Jackie and Dave's wedding was absolutely wonderful! God gave me several new friends, and an amazingly fun time with new experiences that I loved. Today, I'll talk about the new experiences and tomorrow I'll tell you about my new friends.

New Experiences:
On Friday morning, all of the bridesmaids went to a nail salon and were pampered. I now have gel nails, a french manicure with a pretty design and a pedicure. Alan painted my nails, and he and his wife, Leah, own the salon and work there together. He told me that he used to be a graphic artist, and Leah worked at a nail salon. She suggested to him that they open their own store, and he said that he jumped at the chance because that meant that he would get to work with her. Yay!

Later that afternoon we practiced at the rehearsal, and all of us bridesmaids got to meet all of Dave's groomsmen. They were a pretty fun bunch of guys, always laughing and joking around. We got to meet their wives and girlfriends too, but more about that later.

After the rehearsal, we drove to the hotel where the reception would be held. We ate dinner, and I got to meet all of Jackie's extended family whom I have heard so much about through my years at college with Jackie. It felt wonderful to finally meet these people whom I felt like I already knew.

Once dinner was finished, the bridesmaids headed upstairs to the ballroom to decorate for the reception. We had been there for approximately an hour or so, when the wives (and a fiance) of the groomsmen burst through the door. They laughed and talked and worked with us. Together, we made the room beautiful, and we made new friends. I know that Jackie had been worried about moving away from her close-knit family into a place where she may not know anyone, but since many of Dave's groomsmen are also his co-workers, that meant that Jackie had automatically made friends with several of Dave's co-worker's wives. I wish you could have met these ladies. They were so fun, friendly, energetic, and silly! I wished that I were the one who would be spending more time with them. At one point I asked, "You guys act like you are more than just co-worker's with each other. What's the deal?" And they all responded at once, "We ARE more than just co-workers and wives. We're one big family." I am so thankful that God has provided another close-knit family for Jackie to be part of. He is so great!

Now that the reception room was beautiful, we bridesmaids had a job to do. We handed Jackie the car keys and told her we were on a scavenger hunt. We all piled into a car that was built for very skinny people. Amidst lots of laughter and tangled bodies, we were finally able to close the doors, and we told Jackie that her first assignment was to find a swing set. She quickly drove to a nearby park filled with wooden playground tunnels and swinging bridges. We climbed over the equipment to the swings and posed for the camera over and over.

Barefoot, we slung our sandals (renamed grassdals) over our fingers and sloshed through the sandy playground towards the car. We noticed a police car in the parking lot with it's blue lights flashing, and we decided to give Jackie her next assignment immediately--have our pictures taken with a police officer. We changed directions and walked to his car. Jackie was too nervous to talk with him, so I became the spokeslady. I explained that we were having a bachelorette party, and we needed to have our pictures taken with him. He suspiciously questioned us, but Jackie was wearing a tee-shirt that said Soon to be Mrs. L. and the wedding date was printed on the back of the shirt. He smiled handsomely, and once the flashes had vanished, he said, "Now you can put on your list that you were kicked out of the park." It turns out, the park had closed at ten pm.

We merrily squeezed into the car and found a McDonald's with a playland. We sat on Ronald's lap and climbed through the equipment, documenting our progress along with way with film. One of the workers came out, and we thought he was going to ask us to leave. Instead, he calmly began sweeping the floor, not sparing a glance for the crazy group of women climbing through the plastic tubes with shrieks of laughter.

We ended our party early at Walmart (where every party should happen) since we were all so wiped out from the previous all-nighter, and we finally climbed into our respective sleeping places around two in the morning, knowing that we needed to wake up at four in order to have our hair and dresses ready for the photographer before the wedding.

The wedding took place on Saturday. I've never been in a wedding before, so that was pretty cool for me. (Well, I was a flower girl when I was four, but I don't remember much about that except for my beautiful dress and flowers.) Amazingly enough, there were no mishaps. That's kind of sad for me also, because I enjoy funny disaster stories to tell. My dress needed to be hemmed a little more, but it was too late for that. So I informed my groomsman that I needed him to walk slowly to give me a chance to kick my dress out of the way at each step. He very obligingly crept along. His name was Rich, and he was a detective. I tried to think of a good mystery question for him to figure out during the rehearsal, but I couldn't come up with anything great.

At the reception, the bridal party walked in to the Star Wars theme song. That choked me up for a few minutes, because it made me long for Jeremy who had stayed home in Iowa with Kim and Libby. I ate the most WONDERFUL Chicken Cordon Blue that I have ever had in my entire life, and I dropped three forkfuls of salad on my dress. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am smooth.

Two groomsmen toasted the bride and groom during dinner, and I was just getting up the nerve to stand and toast, when Jackie and Dave left the table to mingle with their guests. I had a pow-wow with two of the other bridesmaids to determine if I could still make a toast even though the bride and groom were no longer at the table. We couldn't come to a satisfactory conclusion, so I asked the DJ and the photographer who were standing together chatting. (I figured they had been at enough weddings to know what would be appropriate.) They told me to wait until Jackie and Dave returned. I waited and waited and waited. Finally, they started back to the table. Just as they arrived, the table clearer took my toasting glass, along with the toasting glasses of everyone at the head table! I stood to my feet and attempted to discretely flag the lady down to ask for our glasses back, but she was not listening to me. I sank back onto my chair and laughed with the bridesmaids about the situation. Then I decided to toast with the water goblet that was still left on the table. I pushed out my chair and headed towards the dance floor with butterflies flapping away in my tummy. As I got there, the DJ pulled his microphone in and said, "Now it's time for the Father/Daughter dance." I stood at the edge of the floor in dismay and watched as Jackie and her daddy danced to "Butterfly Kisses." Then Dave and his mom danced, then lots of people danced, and I finally gave up my dream of toasting the bride and groom. It was a very sad moment for me.

But I got over it quickly when Faith and I and several of the groomsmen and their wives sneaked out to the car to decorate! I'll post pictures as soon as I have some. It was pretty awesome!

Tune in later this week for part two - "The Wedding: New Friends"
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2 Responses
  1. That sounds like an ABSOLUTE BLAST!!! Glad you had so much fun! :-)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, that sounds like so much fun! I'd love to see some pics!

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