October 6, 2012
Our first mission, post getting ready and pre taking pictures, was to get Sara down the steep-ass stairs of the house. I hadn't really noticed how steep they were when going up them in my flip flops, but going down them in heels, holding a 40 pound wedding dress train, while simultaneously holding the hem of my own dress and death gripping the rail so that I wouldn't trip and bring the entire bridal party crashing to their deaths wasn't easy. Honestly, I had a weird moment of wondering if the original owners of this house ever fell down these stairs and got tangled in their petticoats. Luckily we made it all the way to the ground floor without any mishaps!
Since Sara wanted all the pictures over before the wedding, they decided not to do the whole not-seeing-each-other-before-the-wedding-thing and instead, they decided to do a quick bride and groom only photo shoot in the tiny park across the street. All of us helped Sara across the street, making sure her dress wasn't touching the dirty ground, but you'd think we'd shown up for their honeymoon by the way we were dismissed by the photographer. We didn't want to intrude, of course, but we also didn't want her hem to drag through the mud. We retired behind a car and just watched at a distance.
I'll be honest, my favorite part of any wedding is watching the groom see the bride for the first time. I can't help it! You can tell so much about how he really feels about the woman he's going to marry by the face he makes, and I'd be danged if I was going to miss it this time! Ron had his back to her when she walked up, and when he turned around, it was just priceless! Awwwwww! After that we did leave them alone to do their pictures and we went back inside. It wasn't very long, though, before we got called into the parlor (or Magnolia Room, whatever) to have the rest of the pictures made. It turned out that it was so hot Sara couldn't deal with being outside to do any more photos, so the rest would be taken in that room.
That's me trying very hard not to
destroy the wobbly antique chair I was sitting on.
There was the requisite million different family pictures taken, and after a while, the wedding party had their turn. The photographers took some funny pictures, too. Sara decided that she wanted the bridesmaids to to be in a picture with Ron, but the photogs didn't know how to pose it. I took it upon myself to decide. I slid across the floor and grabbed his leg in the cliched "Hero Pose" and everyone else joined in. I'd like to apologize to Leia for making her get down there, as she seemed a bit reluctant, but she was a pretty good sport about it! I wasn't thinking about the fact that we were grubbing around on the floor before the wedding even started, but Ron loved it. :)
The pictures went on until the guests started showing up, so we had to smuggle Sara back upstairs to await the beginning of the ceremony. She'd been pretty chill all day, but I think that's about the time she got nervous. She paced for a while, and then she sat near the window and listened to the violinist as he played Beatles music while people were being seated. I've known Sara since we were 4th graders, and when she went glazed eyed, I knew she'd pretty much gone tharn. She swore she was ok, but I knew that look! We all started singing "Can't Buy Me Love" or at least the parts of it we knew to keep her with us, and by the end of it, it was time to go downstairs! Cue the hobbling downstairs bit again, and we were off!
The actual wedding seemed to go really fast. By the time I'd made it from the front of the house to the back, the wedding coordinator was waving me down the aisle, and I was the last one before Sara and her dad came out. The wedding itself was so sweet that even I, who prides myself on never getting emotional at weddings (unless they play the damned Butterfly Kisses song) got a little verklempt! Ron had to read his vows off of his iPhone, and since I refused to let Sara have her phone at the altar, she had to read it off of a piece of paper, but they were vows that they'd written themselves and they were beautiful! My shoes were killing me, and I had a terrible fear that I was going to drop Ron's ring and have to go chasing it around the courtyard, but that didn't happen and the whole ceremony went over without a hitch!
Then came the reception. I have to say, this was easily one of the most fun wedding receptions I've ever attended! Of course, a lot of weddings I've been too have been kind of formal and conservative, receptions held in a church, no dancing, no drinking, and older family members sit looking slightly askance if anyone dares act a little silly. The whole thing here just turned into a big party. It started out a bit confusing. Sort of out of nowhere, the first dance happened, but they didn't finish their song before the DJ was calling for the father of the bride. We had to literally snatch his plate out of his hand and shove him through a door to dance with his daughter, because they hadn't given him any notice. There was also a bit of confusion because we were told they were doing a line up (?) of the wedding party. We assumed that meant we'd walk out with the partner we'd had during the ceremony, but the guy just started calling our names and we sort of just walked out into the dance floor, willy-nilly. Then he started playing a song, with what I assume was the idea we'd all dance together. We all kind of looked at each other, because we didn't know what to do, so we all just started dancing like crazy people. I, for one, can't dance, so there was a lot of spinning and jumping around for me. I have a feeling the other wedding guests either thought I was drunk, or that I was probably Sara's mentally challenged cousin who she let be in her wedding, but if that detracts from the fact that I simply just don't know how to dance, I'm OK with that! There is video proof of my dancing, but I haven't decided if I'll share it yet.
