Monday, July 25, 2005

Fairytale wedding.... 

The socializing actually was set to begin on Friday with the rehearsal and dinner. The venue was inside a Victorian themed park on the western edge of town in the foothills with shops, a carousel, a ferris wheel, and a little train going around the park. My sister rented a building there with room indoors for 125 people, a large deck, and windows with a great view of the city.

The rehearsal got started a little late because there was a wildfire about five miles away causing traffic tie-ups and such. The temperature didn't help matters....it was 104 again I think. But we managed to get two quick run-throughs in before the next group showed up for their rehearsal.

We had dinner at a famous nearby bar and grill that had once briefly served as the state capitol. I sat across from the dad, stepmother and sisters of the groom. One of the sisters is quite young, about 6 or 7 I guess, but she is very bright, and I enjoyed watching her draw pictures of a party on the back of her kid's menu.

Unfortunately, because of the size of our party, the service was very slow, and they forgot to leave the croutons off my salad (I can't eat wheat), but I managed to get it straightened out without too much hassle. My hearing must be getting very bad because my dad was sitting fairly close to me, but I could only understand about a fourth of what he was saying to me. I just smiled and nodded a lot.

One thing I probably could have done without was that four people lit up cigarettes at the table. I happen to be sensitive to the smoke, and I developed a cough and a sore throat that bothered me the rest of the night. I have lots of friends and relatives that smoke, but all of them go outside to do that.

I think we got home about 9pm. I was surprisingly fatigued considering the big day was still to come, but I tried to take it as easy as I could before time for bed. I think the heat was partly to blame.

I had set aside enough time to get about 12 hours of rest before the festivities on Saturday, but I ended up getting very little sleep due to muscle cramps, alternating fevers and chills, and a migraine. I did my best to quell my symptoms with OTC remedies during the afternoon (prescription migraine meds don't work for me). At some point, adrenaline I didn't think I had kicked in, and I managed to get presentable and get out the door on time.

For once, the weather gave us a break. It still got to 102, but it was overcast, and the wind was cool. We got a few raindrops here and there but never enough to have to move everything inside.

We had to be at the venue an hour and a half before the ceremony for pix. It was actually pretty hilarious because even though there was a professional photographer on hand, just about every couple or family had their own camera as well. I dug out my 35mm for the occasion.

My sister looked absolutely regal in an ivory strapless gown with red trim. She had a tiara with a veil attached and her hair arranged around it. She had fire and ice roses in her bouquet.

Her fiance was in his Army dress uniform complete with hat. While he and my sister were having their photos taken, two rabbits hopped around the grass and flowers nearby. I wonder how many pix will have rabbits in them?

Dan kept a close eye on me because he knew how sick I'd been that morning. He guided me back into the building to where I was going to be playing the music for the ceremony. He talked me into getting a chair and resting while the opening music played.

The ceremony was in a large area with windows on three sides. They had exactly 125 chairs in there. Every single one of them was taken, and two people had to stand.

My sister is similar to me in termperament, both silly and sentimental. I had predicted she would both laugh and cry during the ceremony, and she did. And of course I did the same.

It was a beautiful ceremony. The only thing that could have made it better was if my mom were still alive to see it. My sister wore my mom's pearls, and I wore one of her rings.

Once the ceremony was over, the crowd spread out throughout the building and out onto the deck. And we took more pix. The photographer really had his hands full, trying to get shots of extended family and figuring out how to get 30 of us in the same shot.

Poor Dan was trying to get me to sit and rest because he could tell I was light-headed and wobbly, but I didn't want to miss any photo ops and kept going even though I was in horrible pain. The family is almost never all in the same place at once, and there were so many people I hadn't seen in years. When the caterer started serving dinner, though, I got in line fairly quickly because I knew my blood sugar was too low.

It is always difficult at a formal event for a celiac to be able to tell what contains wheat and what doesn't, so I gambled. I skipped the salad because of croutons and the chicken because it had a cream sauce, instead focusing on the beef, herbed potatoes and steamed veggies. Dan and I sat with some friends of the family, people I have known since I was in fourth grade.

While we were eating, my sister and her now husband disappeared for awhile. Boy, were we surprised to see them on the train riding around the park! It was sooooo cute.

The cake was gorgeous, four tiers with a blown glass top with swans whose necks formed a heart shape. Each tier was a different flavor cake. Naturally, I couldn't eat any, but I was told it was delicious.

After the cake cutting, the dj, who had set up on the deck, began cranking out the jams. They did all the traditional stuff, the toasts, the bouquet tossing (the groom's little sis caught it), the garter tossing, and dollar dances. They even did the Hokey Pokey and a polka but thankfully no Chicken Dance or Macarena.

I hadn't consumed alcohol in at least five years, but I decided to make an exception. I had a little champagne for the toasts, waited about two hours and then had an actual glass of it. I took care to drink plenty of water during the evening so the champagne wouldn't dehydrate me too much.

I wanted to dance soooooo badly! I did get Dan out on the floor for two slow songs at the beginning and the end, but he won't dance to the fast ones I like so much. I really should have taken a cue from the first song because I got leg cramps and hurt like someone was attacking me with a dagger, but I ignored it because I was having too much fun.

I mostly sat in my chair and tapped my feet during the fast songs, but there were a few occasions where I just had to get out and boogie. I was hurting too much to do any real dancing, but I was able to sway a little and move my arms around as long as I carefully planted my feet. Everyone could tell I was mentally jumping around like a maniac.

I wasn't able to do a lot of real conversing, but it was awesome to see a lot of old friends laughing and having a good time. There was one thing that I hope nobody caught onto....I'm having trouble recognizing people I should know. Several people came up to me and called me by name, and even though they looked familiar, I couldn't place them, so I just smiled and tried not to look puzzled.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and this was one of them. Probably just as well....I developed a nasty case of vertigo during the second slow song and felt like I was spinning all the way home. Good thing Dan drove.

So now my sister and her husband have embarked upon their honeymoon, an Alaskan cruise. I think they'll need the change of scenery after all the months of wedding plans and things. And my sister promised she would take lots of pix.

Saying that I'm tired now is like saying the Pacific Ocean contains water.....woefully inadequate. I could have taken it easier on myself, but I believe certain occasions deserve going all out for. And I'll never forget last night.

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