Because this night always comes and goes so quickly, and it costs a fortune, the pictures we take before we leave are VERY important to me. I knew that two hours alone would be spent in the car because we were going to Hilton Head. Usually we get cocktail hour too, and I have a glass of wine and we mingle with the people we know there. Another chunk would be spent at a table during the ceremony and dinner. And that's it. We go home right after that because we're paying a sitter $10 an hour.
So before we left we had Delaney take a series of pictures of us out front with the nice soft light of the setting sun. It's not often we get dressed up like this, Tim in his mess dress blues and me in my Badgley Mischka from Rent the Runway. I had also had my hair and makeup professionally done. After that we got in the car to leave and I looked in the viewfinder and saw that I had failed to suck in my belly adequately and these pictures would not do. This dress accentuates every curve, even (especially) the ones you wish you didn't have. It was already a little after 5, cocktail hour started at 6, and Tim had already taken off his stiff jacket for comfort while driving. But he saw the look on my face and knew it was no use. He went to get Kaycee to take a couple more pictures. This time I did my best to keep my shoulders up and back AND my belly in, while still looking relaxed and happy. Good enough. But now it was about 10 after 5 and we were just now getting on the road.
When we left the GPS said we were 50 minutes away, and I thought, perfect. We'll be there right after cocktail hour starts. Just like last year, Tim managed to hit just about every red light from here to Hilton Head. Then traffic came to a standstill because of a wreck that had happened earlier, and what was supposed to be the last 5 minutes of the trip took about 25 minutes instead. I kept saying, "All I want is to have one glass of wine before the ceremony starts; is that too much to ask?" Finally we turned down a road that led to a few different resorts. But everything was pitch black, no streetlights anywhere, and very confusing. The GPS was of no help to us anymore. At last we found the gate to the Westin, only to be told by the man standing there that we would need to turn around and go find another parking lot and wait for a shuttle because they were full. More driving around in the pitch dark, more confusion and lots of annoyance. I said, "That's it, we are not going to any more balls in Hilton Head!"
In the end, after not finding the parking lot we were told to go to, we drove back to the Westin and the man told Tim he could park in the underground parking lot. (Why didn't he just tell us that in the first place?) He dropped me off at the door and parked the car by himself. I got my glass of chardonnay with 15 minutes to spare.
We had a nice time and really enjoyed talking to the couple we sat with at dinner, Before we knew it we were looking at our phones and going, "What, it's almost 9?" Gotta go! If we leave now we can make it by 10.
It's a lot of fuss to go to for just a short few hours, but at least we took some decent pictures!