If you are hoping for lovely wedding pictures, this is not the place. Eliza and Charlie had a great wedding photographer, and those pictures are available somewhere. Alexe was focused on maid-of-honor duties, so the kids and I wandered the massive property where the wedding was held, and spent time with extended family who had congregated to celebrate the marriage of a.E and u.C.
The location was lovely, if massive and overwhelming. The scale, from construction to operation to maintenance cost, was something that I couldn't quite wrap my mind around. Just under 500 rooms in the lodge proper. Pools, indoor and out, two golf courses, a shooting club, falconry setup, stables... A favorite spot for celebrities, politicians, and generally the well heeled who enjoy a dining room with walls that disappear over the horizon.
We did our best to enjoy the facilities, and the time with family we too-rarely get to see.
Caspian and u.Ted went off to the fish pond. They rejected the rods that were provided, cut down a sapling, combined the fishing line from two other rods, and caught crawfish in the creek. And then caught three fish.
The rehearsal. Eliza and Charlie's wedding party was substantial.
Hanging with the Colorado cousins.
Caspian's chess skills are coming along, and he's always game to show them off. a.Jenny gave him a good run.
u.c.Nick. Too little time with this chap, but we were very happy he was able to make the wedding on his way back around the globe. (Literally coming from Japan or China, through DC, on his way back to Seattle.)
Getting ready for the big event.
Alexe was with Eliza most of the day doing bride-preparation stuff. Annaliese joined them in the bridal suite in the early afternoon, and we didn't see them again until 4.
Pictures! The photographer impressed with his speed and organization. The wedding photos turned out so well, doubly impressive considering how efficient he was. My family cleans up nicely...
Annaliese was in a funk, but still found time to micro-manage her brother whenever possible.
And then there was a lovely wedding, wherein Eliza was gorgeous, and smiley, and Charlie was composed and dashing, and nobody contested their right to marry, and rings were exchanged, a short ride was taken in a cool car, (the same one that Alexe and I rode in the day of our wedding,) and the party commenced.
There was a short wait while the bride and groom had their pictures taken on the mountainside above the lodge. The kids practiced dancing, and I kept Alexe company while she worried about bustle-ing Eliza's wedding dress.
We didn't see much of the kids all night. Annaliese was upset about the wreath in her hair, Caspian was not looking forward to his bowtie and suspenders, but after they were suited up they both decided they looked great and ran off to dance/party the night away. They even sat at a kids table for dinner.
We tucked the kids into bed very late, and went back to the great hall to sit in front of a fire and share a bottle of champagne. Not every day Alexe's only sister gets married, and all the family comes together with so much potential for fireworks and yet nothing untoward happening. Alexe's a little single-minded, and this was probably the first time she relaxed all weekend. The evening of dancing with a steady supply of old-fashioneds, followed by a bottle of champagne, may have helped her unwind.
We made it to bed around 2.
The next day we spent most of the morning saying goodbye to family as they packed and slowly trickled out. When most of our goodbyes were over and the new couple made an appearance, we packed a picnic and hiked up the mountain.
Nice to see my girl again.
That evening the kids had dinner in one of the restaurants by themselves, and went to the in-house theater to watch a movie. We checked on them periodically, and found time to have a grown-up dinner in the tiny neighboring town.
We were in the car and driving home at 5:30 the next morning. We stopped for breakfast, back in our comfort zone.