I started out pretty irritable in the few days leading up to the wedding, at my house. This was partly because I had done all the important stuff and was now terrified that there was something I had forgotten. It was also because my parents, who were planning to have a nice brunch the morning after the wedding for the wedding party and all the out-of-town guests, decided to take this opportunity to clean the house from top to bottom...and I mean clean. My parents are fastidiously clean people anyway, to the point where my mom finds food in the refridgerator to be something worthy of deep suspicion. But no, they cleaned to a whole new level, and I got roped in. And I was resentful of it, because a) I wasn't convinced it was the best use of my time, and b) I wanted some time to really pause and reflect on what I was about to do, and I wasn't getting it.
Here's some of what we did, by the way:
*Washed all first-floor windows in the house, inside and out (naturamother helped a lot).
*Vacuumed or washed all first-floor rugs.
*Cleaned all bathrooms (countertops, sinks, toilets, mirrors, linens, floors, garbage).
*Vacuumed all curtains (?!)
*Disconnected and washed all light fixtures (?!)
*Repainted the front door (?!)
*Washed all patio furniture
*Swept the driveway
And so on. I spend several days cleaning my room from top to bottom, which ended up being nice. I caught Dad downstairs one day in my parents' walk-in closet after the vacuum had been running for four hours. He had just finished vacuuming all their clothes and had moved on to my mother's shoes.
shaylith, naturamother, and moontracks showed up at my house on Monday afternoon. shaylith had no AC in her vehicle and was drastically sunburned on her entire left side from having the window open, so we treated it with aloe, which seemed to help. None of us felt like doing anything major, so we got dinner at Third Place and watched a movie when we got home (The Devil Wears Prada).
Tuesday was monumentally busy. shaylith wanted to go car shopping in Fife and took moontracks along, while naturamother went off on some secret mission I was not supposed to know about. I went and had a pedicure (light iridescent polish) and a manicure (no polish), wanting to look presentable without changing who I really was. It was relaxing and nice.
I had intended to go shopping with my friends when I got home, nobody was there when I returned, and I was quickly roped into more house chores while I tried not to inwardly flip out. I'm a tidy person, but there comes a point.
naturamother came back from her errands and also got roped into window-washing, but we eventually broke free and left. We stopped at Sky Nursery for a gift card for someone, which naturamother wound up buying because I hadn't been bright enough to remember to bring my money. We returned to the house for it, then went up to Alderwood Mall. We stopped in Michaels for some craft supplies...paper, basket, and fancy scissors for the "guest book" scraps, a garter for experimenting with, and some additional decor. I went into Gene Juarez for another gift card while naturamother called moontracks to find her (in Borders) and to check on shaylith, who was, at the moment, in Bellevue buying a car.
We snagged moontracks and got dinner in the food court, then headed back to my house. We got back to the house just as shaylith pulled up in her hot new ride. naturamother wasn't feeling well, so I drove shaylith back to Bellevue to pick up her old car (teh Kumquat), then drove back and picked up some groceries on the way. Then we all hung out in the kitchen...me making whole-wheat chocolate-chip zuchinni muffins, them cutting decorative paper into squares with fancy scissors. Then bed.
The next morning, we loaded up the cars first thing and got ready to go. I called the caterers to see if we could pick up the linens early (no) and mountain_child to remind him to bring some last-minute things I forgot (raffia, bow bouquet, pens for the guest book).
We filled some buckets with water and went around the yard cutting cedar and ginkgo and ferns to decorate the wedding site and supplement the bouquets. When all the greenery was packed, naturamother and I headed to Thriftway to pick up the flowers (some freesia, some purple misty, some petals, some delphinium, and some white dendrobium orchids). The girl behind the counter was flustered and couldn't find my flowers or my order, and went sprinting to the back of the store to check the dairy coolers. While she was gone, naturamother and I snooped behind the counter and found them both. When the girl came back we went through the order in detail to ensure everything was there. It wasn't, but we added some stuff from the front to make it come out right, and nobody said anything about the fact that I got about three times the orchids I'd actually ordered.
A quick trip to McDonalds to see if they still give out free ice (no), then to the market for some ice bags, then back to the house, where bluemoonshark, shrike30, Mireille, and Nathan had materialized in our absence. We loaded up the rest of the car stuff...music, camera, coolers, drinks, dinner, muffins, wedding dress, etc., and caravanned out to Gold Bar in five cars...me, Mireille, Nathan, bluemoonshark, shrike30, my brother Jason and his girlfriend Ilana, moontracks, shaylith, and naturamother.
We had about an hour at the site before the Port Angeles crowd (Tyler, best man Mike, Schulyer, Jeni, Taylor, and Dee) showed up, so we unloaded the cars, moved into our bedrooms, and sat in the living room chatting and munching muffins. The rest of this day is kind of a blur. But here's what I remember:
*Pleasant, sunny weather.
*The group effort to assemble the arbor, and my later decorating of the arbor with cedar, ponderosa pine, and ginkgo branches while shaylith and bluemoonshark made artistic adjustments.
*Replanting a few of the 30 total flowerpots while Mireille and moontracks washed away the dirt, and naturamother and I tied ribbon on them.
*spadoink and uniqueunorque showing up and starting to take pictures and help out.
*naturamother and Mireille getting ribbon and curly willow and going to town on the tent poles.
*Planning chair and table orientations.
*Tyler and I having our pre-wedding counseling session with our officiants, Karin and Jim.
*Reviewing the ceremony with Karin and Jim and having some last minute things fall into place (how to tie the knot, how to carry the rings, how to phrase x and y).
*Reviewing the ceremony with the wedding party and doing a quick run-through.
*Starting dinner (salad, eggplant parmesan, bread, koularakia) and eating it on the lawn, chatting with friends.
*Making corsages and bouquets as dusk fell.
*Having Doc and Carrie show up and sharing some quick hugs and catching up.
*People chatting, sunbathing, reading, starting fires, and mostly just hanging out and having fun when they weren't busy on a task.
*Hot-tubbing and stargazing.
It was surprisingly fun and relaxed, and not at all as stressful as I thought it would be. I was correct in thinking that we had a lot of stuff to do in a limited time. But I drastically underestimated the number of hands we had to do it, and the leadership and competence that operated those hands. I'd think of a thing to be done, inform the person standing closest to me, and then I'd turn around five minutes later and it would be done with no fuss or fanfare. Simply amazing.
P.S. I am so domestic today. I cleaned the apartment and made brownies.