Wedding Reviews

Tis time for fun memories.  Most of you know I study romantic comedies from classics like, “When Harry Met Sally” to recent one’s like “The Big Wedding” and whatever catches my attention.

In decades past, romance novels were practically required to have a Happily Ever After ending often portrayed as a wedding. Fortunately the stories have changed as readers’ expectations are not always favorable toward weddings. Actually, sometimes weddings are the worst! Drama! Emotions running wild! Even when everything goes great there are layers of stories behind the photos. So for your amusement I’m sharing tidbits of three weddings from the past decade when I was the mother-of-the-bride.

The Big Wedding was the most recent.  The father of the groom is a wealthy businessman with two sons and he wanted an EVENT so he paid for doubling the guest list in addition to an excessive amount of booze. The bridesmaids all loved their dresses but looking past the royal blue for the day, one woman is a CPA, another a LMT, one blond is a bank loan manager the other a beauty consultant. There’s also an optician, a cupcake baker, and a HR manager.  The men represent a broad flavor of careers from minister to stock broker, computer sales, food services, construction, and more.  The bridal party also included two flower girls, a ring bearer, and a junior bridesmaid who escorted the dog.

Adding to the story of this (above) picture, one woman is newly pregnant and kept it secret until stripping out of her dress after the pictures were done so she could breathe. Sadly, the groom’s beloved grandfather died only weeks before this event but there was a tribute shrine and tearful toasts to him at the reception.


The Outdoor/Theme Wedding happened on a Tuesday afternoon so the bride and groom could always celebrate their anniversary on the Summer Solstice. Men In Kilts! The men were all part of a competitive band in their younger days. Though this was a tight budget affair, the groom is also a professional chef so the food was outstanding. The location included a large pond with pedal boats and the bride did pedal around the pond in her wedding gown.  They had originally planned to wed in a rustic campground in the mountains but the roads were washed out during the winter and a new location had to be found three months before the day, and it was so much better! Guests came to Oregon from Ohio and Alaska and it was the only sunny day during the entire month of June.

The Small Wedding was the first for our family and riddled with drama; recent funerals, uninvited guests, emotional issues! Fortunately the actual event was delightful and everyone had a great time.  Even now, ten years later, we still cringe at some of the memories. The main story worth repeating about this event is that after the honeymoon the groom had a growth on his neck checked then immediately began treatment for aggressive lymphoma. Yes, he survived and has been cancer free since, they are still thriving and darling together.

It is impossible for me to look at a wedding photo and not wonder about all the stories behind the smiles. As big a deal as a wedding might be as a “rite of passage” event in our journey through life, it’s really just a party and not a HEA. The marriage deserves the celebration but it’s not an ending in any way, it’s the beginning of a grand adventure.

This is why I love reading and writing romance novels, and the requirement of studying romantic comedy films. Love happens all around us and the stories are limitless and unique!

The 12-1-12 Wedding

wedding party

The Bridal Party for this stunning and delightful event!

It was a beautiful day with sun breaks and showers.  I handed my camera to friends and they got some great shots for me.

A darling flower girl, a ring bearer and the special attendant Hannah for: Tat, the K-9 of Honor

A darling flower girl, a ring bearer, and the special attendant Hannah: for Tat, the K-9 of Honor

The flower girl, ring bearer, K-9 of honor and her attendant, are not included in the above picture but they made the early afternoon ceremony even more delightful.

When the Bride and Groom were introduced at the end of the ceremony, and the applause rose, above that  sound was their dog Tat, barking her approval from the corner of the room.

Tat is now sleeping quietly in the corner of our living room as the Bride and Groom are on their honeymoon. Tat loves visiting our home as it is surrounded by all kinds of trees and fascinating animal scents.  She’ll probably rest another day, as there has been so much excitement in her home for weeks. And they’ve only been in their new home for two months.

The whole wedding day was flavored with fun and almost all of my “oh shit kit” was left untouched. It will be a few weeks before we have the professional photos, but there are a variety already posted and being shared through FaceBook.

Trish -me

Trisha “Fire-Fingers” Fairman and me.

The music at the wedding ceremony was provided by my niece Trisha, known as Fire-Fingers-Fairman of the band Whiskey Mile.

Ed escorted his youngest daughter down the aisle with a smile.


She captured his heart at birth and has been a ray of sunshine every day.

