Our schedules have been so busy over the past few weeks in preparing for the wedding that I haven’t had time to collect my thoughts long enough to blog. The wedding is now a wonderful memory and we are back in the motorhome on the road to Tennessee. I’ll use the driving time to put together some wedding highlights. If you are interested in more pictures, “friend me” on Facebook and you’ll find hundreds posted there!! And those are only the amateur photos, the wedding photographer has something like 1400 to go through before delivering.
I’ll start with the activities working up to the wedding. I thought readers might enjoy some of the behind-the-scenes activities that usually don’t show up in the wedding album.
As Sox described in the last blog, we came in to the wedding week with a setback when Ditka had to have FHO (femoral head ostectomy) surgery for the second time in 3 months. His recovery this time has been nothing short of amazing. It’s so wild to see the little guy hobbling about with no bones connecting his hind legs to the rest of his body. The only real impact this had on the wedding was that we had to request that our grandpuppy, Staley, be boarded since she is much too young and frisky to be around Ditka when he is suppose to be staying quiet.
Ditka has actually been doing so well that in this picture he was laying on his incision. That’s probably a good thing since the day before when we put him outside for an hour he sunburned his shaved little butt!!
One of my assignments for the wedding were gift bags for the out of town guests at the hotels. The most work on these was to make 22 dozen potato chip cookies using Grandma Costigan’s much-loved recipe. I included a copy of the recipe attached to the bag of cookies. The bags themselves were provided by the Quincy Visitor’s Center and were luckily black, the primary color of in the wedding. Since a lot of the decorations for the wedding were black/white brocade I used that kind of tissue plus pistachio green napkins for wrapping candies to work in the wedding color theme.
Kyle and Jenni wrote a 4 page letter that talked about their hometown of Quincy and all the things to see and do, and suggestions on where to dine.
Besides the letter and the cookies I included in the bag:
- Miscellaneous Quincy brochures and discount cards
- Bottled waters
- Hand sanitizers
- Hershey’s Kisses
- A Sudoku book
The worst part of this assignment was trying to figure out how to get the right number of bags to the right hotels. Although there was a recommended hotel, it filled up and we ended up with guests at four different hotels with a few that I didn’t know about until after guests arrived. Also, I did find out that the front desk clerks were rather haphazard about getting the bags to the wedding guests. Since there was no required RSVP for the wedding I had to make a lot of educated guesses on counts and delivery but in the end it all turned out great and the bags were a big hit.
Ken and I hosted Kyle’s out of town groomsmen at at our house as well as acting as Kyle and Jenni’s home base for the six nights they were in town (all but the wedding night when they stayed at a hotel). It has been 2 years since we’d seen Kyle’s law school roommate, Aaron, and it was especially wonderful to have him visiting for a few days. Trevor had Leah as well as his college roommate Chris and his girlfriend Courtney staying over so we turned over the basement to them trying to split up 10 people between 3 showers.
“The Frericks Inn at 30th” also had to have plenty of food on hand with the flexibility to keep people fed when schedules were all over the board. I resorted to a huge pot of vegetable soup, frozen pistachio desserts, lasagna, sandwich materials, crackers and cheese, fruits, cookies, chips, and a variety of breakfast items. Of course, plenty of miscellaneous beverages.
The grocery run turned out requiring 3 full carts and a full afternoon of shopping and put away. Making the homemade vegetable soup caused one problem for the weekend since I ended up with a blister from cutting up all the veggies – not the best things for a weekend of shaking hands!!
Ken made sure the lawn maintenance was under control, chairs and tables gathered for the Sunday picnic and that all vehicles required for the wedding were washed and ready. He also prodded where needed to get tuxes fitted and then picked up.
Ken also picked up a little surprise for the kids. He had restored Kyle’s childhood Radio Flyer wagon with its wood sideboards for the wedding so it could be used to transport the 18 month old ring bearer up the aisle. Since Radio Flyer could no longer provide the original side logos, his added surprise were little plaques he had made at the local engraving shop that said ‘Kyle and Jenni Wedding Express'. I didn’t even know he’d done this part until he took us up to see the finished product. Nice touch!!
