The Charleston Trip, Part 5: The Day In Which, G Got Hitched

Where last I left off, we had gone through the wedding rehearsal and prepared for the next day’s nuptials.  I was determined not to repeat the previous day’s oversleeping incident, so I set my alarm early and made it very loud.  Very, very loud.  There was no way I was going to sleep through this thing.

It turned out that I woke up a few minutes before the alarm, but the alarm did blare at the designated time.  I quickly got dressed, grabbed my camera, and headed out.  No, I wasn’t running off to join the wedding party.  Not yet, at least.  I was bound and determined to get the perfect sunrise photo.  Where I live, buildings tend to block the sunrises.  Besides, I tend to be preoccupied with things like getting NHL ready for school, feeding JSL breakfast, and getting myself ready for work.  There’s no time to go outside with a camera and scout around for good shots.  In Charleston, though, free of work and kid time constraints, I was able to go exploring.

I took a few photos, then noticing that the sunrise was blocked from my current vantage point, walked to a different location.  I was a bit nervous.  During the Ghost Walk, we were told by a staff member that part of the grounds were closed and that guards patroled those areas.  I wasn’t sure when the grounds opened, but I figured I’d deal with the guards if/when they confronted me.

It turned out that I didn’t see any guards.  Just steam rising from the warmer water into the cold morning air and the sun spreading color across the dark sky.

After taking some photos, I returned to my room to warm up.  I got showered, dressed, and headed back out for some more shots.  After these, I got some breakfast and then headed back to my room again to get into my Tux.  I met up with my friend and the rest of the groomsmen.  Together we walked to meet our ride.  A horse-drawn carriage that was to take us to the wedding location.

I took some photos during this ride, but many of them came out blurry.  The horse drawn carriage just couldn’t seem to move smoothly along the bumpy dirt road.   When we arrived at the grounds, the setup was nearing completion and there was a half hour before any guests arrived.  We wandered around for awhile and I took a bunch more photos.  (Yes, I know.  Shocking, isn’t it?)

One of the photos shows my friend G hugging a giant oak tree.  That’s the Middleton Oak.  They were originally going to be married under it, but some limbs fell off.  The thing is massive.  About 39 feet around.  They estimate that it is between 500 and 1,000 years old.  Most trees where I live are smaller than this thing’s branches.  They even have wires to help keep the limbs up.  I didn’t feel 100% safe standing under it.  Not that it was going to fall or anything, but if it did fall I’d be TechyDad-brand jelly.  It was an amazing sight, though.

Eventually, we headed back and greeted the minister and guests.  In a particularly gut wrenching scene, I handed my camera over to G’s dad until the ceremony was over.  I figured that L wouldn’t want the camera strap slung over my Tux and wouldn’t want me leaping out of the lineup to snap a few shots.

After the ceremony, the professional photographers took our photos while the rest of the guests headed to the reception in the Secret Gardens.  After our photos were taken, we headed to the Gardens.  Here, my first day wanderings came in handy.  I was able to guide everyone directly to the Gardens without getting lost in the hedge maze.  It wasn’t long before I retrieved my camera and started shooting again.

After the reception wound down, I headed to my room to take off my dress shoes.  I hadn’t worn those shoes since B and I got married and now I remember why.  They hurt my feet!  After some resting, I decided to venture out again.  This time, I headed for the stables.  I had snapped a few shots of them the day before, but this time I went back in search of more up-close horse photos.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The horses came right up to me and, in some cases, even posed for photos.  I think they’ve done this before.

After the horse shots, I went back to my room for a short while.  Then it was time for the costume ball.  I’ll save that story for another post, though.

The Charleston Trip, Part 4: Wedding Rehearsal Day

After the Ghost Walk, I returned to my room, set my alarm for 6:30am, and fell asleep.  I neglected to do one important thing, though:  Test the volume on the radio in the room.  Consequently, I woke up at 9:15.  Panicking, I quickly showered, got dressed, and sprinted off to breakfast at 9:30am.  It’s got to be a new record for me. (Getting ready that fast, not being out by that time.)

 They had quite the spread at the inn.  Bagels, eggs, grits (my first time trying… quite good!), muffins, french toast, etc.  After breakfast, I hung out in the honeyroom suite with my friend and his bride-to-be.  It was then that I took the photos off my camera and discovered the creepy face.  I also took photos of their many turtles.

Next, it was Tux time!  We drove out to the tuxedo rental shop.  It was tucked away and tough to find, but we managed to locate it.  Then, while some last minute alterations were done, we walked around the nearby shops grabbing some snacks.  I’m proud to report that my friend (who usually doesn’t like trying new things) tried Hummus for the first time as well as a bagel with Caraway seeds.  He liked both.  (I recommended making a Hummus and Feta cheese sandwich for a healthy lunch.)

Once we had our tuxes in tow, we headed back to the inn. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn or two, but eventually found our way back.  Some profuse appologies to the bride later, and we ran through how the wedding was to proceed.  My job as a groomsman was easy.  I walk down the aisle, stand in the line during the service, then walk out with one of the bridesmaids.  Simple.

The only complication was that I seemed to have developed a bad cough the week before and it wouldn’t go away.  I started getting afraid that I’d ruin the service from excessive coughing.  I took the rehearsal as an opportunity to try different techniques to suppress the cough.  (I should have gotten some cough syrup when we stopped by Piggley Wiggley after getting our Tuxes, but I didn’t think of it at the time.)

After the rehearsal, we had some down time until the rehearsal dinner.  I used my time to (what else?) take more photos of the grounds.  This time, I also stopped by their stables to take some horse photos.  These came in handy on the bus as a little girl named J was upset.  My daddy instinct (which was going through withdrawal being away from my boys for so long) kicked in and I inquired what was up.  It turned out that they didn’t have time to see the horses which J loves.  He loved horses so much, in fact, that her entire room at home was decorated in horses.  When I found this out, I took out my camera and showed her the horse photos that I had taken.  Seeing the horses helped calm her down.

The rehearsal dinner went smoothly.   The food was good and the restaurant even accomadated a special need of mine.  It seems that the pasta was mixed in the same sauce that they use to cook their meatballs and sausage.  Since I wouldn’t eat those, they brought me a special plate just for me.  (The dishes were family style otherwise.)  Yes, I took photos of the food too.  I think my camera rooted itself to my hands during the trip!

After the dinner, I went back to my room and prepared for the next day’s events.  Coming up next:  It’s Wedding Day!

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