Friday, 7 November 2014

Wedding Daze

Younger Son and His Beshert have been married for almost three weeks now. Incredible. If I thought that time flew before, it is positively ethereal now. I have said very little publicly about that day and aside from posting a few pictures on Facebook, there is scant anecdotal evidence from me that the occasion actually occurred. (I am trying mightily to get The Husband to allow me to post his brilliant wedding speech. So far I have had no success. Maybe if you all provide some pressure, he will allow me to share it with the masses.) The range of emotions leading up to and encompassing that Sunday three weeks ago were and still are so terribly overwhelming that I haven't been ready to unpack them and share them with anybody other than my closest confidants, and truth be told I'm still not. Hopefully that time will come before the end of this blogapalooza month. I could really use the post to fill a day. Instead, today I will regale you with some of the behind the scenes mayhem that occurred during wedding weekend. Most weddings have a few glitches that nobody discusses until the tenth anniversary celebrations, but some of these were so comical that they deserve a timely sharing.

The bedlam began a few days before. The bride wanted to take her dress into a dry cleaner in order to have them steam out the creases from the lace bodice. She had been storing it here at our home, and a local establishment had been highly recommended. She dropped it off with the understanding that pickup would be on the Friday, two days before the wedding. That Friday was a beehive of activity. The Husband and Younger Son headed to the airport to pickup a few members of the wedding party, including the bride's brother. They dropped him off at the tuxedo rental place to meet his sister and their parents so that he could be properly fitted for his tux. In the meantime, The Husband and Younger Son brought two of the bridesmaids back to our house to wait for the bride to finish with her brother, and then we would all head into midtown for the rehearsal.

Potential Crisis #1.  When she went to retrieve her dress just before meeting us at the house, she brushed it up against her car, resulting in a black smudge across the skirt. Reeling, she returned immediately to the dry cleaner to see what they could do. Unfortunately, we live in The North Jewish Ghetto and this all happened late Friday afternoon, just before Shabbat. The only employee remaining in the cleaning shop was the seamstress. She told The Beshert to call back early Saturday morning. Somebody would answer. When she finally came into our house, she was a mess of emotion. Her Saturday was scheduled down to the minute with wedding prep and Younger Son was running all over the city shlepping and carting. It was finally decided that The Husband and I would retrieve the dress when ready and transport it downtown. The only problem was that we had a car stuffed with whisky supplies. You see, the biggest whisky show in Canada was that same weekend.  As fate would have it, it was happening at the same hotel where we were staying. The Husband had made arrangements months prior for others to cover the show, but due to totally unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, he had no choice but to cart all of the supplies for the show down to the venue and set up the booth with Older Son. (Older Son was an amazing beast all weekend. His role in averting several potential disasters is upcoming. Read on!) Where could we possibly put the dress? A game of Tetris ensued and the backseat of my car was transformed into a wedding dress hyperbaric chamber, complete with sheeting and plastic covering. The dress made it downtown intact and the dry cleaners didn't even charge us for the stain removal. ON SHABBAT!! Crisis #1 averted.

Potential Crisis #2. As we were checking into the hotel, we ran into the bride and groom in the lobby. They informed us that during all of the pandemonium of shlepping and carting stuff to the wedding venue that afternoon, they had inadvertently left their Ontario marriage license and my son's tallit (prayer shawl) at their apartment in midtown, both necessary for the ceremony the next day. Anybody who knows Toronto well knows that these trips up and down town are anything but routine travel. Traffic and construction make for hellish commutes in this city, and we are talking about hours not minutes when discussing the retrieval of these items. "No worries", states Older Son and Best Man Extraordinaire. He is staying at his home on Saturday night and he will retrieve the items before he makes his way back to the hotel on Sunday morning. Crisis #2 averted.

Potential Crisis #3. The Toronto Waterfront Marathon. 27,000 runners from all over the world converged upon Toronto that weekend, with the start and finish lines of the race presenting themselves directly across the street from our hotel at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall. No worries. The wedding wasn't actually happening at the hotel, but rather at a venue on the waterfront about fifteen minutes away. On a normal day. In normal traffic. This was hardly a normal day. Just by chance at about 9:30am, The Husband decided to walk through the lobby of the hotel where he ran into the bridal party. The girls, including the bride and her mother, were waiting for two cabs, that were already 45 minutes late, to transport them to the wedding venue. The cabs simply couldn't navigate the marathon traffic with its myriad of road closures and newly formed one-way streets. The young women were loaded down with dresses and accessories and were starting to panic about missed hair and makeup appointments that were already behind schedule. When one of the taxis finally arrived, the bridesmaids all piled in, while Super Husband grabbed his keys and transported the bride, her mom, and the dress. The original plan had called for him to drop them off, come back and get me in order to drive me over. That plan fell quickly by the wayside when a half an hour roundtrip drive turned into two and half hours, surrounded by thousands of runners and hundreds of cops telling him that he couldn't get there from here. He would call me every five minutes to update his snail-like progress through Toronto's downtown and west end. When he finally did arrive back at the hotel, he quickly changed into his tux, we grabbed all of our stuff, including my parents and all of  their stuff, and we all piled back into the car for the return trip. The amazing thing was that through it all, The Husband never once lost his composure or his temper. That's what weddings will do for you. It is a chronic happy place. Crisis #3 averted.

Potential Crisis #4. This particular one felt like the wedding gods piling on. The groom and his groomsmen were all meeting at the hotel to get ready together on Sunday morning. While all of the shit about transporting the girls was occurring, the bride discovered that she had left her veil back at their apartment. In midtown. An hour away in good traffic. The guys, including Older Son now with marriage license and tallit in tow, were already assembled at the hotel with the groom. The marathon made car transportation back uptown next to impossible. So, Best Man Extraordinaire hops on the subway back to midtown, retrieves the veil, returns via subway to the hotel, and then catches a cab with the rest of the guys to the wedding venue.  As the groom himself said..."Daniel wins the wedding!!" Crisis #4 averted.

The crazy part about all of these backstage shenanigans is that not a single one was enough to alter anybody's mood. There was just too much happiness and joy for the shit to hit the proverbial fan and put a damper on the day. The weather was glorious, the couple radiant, the parents sobbing puddles of goo, and the marriage is off to a wonderful start. It was quite the day.

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