The wedding books and blogs don't tell you that life doesn't stop when you decide to get married. I bought into the myth that a Blissful Bubble of Engagement would surround me after I started sporting that flashy ring, magically melting all obstacles and diversions that threatened to impede, in any way, my Big Day.
However, Real Life has carried on with its normal intensity: babies have been born, people have died, new relationships have formed, old ones have been strained, or strengthened, or both. More than one set of couple friends has broken up, resulting in both parties wanting to avoid situations focused around Love and Romance. Minus four, at least, from the guest list. The father of one wedding participant passed away not long ago. The wife of another recently had a baby, precluding their travel to participate in the wedding. My only remaining grandparent-age relative had a hip replacement, and another revered colleague had back surgery. Two more dear ones whom we will miss at the wedding.
Much more importantly, friends and family are coming from near and far - from all over the east coast and midwest, and even the UK and Australia (where my dad is coaching crew right now! Hi Pop!) - to celebrate with us. Our most recently married friends, Doc Water and Doc Bee, are concluding their honeymoon in Italy to return for the wedding. Family begins arriving Wednesday and Thursday, Friday night is our Welcome Dinner at a nearby brewery, Saturday is the Big Day.