Sorry for my absence from blogland this month, it's been a whirlwind of activity. A huge life event occurred last weekend - my daughter got married.
Nearly a year and a half in the making, my super-organized daughter had everything planned to a "T." She'd chosen a local winery for the ceremony and reception, hired a photographer, caterer, and DJ. Since she and her husband-to-be loved card games, they chose a playing card theme, and meticulously gathered, bought, or created decorations that followed this concept.
|The beautiful bride hoping for a break in the rain|
The only thing she couldn't control - the weather. Historically early September in Oregon is always sunny and dry. We'd enjoyed three weeks of hot weather leading up to the big day. But by midweek, a pesky 40% chance of rain popped up in the forecast. The day before it grew to 80%. Since an outdoor wedding was planned, my family all hoped the weatherman would be wrong.......
|The wedding party|
We awoke wedding day morning to cloudy, misty skies. The hour-by-hour forecast didn't look promising, showing heavy midafternoon rain - just in time for the ceremony! Although the option existed to hold wedding vows indoors, my daughter would have none of it. She declared "I paid for a lawn wedding, and that's what I'm going to get."
Dry skies prevailed during the morning rehearsal. Someone joked that my daughter and her almost-husband should quickly get married before it started raining. Several people told my daughter that it's good luck to have rain on your wedding day. (I certainly hope that's true!)
All morning while the bride and her bridesmaids prepped hair and makeup, clouds began to thicken and the sky became darker. My daughter had hoped to have her wedding photo shoot outside amongst the vineyard's beautifully landscaped fields. Seeing the forecast, her photographer wisely suggested the winery's barrel room as a backup location. Then, just in time for photographs, the heavens opened up. Finally dressed and ready for photographs, my daughter asked her bridesmaids what the weather was doing. No one spoke up. Turning around and seeing sideways rain pounding against the window she cheerfully remarked, "Barrel room it is!"
|The "ring security man"|
Luckily the venue had a huge porch overlooking the lawn, which became the de-facto studio for all group portraits.
|Relaxing before the big event|
The bride was stunning in her gown and the groom handsome in his suit and red Air Jordans. The bridesmaids were gorgeous in their candy-apple red dresses, the groomsmen dashing in their black suits and red ties (and matching black Air Jordans!). The flower girl, my niece, was the picture of cuteness. The ring bearer, or "ring security man" was the son of one of my daughter's friends. He was decked out in dark shades, name badge, and suitcase to keep the rings secure (however not one to trust a 3-year-old, the maid of honor and best man held the real rings).
Fifteen minutes until "go time" we stood on the winery porch, sipping vino, watching torrents of water fall from the sky and drip off the roof. It wasn't looking good. Glancing at the wet chairs lined up on the lawn, I asked the wedding coordinator if someone could wipe them off just prior to the ceremony. She ran into the kitchen and recruited the catering staff for the task.
|Walk down the aisle|
The appointed time came....and it was still raining, although not as intense. The DJ/officiant decided to wait a few extra minutes just in case the weather changed. But although slowing down, the rain didn't appear to show any sign of letting up. Someone handed my hubby a red umbrella. (Not sure where they found an umbrella in her wedding colors, but it was perfect.) We'd waited long enough - time to start this wedding. The show must go on!
|It was a wonderful (but wet) ceremony|
My husband walked his daughter down the aisle wiping back tears. She looked so beautiful. Starting to choke up, I busied myself taking photos (yes, I brought a camera with me - I wasn't about to miss the front-row photo ops!) Knowing my hubby and I are sensitive souls, prior to the wedding my daughter gifted us each handkerchiefs printed with the words "No ugly crying." I tell, you she thought of everything!
|Exchange of rings|
The maid of honor was a trooper - not only did she hold my daughter's extremely heavy bouquet in one hand, she also positioned an umbrella over her head for the entire 10 minute ceremony. What a great friend!
It was a lovely ceremony, with custom vows and many references to cards and poker sprinkled in. I wish I could remember some of the lines, but I've already totally forgotten them all. Too bad someone didn't think to take a video of the nuptials.
|Time to party!|
Although it continued to precipitate the entire time, the rain was never very heavy and I didn't get too wet. Not long after the first kiss and introduction of the new Mr. and Mrs, it tapered off into sprinkles. But I was so into the ceremony I didn't even notice. My hubby and I shed happy tears as our daughter and new son-in-law joyfully walked back down the aisle. Let the party begin!
Taking advantage of this brief dry spell the wedding photographer whisked the newlyweds back outside for some vineyard pics. Then my daughter and son-in-law made a triumphant entrance and commenced their first dance together as husband and wife. (My son joked he was going to have the DJ play that Alanis Morrissette song titled "Ironic" - "it's like rain on your wedding day")
Second on the agenda was the father-daughter dance. My daughter and her dad have always been close and I got misty-eyed seeing them together on the dance floor.
|Of course it cleared up an hour later....|
After a few more dances, the DJ took a break for dinner. We were served delicious food and more wine. After eating I intended to visit with all of the guests, but time seemed to speed up and I felt like I really didn't see very many people nor have much of a conversation with anyone.
|Shoe game (no peeking!)|
The DJ called the newlyweds out onto the dance floor to play a game where the bride and groom held one of each of their shoes. He asked them questions about each other (who is more likely to...?) and they had to answer by holding up the correct shoe. It was a lot of fun to watch.
|Best man speech|
Then there were funny and sentimental speeches by the best man and maid of honor.
|Maid of honor speech|
Of course no wedding is complete without cake! I absolutely loved the decorations on their wedding cake. And when it came to feeding each other a slice, my daughter and son-in-law were very polite.
|Cake tasting aftermath|
During the customary bouquet toss, the DJ invited all the ladies, single or not out to the dance floor. My daughter made several motions to throw her bouquet, and then at the last minute hustled over to the crowd and handed her bouquet to the flower girl. So sweet!
|The flower girls gets the bouquet|
The evening passed by way too quickly and before I knew it, all the guests were leaving and people began cleaning up the venue. Many hands made fast work, and everything was quickly packed into waiting cars. The newly-married couple drove off to their honeymoon in the pouring rain (yes, it was raining once again!).
|Parents of the bride|
Despite the soggy forecast, a little rain didn't dampen our spirits on this special day! I'm thrilled to have a son-in-law - my daughter's new husband is a smart, ambitious, enthusiastic young man that I adore. Such a perfectly matched couple, I wish them many years of love and happiness.