SIGH - so more than my sister reads this site because I've had a couple of people say "What.The.Hell?"
SO - FINE! You want blow by blow.... pull up a comfy chair sunshine, cuz you are about to get numb-bum.
THURSDAY MAY 20
Leave work early and get the boys packed to head to the hotel. The Big Guy is already gone to pick up the "Wish Tree" at a nearby nursery that we are making double-duty as a wedding gift (Butterfly Magnolia) and decor item. My contribution was research saying it is a Dutch tradition to make wishes for the bride and groom and tie them to a tree. I'm thinkin' "PERFECT" this tree will ROCK! Mom and I spend about an hour and three trips to a ribbon store (two weeks prior) to get enough ribbon for all Little Sister's guests to scribble down their best wishes to the Bride and Groom. Since the Groom's parents are "off the boat" Dutch, we all agree this is a nice way to incorporate something from their heritage without being overly stereotypical.....or have the bride wear wooden shoes....
After check in and settling the stuff in our room, the boys and I are back on the road to the rehearsal only minutes away. The Big Guy has joined us and we are very excited. The minister is caught in traffic coming out of T.O. so we entertain the troops. First Born Son and Second Born Son along with TBG are 'ushers' in that they will help people to their seats, but not stand at the front. Instead, they will join my parents in very comfy leather chairs right at the front of the congregation. The hall is beautiful with the centre aisle lined with large wooden pillars made by C2 (the groom). Each pillar has a large ivory candle and either a soft green bow or chocolate brown bow.
Finally the officiant is here and we have the bride, bridesmaids, groom, best man (groom's father) and ring bearer (groom's son). The sound man is missing, as is the videographer, but it's now roughly 10 minutes to bedtime for my kids and all the younglings are getting restless, so we go on without them.
After a quick snack at a nearby restaurant, my boys head back to the hotel with their father and I head back to LS's house with the girls. We walk in the door and just about weep. Apparently out of town guests didn't clean up after themselves and we are faced with a house in shambles. LS puts the girls to bed and I start cleaning. At 1:30 a.m. we finally fall into bed ourselves, after doing dishes, cleaning, printing and assembling bulletins for the wedding (a job someone else was to do, but "just didn't get around to.")
FRIDAY MAY 21
Morning comes far too early. I hear the sounds of little feet in heels practicing the stride we are using to walk down the aisle IN THE BATHROOM. We all grab a bowl of cereal and head out for a morning of pampering. LS owns a "green/environmental" hair salon and detox spa so we meet our mother there for hair and makeup.
LS and I debate on what style on me makes me look like an alien from "Mars Attacks" and I actually win!!! We depuff the hair a bit and I move on to makeup. My youngest niece "Libby" is the first one in the chair - and will be the last one out as her butt length hair is going to be in ringlets -0h the joys of having a mother who is a hairdresser. I would have run screaming from the chair 45 minutes into the process!
My eldest niece M&M is being transformed from a tomboy into a goddess - but not, thankfully, a tramp. That honor is being left to me. The makeup artist who is working on me is obviously nervous - given that she's doing the "Boss's" sister for the "Boss's" wedding. I come out of the experience with bland eyes and two large diagonal slashes - one on each cheek - which is suppose to be a blush. "You know we are going to have to fix that," LS says to me as we drive away. "Ya think?" I laugh. "Hooker" isn't usually a good look for a bridesmaid.
LS's stepdaughter is ready to go and when Libby finally has her corkscrews on tight, we load back into the car. Mom heads back to the hotel to wrangle my kids (including their father) and they are to meet us back at LS's house.
Ten minutes after we get through the door, it rings. We have flowers - hurray. Ten minutes after that, a photographer. I've been busy running to and from the door, tying sashes and begging little girls not to jump around - REMEMBER THE DRESS IS DELICATE LADIES!!
LS and I rebuild my face and she hopes in her dress. I get a hairy eyeball from the photographer because I'M not in my dress and I quell the urge to take her Nikon and cram it. She gets pictures of the girls, of LS, of my parents with LS, the girls with LS and then me (in my dress) lacing up the back of the dress. These are very tongue in cheek photos and include me with my foot on her butt and faking a Scarlett O'Hara moment with LS out of breath.
She takes pictures of all of us on LS's king size bed (?!?!?) and I'm forced to go into poses that no grown woman should have to do if she's not a gymnast. She gets shots of the girls JUMPING on the bed and with each bounce my mother and I clench our teeth harder, praying "Please God, just let the dresses make it through the ceremony!"
Finally, the photog is ready to leave and I have to ask "Please ma'am, may I have a photo with ma sista, please? Just one, ma'am?" Punishment for not being ready when she wanted me? Dunno, but we squeeze off two quick shots, both of which seem like unnatural poses and prominently feature my more than ample bicep. NIIIICE.
After the chaos of the photo shoot, we survey the damage and see that all four of the bridesmaids dresses are falling down in the skirts because, ironically, formal wear isn't meant to double as lounge wear.
LS immediately hauls out her sewing basket and she starts sewing some puckers into the dresses. At least she didn't have time to get nerves. We jump into the cars and head to the church 15 minutes late (and I'm assuming my sister is in a different time zone to the rest of the world because the minister insists we are 30 minutes late.)
Regardless, we are "in the house".
More to come......(don't you just hate that!!!???)