I am so behind on this writing thing... So yes, Ronnie and I are married. It ended up being a fantastic day with a little bit of adventure thrown in for good measure.
Adventure #1: The unexpected closure of THREE LANES of I-40 the morning of the wedding. I say this was unexpected, but this is not entirely true. In fact, one of the wedding guests absolutely expected this because he is the PR director for the NC Dept. of Transportation. ...and the widening of I-40 is one of his projects. So HE, of course, knew to leave early for the event and showed up with plenty of time to spare. HE, of course, did not share his information with us, so most of our guests were not as well prepared. Ah well - weddings never start on time, anyway, do they? Luckily, our friend Deb had thoughtfully provided the BEST wedding favor ever - FLYSWATTERS (just in case horsefly season started early in the park this year). SO the people who were on time were able to entertain themselves by beating on each other with flyswatters until the rest of the guests (including our families) arrived.
Adventure #2: Don't use your GPS to get to Umstead. As the guests continued to trickle in, we received a call from our friends who had travelled something like 3000 miles from Seattle to attend our shindig. They had GPS-ed themselves to the other side of the park despite the instructions posted on the website and the ones we had provided verbally the night before. They had figured out that there wasn't time to drive around (see Adventure #1 above), so they were trying to run through the park to get there. Unfortunately, they were still 3.5 miles out. We made the executive decision that we probably shouldn't hold up a 2 min ceremony (no kidding - 2 min) for 30 more minutes and risk a mutiny as the buffet was consumed by other park patrons, so we went ahead with the intention of meeting said friends on our way out for the post-nuptials run.
Adventure #3: How does one start a wedding?? As we had exactly zero plans for how to get the actual ceremony started (or who would walk in where and when), we hastily threw something together and knew it was time to walk when our friend Heiko started playing the processional music: an instrumental version of "The Final Countdown" by Europe. So we walked in, had a wedding, and then milled around for a bit trying to figure out how to get to the next phase.
Luckily, our friend Shawn helped with that, giving us souvenirs that would allow people to find us as we trotted down the hill toward the trail.
This brought us to Adventure #4: will 80-100 people actually fit in our yard? The answer was yes - they fit beautifully. ...as did the tent (*whew*). So we had a lovely afternoon with some amazing food (bleu cheese deviled eggs? Sure I'll have another...or 4 more) and an absolutely lovely mixture of friends and family getting to know each other. Who knew that my sister would have the same music tastes as our friend Jim?
..and so ended our wedding day... a most fantastic day for us, with many thanks and much love to all who were able to attend.