Mazel Tov! – Yiddish for “I am pleased this good thing has happened to you!” (according to Wikipedia), or “Congratulations!” in other translations.
The Wedding Day!
I can’t believe I slept late on Shannon’s wedding day, but I did. It was probably a good thing, in hindsight. I remember waking up and thinking what a marathon this day would be, and was grateful that I had slept so well (probably because both the rehearsal and dinner had been such happy occasions, and I was so relieved).
The first item on our agenda was a lovely brunch, hosted by our IHGLAM supper club friends for the out of town guests, which was appreciated by all, especially the young guys who always love free food! IHGLAM stands for “I Hate Girls and Love Army Movies”; you can likely figure out by the acronym who organized and named this group (hint, it was not the women).
Miss Organized, here, I thought I was good with all my lists, but then I forgot to bring the hostess gifts for the brunch, and then I forgot the photographer’s list to work on while we girls were all at the hair/makeup salon after the brunch. And I forgot the napkins/plates for the sandwiches at the salon… so I made a quick trip home retrieve all of these things. Was I nervous or anxious? Maybe? Just a little?
It took quite some time to do the seven attendants and the two moms’ hair and makeup, but it was well worth it! Wow, did we look pretty fancy! In a way, it was a relaxing process, with idle time while waiting for the others to finish. But then as the afternoon wore on, I began to get antsy about everyone getting finished in time for us to dash home and then to church. I can’t help it; it’s just an innate worry of mine to be on time.
Perhaps it was that innate worry in me that suggested that I drop Melissa (aka the “MOG”) off at her hotel while the girls were finishing up. When she and I set out, we discovered the traffic on Westheimer at the Galleria was a total gridlock. It took almost 20 minutes and a detour by the back roads to go THREE BLOCKS. Then I had to figure out how to get back to the salon. Eventually, I did, and I was so grateful that I had a chance to alert the others to take an alternate route. So perhaps it was a good thing in hindsight, although it rattled whatever calm equilibrium I had, just “a tad”.
Because we knew how to avoid the traffic jam, we had a very quick turnaround at home, then it was off to church in the “clown car” (aka Donnie Ray) with six very beautiful passengers.
The girls all dressed in the Parlor, and the guys congregated in the Hines Baker Room. Of course, our awesome coordinator, Joyce was everywhere, smoothing out details, like a button popping off the back of the wedding dress (she has a basket with every known emergency supply that you could ever think of!).
Then came the official photos of the bridal party (in lieu of doing it after the ceremony). Temple Webber and his two assistants captured every moment of the process. They were everywhere, and I know their photos will be amazing.
And then suddenly it was 7 pm! An ensemble from Mercury Baroque played a lively piece that began the service and captured the joy of the moment. First down the aisle were all the grandmothers and me in turn, all accompanied by glorious processional music, thanks to Rob Landes.
Following the family members came Kat, escorted by his parents, as is Jewish tradition. Then came the attendants, two by two, in their colorful attire, with a mix of girls and guys on either side. They all looked so handsome or beautiful (depending on gender), and because I have had such fun getting to know all of them, I was so proud of each one!
Finally, with great fanfare and flourish, here came the bride and her proud father, processing to the beloved music of Saint Saëns Organ Concerto #23, which Rob graciously arranged especially for the occasion. It was such a thrill for us to have this particular piece played for Shannon’s wedding! Tears? I was very emotional, but held it in, mostly because Shannon said that if I cried, she would, too. I had a very crumpled kleenex clutched in my hand, just in case!
The service was a uniquely woven tapestry of both Methodist and Jewish traditions that made for a fascinating and meaningful wedding. I was absolutely rapt the entire time. Mercury Baroque played another piece as Shannon, Kat and their honor attendants ascended up to the Chancel. We are so grateful for their beautiful contribution to the service!
Dr. Linda Christians and Dr. Robert Gerber were seamlessly in sync with the elements of worship; the entire service was absolutely perfect, in my opinion, and many others agreed with me, from the positive comments at the reception and later by e-mail and snail mail.
The recessional piece was thrilling and joyous; the bride and groom jumped straight into their Town Car (since the posed photos had been taken beforehand), and the bridal party cheered and waved goodbye to them from the front steps of the church.
Before the reception officially began, Temple took some special photos of them in the garden of the Cohen House, at a perfect time on a perfect day. The garden was so beautiful through the windows as dusk fell. As a bonus, the evening was mild, and many folks elected to eat outdoors out there.
Inside, the reception was a blast with moustaches, cowbells and disposable cameras on each table, good food, plentiful drinks and terrific music! Just as many told me that it would, the evening went by in a flash, with the dancing, the cake cutting, the toasts and visiting with friends.
After all the work and worry and planning for this day, I was ready to dance, which I did my fair share of! The music by the Swatchmen (from San Antonio) was infectious. Finally, Shannon changed into her going away dress, then they danced a last dance. And then it was midnight.
To end the evening, she and Kat ran through a gauntlet of ringing cowbells into the Town Car which took them off to their hotel. We then collected all the leftovers and headed home minus our lovely clown car passengers, who opted to go out late with the fellows!
We left the back door unlocked; Joel said the girls hadn’t come in by 3:15 am, but when he checked again at 5:30, they were in. As it turned out, they partied some more, and then ended up at the House of Pies. After dancing so much at the wedding, I think they were just hungry!
The next day, the guys drove back over here to “hang out” until we needed to make the airport runs. There was much laughter as they looked at Molly’s photos, and each “friended” the others on Facebook. Everyone nibbled on sandwiches, leftover cookies and cupcakes, with coffee or soft drinks.
I think it’s really cool that this disparate group from all over the country (CO, NY, PA, MA, DC, TX) had such fun together and plan to stay in touch after their shared wedding experience. I think it speaks well of Kat and Shannon that they have such nice and fun friends who thoroughly enjoyed being with one another! Here they all are hanging out before they headed off to the various airports on Sunday afternoon.
And now they have all headed home. The house is once again quiet, and while I am enjoying the peace, I miss them already! I cannot stop smiling after this picture perfect wedding weekend. We will savor this special moment in time for years to come…
Postscript: It’s now been two weeks since the wedding. Shannon and Kat have been on their honeymoon in Scotland and are due back in the wee hours of Friday morning. Things have calmed down considerably, and it may seem boring to get back to “normal” after all the recent excitement.
But the “Mother of the Bride” is now happy to relinquish her title and pass it on to my friend, Fran, and then to Ruth, and then to the next worthy mom whose precious daughter has set a wedding date!
Postpostscript: Thanks to Molly Peters for most of the above photos…
(Note: Pewperson will return in two weeks on July 22.)