It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But this story is mostly about the best! 2018 was a pretty big year in Launch Lady Land. For the second time in 85 days, there was another wedding. The same week my youngest daughter got married in June, her older sister announced her engagement. Being the frugal one that I am, I suggested that she just step right on up to the priest when her sister was done (don’t worry, my perfectionist younger one, I wasn’t serious). It didn’t happen.
Just as in daily life, their wedding choices highlighted their extreme personality differences. They both received the same wedding stipend but used it so differently. My traditional youngest daughter spent all of hers, and then some, on a more formal event that took a whole year to plan. She scoured the etiquette books to do everything “correctly” according to tradition. Her very practical sister, who had just bought a new home, took the much more frugal route and chose her dad’s and stepmom’s back yard as the venue for the wedding and reception. She couldn’t see the point of having a large, one-time party when she could buy a fence for her newly purchased back yard! The thought of watching her wedding guests ingest surf and turf did not give her as much pleasure as imagining her two large dogs sprinting freely around her fenced back yard. I suggested she treat her guests to a nice ramen noodle buffet or peanut butter and jelly bar, but in the end, the fajita bar was a tasty, yet non-traditional choice. Gluten-free macaroons graced the dessert table which would normally contain a wickedly gluten filled wedding cake. Though it was a small afternoon affair, the tee totaling bride and groom did not deprive their guests of adult beverages.
A beautifully appointed bridal suite was graciously prepared by the stepmother of the bride, complete with a lovely bouquet of flowers. The bride chose to have no attendants but was joined in her suite by her mother, sister, cousin and the hair/makeup lady. I took my last opportunity to wear my “Mother of the Bride” t-shirt which was gifted to me at the first wedding. It turned out to be pointless as almost everyone in the room already knew who I was. While her younger sister had planned everything for her own wedding in meticulous detail, this bride liked to make things up on the fly. The scariest part of the day was the threat of rain, which was dangerously high all week. I stopped looking at the forecast to alleviate the stress caused by something I couldn’t change. The sun rose on 9/9/18 (chosen for it’s obviously mathematically brilliant visual impact) to reveal a spectacular miracle. Not only had the forecast of rain been cancelled, but the predictions of perpetual cloudiness gave way to a brilliantly blue sky! The cool forecast turned out to be perfect wedding weather. Contrasted with my younger daughter’s 90 plus degree reception in an open barn venue, this was a very comfortable change. The last minute purchase of a soft white pashmina never made it out of the shopping bag. (Turns out a 25-year-old would rather get frost bite than wear a wedding white shawl).
As it got closer to show time, the bridal suite contingent decided it was time to get dressed for the occasion. The beautiful bride was glowing with happiness as she slipped into her long white gown. At the same time, Her Radiance was speculating where to go for the wedding pictures. We peeked out the window to watch the bustling activity and guests were already starting to arrive. The time was getting close. When she was completely ready, I headed off to search for her dad. Up until then, my emotions had remained in check. As soon as we opened the door to her changing room, I felt an instantaneous rush of memories. You see, this was also her very first bedroom. We read her countless bed time stories in that room. There were tea parties at the tiny table and Barbie dolls with her dad who was always the chosen one since he did all the voices with ease. She slept there and played with her sister in the corner where the playhouse used to be. She had countless sleepovers in that room and she may have even had a time out or two! She’d been through a lot since those days, and now she was a grown woman who was about to become a beautiful wife and a loving stepmother on the same day. After I pulled myself together by sternly reminding myself that my mascara was not waterproof, I left her with her dad and took my aisle seat under the tent in the beautifully manicured back yard. I was part of an elite few chosen ones who had been included in this intimate affair, but as few guests as there were, we still represented seven states! I had barely found my seat when the bride and her father emerged from the side of the house, strolling towards the tent with a steady cadence. We all stood as she walked to the back of the tent and up the aisle where the handsome groom eagerly anticipated her arrival at his side. Her dad whispered something to her, perhaps telling her to let the groom know that Amazon would be delivering the dowry later in the week.
It all went so quickly after that. Vows were said, pictures taken and dinner eaten. The actual event was exquisitely beautiful yet short, sweet and memorable. Another adult milestone has been achieved. I look forward to watching them grow and learn together in life’s learning laboratory that we call marriage. They will have ample opportunities as they did 3 days before the wedding when both dogs ended up on the wrong end of a skunk. I stopped by this weekend to see them in their new home along with their daughter, two dogs, a cat and a fish (Ooh, there used to be a fish…). Everyone looked completely at home as if it was just another normal week. The stakes were up for their new fence. I’m pretty sure that the dogs didn’t mind at all that we gave up steak and lobster on their behalf. I can only hope, for the sake of all, that the newly fenced yard will keep the skunks out!
To read more about the other wedding, click here: https://wordpress.com/post/the-launch-lady.com/164