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Wedding for son, fiancee should be smooth sailing

The June 14 wedding plans are unfolding for my son Ian and his fiancee Kristen. They hired a wedding planner and a caterer, and as mother of the groom I shouldn't have all that much to do.

But I still have a mild case of the butterflies. Ian and Kristen will exchange vows in our front yard. The bride's family will be traveling from out of state and there will be future relatives I will meet for the first time. My husband and I entertain a lot, but I'm always the one in control, so it's a new experience for me to have such a remote role in my own house.

But at least the bride and groom both live on land and have both feet on the ground. That wasn't the case for Trish Biemiller of Lilburn when her daughter Erin got married. Erin and her fiance Matt were both literally "out to sea." And her role in the wedding planning was a whole different kind of remote.

Most of the time, Erin was afloat with the Coast Guard breaking up ice at the North Pole. Phone and Internet connections were unreliable and with the high intensity of Erin's job, she couldn't spend more than a minute engaged with either one. That's if she was on the boat. If she was on polar bear watch, which means holding a rifle ready to shoot any polar bear who might try to eat scientists conducting experiments on the ice, well, in that case, there was no communication at all.

As for Matt, he wasn't much help either. His assignment with the Coast Guard was rescuing crab fishermen, a job considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world.

When Erin got serious about her wedding plans, she surfed the Net for a suitable location. In her one minute, she found a place almost as remote as the North Pole. She e-mailed her mother to see if she could find The Carl House somewhere in the middle of nowhere between Dacula and Winder.

Trish drove until she found it and e-mailed details back to the North Pole. By this time Erin's duties became so intense that she only had enough time to answer "yes" or "no" to anything her mother asked. Trish was experiencing a whole new kind of remote control.

But at least she had a little local help. Erin's identical twin sister, Rachel, who has identical tastes, was nearby at the Medical College of Georgia. Trish felt confident trusting her with the details.

Erin came home for two days in July to finalize the plans and sailed right through to a perfect September wedding.

Here at the Larson residence, my only role is to step aside for the wedding planner. And, yes, unclutter my kitchen for the caterer, which will be like shoving 10 tons of ice out of the North Pole. Besides that, I should have no trouble staying afloat.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.