Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Goin' to the Chapel...

The bride and groom, Jennifer and Cary

As I mentioned yesterday, S was in a wedding last weekend. Friday night, he went straight from work to the church for the rehearsal, then picked me up and we went to the rehearsal dinner. Incidentally, the photo above was an engagement photo they handed out as favors at the reception with their new address attached to the back. I also took photos of them, but I thought it was a nice way to start the post.

Magnolia Marquee

The dinner was at the Magnolia Hotel downtown. This was where all the out of town guests were staying - and, there were lots of out of town guests. The groom - Cary - grew up in a suburb of Dallas, but the bride, Jennifer, lived all over the place when she was growing up, since her dad was in the Air Force. Then, after college, Cary lived all over the place. And, now they live in Seattle. So, we were in the minority having just driven from our house in town.

Another Magnolia sign.

The Magnolia Hotel is one of those places in downtown Dallas that I had heard a lot about but never stepped foot inside. It is housed in a historic building, and a historic Dallas icon sits atop its roof.

And this Pegasus was in the lobby.

Eagles bus No. 5

The band The Eagles played in town this past weekend. They happened to also be staying at the Magnolia Hotel. This bus, along with four others on the street, were waiting to transport them wherever they wanted to go.

Santa and his helpers visiting with a child.

Apparently, there was some sort of other event going on in the area, and the Magnolia's part in all of it was to have milk and cookies and Santa in the lobby. This seemed a little strange on November 14, but I am sure Santa was probably free on that night.

Close-up of some of Santa's decorations.

The milk and cookies.

Looking down at Santa's set-up from the third floor lobby.

Santa didn't have many visitors at first, but right as the dinner was about to begin upstairs, people flooded in from somewhere. My guess is the word got out about the cookies.

Santa with a crowd.

After checking out the lobby, we were given the instructions to head to the 3rd floor. The elevator lobby of this hotel had been carefully restored. It was beautiful. And, S informed me, he managed the elevator restoration himself a number of years ago in another life when he worked for an elevator company.

S in the elevator bay.

That panel behind S is one of those that lists every floor and lights up where each car is on which floor so you can track their progress in getting to you. Also, in this photo, the gold emblems on the elevator doors is that of the Magnolia Pegasus.

Restored ceiling of the elevator lobby.
Isn't it exquisite? The photo doesn't even do it justice.

A close up of one of the chandeliers and some of the detail molding.

Eventually we boarded the elevator and headed up two levels. When we reached the lobby of the third floor, there was a nice, modern looking waiting area.

Cool table and vases.

What should we name this table - the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Homage to the Mafia? Rome revisited? Kneeling horse busts? Whatever the name, it was really nicely lit and filled up the space effectively. Notice, however, the vase on the left. Notice it isn't as clear as the other two vases - it shows remnants of being filled with flower water...why a hotel as nice as this one would leave a dirty vase out for display was certainly an oversight.

The mod mirrors and wallpaper behind the seating area.

S, taking a break from groomsman duties, on the mod couch in the mod 3rd floor lobby.

After everyone had assembled, we were led into a banquet room for dinner. It was open seating, and we ended up at a table with two sets of friends of Cary's from undergraduate, two friends of Jennifer's, and one of the bridesmaids and her husband. We took the lull in activity as people were being seated as an opportunity to try to take some self portraits.

I found this one to be our best effort.
It's currently my Facebook profile photo.

Yes, these photos are grainy. I was using the Powershot at an ISO of at least 800, sometimes 1600, to - you guessed it - avoid using my flash.

Here, the bride (standing, motioning) and groom
(looking the direction of her motion) gave us the lowdown
on how the evening was going to proceed.

The food was in that direction. They began sending tables to the food buffet at the opposite end of the room from where we were sitting. So, to entertain us while we waited, Cary came around to say hello.

Cary and some of our table guests.

Actually, that girl on the left took full credit for being the one that introduced the couple. She was friends with Jennifer, and knew Cary through graduate school. (Although S didn't know her, so maybe I missed some of the details. I bet you can't believe that - that I didn't get the whole story. Ha!) Anyway, she introduced them at some event where they were both in attendance. And that was 18 months ago. And the rest is sweet matrimonial history.

Cary and S, while Cary was still entertaining us.
Before the food.

The food line! Italian buffet - the bride is Italian-American.

My plate - Chicken Parmesan, salad, lasagna, roll.

Dessert - raspberry cheesecake, decaf coffee.

After dinner, people stood up and "roasted" the couple. Most of the stories were tame, and sweet words were said about how nice they both were. Let's just be clear, though, it wasn't lost on the crowd that the groom is frugal. One of his friends from 5th grade reported he pulled a coupon from his wallet when then went someplace at the age of 12. Others talked of his scheme to sell back textbooks at local junior colleges. Others still talked of his real dream of owning a shrink wrap machine to re-wrap items he wanted to return. The man is enterprising, no?

That's Cary's dad at the far end reporting how happy he is to be Cary's dad.

After dinner, while most of the crowd headed upstairs to their rooms, we headed to the valet and on home to rest up for the big day. While standing outside, I snapped a few shots of this blue water feature at the front of the hotel entrance. It's blue. And water.

Magnolia water feature.

Tomorrow - the wedding.

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