So we knew it's come down to the wire on getting the gowns done. Adding seven gowns in the last month when the delivery date of the wedding gown is just a couple weeks before the wedding was going to push it. Sure enough, many nights of being up until 2:30am or later. This sort of thing is made more difficult by Charlotte being up by 6am every morning so reliably we don't always bother setting the alarm clock.
The night before the wedding, I was up until 5am making a petticoat I decided the gown needed that I'd started at 1am. I was up again at 8am finishing everything that could be, getting everything packed up to take to the courthouse, where the wedding was going to be. I was there the day before scouting out getting-ready places, and the first-floor bathroom has a bride's area. This courthouse has national historic landmark status. It's incredibly gorgeous.
I got my machine and everything set up, and realized Cody forgot to toss the power cord into the suitcase, so a run back home, then back to the courthouse, and the three bridesmaids I still needed to fit had just arrived. That's right, I didn't get to meet or fit three of the bridesmaids until just two hours before the wedding. So I had to finish them while everyone's getting ready!! I had to recruit a few of them to help sew on buttons, and they understood fully my need for help. It was an inhuman amount of work for such a short time. I had literally been running around. No time to walk. Run run run, warm day, busy, run run run. Exhausting.
I got them dressed and sashes wrapped right, then got Carmen dressed. The first time she had the entire ensemble on was that moment. As we were finishing, we were being kicked out because the courthouse was closing early for some reason. 4:45. And they would only let us go out a side door right by where all the guests were. No amount of pleading to let us go out the front would work.
So we had to hop a rail and go doing a small hill full of brush to get her somewhere where the guests wouldn't see her. Unfortunately this also meant changing the entire processional. Rather than coming through the arches toward the guests, she had to come from the back. The bridesmaids and groomsmen came from the front at planned, but the flower girl and Carmen came from behind. The minister announced that the flower girl and Carmen were coming from behind. The bride was understandably upset for a moment not knowing how to not be seen, but took it in wonderful stride. No one would have been able to tell the last-minute change.
She walked down the aisle to a harpist playing All I Ask of you from Phantom of the Opera. She looked gorgeous. Her groom looked charming. They both were so calm on the outside, clearly excited and in love. I don't know if it was the love between them or the thrill of seeing eight of my gowns up there in a row, overhearing guest whispers about how amazing the girls looked and how wonderful the gown was, not knowing their creator was right there, that gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. Perhaps both.
Seth's father, a minister, was the primary officiant. Carmen's father is also a minister, but from Canada and not ordained for weddings in California, so he was unofficial. At the moment they were about to be pronounced, Seth's father informed the guests that Carmen's dad would pronounce them first, and then he would to make it legal, and then quipped, "Now this is what I call parental control!" Many chuckles ensued. It was a cute moment. He forgot at first to tell them to kiss, so they both turned to him expectedly. Kiss!
After the ceremony, I asked the bride's if he knew where she went so I could offer my quick congratulations before heading home, and he asked me to come to the reception. I let him know my fiance was home with our baby, and we were going to go to dinner, and he invited Cody too. So a quick rush home, hurriedly getting Cody into something nicer than jeans and a t-shirt, changing out of my sweaty clothes and into something reception-appropriate. What I had been wearing was, if it weren't sweaty.
We got to the reception venue as the bridal party was being announced, and I saw Carmen and Seth and they were excited to see us there. Cody and I went in a side door, waiting for the couple to make their way to the head table, then found seats (open seating). The first dance was sweet, and the bride-dad and groom-mom dance, simultaneous, was hilarious. Seth and his mom got so into it, all over the dance floor, resulting in many laughs, including by Carmen and her father. The parents song couldn't be found, so it was to the same song as the first dance.
The slideshow the fathers did was long, but really great. I loved getting to see pictures of their childhoods, narrated by their fathers. Carmen grew up so far north in Canada that they got place to place by snowmobile and small plane. Her father also told how, after Carmen and Seth had been together a fairly short time, a few days before Christmas Seth asked to speak with him, and he expected Seth to ask about dating Carmen. Instead he asked about marrying her! After praying on it, he felt Seth was indeed the one. And so proposal, and now married!
I'll admit to enjoying to accolades lavished upon me by their families and their friends once people knew who made all the gowns. I also enjoyed the credit given for finding the seamstress who was able to do the groomsmen's shirts on such short notice (Moonstruck Originals) as well as the ceremony location. Seth said I was responsible for the look and feel of the entire wedding. These are really very nice compliments. I hope to keep in contact with them. They are one of the sweetest couples I can recall ever meeting.
On to some of my pictures! Pro pics will be available in a few weeks.
The bridesmaids' gowns have about 60 yards of fabric between them. Between Carmen's corset, bodice, skirt, petticoat, crinoline, and veil (which I also made), about 90 yards of fabrics were used.