Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sneak peek

The Wedding// Part 2

Thank you Steve Jobs....

For inventing a phone that anxious people could type notes into .... any time any place ...including a hotel room in the middle of the night with no lights on.

I couldn't fall asleep and I couldn't stay asleep when I did. I kept visualizing who and what and where people and things had to be for the wedding....all night.

Thank husband's family was here....his sister and her husband ...his brother and his wife. They had offered to help the day of the wedding back in August when I saw them out West and I realized I needed more hands and more people running errands.

Like in many past events I have coordinated....I kept trying to "see" the whole day....I tried to see John picking up the cake ...the cupcakes ...the champagne...I tried to "see" if I had told him where to go or where things needed to be delivered. I tried to "see" the afternoon....the hair stylist and the make-up woman...working on the girls then on me. I tried to "see" myself....had I packed everything in the small bag to look the way I envisioned....earrings? shoes? perfume?

I would fall asleep then bolt upright....and type frantic messages to myself.

creter get hrass fr dst"

jhn gor mmore juie"

These translate into : call caterer and get glasses for the toast and John needs to get more orange juice for the bar.

After several messages....I was still awake with not much else to think about so I calculated the tips for
violinist....the DJ....the Caterer. I used my calculator then added a bit more so I wouldn't be cheap....which happens to me when I calculate things at 3am....(Yes I've done calculations for things in the middle of the night before so I know I get cheap at 3am and if I don't correct it....I will be sorry by 3pm after I distribute the money)

My alarm was supposed to go off at 6am but I gave up trying to sleep at 4:30am....unfortunately my hub was still sleeping but fortunately we were at an older
Homewood Suites hotel where I could close the door of the bedroom ....and work on the desk in the living room.

For the 20
th time...I wrote the directions out for the day without consulting the 19th version of the directions. I figured if I had really memorized it.....there was a good chance that is was in my head and I could take charge of the day.

When my hub finally woke....I was packed and ready to off we went to pick up a cargo van and head to my daughter's house to pack the van and leave it for the caterer. At this point....bouncing around in a cargo van that I thought perhaps a wedding planner would be a nice idea....after all the wedding ceremony was at 530pm....and here I was at grubby clothes....supervising and hauling boxes.

But by 11am....everything was packed....I was getting reports from the field that my sons were getting their tuxedos.... the cake was beautiful.....the cupcakes fluffy....that the champagne cost 567.00....what? Apparently the liquor store guy touched too many keys and overcharged us 300.00 but that was fixed and the champagne was on its way to the pavilion.

There was actually a moment ...around 1030 am.... when I sat down on a patio chair outside their house and just SAT. I felt in my bones that the train had left the station....for this event....and all we could do was hang on and go with the flow....whatever would happen would happen. Chooo chooooo.

Some good text messages pinged me from my daughter....she was getting ready ....everything was fine....a friend had brought a delicious lunch to the hospitality suite the girls were dressing in.

Then I remembered people had to eat....I had to I
texted my sons to make sure they bought lunch....texted my daughter to use room service for an extras.....and gratefully my hub arrived the same minute I finished typing with sandwiches for us.

I wasn't nervous with all the busy things to do in the morning....but as I got in the car and drove downtown to meet the girls and get ready nerves flared up....I could feel my cheeks blush and my neck redden. Will everything turn out all right? Would this be a happy wedding? Would my daughter be alright? Would she be happy?

I don't even remember driving downtown.....I simply "awoke" to find the odd shaped Hyatt in front of me...pulled in....gave the keys to the doorman and grabbed my bag.

The hospitality suite was a busy room....the hair dresser was teasing
someone's hair....the make- up lady was dabbing something on one of the girls cheeks.

I had my daughter do a twirl and her hair looked drop-dead gorgeous. She has wonderful thick hair....and the hairdresser had pulled it back and up into a bun with massive curls. All the bridesmaids looked beautiful. I put down my bag and started to cry. Someone whisked a
Kleenex into my hand and then the door opened for the photographers.

Two young women with big cameras. The lead photographer....was quite a site... perhaps 5 feet tall....she had ultra straight black hair.....thick black glasses....and the whitest skin I had ever seen. She looked like Snow White ...if Snow White wore black skin tight pants, a black t-shirt and had a couple of metal lip rings.

The stylist sat me down and started working on my hair and although she had done a gorgeous job on the girls....I hated what she was doing with my hair. Speak up or let it be? Damn...I just kept quite....and figured I could reconfigure it when she was gone....then I noticed the makeup lady....stumbling.
Hmmm. The stylist put the last touches on my hair and I walked over to check up on the make-up lady who was obviously tripping out on some kind of drugs.

