Last weekend, I traveled to beautiful Bel Air, Maryland, for my friend Maggie's wedding. As if the usual culture shock of Haiti-to-America was not enough, we woke up on our first morning to this:
I think I was the only one truly excited about the snow that was still falling fast and furious. While I ran around, frozen to the bone, but pretty excited about my first snow in two full years, Maggie made the tough decision to postpone her wedding until the next day in hopes that the blizzard would be over and people could brave the drive to the church and reception. She did not, however, want to wait to get officially married, so we began to plan for a living room wedding.
We were staying at a large house that Nicole, one of the bridesmaids, was house-sitting for a client. The homeowner had assured Nicole that we could stay with her and that we could help ourselves to anything. We took her rather literally.
The house was beautifully decorated for Christmas. We pilfered ribbons, candles, trays, and 8 poinsettas to decorate the groom's family home, where the living room wedding was to take place. We scrounged through the cupboards and found the ingredients for a chocolate cake that we layered like a wedding cake with cupcakes as a third layer. For the bride and groom figurines, we used 2 pieces from the Chutes and Ladders box.
The living room ceremony was perfect. Not in execution but in keeping with Maggie's personality. The wedding planner could not attend, so I got to be the one setting everything up, running rings back and forth, coordinating between bride, groom and pastor, and directing the processional. It was hilariously fun. We crammed nearly 40 people into the "chapel", including the groom's 14 younger siblings. The room was so full that there wasn't room for Maggie and her father to walk side by side down the makeshift aisle. But everyone got a close-up view and there was a lot of laughter and cheering throughout the entire ceremony. Best of all, Maggie got her childhood wish: she was married barefoot.
The next day, when the snow had finally stopped at a whopping twenty inches, we had wedding number 2 at the church. Once again, Maggie was beautiful. The whole ceremony felt relaxed and fun, since those of us who were intimately involved knew that the couple was, in fact, already married.
My job at wedding number 2 was a runner and a photographer. During the reception also, I traipsed around with Maggie's camera, trying unsuccessfully to catch couples twirling on the dance floor, and snagging shots of mothers rocking babies and sipping cider. Now and then, I deposited the camera and joined the dancing with my Chop Point friends, Hannah and Raelyn.
Thanks to the snowstorm, the double wedding, and some car trouble, I stayed an extra 2 days in Maryland. A wild adventure like that means that I have a new crowd of friends to try to visit on my brief sojourns to the US. We had an amazingly fun and crazy weekend; the only drawback was this:
I AM SO COLD!!