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Wedding preparations--the day of

At some point in the middle of the night on Friday, the wind started to pick up. It woke me at least once, and I started to worry a little more about the weather.

Thus far, the weather had been behaving itself pretty well. We knew that there was a massive storm up north, but it wasn't supposed to impact us much, aside from wind. On the other hand, this is Texas, and you never know what'll blow up in the middle of the night.

I woke up early, again, and I headed, again, to the main house. This time, though, I decided not to run.

There weren't as many people up and about when I got to the house. My mom was up, and a few other people were sort of stirring. I suspect all that beer from the night before was slowing people down.

I didn't have time to deal with waking people up. I picked up my list of things that need to be prepared for the day of the wedding, printed it out, and posted it prominently on the kitchen island. Then I headed outside.

My first task was to hang the saris from the trees. This involved my mother, a ladder, and the dogs. The first branch was pretty easy to get the sari material over. But I was about a foot too short for the second branch. The wind was pretty fierce at this point, so the material had to definitely be over something substantial in order to stay put. It took a little while, but Graham showed up, and figured out that if we wrapped the material in something heavy (in this case, a log), it'd be easier to throw over the second branch. Once it was over, we weighed down the ends with logs, so they'd stay in place.

After that, I sent Graham down the road with the two signs and another sari to decorate the front gate.

Next, I grabbed the leftover MDF from the light boxes, and I spray painted them with blackboard paint to make a schedule. We didn't make programs or any other hand outs, so I figured that people may want to have an idea of the course of the day. I took the MDF back to the house to write everything out, and it looked like people had started to stir.

My sister Liv, her friend Caley and my aunt Marilyn went into town to pick up breakfast burritos that we'd ordered the weekend before. While they were there, they picked up an other keg of beer.

In the meantime, I headed to the tables while Graham went back to the rehearsal site to organize the movement of the tables and chairs we'd used there back to the main ceremony site. The wind continued. Fortunately, the tables were set up in the most protected part of the yard: They were surrounded by trees on one side, and the house on the other. When the wind picked up, they were the least effected. Unfortunately, the wind would sometimes pick up to about 20 miles an hour or so, making it inevitable that tables would get some major air movement. I started by setting up two demo tables. Paper table cloth taped down to the table, with tape secured to the table legs to minimize blowing. Sari squares taped down to paper tablecloth. Vase with circle flowers weighed down with pebbles with two plants. OR Kusudama flowers taped down to sari with three plants.

Seven drops of rain fell during the process of putting together the demo tables. I told myself not to panic, and I moved inside to start some other project, leaving the rest of the table adornments on the front porch for the time being.

The sign put on the stereo by my dad during wedding prep.

At some point around 11:00 am, Graham and I foolishly looked at the radar map to get a sense of the weather. A line of rain clouds formed on the other side of Austin, and they were supposedly headed our way, due to hit us around the time the ceremony was supposed to start. Granted, it was a pretty small line, and if it did come, it was the type of rain that would sweep through in about ten minutes and then never leave us alone, but it was certainly a concern.

There wasn't much we could do about it at this point, though, so we kept on setting up. My sister Claudia and I worked on the shade cloth over one of the bars. My dad and my uncle took on the task of putting up the banners that I'd made around the dining area. I had to shoo away a skunk that decided that the tables was where he wanted to be. Everyone else, holding back dogs and otherwise trying not to panic, looked on as I'm telling this skunk that it isn't invited to my wedding. It was a cute little guy, and he scampered into the woods with some encouragement.

Friends started showing up to help around the same time the breakfast tacos got back. Liv and Caley and Marilyn worked on the photo booth, while I started to assemble my brooch bouquet, adding in baby artichokes and flowers that I'd cut from my mom's garden.

I went outside to see what was going on with the tables and discovered that my friends had tackled the task with abandon. When I left, two tables had been set. When I got back, 27 were looking absolutely perfect. And someone had the brilliant idea of using the chairs to help keep the tablecloths down when the wind gusts came up.

In the meantime, more and more help arrived. My sister Claudia was in charge of the bars, so she got people to move kegs and boxes of wine. My sister Olivia was in charge of general decor, and she and Caley wandered around tying the poofy tissue paper flowers to anything that looked like needed adornment. Jose made sure that out of town family was entertained.

My friends set up hammocks and croquet sets and bocce sets in the yard. They changed light bulbs and moved stereo equipment. They decorated the Mule, a sort of sooped up golf cart, with an old wedding skirt I had from Burning Man. I handed one friend a glue gun, some paper flowers and butterflies, and told her to have fun with the cupcake tree. More and more things got checked off the checklist. It was awesome.

