Entry 388: The Wedding Blog Part XXXIV: Countdown, Episode 1

Well, that’s over with! My daughter Casey is now married to Alex, and my wife Barbara and I have a son-in-law.

My next four posts will contain some of the highlights of the wedding, starting with a few days before it. As a bonus, Casey herself has provided her point of view, shown in bold.
October 1–The photographer is demanding a final list of photo groupings. When we provide it, she informs us that it would take longer than the wedding itself to take all the pictures we’ve requested. We cut the list approximately in half. While we do, Barbara tells Casey the philosophy we had at our wedding: “I wanted to make sure we got pictures of all the old people,” she says, “because I figured they’d be dead soon.”

She also reminds me we should get a shot of my poker group, since there is a photo of us atscotch every bar mitzvah and wedding our children have had. Since these are primarily the people for whom we have purchased two cases of single malt scotch, it might be better to get this shot earlier in the evening.

The photographer has provided a schedule of who has to be where and when for specific photographs. She recommends that “each side of the family should assign one person to be in charge of corralling people into photos.” On a film production with animals, this person would be called a “wrangler.” We need relative wranglers.
We get the final blow-by-blow details from the caterer. This contains lines not likely to be seen at any other wedding, like “Escort cards in the turtle nesting area.”
We make final payments to the cake place, the florist, and the band. We feel like Oprah Winfrey: “You get a check. And you get a check…”
October 2–It’s our anniversary, and Barb and I reminisce about our own wedding. We don’t remember much, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t this complicated.
CASEY: October 3–First pangs of panic set in. Did we remember everything? What’s left to do? I set the 10-day Accuweather app on my phone to refresh every 5 seconds.
October 4–The wedding is a week from today.

Barb and Casey go to pick up the dress that the little old Italian lady has been custom-tailoring for months, even though it was supposedly custom-made in the first place. Now, after three fittings, it finally fits.

Meanwhile, I spend the afternoon itemizing what we have to do each day of the upcoming week, which includes a list of 10 things we have to drop off at the venue (the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium) at some point. I keep thinking of additional items to add to that list. It doesn’t matter, though. Even if the list hits 20, we’ll forget something.


October 5–While eating breakfast, I watch the weather report with keen interest. I don’t care a bit what the weather will be like today; it’s the first time the 7-day forecast will include the wedding day. Sunny with a chance of showers in the evening. Hmm. As long as it waits until after 7pm, it can do whatever the hell it wants. Who cares if people get wet leaving the aquarium?

Worrying about the weather a week away reminds me that I should also begin worrying about somebody getting sick. I wouldn’t want anyone feeling less than 100% on the big day. If any of the principles so much as sneezes this week, it will be met with a look of alarm akin to what people on an airplane might register if the West African gentleman two rows back asks the flight attendant for an aspirin.

I have a hazy recollection of my mother keeping me under quarantine for a whole week before my bar mitzvah, but I might be remembering that wrong.
October 6–We get an email that one person is canceling. Since the final counts are in, we are technically obligated to pay for that person, but the caterer says she’ll deduct it. “If anyone else cancels,” Barbara tells me, “we’ll invite someone in off the street.”

Later in the day, we get another email that someone else is canceling. This gets us down to 150 adults–the guaranteed minimum. Anything less than that, and we pay regardless. Barb has some friends lined up who are not proud. I’m thinking StubHub.
CASEY: The students in my film class find out for the first time that I’m getting married this upcoming weekend. I’m very proud that their first two questions are, “Who’s video taping it?” and “Will you be wearing a GoPro?” I’ve taught them well.
October 7–I go to the bank to get a certified check for the caterer. The last time I needed a certified check, I was paying for a car. The fact that both checks were certified is not the only similarity.
Barbara and I check the seating cards against Barb’s master table list. I have the stack of cards and read out the names and table numbers so Barbara can check them off. I read the names of one couple and Barbara says, “Who?” I repeat the name and table number. “They’re not here,” Barb says, somewhat alarmed.

“We have mystery people?” I ask. “Are they very pre-meditated wedding crashers?”

Upon further review, it turns out they had RSVPed regrets, and should not have had seating cards. Conversely, there is one person on Barb’s seating chart list for whom there is no card. Ten minutes later, my lovely, law-abiding wife enters my office bearing two cards. One is an authentic card from the invitation lady, the other a forgery Barb has just created for the previously unaccounted-for guest. Barb has made a perfect replica. Now if we can just get someone’s blank checks, we can be all set for retirement.
That night, Alex comes over for dinner and we’re discussing a question from the band: whether or not we want them to invite everyone else to join the star couple during the first dance. Casey’s response: “Yes, and as soon as possible.” Alex’s response: “No, and the music should be ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ Or ‘American Pie.’ Or ‘Alice’s Restaurant.’“

He is kidding. Neither he nor Casey want to be alone on the dance floor any longer than is absolutely necessary.

To be continued…

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1 Response to Entry 388: The Wedding Blog Part XXXIV: Countdown, Episode 1

  1. Cooky says:

    It was the BEST of times. Truly a fun filled wedding highlighted by the beautiful couple.

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