Monday, July 20, 2015

The nephew's wedding

We went to Minneapolis, MN this past weekend for my nephew Kyle's wedding. He is my sister's oldest of two sons, and he asked me to do the ceremony for them. I was plenty nervous not only about doing the wedding - I hadn't done one in two years - but I also wasn't sure how things would go over the weekend with various family members, plus it was outdoors, and I had never been there. It ended up being a pretty swell time and I'm glad we went.

The wedding site - before all the chairs were set up.

Jane and I drove to Chicago and flew from Midway to Minneapolis on Friday. It took just over 3 hours to drive and the flight was just under an hour. We took a cab from the airport to the hotel (where our room was, as well as the wedding). The cab ride was a little scary (I thought we were going to wreck about 3 times), but we survived. The rehearsal was Friday night. It was on the 8th floor rooftop of the hotel, and we ate there afterward too. It was a beautiful setting. The rehearsal was a tad chaotic - they had 8 attendants each, and it was not overly well organized - but no one got out of hand and everyone seemed happy when it was over.

The end of the rehearsal

Carrie & Isaac flew up on Saturday from Fort Wayne. We borrowed my parent's car (they drove up Thursday) and picked them up at the airport. We hung out at the hotel and the downtown area, and then the wedding was at 7:30 that night.

All four of us left Sunday morning. We hired an SUV to take us to the airport (cost us the same as the cab - $45) and left the hotel around 8 am. Isaac flew from MN to O'Hare in Chicago, then onto Indianapolis. The rest of us were on a plane together going back to Midway in Chicago. I thought traffic was a little heavy for a Sunday and we got home around 5:30 pm. All in all the travel there and back went pretty smooth.

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Northstar on 2nd Ave and 7th Street right downtown. It was a very pretty hotel and had a nice bar and restaurant. The elevators were a bit tedious at times, but other than that it was a nice place. Our room was on the 11th floor overlooking the site of the wedding ceremony, which was on the 8th floor. My parents were on the 8th floor, and our kids were on the 9th floor. I think there were 17 floors altogether.

The only real issue we had was, apparently since it was the weekend, the gift shop was closed and there was no water in any of the vending machines. Saturday morning we walked around and there was a Target just a couple blocks over. We also found several restaurants and shops and things. Then on Saturday there were two weddings at the hotel (ours was the 2nd one), and there was some big country music concert at the nearby stadium, so the hotel was PACKED!

The wedding ceremony itself appeared to go fine, but it had it's share of drama. Nothing too major though. It was supposed to start at 7:30, but due to the large number of people in it, a lack of organization on the part of... several people, and maybe alcohol, it didn't start until probably 7:45. Everyone did well though, and the DOG was probably the best of all. The couple had their beautiful white dog (I don't even know what kind it is) as the ring bearer. It didn't actually bring in the rings, but the flower girl and another boy walked it in. It had this adorable tutu around it's neck, and she walked in perfectly, came down to the groom and shook his hand, and then she sat for the rest of the wedding without moving or making a peep! It was incredible.

The ring bearer (after the ceremony)
The two biggest glitches during the ceremony were when the best man (and groom's brother) went to sing during the pouring of the sand. He couldn't get the sound to work for his guitar. I think he just sang and played without it. He did a nice job with the song "Hallelujah" though. Then at the end, when the couple was to walk out, the music wouldn't work. So they had to walk out with no music. Fortunately they gave everyone sparklers, so we just cheered and lit the sparklers for them to walk out to. Otherwise I don't think anyone else noticed any of the other issues, and everyone seemed happy enough when it was over - which is how it usually goes. There were probably just over 200 guests, and the ceremony probably lasted 20-30 minutes.

After the wedding everyone went to the Five Event Center. It was a rather hip place and worked out nicely. It was a little crowded at first, but I think everyone survived. They had two bars and served finger foods throughout the night. It was maybe 3 miles from the wedding, and we arrived a little after 9. We stayed until a little after midnight. It was supposed to end at 2 am. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and I haven't heard that anyone got too out of hand - which is always good, and I am maybe a little surprised about. :)

Again, all in all, it was a really nice weekend. I was glad our kids got to go. My dad did way better than I expected he would. I think most everyone had a nice time.