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Wedding Pardons

November 10, 2009

Karen Getting Ready‘I’m beggin’ your pardon?’ is the standard response in my family when one of us has just admitted to doing something the responder prays is in jest. This is what my Mother gasped when I told her I had packed my bridesmaid’s dress into my carry-on bag rather than my checked luggage. Fortunately, Mum quickly remembered my perpetual bad luck when flying and the dress was given her blessing to pal around with my sPod and various reading materials.

Flying with me is something no one should experience. I’ve been delayed due to missing planes, lost pilots, planes having been struck by lightening, and last year it took me 19 hours to travel from Oregon to Michigan because of a freak snow storm, a dislodged air-conditioning unit, and a duck what had flown into the propeller of my connecting plane. In short, I’m the traveller who, upon getting married, will have to explain to my husband that while I do adore him, I would rather have us enjoy a holiday together-flying separately, as opposed to ending up in some Icelandic airport with no hope of being reunited.

So, it is with this understanding of myself that I suited up, headed for a Hallowe’en wedding in Chicago, and arrived with my bridesmaid’s dress & luggage in my possession. True to my theory, my pal and bride, Karen, rang me the day before the weddin’ to let me know that the groom Joaquin’s sister had checked her dress and (wait for it…) the airline had lost her luggage.

Shocking, right?

And strangely in keeping with my whimsical relationship with Karen.

Karen, being Karen, insisted that Joaquin’s sister still be in the wedding party and whatever dress she could find in order to do that (save white or camo-print) was fine with her. Sister Sonia was able to procure a lovely black-layered dress to compliment the bridal party’s periwinkle coloured dresses. It was a long shot, but basic black is…thankfully…basic, non?

Having shot about four thousand and sixty-three weddings during my freelance career, I could imagine a lot of brides and grooms free-king about any number of things on their wedding day. In my opinion, this dress thing was kind of a big deal and I was pretty proud of my petite little pal for pondering the problem, producing a solution, and persevering (plus, alteration is fun).

Fizz forward to the rehearsal dinner where I am lucky enough to be seated between Karen and her childhood chum, Kate. Kate was originally asked to be in the wedding, but was unsure of her attendance. Fortunately, Kate was able to make the Mid-West affair at the last minute and was pleased to do so despite having given up her bridesmaid status. Seated between these two, watching their interactions, giggles, and heeding their stories, I kinda made a bet with myself that Karen was gonna re-ask Kate to take part in the wedding ceremony. Guess who won that bet?

Kate re-accepted her rightful place as a bridesmaid and all we really had to figure out was what kind of dress she could wear and where to get a bridal bouquet in time for the festivities. (I’d ask you as to whether or not you think Karen could pull this off, but that would just be humourous for all of us, wouldn’t it now?) Land sakes and Gilroys! Kate DID have a dress and guess what colour it was?! Basic black it was, and how perfect to match Sister Sonia’s dress while keeping everyone looking in place and lovely during the ceremony. There was also a sample of a bridal bouquet flowering around for Kate to carry down the aisle! Strangely fortuitous, eh? How’s about them apples, kiddies.

I just couldn’t have even made these stuffingz up.

The wedding was lovely, the photographs on Lake Michigan in sub-human temperatures are going to be gorgeous because they have to be, and the dinner reception…holy guacamole.

Dear Karen & Joaquin,

Your Hallowe’en reception, at the Museum of Surgical Sciences, wins. At life.

Your Periwinkled Pal


One of my best pals, Johnny Lee, escorted me to this delicious affair and when I arrived at the Museum, he greeted me with the words, ‘Get a drink and follow me upstairs. You have to see this before you eat ANYTHING!’ The museum was once a house and is four stories tall. The first two floors were reserved for the reception, obviously, and the top two housed surgical instruments & eye pokey-things, ye old(e) paintings of operations featuring organs being ripped out of bodies by bare hands, and an iron lung in the middle of one room. Clearly, cocktails were the way to go while viewing this-thank you Johnny Lee.

With Karen, everything falls into its place and this holiday/wedding/Hallowe’en over to Chicagoland was no exception. She’s a pretty magical chick and someone I’d do pretty much anything to ensure a laugh, smile, and relate that care for her very deeply. And she’s the same with me, so much so that she set me up for the bouquet toss…big time.

Subconsciously, I’ve always avoided the bouquet toss, and a true benefit to smoking is disappearing at this time. KP proved a bit too swift for my nicotine habit, though, and I was employed in my first ever bouquet-catcher-girl-bridesmaid-tossing-thing.   Now, I’m possibly as clumsy as they come, so when Karen turned around and whipped these flowers at me, I ducked, didn’t even bother to try to catch them, I just hit the ground. I also watched these flowers hit the wall, separate into two piles, and fall to the floor. I think the on-lookers would agree that the best part was my staring at the flowers for a full twelve seconds, waiting for someone-anyone-to retrieve them, and then realizing that I’d been set up. Go me.

However, I supplied most of the guests with a pretty good laugh, got to dance with the bride, and showcase my bouquet during an improv display of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ with fellow bridesmaid, Sam. I was banking on the Adventures of Karen being plentiful and wonderful and they were few sher. Nobody’s beggin’ anyone’s pardons over to here.


3 Responses to “ Wedding Pardons ”

  1. Lynn on November 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Gotta love a Halloween reception at the Museum for Surgical Sciences! Poetry….

  2. Sara on November 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    It was groovy alright.

  3. anncine on November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Ah..I too am no stranger to dodging the dreaded bouquet. There is a brilliant picture of Dad Almirall leaning as far back as possible with his hands deep in his pockets as a garder sales by him….leave it…leave it.