Sunday, April 8, 2012

Billiards, Weddings, and Bridesmaid Wranglers

My baby sister, Colleen (Coke), got married yesterday.  We've prayed for many years that she would find the love of her life, and prayers were finally answered.  She not only found the love of her life, but this family couldn't have hand-picked someone to fit in better with our family.

The Bride -- Colleen
It was a very fun wedding -- and I don't normally like weddings.  Colleen was as relaxed and happy as I have EVER seen her.  She just made this one big party.  Our niece, Jodi and our nephew's son, Isaak played a flute/keyboard duet.  I didn't see it because I was "wrangling" in the hallway (see below), but I could hear it.  It was lovely.

Coke assigned me "bridesmaid wrangler."  Since my second daughter is too pregnant to travel to the wedding, her children, Joey and Ella, weren't there to be included in the "wrangling," which gave me 9 bridesmaids and 4 ushers. Our cousin, Jim Cain, had the easy part as "Usher Wrangler" mostly because his ushers were older.  He only had one usher that was little.  We had the ushers walking with two bridesmaids on each side.  Each of the bridesmaids carried a flower.  There were lilacs from my bushes, daffodils from my sister, Cheri's yard, and a few other varieties from who knows where. After the ushers and bridesmaids walked in, George's daughter, Katie, walked alone as the Maid of Honor.  Then I scooted in to my seat quickly so that I could see our brother, Rick, walk Colleen down the aisle.

Wrangle Mania

Unfortunately, before I sent the kids walking into the ceremony, I made the mistake of giving Coke a hug.  She looked beautiful, and I don't know why I hadn't prepared myself that I might cry, but I hadn't.  It never occurred to me that I would turn into waterworks!  I burst into tears, and then she did.  We got it together and then when Rick walked her down the aisle I lost it again, which made pretty much everyone else lose it too.  I feel really bad about that!  Then during the party I was so tired, and she played two of my Dad's favorite songs, and I bawled again.  When the first one started to play, she was dancing with George facing the other direction.  She said, "George, Laurie's crying, isn't she."  Gee, thanks!  I'm so predictable!

I teased Jim Cain after the rehearsal that he had a much easier job "wrangling" the ushers than I had with the bridesmaids.  So just before the wedding, he came to me to show me how I could keep my bridesmaids in line.  He had a taser gun.  We were laughing. At any rate, he decided to taze thin air to show me (and the kids behind me) the snap, crackle, and pop. Apparently, my rowdy bridesmaids got the message, because they were extremely reverent throughout the ceremony!  Ya gotta love cousin Jim!

The bridesmaids sat on the floor to the right of Colleen and George, with the ushers sitting on the floor on the left.  After the ceremony, Coke and George walked out first, and the ushers were to escort the bridesmaids back out (which meant me rounding them up off the floor and putting them in order again).  Jocelyn had taken her lilac apart, so I grabbed the flower, grabbed the leaves, threw them in her hand and closed her hand around them. Katelyn had started to get a little restless on the floor during the ceremony, so we motioned for her to go to her Dad, Ezra, (who we sat close for that reason).  So she had to come back up front to find her usher.  It was all very cute, but I was exhausted!

Steve Woodbury, Colleen's bishop (and we grew up with the Woodbury kids), performed the ceremony.  He talked about three important items in a marriage:  appreciate, communicate, and contemplate.  Coke was so nervous, she didn't hear any of it, but Steve had a printout, and he gave it to her.

The wedding took place at St. Mary's Art Center in Virginia City, Nevada.  In the Virginia City mining boom days, St. Mary's was the hospital.  It is considered the most haunted place in Nevada (and for good reason).  The ceremony itself took place in the artist's studio up on the 3rd floor, so it was a climb. There are 4 floor and no elevators -- and some of us are OLD!  The wedding was at 2:00 p.m., then we did pictures.  At 4:00 p.m. was the party. They had asked instead of gifts, guests bring an appetizer for the party, which were spread out on the first three floors, so people went up and down and mingled, which was nice. At 5:00 p.m. we had dinner.  Food was set up in the "breezeway" which is a little hallway.  It is the area where they used to perform autopsies in the old hospital days. Then you could take your plates wherever you wanted.  There were tables set up in the "carriage house" on the other side of the "breezeway."  The carriage house is the old morgue. The horse-drawn buggies used to come to the entrance of the morgue to pick up the bodies for burial. There is also a nice long table in one of the two kitchens where people congregated to eat. (One kitchen we used just for food prep.) They also set up tables on the 3rd floor artist's studio where the wedding was held.

