OK, so I thought it would be a good idea to include some details about what Talya was doing on her wedding day. Talya stayed with her mother, at her mother’s house the night before the wedding. Her old best friend Mel from Oregon came with her mother LuAnn for the wedding, and they had decided to stay up in Estes Park. So, early that Saturday morning (May 31, 2009) Talya and her mother, and cousins (the girls anyhow) got up and went up there to go hang out with Mel and her mother. The plan was that Talya would get dressed there at the hotel, and then be just a short distance away when we were ready to start the wedding.
We had gotten to Estes Park around 12:30. The drive through town was horrendous, the town was packed with weekend visitors. Since Estes Park is one of the “destinations” in Colorado, and a great place to have a wedding, weekends are always crowded. A funny thing though about May. I had always heard that May was the most popular month for weddings (Spring and all I guess). We had gone up to Estes Park (Cheryl and I) in February originally to find a place for the reception, and the Lakeshore Lodge was wide open for May. Talya and I went up a month later (maybe 5 weeks) and we decided to cover all the bases.
So, we inquired at the YMCA of the Rockies about getting a “Reunion” Cabin big enough to house the reception. They had one cabin available and they also had the Mountainside Lodge. We very nearly decided then and there to change it and use the Mountainside Lodge instead, because of its beauty and scenic location, but in the end decided against because it was higher in elevation than the Chapel site, and we had folks coming from Sea Level (the majority of the folks coming to the wedding actually). But, Talya and I also visited the Stanley Hotel.
The “Stanley” as people call it, is likely _the_ most popular place in Estes Park both for weddings and receptions. The biggest miracle of all was that the Stanley was wide open for that last weekend in May as well! It’s quite a picturesque place, with lots of history to go with it. The room we looked at was large and had a nice view of the city and the lake. It would have been a terrific place to have the reception. The rates were higher, about 50% higher than the Lakeshore Lodge so in the end, we decided against that idea too.
Talya and I visited the Lakeshore Lodge together on that same day she and I were together up there, and she was able to decide that the Lakeshore Lodge would do nicely. Though, we had originally thought there would only be maybe 40 guests total, so were going to use a small upstairs room they called the “Mezzanine.” But, owing to the expected guest list getting larger, and the need for more space, we decided to use one of their “regular” banquet rooms. It worked out well in the end, you’ll see!
Thus, we had done our planning, and we had finalized all our details just a couple weeks before the wedding. A bit rushed we were, but it worked out well. Planning for the actual “Ceremony” was the most difficult for me. Talya and Michael did not want a Minister to marry them. Neither of them attended church regularly through High School, so that was not a large part of their relationship. However, Talya did tell me that I could say anything I wanted to at the ceremony. So, if you think I’m going to “Officiate” my daughter’s wedding and not talk about the Bible and what it has to say about marriage – well then you got another thing coming!
I did plan to use the most often quoted passages about marriage from the Bible, as well I included my favorite chapter from the Old Testament: Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes. I wanted to start fun though, and lighten up everyone’s mood. It was going to be especially important I felt because the wedding was going to be outdoors and the weather was the one most unpredictable element for us. If the weather were lousy, then we’d all need a good joke. If the weather were good, then telling a good joke would make it even better I felt.
I searched the Internet and came up with the definitions of marriage and love from the children’s point of view. It consists of a number of answers that children gave when asked about how people fell in love and picked their marriage partner. Some of the answers were just too darn cute, and Cheryl and I thought it was totally appropriate for a wedding ceremony.
Talya’s mother and Talya both asked what I was going to say, how the ceremony was going to work, I just kept telling them it would be about 25 minutes, and that they were just going to have to trust me. It would be memorable all right! So, now we’re basically back to the point where I left off in Part 1. Cheryl and I have finished decorating the Chapel, and we have called Talya and here mother to get everyone to the Chapel as quickly as possible. The sun had just come out, The Lord had blessed us with an hour and a half, perhaps two hours of decent weather for the wedding ceremony.
The difficult part was that there really was nobody “assigned” to be there for traffic direction and so on, or for seating of the guests and so on. We were simply going to have to “wing” that part and hope everyone arrived and so on. It was made a little bit more difficult by the fact that the folks at the front desk of the Main Lodge at the YMCA of the Rockies had no idea there was a wedding at 2p at the Outdoor Chapel. That was a minor screwup, mine and Talya’s fault, we had never quite made the connection with the Pastor at the YMCA there and gotten our payment to him. We tried again that day to find him, but never did. Oh well… We paid him about 2 months _after_ the ceremony for the use of the Chapel, not great, but at least we did not forget completely!
So, from about 1:45 onwards, anybody arriving at the YMCA would be able to find out from the Front Desk that indeed there was a wedding, and it was for Talya and Michael (there was another wedding that afternoon in the indoor chapel and another scheduled at 4p for the outdoor chapel after us). Cheryl got dressed, grabbed my mother and sister and drove on up there. She left me behind at the Main Lodge with no transportation, I figured I’d hitch a ride with whomever so that I could wait and see when Talya and her mother got there.
Now we’re up to about 2:15 or 2:20p and I’m waiting outside the entrance to the Main Lodge for my daughter and her mother to arrive. I assume most of the guests were already arrived and seated at the Chapel, and I did not want to make them all wait long for the ceremony. One of the major problems with being outdoors in the mountains you see is you have less protection from the sun, it’s a lot drier up there and you will either burn up or dehydrate about 3x faster than you would at Sea Level. So, I was hoping we would get everything together and done by 3p in order not to “cook” anybody or have them die of thirst.
Side note, our faithful camera person, Darrell’s daughter Laura and her friend Nate had arrived at the Chapel before Cheryl and I left to go get dressed. They had a lot of setup to do, and were very diligent about getting it done. Having Laura and Nate was really a blessing, Laura did such a nice job on the pictures, and Nate, well, aside from one mistake (he’s not a professional, this was his very first major video!) did great! We were very glad to have them, and I just had to hope they were all setup and ready by the time Talya and I and her mother got there.
It was just before 2:30p when Talya got there with her mother. They were in her mother’s car, and Talya is in the front seat of this little Grand Prix all dressed and the Air Conditioning is blowing full blast to keep her cool, and I piled in the back seat with Kaci and Natasha and Andrea and off we go to the Chapel (about 3/4 mile away from the Lodge building).
(to be continued)