Dani & I Head out to the Farm to set up. Her family stays in town to do more of the tourist thang and buy earrings for Dani. This wedding was put together using no professionals what so ever. I need to give some major credit to everyone who helped us put this together:
Eric & Lori: Donated the Location; Country Pleasures Farms. A beautiful Orchard Farm on rolling hills near Frederick MD. They do have cows and chickens but primarily it's an Orchard, Organic. Eric was one of the first Certified Organic Farmers in Maryland and helped organize the Organic "movement" in Maryland.
Tony & Lori: Donated the Flowers and the decorations, and set up, floral and the dinning/party area. The Flowers were from their farm in LaPlata, MD. Lori was a co-worker of Dani until her just recent retirement and Dani's raises Bees with Lori on her farm.
Dani works for Eric & Lori on Sunday at the Dupont Farmers Market and for Tony & Lori on Saturday at the Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market.
Courtney: Friday's Party
Dani: The Menu.
Phil: Booze, of course :D
Many Friends: Set up
Out at the farm: We set up. Dani and I start in. I put the chairs in the truck but we need Eric to transport the chairs down to where the ceremony to take place. I mean, I could work his standard but the clutch may not survive. Dani comes down to help out, setting up chairs and all is ready for Saturday.
Back to the barn we go to finish setting up what we can. Lori & Tony will be by later to finish what we can't do. we need to head back to DC for the Party. Kind of a dinner rehearsal for family and close friends. For several reasons we decided not to have Bridesmaids/Groomsmen. The main reason was we had been through so much already, this day was gonna be the way we wanted it. Simple, elegant, and completely about us. Thank God our Family's aren't stereotypical and were really pleased with everything. Some might consider that "selfish". We do not prescribe to that theory. we did have de facto brides/grooms peeps. Well Dani had an entourage and I had my oldest friend, Andy, as my de facto Best man. And though I go many years without seeing him, when we do see each other it's like a day hasn't past since we last hung out.
A Comedy(?) of Errors
Back home, Dani went down to the B&B to gather the family. We would meet at the corner and then walk up to Courtneys for the Party which was gonna start at 7:30ish. At some point, I started drinking. Andy calls me to say he missed his turnoff on the Beltway. He was coming in from Fredonia. Instead of heading into DC he was headed through Northern Virginia. That wasn't good. I was gonna have to navigate him almost all the way there using an Atlas, over the phone. At some point My brother and his entouirage called me with some navigation questions.
BTW - I haven't seen most of my family for a long time, Late 90's. Supposedly all 3 of my Brothers were coming along with my Mom. Hence my nerves and my alcohol consumption. as my older Brother Jeff kept pointing out, all of us have not been in the same room, much less the same house, in a few decades.
the details are foggy but Dani is on her way to the Party. My Family is on there way to the Party. Dani thinks I'll be there before she. Meanwhile, I'm Navigating Andy through Northern Va. & DC. once I get off the phone with him I call Dani and catch her just before she gets to Courtney's. She's a "little" surprised I'm not there yet and doesn't want to go in without me. I apologize and explain the difficulties as I head out, just me and a full flask of Makers Mark. Courtney's is only a few blocks so Dani does not have to wait long.
I'm kind of a wreck walking up the stairs. I assume my family is gonna embarass the shit out of me and Dani has not met them yet. Oy Vey.We get in and there are a shit load of people there. i don't think I knew everyone. I'm confused, thinking it was gonna be a bit more intimate but very happy it's not. I can melt into the crowd and let Dani take the spotlight, reluctantly. I assume as the groom I should be confused, not sure of exactly what has and has not been planned.
And, as I need to remind most, my memory has yet to recover from my treatments. In fact, as I write this my memory gaps are very apparent and Dani has been filling in the gaps.
But the Party went well, The food and alcohol were excellent, and everyone got along surprisingly weel. My youngest brother (-2yrs) was unable to make it so we'll see him at the Wedding. Andy will be spending the night with us.