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ani, glitter

She Began Her Wedding Day by Attending the Grand Floral Parade

Because of superstition, some brides will refuse to let their grooms see them just before the wedding ceremony -- but I was forced to make an exception. Frank and I were getting married Saturday evening, but there was no way I'd let him miss his first experience with the tradition I loved as a long-time Portlander -- sitting curbside at the Grand Floral Parade! In fact, I wanted all my close friends -- some who had traveled all the way from New York City -- to experience the parade.

Very early on Saturday morning I dragged a bunch of reluctant and hung-over bridesmaids, friends, family members and the groom to claim a spot on the parade route.

It was a picture-perfect morning -- a model day to impress my out-of-state friends. Drum cadences and marching band tunes mingled with the cheerful voices of the crowd. Through the cool morning air the sun appeared and shone brightly, sharpening the vivid colors and textures of the floats. Colorful floats including a magnificent Pegasus and Chinese dragon competed for our attention. In the midst of it all someone snapped a photo that captured the heart of the event. We were sleepy, but spirited -- contact lenses had been abandoned for glasses and attendees wore a jumble of shorts, sweatshirts and sunglasses. Everyone was smiling, relaxed and carefree.

It was the perfect moment of casual, effortless fun before the formal, life-changing event to come!

My excursion earned me a sunburn -- my shiny pink nose featured prominently in my wedding pictures. But it was worth it to share the experience with the people I loved.

Alaina and Frank

The Grand Floral Parade was forever bonded to that special day. Now on most anniversaries my husband and I spend the Grand Floral Saturday downtown, relishing the sights and sounds -- while I enjoy the fact that Portland's big day is mine, too!

~Alaina Smith