He had a private message for the bride and groom that he expanded into a toast later at the reception. She’s always been a ray of sunshine in Ed’s life and now that she’s found a wonderful man to share her life, the sun will always shine for them. Ed’s words brought a tear to many eyes, though we were also smiling.

Almost 200 guests attended the ceremony and following reception. There were fun puzzles and decks of cards on the elegantly draped tables. All the chairs were covered in white, with large blue bows that matched the guys vests and girls dresses. It was the most elaborate and elegant wedding I’ve attended in years, and worth the anticipation! The reception began around 3:00 pm and there were a few dozen guests still dancing when the Bride and Groom left at 10:00 pm. There were four separate menus for the day; beginning with snacks, followed by a plated meal, the wedding cake and desserts, and later an array of cheese/crackers/meats/chips and salsa.

Father-Daughter dance.

Father-Daughter dance.

The music was provided by The Ben Rice Band and they did an awesome job of entertaining without overpowering during dinner. They played a variety of songs for waltzing, and many rowdy and traditional wedding songs.

The bride chose a special song for the father-daughter waltz, only letting her dad know it was a Frank Sinatra song. Ed was surprised when the music began and it was a recording of Frank singing Love & Marriage, which is the theme song for the TV sit-com Ed still likes to watch, “Married With Children.” Ed had a tough time dancing a waltz to that tune.

Later in the evening Trisha played with the band so we got a taste of those “fire-fingers,” as the music at the ceremony earlier was more sedate. I actually felt inspired to dance an Irish Jig, for almost a whole 30 seconds. My high healed dancing shoes spent most of the hours under my chair… When the majority of guests were gone, the band let loose some more. The bride sang a song then stage dove into “the Crowd” who caught her easily.

The cake was a three tiered, and three flavored, Papa Haydn creation.

The cake topper has the bride standing on a suitcase.

The cake topper has the bride standing on a suitcase. The groom is 6’4″ and the bride is wearing 6 inch heals. 

These are locally famous as the best of the best cakes. It totally made amends for what many considered a “food foul” served as part of the plated meal. Considering the extensive arrangements – one party foul is pretty good!

Of course there were some glitches – what wedding is without them?

All the men got ready together and expected to have only a short drive to the ceremony. They weren’t supposed to arrive early. But they were delayed  for fifteen minutes by a long funeral procession, so arrived late.

The official wedding documents were left at home so had to be retrieved, after the ceremony, for signatures. The flower girl had a meltdown halfway down the aisle and “mom” had to scurry along beside her, shaking flower petals and trying to stay out of the pictures. All fun stories to tell for decades.

The wedding of the year is done and the marriage of these newlyweds has now begun. My astrologer sister has assigned the “birth time” of their marriage to the moment of their first kiss as man and wife. She predicts a long life for this marriage with many fortunate aspects.

But we don’t need to look to the stars to see good fortune for the bride and groom, it also shines from their eyes.

MRS. Lyndsay - MR.Rory

And now they are a family! 12-1-12

They make a cute family, don't they?

They make a cute family, don’t they? Taken at their Engagement Party -January 8, 2012

Wedding “Oh Shit” Kit

The final flurry commences with the details and decorations for a stress free day.

Rehersal Dinner 004

Anything else needs an errand

“Oh Shit” Contents include:

  • Static Guard and Lint Roller
  • Bleach Pen and Tacky Glue
  • Aspirin and Ibuprofen
  • Safety Pins and Sewing Kit
  • Band-aids and Breath Strips
  • Antacids and Duct Tape
  • Eye Drops and Scissors
  • Hair Pins and Dental Floss
  • Tissues and Q-tips

A new recommendation was to include Hemroid Creme for puffy eyes. Really? Apparently, some swear by it.

Now to get the rest of everything together like clothes, shoes, makeup & hair stuff, extra shoes and hosiery, small clutch purse for necessities to be with me and not in a back room. Camera and phone batteries are charged…

RHD bride-dad

Oh yeah, daddy already practiced walking his baby girl down the aisle.

Maybe I’d better rethink that Hemroid Creme. I just won’t tell him what it is when I dab it on his puffy eyes.

In my experience, the “Oh Shit” kits usually mean none of it will be needed. But then, if any of it is, the panic factor is instantly wiped away and the “issue” will just be a tidbit story on such a special day.

Now I’m going to clean, and pamper, my face then wind down and crawl into bed. The Wedding Day activities begin in a little over twelve hours.

Celebrate 12-1-12!

