Six days ago, we brought four of the centerpieces home from the wedding reception. On Sunday, Katie brought over her bridal bouquet, which brings the total to five arrangements. All of the arrangements are different and include flowers from roses to hydrangeas, baby’s breath, and snap dragons. Some contain blue, white or pink flowers that poke through. Each one is complemented with velvety greenery. Every morning, their fragrance greets me when I walk down the stairs.
It seems so long ago when we met with the flower lady. It was January, and we had to figure out which flowers would be blooming in August. I found many beautiful arrangements on Pinterest, and I remember sending those to Katie. Katie liked the photos and sent them to the flower lady. The flower lady asked what the theme was. We showed her a picture of the wedding dress, and we told her how we thought it was simple but elegant, and that was also the theme, which Katie decided at that moment. 🙂 At the end of the reception, we invited guests to take home a centerpiece. People were thrilled to have an arrangement to keep. We offered some to the staff too, and I couldn’t help taking some leftovers.
The initial planning started in October last year. We made our lists of who to invite, which came to be about 325 guests. When we discovered that the church and a venue could all be reserved on the same date in the summer, we were all so excited, because we didn’t think we could get a summer date so soon. We shopped for the elegant wedding dress right away. The bride made sure to have her bridesmaids get together to try on dresses during a sale. Those dresses got ordered promptly in the color of rosewood. Even I found a dress. Anything that could be done in advance, was accomplished.
Just before we met with the flower lady, the news of the coronavirus kept wafting over the news. I especially followed the news about Italy and how sad it all felt with their loved ones passing away. Then March came, and we were asked to shelter at home. In the backs of our minds we wondered what would become of the wedding in August. So many brides had to cancel their March weddings. Then a few brides and grooms were able to get married in April, with only 10 people in attendance.
“We’re still going to get married in August, no matter what happens,” the groom announced in March. None of us wanted to see the wedding postponed. The food tasting had been scheduled for the end of March, but since the venue was closed, it kept getting postponed. Just when we thought we would be able to get together in June, for an outdoor tasting, the weather didn’t cooperate, so it ended up getting postponed too. That amounted to a total of five postponements. When food tasting finally happened, we were delighted to be able to get together with the groom’s parents, even though we wore masks and stayed far apart from each other.
At the food tasting, we were told we could have 90 guests at the venue, so we got busy calling or emailing our friends to let them know we were only going to be able to invite the wedding party and close family members. Some family members decided they didn’t want to attend, so we were able to invite some friends and more friends of the bride and groom. Even though people were uninvited, gifts kept arriving daily. It was nice to have the support and understanding.
There were other changes at the venue too. We were not allowed to have a head table or a big dance. We could only have four people to a table. The tables had to be six feet apart. There were stickers on the floor by the bar to remind us to socially distance. People were required to wear masks when they weren’t seated at their table.
It was hard to limit the guests. I tried to think of something to say to my daughter to make her feel better when we were going through this process. She must have read my mind and said, “There’s nothing you can say to make me feel better,” so I just kept my mouth shut. The quote I wanted to share with Katie is below, and it’s just what Katie and Mike did without me having to say it.
I tried to keep positive thoughts about the big day, and I prayed for a beautiful wedding for Katie & Mike ever since after their engagement. I tried to chase away the what ifs that popped into my mind as the day got closer. What if Father gets sick and can’t perform the ceremony? What if the bride or groom get sick? What if the catering director or photographers or flower lady get sick? What if my husband or I get sick?
Thankfully, when the big day arrived, everyone who was included in on the final plan, was there. I couldn’t help but think, any couple who survived all this unusual wedding planning has a very strong bond. ❤️
The day turned out to be simply elegant.
Life is accepting what is and working from that. ~Gloria Naylor