We are now in the throes of Matrimonial Madness. The invitations for Mike and Kathryn’s wedding have been mailed, and I tease them that it is too late to back out. We have had a tasting for the reception, and selected linen covers and chair ties. Flowers are selected. Steve is in charge of finalizing the rehearsal dinner menu at Trader Vic’s. Mike picked out a tux and it was drama free- but the bridesmaids’ dresses came in with pockets, and were summarily returned to New York for exchange. Mind you, these girls are so skinny that they could have pockets with kangaroos in them, and they would STILL be tiny. But it is not what they ordered. The bridal gown arrived at least a size too big all over, necessitating $650 in alterations. As I type, the Bride’s mom, sister, family friend with clout and Kathryn are headed to a pow wow at Dimitra’s. It isn’t the exorbitant fee that is stunning them- it is the fact that the contours of the dress are being so intensely changed that they are redesigning it. Kathryn could look like an angel in burlap, so I know this will end up happily. The final shower was held two weekends ago, with my sister Jennifer serving as the hostess/coordinator. Most of my family traveled from Detroit for my nephew’s graduation party, and the shower. Jenny packed her car with the decorations and favors, like a party planner gone wild.
It was a good dry run for the wedding, and a reminder of how fast these weekends go by. It is important not to get lost in the details, and to drink in the joy. We had the party at a room at LaGrange Country Club, and I was glad that we had not gambled on the back yard. The day was wet.
Jen had a color scheme in mind, and it was bright and cheerful. Instead of flowers, each table would be anchored by a big, wrapped box of lime green or pink. Polka dot ribbons in the contrasting colors punched it up. She bought giant boxed bars of hard milled soap and wrapped them in white paper for favors.(Well, my niece Erin wrapped as a public service project…Jenny had just finished her year as a kindergarten teacher, and was glad for the assist) We ordered M & Ms in green, pink and white with the wedding date and the kids’ faces printed on them, and tied them in a clear bag with a bright ribbon and seating card. The silverware was wrapped in ribbon, too. I grew wheat grass in dollar sand buckets, and planted spikes of Gerbera daisies in them. (Thanks to my new friend Patrick at Hallowell and James funeral for obtaining them at the flower market. It takes a village to help me entertain) The room looked beautiful. Once given a theme, I will torment it until someone says “too much.” God forbid that I would ever have someone say “not enough.” I think we hit the perfect balance between perky and kitschy.
For added splash, I ordered a cake from Kirstin’s Danish Bakery, and used the same colorway. It was vanilla with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting. AMAZING. While I was ordering it, I came across their daisy shortbread cookies with bright icing, and I could not resist. I filled two sand buckets with these, and set them by the cake. Jenny even decorated the cake stand with a green and pink polka dot ribbon. I do not have that attention to detail. My usual mode is to set the bar high, then lower it degree by degree. I am easily satisfied. It was good that Jen was hostessing. Her teaching skills lend themselves to a smooth execution. My skills lead to chaos. I must confess that the cake and cookies skewed coral and lime, conflicting a bit with Jen’s carefully coordinated palette. She is my sister. She forgave me.
My family, Kathryn’s family, and a bevy of our friends made the day beautiful. Kathryn will have the best equipped kitchen in the world, and lovely things to serve with. I nominate her for all family celebrations, starting with Thanksgiving. Kathryn is old fashioned enough to welcome my Mom’s good china into her party cupboard. Eating off it will bring back many warm family memories. And hand washing it will bring back the reason I declined to add it to my hutch!
To illustrate my point about my chaotic brain, I jumped into Mike and Kathryn’s car and zoomed home to bid my family farewell after the shower. I had forgotten that I drove there. Steve and I had to make a run to pick up my car. I hate giving him ammunition like that about my intelligence.
Now we ramp up for the ultimate celebration in August. I have a “to do” list that includes invitations to the rehearsal, out of town gift bags, and alterations to the dress I bought on an online discount site. (Damn, once again I failed to lose weight. And Kathryn’s mom is a rail! It is too late for a face lift. I am doomed to look my age, every year of it! And fluffy!) I am sure other duties will surface. Every job comes with great joy and anticipation. My family is expanding, and now I have two sets of in-laws to experience the happiness of family times with. I have to say, I love it.
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