She told me to sit down and she'd start my make up. She tried to apply a false eyelash to my lashes and put it on my nose....she tried to apply some rouge and missed my check. I stood up...and said...."We're finished." I found the Stylist who was touching people up and told her to take her home. The Stylist apologized a thousand times....and told me not to give her a tip. I decided to give her a tip. This chick was not going to work much more...especially with this I was weirdly generous perhaps because I knew she was a single mom supporting two kids and life was not going to get better.

My daughter appeared with half her dress on....and suddenly the photographers started clicking.... zip....cry cry.....put on her sash......put flower in her hair.....check hems check on the floor steaming a stubborn wrinkle out of her train....and then suddenly everyone was gone.

The photographer wanted to take pictures at the venue....and everyone was whisked off.... I was left in two big rooms....with suitcases and shoes and food and drinks all over....but alone.

I headed for the windows and took a deep breath.

It was still overcast and cool but not raining...that was good. There was a bit of sun breaking through the clouds...that was good....and it was 330pm....the wedding would start in 90 minutes and all was well. Texts were coming in they said....the van had been unpacked...the photographer was hub was somewhere in route to the hotel....the caterer was getting the dinner tables ready....and everyone apparently was in their place.

I wish I could report that I had some amazing insights or thought of life or love or something significant....but all I seem to be able to do was gaze out the window......there was a knock on the door and my sweaty hub was here....tux in hand and ready to changed.....he ducked into one bathroom ...I ducked into another....and viola we were dressed and restyled and
recombed in 20 minutes.

The Pavilion where the wedding would take place was only a 10 minute drive away...three blocks from the hotel in late afternoon traffic... I sat in the car with my fingers crossed....oh please let it look nice....oh please let everything be in place. I got out of the car with my stomach in a knot......a few stairs..... a few steps and I would see.....

I walked in....and felt my mouth looked beautiful!

The lanterns on the table.....the black and white pattern.....the caterer had brought extra flowers in stunning black and white vases. I went to Ginny who was working on the Heritage table....and swooned! All these their wedding their stern or happy looks....all the frames were beautifully arranged on the table. It was like they all had a seat at the table.

The mannequins with my dress and my mother's beautiful 1940's satin silk dress looked amazing. My mother in-law's dress hung neatly from a wooden coat rack...the stain on the lapel covered by a card I had made. I couldn't help it...I went to my mother's dress and stroked the satin...pretending to rearrange it. I whispered to the dress, "Oh mom...I wish you had lived just two years more to see this ...Oh I wish you could have made this." Just a couple years ....and you could have been here. I also went over to a picture of my dad and rearranged it...."Oh dad....I wish".....Tears were doing a free fall....fortunately, Ginny asked me a few questions.....could we rearrange the ferns? could we leave a place on the fireplace for presents....all yes and yes...and I could stop the flow and hug and thank her for her work.

Suddenly, people were pulling at me.... it was time to line up....the violinist was playing the entrance song....everyone was here.... everyone was set to go. My youngest son told me he expected my hub to cry but not me....but when he escorted me to my seat....I had to firmly bite on my lip so I wouldn't start crying. My daughter looked not only beautiful...but happy.

My daughter and son-in-law created their own vows and ceremony. It started beautifully by mentioning the names of people dear to them who could not daughter's godmother who was too ill to travel....the grandmother of the groom...also ill. There were readings that were just plain gorgeous and poignant....and I can't tell you a word of what was read....I heard things...but the words seemed to float through me. After the minister pronounced them as married..a small gaggle of geese flew if it were hub leaned over and whispered..."Did we pay for that?" I laughed ...." took a lot of corn to convince them."

My daughter walked away with her husband....and I took a deep breath.

It was somehow over....the tension...the worry. Music started.....glasses started to clink.....guests started waving and sitting down and people were grouped and chatting. Food arrived....toasts were given.... the music started.

I was just plain happy and relieved....I danced....I drank champagne .....I ate.....I danced....I chatted.... I laughed. Most of the guests were "kids"...all their it was fun to see the energy of their dances....the gusto of their drinking...and the fun people seemed to be having.

And I was pleased for the people I had there....grateful for the help from my hub's family...glad one of my high school friends could be there....and just pleased...that the weather held....there were no major slip ups....but mostly .......pleased that the vibe seemed happy and joyous.

That's what you want to remember a wedding by....that it was happy and joyous and fun.....that there was enough food and enough drink and no drama....and just enough funny stuff...a guy dancing without a shirt on....two girls getting way too erotic on the dance floor....and one dad dancing the funky smile about.

The "kids" left in cabs for the hotel....the rest of us packed everything going back home into the cargo van. By this time ....I wasn't sure where my shoes where or whose pocket had my cell phone....and did I bring a purse? I hopped up into a cargo van with my fancy dress ....and my hub drove back to the hotel...with mannequins bottles clinking....and creeks and groans from frames and ferns and decorations.

