Now there's nothing like backstage passes to a wedding, meaning actually being part of the wedding party. That usually provides a greater insight into the big day, not to mention plenty of free beer and food. Since we have no family in Mpls you'd think we'd be mere guests at our friends' nuptials. However, we have a secret weapon in the form of a cuter-than-hell daughter who is an excellent candidate for the all important role of Flower Girl.
Never mind that we know Sylvia freezes up in front of crowds, throws fits when you least want her to and otherwise doesn't follow directions when it's go-time and all eyes are watching. She's cute and that's what matters. Sylvia had her second gig as flower girl at Johnny and Carrie's wedding. It went okay. I'm thinking another year and she will be a pro. Then I can start placing Craig's List ads and using her talents to not only fill my beer mug but perhaps finance a bike project or two on the side.
The festivities began Saturday with a trip to the mall! Yep, to the mall. We all needed a few things -- Sylvia, flower girl shoes, and me, a new shirt (suitable to wear with a tie). While in the middle of Macy's we had our first honest-to-goodness kid meltdown in a store. Sylvia's circuits were fried. Calm containment was not working. I scooped her up and carted her screaming little personage outside for a session (read: she ran in circles around the sidewalk screaming gibberish before calming down and saying politely, "I'm okay now, Daddy. I want to go back in the store"). It was actually kind of fun that it happened in Macy's -- right between the men's department and cosmetics, past the guy who kept trying to get me to putt for a prize and the woman attempting to stink me up with free Polo fragrance samples. All things considered, we were lucky to get out of there alive.
Later we cruised to Johnny and Carrie's for the rehearsal -- a not-so-dry run of the ceremony in the backyard accompanied by tall boys of Old Style. Then we had a big group dinner at Buca in St Paul. Good food, fun times and plenty of folks to distract Sylvia and hold Willa. Willa slept in her seat for most of the dinner. It made me miss the early days with Sylvia when we'd go to parties confident that she'd go down early in the night and sleep until we were ready to leave. Ha! Those were the Salad Years for sure.
Carrie and Johnny at Buca. Statement: "You know, we could just skip all this sh-t and run away ..." Reply: "I think you need a little more wine." It was a great dinner and after hanging out with the families and friends I knew it would be a very fun wedding.
We had a family walk to CRC Sunday morning and ran into the lovely Alix and partner Holly. Later we saw an old acquaintance Bruce (whose printing company actually gifted us our wedding invitations and announcements). We had a good chat about politics and South Mpls, gave him the news we're moving out of the 'hood. Walking around and seeing friends is a big reason we'll miss our neighborhood.
Willa in her snuggly cocoon.
By the end of all this impromptu socializing it was time to get home and prep for the wedding. My favorite task was painting Sylvia's toenails for her. She requested white and Daddy delivered. As we so often do these days, we rushed out the door to make it to the wedding just in time to cool off and get our bearings. Sylvia seemed a bit shy and nervous with all the strangers around. Would she rise to the momentous task of flower toting?
Well, she did -- with a little help from Momma Fleck. Meanwhile Willa studies the situation and charms guests with her toothless smile.
BRose and Julie chat in the crowd. I later commented to BRose that it's nice to see they genuinely seem to enjoy each other's conversation. He said it only appears that way in public.
No turning back. And besides, you can't return the dress now.
There were a variety of fine beverages hosted by the happy couple, including 40oz varieties of Mickey's, Schlitz and High Life. This was not your average wedding.
Of course, with those sorts of beverages on hand, quirky shots like this were bound to be staged. It reminds me of the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Actually this brought back memories of another wedding Trevor and I closed down together last summer, hanging with the father of the bride before absconding a bottle of bubbly and hitting the Greenway toward home.
BRose passes on a wedding tradition. One half of a $20 bill for Carrie and one half for John. I think it was supposed to be seed money for bail. I don't think I was listening very clearly, however.
Like I said earlier, this was not your typical wedding.
I neglected to mention the venue -- Town Talk Diner at Lake and Minnehaha. A nice place and our first time there. Noren was an honored guest. His face and twinkling lights seem to go well together, dontcha think?
The feast commences. Statement: "Holy sh-t ... we actually DID this?" Reply: "I think you need a little more wine."
Sylvia gets a twirl from the bride. She also got a cool "Geyser Blast Water Sprinkler" yard toy out of the deal.
The Flecks. This is actually one of the best family photos we have to date. I think we all clean up rather nicely. I had a hard time with Willa's headband though. I kept thinking we were dooming her to some predestined tragedy as a tennis star by making her wear it.
Trevor, Mikaela and Sylvia. Sylvia is the one with the zombie eyes. (It was already past her bedtime.) Mom and the kids went home and I stayed around for a while. Okay, I did what I usually do at parties -- I stayed until the end. I mean, your friends only get married once, right?
Johnny's sister Ruth, Nick and Mikaela are subjected to some of Tanner's mischief. Luckily Sunday night last call is midnight, since most of us had to work the next day. Lack of enthusiasm for the dance party marked the beginning of the end. Then the wedding party drained the bar of PBR. It was time to go. I left with Tanner and his friend Tory, lipstick on my cheeks and a souvenir Town Talk koozie.
The Monday morning commute was tough. Johnny (now on his honeymoon) sent an unexpected email to Trevor and me: "How was your ride in this morning?" was all it asked. I replied his next wedding better be on a Saturday.
In all seriousness, much love and happiness to you both, and thanks for a great time at the Town Talk!