location weddings

The drive to Jasper took a bit longer than we anticipated and we nearly lost the best man to an angry truck driver (fortunately his instincts run heavily to self-preservation. He pulled over when instructed. On a hill. And then took off when the semi came to a complete stop). By the time we arrived it was late evening, though still full light, to find that the matron of honor had somehow changed all the reservations when she and her family had checked in hours earlier. Once that was straightened out and we were all settled into the right cabins and rooms, Rob and I made a run into Jasper for libations for some of our party.

Jasper is typical of a resort town. There are few actual residences evident and many of the business are closed by 9 or 10 PM as the tourists are back at their campgrounds or cabins. One of the two liquor stores in town was open and we found an (expensive) grocery that was still open before heading back. Last week I found a blog on the local Des Moines newspaper written by a wedding planner who couldn’t stress enough the importance of the happiness of the guests at a wedding. At the time, I thought that she was full of merde to tell the truth. The point of a wedding is the wedding. The commitment being made by two people. But, as we got further and further into last weekend with guests arriving from here and there I came to understand more what that ditzy planner meant. 

As I checked on my mom, aunt and daughter, Rob delivered the party favors to the cabin where his daughters and mom were staying. When I arrived a bit later, Rob’s mom flew at me with open arms and enveloped me in a bear bug with a warm greeting. Rob was sitting quietly at a table with his daughters and the best man. It is interesting to watch people who have drunk past the point a state trooper would approve. I am really not sure what prompted her but Rob’s mother at some point began telling the best man that he had beautiful eyelashes and though he skillfully deflected her eventually he was overcome by the very real intent by her comments that, though they were not quite propositions, they certainly toe-tangled past just flirting. And it didn’t help one bit that the rest of us just sat there and stifled our giggles until we couldn’t any longer. Even a French-Canadian (with beautifully thick black lashes) can only take so much female admiration (because did I mention that one of Rob’s daughters was no slouch herself in the flirt department?) and he took to periodically retreating into the night for a smoke.

The next morning found best man, daughters and Rob’s mom in various states of alcohol induced hurt and as they has missed the breakfast buffet (well, we had too but that’s another story) and after checking in on my daughter, mom and aunt, and my matron’s family, we loaded up the slit-eyed members of the wedding party and took them into Jasper for a feed.

The Soft Rock Cafe serves awesome breakfasts. If you are ever in Jasper, I heartily recommend it. Rob ordered for me. He likes to do that and I like to let him. Being spoiled is something I haven’t had much of and I never turn it down when offered. The woman running the counter took his order of a chai latte and returned to him a clear glass mug with dark white liquid topped with a generous helping of white foam. Rob took one look at what he thought was a glass of warm milk and immediately questioned the woman about it. Being French-Canadian her primary language was French and not English which is not an uncommon thing. She quickly lost track of the conversation and when I finally noticed what was going on it was evident that she was verging on upset. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I just wanted my chai latte. Finally she gave up try to convince him that what she gave him was the tea that he ordered and told him,

“I don’t know what you are saying.”

And that  is when he turned to me.

“Is this a chai?” Rob asked me.

“Yes, that’s what it looks like when it isn’t in a Starbucks’ cup.”

Fortunately breakfast revived our party but by the time we returned to the chalet it was into the afternoon and I had yet to consult with my matron about my hair and Rob and I still hadn’t selected the spot for the ceremony which was going to be held on the grounds. It’s funny how time speeds by when you are engaged in happy past times and joyous activities, not at all like the endless hours that follow loss.

We found the perfect spot not too far from the one suggested to Rob by Beryl, the marriage commissioner who was to marry us. There was a perfect view down the river valley and showcased the mountains in the background. Mission accomplished I went to see a matron of honor about my hair and Rob was sent to make sure that all important parties knew where and when to assemble. Which he did. His next to last stop was Cheryl, a widow friend from the board. He took her up to meet his daughters and mother and interestingly the best man was there too. I believe libations were had before my very handsome almost husband returned to our room to dress.

Our room you might be thinking. Yes, our room. We have done the traditional wedding. I also had nothing old, blue, borrowed or new (unless you count the dress and shoes). I am not sure when I evolved beyond silly superstition, and this is quite contradictory for someone who truly believes in destiny and astrology, but I was very comfortable breaking tradition. It was a perfect day. Warm. Sunny. Happy shiny people everywhere.

I helped him dress when he arrived. My matron had run back to her chalet to dress and was coming back to help my daughter and I. Again not protocol. And again, it really didn’t matter one bit. I actually think that bride’s and groom’s should spend much of their wedding day together rather than the traditionally subscribed time apart. After all, it is the first day of what is hopefully a damn long time.

People asked us all day if we were getting nervous and each time we answered “no” (though once I said “not yet”), but I have to say that neither of us were nervous at all as we all gathered on the lawn just before the photographers and the marriage commissioner arrived. There was nothing to be nervous about. When something is right and meant to be, there is no need to worry or question or needlessly project.