I went to California for a week and I need another week to recover

First, my sister and Curtis got themselves all marrified. Yay! I will write a wedding post, maybe tomorrow, because holy cow, people have already put up like 500 photos on their flickr site and they just got married on Saturday.

Second, while I enjoyed doing everything that I did, I never want to work in the wedding industry. Three weddings in 12 months was hard enough, I can’t imagine doing it all the time. Maybe it’s different if you’re getting paid for it, I dunno.

So. I flew to Oakland on Saturday the 26th (at night) after a busy day of errand running (post office, pharmacy, fabric store) and purse-finishing and packing. My sister and her almost-husband picked me up at the airport, and when we got to their house I got to work on my first task – making some fake flowers Lissa had gotten into hair wreaths for their flower girls.

Sunday, we (and by we, I mean my family) threw a suprise birthday party for Lissa (her birthday was the 30th). She thought she would be attending a coed shower but didn’t know anything else. A good time was had by all 16 people and I hope it was nice for her to have some birthday-oriented time rather than wedding time (my birthday this year was all but swallowed by wedding prep; I even kind of forgot I was having one) since it was my idea that the party be a surprise bday shindig and not a shower. We had salads and pizza and tasty beverages (Jupiter’s sells a very lovely pomegranate hard cider) and my mom made a chocolate cake. After the party, we went back to their house and worked on wedding stuff.

Monday I woke up in abject misery. My neck went out again, and I have no idea why, but it hurt like a mofo and made things much more difficult because there were a lot of projects and errands I was intending to help with that I just couldn’t. Lissa got their rings cleaned and bought some makeup at Benefit, and Laurel and I tagged along. We got some food at Trader Joe’s. I spent most of the day on the verge of tears because 1. my neck hurt really, really badly, and 2. I was essentially useless after making the trip out to be helpful. I ended up working on a few projects that didn’t ultimately happen, like spraypainting blackboard paint on some cardboard for directional signs that never got used. It turned my finger black!

Tuesday was Lissa’s final dress fitting up at the same shop where I got my dress, so Laurel and I went up with her and met my mom at the shop. Lissa had no end of trouble getting the dress to be right (the shop ordered a size too big, which came in late, so it had to be drastically altered, and the fabric for the veil didn’t come until a week before the wedding so there wasn’t time for anyone but the dress shop to make it, and her dress got shuttled between Santa Rosa and the Bay Area at least twice, and she probably had six fittings, and when it was finally done the lady still hadn’t done everything she was supposed to do to the dress). I had far less drama with my dress but the last alteration on mine was never done, either, so I am starting to think the whole thing was just a scheme to get more money for the alterations lady. My sister intends to write a scathing review on Yelp, and I am glad I stuck to my guns and insisted on the size that I knew would fit me. We ran a few other errands that day – to the wholesale flower place to look at flower possibilities, to Costco and Trader Joe’s and BevMo to price alcohol, and we helped my mom pick out carpet. My neck felt a little better that day, but not a whole lot. I pulled a list of “to be done” out of Lissa’s head in the car on the way back down to the Bay Area and when we got back I organized it into “Stuff to buy” “Errands to run” and “Projects to finish” and I think it ended up being helpful for them.

Wednesday I tagged along on more errands and then I met Leah at her work to pick up a key to her house. Then my friend the Irish German picked me up at a cafe, we had some tasty Pakistani food, and stopped at Berkeley Bowl (Pilgrimage!), and then we went back to his house in Oakland to relax for a while before we retrieved Dan at the airport. The Irish German co-owns his house with College Boyfriend, so I got a little update on College Boyfriend’s life (currently: off-again with his 10 year, on/off again gf) and got to hear all about how fertile his brothers are (he has one niece, another on the way, and his younger brother’s wife just found out she’s having twins). He had retired to his room by the time we returned from the airport, and everyone was just exhausted so we didn’t stay up late or anything, and I got to sleep in a Real Bed for the first time in nearly a week and it was so, so nice. I heart the Irish German.

Thursday, we made a tasty breakfast for our pal who let us sleep in his bed, and picked some veggies in his garden, and he drove us all over the place, meeting with Lissa and Curtis at the Oakland Flower Market for them to buy flowers and me to take them and deposit them in Leah and Simon’s basement, and then we had to go meet them again to get the other stuff they needed to give me (cooler, bowls for the event on Friday) and for Curtis to pick out the right orchid plant that would have enough flowers on it for the groomsmen’s bouts. We got back to the Irish German’s place pretty frazzled, so we relaxed for a while and logistics for Thursday night were worked out (a last-minute bachelor and bachelorette event came together, so Dan had to take our newly-acquired rental car down to the South Bay and went out to see Batman and play games at Dave and Buster’s with the boys, and I took BART over to the city, met up with my sisters and a couple of other ladies, and we watched Mamma Mia and then went out to an Irish Pub, and then I took the bus all the way across the city to Scarlett’s house where Dan and I stayed that night).

Friday we got up and going much later than I had hoped and it took us over an hour to get through the city and across the Bay. Luckily, we’d done our planning in advance so we knew exactly what we needed to buy at Costco and at Berkeley Bowl. And we lugged our groceries to Leah and Simon’s who graciously agreed to let us use their kitchen to cook the rehearsal dinner that Dan and I hosted that night for the happy couple. We made a green salad with veggies from the Irish German’s garden, and black bean/corn salad, and shrimp kabobs, and turkey burgers, and bought everything to go with, plus made some guacamole for the chips and salsa, and a great big apple pie and cookies from Costco. We hauled all the food up to the park in nasty traffic, but luckily the guests weren’t there yet since everyone else had to deal with the same traffic. We used a new portable grill that L&C got as a wedding gift, since the charcoal in the existing park grill didn’t work out so well (though it eventually caught after all the food was cooked and people used it to warm their hands; it gets cool up there once the sun goes down!) and successfully fed 26 guests (plus leftovers for Leah and Simon) for about $120. Not too shabby!

After the party was over, a big group went over to decorate the wedding afterparty venue but Dan and I went back to Leah and Simon’s to finish the handmade guestbook, relax and watch Flash Gordon (Dan) and put together all the personal flowers (me). I made 1 bridal bouquet, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 2 flower girl nosegays, 5 groomsmen bouts, 3 other bouts (2 dads and Dan), and six corsages in about 3 and a half hours (I took a shower break) and got to bed around 1:30 AM. It was a long week, and I haven’t even written about the wedding yet.

Photos courtesy Laurel and someone using Lissa’s camera (not sure who!)

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2 responses to “I went to California for a week and I need another week to recover

  1. congrats and best wishes!arlene,Port Orchard florist

  2. sorry about your neck-week sounds hectic but fun

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