Photo proof is OK.
After that I went looking for Steve, who had found a seat off too one side, and I joined him there. Jordan and his wife sat nearby, so I spent a lot of time talking and having fun with them. Occasionally I'd get up and "dance" to some random song, and once I grabbed Sara's 12 year old step-son and danced with him. It was mostly just swinging each other around, but because the DJ had mixes of songs, it took me a minute to realize we were dancing to "Hot in Here" which struck me as kind of inappropriate. But since we weren't bumping up on each other, I pretended it was not a song about getting naked. Sara's sorority sisters did some kind of candle ceremony where they passed it around in a circle and sang a song to her and Ron, and then she blew the candle out. They explained it to me before the wedding, but I still don't quite understand. It was sweet, though. Steve even danced with me a couple of times, which was amazing, because as we all know he doesn't ever dance. I didn't even have to shame him into it! It was his own idea! :) I danced so much that I busted the inner zipper on my dress! It wasn't that the dress was too tight or anything, we just hadn't taken into consideration that I might dance, or at least move around the way I had been. We fixed it, though. The party went on, pretty much without diminishing, until 11:00 that night. The whole thing was just a lot of silly, sans souci fun!
Our night wasn't over, however. We'd promised that we'd go to Bourbon St. with Sara, Ron and a bunch of other people. Steve and I were beyond exhausted by then, but we still wanted to at least go for a little while, so we went back to our room, changed into comfortable clothes, hopped into a cab and headed off into the wilds of downtown New Orleans. Our first stop was just below Bourbon Street, at a place called Lafitte's. It is supposed to be the oldest bar in our country, and it kind of looked it! It was beyond crowded, and Sara grabbed my arm and pulled me into a tiny, dark place full of people. There were no overhead lights, and it was extremely loud. I purposefully photobombed some people for the second time in my life, but I think it was because I had reached the stage of tiredness where I just didn't care about manners anymore. I finally had to get out of there, because I felt like I was being smothered by the dark and the constantly shifting crowd of people inside. I found Steve, Leia, and several other members of our party outside and talked to them until everyone else got there and we could walk to Bourbon Street proper.
It wasn't a far walk to get there, and I had no idea that the city kept it blocked off from everything else, but it was an experience. Let me just say...Bourbon Street is gross. It smells so bad, and it is so loud, and there are so many people yelling around you that it's like drowning in flashing lights and music. People stood along the balconies of the buildings, holding beads and hoping for reasons to throw them. Don't worry, I kept my top on the whole time! It didn't seem fair to get all the beads for myself, you know! ; ) It was a block of complete, bright, insanity. My first impression was that I'd fallen square in the center of Pleasure Island, from Pinocchio, but Steve hit it on the head better than I could. He said it was like being on R rated Main Street USA right before the fireworks start. That was actually more apt than anything else I could have thought of. As we walked, I bunch of guys started yelling "Roll Tide" at us. We couldn't figure out how they knew we were from Alabama, but apparently someone in our group was wearing a Bama shirt or something. I'm not so sure yelling Roll Tide in Louisiana is such a great idea, but there you go. Of course, some charming character in our party yelled back at them "F*@K THE SAINTS" and that's when we decided that we should probably move on quickly. Oh, and I'm fairly certain I stepped in a puddle of vomit. New Orleans, Ladies and Gentlemen!
It seemed to take forever, but we finally broke out of Bourbon Street and headed over to Pat O'Brian's, hoping to get in to hear the dueling pianos, but it was packed. I'd forgotten my ID, so someone handed me their military ID which got me past the bouncer. She didn't look anything like me, but I'm assuming I didn't look under 21, so that was ok! We got stopped dead in the entrance tunnel, and we couldn't go any further. Poor Leia was about to fall asleep on her feet, Steve had gone into a slight agoraphobic catatonia, and I almost had a panic attack due to the sheer pressure of people around me trying to get in. We finally just had to admit defeat and leave. We were so tired, and most of us were leaving town the next morning, so we had to tell Sara and Ron goodbye and grab a cab back to the hotel. It took a long time to get that cab, but I'd never been so glad to leave a place. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sorry I went, and it was fun to experience everything, but I was also very, very glad to get away.
Once we got back to our room, I was finally able to pull my hair down and get comfortable. This is what a day long wedding and trolling the streets of New Orleans does to a person:
It had been a wonderful, exciting, happy day! I'd had so much fun. I was glad it was over so I could finally go to sleep.
Notable Sightings: Sara looking gorgeous on her wedding day, Drunk guy at the wedding embarrassing his wife on the dance floor, Drunk lady being carried - Weekend at Bernie's style - along Bourbon Street, A 7 foot tall drag queen, a man in his jockey shorts humping the back of some guy's head, and 3 women wearing full on wedding gowns as they stumbled along the streets of New Orleans.