Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Tale of Two Weddings

Re: 10/5/2013-10/19/2013


April 2013

Jonathan and I journeyed through Albuquerque, NM, on our way to México and stopped there to visit my recently-relocated cousin. Of course, we talk about future plans and such. Two weeks after we leave, she gets engaged. To be married in October.

June 2013

Jonathan and I flew back from our Central American travels to visit my family for a bit. While there, I talked with my sister about her future plans. Two weeks after we leave, she gets engaged. To be married in October.

Now, I am starting to see a pattern here… We visit someone, they get engaged… They get married in October… Anyone else need me to visit? Lol. Now, I know I didn’t have anything to do with my cousins’, but my sister’s engagement I probably did play a big supporting role, as I mentioned that a year is a long time to wait when you know you are going to marry someone. That got them to thinking and they jumped up their plans from possibly May 2014 to October 2013… Oops… ;)  That said, I was terrifically excited to be at these weddings.

The Main Story

October 2013

Wedding 1

We rolled into Hays, Kansas, from Colorado on Friday, 10/4, and checked into the Ramada, courtesy of my parents. Then we went to the church to help decorate the sanctuary for the blessed event. It took a couple of hours, but we finally got it done, and it looked great.

DSC06220 Suzanna made those ribbons herself.

Unfortunately, when we came back for the rehearsal, a piece or two had already fallen off and had to be repaired. This didn’t bode well for the wedding day, but I figured at least we knew what it needed to look like and we could fix it right before the ceremony, if needed, and it would most likely stay up during the short ceremony. After the quick rehearsal, we got to go to Napoli’s to eat the tasty rehearsal dinner.

DSC06179 The curtain was made of sheets of tablecloth taped around a pvc pipe. The tape would come loose. Suzanna wore a super cute outfit for the rehearsal as well.

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DSC06181 Dinner at Napoli’s.

Did I mention I got to be a bridesmaid in this wedding? Somehow, Suzanna wasn’t too embarrassed to have her bohemian nomad of a sister on the stage next to her. She had arranged for anyone who wanted to get their hair done to have an appointment Saturday morning at J Studio in town. I didn’t have an appointment, as I wasn’t sure what anyone could do with my hair. But I showed up anyway with my mother and grandmother to keep them company. They ended up grabbing me first and doing my hair “up” for me. According to all the comments on it later, I have “a lot of hair, much more than I realized.” Pretty much everyone said that, lol.

DSC06195 Before you comment on my clothes, please note that I needed pants because it was a cold, windy day, and I needed a button-up so that I wouldn’t mess up my hair. Those were all I had that fit those categories.

After I got my hair and makeup done, Suzanna called me with a crisis: the decorations had fallen down again and she wanted me to go to the church and fix it with Mitchell and Jeff. So, I got Jonathan to haul me to the church. See, I was Suzanna’s ‘go-fer,’ and Jonathan was mine. Whatever I couldn’t efficiently handle of her requests, I passed onto him. But what else are families for? By the time I had gotten to the church, Mitchell and Jeff had already fixed the biggest of the issues and all I had to do was fine-tune the decorations. We got it looking really good. I have to give it to Jeff; he was really there for Suzanna and Mitchell. He decorated, ran errands, ushered, and did the tear-down. The wedding definitely wouldn’t have gone as smoothly as it had without him around.

DSC06218 No wedding is complete without the flowers…

Next up was pictures. After everyone got dressed and prettied-up, we did as many family pictures and bridal party pictures as we could. We had a lunch break while the couple took pictures offsite, and then bridal party was to join them at another offsite location. We had a groomsman who had another engagement and hadn’t been able to show up yet (or put on his boutonniere). When Jonathan started to run me over to the offsite location, I realized that no one had grabbed his boutonniere, so we went back to grab it. As I was leaving again, I realized that I had forgotten my bouquet as well. Yay for remembering early enough! So for the pictures, everyone had their accessories without further delay. After these pictures, it was pretty much time to get to the church. Poor Suzanna didn’t get to eat lunch until about 3:30pm.

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The wedding went really well. The only thing that I noticed that went wrong was that the boutonniere which I pinned onto a groomsman flipped upside down. Apparently you should not have me pin your boutonniere. When my dad gives away his girls, he gives a transferring authority speech that always brings everyone to tears, mostly because he is tearing up himself. I think that was the only point in which there were tears. It was a beautiful wedding. Instead of throwing rice as they ran to their car, we blew bubbles, which looked really cute in the pictures.

