Our Guests Arrive and We Wait

Before our guests reached the Sunken Garden and its storybook setting, they were greeted by attendants on horseback. Lauxmont Farms is a horse farm, after all.

Our out of town family and friends took a bus from the hotel to the venue. And, yes, it was raining when they arrived.

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{photo credit to wedding guests}

After they climbed off of the bus, they followed the barn wood sign that said “Wedding.” They walked the (muddy) trail and reached the stairs to the pool house. And this is where our plans changed.

Rather than taking a bottle of water and a ceremony program fan and sitting in a white wooden chair around the fountain as the sun set behind them, guests sought shelter from the rain under the reception tent. Yes, this means they saw the decor before they were supposed to, but I heard they had a pretty good time under the warm white canopy.

Our ceremony guitarist, Susan Savia, played a selection of rain songs, like Bobbie’s Song by John Denver — “I’ll walk in the rain by your side.” A few guests even took the unexpected opportunity to get a drink from the bar. And then they waited. Patiently.

Meanwhile, I had returned indoors after taking formal photos with my bridesmaids and parents. As I said in my previous post, the girls blocked my view of the raindrops hitting the window and poured me another glass of champagne.

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{photo credit to bridesmaids}

While we were toasting inside, the boys were hanging out in the pool house.

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They were checking the radar …

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… and monitoring the conditions outside.

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I later learned that Coordinator Betsy (more about her brilliance to come!) had approached Nick to tell him that they were moving the ceremony under the tent. Nick said, “Oh, Emily is not going to be happy about that.” And he admitted that he wasn’t all too happy either. He asked Betsy if they could postpone the start time in hopes that we’d have a window of dry weather. Thank you, Nick! And thank you, Betsy, for obliging.

Betsy closely monitored the satellite on her iPhone and saw a 30-minute window. So she called on a crew of farm hands, seriously, who emerged from the field in pick up trucks to dry the seats with paper towels.

Of course, all of this was unbeknown to me at the time. I made my way, along with my bridesmaids and parents, from the stone house to our cars in accordance with the schedule. My dad held the big red umbrella over me as I hoisted myself and my dress into the car. And then I looked down … and saw blood on my dress! Yes, blood. Apparently, I had cut my toe just below the nail, and the blood managed to make its way onto my ivory gown. Bridesmaid Kristen to the rescue! She emerged from her car with the emergency kit and helped me to clean my dress with a wet wipe and put a bandaid on my big toe.

Our caravan of cars then drove up the road to the VIP parking spots outside of the entrance to the Sunken Garden. We had been instructed by Betsy the previous day to wait until the golf cart arrived to pick us up.

When the golf cart did arrive, he pulled up to my dad’s car window. He said Betsy was moving guests under the tent. And I said, “No, can we please wait until the rain stops and move them back into the garden?” (See, Nick and I were definitely reading each other’s minds.) He sped off and returned a few minutes later to say that’s what they would do.

And so we waited. Me, my dad, and my sister in one car. My mom and a few bridesmaids in another car. And a third car with the remaining girls.

After about 20 minutes of sitting and waiting (not to mention my sister scanning the radio for upbeat songs and my dad saying, “We better start soon; who knows when it’s going to let loose again”), the golf cart returned to take my mom and the first group of girls. Then the second. And, finally, it was time for the bride the and father of the bride.

We rode along the bumpy, muddy path to the stairs to the pool house. By the time we arrived, the guests had returned to the garden.

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{photos credit to wedding guests}

And the wedding party was lining up.

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Once Nick and the groomsmen were out of sight, it was safe for my dad and I to step into the pool house. Slowly, the bridesmaids made their way down the stairs and into the garden. Dad and I stepped up, just behind the stone column of the gate and out of view of the groom and guests. And we waited for our cue. I was damp from the rain, but giddy with excitement.

{photos credit to Robert Winton, unless otherwise noted}

Next: Ceremony Details