwise I'm pretty sure we'd have had none of the above finished. Friday was dinner out with about 10 of our VIPs at The Teapot for Chinese and Japanese cuisine, followed by a bachelorette-style night that started with boobie cakes and vulva pens, and ended at the gay club (in fact the only club) in town. Saturday held lunch at the Woodstar cafe where we started our first date and then a tour of "our story" around town for our friends and family, followed by the wedding rehearsal. Nothing quite like rehearsing a wedding with no music because half the power is out in the building! Sound-man T figured it out at the end though and we had at least a little practice. Still no processional, though, as our singer Kahlil was not scheduled to arrive by plane until midnight. My Mom is awesome and threw a great rehearsal dinner with the help of my aunts, with lots of tasty food like lasagne and bruchetta, and a very sweet celebration of my Aunt Bev and Uncle Jim's 48th wedding anniversary. How auspicious! Festivites were fun, but we were back at home pretty soon after in order to finish up more wedding stuff- and just the week before I had felt so ahead of schedule! So much for that.
That all being a huge blur, I was still finishing up J's wedding present from me at 2AM Sunday, while she was answering the phone from a deep sleep and then rushing to work to fax her signature and license to the rental car company that wouldn't take our wedding singer's card at the airport. We got a fitful 6 hours of sleep, and saints like my sister, her partner, and our singer friend got even less. Sis was up all night with J's friend Heather frantically whipping up buttercream and finishing the cake, her partner T stayed up finishing the soundtrack for the evening and then went to bed waking up every hour or so from dreaming he'd fallen asleep at the computer and hadn't finished the music, and our friend and singer Kahlil didn't get in until about 3:30AM and had to get up bright and early to go rehearse. We LOVE all of these people. There would be no wedding without them. Thanks a million to all.
Now it's 8AM Sunday and we are off to the races! We're in the living room, making impossibly high piles of stuff that must go to the ceremony and reception sites, courtesy of J's parents. I'm making lists of what must go where and when, how to use the stuff, and instructions for bringing our dresses and such to the get-ready site. J's running around getting things together and trying to get me out the door, shouting instructions behind us at J's parents as we leave. We arrive at the UU too late for the morning service, the doors are locked, and so we get no practice of the processional with Kahlil- we're officially winging it! Woo hoo! This was ok anyway, as we were right on time, arriving at our friends' P&J's house at noon to start getting ready.
That was it. 12 noon. Zero hour. That was the point at which I no longer had any control whatsoever over what was happening with this wedding anymore. Everyone had their instructions and their emergency contacts, spelled out on my painstakingly organized index cards I had written for each person, and I was under the curling iron and oblivious to what was really happening at the UU or at the reception site. I think Bridezilla took that fact with grace. Unless I'm repressing any memories of primal screams and attempts to break out a window to go stage-manage. But I don't think so.
Getting ready at P&J's house was so happy for me- Jon was the one who set J and I up on our blind date in the beginning, P is a wonderful friend and kindred spirit, and their own wedding just two months ago was such a joyful witnessing of the union of two of the most amazing people on the planet, I'm honored we were able to prepare for our wedding at their new home.
So, us ladies (J and I, and our two sisters S&S) were getting hair curled and pinned and sprayed, makeup getting done, blemishes covered, teeth brushed, taping my sister's gown straps to her skin to get them to stay, etc., and meanwhile our incredibly-comfortable-with-his-masculinity friend Jon was cooking us breakfast, chatting with the hairdresser, and serving up fruit and cheese snacks.
A little later, Jon ironed his pants in his towel while I stood next to him getting my gown and veil settled- I love the pictures of this particular moment. We love him a lot. He starts radiation tx soon, so please think good thoughts for him.
We have so many amazing moments on film from these precious three hours. The flowers arriving and being displayed. J and I pinning corsages on our mothers' dresses (and looking very perplexed). My Mom lacing up the corset-back on my dress (and looking very perplexed). J's Mom clasping her necklace around her. We had to switch moms now and then, so we have a couple of J's Mom sinching up my dress, too. S&S getting ready. Kisses and hugs. Finally all ready, bouquet in hand, all alone (except Mr. Photographer). And as we were just about to head out the door to the church (only 5 minutes late!)
My Dad surprised me by showing up to drive me and Mom to the UU. Once safely hidden at the church, we waited downstairs for only a minute or two, touching up lipstick, clutching bouquets, looking nervous. Then suddenly my Bro-in-law was rushing down to tell us it was time, the processional was playing- Kahlil's instrumental adaptation of "Sunrise, Sunrise" by Norah Jones- and S&S were on their way down the aisle ahead of me. My wonderful friend P told me when they had reached the front, and now it was my turn. So much was happening so quickly, I feel as though I can hardly remember the rest. I mean, I remember- of course, I remember walking down the aisle, worrying if I was walking too fast, smiling and nodding at particular friends, wobbling a little on my shoes, looking at my sister as I walked in front of her, listening to our song played in this beautiful, slow, instrumental way, reaching the front and looking at our officiant and my oldest sister and co-officiant B, checking to be sure I was in the middle, turning to await J's appearance in the other aisle- I remember all those things, but it seems as though another force was carrying me through it all, preventing me from falling over or crying or puking or any of the other things my anxious mind might have done at that all-important time. Bridezilla came through for me after all, producing sure steps and a constant smile and support to keep standing there waiting for her.