Saturday, January 7, 2017

Holm Wedding

This weekend Emily and I headed down to Corvallis for the much anticipated wedding of Chris Holm (Best Man in my wedding) and Paris Edwards.  The plan was to stay with Jason and Jenn on Friday night after their dinner for out of town gets as well as after their wedding Saturday night.  I brought all my camera gear down but left my drone at home as the weather looked too sketchy to fly… man was that an understatement.  Read on…

We sped down to Corvallis Friday night and were late getting to the Majestic Theater in Corvallis for the dinner.  It seemed to be mostly family and Chris and Paris seemed to be doing a lot of the work managing the food spread so Em and I jumped right in to help out (and eat).  There were corn hole boards set up in a side room and people were milling around a tables chatting.  Seemed pretty low key and by the time the pizza’s arrived that Chris ordered most people were departing.   Oh well, the leftovers were key the next day….  We said goodbye and headed back to the Killian’s for a relaxing evening catching up on our lives.

On Saturday we awoke to a surprise.  Snow and ice.  And much more of it than we had expected.  It was beautiful as it always is on the rare events it snows in the Willamette Valley.  Jen went to work at Animal Crackers and Jason had to run to QSI to continue some work there leaving Emily and I at home to take Leo and Alder for a walk.

At 10am we got this email:
“Due to dangerous driving conditions, we have cancelled the wedding hall. We just can't risk the safety of our loved ones! We are scrambling to find an alternative venue for this evening that is walkable or a bus ride from downtown. We will follow up with more details shortly. Call us with any questions or ideas!” 

We were shocked!  How do we pull off a wedding when the venue has been canceled?  We also heard that the contra band they had hired was bailing due to the weather as well.  I called Chris and offered any help we could.  He surprisingly sounded fairly calm about the situation and said he’d give me a shout when they figured something out.  I felt bad I hadn’t brought my truck as it would have been helpful.

At 12:30pm we got this email - 4.5 hours until the ceremony….
“Hi All, Thanks for bearing with us.We are now holding the ceremony and party (dinner is on!) in town at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Road conditions are still not ideal, but there are no highway roads involved in travel. Still, please drive very carefully if you decide to come and we completely understand if you decide to stay home.

We have many winter-hardy drivers and cars at the ready- volunteers are ready to shuttle. Please call us if you want a pick-up and drop off. There are several buildings at the grounds, but we will be the largest red, barn-like structure called the "auditorium." Look for lights! Parking is ample and the schedule will remain the same- ceremony is at 5:00. Follow the link below for location details:”

Wow… ok - action time!  Em and I jumped in the Prius and headed over to the fairgrounds where we found no less than 20 people scrambling around hanging decorations, preparing food and setting up tables and chairs.  It’s good to have friends.  :).  And it was great to see old friends as well.  Everyone jumped into a multitude of tasks.  I took over the table clothes and napkin folding.  Funny how it all came back to me even though it had been nearly two decades since I folded them the same way every night at the Adirondack Coach House… We had everything pretty much set up by 4pm when we headed back to Jason’s to meet up with them and get dressed for the evening.  

With a cocktail hour before hand at 5pm the actual ceremony wasn’t until about 6:15pm.  They had set up a site gazebo for Paris and Chris to Stand under which I used as a mount for a 360 degree camera I had brought.  The low light in the room wasn’t ideal but it was a unique angle to capture anyway.  I also was filming the ceremony in front in 4k as well and snapping photos as I could with my Nikon as well.  All in all my plan was to capture as much of their day as possible.  Chris’ dad was also walking around with a much better DSLR and professional flash as well which helped.  

The ceremony was very nice and everyone got a chuckle when Paris put the ring on his wrong hand (just like Em did to me).  They kept it short and pretty much kept religion out of it much like Em and I did as well.  The vows were beautiful and I don’t remember any tears (more chuckles knowing these two).  There wasn’t a wedding party which kept things pretty organized.  All in all it was about 20 minutes from walk in to walk out.  Dinner time!

The food spread was amazing!  Many people had baked dishes and Lenni had deep fried about 6 large turkeys for the 80-100 people that were there.  It was truly amazing how everyone came together to make this a spectacular event for Chris and Paris.  There was far more food than everyone could eat and it was all delicious!  They had even hired Greg Little (owner of the legendary Squirrels bar downtown) to serve as the bartender.  

I was starving and despite being on a “cleanse” for the month of January wrote this day off and helped myself to 2nds and plenty of beer/wine/bourbon throughout the night :)  During dinner Chris and Paris had some really wonderful things to say to us all for the last minute help as well.  Some of their friends including myself had a few words as well (I’m never good at this stuff) and Paris’ mom had a pretty lengthy toast as well.  hehe. 

The original plan had been for a contra band to play to get the older crowd dancing and then a dance mix late at night for the younger crowd.  That all went out the door when the band cancelled.  After dinner there was some mingling but then the older crowd started to disperse.  This of course meant the start of shenanigans.  Behind the green curtain backdrop of their ceremony several friends had brought large trunks of costumes and someone else busted out a portable bluetooth speaker.  Let the dance party begin!

From about 9pm till 1am at night there ensued one of the greatest dance parties of all time.  It was as if everyone in their late 30’s and early 40’s reverted back to being a drunk 18 year old again.  Needless to say I can’t post 99% of the photos here as we are all “professionals” as our current age.  Some like Scott and Lenni came dressed in funny tux’s already while the rest had to catch up in wigs, crazy animal outfits and glowing LED lights.  Honestly, it was one of the craziest parties I have been to in a long time and seeing all our grown up professional friends acting like total idiots was pure joy.  

At 1am Paris dressed like a cowgirl and Chris dressed like a cow (complete with udder) signed their wedding certificate with Anna and Chris G (both in dresses) serving as witnesses.  Hehe.  Throughout the night I got hundreds of photos of all the craziness and I wish I could post more than that here but I can’t.  

Highlights included all of the booze being finished off, a photo both for costume portraits, anna walking around outside with boxes on her feet, a human pyramid being built and coordinated by Mousa who had crashed the wedding with Miwa, many men dressed in too little clothes, and a strip tease train for Paris.  Around 1am after watching them sign the certificate Jen, Jason, Emily and I said goodbye, chucked snowballs at Chris the human-cow, then headed back to the dogs.  

In the morning we headed over to the venue to help clean up drive stuff over to Paris’ mothers place.  Chris and Paris looked happy but completely worn down.  I later found out they had both been pretty sick for their own wedding.  Those two are pure champions to pull off what they did in so little time.  Despite the weather killing most of their plans they pulled off an epic wedding to be remembered by all for a very long time!  Em and I wish them all the luck and love in the world!

No comments: