Monday, July 13, 2009

Older Daughter's wedding -- part 1 -- an overview

Older Daughter looked beautiful; I looked like a waiter. A rather over-stuffed waiter. On the plus side, I made $5 in tips before leaving the hotel.

It was raining Saturday in Indianapolis -- at times, it was pouring. Older Daughter, Younger Daughter and the rest of the bridal party were, nevertheless, determined to keep their hair and make-up appointments.

The Curmudgeon family took up residence for the weekend in a hotel not too far from either the church or the reception hall. It was a rather large hotel, in the middle of a shopping mall; there were comparatively few amenities, not even free coffee in the lobby.

Well, the coffee was free -- but the cups cost $2. And you had to use their cups.

I expect to fill in more of the details as the week goes on, but let's skip ahead to the ceremony itself.

The church was beautiful, and beautifully decorated. Either flowers are dirt cheap in central Indiana or the kids' florist made a mint. The bridal party was established in a library (after, of course, certain pictures were obtained). I found the groomsmen with the celebrant and the groom in an adjacent room. At my wedding, I'd been stuck in a little broom-closet-sized room across the altar from the Sacristy. Maybe one other person could come in at a time without it looking like a fraternity prank. But Saturday, my new son-in-law was in a common room suitable for formal dinners. Large formal dinners. Episcopalians really are different than us Fish-Eaters.

I bade the groom good afternoon and offered encouragement, then went to sit with my daughters and Long Suffering Spouse and her mother in the library. I didn't tell Long Suffering Spouse until this morning how close together the holding pens had been. "I would have been a nervous wreck if you'd told me," she said.

"Didn't you see how Barbara [a bridesmaid who's known the groom since childhood and was a member of that church] attacked that door every time someone went in or out?" I asked. "Nothing was going to happen."

Nor was it just Barbara who was policing the area. There were three ladies, a wedding coordinator and two assistants, who were stage managing everything. I called them the church nazis, which was not very polite, but does indicate, in an irreverent way, the martial ferocity with which they approached their coordinating duties.

One by one we were plucked from the library-slash-holding pen: Abuela went first, to be escorted to her seat, as if she'd only just arrived, by one my sons. Then Long Suffering Spouse was pulled out.

And what profound thoughts are exchanged at so important a moment? Older Daughter complained that her feet hurt already and confided that she felt like throwing up. One of the flower girls, my six-year old niece -- Older Daughter's godchild -- proceeded then to regale us with a tale of how she almost threw up at Chili's one time. Long Suffering Spouse did her best to change the subject, while she was there, but the conversation kept coming back to this.

Finally, it was time for the bridal party to go. It was a long processional (the Pachelbel Canon in D) so the bridesmaids were sent down the aisle at widely spaced intervals. Finally it was just the ring bearer and the flower girls and me and Older Daughter. Older Daughter and I were banished to one side by the church nazis lest anyone in a back pew catch a premature glimpse. We could see that the little kids were feeling nervous so we tried to catch their attention by tap dancing.

Well... it was more of a very simple shuffle. But it got the kids smiling and it broke the tension and even Older Daughter wasn't talking about throwing up any more.

Which was nice.

When we started down the aisle, and I began to see familiar faces, I admit that I choked up just a bit. I don't think I actually cried, but my eyes watered, and they must have matched the red vest I was wearing. Long Suffering Spouse told me later that Older Daughter looked so happy she was afraid her face would explode.

The ceremony was familiar... and unfamiliar. At many points, the ceremony tracked the Catholic liturgy -- but not at all.

And, in this church, apparently, when the Gospel is proclaimed, the celebrant leaves the sanctuary and marches down into the central aisle. They hadn't covered this at the rehearsal. I thought for a moment they'd gone on strike.

But the priest halted at the midpoint of the center aisle for the reading. At that point, turning to watch, I could see the clear windows in the vestibule -- and the water falling in sheets beyond.

By the end of the ceremony, however, the clouds had parted and it was sunny. Apparently my new in-laws have some serious clout.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

curmy could you blank out some faces and show me the photos? i'd LOVE to see some!

smiles, bee

The Curmudgeon said...

Oh, Bee. I just don't see how I can and preserve anything than accidental anonymity.

We don't have the "official" pictures yet anyway, of course. I'm told that it will be a month before the photographer is done 'fixing' all 3000 -- 3000 -- photos that she and her father took Saturday.