Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Big Day - Come What May....we did it!

Saturday, December 18th, 2010..... the day started for me at 4:00 when I did a quick check of email (in the dark so as to not wake the others that slept in the living room with me) only to find that not one, but two photographers and a makeup artist were no longer available. Taking into consideration the week I've had, nothing phased me anymore- I'd come to realize that this day was going to happen regardless - and it was all larger than life and as a human it was beyond my control. Throwing caution to the wind one last time, I went to craigslist and facebook - my two best communication methods beyond this of course - and put my plea to the world. Almost immediately I had a photographer - okay, one down. I continued reaching out until about 5 when the alarm went off. Turned it off and layed back down on the couch for another hour or so.

Got up, sent a text to Chara, who thought she might have been lucky and found a venue for the receptions to take place. Turns out it could not be ready in time, so we ended up with no venue for a reception for all, not for lack of trying however.

We set about picking up all the items that had been donated - this included food donated by Kittys Catering in Huntington Beach, sodas, cases and cases of them (by a kind and generous donor who wished to remain anonymous), eggrolls, cookies donated by Jacks Bakery of Garden Grove, cupcakes courtesy of Albertsons in Fountain Valley and of course the amazing Couples Cakes courtesy of Artistic Cakes in Fountain Valley. As we worked our way down our checklist checking mail and text as we heard the phone go off - one by one the missing people came to us, referred by facebook friends and strangers. It was amazing and magical - but of course it would be! Nothing about this process has been anything less than such.

Quick phone call to the local dance studio that rented it's small dance hall to us for a song for our bridal ready room. All set and ready to go - excellent!

We arrived at the Cathedral to began the setup on site - the staff was welcoming and things came together quickly. They are a very well oiled machine and we were so humbled, honored and happy to work with them. Friday at rehearsal they told us that while they have done six weddings in a day, never at one time. Watching them work you would never have known that! Our bridal parties began to arrive - the excitement and nerves evident in the smiles. As if the big guy was smiling down on us, the rain let up a bit as the brides began to arrive. Gowns up in the air as they traversed the parking lot dodging puddles, big ole smiles on their faces! That was so awesome to see!

I learned that there was a film crew on site interviewing the brides - very cool! What a treat for them (I learned later it was the Register). A quick check in to make sure all was good and off I went to answer more questions, get boutaineers on male bridal party members and seat guests.

Cathedral staff starts gathering and lining up the bridal parties for six of our couples (the 7th is on the freeway in traffic) A bit of confusion about the whereabouts of one of the marriage licenses, a quick trip to the hotel and all was great - nerve wracking but great. I snapped a quick picture of the grooms along with our Pastors for the day - Rev. Dr. John O'Keefe, Rev. John Ogannes Agayan and Crystal Cathedral Staff Pastor Bruce Goodrich.

Still hoping couple number 7 arrives in time.....and then learned our bride was not
even dressed. Oh, dear.

5:00 -
Holding for the friend to arrive back with the marriage license from the car. Our runners deliver it to Kari and we are good to go - queue the organist, and Canon begins. The bridal parties all walk into place as we get the brides lined up and fluff their trains. The music changes and on go the fountains up the center aisle -loud, dramatic and simply breathtaking! Up go the brides, one by one to their grooms, all beaming with smiles and a sense of accomplishment - quietly standing in the back of the church (okay I will admit, not so quietly - I always cry at weddings, especially Angel Bride weddings). Pastor Goodrich welcomes the crowd and says - well, here we are - who'd have thought? and the gallery broke out into spontaneous applause. Very cool I might add.

Still no 7th couple, only via text updating as they made their way to us. The ENTIRE ETM crew sans myself and the two girls downstairs clearing the bridal room is outside (in the rain) on standby to run the missing bride into the room.

Our missing couple arrives, but neither the marriage certificate (they're already married) or the gown is not with them - the gown in another car! Oh MY goodness! Ok, well if they hurry they can have their marriage blessed.

Pastor Goodrich asks the grooms to kiss their brides!!! Reverends O'Keefe and Ogannes pronounce each couple individually and the gallery erupts into loud cheers!

Sometime around 6:30 or so I finally had time to speak with the camera crew and actually enjoyed having an on camera interview - was asked afterwards to take some pictures with one of our brides, which I happily did!

Our 7th couple? Well the bride got dressed and amongst alot of confusion we got them up to take pictures. Rev. Ogannes was kind enough to perform a blessing for them at another venue later.

As everyone left, we divided up the food we had been given amongst them, gave them their cupcakes and couples cake - and sent them on their way with a smile on their faces and a warm sense of accomplishment in ours.

A day that could have been incredibly sad for our couples turned out to be, I believe something they will remember for a very long time!

Heres to you all - thank you so much for allowing us to help make your weddings happen, and thank you for your encouragement and kind words as we worked our way, together through a very trying and tenuous week. May you all have more happiness than you can imagine, more laughter than should be legal, and long lives together!

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