Recently, our younger daughter was married. It was a very nice June day for a wedding. Not too terribly hot and not too terribly muggy for June. Friends and family from far and wide gathered in Lincoln for the nuptials.
SIL (son-in-law) #2 surprised the bride with her proposal late last summer and she didn't expect it. He took her to the spot they had first met years before and proposed. A gal who was just randomly taking pictures happened to capture the moment. It was one of those happy coincidences.
Wedding preparations began in earnest. Now younger daughter was informed by her parental units (us) how much funding we would contribute to the shindig. I must admit I had tunnel vision because I had budget amounts for this and that. It took the older daughter to say -- just focus on the total amount and then let them spend it however they need to. Eureka! That solved a lot. I was trying to do the 'fair' thing and I was muddying the waters. It was fair in the end result and that is what matters.
The big weekend had arrived. The girls did their things - manicures, pedicures and hair dos. The guys did the activities that the bride had assigned. They did get an afternoon to go out and just chill before the rehearsal dinner so that was a bonus.
The difference between weddings for the elder daughter and younger daughter was the size of the churches. The kids' church in Lincoln has a wedding planner assigned to each wedding. This individual coordinates rehearsal, music, etc. The lady ran the rehearsal and was there from the time we were supposed to be at the church to get photos until after the wedding was over. The pastor was only there for the actual ceremony. She also had a sewing kit handy when the buttons on the tuxes started to fall off.
The photographer took a boat load of photos. We have seen initial ones and they were very good. We are anxious to view the remaining ones. The flower girl did her part very well and was so exhausted, she fell asleep and stayed asleep for the entire ceremony while sitting with us. It made it a little difficult when the pastor asked the parents of the couple to stand. I had to try and stand up with 38 pounds of sleeping child on my lap. I made it but thankfully it wasn't a long time to stand.
The bride's grandparents were surprised because they didn't know their grandson and other daughter-in-law were singing the special music. We managed to keep it a secret so it was a surprise for them. They did a fantastic job with the song.
After the ceremony and the receiving line, the wedding party was whisked away to have more photos and they arrived at the reception in good time. The meal was served, the cake was served, the sweets bar was a hit and then they danced and danced.
The newlyweds had arranged for a photo booth. You know the kind that you go in and take several poses and get a strip of four photos. You could go in and take photos. You would get a copy and then the bride and groom had a copy in their memory book. You could also sign that if you wished. We knew the flower girl was playing over with the hats and funny glasses you would wear to pose with. However, we didn't realize she had 'photo bombed' so many times until we started looking through the album. Many of the entries were signed with the names of who was in the photo along with and "flower girl".
During the early part of the dance, they have the parent dances. The bride had chosen "Butterfly Kisses" as her father/daughter dance song. While the girls were thinking their dad would be a bit choked up, it turned out the bride was emotional which spread through the family in the wedding party.
Then it was all over but the clean up. The venue the kids had rented for the reception has a crew come in a takedown the table, etc. All the families had to do was load up the gifts, leftover food and the few decorations that were there.
The next day, they had a gift opening. The flower girl was again helpful for her Aunt and Uncle. She just likes to open presents. She didn't care what was in them but she wanted to help. She especially liked popping the bubble wrap.
As quickly as the weekend came, it vanished. The memories are in our hearts and minds and the digital images we will keep. We didn't lose a daughter, we gained another son. We also have closure on our roles as Mother and Father of the Bride(s) and time continues to march on for all of us.