August 21, 2004: Michelle and Scott are officially stuck with each other. This may have made me the happiest person present, as I had all the joy of seeing two of my very superlatively best friends getting permanent with each other without any of the stress of being one of the two people most involved.

The pictures I have right now are very much a bridesmaid's-eye view. I will supplement with more pictures as soon as I get them. That is a hint. If you have them, I want them. Especially if they feature people I know, including but not limited to me. Send me digital pictures. Please.

We started out the morning getting up-do's at the salon in Hastings and having them place flowers in our hair. Michelle already looks radiant. Maybe it's the early sunlight that's glowing. Let's pretend it's her.

Michelle's sister Ashley did her make-up (in the church basement) while her sister-in-law Becky and high school friend Nissa (some of my fellow bridesmaids) signed the guest book. We got a separate section.

Nissa and Becky, still signing.

Cathy (Michelle's grad school friend and another bridesmaid) does her make-up. The church where Michelle and Scott got married had a lot of history for Michelle's family and for Michelle personally. The room where we dressed was the site of Michelle's grade school plays (her grade school was next door). One of the tradeoffs for this was that the facilities were designed for a time when people had simpler weddings, so we dressed ourselves and Michelle behind a curtain and did makeup in a normal church bathroom. Definitely worth it for some of the professional shots in special spots (I really hope the "Michelle and attendants on merry-go-round" picture comes out). Because we all know how attached I am to having special make-up lighting anyway, right?

Michelle and her mom, Patti, in the church basement getting ready.

I think all the females in the bridal party had a hand in dressing Michelle. Pictures timed strategically, of course.

Notice Nissa's ability to be genuinely helpful while still managing the long shawl gracefully. I don't know how she did it, but she made it look more natural than any of the rest of us. If I didn't know what her lab dress code required, I'd swear Nissa had to manage a formal shawl and long gloves daily. (Well, the gloves, maybe, but from what I understand they are latex, not satiny black stuff.)

Patti and Michelle getting her ready.

This one was less strategically timed than strategically cropped.

Cathy was taking pictures, too.

This was where we figured out why people who wore crinolines almost always had body servants.

At this point we were almost ready, sort of. More wedding!