Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Wedding: How it happened version

I haven't posted in a while, and it's unfortunate that I'm having a day full of aggravations and concerns, but I wanted to do a write up of the wedding I was in this weekend.

As many of you know, I'd been worried about the dress fitting. Fortunately, my "diet" leading up to the weekend worked and the dress was fine. Snug during dinner, but fine for dancing. I did unzip it for the drive back to the bride's house after, and changed before eating again. Also, the hemming issue became a non-issue...our dresses all ended up pretty close in length, and I didn't do mine at all, so that worry was gone.

Anyway. Rehearsal was on Friday at the Henry Ford Museum's Lovett Hall Ginger Meyer Sculpture Garden. I was there first, and was able to answer a few questions and names for the coordinator, Carol, and officiant, Fred while we waited for the party to come from the tux place, where the fitting ran late. The rehearsal went really well, though, and we ran through things twice in the hot sun. I got to know my fellow wedding party members, and they are all exceedingly nice people. I was looking forward to hanging out at dinner with them.

Obsessive as I am, I printed out scads of directions for the whole weekend, so I was followed by several cars to Musashi in Southfield. Now, it transpires that in addition to doing the flowers for the wedding, since she has floral experience, the groom's mother also owns a popular restaurant, and since she is Japanese, she knows a heck of a lot about food. Having looked at the menu I wasn't sure if we were having a served dinner or picking stuff ourselves. Then plates started coming. This is what we had, though not completely in order and I might be forgetting some...really, I had no idea what I was eating much of the time:
Asparagus "amuse bouche," with cream and roe
Sashimi, with two slices each of three fish
A tuna cube in a fish broth
Salad of greens and lobster or crab pieces in raspberry vinaigrette
Several pieces of sushi--two lobster/avocado rolls, and two other pieces I couldn't identify
Tenpura--giant shrimp, a slice each of sweet potato, Japanese pumpkin, and Spanish onion (my favorite dish)
A slice of Sable fish wrapped in a banana leaf or something (my least favorite dish, but also one of the prettiest)
A giant cake each...seriously, only three people of thirty-some finished theirs.
There were also a few leftover non-sushi plates that were spread around, like chicken on a stick and some steak, which we shared. There was also sake and beer, though I stuck with water.
Needless to say I was pretty full, and I didn't eat everything in the later part of the meal but did taste everything. Then I drove home to BG.
Saturday, I drove back up, dropped my stuff off at Mila's (Mila is a cousin of the bride's, and all three of us went to Italy in 2001...she invited me to stay with her and her fiance, and better hosts you couldn't find. They are amazing), and headed up to Rochester Hills to a luncheon party/open house that some aunts/cousins were giving. I had some food and hung out with the bridesmaids, groomsman's wife, and bridesmaid's sister for a bit, and then we six went to see Sex & the City. I'll save my commentary about that for another time. After that we went to the bride's parents' house in Sterling Heights area, hung out for a bit, and then snuck upstairs to look at the dress. It was the first time I'd seen it, and it was exactly the kind of gown I thought Jelena would like...strapless satin, no beading or lace, but lots of pickups in the big skirt. It was HEAVY. We girls consulted about jewellry and hair and shoes, just like you'd expect. Then, I left to get back to Mila's, and we stayed up chatting for quite a while, and I finally met her finace.
Sunday, I was running late. I was alone in the house, which is probably good, because I was tearing around in hot rollers and had to do my foundation twice. By the time I got to the venue, I was definitely on time, but later than I wanted to me...and I was still in rollers. I'm afraid a lot of the prep time was me finishing my hair and makeup. Not good for the Maid of Honor. I never did get my hair to where I wanted it, but at least it was acceptable. Fortunately, the lengthy list of things we had to make sure were done were already being done by the excellent staff at the venue, and Dina the aforementioned groomsman's wife was amazing at checking up on things.
At last, we were all ready. And I lost my phone. Show must go on, though, so I put it out of my mind and the wedding began.
It was a short service, but the officiant did a great job, I read a poem, another bridesmaid sang Ave Maria, and it was a beautiful day in the garden. The bride and groom looked perfect. As we proceeded out after the ceremony, the Best Man informed me that we were not required in the receiving line, so he loaned me his phone and I went out to my car to call myself...sure enough, it had fallen under the passenger seat. At that point, I felt amazingly relaxed. Everything was finished! We did pictures, which was fun, especially since I think my smile during the ceremony was ridiculous. I hope the pics turn out and I can get some prints, especially of the "high fashion" one we did...the Best Man and I were clowning around and the photographer said, "When we take the shot in a few minutes, I want you to do that exactly." I don't know if anyone else did it, but the photographers were trying to get them to copy us. It was hilarious. Can't wait to see it.
The pictures took place during the cocktail hour (I had root beer). Then we went up to the ballroom for dinner--a lovely salad, a duet plate of chicken and beef with rolls, and of course some wedding cake, all served. During dinner, the band played, but then some Serbian dancers came out and danced for, like, fifteen minutes. They were all teenagers, and were very fun to watch. Then we had the real dancing, and of course as a member of the wedding party I danced and tried to get others involved. Not too many people danced, but as half the guests were Japanese, and the Best Man informed me that most wouldn't dance, I think we did pretty well.
We closed up the reception early and headed over to the bride's parents' house...I fulfilled my last MOH duty by helping the bride change and zipping her voluminous dress into its bag. Jel's parents had a tent set up in their yard and at the open house offered roast pig and lamb, a groaning table of salads and bread, and another groaning table of desserts, all handmade by the aunts. There was also a Serbian quartet (which Mila's dad is in) playing and singing in blue vests and red bow ties. It was peaceful to sit with the wedding party, chatting to them and the cousins, and when it got dark they turned golden lights on in the tent. It was a beautiful night and, even though I felt like I'd never eat again, I felt really good about life and the state of love.
I ended up back at Mila's sometime between midnight and one, I think. The next day, I had the morning to slowly wake up, again alone in the house, get ready to go, and then head to Somerset mall to go to Lush. I walked the whole mall, bought some fun stuff, and decided to end the adventure.
It was a pretty great weekend. My least favorite part was probably driving around Detroit, especially since there are some parts of 75 closed, but I managed with my directions, and kind of got the hang of it.
Hopefully I'll have some time to post pictures soon, but if you're on Facebook, you can also go there.


Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble imagining you eating a full meal at a Japanese restaurant. Did you enjoy it? If so, nooo excuses next time the fam visits Appleton and the Koreana is raised as a dining option! (It's kind of half Korean/half Japanese, and there's plenty on the menu I think you'd like, including Korean potato salad which is similar to but far tastier than American cookout potato salad.)


Abs said...

The thing about this meal is that it wasn't my favorite thing to eat, but it was clear that it was high quality sushi. Some of it tasted good to me and some of it not, as you'd expect.
Does the Koreana have gyoza dumplings? Because if they do, no problem.
I don't have a problem with Japanese food in general, it's just that sushi is so ruddy expensive. I'll never love it, but I've never hated it either.