Friday morning I boarded a very early morning flight to Oakland for Rachel’s wedding. The wedding wasn’t until Saturday afternoon however, as I came bearing no gifts (as requested), I felt the least that I could do was assist in the setup of the wedding location.
Rachel met me at the baggage claim and we hugged. Have you ever spent time with someone whom you’ve felt like you’ve known forever? It was as if I’d only just seen her the day before… and yet, it also felt as it had been ages ago.
In Rachel’s car were dozens of gorgeous flowers to be used in the ceremony.
We were driving immediately to the home of her future in-laws: a beautiful home with a tiered tree-lined patio. This was where she and her groom would exchange vows.
Since I had been traveling since the early morning, I was starved. On the way, Rachel and I decided to stop at a restaurant that was one of Jim’s favorites. The management was stunned as we told them of his passing. We toasted to him over our salads. I could already tell that the mention of him would bring tears to both of us.
Our day was spent with an army of Rachel’s friends, her future in-laws and her own family busily preparing the chuppah (a Jewish traditional arch), candles, bouquets, a sound system, cleaning the patio, setting up tables and a potty palace.
What is a potty palace, you might ask?
Since the wedding locale was her in-laws' home, Rachel and her Lucky Guy decided to have portable bathrooms on the street in front of the house. In order to make them more presentable, one of Rachel’s very creative friends built a screen, on location. I giggled at that thing as she put it together…and especially as I explained it to every curious neighbor that drove by.
The bride and groom definitely used their imaginations to create a lovely location. Rachel included a Wishing Tree on one of the top tiers. Everyone was invited to write down a wish for the couple on 4 X 6 cards and hang them from the tree with ribbon.
The bride was a busy girl...
But when all was said and done... the final decor was just perfect!
Nearing the end of the day and after the wedding rehearsal, we were to meet at Lucky Guy’s home for a dinner for out of town guests. My body was beginning to feel the effects of being up since 1:30 PST, however, I pushed on through the evening, enjoying the company of really, TRULY great people.
Both Rachel AND her man are very lucky, indeed.
The next morning, lists were made, emotional breakdowns soothed, and the bride-to-be was sent off for a day of beauty. There was also a bit of panic as the groom-to-be seemed to be missing in action. He’d gone off on a bike ride to settle his own nerves.
One of Rachel’s friends and I went for a drive in a nearby park and took a few photos. What an amazing area to live!
We arrived at the wedding site early afternoon and continued the wedding preparations.
The guests began to arrive and the party was beginning without a hitch. Friendly smiles, warm welcomes and a few fellow blog friends of Rachel’s who recognized me! Hi Dr Leah!! Jim’s best friend, Phil, was also in attendance. Jim had designated Phil as my date and Phil had already learned quite a bit about me. I hoped to give him some comfort, during the ceremony, when I was to speak about Jim. Unfortunately, Jim’s words that he’d written for the wedding were never found. Rachel and I co-wrote the speech I read… both of us in tears during our collaboration.
To be continued tomorrow with Rachel's wedding secrets revealed!