Act 2 of Alan & Sara, a Coast-to-Coast-Coast Romance in 3 Acts ended with our White Christmas in Galveston. Before moving on with our story, let’s catch up with some events that happened before our Galveston holiday.
After talking it over, Sara & I set our wedding date for January 7th up in Connecticut.
That meant we had very little time to make any wedding plans — which was just fine by us. Quick and simple suited us perfectly, as long as our families could attend, and we’d checked on that before setting the date. Acting as the mother of the bride, Ginny gladly took on most of the local details, like invitations and arrangements for the ceremony and reception, with Sara helping as she could from afar.
Meanwhile, we went out on our first date.
Yes, Sara & I met, fell in love, got engaged, and moved her from California to Austin before I asked her out on a date. I figured waiting until we were engaged reduced the chances of rejection. I was right — she said yes.
We went for a truly Austin evening of entertainment, catching fresh music from young Will T. Massey, my cousin, at the Cactus Cafe, an iconic venue known for great acoustic music.
Will had just released Slow Study to great acclaim and industry interest, and he was hot as a pistol. Sara loved the whole experience: the show, the music, and meeting Will afterwards. When I introduced Sara as my fiancee, he gave her a big ol’ Texas hug and a warm, “Welcome to the family.”
Yeah, I’d say that first date worked out well.
But we didn’t have much time for dating — we had a wedding to get ready for — a wedding only weeks away. In a way, that made it easier on us, as it precluded any elaborate planning. I was still busy with work and not really too focused on wedding preparations. Truthfully, ever since Thanksgiving, I’d pretty much just kept moving forward one step at a time, so a wedding several weeks away certainly had some of my attention — but not much, really.
However, the shortened time frame meant Sara barely had time to shop for a wedding gown (I wonder — is that why she’s so obsessed with Say Yes to the Dress these days?). Her mother advised her to wear a suit, supposedly in keeping with her not-young-bride status. Sara, thank goodness knew better than that, but Ginny had a way of trying to overwhelm her objections.
Re-enter Cathy and Candy, my two co-workers who had insisted on meeting Sara previously (granting her clemency once they determined she was as wonderful as I claimed). Now they swooped in like surrogate sisters to whisk Sara away to go wedding gown shopping.
With neither much time nor much money, they managed to find a delightful shop to search for an off-the-shelf dress within a reasonable budget — limitations not easy to work with in finding a wedding gown.
Truthfully, I only know this part of the story second-hand. Sara has described how, several times, she was ready to settle for an okay dress, figuring that she had no time to be picky. But her “sisters” just shook their heads on all of those half-choices and said no emphatically again and again. Finally at one point, Candy explained, “You guys’ story is like a fairy-tale — your wedding dress needs to be out of a fairy-tale, too.”
Finally, after a patient search punctuated by disappointments, they found the Dress — more about that later. All I was told about it after Sara came home beaming was that it was wonderful — I had that on the best authority, which is to say, Cathy & Candy — and I was not allowed to see it until our wedding day.
Which was rapidly and relentlessly approaching…
Next: Blood run across Austin