Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Wedding

Julie and Scott's wedding was last weekend. It was wonderful!! They put so much thought and effort into planning and organizing it. I'm sure they had help, but it seemed like every detail had been considered. Get this: when we arrived at our hotel, there was a gift basket waiting for us with a selection of local items (candied pecans, blackberry jelly, peach wine), a DVD that was representative of the Deep South (Fried Green Tomatoes), water
bottles with the bride & groom's names and wedding date, a note explaining what was in the basket, and a folder full of brochures for attractions in the area and a schedule of events for the weekend, INCLUDING printed maps/instructions from our hotel to the different venues. Wow. And it was all coordinated: they used the same design & color scheme for their Save-the-Dates, Invitations, the note in the basket, the labels on the water bottles, the bow on the basket, the folder, and the programs at the wedding. Incredible. It was the best job of branding I've ever seen individuals do (you know, branding, like you recognize Coke anywhere because they spend so much money on branding).

The first event was the rehearsal dinner. It was at a very nice restaurant in the downtown area. We were in a private dining area. There were around 50 people at the dinner. It was mostly family and the wedding party, with only a few friends (including us), so we felt very honored to be included. The bride's mom and sister sat at our table, along with one of the groomsmen (who was one of DH's roommates) and one of the bridesmaids, who fell in love with LB. LB behaved admirably throughout the dinner. During the appetizers (which were served buffet style), DH and I refilled his plate with grapes and cheese. He didn't understand why we couldn't get him anymore when they took the appetizers away. He almost lost it, but fortunately the others at the table helped us calm him down. (Oh, dinner was at 6, but we didn't start appetizers til closer to 7, which is LB's bedtime. So we were pushing it a little.) Although "weed salad" is not my favorite (it's supposed to be "gourmet", but I'd rather have romaine or bibb), the salmon was excellent. (I'm not usually a fish lover, but I've been thoroughly enjoying it this pregnancy.) I chose creme brulee for dessert, and it was a little strange. But that's okay. LB ate most of his dinner (which consisted of a side the waitress brought just for him and then whatever appealed to him off mine and DH's plates.) The only time LB really made a scene was right during the groom's father's toast. The gal sitting next to me (the bridesmaid) had given LB a Hall's "candy" to play with. Well, during the toast, he figured out that it could unwrap AND that it was the perfect size to put in his mouth. I had to take it away. He bawled. Right during the speech. It didn't take too long to pacify him with something else though. DH and I left shortly after dessert, since it was long past LB's bedtime. Not before we got to see the bride and groom shower their attendants and mothers and other special individuals with gifts though. They were so generous! I don't know if they got great deals for buying in bulk, or if they've been saving up for this, or if their parents helped, but gave some lovely gifts that night. We were really impressed, again, with how much thought they put into everything.

The next day, LB was up at 7, even though we had had a long day on Saturday. Nevertheless, he was awake and wanted us awake too. DH had a paper he had to work on, so LB and I were on our own until lunch. We decided to go to a park. It was a nice big one, with lots of fun things to do. LB had a ball, and I enjoyed helping him and watching the other people at the playground. It was muggy hot though. Ugh. I don't like muggy hot. At least there was a breeze. We left when a storm rolled in. Got back to the hotel, and by the time we were ready to go get something for lunch, it was POURING. Big, huge raindrops, lots of wind - a sudden, southern thunderstorm. (We've been getting them here too, but they're something completely foreign in CA). We had lunch and then drove around the mall (there are two malls, one indoor and one outdoor. This was at the outdoor one). The maternity store I wanted to go to was closed, it being Sunday and all, but we took advantage of the semi-annual sale at Bath & Body Works to get some of those anti-bacterial moisturizing soaps. (I could probably write a post just about those!). Then we went to the OTHER mall, since it was on the way back to the hotel, and I got to poke through the maternity store there, just real quickly, and then I walked through Sears and found a pair of brown sandals for LB. The ones he has have no traction and he slips and falls on everything. So I was glad to replace those. Then we went back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

The wedding was scheduled to begin at 5, with seating beginning at 4:30. We got there just > about at 5. Our timing was off because LB had falled asleep on the way back to the hotel and he was out cold. We let him sleep as long as we could and it turned out we let him sleep just a little too long. Oh well. We got there and seated in plenty of time for the ceremony. The American ceremony (what we think of as a traditional ceremony) was held in the courtyard of the historic hotel. There were probably 100 guests or so. The officiant and the groom took their places, then the five groomsmen and the five bridesmaids (all individually), then the bride arrived in an antique car (the courtyard was enclosed on three sides by the hotel and by the street on the 4th). The ceremony was performed in both English and Korean, and wasn't very long. Probably one of the shorter ceremonies many of us had attended. They didn't include any extra elements, and they didn't have customized vows. Then they both got in the antique car and drove away (around the corner, really) while the guests moved inside to the location of the Korean ceremony.