For about an hour, Claudia kept ordering me upstairs to my parents' room to get changed. I kept sneaking back down, remembering some detail or another that I felt only I could take care of. At around one o'clock, the radar showed that the rain clouds had totally dissipated, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

I went upstairs to take a shower.

The hot water was less than ideal.

After my shower, I wrapped my hair in a paper bag, and waited. For about an hour, I was more or less alone with my thoughts. And my dog and my mom's dog. Celosa, my dog, I adorned in ribbons. Zapata, my mom's dog, had a sign that said "don't pet Zapata." He doesn't really like people all that much, so he was going to be in the ceremony and then go hang out elsewhere for the rest of the party.

I took off my pedometer. I'd already walked 13,000 steps that day.

We hung out. Occasionally, I'd remember something and yell out the window for someone to take care of it. And my parents or sisters or aunt would come up from time to time to see if I was ok. At some point, Graham switched the music on the stereo from my dad's phone to the wedding mix that he and I had worked on for the last three months. My dad only mildly protested at the changeover.

I pulled everything out that I thought I'd need: dress, shoes, makeup, jewlery and of course, there was a moment of panic when I thought I couldn't find my wedding ring. It didn't take me long to find it, so I again had nothing to do but wait. I watched my dress blow around in the wind through the open window, and realized how awesome it was that today was a windy day. My dress was made for movement.

And then I remembered that I had my jewelry making equipment with me. So I pulled out the two necklaces I'd been working on, and I dabbled in jewelry making while waiting for my hair to dry enough so I could style it. I finished two emerald and sapphire necklaces, and I texted my sisters to come upstairs so I could give them to them.

With about 45 minutes to go, I pulled my hair out of their paper, and I started working on my hair and makeup. I was actually quite glad that I decided to do my own hair instead of having it professionally done. With all the wind, my hair would have fallen out of a professional do or it would have been shellacked to keep it still. Neither idea appealed to me. I just pulled my hair back a bit with some bobby pins, and then put the comb veil into place, and then a pretty hair clip.

Makeup next. And then my aunt helped me into my dress. And someone brought me a glass of wine. I realized that I probably should have scuffed the bottoms of my brand new boots before today, and I briefly thought about using the coke method, but I didn't have time or a place to do it.

People started to arrive. I had no idea at the time, but the bartenders hadn't shown. So there was mini mass pandemonium at the bar at first before someone said "screw it" and declared the bar self-serve. No one really had an issue with this.

The music inside turned off, and I could hear it turn on outside.

My cousin was my photographer, and she uses her parents and her brother as her assistants. So they came up for some quick bridal shots, then with me and my mom. And then with me and my siblings and the dogs. And then my mom left to go down to the ceremony, and my siblings and I waited for our cues. The Beach Boy's "God Only Knows" started, followed by Willie Nelson's version of the "Rainbow Connection", and I knew it would be soon.

We could hear Graham and his siblings downstairs, and it seemed like it took forever. The door opened, and Graham came up to cheat give us an idea of what our cue was. He was quickly dispatched, and we could hear the music for the kids to throw flower petals to, "We Are Going to be Friends" by the White Stripes. I was sort of sad I was missing that part, because I knew it was likely adorable.

Then Graham's song--"Call Me Irresponsible" by Frank Sinatra--came on, and he and his siblings left to go to the ceremony.

My brother and sisters and I giggled and tried to keep it together. Claudia was wearing absurd shoes, which were perfect for her. Jose was wearing a comfortable Filipino wedding shirt I think he found at a thrift store. Olivia was wearing a fantastic blue dress she'd found in a thrift store. Everyone looked so much like themselves.

We linked arms and headed to the door downstairs to wait for our cue. I think I was the calmest, at least outwardly, of the four of us. We were chatting and giggling and everyone was trying to prevent everyone else from totally losing it. Claudia was in real danger of falling out of her shoes, and I wasn't entirely confident of the traction in mine. Celosa was pulling forward and Chicken was pulling backwards. It was awesome.

My song, "Just Breathe" by Pearl Jam, started, and we headed out the door and down the aisle. For the first time that day, the sun came out.


( 1 comment — Say something )
Apr. 25th, 2012 06:15 am (UTC)
there is a book in these posts. I'm just saying.... ;).
( 1 comment — Say something )