Okay I know, it's already Wednesday and I'm just now getting around to acknowledging the wedding I participated in over the past weekend. If you've ever seen the movie Meet the Fockers, you already have a pretty good idea of how things went.
Let's start with the rehearsal Friday night, shall we?
The actual rehearsal at Centennial Park went off pretty much without incident if you discount my mild shock at meeting the toothless Reverend (I say mild because this IS, after all, the South). I was also introduced to the various families and friends from Mississippi and Alabama. And was highly disappointed to discover that Kelly's infamous carny uncle hadn't made it!
Fortunately, the Nashville Parks Service has impeccable timing and had just completed installing sprinkler heads throughout Centennial Park leaving behind sizeable patches of fresh dirt which we would periodically sink into on our route. At least the sprinklers didn't actually come on during the ceremony as was the general vague concern.
Afterwards we all retreated to Kelly's house to enjoy a cookout on the Big Deck…or so we thought…
Oh where to begin…the grill blowing up? the small red-headed child strung out on Coca-Cola? the dozens of buckets filled with roses, orchids and greens waiting expectantly in the basement to be magically transformed (by elves I had initially assumed) into precious bouquets, corsages, and centerpieces?
The grand plan, in my estimation, was to grill kabobs. A fine idea. So Kelly's mom and brother-in-law began assembling the kabobs while Charlie (groomsman) decided to get the grill going. Meanwhile, Kelly was pulling seemingly random food items out of the refrigerator and putting them on the kitchen table (a tub of hummus... a platter of sushi...some kind of...potato salad...I think) and Matt was…umm…I think he was smoking cigars? I can't really remember as the very next sentence I heard was "Holy shit! Look out! The deck's on fire!". The kitchen door flew open as Charlie and Kelly's dad called for buckets of water and Dante's inferno raged outside the kitchen window.
Throughout all the chaos, there was this small red-headed child (who no one really ever claimed), who kept bouncing around, going in and out of the house (failing to close the door behind her on every occasion) demanding that random guests fetch her Cokes. I still haven't figured out if she was a rehearsal crasher because I seriously don't recall seeing her at the wedding.
The fire was extinguished amongst much panicked shouting and swearing. Fortunately, Charlie was not badly burnt. And the cause of fire was gravely determined by Kelly's dad to be some kind of flammable adhesive that had been used on the grill's propane tank. Hmm. It was at this point that Matt decided the best plan of action would be to leave his house and guests to go try to find a replacement grill at 9 o'clock in the evening. Hmm. Sometimes I think that when one becomes a bride or a groom, some kind of chemical reaction occurs which causes all former reasoning abilities to suddenly dissolve.
Kelly's mom and sister had an alternative plan of action which involved putting all of the carefully constructed kabobs on a giant baking sheet and simply cooking them in the oven. In theory this was a great plan and I fully endorsed it until the sheet full of skewered raw meat and vegetables was precariously positioned on the top of the stove and as Julie (who was crouching down to adjust the oven) stood up, she knocked the sheet which sent the food flying through the air and crashing to the floor!
Now, I am a strong proponent of the 5-Second Rule, but when there are hairy pets residing in your household, you just can't abide by that rule. So, the piles of meat and vegetables were chucked into the trash bin and Kelly's mom threw up her hands in despair and exasperation and wondered aloud if Papa John's was in order at this point. But, since neither Kelly nor Matt were to be found, I think she and Julie resigned themselves to assembling more kabobs with the leftover meat and veggies being stored in the refrigerator. I’m not exactly sure if this is what happened though because directly after the enormous crash of food to the floor, I made the decision to escape the mayhem and quietly slipped down the basement stairs.
Lo and behold! who do I find hiding amongst the buckets of flora!? Kelly and Lacey (fellow bridesmaid). I filled them in on what had been happening upstairs and we all agreed it was much nicer in the basement amid the roses. So we stayed in the basement for the next…oh…3 hours or so and assembled various flower arrangements. Eventually we were joined by other bridesmaids and two ex-girl-scout-troop-leaders - which was quite fortunate as none of us were being very Martha Stewart-y with the whole flower thing.
I think Matt returned at some point with not one…not two…but three grills. (don't ask me…I have no idea). So, sometime around 11 or 12, Kelly's dad descended into the dim den of roses offering bits of grilled meat and vegetables.
I'd like to take this opportunity to commend Kelly's mom and dad. I know they won't read this, but their tireless efforts did not go unnoticed.
I can't clearly remember when I finally emerged from the sweet-smelling basement, but by the time I did, things seemed to have calmed down considerably upstairs. Surely it was possible to maintain the new pervading sense of order and calm into Saturday's main event…right?