The Race Begins…

Okay, I promised I would try to post more about our count down to Pam and Will’s wedding, and as I have been writing it all down, I’ve realized there are too many words and photos for one post.  So tonight I am giving you the first installment! 


I guess I should begin with Thursday of Wedding Week.  We had arrived home from Pensacola very late Wednesday night, but Thursday began quite early, so no time to sleep in.  Dannye, Melody (Mo), Katie (Kakie), Emily & I met Jackie and Emily Dawn at the church to decorate the sanctuary and reception area.  The girls got a head start on me, but I wasn’t far behind them.  Of course, as I was heading to the church my boss called me (I’m on vacation here!) and couldn’t find a file on my computer (what was he doing on my computer?).  So I had to drop off all the decorations at the church and head off to work for an hour!  Boy, did I not need to waste that time, but when the boss calls….


After I found the file, picked up some last minute items for the wedding, picked up pizza for lunch, and went back to the church, I realized that the girls had everything well in hand, along with my sweet, incredible husband!  Bill had rented a lift to enable him to hang twinkle lights from the ceiling of the gym.  We were trying really hard to make the gym not look like a gym, and lighting was key!  Bill had amazing plans to get the lights up, wrapped in white chiffon, without putting any holes in the walls.  He really is the smartest man I know!  He put the lights up in a wagon wheel pattern with a strand down the outside length of each side of the ceiling.  One of our dear families at church loaned us about 90 yards of white chiffon, which softened the look.  The only problem was that the church had the opportunity to have extra stage lighting installed in the sanctuary, and they needed the lift Bill brought to do the job.  So we lost about 2 or more hours.  The girls had to leave around 4:30 in order to get to Pamela’s “Bachelorette” Party at Alisa’s, and I had to pick up Arulai from Pamela so Emily could go to the party.  We weren’t even half finished with the decorating!


I went home with the girls and picked up A.J., then went back to the church to help Bill.  It was so much fun to have the baby up there with us!  She was supposed to go to sleep, but she just sat in the crib (borrowed from the nursery) and played all night.  And I do mean all night – we didn’t leave there until after two in the morning!!!!!  Oh, my word we were so tired!  AND we still weren’t finished!

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^This is a shot of the reception area – getting close!^ 


But, no rest for the weary!  Friday morning was the Bridal Brunch for Pamela’s bridal party.  The moms, Will’s Grandma Swem, plus a couple of aunts and cousins met the Bridal Party at the Vintage Garden Tea House, and it was so wonderful!

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^I welcomed everyone, then asked the blessing so we could EAT!^

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^Will’s Mom, Lisa, and Aunt Lori, and Grandma Swem^

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^Patsy, Will’s Step-Mom, and yours truly^

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^Gen, Amy, Missy, and Aunt K^

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^My precious Grandbaby, The Flower Girl!^

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The whole gang

  We had a choice of several wonderful dishes and drinks – Croissant French Toast, the Confetti Omelet Casserole, and Blueberry Pancakes, with fruit juices and teas. 


Then the Bridesmaids participated in a “cake pull” – a Victorian England tradition which is “rapidly regaining popularity today”.  Prior to her wedding, a Victorian bride would hide several silver charms attached to satin ribbons within her wedding cake.

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Before she and the groom cut the first slice, her bridesmaids would each pull a charm as a special keepsake of the day. Each charm had a special meaning and foretold good luck, romance, or good fortune.  Nowadays, it is not necessarily done at the wedding, but often at showers, bachelorette parties, or Bridal Luncheons.  I wanted to steer away from “good luck” themes, but we did have a good time with playful meanings to each charm pulled by the Bridesmaids.  Our charms were:

 a Heart ~ indicating true love; a Ring ~ next engagement; a Flower ~ indicating blossoming love; a Wishing Well ~ a wish will come true; an Anchor ~ travel and adventure; Wedding Bell ~ next married; a Highchair ~ blessed with children; and a Tea Pot ~ you are given to hospitality. 

I don’t remember who got all the charms, but I do remember some. 

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Jenny, Will’s youngest sister, pulled the highchair, which is evidently great for her as she loves children! 

