There are a few features of Ryan & Alicia's wedding reception I haven't shared yet. When you entered the lobby of the reception hall at the Four Rivers Environmental Center (FREC), there was an unusual guest book. It consisted of an old Royal standard typewriter, and you were invited to type your greetings to the couple the old fashioned way. Ryan had borrowed my brother's old Royal for the purpose. It needed cleaning but he couldn't find anyone who would clean it, so the keys tended to stick. There were instructions as to how to use it, which included the sentence: "If you don't know how to roll a sheet of paper into the typewriter, ask someone who does." That gave us oldsters a chuckle.
Bottles and candles
When you entered the hall, one of the first things you noticed was that all along both long sides of the hall were wine bottles with flowers in them, separated by votive candles. Ryan & Alicia, and their families, had been saving empty wine bottles for two years for this purpose! It was a striking decorative motif. Another very unusual aspect of this reception was that the night before, the FREC had suffered some kind of disaster, I was never clear just what, which prevented the use of the toilets. So they had to scramble to bring in portapotties. That created a scene which none of us had ever seen before: a portapotty with a sign on the door: "Bride Only."
We tried, in vain, to imagine the bride trying to go into this in her wedding gown. And speaking of wedding gowns, Alicia had found and reserved a gown she loved at a bridal store in Elgin two years before the wedding, and made a down payment. The store had a policy - if the gown wasn't picked up in 30 days, it was gone, no refund. Alicia explained that she was in grad school in Little Rock, AK, and couldn't pick it up in 30 days. They said they would hold it, and they did - at least they did as late as May of this year when Alicia called from LR and said she would be arriving in June after graduation to pick it up and they said, "Fine, it's here," But when she actually arrived to pick it up, she was told it had been given to charity! This was a month before the wedding! You can imagine her feelings. Happy ending: she found another gown she liked and they applied the deposit to it (but only after her father threatened some Mafia tactics!).
Another unusual feature: the bride cut the cake at the beginning, before the meal. Otherwise, that moment was pretty traditional. The meal was vegetarian: fruit salad, pasta, veggies and cake (the bride and groom are vegetarians). There was a lemon theme: When you entered, you picked up a whole lemon which had pinned to it your name and table assignment. On the tables were lovely bouquets in pitchers filled with water and lemon slices. It all took a lot of planning and imagination. If they put the same amount of planning and imagination into their lives together, they should have a fun ride.
Finally, I got this very lovely picture of Katie and her mother outside in front of a field of wild flowers: