Wedding Story

Here is a short story of the marriage celebration for those who couldn't be there.
by: Mother of the bride

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It is done. On August 14, 1999 Fritz gained a new wife. They exchanged rings with each other's initials in Morse code. Signed the licences. Celebrated and went off for a week's honeymoon in Cancun. Here's the story as I saw it, mother of the bride.

The Maid of Honor and I arrived in New York from California a week early to help prepare for 100 guests. Elizabeth's twin friends from grade school on up arrived to prepare all the flowers except the bride's bouquet. Roomate and Elizabeth's fellow worker also did a great deal. The father of the bride was always on hand to drive people around, deliver, and keep the loft in repair.

A friend of Elizabeth's father and the family made all the women's dresses of Sari cloth: brightly colored silks with gold embroidery. Elizabeth designed her 3-piece dress in white satin and had many fittings by the dressmaker, Bryan. Elizabeth had prepared bottles of bubbles to blow over bride and groom as they emerged from the church. Noone remembered to bring the bubbles there, unfortunately.

I was going to make the veil and train but when we visited the bridal shops, we decided to buy a hair piece and veils to order. Hildy got it. I fixed up a garter and others sewed it with blue roses. We all cut orange and pink toule and wrapped scented candles with ribbons printed with the wedding info for reception table favors. Eta hand-lettered the place cards.

Then there was the program. It included songs and poems in English, French, Creole, and Latin, which had to be typed into the computer, translated, desktop published, collated and assembled. It took Elizabeth all night and more of us the next day to complete.

Rain threatened and finally we ordered a canopy to cover the lawn and dinner tables at the reception. It protected the area from morning rain and a few sprinkles during the meal.

Friends and family from afar appeared. Relatives from the midwest: father's sister and her granddaughter, his first son, his brother with wife and teen-aged children. Groom's parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and a niece came from Florida, Boston, and Chicago. Some stayed at the loft preparing the rehearsal feast and some came to the church for the rehearsal.

Noone was prepared for the long driving times through Brooklyn to the Church and the Ethical Culture Society reception hall. We were 1 1/2 hours late for the rehearsal, and the wedding too. All the bridal clothes had to be steam-cleaned before wearing. The men were busy renting tuxedos.

The bride and groom and wedding party members rode in two limos. Elizabeth had invited me to walk her down the aisle and give her away, since I had been her single parent while she was young. However, Mel offered to do it too, so Elizabeth glowed to have a parent on each arm. The wedding was beautiful, the choir sang with zest, the trumpet soared gloriously, the Catholic ceremony was deep and meaningful and the priest set their lives on course for a lifelong marriage. Most of the people on the groom's side of the church took holy communion. Most of the people on the bride's side of the church did not.

Friends from Minnesota were there. My cousin and his daughter were there. And lots of other friends.

Elizabeth had carefully prepared table seating. We had to position the place cards for the guests and light a candle at each table. At the reception we ate Haitian food and danced to a 12-man Haitian band, excellent entertainment. The newlyweds were radiant. They seemed very happy that their dreams were coming true and that everyone was having a good time. A system administrator, caught the bridal bouquet and an architect, caught the garter. We ate cake and that was it. Although I was not the last to leave.

I put a few pictures on the web. See: