23 October 2003
About a year ago, the woman who will become our new daughter-in-law opened the pages of a brand new copy of a wedding planning manual. She and Tom were about to plan their wedding and she wanted everything to go right.
Over the past year there have been invitations to be chosen and addressed, wedding party to be chosen, location to be chosen, food to be chosen...a myriad of decisions to be made, down to the gift baskets which were sent to the hotels of those who were coming to the wedding from out of town.
Throughout all the planning, the wedding planning book has been her guide and monitor. She's done a beautiful job, and I'm so proud of her.
The book is now well worn, its pages limp with use, but it was there yesterday, at the rehearsal, a guide for how things were to be done. As we all assembled on the grounds of the Santa Barbara historical museum, Laurel was busy thumbing through The Book, trying to figure out how things were going to be arranged, now that we are down to the wire.
The wedding party gathered around the fountain where the ceremony will be held, and Laurel checked to make sure she hadn't forgotten anything.
The problem with weddings is always that Someone needs to be in charge. The bride and groom are busy doing other things, and that job usually falls to the photographer, who is usually the most experienced person in the group. With no photographer at the rehearsal, Ned slipped naturally into his role as facilitator and took over telling people where to go and what to do.
One thing I love at these gatherings is watching Ned and Jeri and Marta work on the details of music. They are professionals at work, and it tickles me to hear the "shorthand" they have adapted over the years as they put together whatever it is that they are going to be performing for the ceremony. Jeri and Ned will be playing music for Laurel's entrance (a "ska" Here Comes the Bride??) and Marta is singing a solo (a torch "All I wsant from you" from Les Mis)
Throught it all, Laurel kept referring to "the book" to make sure she wasn't forgetting anything.
After the rehearsal, we went to a Mexican restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, where a riotious time was had by all and many margaritas were consumed.
The bride's father gave Tom the best gift he could ever get (it's a toss up whether it surpasses Laurel as his "best gift" or not). It's a 49er helmet, autographed by all of the 49er Hall of Famers. Definitely the highlight of the evening.
So the rehearsal has now taken place, Friday is a day to kick back and relax and on Saturday, our #3 child will take himself a bride. It will go perfectly, because it's all going according to The Book.