Wide Open post 9

I am racking my brains trying to plan the rehearsal dinner, well, luncheon for my son’s upcoming wedding.  The venue where my son is getting married has a wedding the night before my son’s wedding so we can’t hold the rehearsal in the evening and then eat dinner.  The only available time is at 11 am, so that means we’ll host a rehearsal luncheon after the rehearsal.  First problem solved.

Second problem is where to have it.  The venue is out in the middle of nowhere.  Well, not exactly nowhere, but it is out in the middle of a rural area, twenty minutes to the nearest assortment of restaurants, none of them exactly what we had in mind.  We might as well travel forty-five minutes and have a larger choice of restaurants.  Second problem solved, but feel badly that everyone will have to drive so far.

Third problem is an extension of the second problem; where to have it that has a private or semi-private room?  It’s easy enough to find restaurants on a map online, but making time to go check them out is proving to be more difficult.  You can’t always trust a voice on the phone.  What one person refers to as a private area may not be what you consider a private area.  Third problem unresolved.

Fourth problem is an extension of the third problem; how do we present a slide show at the restaurant?  Middle son asked his sister and older brother (second oldest son) to make an iMovie with photos of him and his fiancé from infancy to the present which they have diligently been working on for the last few weeks.  I’m going to hate to be the bearer of bad news if we can’t find a way to show it during the luncheon.  It’s hard enough to find a restaurant with a private room, much less with a projector and screen on hand.  I suggested he make copies and send them home with the guests as a party favor.  He didn’t respond to that.  Fourth problem definitely unresolved.

Fifth problem is trying not to go broke while feeding a group of 35 to 50 people.  The number depends on whether we generously invite out of town relatives of the bride to join us.  Seeing as how it is a lunch which leaves dinner time open, I’m thinking that the out of town relatives can be entertained by the bride’s family during the evening thereby allowing us to forego inviting them to lunch.  Or am I just being a cheapskate?  Fifth problem undecided.

My son already said that he could foot the bill for the rehearsal lunch, but we told him that we’d do it and it would be our wedding gift to them.  He then said that wherever we have it, he plans on having the alcohol bill tallied up separately and covering it himself.  We’ve narrowed the menu down to beef and chicken fajitas which means that most of the adults will be having cervezas or margaritas, so having him take care of the alcohol will be a big help.

Our daughter and her husband paid for their own wedding themselves this summer.  I did pay for half of her wedding dress.  It was more than she budgeted for, but she loved it the moment she tried it on.  It was our second night of dress shopping and she knew it was the one immediately.  She was going to splurge on it when I asked her if she wanted me to split the cost with her.  It was a throwback to her teen years when she started asking for more clothes and as long as she was willing to pay for half with her own money I would usually agree.  I also paid for some of the decorations and a few miscellaneous items here and there, but nothing compared to what they spent.  We did give them a hefty monetary wedding gift, but last time I reconciled the checkbook, I noticed she hadn’t deposited the check, yet!

My husband and I just aren’t used to these sorts of weddings.  We are both from big families and no one had large weddings, none of us.  Heck, hubby and I planned our wedding in three weeks and invitations were all word of mouth.  We even forgot to call his one and only paternal uncle and invite him and his wife.  They even lived in the same town.  Some of my own siblings were living out of town at the time and couldn’t even make it.  The only friends were a few family friends that someone thought to call and invite.

I got permission from the city to hold our wedding service in a gazebo in a city park (free of charge.)  I asked the preacher at a church where I used to babysit to perform the services.  I recycled my prom dress and shoes from two years earlier.  Hubby wore slacks and a nice silky dress shirt.  I bought a bunch of carnations and made a small bouquet for myself and gave my mom and mother-in-law and my flower girl each a single carnation to hold.  The thirty or so attendees stood around the gazebo and looked up at the preacher, my hubby and me, our parents, our two eight year old nephews who were the ring bearers and our four year old niece who was the flower girl gathered in the gazebo.  We didn’t have any music, no walk down the aisle.  The service lasted all of two minutes and that was it.  We were married.

The reception was held in my parent’s home and yard, a short 10 minute drive from the park.  All the food was homemade by my mom.  She ordered a small two tier wedding cake.  I know that my father thought that the rushed wedding was due to an impending miracle of birth, but it wasn’t.  We had been talking about it for several months and couldn’t decide on when.   We moved in together and kept discussing it.  Our one year dating anniversary passed and we thought, “Gee, that would have been a good date to marry.”  This was back in the day when you had to get blood tests before getting married and they were only good for three weeks, so we decided to get the blood tests and then we’d have to pick a day before the three weeks was up.  We got the tests, looked at a calendar and saw Mothers’ Day less than three weeks out.  That was it; we got married on Mothers’ Day 1979.  It worked for us.

5.13.1979 May 13, 1979

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