Saturday, the day of the wedding, dawned and we headed over to the venue pretty early. Let me start by saying I didn’t take one single picture the day of the wedding. But we did hire a great professional photographer so once those pictures come in I’ll be adding some of them. I will also say that this entry has absolutely nothing to do with full timing or camping, so if that’s where your interests lie you may want to skip this one.
Lee and I both still had work to do to get the venue ready and we headed straight over. Kat, Kyrston, and Stacy all worked on Kat’s makeup and hair in the morning, but Kat was generous enough to let me skip that and get straight to work. I know that probably sounds strange as the before wedding beauty ritual is usually a big moment for the mom, but those who know me understand I rarely wear makeup, my hair is as easy to style as possible, and I really wouldn’t have had much to contribute in this area. So thankfully my oldest daughter stepped in and they all (including my mom) had a wonderful hour of girl time.
I was re checking the venue site and making my list of needed items. Thankfully, my sister, brother, and dad were all at the Hastings Farmer’s market and were kind enough to do a last-minute Walmart run. One the big items I knew we needed was more bug spray. The ceremony site was very buggy the day before so I had Wendy buy me four double packs of Cutter Backyard Bug Control outdoor foggers. I give this product my highest recommendation. At Lee’s urging we waited until right before the guests were seated and we sprayed the ground, the willow branches, darn near everything, and it totally worked. I asked several people later in the day if they had any bug issues and everyone said no. $40 was a small price to pay for a bug free ceremony!!
The flowers had come in before we got there at 8:30am and this is where I made my first mistake. Oh yes, I made several throughout the day! The kids decided to do something different with their bridal party and Kat had two girls and a guy (our youngest daughter Kay was unable to attend because she could not get time off from the Air Force and Kat chose to leave the spot open) and Micah had two guys and two girls. So when four bouquets came in I made a quick look to make sure one was slightly bigger and that was the end of that. Apparently I can’t count, because later in the day (unfortunately too late to do anything about it) it was discovered by the bridal party that we were missing a bouquet. I thought three in my head, but there were actually four girls, two on Micah’s side and two on Kat’s. I have to say though that these moments are what make me so proud of my exceptional daughter. When she heard we were missing a bouquet, she immediately said “I didn’t want one anyway because you are both walking me down the aisle” and she gave her bouquet to one of the girls. Jamie, one of the groom’s attendants, also immediately said she was carrying a book for the reading and didn’t need one. This kind of mistake could have caused full-blown drama with the wrong group of women, but thankfully it was easily resolved. I did feel bad though, so if you ever do this, please do yourself a favor and stop and actually count the flowers, corsages, and boutonnieres. You’ll thank yourself later.
Next my helpers arrived with Jeremy and we started touching up the tables from yesterday. Moss looks pretty cool but it is god awful messy, so we were doing a lot of blowing the little pieces back to the center to avoid smudges on the white tablecloths. Also, one of the farm’s kittens jumped up on the head table and pulled down some moss right in front of me. I love kittens, but after all my work I thought my head might explode and the kittens thankfully were put away for the rest of the day. Then we had to put all the flowers out, which we held off as long as we could so they would hold up in the heat, which they did. Kat had selected a florist who works with all wildflowers and the effect with the moss was really cool. Ivy and Jylissa our helpers were critical at this stage because it was many trips up and down the stairs bringing out the vases they had put together the day before. Around this time Kat and Micah arrived at the venue and I should probably take a moment to show you the schedule. We spent a lot of time as a foursome working out these details and it was based on some very specific ideas the kids had. Kat wanted to do a “First Look” at the dress with just her, Micah, and the photographer and then she would walk around the rest of the day prior to the 5pm ceremony. We were a little concerned it would water down the ceremony itself but it was actually fantastic and allowed us to space pictures throughout the day. I highly recommend it.
11:00 Tracy, Lee, and Stacy help Kat get into dress (we ate quickly during this). Linda and Jim with Micah.
12:00 “First Look” Kat and Micah, then bride and groom pictures, then bride and groom and parent pictures.
