Sunday, August 10, 2008

A wedding in technicolor

Last weekend, H, his family and I attended his cousin's wedding in Carmel, Indiana. I drove the cadizmobile, with H and his sisters along for entertainment. Little did we know that the destination was Pleasantville.

When we pulled into the subdivision/village/whatsit of West Clay and parked the car, it really seemed as though we had arrived in some back-lot movie set. Everything was idyllic in the way it only looks on Wisteria Lane. There was a lush park of green grass in the center with a gazebo, and all around were perfect little houses with perfect white picket fences; everything so gleamingly new (or so it seemed). I kept looking around for the Truman Show-cameras. Even the stores looked like modern-day market streets with perfect signage that all went together like an old-time movie.

The wedding was held at the gazebo; complete with kilted bag-pipe artist. (There was a family playing in the grass, way to the left of this shot, and I swear they were auditioning for a Juicy Juice commercial. Or dog food. I couldn't decide.)

Seriously, though, it was a lovely wedding. The bridal party walked up a long carpet of fluffy grass and the ceremony was sweet (and pretty short; thank goodness, because I could feel my skin cooking in the 90+ degree heat. Times like those I really wish wearing hats was still in fashion).

I should have taken more shots of Pleasantville/Truman Show.

The white building is where the festivities took place. If you look closely at the set of pastel storefronts on the left, you'll see what I mean about it looking like a movie lot—all the shops and restaurants were untarnished and uniform, give or take a paint shade.

But I have to say, the party planners had great taste. I really liked the colors—various greens and white—and while I felt bad for the bridal party having to be out in the heat, (they were wearing all black with different dress cuts), I felt worse for us; at least those guys were in the shade of the gazebo.

After the ceremony, there was a lovely cocktail hour with drinks/appetizers in the courtyard area (where all the people are gathered in the above photo). It was shady in certain areas and the wind was misting us all with the spray of the fountain.

Once inside, we found a lovely green/white/chocolate cake in the center of our table. It was a novel idea to me that dessert would be there to taunt us for the entire time we tried hard not to look at it and guess what kind of cake we had (each table had a different flavor).

Ours was Mint/chocolate. Yum!

The rest of the wedding was great. Dancing, chatting, meeting; you know, all that good stuff. They had a chocolate-covered-pretzel/nut/candy bar that you were supposed to fill bags with whatever you wanted as a takeaway, but you had to move fast, and I was too slow to snag any of the pretzels.

For the sendoff, they had everyone grab two industrial-strength sparklers from a bucket and a matchbook with the couple's names on it and line up along one of the staircases. Surprisingly, everyone pretty much cooperated, and the bride and groom ran for cover through a tunnel of sparkly sparklerness to their car and sped away.

That's them: the groom's on the left. They moved pretty fast. Personally, I'd be worried somebody's AquaNet-ified hair would burst into flames, but everyone managed to escape un-singed.

Of course, the party wasn't really over once the guests of honor flew the coop. This groomsman looked hell-bent on kicking it hard core:

Yep, he's in the fountain. If the rest of the bridal party had joined them with umbrellas, it'd been a pretty sweet homage to Friends.

Sadly, things did start to wind down shortly after that. But one of H's sisters, his dad and myself didn't want to head back so soon, so we closed out the bar on Pleasantville row with some of their extended family. And even after that we didn't feel like going to sleep, so H's sister and I dipped our feet in the hotel pool and talked a lot of smack about H (just kidding). I had a good time.

On the way back to Chicago, I was telling H about the proselytizing billboards I used to see while driving through Indiana back in the day on Interstate 80, and how there weren't that many on I-65. But then we came up on the doozy we had passed on the way in:

Funny, it says "Jesus is Real" when you're going toward Chicago, and if you turn around and look behind you, it says "Hell is Real" on the way into Indiana. Coincidence?


TWINTALES features: said...

I had forgotten all about those billboards! I grew up in Normal, Illinois but was born in Lafayette, Indiana. We used to make lots of trips back and forth and see those billboards all the time.

Those pictures bring back memories!!

Most of the billboards around here are for strip joints. Tougher to explain to the kids ...

I enjoy your blog. I lived in Chicago for 2 years before moving to California. I have friends in Wrigleyville - love to visit. Such a great town.

Anonymous said...

Maybe those billboards should be facing the opposite directions?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or is Amazing Grace on the bagpipes the most over-exposed hymn ever?

Anonymous said...

The state of Indiana should be canceled.

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of Hell is real, it should say you are now entering hell.

SupaCoo said...

I felt so bad at our wedding because a few of the quests got sunburned. We should have passed out sunscreen as wedding favors.

When my sister went to Purdue for her masters, I remember driving out to see her and be appropriately frightened by those billboards as well.

omar said...

I'm intrigued by this cake idea. What if you didn't like your table's cake? Was there any cake trading going on?

I remember seeing some billboards like that when visiting my buddy who went to Indiana University. But they were greatly outnumbered by the "Tom Raper RV" billboards that were posted every 15 feet. Good ol' Tom Raper.

Noelle said...

That does look like a movie set. I'm waiting for the camera crew to pop around the corner.

willowtree said...

That did look like Pleasantville! A few years back one of my friends from college got married in Maine where she was from, I swear it looked just like that. They got married in a gazebo also, and the reception was held in the historic house beside it- we toally missed most of the ceremony, but everything was just so beautiful. Some real trendy ideas they had! I'm glad that it was a good time for you. Those are the best!

cadiz12 said...

thanks, Twintales! i love it too.

Whoa, anonymouses! I can't decide how many people that really is commenting. But I think I have a good idea...

I wouldn't feel bad, Supacoo. I probably should have looked outside and thought to put some sunscreen on. The wedding people had ten bajillion other things to worry about that day, as you probably did when you got married.

I was really curious as to what other tables had for cakes, too! There were about 15 small pieces and only about 10 seats per table, so I'm sure they were encouraging the sharing, but I didn't have the guts to go swipe a piece of the strawberry cheesecake at table number 8.

Yeah, I was completely serious about the bit about the Juicy Juice/dogfood commercial, Noelle. Or it could have been about term life insurance, too.

They did have some ideas I'd never heard about before, Willowtree. I loved the sparkler thing, but that could never go down at an indian wedding without a casualty—too many flammable, gauzy fabrics.

rye said...

Haha, that sign is awesome. And what a great idea to have different cakes on each table. I like when people play around with that stuff.

Lia said...

I think it's a great idea to use dessert as centerpieces. It builds anticipation, encourages people to stick around, and saves money on flowers. Win-win. Of course in Pleasantville they know how to do things right. Wow. What a place to live.

And I love the sign. Irony is so . . . clever.

angelciela07 said...

I went to a wedding with different cakes at each table. Was very cool, and our cake was an awesome flavor, but we had to cut it ourselves...we were scared! :O

p.s. happy early BD!

naechstehaltestelle said...

What a lovely wedding! I'm so glad it didn't rain and someone didn't keel over from heat stroke. It can get hot in Indiana this time of year...whew! You sound like quite the partier. Can I hire you for my wedding just to keep everyone partying? I tend to start fading at around 9 pm...

Andrea said...

Beautiful! I can throw a rock and hit that place from my house, although I'm technically in the town over :)