Traditions Revisited

Winter Wonderland feel in balmy Oregon

I snapped this picture of the room before the party began because the pristine simplicity and elegance was just too cool.

There are stories behind the color choices, decorations, and the chair covers (2nd use). There’s a story about the tile work of the fireplace and fascinating details in every room of my sister’s historic home. We gave tours to first time visitors, but we were there to party.

The Bridal Showering of Gifts for my generation was flavored with kitchen supplies; dishes, cutlery, pans, or bath towels, bedroom linens, and household decor. This generation of brides have lived on their own and are combing two households so there was only one whisk and one apron.

first gift with the cardinal design

The first six gifts opened were (not-planned-between-family-members) coordinating pieces of  Lenox china with the Cardinal design. This a sentimental treasury for the bride and her almost tearful reaction touched everyone. These gifts were not in her bridal registry but the Cardinal represents my mom, her grandmother, and the matching lamp has been part of my holiday decor for the past seven years.

The rest of the gifts were more personal to the bride and her life today, like the rubber boots to wear on the wedding day if it’s muddy. There were bathing suits and dresses to wear on her honeymoon, lots of pretty lingerie, and a few items better left unmentioned.

The boots she’ll wear under her wedding dress if it is rainy and muddy that day.

Coach clutch purse

The story behind the final gift of a Coach clutch is my business partner Morgan was at the coast with friends in April and shopped in the Coach outlet store. She had a strong urge to purchase this small and elegant purse but wasn’t sure why other than it was a great price. So she didn’t buy it.

The next day, on their way home, they stopped at the outlet again and she bought it. Morgan did not meet Lyndsay until May. But as soon as Morgan got her invite to this bridal shower, she knew she bought this special purse for Lyndsay to use on her wedding day. It’s the perfect match for her wedding shoes too!

My girls will soon all have different last names…

A few hours later, the evidence of the party was wiped away. The table and chairs will remain until after we all gather for the Thanksgiving Dinner this week.  There will be sixteen.

My girls paused for a “together” picture as this is their last bridal adventure. They all have different last names and their own homes. After this picture they began the new bridal tradition of a bachelorette party.

I’ve seen some pictures posted online of the activities that included a huge limo, and a good time was had by all. When I consider the height of the heels on their shoes, and the alcoholic beverages displayed in the pictures, I’m happy to report there was only one injury. The bride sprained her wrist when she slipped in beer. That’s one story I don’t need to know.

Dancing with my sweetie

My sweetie in 1978, the year we met.

The wedding events are in full swing here with only 8 weeks to go. This evening was the first lesson on ballroom dancing, for the bride and groom and parents. It was tons of fun and we’ve scheduled another lesson for next week.

I’m thrilled the bride and groom wanted to learn to ballroom dance and I hope they don’t let decades pass before they dance again.

Ed and I have only danced together once in the past ten years, maybe twenty, but dancing is how we met. Well, not really.

We met because we hung around with the same crowd in college. When we tracked back all the connections of our activities it was rather amazing that we hadn’t met earlier in our lives. But we did finally meet one spring afternoon outside the campus cafeteria. It still ranks at the top of the list of my most embarrassing moments.

There was a broken Frisbee involved, a variety of babbling on my part, ending with me walking into a wall.  I felt confident I would never see him again but for the next two weeks he kept appearing everywhere I seemed to turn. Part of my babbling included my whole class schedule and favorite hangouts.

We were both attending an annual dinner dance and, since we only lived three miles apart, he offered to give me a ride though he would be leaving early because he was running a 5K in the morning.  There were mix ups and more to this story so we were late. As soon as we arrived we went our separate ways.

A few hours later I was surprised to see he was still there. By then I was willing to leave early with him, but not until we danced together. The band was on a break but he agreed to stay until the next polka as he didn’t do rock-n-roll.

Ed and I had both learned social ballroom dancing in our childhood so as soon as we started dancing together it was like we always had been. And we danced the whole set. And we had that world stopping first kiss during the break, and danced the next set, and it was really late when he took me home. His time for the 5K run that following morning was his worst, ever.

That was the man I danced with tonight. Not the grandfather with a back injury and numb feet from his car accident. And Ed was the energized and enthusiastic dance partner I remembered.

It was fun to learn dance steps with an instructor. We’ve never learned to dance together, we just fit and were in step from the first moment. Decades may have passed but the energy and connection is still there. Ed even called me – his bride.

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