Oh, I am so enjoying not planning for a wedding! I am really really enjoying it!
My house is... ai yi yi.
I had a little teensy tinsy bit of a grip before, during, and after Sukie's wedding, but shortly lost it. But that's okay! I have a really long time to set things straight! I can take my time! No pressure!
We got our daughters married off, did a lot of DIY, entertained over 300 people, and right now I am so light hearted!
Waiting on the photographers to do their thing, and for the girls to do their thing, and then to figure out how to show you the really nice photos. The truth is, there is not much scope for the mother of the bride to take too many photos. Rosie certainly couldn't take any -- she was busy juggling music (she sang at both weddings), her (intensively active) toddler, and a bad head cold.
But you understand, you always do.
I have learned that having a mental, not to say physical, image of the venue, just after it's the best you can make it but just before the folks start to party in it, is tricky.
I think that you need to designate one person who is not you and not the photographer (who is busy with the bridal party) to go in there and really take some nice pictures. The last-minute stuff of getting ready is so very last minute -- it all comes down to the wire so quickly, what with flowers that threaten to wilt and the rehearsal looming and you all sweaty and knowing that you better get out of there quick so that you can go get respectable -- that there is no time to really take it all in!
And then, suddenly people are already milling about and putting their cards at their places and generally just being in there.
Sukie's wedding reception was in a charming barn, the one belonging to Rosie's in-laws. Deirdre's, considerably larger, was at the town hall nearby -- an elegant, turn-of-the-20th-century building. In neither case am I confident that the bride and groom really had a moment to take in what it looked like.
For Deirdre, all I have right now is this phone picture:
We tried to get her colors (pink and green) into this vast space, and hit upon the idea of using fabric she liked as table runners. (Luckily the stage curtain is pink!)
We didn't end up getting all of these fabrics below, but as we chose a few, I personally started to get excited about the idea of using them, ultimately, in a wedding quilt for Deirdre and John. (I had been toying with the idea of using the napkins we made for Sukie's wedding in her quilt -- yes, we made napkins, and that is another post, but basically right now all I can think of is quilting!)
Here she is, on the way to church in her dress she found at the running of the brides! After major surgery by an expert seamstress, it fit her like a glove.
Would it help to know that it was good sangria?
I mean, how thrifty, frugal, and tightwad (and fun, because sangria is fun!) is that?
I brought my camera to the church and then Sukie passed it to Will who handed it without comment to Claire (one of Rosie's roommates from college, now married and a mom), who said, "Our mission is clear."
And so Claire did a nice job. Without her there would pretty much just be a photo of my kids acting like they were boozing it up with magnums of wine!
And who can blame her for sneaking Julia into the wedding pics?
Seeing the beautiful Julia reminded me of a conversation I had with another young parent at Sukie's wedding. He commented on his growing resolve to homeschool his children.
At that moment I thought of how, well, homeschooling or not, that's not so much the point as that it's worth it to commit, to devote yourself to the mission of building your family and beyond into the community and the culture. To do what it takes. For a long time I didn't understand how to do that; not that I think you ever really do understand, human nature being fallen and all, but I really often felt lost.
There is suffering and disappointment; and there are moments when you just don't think you will make it, in the sense that you can't imagine how these fairly intractable people with their headlong refusal to mold themselves into an approved happy family vision, and especially yourself with all your faults and failings (and not to mention the world beating down on you), will come together in some sort of cohesive unity. And then one day, by the grace of God, they do. And you do. And you are you, the collective you that you were trying to be, only at the same moment -- like a wave on the sand that retreats before it quite reaches the tide line -- they have their eye on another shore.
But it's all good.