On July 10th we went to my nephew Mitchell's wedding. Bill grumbled about getting dressed up and driving to Dallas, but it was well worth the effort. In fact, it was probably the most extravagant wedding I'll ever attend. It was held in a beautiful Catholic church in an auditorium filled with light. It began with a couple of amazing vocal solos by a man who sounded like he belonged in an opera. The way his voice blended with music of the string quartet was so beautiful that tears gathered in my eyes. Even Allyson appreciated it. "Is that opera music?" she asked in a stage whisper. "Yes," I whispered. "Be quiet!"
The reception was held in an art gallery, which was filled with pictures and mementos of Mitchell and Michelle and their families. For example, one room housed a display of black and white wedding pictures from generations of their ancestors, flanked on both sides by antique family wedding dresses on bust forms.
There were fancy appetizers served by wandering servers whom I stalked as unobtrusively as possible, accumulating an awkward stack of crumpled napkins and dirty toothpicks. There was a full bar with a very long line, and a tasty buffet. In addition to the fabulous cakes, there was an ice cream cart with three kinds of Italian gelato. Best of all, there was a smashed potato bar (Mitchell's contribution to the menu plan)! You filled a giant martini glass with potatoes and topped them with an assortment of delicious toppings like spinach sauce, gorgonzola cheese, and other more typical choices. It was so good I should have skipped the buffet and ate three potato servings.
The most popular activity was a photo booth. As various configurations of guests piled in and posed for four timed shots, all the raucous laughter was almost as entertaining as the pictures themselves. After each session, two strips printed out: one for the couple's keepsake book and one copy to take home. Here are a few of the pictures from our family:
|Bill and Me|
|Sister Amy, Niece Erin, Me, Sister Melody (Erin's Mom)|
We laughed so hard at Mom and Dad's pictures; even strangers laughed along with us.
It took a lot of coercion to make Mom put the pictures in the book--and almost as much to get her permission to post them on my blog. She said yes... I promise!
The pictures of my sister Amy and our aunt Judy were also hilarious. They accidentally stood up for the first two shots, so it was a picture of their... well, you see:
Their message in the book was: "We thought you needed at least a couple of boob shots!"
My favorite part was the dancing. For a long time I sat watching everyone else having fun, tapping my feet and then swaying with my upper body.
"You need to take your wife out on the dance floor," Aunt Judy suggested, but Bill just shook his head. He finally danced one slow song with me, but then he made a beeline for his chair. I stayed on the floor, dancing with my sisters and my nieces until my knees creaked and my toes protested angrily in my high heels. When Erin remarked that she never expected Aunt Sarah to dance, I smiled and blushed. My other niece, Mindy, dragged her dad out onto the floor with us. I was proud of my brother, so handsome and youthful in his tux:
|Diane and Rick, Parents of the Groom|
That's the way I'll remember the wedding, as a bunch of friends and family having fun.
Another July Wedding
Yesterday I drove to Nacogdoches, Texas, for another family wedding. This time it was my sister Melody's son, Greg, getting married. Greg and Jessica were married in an old hotel, rich with history. It was a small, intimate ceremony which Bill would have liked because it was very short. (He stayed home because our pool excavation had been moved to this weekend, but that's another story.)
I loved being so close that I could see Jessica's tremulous smile and Greg's shaking hands. I loved the quiet, relaxed reception afterward, where I could visit with family while eating a scandalous portion of the decadent cheese log--but not so much as my niece Hillary ate!
I was reminded of my own first wedding, when I was about the same age as Greg. I remembered the promise of grown-up life stretching before me, and then the shocking reality of scrubbing toilets and learning to cook, paying bills and balancing the checkbook. I remember the pride of decorating my own home and entertaining guests for the first time. (I made meatloaf. Just meatloaf. And there wasn't enough to go around.)
I pray life holds many adventures and joys for both of these young couples.