That is not a typo in the headline. You bet, I am praying for wedded bliss for my daughter, Julie, and her husband, Tim. However, this post is about an absolutely awesome wedding and reception and the preceding blitz of preparations which, in their own way, were just as much fun.
One way to guarantee Laura and I will get down and dirty in our house – and I mean this in a PG-rated way – is to have an event that forces us to spiff up the homestead. For the ultimate in clean, throw a wedding.
We lived with some very out dated and worn out wallpaper in our kitchen for far too long. Every time we thought of tackling that project, we conveniently found many reasons why we could not quite break out the paint brushes and rollers. However, with family visiting and our home hosting the groom and his portion of the wedding party for the wedding day lunch, we had no choice.
Painting is a skill I have mastered but care not to do often. Trimming rooms is a fun challenge. Not one strip of tape needed, just a good edging brush. The kitchen is now crisply painted in a wonderful brown/gray mix called “Wind Mill” and the dinette and stairway to the basement in a lighter shade called “Dusty Trail.”
We reclaimed the living room from Rocket for at least the weekend with cleaned carpet and furniture. Laura scrubbed appliances and cabinets so well that one of my aunt’s asked whether our stove was new. Even sod was laid in the front yard to appease my beloved green-thumb uncle John. Our home actually sparkled. As weary as we were from the rushed labor, the house did look great.
Thursday was bachelor party day starting with an afternoon Royals game against Toronto courtesy of Tim’s father, Bruce. Since Bruce was also Tim’s best man, and with the father of the bride along, I felt bad for Tim not having anything close to the usual bachelor party debauchery that is commonplace in our culture. No game followed by a trip to the “boats” to gamble and a staggering late-night run to Kansas City’s finest strip clubs. Sorry, folks, that’s not the way the Jacobsen or Phillips families roll. However, Tim’s best friend and his brothers-in-law, Cole and John, did make sure the groom’s night was painfully late.
Friday might have dawned with blurry eyes for Tim, but it also signaled a new dawn for my future son-in-law. Goodyear Tire and Rubber offered, and Tim accepted, an engineering job in tire development with the Topeka plant. The steps of everyone at Friday night’s rehearsal and rehearsal dinner floated as though we had the winged feet in the Goodyear logo. Quite a nice early wedding present.
The Garden House at Lake Shawnee was a perfect setting for the dinner. The families bonded over many toasts both touching and hilarious. Certainly there were plenty of families to bond. Tim has two older sisters, both married with two children. His grandmother was there along with his best friend and fiancée. Throw in the family of Julie’s mother’s large family and the room filled fast. Ours was a small group but a good one. Laura’s mother and father, Dixie and Wash, joined us, along with Kelly as maid of honor. Laura’s aunt and uncle, Theresa and Reggie, and uncle, Matt, and their families from Oklahoma along with my aunt, Shirley, and uncle, John, from Lincoln and my aunt, Elizabeth, from Omaha arrived Saturday.
Perhaps as the son of a minister, my feel for a wedding is different from most. The wedding service is the only thing that truly mattered to us. I have heard many a horror story of bridezillas, dysfunctional parents and out of control wedding party members. My father was not joking when he said to me many years ago to consider eloping when my time came. We offered the same option to Julie.
Fortunately, Julie’s wedding went off smoothly. The worst trauma was a missing veil, easily replaced. The message from Pastor Lange shared our family’s long heritage at St. John’s, honored Tim’s family for the fine son that stood before the altar and most of all emphasized the importance of God blessing the marriage with His saving grace. We could not have been happier.
Finally, at the reception everyone could relax. Good times did roll. As you can see, I shot very few photos. I was a proud father not a photographer. Laura and I danced more than we have in our entire marriage. Laura doing all this in heels might have been the most remarkable event of the weekend. The Top of the Tower setting was gorgeous. The views of the city delighted the many family members in from out of town. Kelly and her friend, Ashley, did bemoan the lack of single men.
Finally, Tim’s best friend, Brett, capped the evening with a perfectly placed towel full of shaving cream in Tim’s face. Payback will come though in September at Brett’s wedding. Wish we could be there to see that.
Meanwhile, back at the homestead, there are now slip covers over the chairs and couch in the living room along with old sheets in strategic locations with hopes of preserving the living room. The stress of a long week with his home in upheaval took its toll on Rocket, but “the man” was soon back resting on his back and enjoying his world again as the married couple began life together, and we took a Sunday afternoon nap.