My job in the wedding really only took off the past few days. It started with the design of the schedule, which made Beedoo! realise that we neglected to arrange or appoint an Emcee, a Master of Ceremonies! Fortunately, our friend Scott (known to some as Abram Wintersmith), who was able to come only on a shoestring budget, was willing and able to step take on the role with only 36 hours notice. He had the plan of presenting himself like a ringmaster, to go with the circus theme of our wedding invitations; we bought him a hat and a cane, and he did splendidly!
For my part, the hardest thing was all the motions during the ceremony. I have not seen or been to many church weddings (or weddings in general), and was mortified at the thought of doing things wrong and causing offense before all of Beedoo!'s family (who, being Arizonian, would no doubt shoot me dead and bury me in the desert). We had a whole rehersal the evening before, but the next morning, when we had to do it all for real, I had forgotten practically everything! Fortunately Robert and Andrew, my best man and groomsman, went before me in all the important parts, giving me the opportunity to catch up on what was going on! Plus, most of our job was to stand and listen. I think I understand the notion of having a bridal party to support the bride and groom a lot better now; this stuff is hard when you're in the middle of it.
My biggest moment of concern, however, was when I was back at the house alone, my bride off having her hair done, readying myself. I took the garment bag holding all my wedding clothes from the hanger, opened it up and started looking for my pants and... No pants! Now, I had packed my suitcase myself, but my mother had filled the garment bag for me. I started wondering if we had miscommunicated, or I misunderstood. Perhaps garment bags were not meant to hold pants, but only the top half of a costume*, and everyone but me knew that, and I packed the bag but not the pants, neatly laid out for me somewhere back home. Did I bring any other black pants? No, of course not! This is Arizona in the summer! I had to be at the church in an hour; did I need to call Beedoo!'s parents to go on an emergency pant shopping trip?! (A fine way to cement future family bonds, I'm sure. Turn your wedding into a sit-com! ;) )
And then... I discovered that the pants were on a hanger UNDER a shirt. They were just so light that I never even noticed they were there. Whew. Crisis averted.
Much other stuff happened. Like decorating the reception area, sometimes with the random help of friends trickling in. Friend Trimm carrying the ladder around for me as I hung up the papers lanterns (That day I learned how to make sliders!**). People filling up balloons. Jade Griffin's little girl Kyari asking if she could climb the ladder and hang up a lantern (Oh no, kid. I understand where you're coming from, but I have to play adult now...) The rehersal dinner...
Mad times! But we made it. Now we'll just have to stay married forever, so we never have to do it again. ;)
** slipknots... not mini-burgers.
When it came to decorating the church's parish hall for the reception, I'm glad I didn't go any less than I did on decorations, and I'm eternally grateful for everyone who chipped in with decorating! We had 17 paper lanterns of various sizes (Oriental Trading shorted us one.. oh well) to tie fishline to and tape to the ceiling so they wouldn't come down... Arno and I experimented with a few things at my house and my parents'... their ceiling wasn't really suitable, as it was heavily textured, but we managed to do a test-hanging of one of the lanterns at our place, and it never fell, despite the years of grease and smoke on the plaster ceiling... we ended up making a slipknot in the fishing line, then another knot (sheepshank? I don't know knots...) to form a stable loop. The loop was then taped to the ceiling with clear duct tape, and both sides of the tape were secured with more tape. Only one of them came down during the reception, so I call it a success! Still, it was a lot of work for Arno and Trimm, putting them up. In the meantime, Countess and Lauren were draping crepe paper streamers around, and my mom was off buying some plastic tablecloths to cover the more prominent bulletin boards in the room... in the end, even two layers thick, the bulletin boards kind of showed through, but sticking a balloon or two in back of them gave them a little more drape away from the boards so they couldn't be seen. I was busy filling 50 balloons and tying ribbons to them, with the help of my godmother, Mary, and Andy's mom, Anne. We had to coat them with Hi-Float, a liquid latex that keeps the helium from leaking out. At one point, a balloon popped on me, and splattered me with the liquid latex... I spent several minutes trying to pick it all out of my hair! We realized that the balloons weren't staying inflated when we just tied ribbons around the neck... I thought I still remembered some tricks from the flower shop, but we had balloon clips that held the balloons shut then... we ended up having to check every balloon to see if we'd properly knotted it, and re-inflating some that were sinking back to the floor. All in all, decorating went well, and we were in time for the rehearsal at 5:30.
I think Arno has it right about the rehearsal... even though we'd gone through it once the previous evening, we didn't remember anything of what we were supposed to be doing the next morning. Everyone else had a bulletin to follow... we just tried to keep up the best we could and repeat our lines correctly.
About two days before the wedding, I decided to look online and see what, if anyone had ever done something similar, I should be doing for the reception. I didn't plan on having a DJ, just set up a sound system to play off an iPod playlist. But as I was perusing, I panicked, because I didn't have an emcee at all to direct the flow of things. I needed to line out a schedule of the reception so the caterer would know when to put the food out. Arno and my mom and I kind of delineated things, and it hit me that Scott was coming--Scott, our friend from online, my DM for weekends when I'd go down to Phoenix for D&D nights, and who had been a radio DJ in college. His car's transmission had gone out, and only because Countess could drive him up and back would he manage to get to the wedding, and we agreed to pay for his meals if he would emcee for us. He had one suit that had survived his previous relation, in what had turned into "Cat-shit Palace"--his girlfriend's cats had destroyed most of his clothes and various other things--but, we discovered on the night before the rehearsal, the pants were now about 14 sizes too big for him! They hung off him like pajamas... pajamas which were also too big and baggy. He ended up just wearing the slacks he'd worn down... that worked fine, even though they weren't a perfect match for his pinstriped jacket. We drove all around town looking for a place to get him a tophat, and ended up at the one place I didn't want to try for fear of it being prohibitively expensive. We ended up finding a nice tophat for $25, and he also found a cane to complete the "ringmaster" effect. He did wonderfully, on the fly as most of this was, though one more thing we hadn't counted on was our ringmaster overheating--the jacket he'd brought was a winter one, and he was sweltering through the reception! Even so, he wouldn't break character.
A couple more debacles... My hair appointment in the morning started a little late, as no one told me I had to wear a button shirt to preserve my hairdo... I don't even OWN a button shirt; they pooch out in the front. And I'd forgotten a picture of how my hair had been done the previous time. Dad ended up running down a picture and one of his shirts (I don't think mom had any button shirts either, for the same reason!) And I didn't get a copy of our schedule to the caterer--totally slipped my mind in the panic over the emcee! She nabbed Scott's from him and suggested changes to step up the pace, because we were losing people. I'd also prepared a FAQ for Arno and I, but lost that in the shuffle. We sort of ad-libbed it, and took some questions from the floor. And then suddenly, we were up to the part where I was to do my grandmother's version of Little Red Riding Hood, and I was so nervous I lost track of it twice. I'll probably be asked to recite it at every family gathering from here on out, but it'll probably go better because I won't be near as stressed out!
As we went out for the bouquet toss, the photographer noticed how good the light was, so the wedding party was hurried outside for portraits which hadn't happened in the morning as planned. Unfortunately, when we got back in, everyone thought we'd made our exit, so they'd all left! I also had 3 bowls of buttermints that didn't get put out, and 5 centerpieces that were meant to be given away DIDN'T... ugh.
So, yeah... it wasn't a disaster, but things didn't go perfectly. Such is life.
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