"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14
Monday, August 18, 2008
Trying to remember all of it is going to be hard - I suspect it will all come in bits and pieces.
Thursday: People started arriving. Heather (Michael, in Army, could not get off) arrived from New Mexico. Kristi, Chris and boys (Thomas and Alex) arrived from New York. (Chris is Matthew's brother). Aunt Lois flew in from Florida (also on the Reed side and I hope to be as spry as Aunt Lois some day!). Some friends groom side also arrived. The Reeds, with new friends from Antigua, drove down from the vacationing in Gatlinburg. So by Thursday night we had LOTS of people here. My sister, Patty had arrived early on Wednesday to help my mother take Daddy to the doctor. John (Duane's brother) and Joyce arrived by car early Thursday and we could not have put this on without them! They helped cook many many goodies and with decorations.
Friday: The rental stuff began arriving at the church and some of the family (Reeds and Brocks) began setting up the reception hall. Amy planned all the decorations and we just followed her ideas. Duane even built a cake stand for the "Groom's Cake" and for extra pies and cakes. Joyce and John brought dozens of terrific cookies! We had to buy Christmas lights for the dance floor as the lights the rental place sent just would not work. (Fortunately Hobby Lobby had great prices on white lights.) Duane and John strung the lights and we let the church keep the lights. We had previously unloaded a LOT of "sticks" and fresh hydrangeas (ordered earlier and delivered Friday morning). Amy showed us how she wanted the arrangements in the large vases, with Eucalyptus (see photo) and they turned out lovely.
The rehearsal was at 5:30 and then the rehearsal dinner at a local eatery at 7.
Christi did a wonderful slide show of Matthew and Amy from babyhood to now. The food and fellowship was great. The rehearsal went well too.
(Christi is where this all began. Amy stayed with Christi in Brooklyn, NY during the summer last year. She visited Saks 5th Ave with her while there. Vera Wang has her Bridal Gowns there. They did NOT want to let Amy in to see them without some special card or something or other but Amy somehow talked them into letting her see the discontinued gowns. To make a long story short, she got a 2006 gown at a "bargain" price (of course it depends on your view of what a bargain is. For a Vera Wang dress it was indeed a bargain.). She opened her own credit card account and is insisting on paying it off.
But the "small informal wedding" that she WAS planning from that point on became a large formal wedding. And you know what - I'm glad. It was simply stunning! I wouldn't have changed a single moment! Thank you Christi! and Vera Wang!)
Saturday - THE DAY: Amy is nervous but not overly so. She is holding together far better than I did on my big day. Mandii has not yet had her baby and is holding on.
Brianni finally got off work (her Maid of Honor) and got the cake there. The cantors both arrived (from MS and TN). The photographers and baby sitters arrived on time. All the Brides Maids and Grooms men came - and had their clothes to dress in! (And the Little ones did too!) We put finishing touches on the reception hall (lots of finishing touches! there was a lot left to do - lights were still not completely up, flowers were not finished, candles needed to be placed AND my dear friend Linda and Mac from MS arrived around Noon with 3 stunning candelabras that they assembled (And I had guessed at the sizes of candles to buy and they were PERFECT!).
Shortly thereafter, friends Ann and Steve from Vidalia GA arrived. We put both the Hurstells and the Glovers to work. (Thanks to both!! You are dear, dear friends!! We'll have to share a mansion in heaven so we can just talk and talk and talk!)
The Photographers began to demand photos so the Brides Maids and Amy and Darcy disappeared for pictures. I tried to go watch but kept getting "shooed" away so I left. I want to see their photos soon!
We also made the Brides Maid's bouquets and Darcy's flowers. After Amy decided to use Dorothy McDaniel's Florist - and they ARE the best Florist in Birmingham but they also KNOW they are the best florist in B'ham and charge for it..
we decided about all we could afford from them was the Bride's bouquet and mother's
coursages. And they were lovely!
Nabeel's (A Greek food caterer and cafe) did our food and they delivered right on time. Ernie is the Church wedding person and is GREAT. We could not have done any of this without Ernie. He had hired 3 help staff and that was just right. Amy set up the vegetarian menu so I'm not sure what all that stuff was but I know the grape leaves, Eggplant Parmesan, Greek Salad, Spinach spanakopita (Pie),
tabouli, lots of cheese (feta and more) - the rest I had no idea. I MADE her order
Baklava. Not much was left so I think it went over.
People began arriving around 5. I was watching for my mother and sister to arrive with the dear MIL so was sort of at the door of the church and became the unofficial greeter (hey, it was FUN!) until I was told that was NOT my role. (HUMPH! Who made
that rule up???!). My Bible study ladies ALL got there early - most of them have watched Amy grow up. I love them all! And they got GOOD seats by getting there early too. Way to go!
I finally moved out of the door though and waited patiently back in the hallway a piece. Service began at 6 (a few late arrivals).
The Groomsmen and Ladies of Honor all came in (Nicole with Darcy and Matthew with the Twins who did not have a CLUE what was going on but everyone was smiling at them;
and Christi had her two boys, Alex, 5 and Thomas, 3). Jeremiah insists on carrying his blue blankie everywhere and had it (it was cute!). The hardest part was keeping
them from running to me, Papa D, or Grandma! John took them (with a bribe of yogurt covered raisins!) right back out to the nursery. Darcy stayed JUST a bit longer
but she didn't last either.
After they were placed on the front row, the Reeds were seated, the me and then
Duane brought his daughter down the aisle. Amy was beautiful.
I've already basically described the service. Father Paul did a short service following the traditional portions in which he gives his "sermon" or thoughts. He told Matthew that he was now the King of the Household and Amy was the Queen. And he jokingly told Matthew that that might only last a day or two...but then he solemnly talked about the joys and responsibilities of the husband and then of the wife. He KEPT talking about how many children they were going to have(smile).
It was lovely. (I like to hear him preach but this was fairly short.).
He then said the traditional in all marriages "you may kiss the bride" and then presented Amy and Matthew Reed. Amy and Matthew then came down to greet his parents and then us (which I liked a great deal) before walking back down the aisle.
Reception followed. Much laughter, visiting of guests. New friends and old. Amy was the perfect hostess (I have already heard from some of my friends how she visited their tables and was so warm towards them.).
The Jazz band she hired was good (if a bit loud - I wanted to TALK!(smile)). People enjoyed dancing and Amy and her dad had a special dance.
I was beginning to think Amy and Matthew were never going to leave. A lot of the guests had left. Linda Reed came up to me and said, "Our Children need to leave." and I wondered what I was supposed to do but I agreed with her. By then my feet were killing me. Amy and Matthew were having too good of a time to quit. Someone must have told them that if they didn't leave soon there would be no one left to throw rose petals on them because shortly thereafter Amy disappeared to change clothes. After she changed they had one more dance and they came out to leave.
We were waiting with our rose petals. Heather (our DIL) had prepared everyone "Count your petals. However many you throw is how many you have to pick up!" So people were pretty stingy with the petals and we did pick them all up.
I still can't believe it's over.
Of course that wasn't the end for us.
We still had to take it all DOWN again. The Hurstells and the Glovers stayed to help. (I think I owe them!) It was midnight when we left. We should have stayed for Sunday liturgy. Nah. I'd have slept though it.