Last Tuesday, I served as Maid of Honor at my BFF Lisa's wedding. And when I say BFF, I don't just mean we're going to be friends forever. . . I mean we HAVE been friends forever, since we met in 1977 at Mill Valley Middle School. She's like a sister to me. I hope that Lisa will blog about her wedding when she and her husband Trace return from their honeymoon on the Disney Dream, and I'm sure you'll hear trip reports on our podcast, Those Darn Cats. But in the meantime, I can't resist sharing my own experience with you. I've also posted about the bridal shower I threw for her a few days before the wedding, over on my Broke Hoedown blog.
The morning of the wedding was a flurry of excitement and nerves. By the time I arrived at the Honeymoon Suite of the Grand Floridian Resort that morning at 6:00am, work was well underway. The dress had been professionally steamed and was hanging in the shower for an extra touch-up, the hair stylist was preparing a table, and the make-up artist was ready to start in on me. Fortunately, Lisa had been upgraded to concierge, and after the make-up artist had put on my face, I stopped over to the concierge lounge to pick up a few breakfast snacks. Not that any of us could bring ourselves to eat much, but at least we all knew that we should.
Flowers and photographers arrived, make-up was applied, hair was styled . . . and before we knew it, we were heading downstairs for a photo shoot in the Grand Floridian lobby. The ride down the elevator was one of the most amusing moments of the whole day, as small children seemed to wonder who this new Disney princess was. I'd smile and tell them to greet Princess Lisa. And of course, everyone we passed offered congratulations to the bride.
It was an absolutely beautiful wedding, at Disney's Wedding Pavillion in Walt Disney World. I'd ridden by the Pavillion countless times over the years, hearing the spiel about how "couples may exchange vows" there, and never imagined that I'd be signing her marriage license under that roof, with Cinderella castle in the distance. The ceremony was brief and lovely, including a reading by her step-mother, and a song performed by my mother. The officiant reminded us all that a marriage license is really a learners permit, and encouraged Trace and Lisa to enjoy learning all they can about each other. I was glad I'd brought tissues for myself, and a family heirloom handkerchief for Lisa. I'm not sure if there were any dry eyes on the pavillion's stage, save perhaps for the groom's teenage son. I couldn't have taken any pictures during the wedding of course, though plenty of professionals were on the job to do so, but I'd snapped a shot of the view from the podium during the rehearsal a few days earlier.
And then the reception, what can I say? Nobody has more fun than us, epecially when great food and a visit from the Mad Hatter and Alice are followed up by the musical stylings of Bob Jackson! Plus, the cakes were truly phenomenal. Disney chefs had prepared cakes themed to the Tea Cups and Haunted Mansion attractions at Magic Kingdom. The cakes were delicious -- clearly the chefs hadn't sacrificed any taste in the name of fashion.
(I borrowed that photo from Bob's Facebook page. Bob, I hope you don't mind! And don't worry, your hair looks great.)
In the background all along were absolutely wonderful Disney Cast Members. Sadly, I've forgotten most of their names, save Lisa (the primary wedding planner) and Karen (one of her assistants or colleagues). But it seemed that four or five Cast Members guided us through the day, addressed small problems as they arose, and kept the event moving along as planned, always with a kind and helpful smile. I'd never felt more pampered, and I wasn't even the bride!
Before the cake is served, it's traditional for the Maid of Honor to make a toast to the newly-wed couple, after the Best Man has done so himself. And I did my best to choke back my tears of joy, and say a few words for them. I think my tears spoke for themselves, though my words may have stumbled. So, I'll also raise a virtual glass to them here, in the presence of our Disney online community friends, as is fitting for a couple of Disney podcasters:
"Walt Disney once said that 'All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.' Faith and trust have brought you to this day together, and can carry you through a long and happy marriage. May you weather the good times and bad together, and may all your tomorrows be great, big and beautiful."