My daughter Saskia was getting a little nervous at the start of 2005. Her wedding tasks began increasing incrementally as the months passed. Though the wedding date wasn’t until June 4th, between invitations and fine-tuning, (and applying to colleges), there was plenty to keep her busy.
My assignment: A wonderful thing about my daughter and son-in-law is that they know exactly what they like and are very good at making decisions. So nothing was easier than being the mother of the Bride, because I didn’t have to do a thing! My only assigned pre-wedding task was to research charities. In lieu of party favors, each wedding guest would be asked to make a donation to one of three charities. After I gave them info about numerous likely charities, Saskia and Neal selected UNICEF, Nature Conservancy, and an animal rehab facility in the Sierra foothills named Critter Creek, where Saskia’s brother used to volunteer .
April showers… By the time Saskia’s bridal shower came, around a month and a half before the wedding, things seemed to be pretty much in place. She’d flown down from Washington to attend her afternoon shower, and that evening she was treated to a bachelorette party. Time continued to zoom by…
Rehearsal goes without a glitch beneath the back veranda of the Inn at Pebble Beach, out on the manicured green of the 18th fairway. I’m very thankful that I won’t be descending the stairs from the lodge in heels, which I will be wearing and feel like stilts to me. Sandals, sneakers, and hiking boots are my usual footwear. I’ll be meeting my daughter and her father at the foot of the stairs, and then walking her to the groom on a soft, spongy lawn and through rose petals.
The Big Day: My daughter’s wedding day dawns misty and cool as she and I wake up after a restful sleep at Casa Palmero. I brew some herbal tea while she dresses, and we idly chat as she lays down pensively on the cushioned, oversized window seat, sipping tea as the realization hits her that The Big Day is finally here… It’s time to leave the peaceful surroundings of Casa Palermo for us to be transformed into a Bride in pearly-white, and a Mother in black... by no means mourning, but quite the latest fashion I am told.
The Goddess of Love and Beauty: It’s not only appropriate, but a good omen that Saskia has chosen Venus Salon to have her bridesmaids’, her mother’s, and her own hair done. She also treats me to getting my face made-up. After the esthetician gets done with me, I look in the mirror and ponder the glamorous-looking woman staring back at me, not looking a bit like the me I'm used to. My mother’s diamond pin is Saskia’s something old that gets worked into her updo.
The tempo quickens: By 3pm, the bridesmaids, photographer, and her assistant have arrived at Casa Palmero, and soon the videographer is shooting away as well. Food is ordered, but almost everyone is too excited to eat much. Each lovely bouquet is unique. Bridesmaids have chosen their favorite red-orange or gold-colored flowers. With Saskia holding her veil up over her head, and out of the way, her bridesmaids help her into her dress. It takes some time to fasten the many silk buttons down her back. Jewelry and finishing touches are finally complete, and photo/video ops are created by the combination of lovely ladies and Casa Palmero. After some shots by the pool, Saskia and her entourage all take off down the road to the Inn. A shuttle stops wanting to know, "Does the bride want a ride?" Nah, we’ll walk!