Back in the day when I used to do a lot of wedding photography, I used to wonder why the parents of the bride always looked so exhausted.
All of that wondering stopped when our own daughter got married a year ago and we became the exhausted-looking parents of the bride.
The day started out as we would have expected – breakfast, hair appointments and all the usual frantic scampering here and there. In my case, I forgot the orange juice for the mimosas at the hair salon and had to head back to the grocery store while everyone waited to enjoy their cocktails.
My bad memory at the start of the day should have been an omen of things to come.
After I returned home, my husband’s phone rang and it was a police officer. He asked if one of our sheep was tied up in front of the Taco House, one of our local Mexican restaurants, which had not yet opened for the day.
The food there is good, but it must have looked ridiculous to see a sheep waiting at the take-out window. She was probably praying there was no sheep tacos on the menu.
We had some sheep in a pasture near there, so my husband supposed (without seeing it) that it was ours, and the two of them laughed over the phone about it. Undoubtedly, teenage pranksters at work during the night – catching a sheep, hauling it somewhere, tying it up, and making it home by curfew.
With no practical holding pen at the police department for a sheep, he asked my husband if he could stop by the Taco House that morning and pick it up – which he did, and he returned her to the pasture with the others.
When we finally got to the church (a little late from the sheep circus), my husband announced that his tux pants were too big, and wondered if I could alter them. My sewing machine was at home, and all I had were some safety pins and a needle and thread I had put in a travel bag for emergencies.
There was no shortage of those that day.
I tried fixing the pants in a hallway where there was little traffic, but it wasn’t working out very well. They were going to need more work – and I was going to need more of the pants to fix them so the alteration would stay all day. So we both entered the men’s room, where I began my work.
As I sewed on his pants, a guy walked into the men’s room. He looked startled and a little confused. He read the door again, and I encouraged him to just do his thing because I wasn’t going to see a thing. I would have just taken my husband’s pants to work on, but he wasn’t sure what people would think of a man in the restroom with all the tux toppers on, but no pants.
So there I was, in the men’s room working on my husband’s tuxedo with him still in it, while the door flopped open and shut time and time again, each time with people seeming startled at the scene that waited for them inside the door.
And at a church, no less.
By the time the alteration was finished, the professional photo session was almost over. I was sweating, my fingers were bleeding and my Spandex body shaper was closing in like the jaws of life. Following an earlier outdoor photo session in windy conditions, my hair looked frazzled for the few pictures that were left, matching the looks of my last nerve.
I was a sight.
At the end of the day, the vows were exchanged, the food was eaten, the dancing ensued, the tux pants alternation lasted all day, and the sheep was returned to the pasture.
No wonder the parents of the bride always look so exhausted.
Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and at www.karenschwaller.com.
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