1:30 Rest of bridal party arrives; bridal party pictures
3:00 Extended family arrives – more pictures
4:00 Venue open to all guests
4:45 Shuttle bus from hotel arrives
5:00 Guests seated
Scheduling things out to this level might seem like overkill, but have you ever been to a wedding where the cake isn’t cut until 9pm?? This is how you avoid that happening. By the way, putting the dress and veil on a daughter is one of the most special moments for both of us and this did not disappoint. The venue had a beautiful room for us to use and that one on one time with your daughter before things get crazy is very special.
While Kat and Micah were getting their pictures taken, Lee and I got dressed, then got our pictures, then we were back to work talking to the caterers, bartenders, organizing the snack table, finalizing video camera placement, etc. This time period is where Jeremy and Wendy were absolutely invaluable. It’s hard to be in five places at once, and everywhere I wasn’t, either he or my sister were. Plus, Jeremy and Kyrston found the time to work out Skyping with my youngest daughter Kay, and Jeremy carried her around via his phone during the ceremony and after for over an hour. One of my favorite moments of the day was walking my daughter down the aisle and seeing Kay’s face on the phone as we walked past Jeremy. The three of us actually stopped the processional and said a quick “Hi” to her, and it was so special. I was sad she couldn’t be there in person, but Jeremy’s kindness helped make her a part of the day.
Before the ceremony, Kat, Lee, and I did have some more one-on-one time as she made final preparations and then it was time to join the bridal party. We walked up a small hill behind the tree and then Lee let the couples go one at a time carefully controlling the timing. I was in the back when I realized I had forgotten the hand fasting ribbon which was to be used by myself and Micah’s mom Linda to tie their hands together during the ceremony. The ribbon was about as far away as it could be (too far to run back without stopping the music) and I really started to panic. Kat, again, wonderful in those critical moments all day, just laughed and said she felt calmer because I had made a mistake and then suggested we use the ribbon from my dress. Thank God I had one, and we untied it and the ceremony went off without a hitch, It really was a fun and unique ceremony as the kids had a very clear vision of what they wanted it to be and I was so happy to be a part of it.
The rest of the night was dinner, speeches (which were awesome), the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance, and cake cutting, then the first shuttle arrived, most of the older folks and young kids left, and the twenty somethings really cut loose on the dance floor. Everyone seemed to have a really a good time and although being the Mother of the bride can be exhausting it was all worth it when Micah told me it was a “perfect day.” That meant the world to me and made me cry. He’s a very nice young man and we feel very blessed to have him in our family. I think this picture says it all.
The next morning my family and Kat and Micah met for breakfast as my brother and dad were headed to the airport. Then Kat, Micah, Kyrston, Jeremy, my mom, Wendy, Lee’s mom and dad and his Aunt Dorothy all came over to the camper. Thank heavens Dede and Denny stopped and bought lunch for everyone because I don’t think I had it in me to cook. We sat and talked and watched the kids open some of their presents and had a really great time although after the last person left I fell into bed at 8pm and slept like the dead until 6am. It was a wonderful, wonderful week and I am so happy we got to be a part of it.
On a side note, I did want to mention that Dede and Denny actually bought us some presents and brought them over on Sunday (everything does at least two things) and when they left DeDe put a beautiful card in the bathroom sink where we would find it at the end of the night. Her note read: “Never lose sight of the fact that it is never about a destination – life is always about the journey! I hope that your journey is always fun and full of adventure! Even the bumps of the road are part of the journey. Enjoy them all. Here’s to a beautiful ride. Love, Mom and Denny.” She is such a special woman and Denny is an amazing man. They have been so very very supportive of this lifestyle from the very beginning and the thoughtfulness they put into both their gifts and that card still makes me tear up thinking about it. We love you both and I know you are reading this because you always read our blog! So, it’s back to our adventure now and in some respects we feel like we are truly getting started. The last eight months has been largely about family, friends, and Lee going to RV Tech school, but now we are headed for the wide open spaces and will be really seeing if this lifestyle is sustainable for us. Stay tuned, because although it may be bumpy at times, I can promise you it will be an interesting ride!
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