This is a picture of St. Mary's from their website:

This is last year's family reunion picture at St. Mary's:

After dinner, our nephew, Todd, was the DJ for the dancing.  He borrowed an expensive sound system from someone.  The only reason the man loaned it to him is because Todd is his IT guy and showed the man how to use the system.  Colleen hand picked the music -- and she has great taste in music -- so it was wonderful.  George's family all love to dance, and the rest of us were all just in party mode, so there was a LOT of dancing. Cheri's old roommate, Marsha, commented to me that brides usually hire expensive bands and nobody dances, but last night pretty much everyone danced.  My little granddaughters, Haley and Kaitlyn, were out on the dance floor pretty much the whole time doing ballet, or whatever, right in the middle of it all.

Todd with his assigned task
My daughter-in-law, Rachel, was the professional photographer, and she took a ton of pictures so I'm sure she has her hands full editing.  I only took a few. As usual, I enjoyed visiting and forgot to take pictures.  Most of the weekend my camera hung around my neck unattended.  Some of the pictures here were taken by the bride herself.
George & Rachel, our busy photographer
Coke and George are avid pool players so that was the theme for the wedding.  The bulletin board behind where they were married was covered in pink paper with two pool cues.  They didn't have a cake, only cupcakes.  The cupcakes were pool balls with numbers on them in different colors.  The cupcake table was decorated to look like a pool table.  The "cake toppers" were a bride and groom 8 and 9 balls.

The 9 ball has a really long veil in back!
Colleen is OCD and is into spreadsheets.  I go on record as hating spreadsheets.  However, I have to admit that this time the spreadsheets actually worked.  Everyone had an assignment, knew what the assignment was, and the whole shindig went off without a hitch.

The little girls in the family were assigned as "bathroom fairies" and were responsible for making sure there was plenty of toilet paper and paper towels in the bathrooms.  For the party, Coke had special paper wedding towels and rose petal soaps for the bathrooms, and the bathroom fairies were in charge of making sure they were disbursed to all the bathrooms.  Darci was "head fairy" and my brother's wife, Kathy Janes, was the supervisor (but her job was easy because Darci is pretty OCD too).  Darci had a time schedule for her fairies to check their assigned bathrooms.  Since only one of the fairies knows how to tell time, she had to round them up and tell them when it was time to go on duty.  Darci had a sign for each bathroom, such as "B1" for Bella 1, and "H2" for Haley 2.  I don't know how many bathrooms they each had, but there are a ton of bathrooms in that place.

Rooms are rented out at St. Mary's, so some of us actually stayed there. Some stayed Friday and Saturday nights, and some just Saturday night. Some commuted from other locations.  This is quite an experience -- remember it is the most haunted place in Nevada.  :)

This morning we all got packed to go home, and then at 10:00 a.m. we had an Easter egg hunt on the lawn in front of the building.  The kids had a great time.  George's daughter, Katie, was in charge of getting the baskets together and hiding the eggs.  She asked George's niece, Tricia, to help her. We hadn't met Tricia before, but she is a real sweetheart.  We all absolutely ADORE Katie!  If I wasn't old, I'd steal her for my own.

George & Katie Father/Daughter Dance
Apparently, the families introduced Tricia and my nephew, Mikel, to each other via the internet a couple of months ago, and they have been talking. They met for the first time this weekend, and let me tell you, Mikel is smitten with this girl!  Colleen and George didn't really get the "first" dance because Todd was playing music long before Colleen and George got in there, and Mikel asked Todd to play some slow dances.  They danced for a LONG time before Coke and George got there -- and they danced all night!  Mikel actually stayed at St. Mary's Saturday night!  He wouldn't do that during the family reunion last year.  (Haunted places are not for everyone.)  They were soooo cute together!

Mikel and Tricia
George had two of his sisters and one niece there.  Let me tell you, they are characters. They fit right in to the family!  They live in Michigan (3-hours ahead of us), and George picked them up at the airport in Reno Friday night. They got to St. Mary's after 9:00 p.m., which was after midnight their time. When they got there, a bunch of us were gathered in chairs by the stairwell on the 2nd floor in our jammies chatting.  Apparently, they were quite impressed by this because this is something that they would do.  They got in their jammies and joined us, tired as they were.  One of George's sisters, Denise, was quite smitten with my granddaughter, Jocelyn, and they became great buddies.

My sister, Cheri (left), with George's sister Denise
George and Colleen, may you have happiness together!  You deserve it more than anyone I know.  We love you!

Photo by Rachel at Vintage Bloom Photography
Find Vintage Photography here:

No comments:

Post a Comment