Tales of Tying the Knot: This looks like a circus

11 Dec

“This looks like some kind of creepy circus,” I said from the passenger seat of our a very full SUV.

It was 5 a.m. on Thursday and the sun hadn’t even thought of rising yet. But at the Rhynes’ household things were a bustling. SUVS, trucks and trailers were receiving their final once over, assuring that every decoration, mum, dress shirt and shoe was accounted for. Coffee and energy drinks were being rapidly consumed.

The back of the Jeep packed with flowers on one side and the dress on the other. Which ended up looking a lot like we were transporting a body.

He's pretty excited given the time of morning. And the rain. And the cold.

Brake lights, tail lights and trailer lights were blinking and flashing through the darkness as parking spots were switched and the caravan got into line.

Part of the caravan getting into place.

No, it wasn’t a gypsy circus. It was Operation Galena. The full-scale cooperative effort to transport an entire wedding from one city to another.

Directing the traffic

Gas gauges were checked, doors were locked and it was time to hit the road. Zac backed our Jeep out of the long driveway, the caravan waiting patiently to fall in line behind its leader. And then he almost ran over the neighbor who thought it would be wise to walk his teeny tiny dog in complete darkness. The neighbor and his dog backed quickly down the curb, making way for the caravan. He stared in wonder at what his eyes did behold. And he muttered, “What the -expletive- are they doing?” Surely he thought we were making an elaborate getaway. That some devastating indictment was about to be unsealed and we were going on the lam. There were no cans tied to bumpers, no “Just Married” signs in the window. No hints at all. Just a team of 6 very tired but excited people, 3 very full vehicles and one nondescript trailer full of hay bales, mums, linen burlap and lace. It was Operation Galena and it was on hitting the road.

As we drove North we watched the sun rise over the corn fields and every thing was aglow with the deep golden color of fall. Farmers were just taking to their fields, ready for a satisfying harvest.

Actually it rained. A lot. And you couldn’t see the sun through the dense, dark clouds. And there were no farmers in the fields on account of the lakes that were forming in fields, leaving farmers to wait until November to harvest their dang corn. Reality is poetic like that.

Operation Galena, despite the less than favorable weather conditions, was running right on schedule. We needed to arrive at the hotel before our very important Fed Ex package arrived. All of the wedding flowers had been ordered online and while half of them had been delivered to Streator Wednesday morning, the remainder were being delivered to the hotel Thursday morning. So we had to be prepared to receive and tend to the flowers before 10 a.m. And we wanted an extra afternoon to have fun and enjoy Galena!

We rolled into Galena somewhere around 8:30. It was still raining. And still freezing cold. And the bride, in all her sense, had not packed a coat or jacket. Or umbrella.

We announced our arrival at the front desk. “Good morning! We’re here to get married! Ready to tie the knot! Get hitched! Let the church bells ring! Please hand over the keys to the ballroom so that we can take it over!”

Everyone at the Ramada was instantly helpful, rushing out to the caravan with luggage racks and shipping carts. They were horrified when we began unloading bales of hay into their spotless ballroom. Genuinely confused by why anyone would show up with hay, corn stalks and pumpkins when there were such lovely, polished silver candelabras available.

Within an hour, the caravan was unloaded. Each tote box, carefully labeled with inventory and directions, was placed in its proper place.

And then Fed Ex delivered this gorgeousness:

Oh how I loved them.

I was so relived that there were not only alive and healthy, but beautiful!!

We lunched at the mini-Subway inside the discount liquor store. But dining among the boxed wine and clearanced out whiskey only added to the circus-like feeling of the day.

Thursday continued on its quest to be the longest, rainiest day in history.

After lunch, the errand running began.

We got our Marriage License at the County Courthouse.

Yay! It's legal!

We stopped by the tuxedo rental shop to try on the tuxes. None of the tuxes fit. At all. There was no yelling, panicking, no having of meltdowns. Everything just kept rolling! It was a relief. (Although I really wish I’d taken photos of the ill-fitting tuxes.)

We popped in and out of a few Galena shops and bought bags of goodies at the Galena Canning Company.

(Side story: We almost lost Ashli when she started sampling the “Ghost Pepper Sauce” on display despite her ability to read the signs: “Warning: Extremely Hot. Use Caution.” One sign even said “This is not a joke. Keep Children Away.” There was a flashing red light above it. She tasted it anyway. When I turned around she was purple. And gasping for air. We almost lost her, but she ate some jelly and slowly the purple started to fade. But it was close there for a while.)

Manicures were up next.

The mama, gettin her nails did.

Me. Please note I'm happy because its Wedding Week. Not because a stranger is playing with my cuticles.

Then we headed to dinner. Dinner with my entire family is never quiet or boring. I like it that way. We ate at Durty Gurts. (This would the first of three times Zac and I would eat there over the weekend. It was that good.)

Massive burgers were tackled.

We wouldn't let him leave until we finished. I'm kidding of course, his tux was already too tight!

Pictures were taken.

Too funny.

Fun was had by all.

And finally. About 20 hours after it began, our Thursday work was finished. And for as much work as we crammed into that day it was actually quite low-key which is exactly what I was hoping for! It was starting to feel like a vacation!

So we hit the hay to get ready for Friday morning, which meant one thing: flowers.

You can be relieved to know that we’ve received all of our professional wedding photos now, so from here on out the blogs will be that much more fun to look at!

Previous Installments of Tales of Tying the Knot:
Tales of Tying the Knot: It Began on a Tuesday


One Response to “Tales of Tying the Knot: This looks like a circus”


  1. Tales of Tying the Knot: The Rehearsal « - March 9, 2010

    […] of Tying the Knot: It Began on a Tuesday Tales of Tying the Knot: This looks like a circus Tales of Tying the Knot: The […]

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