Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Going with the Flow to Get to the Rehearsal

Hello friends!  The wedding hoopla is over and I'm going to share the best I can without boring you to death.  I feel like those of you who read this blog are my friends too and it's fun to share the excitement.

Thursday, which was two days before the wedding, became the day when everything could have gone wrong, yet somehow we survived and even thrived in the end.

I decided right at the last minute that I could not abide the shoes I've had for two months.  I'd been wearing them for 1-hour periods around the house and they would hurt my feet every single time. So, on Monday before the wedding, I went online and found what I hoped would be a perfect pair.  They were scheduled to arrive on Thursday before the wedding and all I could hope was that I wouldn't have a choice of two pairs of shoes that hurt.  In the end, they were spectacular and I wore them from 9 am to 5 pm on wedding day!  They are Nine West Icant in Gold Metallic.  I loved the stamped pattern of the gold leather, it matched the gold stamping on my dress so well!

Little Helen gave those of us who were were participating in the ceremony, the clear plastic diffuser you see on the heel here.  It stops you from sinking down into the grass and dirt!  They worked perfectly.

On Thursday I also went and got a manicure and pedicure.  I chose a simple pink color for my toes but for my nails, I wanted something different and had a photo of nude nails with a chevron pattern painted on them. I've had it for months and expected to get it. I really wanted the lighter manicure because I had three different outfits I was trying to have them match. The manicurist I used was different because my usual person doesn't do nail art.  I had been assured that this other person could pull off what I wanted.  Well, the best laid plans don't always work out.  Thankfully, I was still thrilled with the end result.  The issue was two-fold: actually getting the chevron pattern on the nails; and having to use regular nail polish mixed with gel polish. Those two generally don't mix because the gel polish is cured under an LED lamp and regular nail polish simply dries with air.  Though she couldn't execute the chevron, she did what she called marbling and I was every bit as happy!  I actually would go back to her to have this effect done with other colors, that's how happy I was. The gold sparkled in the light and made me happy every time it flashed.

The next thing wasn't an issue of ours, but rather Little Helen.  She and E. had decided to incorporate a couple of traditional things in what was really a civil ceremony.  At the end of the ceremony, after being pronounced husband and wife, E. would stomp and break a glass which is a Jewish custom, then together they would jump a broom, which originated in England but was incorporated into Black history as slaves did it to signal marriage since they were not legally allowed to marry.  Well, E. had his glass and a commemorative bag that keeps the flying shards of glass from wounding your guests, but Little Helen's broom did not arrive.  When she left Thursday morning to go to Hartford to finalize her venue arrangements and finish all the little errands, she was doing some deep breathing and hoping she would have time to go to a craft store and make her own broom. We all had given up hope that it would arrive as it was the very first thing she had ordered from Etsy, way back in May. Tracking data as of Thursday morning showed it was stuck in Fresno, CA. Nothing more to be done at this point. Don't you know, Thursday afternoon around 3 p.m. Mr. Helen was out in the yard and started yelling, "The broom is here!  The broom is here!"  Yes, indeed, it was - even though the tracking information still showed it in Fresno!

I quickly called her and interrupted her nail appointment to let her know it had arrived and we would bring it when we came on Friday.  She asked me to open it to make sure it wasn't damaged.  Once I did, I realized why she wanted it so badly - it was beautiful!

Full length shot of broom, along with Mr. Helen's bicep lol!

Back side detail.  Those small flowers are sparkly rhinestones.

Front side detail.  The flowers were more lilac than pink. I love the tiny pearls in the broom itself.

Thank heaven for all these small favors!

Friday morning, we got up and loaded up the car with all the items we were bringing:  the broom, some favors, our own outfits, and most importantly her dress and shoes.  By the time we got done, the car was literally packed.  Mr. Helen said it was like taking her to college all over again.

We were able to check in to the hotel early so had a bit of time to breathe and get ready for the rehearsal and dinner.  Here's my first photo fail:  no pics of my outfit at the rehearsal (unless someone has one and hasn't gotten it to me).  But I depend on Mr. Helen for these things and we were a bit distracted.  Suffice it to say, I wore a pretty lace dress, taupe color and had appropriate shoes and accessories.

The rehearsal was at 5:00 and neither of us thought about rush hour traffic. All we had done was map it out and saw it was 4 miles and approximately 10 minutes.  Ooops!  Suffice it to say, my entire side arrived 20 minutes late (it took us 35 minutes to get there, ugh.) and arrived to Little Helen, E. and his family there already as they all live in the area and planned better.  Oh well, again, it all turned out fine.  The officiant at their wedding was Denise Merrill, Secretary of the State of Connecticut. She and E. have known each other since the early 1990's and though her office is in charge of all Justice of the Peace, this is the very first wedding she has officiated.  She did it for her friend!

