I have only a handful of photos at the moment but no bridal/DIL permission to post them. The happy couple is gone off on their honeymoon trip and won’t be back until next week to allow or not allow. What I can show you now has been posted by others on Facebook or taken from Sami’s video camera.
The wedding was perfect. In fact, all of the activities leading up to and following the wedding were perfect. Everyone was completely satisfied with the way things turned out.
The Rehearsal There were two Friday weddings and two rehearsals that had to be done so our rehearsal was done on Wednesday. Sorry to say that I missed most of it due to rush hour traffic. I went to pick up my sister and brother in law with plenty of time for a visit and early arrival at the church. The trip for the hotel to the church was only 17 miles but those knowledgeable with NJ’s roads and highways understand that distance is measured in time, not in miles. Gaze upon that map and tremble. It’s the dreaded Rt 3 at rush hour.
The Rehearsal Dinner Luckily, Francesco’s is in the same town as the church so it wasn’t too traumatic to get from one place to the other. This dinner was only 45 minutes shorter than the wedding reception. We had 5 ultra delicious courses where everything we were served was even more scrumptious than the previous thing. In the end, everybody had to burp, groan or fart so … big success.
The Wedding Prep Thursday was a day of disaster. Broken down cars, errands undone, uncooperative printers, misplaced florist orders, tasks abandoned. All of the cumulative wedding stress balled up into one day. Not me though – remember my wedding favors that I started so long ago? I finished them early Wednesday. Technically under the wire. This was good though because all of the bullshit got handled on this day and the day of the wedding itself was clear sailing.
Wedding Day! We rented a bus to pick up the out of town guests from two hotels in Jersey City and then take everyone to the church. When we did that route on Wednesday for the rehearsal, we hit rush hour traffic. This time, we all trundled off into FRIDAY rush hour traffic. But that’s what the bus was for. Instead of all those people in their individual cars being stuck and aggravated, we were all getting to know each other and having snacks. We did have a few folks coming in cars from the other direction and they were trapped and aggravated too, but they had no snacks.
The Wedding Ceremony The ceremony itself was beyond touching. It was very beautiful and filled with symbolism. To say that the church is ornate is to understate dramatically. It’s round with a double dome and stained glass windows set high so that natural light is always pouring down through the vivid stained glass.
And that’s the part that faces away from the altar! I’m trying to figure out the video editor I downloaded so that you can get the full eyeful. We had two people with video cameras who both stayed after the ceremony to capture the 360 tour of the place. Most of the guests, I believe, were in sensory overload by the time the whole thing was over.
The Reception The bus was 30 minutes behind schedule arriving at the wedding venue but they were nice enough to extend the evening by an hour past the agrred upon end time. As we stepped off the bus, we were met by servers bearing flutes of Kir Royale and escorted to the cocktail hour which was set up on the terrace.
The view was so beautiful and as the sun set behind us, it was reflected back by the skyscraper windows across the river. All the Californians were disoriented by the direction of the sun set over the water.
A smooth jazz combo was playing near the giant outdoor chess pieces and enormous outdoor fire pits were lit while the servers kept plying us with the hot hors d’oeuvres. Then it was time for the belly dancer! I wonder if she thought she’d be performing alone?
Sami adorned himself with a shawl and wiggled out onto the floor in sheer happiness. This still is from a video someone took and it will have to do until I can figure out how to insert some video here or get hold of an action photo.
The Day After The day started at 5am. We ferried our new inlaw to Newark Liberty Airport for an early flight back to California and then picked up my sister and her husband for a Day of New Jersey. They had already made several trips over to NYC but now we gave them our customary deluxe visitor’s package of Pork Roll Egg &Cheese for breakfast, Mt Mitchill Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands and Sandy Hook right out to the end of Ft. Hancock and the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. We ended the afternoon behind a couple of buckets of beer at Jakeabob’s and then another run up to the airport so they could wing back to Georgia.
Post Script: A Sad Note While the humans were off having a good time, there was one instance of collateral damage. We broke the dog.
We kenneled him overnight in the same place we used to take old Bob The Actual Corgi. It’s a lovely place that also has the contract for keeping the working dogs from Newark Airport. Except for Stedman, the other dogs were bombs sniffers, drug detectors and K9 attack dogs. As soon as we walked in, they started a racket like they just found 10 kilos of cocaine. Old Bob was an alpha male and far better equipped to handle that kind of neighbor. I’m sure he was all “Screw you – here’s a volley of high pitched hysterical barking right back at you.” Stedman’s reaction was to piss himself and go catatonic.
He was definitely PTSD when we brought him back on Saturday morning. It took a full day for him to show even a single sign of his old self. He was just sitting and staring. No joy to see visitors, no noise making, no interest in his critter. Even now, when we take him outside, he sits and licks the storm door until we let him back in the house.