The day of Emily’s wedding started strangely for me. I was trying to wrap her present, over and over, but my hands kept shaking, messing it up. That happens to me sometimes when my blood sugar is low, or I’m having asthma issues. All I know is it was making everything take too long. Wrapping the present took so long I couldn’t wash my hair when I showered. Doing my hair took too long, so I was late starting my makeup. Doing my makeup took too long (nothing says fun like putting on eyeliner when your hand is shaking), so we were running late…which made my parents and I crabby.
We all cooled off on the drive over, and when we got to the park I took up my duties manning the present table and guest sign-in. Instead of a guest book, Emily and Jonathan made the brilliant choice of a picture frame to sign. Most guest books are never seen again, but with a picture frame, you put in a wedding picture and hang it on your wall to look at every day.
It was a gorgeous outdoor wedding. The setting was so beautiful that decorations weren’t really needed. Waiters handed out champagne with strawberries. Lauren was snapping pictures with an amazing camera, and I was clicking away with my little old Kodak EasyShare. (Sometimes I envy cool cameras like hers, but I’m not sure I’d like carrying a camera that big all the time, especially since I don’t have a car.) A bagpiper played.
Soon, we all took our seats, and the wedding party came out. They looked so beautiful, and Emily was beaming. She looked absolutely gorgeous, and her dress was exactly what I’d pictured in my head...exactly. Weird. As the vows were given, a butterfly flitted over Emily’s head. At different moments we all laughed and cried. At one point, we waited for people to speak as the spirit moved them, and people shared favorite bible verses and prayers for the couple’s good fortune.
After the big kiss and hugs from the bride and groom, we all moved inside for the reception. It was a brunch, complete with mimosas. It was some of the best wedding food I’ve ever had. Still, where was my brother? He had missed the wedding! I was about to call him and leave a single word on his voicemail: “BOOOO!” But just before I did, J.B., Erika and my adorable nieces walked in. Yea!
The lights dimmed, and a slide show of pictures of the bride and groom began to play. Brooke was sitting on my lap, and kept me from weeping (especially when looking at pictures of Craig and the girls) by asking a series of questions. For example, there was an elk head on one wall, and a bison head on the other, and some mounted geese and such. It’s a nature center, and they use taxidermied animals as teaching tools. They were high enough on the massive walls to be subtle, but the four-year-old was riveted. How did it get up there? Where was the rest of it? It was at about this point that one strap of my dress broke. Luckily, the straps were detachable, so I converted the dress to strapless…and felt a little bit nervous about it. I haven’t worn a strapless dress…ever? That doesn’t sound right, but I don’t remember wearing one. There’s just too much opportunity for embarrassing mishaps.
After the slide show, Brooke needed to run around. We went outside to play. First, we played “slow tag,” a game in which you play tag in slow motion. Another little boy from the wedding joined in. Then Brooke suggested we play “Enchanted,” but the little boy’s presence made her shy.
We moved on to playing Olympics. Courtney, Brooke and one or two little boys would crouch like they were in starting blocks. I would call out, “Ready? Set? GO!” They would run down the sidewalk and back, where I would declare “Gold! Silver! Bronze! Fourth Place!” They were excited regardless of how they placed. Sometimes they insisted I join in the running (in high heels and a strapless dress) and sometimes my mom joined in. I had a ball. Then, after getting sweaty from all the running, it was time for some pictures.
Lauren got some adorable pictures of Emily, Thea and Me (although one shows my bra. Darn strapless dress!), and pictures of my whole family with the bride. We’ve never gotten a picture with all of us before, so Mom jokes they’ll be our Christmas card pictures. Mom also snapped an awesome picture of me with Thea. Soon, it was time to pack up to go. The sheep families all volunteered to help clean up. We all wanted to be part of Emily’s special day, because she’s so special to us.
It went about as perfectly as it could. I hugged the Emily and Thea, hoping it wouldn’t be too long until we’re together again and, even more, hoping that Emily’s marriage goes as well as her wedding. If it goes even half as smoothly, her marriage will be a great one. I have faith that it will.