My daughter, Molly Erin (Siobhan) Dougherty Bucy, returned from her three-week honeymoon cruise of the Bahamas last week. This week, she returned to her kindergarten classroom to prepare for the students’ return Aug. 20.
Of course, to be called Mrs. Bucy and to have that on her records with the Taylor, Texas, school district, she had to make two trips to the Social Security Administration office in Austin to change her name officially. (We wouldn’t want any Mrs. John Bucy imposters floating around the elementary school teaching the children under a false name.)
Though the new card will take two weeks to arrive, they agreed to give her a letter stating that she applied for the change, but they made her come back to the office in downtown Austin the following day because a woman who has been gone for four weeks just before school starts for the year does not have enough to do on her last two free days. The strange thing, to me, about her trip to the SSA office is that she had to list the Social Security numbers for me and her mother. My daughter is 28.5 years old, so still being linked to her parents seems a bit odd.
Their trip was a whirlwind tour of the islands, with stops in four or five places, and ended with a few days in Orlando to hit Disney World and Universal Studios. They stayed in touch with loved ones and friends by posting pictures almost every day with an iPhone app to the WedPics website. This is the same site that allowed all of us at the three days of rehearsal, wedding and reception activities to post photos that we took as we experienced the festivities.
Molly and my new son-in-law, John Bucy III of Austin, Texas, were married in a beautiful ceremony at Mansion By the Sea, which is located on a small island along the Port Aransas Causeway three miles from the ferry landing between Redfish Bay and South Bay at Aransas Pass, Texas, on July 13. It’s a three-story venue that overlooks the bay there, complete with a wide deck across the back and a small wedding pier for ceremonies out over the water off the venue’s small beach where the 170 guests were seated. Just to the right in the water off a larger pier beside the deck rests a 60-foot sailing vessel that was the site for numerous photos taken of the bride and groom after the ceremony.
It was a wonderful mix of the four families being merged by this union — Molly’s mom and I divorced in 2004 and John’s folks split up when he was 3. All four parents since have remarried.
Guests of the wedding ranged in age from toddlers to John’s grandfather and grandmother, who are 88 and 85, respectively. Some of the toddlers were flower girls (who blew bubbles from bubble guns) and ring bearers (who were dressed as Secret Service agents complete with ear pieces and sunglasses — they delivered the lock box with the rings in it to the best man).
It was fun.
I expected to cry all the way through the ceremony, but I didn’t. I wondered why, but I finally realized that it was because Molly seemed so happy. It was hard to be sad when she was beaming the whole time — well, she was perturbed when the ceremony didn’t progress fast enough as she waited for her mother and me to walk her down the aisle, but other than that … Plus, she’s been on her own for seven years now, so she wasn’t exactly leaving anyone’s nest to fly out on her own.
The ceremony itself was gorgeous. Dolphins cavorted 20 yards off shore and the bond was sealed with a beautiful mixing of colored sands by the bride and groom. (Sightseers on pleasure boats made occasional drive-bys, but most simply waved.) My youngest daughter, Megan, did a splendid job as her sister’s maid of honor, including a moving toast at the reception that she had written and displayed on her iPhone for reference, instead of on traditional three- by five-inch note cards. During our memorable father-bride dance a bit later, Molly told me that the toast was what Megan had worried about since she was asked to be the first attendant 15 months before.
Minor glitches occurred, as they do at most weddings. One groomsman fainted during the ceremony — likely from the effects of a heat index in the high 90s as the wedding march sounded. But the two ministers kept going as other groomsmen tended to the fallen young man. He seemed fine later. … The fire-powered balloons that were provided at the reception for parents of the couple to send skyward for good luck were only partially successful. Fortunately, the first balloon, which spiraled out of control quickly and headed toward some young guests, missed its target and plunged harmlessly into the bay.
Both the rehearsal dinner on Friday night and the wedding reception on Saturday evening continued with plenty of music and dancing and stretched well into the early morning, with most of the late action carried by the younger celebrants.
Other drama was brought on by canceled Southwest Airlines flights on Friday that left my parents stranded in Houston’s Hobby Airport for more than eight and a half hours. My dad, 77, pushed my 76-year-old mother around in a wheelchair for most of that time between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., when another plane and crew finally arrived to the carry them the 187 miles to Corpus Christi. My brother, Pat, who was a victim of the first canceled flight at 10:30 a.m.from Dallas Love Field to Hobby, still arrived in Corpus Christi well before our parents did and waited the last four hours there. All three missed the rehearsal, but Mom and Dad arrived just in time for the dinner and country-western dancing that followed.
Our only trouble was a tiny motel room on Thursday night and my wallet being stolen the night of the wedding. We think kids were the culprits because the only unauthorized debit-card charges my bank found were $7.95 for something ordered online from Playboy and a 99-cent charge from iTunes. Surely adults would have pilfered more expensive goods. Though I expected much trouble boarding Sunday’s return flight from Corpus without picture ID, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Transportation Security Administration officials were quite helpful in securing permission for me to board.
We had a wonderful time and are proud to welcome John into our family. (However, we are wondering about the beard we’ve seen him sporting in the honeymoon photos posted online.)