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Alisa pulled the tea pot, which again is perfect for her, as Alisa is recently married and is indeed given to hospitality. 

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I think Mel pulled the anchor, which made us laugh because Dannye pulled the wedding bell, meaning next married, and Mel is the one already in a courtship! 

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I think Missy pulled the heart,

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and Kakie pulled the wishing well,

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which leaves Amanda, Will’s older younger sister

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and Amber, Will and Pam’s college friend, pulling the flower and the ring.

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   I’m not absolutely positive I got all these right, but we all had fun with it!

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Emily left the Brunch a little early to get a head start on the decorating at church.  I hated for her to go, but was so thankful for her willingness to take on that responsibility.  Besides, I knew that when she was done, it would be beautiful!


Before we left the Tea House, several photos were taken outside in the beautiful courtyard.


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^Pamela and Lisa^

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^Pamela and a bunch of Swems!^

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^Pamela and Patsy^

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After the Brunch, the Bridal Party headed for the Nail Salon.  I joined them after a quick trip to our house, then we raced to the Rehearsal, which was supposed to begin at 2, but we didn’t get there until 2:30. 

Our church wedding coordinator, Mrs. Bradford, did an excellent job of getting everything organized, and making sure everything was exactly what Pamela envisioned for the ceremony. 

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While we all had serious doubts about Arulai’s ability to stay on task as a flower girl (she’s not even two yet!), she was so cute that we couldn’t worry too much!  Adam did his best to keep her at bay – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.  Pastor did ask that during the wedding we have someone ready to take her down from the platform if she began moving around too much.  There were going to be candles lit everywhere, and her little flower girl dress amongst those candles was an accident waiting to happen.  The rehearsal began late, but we finished in record time!  We were all in quite a hurry to get to the park, where Uncle Mike’s barbecue awaited us!  


There are loads of photos from the Rehearsal dinner, so I’ll take that on tomorrow evening, and let this be all for tonight. 


Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and also the day before my sweet husband’s birthday, so we are going to have a small party.  I am blessed beyond belief to have Bill in my life!!


God bless your holiday!


About pettybunch

I am loved with God's everlasting love, and underneath are His everlasting arms - and I haven't gotten over it yet! I am also blessed to be married for over 36 years to the man of my dreams, and have 3 incredible adult children, an amazing son-in-law, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. I am a retired Home Educator, and loved every moment of it! We are empty nesters, and are endeavoring to embrace this new phase of life. God is so good!
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6 Responses to The Race Begins…

  1. Thanks for your sharing of the wedding experience! I’m sure it was crazy, fun, and all sorts of things, but I’m also sure you must be happy to have it done… it’s a lot of work!I hope your beautiful girl is thoroughly enjoying married life. 🙂

  2. ABAHM says:

    So fun to see all you were doing in those days and hours leading up to the wedding.  Well done…looks like a wonderful time.

  3. Aww, it’s so fun to relive that week! (I’m a lot less tired, too, doing the “re”living!! Hahahaha.) I’m anxiously awaiting more narrations!

  4. Bettyeboop says:

    The gym definitely did not look like a gym.  I thought the lights and tulle were magnificient.  The entire room was beautiful.  I loved the candles in the red goblets all over the room, on top of the black table cloths.  So elegant.  I am loving all these pictures and descriptions and can hardly wait for the next installment.  The cake pull sounds delightful.  I love old fashioned traditions.  Lovely idea.  Looking forward to the next chapter.  And can hardly wait to see the official wedding photos.  Hope they don’t take too much longer.

  5. maryhurlbut says:

    Oh! that was FUN! It’s like getting to be there…wish I could have a taste of that beautiful cake

  6. AuntGen says:

    So much fun!!!  The brunch was so very lovely and watching the reactions of the bridesmaids as they each saw what their and their fellow bridesmaid’s charms were, was a hoot.  Poor Mo!  She received the most ribbing, but took it with grace and charm.  I would enjoy more pics of the rehearsal, but the pre-nuptual pics I am most looking forward to are the rehearsal dinner.  I missed much of the speech/gift portion and hope there are pics and plenty of comentary to go with them.  I would also, of course, enjoy seeing a shot or two of the chef!  Fun times, indeed. 

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