Bridal Reflections from the Father of the Bride
This is one of the most treasured pieces of writing I have ever read. My dad wrote this days after my wedding, and his dry humor is all over it. I love him so much and will treasure his reflections forever.
Two days after Thanksgiving Day we (Nancy, David, and I plus the two dogs) were driving back from Pennsylvania discussing plans for Jennifer’s wedding. The next day Erica approached us about changing her wedding date from June 2012 to January 2011. Are you kidding? Seven Weeks! Are you kidding? Did you consider [Vegas]! … Are you kidding? We had a long talk with her and then with Jamie by conference call. Their reasoning was sound and we gave our blessing. When the shock wore off two days later I checked (my wallet – LOL) to make sure that they really wanted to move the date up and Erica responded very confidently ‘yes’. With only seven weeks to the wedding day we had our work cut out for us.
A beach wedding was decided as a perfect place because most folks had to travel anyway and why not pick a destination that was a good excuse for a long weekend getaway? Jamie is also scheduled to go oversees so we really wanted to make it as special as possible. What we couldn’t imagine was nine inches of snow in Madison, Alabama. That’s another story within a story – just ask Erica who shoved snow while mom and dad were at the beach. Jamie’s dad also had to give his ok especially because he was traveling from Kuwait.
Anyway, the good thing about January at the beach is that there is a good amount of availability albeit very few houses allowed weddings. Nancy found the Pinks Sands house; I found the down payment; Erica found the catering company, DJ, violinist, Cake Lady called Fatty Patty (delivered wrong cake, but nobody knew), and miscellaneous rentals; Erica also arranged the Pastor and Photographer; DeSpain’s awesome rehearsal dinner, etc.; Jamie with the limo, jewelry, wedding license, chairs on beach, etc.; maid-of-honor Jennifer with her hard work during the reception and finder of the lost ties, DJ interface, bubbles, etc., and Brendon the best man; and others such as Rosemary provided tips from her daughter’s beach wedding including the heaters; Amanda’s Erica friend in Destin provided local data, the Wedding Coordinator, and shelter before the Pink Sands was ready; the bridesmaids who threw showers, parties, etc.; Ms. Martin with the shower; travels from Indiana for the Shower; David, Lynn, Mike, and Scott with a lot of setup; and many others who made sacrifices to be at the wedding and helped with moving furniture, cleaning, etc. Sorry if I forgot somebody – there were so many hands and voices that helped.
Many of you have seen the movie “Father of the Bride”. My experience was not quite like that, but they did have a house reception and I like the father in the movie was very anxious at the time. Since I was responsible for setting up the house, this gave me something to focus my energy in order to save my emotions for the wedding day. It was hard and easy if that makes sense. I spent many hours planning the arrangement of the house for the wedding reception and we even moved pictures around. I normally get a good night’s sleep, but not that week of the wedding. I had too much on my mind, but I was never tired. I did fall asleep during the Auburn – Oregon game after taste testing some beer, but somebody had to do the taste testing. Selecting the beer and wine was also a diversion. For the beer consumers, I selected a mix of premium pilsners with a novel but good Ale, Miller Lite because it does not have preservatives, and a few of my favorites including hand craft beers. The wine was not as simple because there are too many types. Several folks advised on Bare Foot (that sand was cold on rehearsal day) because it was a beach wedding, so I agreed, but I balanced it with a few other options. I should have obtained more white wine and others wanted more red, but red I was told does not come out of carpets, therefore red was limited. I initially had some hard alcohol, but decided I didn’t need anything else to worry about.
The good Lord gave us awesome weather, a beautiful bride, a handsome groom, great guests who traveled a long way and either purchased air fare or new cars, terrific vendors, everything about on time, and a special peace the day of the event. I really appreciate and love my wife for making sure we keep all things in perspective (Erica and I didn’t always agree) and working well under pressure to ensure that so many things behind the scenes got done and/or coordinated. She helped Erica with wedding dress mods, invitations, brides breakfast, etc. and took care of Christmas shopping, etc.
Pastor Ted and family did great with the ceremony and also helped with set-up and had to deal with the alarm going off in the cottage when he and the family were packing up to leave. The smoke alarm decided to malfunction during the reception. Due to quick thinking of the Catering Company and a tool box that I packed we clipped the wire on the horn to stop the alarm sound in the main house. My lesson learned is to hire a house manager to take care of the building. This would have given me a little more peace of mind and less to do. I am not complaining because the whole event was incredible. The shoe polish worked great as sand stuck to it like glue and just like the smile on my face watching Erica and others coming down the stairs, watching step by step as the dress decided to make a statement by catching on a few old beach boards. David and I thought we hammered down all those old nails and palm branches, but we knew that we had to be prepared for anything.
Fortunately all went smoothly, that I know of, although Grandma Olsen hurt her knee while stepping down into the game room. I forgot to mention Grandma Olsen, better yet, I’ll leave it at that. Don’t forget Aunt Mickey and her clog to Old Rocky Top as well as the love and enthusiasm all family and friends brought to the dance floor. The bridal party was awesome with their grand entrance and smiles, the sunset was special, and Jacen sure can party. Good to see faces that I have seen in a while like Lauren S. and new family from Texas and Indiana. I thoroughly enjoyed partying and talking with folks at the wedding up until the point where I couldn’t keep my eyes open around mid-night. I played a round a pool, but don’t know how the ball went in. Josh was in charge after that, but I heard he invited Raccoons in to play, but the Raccoons had more sense and went dining elsewhere. The next two days were also interesting with flat tires, water leaks, and a house to rearrange, but all was good with a restful ride home and only one vendor that lost their check in Biloxi.
I am ready to do it all over again, seriously, as I mentioned in the first sentence Jennifer gets married in four months. At least I have 17 weeks. Can somebody find my checkbook?
The Father of the Bride
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo