(This is the post for preparing for our vow renewal ceremony — see the outline post for a list of all the day’s events. Members of the wedding party should feel free to add anything else they wish in the comment section. )
Continued from Brunch…
Partly because it’s the closest site by an order of magnitude, and partly because it’s a really nice place, we chose the Terranea for our midday stop. A pair of guest rooms have been rented for the day, if only because you can’t usually rent something like this for a couple of hours. It’ll also be handy if someone needs to crash overnight unexpectedly.
Regardless of what the webcam on the peninsula might show, it’s a beautiful day :-).
Because we still have quite a bit of time before the wedding, everyone has a few moments to relax before getting dressed. The ladies have to start getting ready first due to necessities of hair and make-up preparation, but before long the guys start getting into their tuxes as well. Roland makes a quip about feeling like he ought to be playing baccarat in this outfit; the throwing of peanuts is left to the groomsmen. (OOC: Morgan notes that it’s amazing what you can find in virtual pockets.) The photographer  begins taking informal shots during this time, getting detail shots of the bridal gown and other accessories, and some candid prep shots of the bridal party.
(OOC: If the ladies want to add any of the kibitzing that goes on as we have our hair and makeup expertly done, please post to the comments!)
Starting around 3-ish, the photographer starts getting groups together for more posed pictures. Since Morgan and Roland want to do their “first look” shot on the chapel grounds, bride and groom parties are dealt with separately. Also during this time, meat and cheese trays are delivered to provide sustenance between breakfast and dinner.
By 4:00, everyone is dressed, fed and ready to get moving. It’s a hop and a skip (not even a jump *g*) to Wayfarer’s Chapel, where things start falling into place. Team Groom heads there first, along with the photographer, so Roland can get set for the First Look while the groomsmen take care of the few remaining mundane matters. Team Bride follows, “sneaking” Morgan into the bride’s room to make sure everything’s ready. (OOC: Dylan quips dryly, after the “role-play” aspect of this is explained to him: “So the groom doesn’t get to see the bride until he’s a Level 2 Monk?” Yes, he knows better, he was just being a smarta… a wiseacre.)
First Look: Roland stands with his back against a column at the end of the colonnade, fidgeting with his Zelda cufflinks. Behind him, Morgan walks out in her pale blue gown, looking radiant, with a mix of love and mischief in her smile. She waits just a moment for him to stop fussing, and when his hand drops to his side she takes it. Despite half-expecting something like this, Roland hops a touch in place, then turns, and a huge, slightly daffy smile spreads across his face. Their eyes meet, and for a moment there is nothing but the gaze. Then Roland takes a half-step back to appreciate Morgan’s bridal ensemble, each still holding the other’s hand.
“Hi,” Morgan says simply. Her beloved is handsome in his finery, but the smile in his eyes is all she really sees right now.
“Hi,” is all Roland can say in reply. They gaze into each other’s eyes for a few moments. Then they get gooey-lovey, the details of which we’ll spare you all.
At this point the “formal” portion of the photo shoot begins. Family shots, Team Bride shots, Team Groom shots, happy couple shots, all-together-now shots…between quips and giggles, all the traditional combinations are captured on film.
All too soon, the appointed hour approaches. The sun is setting, candles are being lit in the chapel, and chapel staff move into place (normally, signs are set up restricting the immediate chapel area to wedding guests). Per the bride’s request, members of the public are allowed in while guests are being seated; the staff is there to let people know that a wedding is about to begin, so they can make informed decisions. (Given that two of the Best Men could probably take 99% of any other five people, we’re not worried about rowdy types.) The wedding party retreats to the bride’s room as the carillon chimes five, leaving Patrick to begin the prelude as guests arrive.
Continued in the Ceremony…
 Morgan wants to make a plug for our photographer, who in addition to being an experienced professional is also her cousin :-).
Videos from the comments:
Monk? Roland always struck me as more of a Paladin. (:)
Oh — and if the webcam is anything to go by, it *is* a beautiful day. And one *lovely* place to hold a wedding.
The cake-topper couple will just have to call their umbrella a parasol. (:)
(Background) – Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time: Song of Storms (Harp and Recorder)
Drat! Broke a string. (gets out replacement string and a tuning key)
@David: The umbrella's actually in remembrance of 14 years ago, when the weather was much wetter :-).
@Patrick: Make sure you avail yourself of the snackies as well — we don't want our harpist fading from hunger before the ceremony's over! ;-)
As we're helping Morgan get dressed, in preparation for the procession itself, and us LOHs are fussing about the bride's hair & veil..
Morgan herself notices an odd but beautiful small blossom, and what looks like a sprig of rosemary, in her own tresses.
Puzzled, she pauses, wondering at it while a sudden recollection, rising in half-remembered bits like scraps of morning mist, slowly floods her memory. Her eyes fly wide open and she stares at each of her LOHs in turn, who simply pause, stare into her eyes in reassurance and warm remembrance..
All four women are still for a moment, smiling in a secret, silent camaraderie, while an amazed expression slowly spreads on Morgan's face, the memories form the prior night cascading back into her consciousness:
the midnight flight to Newgrange,
the moonlight, the barefoot dancing on the thick soft turf,
the fellowship of her friends,
the warm honey-mead wine, (donated by Blake's DIL back in the "colonies"
the at-first-frightening, then reassuring appearance of the local Druidess/priestess as she came to offer blessings..
the lovely, ancient Celtic music, played live and constantly in the background, rippling through the air around us,
the "purification" bath, that involved a long, gentle massage, with herbs and cool spring water,
the twining of flowers in Morgan's long beautiful tresses, until she herself resembled nothing so much as meadow in early spring,
the singing and toasting with mead, until her eyes grew unbearably heavy, and the beautiful scene around her started spinning..
Then she remembers waking in her own bed, curiously refreshed and haunted by a feeling of having had one of those vivid dreams you can't remember but wish you could…
Again Morgan looks around at each of us — we smile and nod, and then continue our preparations.
(background) – Enter Sandman (Harptallica)
(background) – Super Mario Brother (harp arrangement)
I'm adding these songs to the playlist :-).
@David: It's ROGER! (((((David)))))
@Blake: Awww. :-)