|Hibiscus at rental house|
|Koi pond at rental house|
The wedding happened, and it was good. I didn't want to get any further into the vacation retelling without letting that out, because this is a happy story and ought to remain that way.
|Backyard orange tree at rental house|
It was somewhat complicated to get everyone in the rental house ready to go. There were lots of showers to take, breakfasts to eat, clothes to iron (with the iron that the groom's uncle bought in Temecula to replace the non-functioning one in the house), and so forth. The groom's mother had an appointment for hair and makeup with the bridal party early in the morning, so she and the groom's father ready to leave as I was groggily stumbling out of bed. I thought that they would be returning at some point, but they ended up being on their way from that point.
I spent the morning hanging out with the groom's uncle and cousin and one of the groomsmen. It was hot (eventually reaching the mid-90s), bright sunny, and breezy, though it would have taken a lot more wind to make it seem cool during the day.
At some point, a pack of groomsmen came over to pick up our straggler and, in exchange, to drop off the girlfriend of one of theirs. She is...not a favorite of mine, a sentiment shared by the groom's cousin as well. We made the best of it, but it was a rather tedious period of time, hearing her prattle endlessly with little or no assistance from us. I did manage to keep the groom's uncle amused, as apparently my facial expressions during her muddled, silly stories gave my game away (from behind her, thank goodness).
All at once, it was time to get ready. We split into our separate rooms and put ourselves together. It was hot enough that I seriously regretted even the solidity of the dress that I wore, given that it was completely lined. I can't imagine the impact of a more formal dress, much less the bridal gown or a suit on a day like that. Still, I was comfortable in my insubstantial sandals and above-the-knee dress, grateful that it wasn't longer or darker. My hair was simply styled and took maybe 5 minutes start to finish; makeup even less. Two toe rings, rings on two fingers, and the usual six earrings (featuring the emerald studs) brought it all together.
I rode to the venue with the groom's uncle and cousin, as did the chattering young lady. We assisted with delivering the wedding cakes, of which there were three. I can't take any credit for creating them, but I did help make sure they arrived safely. That was a good feeling.
|View from Villa de Amore|
|Villa de Amore courtyard|
The ceremony was scheduled at 4:30. I think we arrived around 3:00, maybe a little later. The groom's cousin stayed inside the ballroom, doing the finishing touches on the cakes. I wandered around for a while, taking a breath and enjoying the time to myself before everything got moving again.
|Off side of courtyard|
|Ceremony seating with program|
Not long after I arrived, though, I was rather forcibly booted from the room by a clipboard-carrying, headset-wearing representative of the venue, whose agenda I'd apparently disturbed. She wanted me seated in the audience at the ceremony location (i.e. the "courtyard") posthaste. I wasn't wearing a watch, so I acquiesced, assuming that it must've been close to 4:30.
|Palm tree near ceremony|
photos (some of which are here--I also had my regular camera along, so those are here, too) and also send a thread of text messages to a friend who lives in northern California. And wish I'd worn SPF1000 sunscreen, because the entire left side of my body was broiling beyond recognition.
The wedding started a little bit late, but that's par for the course with at least half of this couple and it wasn't really that late, anyway. And it was, honestly, one of the most beautiful ceremonies I've ever had the privilege to witness. The officiant was a friend of the couple's, who'd received his...credentials?...expressly for this purpose. The result was something immensely personal, meaningful, and also fun (without being silly or frivolous). It was really, really lovely.
|Dancing at reception|
[the title quotation is by William Goldman, from The Princess Bride]