Since I just went through my first close-family-member wedding and flew a total of 1200 miles in the space of one weekend, I'm going to sum this up and hope it's sufficient for the 6 of you nice enough to read this. *breath* Also, just for clarity, this is Mom's family (she has 5 siblings whose children constitute 23 cousins for me).
Thursday: get up, go to work, take a test that I'd lost sleep over the night before (it wasn't that bad). Pack a suitcase, drive back to parents' house, go to bed earlyish, can't sleep again.
Friday:3:45 AM-get awoken by mom, gather things and get dressed,have dad drive us to the airport (he's grouchy, I'm excited, mom's indifferent). Get to the airport, take off for Pensacola FL at 5:45, arrive at 10ish (smooth flying). Grandpa and Aunt Amy (the bride) pick us up. Amy's glowing. Go to Grandpa's house and crash for 2 hours. Get up, get dressed, go downtown to St. Michael's (300 yr old church) for the rehearsal. Dinner served afterwards (it's seafood...really yummy). Cousins (ranging in ages 23 to 14...there's 15 of us involved) conspiring for an after party. We wind up at cousin Matt's beachfront suite in the Hilton on Pensacola beach (it's pretty legit). Pizza, booze (for the of-age cousins, naturally), late-night beachwalking and funny movie. Get locked out of Grandpa's house where I'm supposed to sleep, wind up at another cousins' hotel room and crash for the night.
Saturday: Day of the wedding, up at 7AM and over to Grandpa's first thing. At the hair dresser's by 8. Me and the 6 other bridesmaids primp for hours, my short hair winds up looking like a weird boufant, but kinda retro so I like it. Go to the church with 2 cousins (also bridesmaids), begin steaming Amy's gown. Spill water on the train, panic, take a shot of whiskey from an anonymous person's flask, calm down, salvage it. Rest of the party arrives, we get dressed in a tiny room and a flurry of female fluster, most of which centers around making Amy the perfect bride. Ceremony goes beautifully. Pictures take forever. Business where the reception takes place is "Big Sexy Food". It's a blast - everyone super happy, 78-yr-old Grandpa dancing better than most of us. Open bar (which I took advantage of), Spend most of the evening dancing like an idiot with my whole extended family and loving it. No after-party, we're all too tired, so go to our respective lodgings and crash.
Sunday (Today, as I write this): Get up at 8AM, eat breakfast at Grandpa's with aunt, cousins, Grandpa, Mom. Dress again, go with the family (in straggling, dis-organized bunches) BACK to St. Michael's for church/cousin Elizabeth's confirmation ceremony. Chat/mingle at that reception for a bit, then head back to Grandpa's, pack, scarf down lasagna w/mom, and head to the airport for a 3:45 flight. Cry the whole way there because my mom's crying and the whole weekend and the whole family has just been so overwhelming and ohmygoshit'sjusttoomuch........say goodbye to Aunt Linda and Grandpa and take off. Flight's roughish, can't sleep. Land in Dallas. There's a plane surrounded by fire trucks on the runway. We take off anyway......
....Land in OKC without any hitches. Drive 30 min back to parents' house. Dad bought a giant new TV while Mom and I were gone. Drive an hour BACK to norman. Get back to my house, living room's full of people (it's my roommate's weekly movie night). Some prick is sprawled on the floor in front of the door and won't move even though I'm dragging luggage. Drag my 15lb suitcase right over his lazy ass. Lock myself in my room and brood. Go to bed because I'm a zombie and don't know HOW I'm going to make it through the week ahead.....