I was supposed to go down Friday evening after work to help decorate the church, among other things. About 12:30 I got a panicky email from Kyndle, to the effect of "Call me right away Help Help Help." Turned out that someone from the church congregation had just died, and they were going to be holding a memorial service at 10:00. Would I be available Saturday at 11, instead of at 2, to decorate the church? Of course I would. The answer to a panicky bride is always yes, I'll do whatever you need.
At lunch I packed an overnight bag, just in case. I had the feeling I could end up crashing on the floor of someone's hotel room for the night. It turned out that I didn't need to, but it seemed like a good idea.
I left work at 5:30 on the dot, to head south for the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and learning to decorate the church. The Parkway at rush hour is truly a joy and delight, let me tell you. And while the directions were fairly clear, it seemed like there should be an easier way to get there. (I later found out that there is.) Even with traffic and rain, I managed to get there in 65 minutes, which wasn't too far off what I expected. I went in, sat down and caught my breath, and got a good look around. Then, about ten minutes later, I was off again, with two boxes of candles, to the restaurant to make sure everything was ready and to decorate for the rehearsal dinner. All of this worked well, except that I had nothing with which to light the candles, and neither did the restaurant. But we got them lit quickly when everyone else showed up.
The only people I knew at that point were Kyndle, Graham, and Cathy (bridesmaid and my former roommate), and I'd met both sets of parents, so I fully expected to end up sitting with people I didn't know. As it turned out, I was sitting with Graham's brother and sister and their spouses. They were very entertaining, as I would have guessed knowing Graham and having met his parents. The restaurant was BYOB, and no one had, but Graham's brother had an assortment of the little single-shot bottles of alcohol in his car, and he brought in two ziplock bags full. There was much silliness, not because of the alcohol so much as the passing it around quietly and trying to figure out which things would go best in Coke. They made me promise not to tell Kyndle.
At one point during the meal, the power went out for about a minute. It made the candles on the table look really pretty, but other than that none of us gave it much thought. Until people started to leave, and Frank (a groomsman - what else do you call them? The ushers were different people) discovered that the power had gone out when a transformer blew - and fell through the rear windshield of his car. Of his mother's car, actually, I found out later. This left the male half of the wedding with only one car, which was at the hotel ten minutes up the road, and some complications. It looked for a moment like I was going to be driving all of them back, but once everybody got sorted out it was only Graham that I needed to drive. Graham, meanwhile, had come down with a bad case of laryngitis over the previous 24 hours. That was one wedding problem that I couldn't do anything about...
After taking Graham back to the hotel (which was in Linden, at which point I knew there had to be a better way, given that Fabric Warehouse is on Route 1 in Linden), I went back to the church. Kyndle, Cathy, Becka (the maid of honor), Christina (the best man's wife), Julie (a friend of both Kyndle and Graham, and possibly the one who introduced them), and I finished putting decorations together and getting things ready as much as possible. Kyndle and Becka had the whole concept in their heads, but they needed to get it expressed to Christina and to me, since we would be the ones putting it up in the morning. Around 11:30, everything was starting to wind down. I gave Christina my number so she could let me know whether to pick her up at the hotel or meet her at the church in the morning, and got back on the road.
I called oidhche about three times while I was driving home, partly to make plans for the next day and partly just to keep myself awake. I got home about 12:30, but with things I needed to do, it was nearly 2 before I got to sleep.