Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Big Fat Greek Wedding!

First, thanks for patiently waiting for this post...I've had to be patient about it too. See the slide show with more photos via Snapfish here.

Maintaining sanity:

At the salon, the mother of The Bride received a very unsatisfactory hairdo. The Bride and bridesmaids agreed, it needed more oomph. Her stylist added a little more curl but it still didn't look good. Then her stylist began working on someone else...After The Bride had her hair coiffed her stylist completely redid the mother's and it was much better. Then a tipsy client standing next to The Bride spilled sangria all over the place, but thankfully, none got on her veil. After our hair was fixed and shellacked into place, The Bride and I went back to her place to finish getting ready and tie up some loose ends with the programs. It took her a long time to get the layout right and then we were hurting for time to get all the programs printed on her computer. She called Kinkos. They could manage the job in about an hour, but it would cost $500 for the job. She decided to print them at home and let the groomsmen pick them up and fold them at the church. While she tried to figure out her printer, I put on my make-up. Then she started in on her own make up, but still hadn't done her nails. It was almost 3 o'clock and that is when we were supposed to be at her mom's house for pictures. At about 3:10 the groom's sister called, frantic and lost in Towson wanting The Bride to give her directions (!) I took the call, but didn't know the way and tried diverting her to call The Groom. She started to freak out, The Bride, with only half her face "on", took the phone and told the sister to call her brother for help and hung up. At 3:30 the sister of the bride called, I answered it. She was getting impatient and said, "The photographer wants Tricia here NOW!"
I told her, "I'm doing the best I can and we are getting ready to leave." The Bride took a final sweep of the apartment trying to remember what she had forgotten. I was standing by the door holding several bags and things ready to go. Then she remembered: "My Computer!" Stuffing it into a bag, she then grabbed for the power cord. It was plugged in, of course, behind a tall book shelf. The Bride got down on the floor with her veil off to one side and reached under the shelf tugging hard. I saw the bookshelf teeter. "TRICIA!" I yelled. "The shelf! Be careful!" Her arm is sort of stuck under the shelf and she jerks it out. I dropped everything and rushed over and then she heaved the whole shelf away from the wall in one hulking thrust, yanked out the cords, jammed them into the case and we were off. Whew.

Pre Wedding Photos:
The bride wanted a photo of herself in her veil while sitting in her convertible. So instead of driving there and then putting the top down, she drives the whole way with the top down, veil blowing up in the wind. I followed her in my car and saw passersby giving her double-takes. I thought for sure the whole veil was going to blow off and fly away down the highway, and I'd be the one chasing after it, but she managed to keep it on. The bride's dress and accessories were all at her mom's house and still needed to be put on.

Some other bridesmaids and I dress her, and secured her into the gown and she hurried off for pictures without any jewelry (or her nails painted!). I pushed through the crowd of relatives and put on her necklace and handed her the earrings while the photographer adjusted his camera.

Whew! Lots of photos are shot very quickly,
and then there was some confusion about the limos. One had to leave ASAP because he had a prom to get to, and we were about 50 minutes behind schedule. We headed off to the church.

At The Church:

I followed the limo in my car since the reception was not too far from home, and when I walked up to the limo, Sam (the old and small but forceful wedding coordinator or Wedding Nazi as we bridesmaids referred to him) was yelling at the limo driver, "You need to back this limo up NOW! The bride needs to come in that door, back there!" The driver was confused since he was taking orders from the bride and her parents from inside the vehicle too. He explained there was to be a picture taken by a certain tree. Sam insisted there wasn't any time for that, and demanded the driver move the limo back. The bride and all her stuff get ushered into the chapel and there we wait. She still didn't have her nails done. Her cousin volunteered for the task about ten minutes before it's time to walk down the aisle. Sam hollered to us to get lined up. "Where is Mimi?" everyone was wondering.

Later, I find out the nail polish had spilled on the floor and there was a frantic half-assed effort to clean it up. The bride changed her mind that she wanted the children to walk down first. Sam insisted we must do it as rehearsed the night before. I noticed a vein popping in his forehead. The father of the bride and The Wedding Nazi butted heads but the Wedding Nazi won the skirmish. The flower girl was confused about when to walk down. A compromise was reached. The boys walked down first and the flower girl walked down after the last bridesmaid, just before the bride.

The Ceremony:
I walk down the aisle on cue and met my handsome groomsman at the dais, he had missed the rehearsal the night before, so I whisper to him, "Bow," when we step up to the table. Slightly confused, but obedient, John followed my lead and all goes smoothly.

One of the priests looked like a salty-haired Mr. Bean.
I tried not to think of it, for fear of inappropriate laughter. We stand for 45 minutes on very hard marble. I resisted looking at the candles as advised at rehearsal to avoid fainting, and listened to the chanters. The ceremony was beautiful. The flower girl was standing, shifting, one arm akimbo like a little diva.
The flowers got really heavy and then we were walking out again.

The Reception:
It was starting to rain at the time to head over to the hall so one groomsman offered to get an umbrella from the car. I look up and see this dapper tuxedoed man walking with a bright tangerine umbrella. It's not the wide kind for two people to easily walk under, it's the highly domed kind, somewhat reminiscent of the clear plastic bubble ones that were popular in the 70's. He reminds me of a Magritte painting. Several of the bridal party caravan to the reception hall with me in the lead, I nearly lose everyone at a stop light. (In my defense I only knew of one groomsman who was unsure of the way who was following me, but he had some other guys following him.) We make it there and are ushered upstairs for our own private cocktail party while the rest of the guests enjoy cocktails downstairs. The place is absolutely gorgeous. Gold and crystal chandeliers, damask wall papers, and rich textiles decorate the rooms. Everyone is introduced into the Grand Ballroom.

Pure genius on The Bride and Groom's part was to provide big wheels for the little ringbearers to cruise around on while the Father of the Bride gave a neverending toast. Delicious food was followed with lots of Greek-style dancing,

including the Ouzo circle dance the young men were doing in a corner to demonstrate their "manly coolness." Money was strewn all over the floor after having been thrown into the air by the Father of the Bride and other relatives.