Or, why I couldn't attend the FOCS program committee meeting last weekend.
Instead, I took a road trip to Mendocino, where my cousin Angela and her beau Chris got married. Most of Angela's and my relatives live in New Zealand, but several of them came to California for the occasion. The first official event of the wedding (or at least the first one I had any involvement in) was the rehearsal dinner at my parents' house. Traditionally this is for family and out-of-town guests only, but since pretty much everyone was from out of town that made for a large guest list. There was much admiring of the quilt my aunt Pat made and brought from NZ, I and others took (too many) photos and admired each others' cameras, and there was much eating and drinking and whatever else one does at rehearsal dinners. Timothy and his cousins Aaron and Logan and the groom's kid brother Oliver and one or two other boys whose names I didn't catch stayed out of our way playing their gameboys in another room, and talking about their games, as seems to be the fashion among preteen boys.
The next morning I took an urgent call from Chris: could I come over to where the groomsmen were getting ready and shoot a few candids of them? I'm not the official photographer (who seemed quite competent) but she was busy doing the same thing with the women, so I agreed. Back at my parents' house, the bridesmaids took rather longer than the men to get dressed, and then we had to stop for photos of them on the bridal carriage, a horse-drawn carriage that my uncle Derek, Angela's father, drives for tourists on Fisherman's wharf.
The wedding site was a spectacular picnic area on a point overlooking the ocean in Russian Gulch state park. Everyone waved and cheered when we caught sight of the carriage crossing the Russian Gulch bridge, and laughed a little at the long line of traffic held up behind it. The service was simple and brief, involving a reading from John Donne and a short sermon by the minister, a Zen buddhist in the Japanese tradition, together with the usual exchanges of vows and rings. After the service the photographer did some group shots, I cheated off a few of her setups while waiting my turn to stand and pose, and the boys fed the horse again. We then took some rented vans a few miles up the coast to Caspar, where the reception was held, ate a good wedding dinner catered by the groom's father (whose day job is catering for Hollywood) and partied into the night. Or as much into the night as our kids could take; we left around ten, as we had to get going back to Southern California starting the next morning so that we could attend Sara's middle school promotion, but I heard that the dancing continued until much later.
...And it's taken until now to sort through all the photos. In the interest of completeness, I haven't been as ruthless as usual about deleting the questionable or redundant shots, but that led to a lot more time in Photoshop processing them all. The galleries are as linked above, or if you want a single link that leads to all of them, here it is.