This weekend Dan and I were attendants in our friends’ wedding (I was a bridesmaid, he was the best man). After a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, tears, folding, cutting, arranging, braiding, hanging, throwing, driving, and hot gluing, our friends managed to get themselves all marrified.
We arrived at the lodge (in the mountains outside Colorado Springs) around 4 PM on Saturday and greeted our friends’ relatives, some of whom we knew and most of whom we did not. The weather was beautiful, and we met a doggie who loved playing fetch so much that she’d jump right into the water after a stick or a ball. Two hours later the guests of honor showed up with a car packed full to the gills. We had a lovely rehearsal dinner and then attempted some chair set-up and had a really quick run-through before it got completely dark. The six of us (bride, groom, bride’s sister and her bf, and Dan and I) headed over to our cabin to fold programs, cut ribbons, smoke stogies (not me!) and relax in the hot tub.
Sunday dawned beautifully, and I took some pictures of the view from our cabin. The resort is in an area that was very nearly decimated by the Hayman fire several years ago, and you can see a few living trees and a lot of wildflowers and undergrowth mixed in amongst the burned trees.
Hummingbirds fought over the feeder on the front porch, and Dan attempted to get some action shots of them for a photography project. Eventually we headed back to the lodge and ate brunch, after which I pulled out all the flowers and acoutrements needed for making bouts and bouquets, and (with the help of an aunt and the bride’s sister) proceded to strip roses, separate baby’s breath, and wire/hot glue/tape together the needed floral accessories. After some brief consultation with the bride, we decided what would be in the bridesmaids’ bouquets versus hers, and sweat dripped down my neck as I put together all three bouquets. Luckily, I had the opportunity to watch a video on youtube last week about how to do a bridal bouquet, so I wasn’t operating on sheer luck alone.
We headed back to the cabins to eat lunch and start getting ready. I did the MOH’s hair and the bride’s hair, which left me about 5 minutes to do my hair (and I never did get to look at the back, so I hope it turned out OK. I did my makeup and the bride’s makeup. I threw on my costume at the last possible minute because I knew I’d need that few minutes to finish the bouquets (hadn’t wanted them to be out of the water for hours), and just as we finished getting ready and started to drive back to the lodge it started raining.
The fortunate thing was that the staff was prepared to empty the furniture out of one of the rooms in the lodge. The unfortunate thing was that it kept raining for over an hour, so as I feverishly wrapped and hotglued and pinned the bouquets, ran other errands and helped the bride get ready, Dan was sent back and forth between the lodge and the cabin to pick up things the bride had forgotten, getting soaked in the process. The “rain plan” wasn’t called until it had been raining for a good 45 minutes, so the lodge staff got drenched hauling all the chairs in from the outside and had to towel them off before setting them up in the now-empty indoor room. The thing about the weather in Colorado, particularly in the summer, particularly in the mountains, is that it is entirely unpredictable – though assuming it might rain on a late summer afternoon is not a bad plan.
Finally, the guests were all ushered upstairs, the wedding party gathered in the getting-ready room, and the rain stopped. Photos were taken as we walked around the outside, up the stairs, and through the lodge into the ceremony room. Our friend Julie made it just as the ceremony was beginning, and I totally coveted her pretty purple skirt.
The music wasn’t entirely set up right, and several of the planned ceremony events didn’t happen (or happened differently than expected) including the ribbon thing, but it was lovely anyhow and everyone got sniffly when the couple read their own vows to one another.
After the ceremony, it was time for more pictures, food, and beverages. It got dark and cold rather quickly (it being an hour later than planned), but Dan got to say his best man toast (and a few jokes prepared by the bride’s father) and I figured out how to tuck up my sleeves so I could eat without dripping them in my food. The sparkling mead was yummy; the cake was fantastic; and the magician did some pretty awesome tricks. The polaroid guestbook (complete with bin of costumes) went over like a house on fire. The weather was too cold for many people to want to be outside, so most people just crammed into the billiard room, and the playlist that Dan and I spent hours working on wasn’t played until we went back to the cabin. Eventually, most of the guests had gone home, so 12 of us youngins packed up the keg of mead and hauled it back to our cabin, put on the playlist, and danced, did karaoke, enjoyed a bonfire and some hot tub ’til the wee hours. One of the guests had a tricorn hat (genuine leather!) and various people took turns wearing it.
Monday, everyone was totally exhausted. We did some cleaning and organizing, some eating, and some sitting around doing nothing, which was exactly what was needed. Dan and I said our goodbyes after everyone had gathered again for dinner. We headed the 2+ hours home and had to decompress a bit, because though it had been a long weekend, there was no rest for the weary.