Friday morning began the execution of the logistical quagmire we were faced with. I had played the sequence of events in my head over and over, and Todd and I navigated the schedule to perfection like two four-star generals.
This is probably a good time to explain that neither our family, nor the groom’s family, are local. In fact, nobody was local to the venue. The Pennsylvania peeps were a good hour away, while the groom’s family was coming from Virginia, Georgia and Maryland. Our family was coming from Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and California.
I guess you could say it was a destination wedding.
Todd’s parents flew in late Thursday night and drove directly to the hotel in Lancaster. His brother’s family took the red eye from Sacramento and landed around 7:00 Friday morning. Todd picked them up and drove them directly to the hotel, hung out with them for a bit and then met us at the venue at 11:00 for the rehearsal.
I had to be at the venue at 10:30 to drop off the décor, beer and wine. Katie and I started loading up my car, while all the house guests were sitting around in the family room, enjoying their coffee and kibitzing. So I yelled at them to help us. “Drop your bagel and shmear, and grab a load!”
In all fairness, they didn’t realize what was going on and I didn’t actually yell at them, but the drama of it reads much better, don’t you think?
Car loaded, tunes on, and I was off.
People, my planning was so on point that my GPS said my ETA was 10:30, right on the dot. Of course, I always try to shave at least a couple of minutes off that time. I like the challenge. I pulled up at 10:28. POW!
The man child, Taylor, and the officiant, Adam, were already there so they helped me get everything from the car to the reception hall. Then everyone else started showing up and rehearsing ensued.
Taylor had double duty as a groomsman and the music guy. During rehearsal, Monica, the wedding coordinator, told Taylor to duck down the side at the end so he could play Katie and Ian back down the aisle. Adam suggested he do it during the prayer since people should have their heads bowed and eyes closed.
Taylor: What kind of prayer are we talking? Baptist? Non-denominational?
Adam: I’ll stretch it out if I have to. ‘Aaaaaaaameeeeeeeennnnnnnnnn’.
Taylor: Is there going to be an alter call after?
Adam: Yes. And then we’ll do baptisms out at the creek.
Monica: Oh no! It’s much too deep right now!
We all looked out to the fast moving “creek” (it looks more like a small river) with the white caps on it and I think I made the suggestion we could just have someone standing downriver with a net.
Once we were all rehearsed, I high tailed it back to the house so I could take my sister, Michele, to pick up their rental car. While I was at the venue that morning, Michele, Terri (my other sister) and my mom stripped beds, washed sheets and towels, cleaned bathrooms and got the house ready for the next group of guests.
About an hour or so later, we left (again) for Lancaster. I went with the Mobley girls to the hotel and then from there we went to the rehearsal dinner at a place called Annie Bailey’s. Traffic getting to Lancaster was horrendous and we drove through a rainstorm or two, so we were late getting to the restaurant. But we finally made it and what fun!
Annie Bailey’s is an Irish pub which, in this area, is like Starbuck’s. There seems to be one on every corner. But Ian’s parents, Tommy and Charlotte, hit it out of the park with this place. Unbeknownst to them, there was entertainment that night.
They were adorable and talented and who doesn’t like Irish music? It was so much fun!
It was also a great time to meet more of Ian’s family who had come up from Georgia and Maryland, as well as Virginia. Katie has married into a good group of people. Phew!
When I meet with my dietitian, Adrianne, one of the things we talk about is strategies. My strategy for the rehearsal dinner was to order the salmon. Which I did. I even took this picture and sent it to her.
It was delicious and I ate every bit of it. The risotto was creamy and amazing, and the orange sauce on the salmon was slightly sweet and tangy, and the salmon itself was perfection. The Brussels sprouts were less than. And I typically like Brussels sprouts. But these were mushy and a little bitter.
Another strategy we talked about was maybe just splitting a dessert. So Taylor and I split dessert. I ordered the chocolate thingy and he ordered the cheesecake and we split them both and shared them. I feel like that may not be what she meant.
Still, I make no apologies.
Friday had been a beautiful, sunny day and the Conestoga creek was brilliant and blue. Friday night, however, was stormy and there were flash flood warnings. Thankfully, the storms were going to be ending long before the actual wedding the next day.
THE VERY NEXT DAY!