We split the family this weekend with Ken heading to Charleston for the game and Kyle coming home to Quincy to be in Erin's wedding. Ken has written a separate blog about the Jacksonville State game with my duties being to cover the wedding.
Friday night was the rehearsal at St. Peter’s at 6pm followed by a dinner sponsored by Casey’s parent’s at the Pier.
No better place for a dinner at sunset than perched above the Mississippi River.
Kyle and I arrived at St. Peter’s at 1pm, an hour before the wedding and Kyle, as an usher, was immediately put to work decorating Grandpa Joe Frericks’ 1932 Chevy.
It’s family tradition for the grandchildren to include this car as part of the wedding festivities.
There was a slight 'oops' at this point. They had a 60 year old picture of the car as it was decorated when grandpa and grandma were married. They sat that picture against the window to use as example of how to decorate. Unfortunately the picture fell right down in to the door frame. Looks like Alan will have to take off the door panel to get it back!
It wasn’t long before I was also enlisted to stand in at the guest book, since there apparently was some confusion with the person that was suppose to play that role. When that person did I arrive, I then had to get Kyle in because the ushers were beginning to get backed up on getting people down the aisle. It was a bit of a challenge since the back of St. Peter’s in under construction and so the ushers had difficulty bringing people from the side without getting in each other’s way going back and forth. The priest had relieved some of the tension by giving Erin a ‘hardhat’ as comic relief.
As soon as the official guest book person arrived I was enlisted as the inside ‘greeter’ handing out roses and programs.
The floral arrangements, the dresses, and all were absolutely gorgeous and, of course, I’m not sure there’s been a more beautiful bride!
Casey also looked quite stunning in his full military dress. He’s a first lieutenant in the Army.
I did my ‘official’ part as reader. It was a bit hard to look over at ‘my little baby girl’ and see her there all beautiful and grown up, smiling back at me. That country western song, ‘you can let go now’ get coming to mind and I worked hard to keep my composure.
When Erin and Casey headed over to Mary’s altar, that’s when I could help but lose it a bit. The soloist performed ‘On this Day, Oh Beautiful Mother’, my own mother’s very favorite song. How quickly we go from being the generation at the altar to the generation watching our own children at the altar.
In military fashion, they had a saber line for Casey and Erin to pass under, as they left the altar. As they reached the last two soldiers, one was Casey’s close friend Baxter. He held his saber down to bar Erin’s way. He said ‘Welcome to the Army, ma’am”, the flipped the saber around and slapped her on the backside with it!
I was enlisted again to hand out little sets of ‘jingle bells’ as people left the church. Since St. Peter’s does not allow throwing rice or bird seed, this allowed people to do something to welcome the newlyweds as they left the church.
Kyle completed the last of his duties at the church, helping Cousin Erin and her new hubby into grandpa's car.
From the church the next stop was the Villa Catherine for wine and cheese. I think this is a really romantic site for wedding festivities considering its legendary history.
Dinner was at 6pm at Backwater’s. Backwater’s is a 3 story nightclub owned by Casey’s aunt. Needless to say, they had spent better part of a week decorating and preparing for the evening’s extravaganza and it was absolutely over-the-top!
Casey had proposed to Erin under the leaning Tower of Pisa, so they had a 10 foot tall Tower as their wedding cake, which they cut with his saber.
Ken and Trevor finally arrived at the reception at about 8:30.
Trevor is the closest to Erin of all the cousin’s in age and in atypical bride fashion but totally typical Erin fashion she jumped him on sight, arms and legs wrapped around him. Erin has done this for years with Trev but not when he was wearing a full leg brace, and we nearly ended up with bride and cousin bowled over on the floor!
There were several other memorable points in the evening.
When Casey went to remove Erin’s garter, he stuck his head under her dress, and came out with a live hamster!!
At 10:30, about the time the crowd had worn off the 6pm meal, they started playing ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’, and the wedding party threw hundreds of McDonald’s.
As usual the ‘cousins’, with Kyle and ‘Major Joe’ as the instigators, were having a great time together. I think they had toasted the happy couple with about every variation of shots and shooters that they could up with. To the point that when they did the song ‘Y-M-C-A’, cousin Melissa had to stand behind Joe and help move his arms the right direction. She said he was to far gone and needed a ‘spell checker’!
Ken and I left the reception about 11:30, taking the boys car keys and both vehicles with us. Ken got a call from Trevor at 1:30 to pick him up and then another at 3:30 for the last of the cousins calling it a night. He dumped Joe at his parent’s house and Cousin Tanja sacked out on our couch.
The next day was 11am brunch at Casey’s Grandma and Grandpa Campbell’s house. Forgot the camera. They have a beautiful home and had the mountain of wedding gifts beside the pool so everyone had a good vantage point for watching the unwrapping.
We left about 1:30 so the guys could get some recovery time before their trip home.
so that Trev and Kyle could pack and head back to Charleston and Carlinville respectively. We had thought that Ken would have to drive Trev back but instead Erin's brother, BJ took a detour for us and went back to UofI, Champaign via Charleston --- thanks so much BJ!!
Quite an eventful weekend, all in all!