Day 2 – Thursday
Thursday morning we woke up to the smell of coffee coming from house 11E, and eventually the kitchen was full of hustle and bustle for breakfast. Most of the wedding guests/family went to town to hang out for the morning while a small core crew hung back to work on the wedding sites. First task: hanging lights and decorating the USO hall for the reception. With the Fort, there are lots of rules on who can do what. The Fort staff has to set up/move tables, the catering staff does linens, and we were in charge of decorations. We had to make a very clear schedule so that all of these tasks layered together correctly so that ladders could be used without getting in the way.
We started with lights. 400 feet of patio lights to make a dance floor canopy. Me, my dad, Matt, Matt’s dad, my mom and our friend Richard worked out a plan to hang the lights, and 3 hours later the hall was bathed in a soft glow from 400 little bulbs. It looked perfect. And we only broke 6 bulbs in the process!
From there we headed to the ceremony site (Battery Tolles) to help finish cleaning up the site. Weeding, sweeping, de-mossing and scraping were all well underway by the time I showed up, and when we broke for lunch, it looked awesome. The overgrown battery was overgrown no longer, and looked exactly how we imagined it to be.
I had time to grab a quick snack in the house before being called back to the USO hall to supervise table set up. Then was there for another 2 hours while we decorated the tables. My energy level was really starting to hit bottom, but I knew things needed to get done so I powered on. It felt good to know that we really were the ones to make this happen, and that our sweat and tears (along with all our helping hands!) were what pulled it together. So much more rewarding than just showing up to a pretty place.
I was dusty and hot and my ankles were really starting to hurt. No time for a shower or changing before rehearsal either. I met our day of coordinator, Karle, at the site, and reviewed decoration plans for the next day. My maids and the parents showed up, and then Matt…but the groomsmen were nowhere to be found. 20 minutes later they appeared from the woods, having gotten lost on the way up the road. Rehearsal was quick, and we headed down the hill for pizza and beer.
Well, everyone else did. I headed in to take a shower. I was so tired and so gross that I just was not ready to go be social until I was clean. The quiet house was nice too. My voice was almost gone from talking all day. The pizza was great, as were the root beer floats, but the evening was chilly so we quickly moved the party inside. Some people were visiting, others baking cakes for the wedding reception, others folding programs. There was anticipation in the air for the big event the next day. Around 10:30 people started to fade and head to bed.