I slammed the cargo van door once we reached the hotel....and started laughing...which is probably the best ending to a wedding you can mother of the bride. Holy Shit....what an adventure this has been!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Wedding....Part I

It's been a week since I wrote on my reality it feels like a month.

Last Tuesday my nerves were starting to fire up big time. My future mother-in-law's hiring of a wedding planner to decorate for the rehearsal dinner....made me have doubts about how we (my daughter and I) planned the wedding....was it going to look alright? was it going to be happy and joyous? I had tried to be frugal.....but practical.....and now the landing of this professional wedding planner to do the rehearsal made me lose my confidence. Suddenly I was worried.....I went through the wedding in my head....pretty venue....tasty food.....good beverages and alcohol....supposedly a good DJ....was this all going to come together?

Tuesday and Wednesday I spent in my daughter's basement....packing boxes and arranging things. I was determined .....the wedding would be organized....well organized...that's one of my best we re-created the Sweet table....which would hold the wedding cake and cupcakes.....the Heritage table which held dozens of photographs of great grandmas and great great grandpas.....the Sweetheart table....where my daughter and her new husband would sit.... the sign-in table with the guest book....and finally the dinner tables. The caterer would be responsible for the dinner tables but my daughter's best friends mother-Ginny- would come early and set up the rest of the tables.

Of course at that point, I realized I didn't know Ginny very well and here I was dumping the important wedding tables on her anxiety ratcheted up a notch.

Someone had mentioned to me a couple weeks before that a bride's mother came down with head to toe hives the day before the wedding....I laughed...what a silly I felt empathy and sympathy for the nameless woman.

Thursday arrived and Ginny and I sat down for a meeting. It was obvious that Ginny was one organized and smart woman. She, like me, started out life as a we immediately shared a love and appreciation of organization and good reporting.

I had taken pictures of the tables and drew diagrams as backups. I could see Ginny smile and nod and I handed her stapled and numbered papers. I hadn't known that Ginny in a later career move had worked at a Country Club organizing events. Any fears that this woman wouldn't accomplish the task....flew out the window.

Like any good organizer, she also offered her opinions....I took a deep breath and listened carefully....this was constructive criticism. But my ego had a wall up and I had to squash it down and say "Could you repeat your suggestions "and then listen with an open mind. I admit I did something smart.....I agreed to her changes....moving the guest book onto a separate table.....moving a lantern from the fireplace to a table....moving candles. As I type this....I realize it's small stuff.....but sometimes when you're's the small stuff that can make or break the appearance of a room.

After our was off to the rehearsal at the glass pavilion on the river and then off to the rehearsal dinner. When I arrived at the restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, I forced myself to go to the bathroom and let everyone else go ahead. I stood there looking in the mirror... splashing a little water on my face.....what was I scared about? that the rehearsal dinner would look better than the wedding? that in my quest not to go crazy with the budget my daughter's big day would look cheap? and hence embarrass her? I settled on the embarrass factor......I wanted my daughter to be happy and I wanted everything to look nice without looking garish or cheap and without spending a fortune on things that didn't matter. I splashed a little more water on my face and left.....the wedding train had already left the station and what was coming was coming.

The rehearsal tables....looked fabulous.....and containers lined the long rectangular tables with multiple branches of green orchids ....a beautiful green mat ran down the middle of the table....votive lights with raffia ties were sprinkled about. I cringed....but then I pinched myself and said....stupid happy for this beautiful setting....the "kids".... the ones getting married are pleased. So I smiled and ordered a drink and admired the tables and told my future mother-in-law how great they looked and I meant it.

As the dinner wore on...I started to chuckle a little....the wedding planner wasn't omnipotent after all. All these tables and all these decorations left little room to mingle....people were squished up against the walls of the restaurant before dinner trying to converse....the drinks took forever....the food was pleasant but not great and expensive.

When I overhead my mother-in-law recheck the gratuity on the eyeballs nearly popped out. Holy Shit they had spent an a lot of money on this....

Then I looked up and around and saw people laughing and talking and teasing one another ...and I realized that if we sat down to a table of votive lights and a few flowers the same scene would be playing out.....people wouldstill be laughing and chatting and teasing. Decorations can make a room....but people make the party.

My confidence started to return.....I was feeling good about the wedding the next day. We had good people coming to this wedding....we had good music and food and there was a chance this would be fun.

Then someone handed me a sheet of paper.....I looked it over and said to myself ..."what the hell?????".....I had written down the schedule for the wedding day....8am this happens.....9am this person goes here.....10am the cake gets picked up.....marking each hour till the wedding ceremony. It was detailed but everyone could read the schedule easily and know their places. This sheet of paper was a revised not only had the day rearranged....but fussy details on the evening...."6pm guests enjoy their delicious buffet"....".6:30 festive glasses with champagne arrive."