DH and I sat next to one of his fellow BMEs from Tulane (pronounced "beemee", it stands for Biomedical Engineer), so they enjoyed catching up and no one took the three seats next to me, so LB had plenty of room all to himself. Our only complaint was that the Korean ceremony took place on the floor and the guests were all in chairs, so only those in the front could see what was taking place. Oh well. The ceremony lasted about as long as the previous one though we had to wait awhile for it to start because the bride and groom had to change into traditional Korean dress.

After the Korean ceremony we all moved back into the lobby/foyer area for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. LB was fascinated by the cake, although I'm not sure he realized it was food - it was decorated in Nintendo Mario designs and even had Mario figurines (which, we found out later, the groom had had to special order from Korea!). It seemed we were "mingling" and drinking (open bar, don't worry, I didn't have any alcohol!) for a very long time before the bride and groom reappeared (back in tux and white dress) for the first dance. Then it was finally time for dinner. I don't remember what time it was by then, but, again, it was much later than LB normally has to wait for dinner! Fortunately we had brought some crackers that he'd been munching on throughout the evening.

Dinner was buffet style, mostly finger foods, and the plates were barely 6 inches in diameter. Who ever heard of 6 inch dinner plates?? Most people filled two (even 3) plates on their first pass and another one or two on a second pass. The hotel did not have a room big enough to accomodate enough tables for all the guests, so tables were spread out on the balcony, in the lobby and hallway, as well as in the ballroom (which was dominated by the dance floor and live band). DH, LB, and I found ourselves at a little 3-person table in the hallway next to two of the groomsmen (both of whom were DH's roommates at Tulane), and the wife of one of them (or was she his fiancee? We never quite got that straight.) Remember the gal at the rehearsal dinner who fell in love with LB? Well, she wasn't the least bit shy this evening either! She held him and introduced him to who knows who while we went through the buffet line, then brought him back in time to eat. He was so wound up though, that he hardly ate. Too many crackers? Perhaps. I think he mostly had fruit. Then he discovered that he could go UNDER the table and a whole new world of fun opened up. Fortunately (for us), the gal at the next table (wife? fiancee?) came to our rescue. She took LB to go get cake (was feeding him cake a good idea? Perhaps not. Were we thinking these things through? Are you kidding?) So he sat on her lab and she fed him cake, then he tried crawling under HER table. Meanwhile, DH and I enjoyed our dinner, all the while wondering where the irresponsible parents of that wild child were. Didn't they realize their child was CRAWLING UNDER TABLES, for heaven's sake? Tsk, tsk.

Then LB's girlfriend showed back up and asked to take him to the dance floor. Off they went! And DH and I enjoyed cake and conversation. When we finally mosied into the ballroom, we quickly located LB on the dancefloor, dancing away. He loved it! Dancing with someone wasn't his favorite thing, but if one of his (many) partners walked off, he ran over and dragged them back. DH took some videos I'll try to get posted on the video blog soon. So DH and I found a couple of chairs and enjoyed the "show" (are we a couple of old fuddy-duddies or what?).
The gal in the colorful dress is the BME, the gal in black & white is the bridesmaid (aka LB's girlfriend), and the bride is behind the BME, talking to LB. Isn't he cute in his little suit? Here's a view from the front:

By this time many guests had left and most of us who remained had gathered in the ballroom. So the bride and groom did the bouquet and garter tosses, and then we had toasts from the two best men (brothers of the groom, how do you choose one to be "best man" and relegate the other to just "groomsman"?), as well as the maid of honor (bride's sister), and the groom himself (who even incorporated some Korean in his speech. We were very impressed). Shortly after that it was time to go. We all gathered in the courtyard with sparklers and the bride and groom got back in the antique car and drove away (around the corner). Then we went back to the hotel.

On the way back to the hotel, LB fell SOUND asleep. Nothing could wake him up. We changed his diaper and put him in pj's and he hardly moved. The next day we were sad to be leaving. You know how it is: you anticipate an event for so long, it finally arrives and it's fun, and then it's over too quickly it seems. So we took our time packing up, drove by one of the city's attractions, and made a detour to another city in the state where DH is applying for a job.

It was such a short vacation, that I didn't have that "I'm glad to be home again!" feeling, lol. We were only gone 2 1/2 days, and it wasn't a very long drive to get there. We've been enjoying talking about everything over and over, analyzing this and that, remembering different details (the third stage of enjoying an event), etc. Writing this post was a fun way to relive the weekend, though I glossed over some details so it wouldn't be TOO long! Thanks for bearing with me :)

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ehart said...

Sounds like all three of you had a great time!

Laurie said...

What a wonderful wedding! I love the idea of the two wedding ceremonies.

Oh, and LB is absolutely scrumptiously adorable in that suit!

Thanks for sharing all the details! Definitely a fun trip!