At long last, the wedding day had arrived. A hung at the hizzy with Granny and Grampa B while us girls went to get beautified at a local salon. Leah's bridesmaid gift to us was a cute pair of pj bottoms with "Bridesmaid" on the leg and "Team Riley" on the rear, which we all wore with matching white shirts to the salon. The photographer took some pictures while we were there, which I am anxious to see, but for now I only have a couple that I took and a few from Leah's camera.
I did my own hair and makeup at the salon, mostly because I am a total control freak and didn't trust someone else to do it. When I was done I ran back to the house to get A dressed and ready for pre-wedding pictures at the church. The bridal party got dressed at the church, helped the bride slip into her beautiful gown, and stood for pictures. The wedding started at 6, so after pictures, we spent the next two hours playing in the nursery and trying to keep Alex from smearing Cheeto dust on his dress pants. Luckily Granny and Grampa B were there to help run interference and kept him entertained and out of trouble.
After what felt like eons, we were finally called to the sanctuary where we were crammed like sardines into the vestibule of the church, waiting for our cues to hit the runway. Alex was waiting less patiently than others, although his squeals were more of the excited variety than unhappy ones. Granny B kept him at bay as I made my way down the aisle, and as I saw Rachel and Rebekah at the doorway with Tinsley and Alex, I held my breath and prayed for success.
As soon as Alex's feet hit the floor, he got to walkin'. Rebekah was leading Tinsley by the hand, and as the girls slowly made their way up the aisle, A continued to march, exactly as planned, leading the pack in his usual Alex way. Oh, what a proud moment! I was totally cracking up as I watched him, that nervous and excited kind of laughter that verges on hysterics. He got more than halfway down when he realized that his crew was falling too far behind. So he stopped midstride, turned around, and started making "hurry up" gestures and sounds to the girls as they walked toward him. Once they had mostly caught up, he turned around and completed his task by walking all the way to the front of the church, where he immediately bent down and tried to roll the aisle runner back down the aisle. The wranglers in charge of removing the kids from the sanctuary before Leah's big entrance swept Alex and Tinsley up and out before they could do any real damage.
I was standing next to Tinsley's mama Shay on the stage, and the two of us were so proud of our babies. We could not believe that they had both done so well. We of little faith!
With that part over, the rest of the ceremony was cake. Although I did panic about my non-waterproof mascara when Leah came down the aisle and I bawled my eyes out. You never really know how you will react to those sorts of things until they happen. Turns out I am a big sap. Who knew?
It was a lovely ceremony, and when I wasn't thinking about how bad my feet hurt from hours of standing in five inch heels, I was thinking about how fun weddings are and how I was so excited for Chris and Leah. The bride was a vision in ivory, and the groom looked very dashing in his tux. They had been waiting impatiently for this day to come, so once the groom had kissed his bride and they were announced as "Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Adam Riley", the happy couple booked it down the aisle to the tune, "This will be an everlasting love" with the rest of the bridal party trailing behind.
After a few more pictures, we walked over to the reception, and while I'm kind of bummed that I missed people's initial reaction to our grand transformation, dozens of people came up to me to say how awesome they thought everything looked. And I must say, it did look pretty awesome. It's like, you have this vision in your head of how things should turn out, and you kind of have an idea of how to realize that vision, but there's always a chance that what you have in your head isn't possible to achieve in reality. And when you are working with hundreds of yards of nine foot wide fabric at heights well above ten feet, that chance multiplies by, like, a thousand. But fortunately, it all worked out, no ropes broke, no panels fell, the heater didn't light our tent on fire. Nope, it was all good.
And boy, can that Vicki Evans throw a party or what? I think we estimated that over four hundred folks showed up (not that I am surprised in the least) and gnoshed on the mashed potato bar, chicken and beef, chips and salsa, goodies from the chocolate fountain, and the delicious "cupcake cake". I actually didn't get to eat much myself since I spent most of the evening answering questions about our tent project, but what I did eat was really great. It felt a lot like my own wedding, in fact, since I got to see so many people I hadn't seen a while and ended up chatting most of the evening. There were a few times when I completely panicked not knowing where Alex was, only to find that he was eating cupcakes with Granny B or making the rounds with Grampa B or burnin' up the dance floor with Macy.
That said, I was too busy to take pictures during the ceremony or reception, which bums me out big time, but I have "borrowed" a bunch that people have posted on Facebook until I can get some more.
The couple exited in a shower of rose petals and headed to Little Rock, en route to the Smoky Mountains for their honeymoon. I was more than a little jealous. But I was still basking in the glow of a successful reception, so I was somewhat distracted from my envy. Oh, and if you are wondering, no, I am not planning on entering the custom wedding tent business any time soon. But ask me again in a few months and see if I've changed my mind...