Friday, August 14, 2015

Wedding Bells

They say there is a “wedding season”. There certainly was in our family this year. With eight grandchildren born in twelve years, there are bound to be some milestone events that are close in time. We had a festive spring with two beautiful, happy brides and two handsome, strong grooms.

My adorable niece, Lily, married wonderful, dimpled Jimmy in April. It was only a question of “when” with these two who have been so in love since high school. When I congratulated the groom’s father he thanked me and announced gruffly, “We’ve been waiting eleven years for this.” I think that was his way of saying he was happy. I’d be happy, too, if my son was marrying Lily. Smart, lively and funny, Lily has had a sparkle in her eye from the beginning. And she has rock solid values, family values, thanks to my sister, Laura, and my brother-in-law, Les.

Lily and Jimmy had a co-ed shower and they had to answer questions about how well they knew one another. They did not miss predicting a single answer. The one I loved most was the question about what Lily would want Jimmy (who happens to be a firefighter) to go back into the house to save after all the essentials had been rescued. He said Lily’s Uggs. When Lily was brought in and asked what Jimmy said he would save, she was confident in her answer. “My Uggs”, Lily replied.

The wedding in a campground was so perfectly them. It was rustic and inclusive and traditional without being fussy. My nephew, Jeff, was a groomsmen, and sang a beautiful song. I cried when Les made his father of the bride speech. You could just feel how thankful and proud he was.

Lily & Les

Lily looked so beautiful and you couldn’t even tell she was covered in Poison Oak. Honestly, I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t been told. Jeff got it too, and went to the ER the day after the wedding. It was a smashing success, but I think Laura was a little exhausted when it was all over. There is so much emotion in being the mother of the bride, as I was to find out myself three weeks later when Lucy got married.

The cousins on our side are a motley crew, and I mean that in a good way. Lucy is the oldest and Jeff, at 21, is the youngest. In business, in the military, in PR, they run the gamut. Multi-national, they cover the spectrum: Scandinavian, Italian, Chinese, English, Irish, Russian and Polish and more. They’re a diverse group of young adults. Related, yet so different.

Jimmy (left) joins the wild and crazy cousins. 
Showers and bachelorette weekends and weddings had Allie flying coast to coast almost every month all spring. We almost didn’t have her come back for Lily’s wedding, but we couldn’t stand the idea of her being the only cousin not in attendance. It wouldn’t have seemed right without her. Anyway, we made her fly all the way from New York to be our designated driver. That’s fair, right?

Lucy didn’t really want a wedding shower, but three of her friends and I insisted. She agreed only if it would be low-key and we’d just invite the local ladies so it wouldn’t put pressure on the out of towners. Agreed. It was amazing how much that celebration, that day, made it all real for Lucy and for me. I think that’s the purpose of the tradition.

Sisters from different misters. 
As a successful woman of 33, Lucy didn’t need to be showered with gifts to start off her new life with Greg. She already has a life with Greg and a fair number of pots and pans. It wasn’t about the gifts, although they were beautiful. It was something so much more intangible, yet real. Truly, she was showered with love and good wishes for the life ahead of her. And I got a kick-ass paint color from Sarah’s dining room, thank you very much.  

Lucy & Sarah - friends from birth. 
Planning a wedding is much like planning other events, except that it’s laden with emotion and meaning and can never be replicated. We have friends who had some things go wrong at their wedding and it’s still a source of frustration for them. “Once in a lifetime” event planning can be a little scary.

Ready for dinner. 
With Grandpa David
Like any smart groom, Greg was willing to let Lucy make most of the decisions and she did a beautiful job. She and her helper, Bethie, thought of everything. Lucy has incredible taste and the location was spectacular so the wedding was like something out of a magazine. All the months of thinking, organizing, planning and yes, stressing, really paid off.

My lovely daughter.
When you have a million friends and a large family it’s a challenge to have a small ceremony. I think the final number was around 85 guests and it was perfect. I still love looking at the photos and reliving the moment. The weather cooperated and every detail merged flawlessly into such a lovely time.

Lucy surrounded by my family. 
 Lucy’s upbringing was a bit unusual, which I addressed in my mother of the bride speech at the welcome dinner. Raising her was a group effort and I could not have done it without all kinds of help. Although our marriage didn’t stay together, the family is still strong. We all rally for an occasion, when it’s for one of the girls. I love that.

This occasion, this wedding, truly was a celebration of Lucy and Greg and their families and friends who love them. It feels really quiet in the family now with no big events on the horizon. Almost too quiet. But things will change. They always do. As they say, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage…


  1. Love this post! Can't wait to come see the paint in your room :-)

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Come by anytime. I still need to return your paint can.