Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A very long day...

I'm back from NoVA from Joan's wedding. What a great event! Although I am completely exhausted. Not only were we up for over 17 hours on Saturday, our flight back on Sunday to NYC was horribly delayed. We ended up waiting on the tarmac for 3 hours. We didn't get back home until 1:30am.

But a quick run-down of our schedule Saturday...

5:30am - Hair stylist/make-up artist arrives, starts rolling our hair in curlers.
5:45am - time I actually sit up and put on my glasses and stumble over to get my hair curled.
7am ish - Annie arrives with breakfast for all of us, Joan and Annie C. go and figure out how to get the coffee going.
7:30am - Joan surprises us with bridesmaid care packages which include a Tide stain pen, hair spray, shampoo/conditioner, blue eyeshow that matches our dresses, AND awesome Old Navy blue flip-flops that also match our dresses. We all decide immediately that we were going to wear them all morning.
8am ish - All of us have our hair done (the curls are all pinned up with bobby pins, I think I had about 50 pins in) and we bridesmaids are attempting to iron everyone's dresses (we tried doing a faux steaming at first with the ironing board covered in aluminum foil and using the steam function while hovering the iron over the dress... which didn't really work, so we switched to a pillowcase over the dress... which worked much better).
8:30am - I'm working on my make-up.
9:00am - we start to load everything into Joan and Annie's cars.
9:10am - Joan realizes her wrap for the evening hadn't been ironed, so she pulls out the ironing board to iron it.
9:20am - Everything and everyone are loaded in cars, I make Joan do a mental checklist (engagement ring, undergarments, dresses, shoes, makeup, veil, etc.) .
9:50am - We get to Glenview and unload the car.
10:20am - We're all dressed and have checked out our gorgeous bouquets. I've put the veil in Joan's hair (per the hair stylist's directions).
10:30am - the boys finally arrive (30 minutes late!) and go get dressed.
11:00am - Joan and Ben have their first meeting and I'm summoned to go get Joan's wedding present for Ben, which he opens slowly but then much more excitedly when he realizes it's a Wii.
11:30am - Family portraits, I'm in charge of yelling directions in Chinese to help out the photographer.
12:00pm - Ceremony starts! We're on time! But it's super duper hot, so I'm hoping it'll be quick
12:20ish pm - I've passed tissues to Joan and to her mom. I've also managed to shake away a bee that had crawled into my bouquet.
12:30pm - Yay! Husband and wife! Smoochy!
12:40pm - We've directed everyone to the front of the mansion for a group photo. For now, everyone's on the porch in the shade. I don't remember how to say "shade" in Chinese.
12:45pm ish - Joan and Ben have come out and joined everyone in front. Annie C. and I decide it would be hilarious for everyone to do the wave. So I yell instructions in Chinese and English and run back and forth once. Hope the videographer got all that!
1:00pm ish - We've secured the bustle on Joan's dress and removed the veil. Now it's the fun part of the reception - eating and talking to friends. We take lots of photos. I show off the ring (and FI) to my NoVA friends. At first I was going to share a plate with FI, but Dan recommended that I take a "cool" plate, and it was a cool plastic plate that looked like real china. A bunch of us pull up chairs in a circle to talk and eat.
2:45pm ish - Russ (the best man) and I do our toasts. I actually do triple the talking as I translated Russ's speech into Chinese and did my speech twice - once in English and once in Chinese. Felix notes that Joan and I both tear up at the same point each time I did the speech.
3:00pm ish - First dance and all variations of family dances. Everyone else comes onto the dance floor and joins in too.
3:50pm - Since guests were starting to leave, we staged a fake send-off for Joan and Ben, complete with lots and lots of bubbles.
4:00pm - We're out of Glenview and a bunch of us go over to Tony and Steph's to cool down before the evening's Chinese banquet. After getting slurpee and getting gas, I fall asleep as FI drives.
4:30pm - Everyone chills, eats fruit and snacks, watches tv. I continue napping.
5:30pm - We all leave for the banquet, caravaning over.
6:00pm - At the restaurant. Joan was super-smart and thrifty and collected all of the flowers (including bouquets, ring pillows, and pomanders) from the day and reused them as centerpieces. The tables are all named after rooms in the White House since Ben works for the federal government. We're at The Oval Office.
7:00pm - Food is arriving and the eating is underway. Chinese banquets are always both predictable yet different. There's always a few standards - duck, walnut shrimp, a cold appetizer platter, noodles, soup. But at least 1 or 2 different dishes - a nest made out of fried pieces of taro with veggies and seafood inside and incredibly yummy desserts - sesame balls with red bean paste and pineapple buns with custard.
10:30pm - We've given the bridesmaids' bouquets to the flower girls and I know it's late in the evening because I've started sticking flowers in my hair (3 orange roses). I help rally Joan and Ben so a bunch of friends could take pictures.
11:00pm - Finally home!

All in all, a fun and exhausting and exhilarating day! Congratulations Joan and Ben!

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