Thursday, March 8, 2012

You're My Everything: The Caged Tiger

While Christina was photographing Mr. Snow Cone and his crowd, I hopped into my parents' car and drove the four whole minutes it took to get to the church.  When we arrived, I saw a lot of dashing young men in suits milling around the front of the church, about 10 yards from where our car was headed.  I was not interested in getting this close to the ceremony and then botching the whole "no first look" decision.  I slouched as much as I could, given the yards of satin and tulle that were crammed into the passenger seat with me, and I begged my dad to give a few courtesy honks.  We weren't really sure what to do, but we knew that this had to be handled delicately in order to avoid a wedding-day blunder.  Finally, my mom hopped out of the car and surveyed the situation, determining Mr. Snow Cone had already been safely stashed in his hiding zone.  She gave us the high-sign, and we drove up to the church.

In order to have me walk the shortest distance possible, my dad pulled up directly next to the side entrance, where I'd be hiding until my big walk down the aisle.  His efforts to make things easy on me weren't so easy on his car; when he got out to help me out of my side of the car, he opened his own door right into the staircase's iron handrail.  It was a very clear episode of bridal brain, father of the bride edition.  Anyone, in any other situation, would have realized that was not the ideal place to park a car and open the door, but darn it, he had a bride who needed to be tended to!  For whatever reason, that moment of hearing the ominous thud of the door against the rail and exchanging a "did that really just happen?!" look with my dad is one of the clearest memories of the entire day for me!  Once we finished laughing at the whole car situation, my mom helped me up into the side entrance of the church, where I had to wait (and wait and wait and wait) for it to finally be my turn to go down the aisle.

I hid away in the side entrance to the church, which also happened to be the location of one of the two restrooms for the building.  Maybe not the best planning in the world, since it felt like people were popping by every minute or two to use the facilities.  In fact, when I first stashed myself away there, two of my best college friends were actually using the bathroom.  When they emerged, I don't know who was more surprised!  It was definitely unexpected, but I really enjoyed having two familiar and friendly faces see me right before the big walk.  After they scooted out, though, I had to station my mom outside of the door to direct people elsewhere.  Despite my best efforts, though, the door did swing back open shortly thereafter, when our priest popped his head in to say hello.  I appreciated the gesture, but I did not appreciate how he seemed to have no reservations at swinging the door wiiiiide open.  Yes, the door that was the only thing separating me from Mr. Snow Cone, or so I thought.  In actuality, Mr. Snow Cone had already been stashed away in his own hiding space, which our priest knew.  As a result, the whole door thing was a non-issue, but all of that logic didn't really register with me at the time.  All I knew was that I needed to be hidden, and all of this open-shut nonsense with the door wasn't really helping my cause.

Finally, the door activity came to an end, which just left me and my dad in the hiding place.  I was pacing back and forth (as much as one can while in a long gown and in a tiny space), only stopping to try to listen to the organ music to determine how far into the processional we were.  I was pretty bummed whenever I finally recognized a specific tune, and it was Ben Folds's The Luckiest, which was part of the prelude!  Meaning, not a single person had walked down the aisle yet!  At that point, I was pretty frustrated and impatient.  I was ready to get married, and people were not moving at the warp speed I would have preferred.  So, to recap, I was pacing, frustrated at how slow the processional was going, and frazzled by the whole door situation.  Not my finest, calmest moment.  After the wedding, when I was recounting this waiting process with my dad, he said it was like being in a room with a caged tiger.  I think that's a pretty accurate description, to say the least.

In the mean time, Mr. Snow Cone was also waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) for the processional to start.  I love how you can see all the nervous energy in this photo of him.
Photo by BM B

After what felt like an eternity, our guests were seated and it was finally time for all of the most important individuals to make their way down the aisle.

We started off with Mr. Snow Cone's grandmother, escorted by his uncle.

Then, my grandmothers came down the aisle.  First, my paternal grandparents, escorted by my youngest brother B.

 Followed by my maternal grandmother, escorted by my younger brother A.

After the grandparents came the parents.  Mr. Snow Cone's parents walked down the aisle together (totally worth the temper tantrum, FYI).

And then my two younger brothers walked the mother of the bride down the aisle.

Once my mom made her way to the front of the church, the mothers lit the unity candle before returning to their seats.

At this point, I was really impatient.  I kept ordering politely asking my dad to peek through the doors to see who all was still left to walk down the aisle.  I guess my desire to have the door shut at all times was superseded by my desire to know how many more people had to process before it was my turn.  He reported the grandmothers and mothers were gone, which was great news to me.  You see, I had gotten the order of the processional all twisted around, and I thought Mr. Snow Cone went before the grandmothers.  Um, nope.  Literally, as my dad was reporting who was and wasn't in the back of the church, Mr. Snow Cone emerged from his hiding spot about 10 yards from the doors of my hiding spot.  My dad only had the doors open a crack, so there's no chance Mr. Snow Cone saw anything, but my dad immediately closed the doors shut, looked at me with big eyes, and told me that Mr. Snow Cone was most definitely not down the aisle yet.  I still get all adrenaline-y thinking about that realization.  While it was kind of a mini-setback to find out that the processional wasn't as advanced as I had assumed, it was still exciting to know that Mr. Snow Cone, at that very minute, was walking down the aisle for our wedding!

But first, the Best Man walked down the aisle,

 followed by the man of the hour, Mr. Snow Cone.

Our priest followed behind Mr. Snow Cone.  (Mr. Snow Cone told me later that day that immediately before processing, our priest admitted he was nervous, too!  Pretty endearing that a person who has probably done hundreds of weddings was still jazzed about ours.)

Once he arrived at the front of the church, the only souls left to process were the bridal party, my pops, and the bride.  It was almost time!

All photos from the amazing Christina Garber unless otherwise noted

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