We then adjourned to the professional photo studio in the park, with period furniture and so forth. The bridal party lined, with much ado, up... but something was lacking.
Inspiration was given to me, suddenly, by Dawn's nephew pointing out the prop guns on the walls. "Darth T.Rex on the stairs with a shotgun!" I called out, and it was done. This improved the period look of the piece immeasureably, and was only proper silliness after the hoots and hollers of "Actors!" by the groom at the bridesmaids and groomsmen in the first set of pictures.
There were many photos taken. Many. In one, the bridesmaids and the groomsmen aimed at each other, while the bride ducked to avoid the crossfire. Then the bride was seated on the bucking bronco, and ... more photos.
We finally embarked for the hotel. The bride and groom took a limo; the rest of us walked several hundred yards. On the way, the bride's purse rang; the most-favored bridesmaid, junior only to the Matron of Honor in the lineup, answered; it was the Mother of the Bride, demanding to know where the bride was. After answering, the most-favored bridesmaid roundly cussed the Mother of the Bride. I cheerfully put in that at least she didn't have to live with her.
It turned out that the Most Favored Bridesmaid had been Dawn's stepdaughter from her previous marriage, and they still addressed each other as daughter and mother, as was right and proper.
The bridal party had to wait until they were all collected to go in, so I wandered in ahead and sat down. The bride's table was marked Reserved. I sat with the minister and his wife. We chatted.
Eventually, the bridal party arrived, and Chip made the toast, electing not to roast Dave, as he still had to live with him (Chip is their roommate) but said, "It's about time!" Dawn and Dave have known each other since forever. Everybody back when they were in their twenties thought they were perfect for each other. Now, after Dawn's celebrated her 40th birthday, they're finally together.
There had been some bridesmaid quibbling over seats, with the neices. The little one wanted to sit next to Dawn's daughter. It turned out that most of the other bridesmaids had scattered to sit with their own families, so the little one and I got to sit on either side of Dawn's daughter.