Day 5 (the big one!): Rockford, IL
We woke up bright and early for our wedding day responsibilities – for me, this meant picking up breakfast items and coffee for the other ladies since I had punked out on spending the night. I hung out and chatted for a while as Cass and Robyn woke up, then headed back to the house to shower before my hair appointment. Please recall that I have short hair. At this point in the day I was very concerned that I might come out of the salon with a helmet of hairspray – mercifully that was not the case. The stylist who did all of our hair was a girl I used to babysit who has, in the intervening 15 years, grown up into a really beautiful and fashionable woman. Small town.
Back at home, Shane took one for the team and pitched in wherever necessary, including entertaining Belah while Robyn got her hair done. Little did he know that he was in for the treat of the trip: watching BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA: MERMAIDIA. Now, when I was a little girl, Barbies were for playing with, not for making scary sorta 3D animated movies about. When I got back to the house, Shane was a bit overwhelmed, but relayed that Belah had told him that “needed to find a little kid to explain the movie to him.” Or maybe he needed to do some really good drugs. Either way, frightening. I think he was relieved when it was his job to take pictures of the make-up process rather than watching Belah, who moved on to asking 1,000,000 questions of my aunt.
In the early afternoon, we all shifted over to Klehm to get dressed and take family photos before the wedding. We were appropriately enough stashed in the library, so I took advantage of the opportunity to read to anyone who would listen from some 1970s gardening texts. When we got the sign that it was go time, Cass and Robyn and I shephered the little girls over to the garden where we joined the groomsmen, two excited and hoppy ring bearers, and Bill.
The ceremony was beautiful. Pictures have popped up on Facebook, but I’m not sure if I can post or link to any of them here. Our camera died back at the house, so while Shane took a few on Mom’s point-and-shoot, they’re not what we would’ve liked to have. My brother Mark got ordained on the internet so that he could perform the ceremony, and he did a wonderful job. His talk balanced funny and personal things with a really nice and appropriate discussion of a passage from Ruth. Cassie and I and probably lots of other people cried. I had a hell of a time handing over the ring because my hands just aren’t big enough to hold two big hand-tied bouquets of hydrangeas and also manipulate a ring box. The cord that the ring bearers used to drag out the runner came out halfway, and the funny little boys did their best to fix it, but without much luck. Every time I got choked up, I looked over at Shane and was distracted by the flower girls climbing around in their chairs, tying ribbons around their heads, and generally being silly. It was perfect.
The reception was on-site, so after some posed and also silly pictures, we had a very nice dinner with the bridal party. My parents were seated with my dad’s brother and some family friends, and it was so wonderful to see them relaxed and happy and enjoying the company of other adults – when we’re around them, they’re usually also shepherding Eric around, so seeing them with their friends was great. We both took advantage of the open bar, made the rounds talking to family and friends, and danced as much as we could. Belah, continuing her crushes on Shane and Cassie’s boyfriend Nate, spent a lot of time dancing with ‘the boy the boy’, refusing to let me cut in for the one song we’d requested. I gave a toast, which I’ll recap elsewhere. At 10pm, a limo showed up to take the bridal party to our final stop for the night – a jazz lounge just up the street from Jenn and Bill’s place. We stayed there for a bit, then went back to the house and crashed HARD, which was a good thing given the amount we’d had to drink and also the fact that we had to be on the road by 11am the next morning to head to our next destination.