I made time mid week for a nail and pedicure appointment and had a spray tan. The spray tan didn’t do a lot so its not something I’ll likely do again.
Thursday I joined bridesmaids at Jenni’s parents house for lunch and to put together wedding programs.
Friday daytime was devoted mostly to decorating.
I decorated the room at the Patio restaurant for the rehearsal dinner.
Jenni had done thank you cards for the attendants with personalized pictures of Jenni and the individual attendant. The girls all had beautifully wrapped gifts containing the necklace they’d wear at the wedding along with a ‘friends’ drinking glass.
Kyle had gotten each of the guys in the wedding a special beer mug with a pewter logo of their favorite football team. I had made name cards using the black/white brocade theme and found some really cool glass beads to use along with Hershey’s kisses and mints to decorate that center of the tables, besides using touches of the black/white brocade, mirrors, candles and framed black/white pictures of the happy couple.
After I completed the rehearsal dinner decorations, I walk across the street to Oakley-Lindsay Center to check out how the reception hall decorating was progressing.
All of the black/white draping was in place and the tables covered.
Jenni, her mom and Dad, and bridesmaid, Katie, were busy decorating tables.
Kyle and some of his groomsmen were working on the main table area decorations.
We were able to get everyone home and through showers in time to be to St. Peter’s Church for the 6:30pm. By initially telling the guys they had to be there by 6pm we were able to get there on time!
Father Bauer, the parish priest who was at St. Peter’s when both Kyle and Jenni went to grade school had agreed to come out of retirement for the weekend to preside over the ceremony.
Jenni’s brother’s JP and Josh were ushers. Josh is being deployed once again to Iraq and was able to get clearance to travel home for his sisters wedding before shipping out the end of next week. JP had been in Afghanistan until this summer s their deployment schedules have been key to timing of when the wedding would take place.
Rick Woodward (shown here with Aunt Lois) travelled in from Vancouver, WA. Kyle was really appreciative of getting to see him since the last time they’d been together was 5+ years ago when Kyle was checking out law schools in the Northwest.
A vision of what was to come… Oaklee was not at all pleased to see Mom and Dad go upfront before him and then be pulled up in the wagon by Josh and JP. It was a this point a plan was hatched to fill the wagon with toys and candy for the next day’s event.
As best man, Trevor had his groomsmen in line but took plenty of guff from them, especially his ‘other brother’ Luke.
The rehearsal went very smoothly and we were off to the Patio Restaurant for the dinner, arriving by 7:15. We had a cocktail hour then Ken welcomed everyone, made a few comments welcoming Jenni and the Richmillers to our family, said some thank you’s to folks that travelled far like some of Kyle’s law school friends who travelled in from Chicago and California and Rick from Washington. Also, he made sure to thank his brother, Alan and his wife Nancy who brought Papa Joe Frericks’s car all the way from Springfield, MO and had to battle through a truck breakdown and lots of post travel car cleanup so that grandpa’’s car could play its traditional role in a grandchild’s wedding..
Originally Kyle had informed us that the wedding party and his law school buddies would be going out after the dinner. We decided this could be dangerous and so instead offered to invite his out-of-town friends to the dinner and then keep the open bar going as long as they wanted to stay around. This worked out well, although I’m not sure the owners had anticipated being their until midnight! I’m sure they didn’t mind too badly though since there were about 160 bar drinks on the tab!!
This was really our first chance to spend much time with our out-of-town guests and some of Kyle’s law school friends. Everyone seemed to have a great time and we were still able to get the guys corralled and to their respective sleeping arrangements shortly after midnight. The only slight glitch was that we realized at the end that we had 5 of us riding in the little Audi. 3 of these guys in the backseat made for a memorable ride home!!
More to come….