It was an unbelievably beautiful day. Temps in the low 70’s, sunny skies and a slight breeze. Perfect day for a dream wedding. It was everything we planned it to be and more.
Seven months of hard work went into this day of family and celebration. Research, budget, make lists, recruit, babysit, shop, yard sale, make more lists, visit venues, decisions, prayer. Months of brainstorming with Rachel and Jen. It was worth every minute, every struggle, every stress.
My daughter was incredibly beautiful. She and Donny looked at each other like there was no one else in the world. As I sat on the front pew with my love and watched Donny get emotional during the vows, I felt like I was experiencing our wedding day all over again. Same church, same look of love. Almost twenty five years later. What a blessing that Tim and I could watch the man we have prayed for gaze at our daughter with such adoration. God is good.
Despite the best of intentions there were a couple of last minute things to cope with. On Wednesday I realized I hadn’t bought any napkins for the wedding. Oops. Not on my list anywhere! Insert trip to Party City and messy crisis averted.
I searched online for prices for disposable goods (cake plates, buffet plates, punch cups) and found a company with a cheaper price. They arrived about 3 weeks before the wedding but I had ordered too small of a plate for the buffet. The company said they would let me return them and shipped out another size to me. Unfortunately, they seem to celebrate every holiday (including Rosh HaShanah) and closed the company each time. I placed the new order online and waited anxiously for it to get here. And waited. And waited. Phone calls and emails to check the order were rarely returned. On Tuesday before the wedding they were delivered. Thank God! Another crisis overcome. (I still wait for this company to return my calls and emails about returning parts of the original order we didn’t use.)
The day did not go off without a hitch despite all our intense planning and preparation. Rachel and I went to get our hair done and her makeup done at 9:00 am. This was her treat to me and a special way to begin our day. Shortly afterwards, though, she got a call from her dad saying that the bridesmaid putting up our directional posters for the reception was standing at the main road into campus and the venue. It was CLOSED. What????? The college was on fall break and there was construction going on at one of the crosswalks. Sections of the street were blocked, totally changing our sign placement planning.
Of course, I had forgotten my cell phone (never happens) and could do absolutely nothing to help. Dad had to make phone calls and troubleshoot instead of having his leisurely morning coffee. Not good. I sat helpless, praying that it would work out and our guests wouldn’t have to walk a mile from another location on campus to the house. Everything did work out and campus patrol didn’t even have anyone on duty since it was fall break. We were told we could park anywhere on campus, including metered and marked spaces, and would not be towed. Signs were rerouted and calm returned. Sort of. The stress level did rise but we were marching towards the goal!
Got home in a rush for Rachel to do S’s makeup and finish her hair, load the car, rush to church at 12, evade Donny and finally take a breath. No time for food but I had grapes in our room and no one passed out from hunger so we were good! Fastening the endless buttons on the back of Rachel’s dress and praying with her before I went downstairs was surreal and emotional. Such a beautiful young woman. I was and am honored to be her mom.
The biggest regret Rachel has is the fact everyone left her in the bridal room on the second floor and no one came back to get her! I was in the sanctuary and heard her music and we all stood up. Nothing happened for a few moments. Finally, the doors swung open (I couldn’t see it, of course) and she and her Daddy came down the aisle. I was busy watching Donny look at his beautiful bride. So sweet. The part I didn’t know was that the bridal party went down to process in and no one was left with Rachel. She heard her music and freaked that no one had come to get her! Her dad asked the wedding director about it and she had forgotten! So her dad got in the elevator to get her. Once they were in the foyer she and her dad were basically pushed down the aisle. So much for calm and composure! Makes for a great wedding story, though! Found out later my nephew was standing in the back trying to wave down the pianist and keep her from starting the bridal processional.
Realized later that the flameless battery operated candles were never lit on the memory table (the grandparents’ pictures were there to remember their lives). We also had one family pew designated behind the parents’ pews but no one told my son so it remained empty and our family set elsewhere. Way to feel isolated!
We had prepared 64 water bottles with Donny and Rachel’s monogram on them and they were almost gone by the time we got to the Alumni House. I was very surprised because Rachel requested my famous punch recipe, but I suppose people were hot from walking and went for the water. Had quite a bit of punch leftover. I think more ginger ale should have been added to give it more spice.
My husband got to be a bouncer and I didn’t even see it. He dashed into the kitchen when we first got there and was informed we had an uninvited guest. Apparently a student wandered in and made himself at home, helping himself to the food and sitting with the other guests. Tim promptly went over and told him this was a private gathering and he needed to move on. Wedding crasher!
No wedding day ever goes perfectly. Yet for my daughter and her new husband and their family and friends it was a day to be cherished. God is good.