1425666_10202455674651833_1438368516_n My dad also does this thing where he doesn’t want to give up Suzanna’s hand. It gets everyone laughing.
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1461808_10202455738773436_1751884935_n Can you tell she was excited? All rights reserved

The reception was held conveniently at the Ramada. They handled everything, including decorations, which was super nice; no cleanup, no cake-cutting, very handy. Suzanna and Mitchell cut cake first (although they didn’t serve it until the end), and it was a tame feeding, no smearing.  They had a very delicious dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. There were fun speeches, including one from one of Suzanna’s ex-crush, who retold the story of how Suzanna learned that appearances aren’t everything and gave a nod off to Mitchell to take that as he would. Suzanna countered that Mitchell had both looks and personality. My dad’s speech told about when Mitchell asked to marry Suzanna. She had remembered the ordeal Jonathan had to go through after his secret 10-hour drive and prepared Mitchell then took off to go shopping to give him time. Apparently that was all unnecessary, though. He had already passed the test earlier that year when my dad and sister were fighting at lunch at a restaurant. She stormed off, so Mitchell followed her. He shortly came back, ate his meal calmly with my parents, grabbed her meal to-go, and left. They figured anyone who could handle that situation so well was definitely worthy of their daughter.

1457482_10202455815735360_366886877_n All rights reserved

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After speeches came the shoe game. If you haven’t heard of that before, the couples sit back-to-back with one shoe from each of them in their hand. Then they are asked questions about the pair of them and they have to raise the appropriate shoe for an answer. For example, “who is the better singer?” elicited Suzanna’s shoe being raised by both of them. Then they raise They actually agreed on pretty much all the questions except the last, who is looking forward to tonight more? They both raised their own shoe. After that, came bouquet and garter toss, followed by the reception line and cake. They had three delicious cake flavors, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

733906_10202455797334900_618845376_n  Shoe game! All rights reserved

For cleanup, I had to get the ton of leftover cake to their house, but fortunately Chuck works well as a catering van as well.


During the two weeks between the two weddings, we mostly just hung out and prepared for our South Korea trip. We did make a trip to see a friend in the hospital in Tulsa, then went to Shell Knob for a week. Then, we spent a few days in Mountain Home, assisting in winterizing the watercraft there. Finally arriving in Sublette Tuesday before the wedding.

Wedding 2

I had much less involvement in my cousin Kayla’s wedding. My family (who has a restaurant) was handling the catering of the rehearsal dinner as well as the reception dinner. I am pretty good at catering and my favorite part is that I don’t have to assist in the cooking at all.

The rehearsal dinner went fairly smoothly in spite of trying to get out 30 chicken-fried chickens and 30 chicken-fried steaks at the same time. Only snag was that I ran out of prepared cups of ice (my family didn’t tell me how many to expect and I didn’t count the quantity they gave me). But that was quickly remedied.

For the wedding, we started setting up things early, but still weren’t quite finished by the start of the wedding. So we had our helpers finish up the drinks and such while my mom and I went to watch the wedding for a bit. During the rehearsal dinner, Kayla mentioned that she needed someone to man the camera, so I had Jonathan take over that job. He did really well, except that we weren’t there for the rehearsal, so we didn’t know that groom’s party came in from a different door, and we almost missed filming them. The sound tech had to get our attention and point us in the right direction.

After the pastor started in on his message, I stepped out to see how we were doing setting up, thinking the message would take a while. I helped them finish things up and then was going to back to the sanctuary to watch the ending of the wedding, but as I walked through the dinner hall, I saw the groomsmen coming out. Wedding was already over! I ran back to let my family know that it was almost showtime.

The meal was served buffet-style, so things were pretty easy, except for the traffic control. There was only one small door for the entrance and exit for the buffet tables. So, my dad and I patrolled the door. He controlled the flow of traffic from the inside, and I directed traffic from the outside, stopping entering people to let exiters out and keeping those exiting from cutting through the line of traffic to get to their seats. That kept things going pretty smoothly.


We didn’t have to serve dessert or cake. Kayla arranged something interesting for the cake. Each table had its own miniature cake, which the guests had to cut and serve themselves. I had never seen this done before, but I kind of liked it. That way, no one was responsible for cutting the giant wedding cake themselves and their wasn’t a huge line for cake. Then while they ran for their car, we threw wheat and candy sprinkles.

988335_10202055796855028_1958884090_n Jonathan photo-bombing this picture. Too bad you can’t see him waving behind her veil.

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