07 July 2008

-2 days

Fourth of July fireworks electrify the Houston sky.

I WAS INVITED TO STAY with Emily and her bridesmaids at a hotel the night before the wedding. Hence my dangling countdown.

The wedding weekend began Friday, with a luncheon hosted by Emily's mother honoring Emily and her bridal party. Later that afternoon, friends and family of the bride and groom convened at First Evangelical Lutheran Church for the ceremony rehearsal. As a hostess who would be greeting guests, asking them to sign the guest book, and handing out programs, I mostly sat and watched the rehearsal from a back pew.

"Keep your eyes on your bride at all times," the pastor advised the groom. "Do not look at the bridesmaids."

The pastor explained that someone in the back of the church would somehow notice the groom looking at someone other than his bride, and would bring it up at a cocktail party years later. Which I suppose could be scandalous considering three of the five bridesmaids were technically bridesmatrons.

The ceremony rehearsal was followed by a dinner at the ambiguously Mediterranean Chatter's Cafe & Bistro, where we later installed ourselves—in chairs on a parking lot facing a typical apartment complex—to watch the somewhat lackluster Fourth of July fireworks. Apparently while watching the fireworks, some of which were big, ugly smiley faces, Emily's niece exclaimed, "I just don't know how they do it." And even though fireworks kind of bore me, I don't know how they do it either.

The next day—the big day—we accompanied Emily to her hair and makeup appointment at Norris of Houston Salon and Day Spa, which, aesthetically, evokes a Bombay Company stock room, in which Miss Havisham lives, on crack. Nonetheless, we left the salon with a beautiful, happy bride, which was obviously more important.

Back at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, a modest-sized church with a Northern California feel, the bridesmaids helped Emily into her gown. When she made it inside the gown, joyful shouts erupted. Of course, I had my back turned to them and missed this apparently monumental moment.

Fortunately, I did capture some other great moments. Click on the photo above for some of my favorite shots.

On a last note, I did not catch the bouquet (the bride's sister did). I have a feeling, to my chagrin, that my mother was hoping I would, and wishing I had.

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