Part Four: Friday, January 9, 2015
(Photos all taken by John Dols who had Troy's camera. This post has more photos than any post in history, and I am having trouble knowing where to stop.)
Also, on the wedding day I made a conscious decision to withhold crying until later. The potential of flooding, drowning the guests, hyper-ventilation followed by mouth to mouth from someone other than Troy, along with the risk of ruined make-up all helped me come to the decision to delay feeling my feelings until later.
(I have since watched Sarah Braverman's wedding on the Parenthood finale AND the wedding of Paige and Michael two times; sobbed my eyes out all the times. I write this post without eyes.)
The alarm went off at 5am and we cursed ourselves for doing a morning wedding.
Paige woke Graham up to nurse him before we headed to the hair/makeup appointments we had set for shortly after 6am.
Paige and I went first. Britt and Lydia followed us a little later. Thankfully Hope and Phoebe had their hair freshly braided before we left home and they didn't need to wake up before the sun. My Mom also met us at the hair place. The hair-ladies that greeted us were sassy and fun, we enjoyed the next two hours of watching one another get artistic up-dos.
Paige and I had our make up done. Paige looked utterly amazing. I, on the other hand, looked like an entirely different person. My eyebrows and lips were increased drastically. The circumference of my lips freaked people out until it wore off a couple hours into the day.
The strong brow thing might be in fashion, but there is a difference between a strong brow and Bert from Sesame Street. The problem was, time on the clock allowed for zero tantrums or fits or changes. We went out the door without asking for a reduction of anything; beautiful Paige and the lady with the intimidating brows.
After the hair and makeup was finished we raced home to meet the other bridesmaids and help Paige get dressed.
Meanwhile, at the ranch, KJ had the guys setting up chairs and tying bows on chair-covers and putting table decorations out.
|Tara's Dad, John and Josh - Masters of tying decorative bows on chairs |
(see proof of experience above)
|Soon to be brothers, working on awesome breath|
While the guys were getting ready and we were heading toward the ranch, other people in our lives were by their computers ready to join us.
Troy told me a story about the boys getting ready that included Isaac getting white powder all over his suit pants and being oblivious about it. Isaac was attempting to shove his size 11.5 feet into Troy's size 9.5 shoes because he didn't recognize any of the shoes. They wer all new to him. When they weren't fitting he tried the powder to help make it fit.
I am told that had Chris Bernard not been there to help with the boys, one of their lives could have ended that very morning. Father of the Bride takes down young groomsman moments before ceremony. Probably would have been a real bummer for the bride. Thank you, Chris.
As a last minute idea Troy asked our friend "Tex" (Harold) if a live-stream of the wedding was at all possible (you may remember he lived in Haiti for three months and he is often a wizard-person in our lives - dropping in with awesome technology that helps everything work better for us).
Harold figured it out in six seconds. Because of him Paige's Grandma & Aunt Laura in Minnesota, Michael's brother in the Army, our staff at the Maternity Center, cousins, and family & friends from dozens of places all got to tune in.
I am a little sad we don't actually have a list of everyone that watched it live. I think a guest book from the electronic wedding would be fun for Paige and Michael to have. There was a hilarious comment thread during the wedding, but we know that the obnoxious and sarcastic friends/family chimed in - we are guessing a lot of folks stayed quiet.
A tiny piece of the on-line chat is included below.
|Laura Liveay attends from the High School that employs her|
|Keight Dukes attends from her work too|
|Geronne watching from Haiti (because the US Embassy wouldn't give her a visa to come)|
|Michael and his beautiful Mom, Hope.|
The wedding was beautiful.
To me it felt like a truly holy moment and I very much felt the presence of God's love there next to that pond in Weston, Florida.
Paige and Michael chose the songs that were sung by Troy and Hope, they chose the scriptures that were read by Paige's brothers, they decided to dedicate Graham as a part of their wedding service, they asked their Pastor from TX to come marry them.
It was a gorgeous setting on a beautiful day and everything fell into place perfectly.
Michael has fairly recently been reunited with his father. His biological Dad and his Grandma from that side of the family were at the wedding offering their support as well. Our niece Whitney only re-joined Paige's life a couple years ago and there she was standing with Paige as a bridesmaid. (I refused to think about any of that too much.)
The tangible (huggable - breathing right there in the same place) reminders of healing and redemption were found everywhere we looked. I forced myself not to pay attention to my Mom and Dad who were seated just over my left shoulder. They were going through the tissue. I had to focus on the people that were not crying. They were sort of difficult to find. Midway through the ceremony Noah's crying became hard to ignore, Phoebe delivered him a Kleenex.
Troy had to sing four times. He also made a decision to compartmentalize in order to get the singing done. He told me that he knew if he gave in to crying at all, it would mean no songs and he knew the song choices were important to Paige and Michael.
|Super Fiiiiiiine line between laughter and tears - we rode that line like true champions|
|nobody wonders what this one is feeling|
Lydia had a little melt down thinking that this was the last day she would ever see Paige. We pulled off to the sideline for a little psychotherapy and got that straightened out quickly.
After the ceremony we had brunch and photos for a few hours. The three groomsmen that were there and could talk, along with Julia and Britt, made toasts to the bride and groom. (The best-baby-man gave no toast, Michael's brother Andrew could not be at the wedding, because Army).
The amount of left-over food was shameful. Even as I type that I know that only tortured people worry about that stuff at an event like a wedding, but there was no way I was willing to throw away that much ham or eggs benedict. I sent the strongest negotiator I know to be sure the catering people would let us take the leftover food home. As I type, there are bags of frozen cheese cubes from the wedding in our Port-au-Prince freezer. Wasting food makes me the crabbiest crab there is.
We headed back to the house for down time and naps. (Rumor has it that Lydia possibly accidentally drank a real Mimosa - instead of the kid version - and promptly slept for three hours the afternoon of the wedding)
The plan was to return to the Ranch at 7pm to dance and have cake and continue celebrating the happy couple. My Mom and Dad graciously hosted the evening reception.
The second reception and the dancing was very fun. It was another great time of celebration. We had a very hard time ending at 11pm as planned. I think there were at least six "very LAST" songs of the night.
|costume change late night|
Sadly, when you are not 25 the car-rental companies are not super kind about renting you a car. Troy and I were asked to drive them to their hotel. It was all super sweet and we enjoyed talking a million miles a minute about the funny parts of the day and night.
Paige's most amazing commentary of the night was during the ride to the hotel. "Mom!!! I pretty much figured out why having a baby AFTER you get married is the best idea!" I said, "Yeah, why is that exactly?" "Because I wet my pants dancing because I don't have bladder control post-baby. My jeans are soaked."
When we pulled up to the front of the hotel and walked into the hotel and up to the desk it struck me, "Oh, I am not supposed to stand at the flipping front desk with the dang bride and groom, I may have overdone it here." Eeeeeeee.
Troy stood outside giving me the slow head shake. "Did they get all checked in okay, mommy, or did you have to do it for them?" he mocked.
I came to my senses too late! I was already standing there with them when it hit me how overboard it was. Oh well. The hotel desk agent probably thought it was super presh. Or something.
Many days after the wedding I asked Noah, "Be honest, my make-up was a lot, huh?"
Ever the gentle honest one, he said: "Well, when I saw Paige I was like, Whoa, is that Paige? Because, wow, she looks like the Queen of England!" (uh. not seeing that. but whatever - I think he meant well)
"But when I saw you, I thought, that doesn't look like Mom."
Next installment, part 5 Traveling Circus Posse: The goodbyes after 50 hours of family togetherness and packing up a wedding to leave for a cruise.