Now to photos...

Best Woman and Best Man practicing their lines.

I just love the looks on Little Helen's & E.'s faces in this shot

Other participants watching.

Mr. Helen & Outlaw G. watching

The wedding party & officiant

Now, on to the rehearsal dinner.  The dinner was held at a private club that E.'s mother belongs to.  It was a club started by women, for women years ago (they do now have a very few male members). The invitation said "Men: Jacket Required."  When I asked about this, she told me that when the club was formed, they decided they really never would have to worry about how a woman would dress, but men could be known to show up in any old thing... a t-shirt, torn pants, shorts, sandals, etc.  They felt a jacket would spruce them up even if their attire was terrible.  I thought that was magnificent!

Instead of serving a Groom's cake at the wedding, Little Helen decided to have it at the rehearsal dinner.  She surprised him with this skateboard cake.  He skateboarded for years, until he broke his leg twice.  But he loves it still.  Everything you see, except the board the cake is on, is edible!  This was a dark chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream filling.

There was also Gluten Free cake.  

Both cakes were served with homemade peppermint stick ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Even Mr. Helen, who normally won't eat peppermint anything at that ice cream it was so good.

Our table at the dinner.  E.'s parents went all out.  It was so beautiful

You can see a bit of my dress here and I'm wearing my MOB pin again.  Mr. Helen's jacket was on the back of his chair at this point.

Best woman and her date.

Little Helen is half Zambian.  It just so happens that her half sister (her father's child) is in the USA right now and was able to attend.  We were delighted for them both!

My mom and her sister, her only remaining living sibling.

The happy couple.  Yes, she has a sweater on over her gorgeous dress.  She's always cold.  It's the African part lol!

 The groom's mother saying a few words. 

The groom's aunt, who was the very first in the family to meet Little Helen, saying a few worlds and cracking us all up talking about how when meeting her at Passover, she knew Little Helen was "the one." She also served as one of their coordinators the day of the ceremony.

The groom thanking all of us for sharing their weekend.

I got to take a centerpiece with me - so beautiful and it made our hotel room fragrant.

By the time we left the dinner, and got back to the hotel it was nearly 10:00,  Even though I had an early start on Saturday Wedding Day Morning, I could hardly sleep.  I think I knew the best was yet to come.


  1. I've been waiting for this post! Yay!!

    First, heel savers? I never knew they existed, but what a brilliant idea! I think dress shoes are going to be uncomfortable when you have to stand in them for any length of time, but your new pair looks like they did the trick nicely.

    Your nail polish design looks like lace and is so pretty!

    Fun rehearsal pictures - everyone looks so happy and relaxed, really. Very cool about the wedding officiant!

    Confession: I clicked on the first picture and scrolled through all of them before reading your post, and I couldn't figure out what was written on that white cake. Gluten Free. Ah! The skateboard cake is very cool and a great idea to have a the rehearsal dinner, which looked lovely!

    Oh, and WHEW on the broom arriving in time!!! Can't wait to read about the big day next! Thanks for sharing so much of this special time with us!!

  2. I can echo Shelley's comment! I was very glad to see this posted this morning. And most of all, I'm so glad to hear that this very special time was just as wonderful as you had imagined! How long do we have to wait for the wedding day?

    1. I'm hoping by Thursday because if not by then it will be next week. But I'm sorting through photos and swamped being back to "real" life lol! Keep your fingers crossed.

  3. I don't know where my comment went? Anyway, I was with my family this weekend and decided not to be on my phone/tablet too much but had to check in to see your pictures - everything looked wonderful, you guys looked great but the best part is seeing Little Helen and E so happy!

  4. I am glad you are sharing!

    That broom is beautiful. I think handmade items make a wedding that much more special and they will have this for a long time to come.

    Cakes like that skateboard cake amaze me and I always feel bad that they get cut into and eaten! All that hard work. Sort of like cooking a huge holiday meal. 10 minutes and it's gone :D

    1. I agree about the hand made items. She bought several beautiful things through Etsy and will have them for years to come!

  5. I loved this post from beginning to end, thank you so much for sharing.

    Everyone looks so happy in every photo just as it should be at a wedding.

    Love the nails and the shoes.

  6. So excited to see the wedding (rehearsal) post!!! What a beautiful celebration!!! This whole post just made me smile!!!