I turned to my daughter and said...."who wrote this?"

She quietly said....."the wedding planner."

And I sat there and wondered who was doubting my organizational daughter? my future mother-in-law? No one said a word and no one admitted to me who was worried that my schedule was inadequate or not comprehensive enough.

I could see there were things on the schedule I hadn't included (because someone else like the DJ was responsible for it) and there were excessive words I would never include ......adjectives like delicious or festive......and it was so detailed and long and windy....I couldn't imagine anyone figuring out quickly where they had to be and what they had to do....but there it was....the wedding planner schedule for the wedding day.....obviously my mother-in-law had paid her to do more work.....and I simply didn't know what to think about all of this.

My ego and heart and confidence felt like a yo minute confident the next minute was this all going to turn out?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Getting ready for the wedding

I wish I could prep for the wedding like Britney here......who is just waiting around to wear a wedding dress as part of the decorations Friday.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Pack 'em up and mov'em out...we're getting our daughter married off

Dang...the truck is here and my to-do list is as long as the truck.....we, of course, ordered a small truck ...and of course the one they assigned to is a 16 footer.

Dang.....we could hold the wedding reception in the truck!

We're taking patio furniture from my parents to my daughter plus all the wedding decorations and of course a cooler full of kolaches and a cooler full of kielbasa. If we ever got lost or fell into a ditch we could eat well for a month in style!

Fortunately we don't have to leave in the next minute....more like in the day or two....but we are heading off to Ohio and our daughter will be married one week from today. Hard to believe.

I have not hit the squishy mom phase...or the teary-eyed stage or really anything but the supreme organizer stage. Everyone is looking at me.....everyone is waiting for marching future mother-in-law seems anxious...but then again she doesn't really know how many events I've handled in the last few years...everything from a party for 750 people to welcome in a book to an auction with 120 items. I'm fairly confident I can handle a wedding party of 65.

Well...I'm pretty long as I don't get too emotional. But like some kind of drill sargeant...someone has to remember where the lanterns go....someone has to remember where the floral spray is to touch up the live ferns....and someone has to remember where the ampersand is packed. ( I just learned that the & sign is called an ampersand and is a BIG hit at wedding where you place initials or photos and then an ampersand between them. Thank heavens my husband is handy because I searched Google for hours trying to find one that was just the right size and there was none available.....lordy the things parents go through for there

So now I have to pack everyday jewelry, make a to do list for the boys....(they're staying home till the last minute) and clean the my happy-fish-who-lives-in-my-computer room....okay plus a dozen other things.

I am looking forward to this happy event arriving and being over. LOL>>

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Wedding Sweat Shop......

Our house has turned into a wedding sweatshop for the weekend.

My husband is finishing wooden lanterns he made to mimic the table lanterns except on a bigger scale for the outdoor ceremony.

I 'm working on cards for the Heritage table with names, drawing diagrams of the tables for the folks who will be setting up the tables, testing a steamer, spray painting items that need to be in the wedding colors of black and white...and touching up all manner of stuff...then packing them in boxes...labeling them....and preparing things for either riding in the car or the U haul truck.

If it's a holiday weekend it's news to us....and I have about a dozen more things to do....including getting the wedding wine. The wine shop I patronize suggested two modest reds for the wedding and fortunately I bought a bottle of each to test out. Ugh! Are they kidding??.....I usually trust these guys but either my palette is funky or they have not tasted the stuff.

To add a little stress to all of future mother-in-law...has suddenly started injecting last minute ideas....suddenly she decided she was going to get a horse drawn carriage for the couple to ride from the wedding pavilion to the hotel....suddenly she decided she MUST have a wedding planner to stage the rehearsal dinner....suddenly she..........

I had to step back.. take a really deep breath....and not take this personally. I've even placed my husband in charge of telling me to "take a deep breath and let everything roll off."

In fact, we're practicing....."Okay...tell me what you are going to tell me every day and maybe even a couple times a day....during the next two weeks."

"Take a deep breath and let everything roll off." I took a deep breath and let everything roll off....if she wants to rent a horse drawn carriage....fine...if she has suddenly hired a wedding planner for the rehearsal dinner...fine...if she wants to ......fine.

Of course the kids are amused. They told her they don't want a horse drawn carriage ....and seem to be surprised the wedding rehearsal has turned into a mini wedding.....but....

fine....."let everything roll off"....if this make his family what? it's fine....

If there is one thing I am NOT going to do is inject unnecessary DRAMA into the wedding.

There is really no need for it.....just keeps the kids happy.....have fun.....enjoy everybody.

Take a deep breath and let everything roll off.