Recapping the Wedding
Things more or less got started on Thursday when the couple joined me, Deb, my brother Neil, my sister Judy, and her daughter Corinne at the Nationals-Mets game. There was much catching up and little ballgame watching, which may have been for the best considering the Mets played sloppily and lost.
Friday saw friends and family descend on Columbia and before we knew it, we assembled at the church for the rehearsal. This was the first time I was meeting Mike’s high school buddies who were serving as groomsmen and they were a happy bunch. Kate’s bridesmaids were similarly giddy and they blended pretty well, with all the various spouses and significant others. Judy, our stern but loving wedding coordinator, orchestrated events with Father Jerry and everyone followed directions. We were loose and silly and there was endless laughter, especially as we ad-libbed here and there. At one point, Kate and I entered each sporting the Vulcan salute.
Our rehearsal dinner continued the happy festivities and we watched ballgames, shot pool, ate, drank and made very merry. Kate accompanied us back home for some rest, although no one really slept much that evening.
On Saturday, there was a flurry of back and forth between our house and the hair salon where the women were getting ready. Suddenly, our home was filled with lots of women putting on their finery, their flowers arriving, the photographer along to capture the moments, and then Judy followed by the limo driver. A happy chaos ensued. And before I knew it, the bridesmaids, gorgeous bride, and I were in the limo en route to the church, a mere 10-15 minutes late. Then we came to a dead stop as the road to the church was closed for, of all things, a local high school‘s homecoming parade.
When we finally arrived, the bride was hustled out of sight and Judy was hurrying everyone into position, allowing them women precious little time to breathe and collect themselves. By then, they had convinced me and Kate to go in using the Vulcan salute but only with me sporting it. Mike asked me about it, and suggested that as I present bride to groom, I say, “Live long and prosper” to which he would reply “Qapla!” Yep, we were going to have some fun.
Just before it was our turn to enter, I turned to Kate and asked if she had second thoughts. The limo driver, behind us, quipped, “I have the engine running.” She broke through the nervous tension and laughed.
The ceremony was funny, moving, and tear-filled. Father Jerry was a delight, singing some songs, getting everyone to join in, and made it a comfortable, all-inclusive event. After learning a bit more about my side of the family, he found a Jewish prayed to close the ceremony with which was a nice touch. During the intentions, Robbie was singled out and that’s the one time I teared up. (The Fairfield bridesmaids all wore pirate earrings in his memory.)
The various families posed with the couple for pictures as did the bridal party as people drove off to The Great Room in nearby Savage. The couple took the limo, having a few precious minutes together before the party began. Once there, they were gone for a while with the bridal party, taking pictures on the nearby bridge. The day was warm, sunny, and lovely.
The reception went off flawlessly. The two sets of parents were introduced to the theme from Star Trek and the Raiders of the Lost Ark march was used for the bridal party. Then, there was a brief scramble as three sets of lightsabers appeared to form an arch, with me at the end. To the “Throne Room” score from Star Wars, the couple arrived, brandishing their own weapons.
After that there was eating, dancing, toastmaking, and a grand time was had by all. For those asking, the Father/Daughter dance was a mash-up of “A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and “We’re Having a Party” as sung by Southside Johnny–perfect picks. Our families were represented but the majority of those in attendance were their friends from high school, college, and work. It was nice getting to see the gang from the cons and the Fairfielders but the best part was watching everyone just have fun.
Back in February, I learned that the TARDIS photo booth in use at Farpoint was available for weddings. Kate and Mike loved the notion but it didn’t fit into the budget. When the Fairfield contingent found out, they chipped in and rented it for the day as their gift to the couple. With Cybermen and Weeping Angel masks, sonic screwdrivers, crowns, boas and other gear, people lined up for their turn. Civilians could have international backgrounds dropped in the shots while the geeks could be seen within the TARDIS itself. Two sets of images were printed so a strip could be added to a growing album, where guests could sign – a perfect keepsake of the day. (It was a big secret from me and Deb and the bridesmaids all wanted to be there when I discovered it, a jaw-dropping, wide-grinned moment.)
Five O’clock arrived all too quickly and people made their farewells. After various nephews helped me load the car with presents, leftovers, and assorted stuff, many of us repaired to the nearby bar to unwind. Amazingly, it was well before eight when exhaustion caught up with me and Deb so headed up, changed clothes and collapsed.
As the couple headed off on their honeymoon, we hosted our family to Sunday brunch to soak up their presence a little while more before we scattered. That turned out to have been some work but well worth it.
This past week had us host Deb’s mom and sister Chris for a few days while my mother and brother toured Washington and Williamsburg. On Thursday, Deb’s family headed for home while we bade a farewell dinner with my family. And now it is the weekend and we’re playing catch up on our sleep, reading, email, social media, and the like. The newlyweds return tomorrow and we look forward to hearing how their week was.
Looking back, it was tiring, but amazing. Magical in every way, a perfect way for the two to start their life together.