Arriving at the proper location (finally) a little before 4 p.m., I was ready to participate in whatever manner necessary for my brother’s wedding. Mostly this consisted of standing around and getting my picture taken along with most everybody else in various combinations.
I did have one duty to perform during the ceremony, a reading. I was given a hard copy of the reading to use, and went over it a few times in preparation. I had been emailed a copy a few days previously, and had some time to read it over, but did not bring it with me, as I had expected Patrick to have a copy of the reading.
Patrick and his bride were staying separated, taking a more traditional approach with the groom not seeing the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. This necessitated a change in venue for the male contingent of the wedding party. As a result, Patrick’s family that had arrived during the photo shoot moved. This included myself, dad, Aunt Maura, Uncle Bill, my mother, Aunt Marie (whom I had not seen in…. years) and various other hangers on.
The ceremony itself was nice, and the setting was beautiful. The weather held out, and while it was warm, about 80 degrees, the forecasted rain showers didn’t arrive. Held outdoors one can never be sure what the weather will do, especially in October, no matter what part of the country you live in, when planning a wedding months in advance.
After the ceremony more pictures were being taken, this time of the bride and groom together. In the background we noticed what initially appeared to be a log, but it moved. It was an alligator. The plantation has several alligators on the premises, and regularly tests them for aggression. If they are too aggressive, they are captured and released in an unpopulated area. The ones that remain are still wild, but much more docile than one might expect. They aren’t large, the largest get up to about 6 feet in length, but still, I don’t live in an area with free range alligators where I could walk up and take a picture of it.
While the additional photographs were being taken, most of the guests went to where the reception was to be held for drinks and hord’ourves. This was followed by a dinner, then a couple of hours with a live band and dancing. I had just enough juice left in my phone for one more picture. I made sure to get one of Stanley with the bride and groom.
I was expecting to get a taxi back to the airport after the ceremony. I didn’t want to get a hotel room, because my flight was so early, I didn’t want to possibly oversleep and miss it. I had planned on using the same taxi driver to the airport as had driven me to the plantation and was preparing to borrow a phone to call him when Uncle Bill and Aunt Maura offered to take me to the airport on the way to their hotel.
And so the last leg of my South Carolina adventure could begin.