The wedding was great. The bride was beautiful. The church was in Birmingham and was also beautiful. The weather was just perfect. Stef and I cleaned up real well and arrived on time even though she had some anxiety about that. I raised one child that can't be late and one that can't be on time. More on that some other day.
We did meet the new boyfriend and we love him. If they break up maybe Stef and I can keep seeing him. He sat with us for the wedding and for the reception so we got plenty of opportunity to embarrass Danielle and ourselves but I think we did well.
I got tears in my eyes when I looked back at the bridal party and saw that the bride's grandfather was preparing to walk her down the aisle. He had been such a factor in her growing up years that it just seemed right that he give her away. He bought her the first car, paid for her first semester of college, provided a safe haven for her when her mother would periodically kick her out of the house. It just seemed right. Her father only just recently established any relationship with her even though his two other grown children were in her wedding party. He called the day of the wedding and told her that he not only wasn't coming to the wedding but that he wouldn't be talking to her again.
The reception was very nice just hard to find. I guess the limo driver (Super Mario) got lost too, so I didn't feel so bad. I had the sun in my eyes trying to drive into the west at sunset, the first street MapQuest told me t0 turn down was closed for construction and it went downhill from there. Stef kept saying, "I'm hungry". I finally told her, "Shut up! There's no food here!" But we did find it after all and so did everyone else.
After dinner, I went up to the bride's grandfather to tell him how happy I was to see him walk her down the aisle. He told me a story about how Danielle had lost a piece of jewelry in the lake when she was little and the girls were staying at his house. He dug in the murky lake water for hours looking for a ring because she was so upset about losing something that had belonged to me. She had it in her towel and forgot when she went to dry off after swimming and the ring went into the water. He looked at me and told me how beautiful Danielle is and just how much fun it was when the girls were young. He said, "Man those were good times". And they were.
P.S. Danielle did live through the maid of honor speech. She talked about how they have known each other since they were five and what the bride and groom can do to make a good marriage together. She told the bride to admit it when she is wrong and shut up when she is right. She then told the groom to remember "Happy wife happy life".
P.P.S. But when I think back on the evening, I will just remember that, "Man those were good times".