Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A W. Family Wedding

First things first, an update on Toni: she has been recovering from the surgery remarkably well, from what I hear. She has been discharged from the hospital and is now at home, earlier than they expected. Go Toni! We're still waiting for some test results for more information, which will hopefully come in this week. We do know that chemotherapy is a part of the treatment plan, which I hate to see her have to go through. But, I know she is a strong woman and I'm confident she will be fine. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers - please keep them coming!

Now, let's talk wedding. All of the previous weddings I have posted about since the beginning of this blog have been for my people: my cousin Beth, my friend Kristina, my cousin Jacob (twice!). So, it was a fun change of pace to attend a wedding for one of Eric's relatives this time around!

Eric's cousin Kimberly was getting married in New Jersey, so we got up early on Saturday, August 22 to head that way. First, of course, we had to drop Achilles off at "camp," then we returned home to get ourselves wedding-ready before rushing to Penn Station to barely catch our 11:00 a.m. train (seriously, we made it with less than one minute to spare). But, we made it, and about 80 minutes later we arrived in Denville, New Jersey, where Eric's brother Ronnie and his wife Stephanie picked us up from the train station.

My handsome husband at the Denville train station

From the train station we went to Eric's grandmother's house to meet up with the rest of the family for lunch before going to the ceremony at 2:00. It was nice to see everyone again!

The ceremony was lovely. The bride, of course, was gorgeous and both she and her groom looked so happy. Both of Eric's other cousins were also in the wedding party, and everyone looked beautiful. I just love weddings!

Matt seeing his bride as she came through the church doors

Uncle Alan escorting Kim down the aisle

During the ceremony - aren't they cute? So happy!

First kiss!

The newlyweds

Cousin Kristen (Kim's sister), the maid of honor, being escorted by the best man

Cousin Kevin (Kim's brother) escorting a bridesmaid

Uncle Alan escorting Grandma L. and Aunt Lynn

After the ceremony, we spent some time milling about and chatting, then went to check in to our hotels. Eric and I were staying in a different hotel from everyone else, so his dad took us to check in to our hotel then we went with him to the other hotel to meet up with everyone. We took a shuttle to the reception from that hotel.

Susan, me and Kelley hanging out after the ceremony

The reception was held at a beautiful country club. As soon as we arrived, we were offered champagne before even heading upstairs to the cocktail hour. And oh, what a cocktail hour it was! I have never seen such a spread! It was incredible. There was so much food (and cocktails, of course!). There was a pasta station with penne and lobster ravioli. There was a carving station. There was a wine/cheese/fruit table. There were meats, cheeses, fruits and salads. There were mussels and clams and shrimp, and even a seafood salad. There was just so much food. It was amazing! Needless to say, we had a great time at the cocktail hour.

One of the many food tables at the cocktail hour

More cocktail hour

The wine and cheese table

Ronnie and Eric at the cocktail hour

During the cocktail hour, we stepped outside for some photos. Oh, I should mention that the weather left a little to be desired, thanks to Hurricane Bill! It was pretty rainy off and on all day. But, we managed to find a 15-minute window without any rain to take some outdoor pictures. It's not that often that all of the W. siblings (and their spouses) are together, and even less common for us all to be together and dressed up fancy! So, it was a good opportunity for some family pics.

The oldest: Brother Ron and Stephanie

The middle child: Eric and me

The youngest: Kelley and Susan

All together now! This is my favorite pic from the wedding. So nice to have a good shot of all of us together.

Soon we had all had our fill of food and drink at the cocktail hour, and it was time to move in to the reception. As expected, the room was set up beautifully. The tables were named after different drinks (we were at the "Chardonnay" table), and in lieu of favors, Kim and Matt made a donation to the Autoimmunity Research Foundation. Everything was just gorgeous.

My place setting

Soon the couple was introduced into the reception, then the dancing began. Kim and Matt shared their first dance, then Kim danced with Uncle Alan, followed by Matt and his mother. Then they moved into the toasts.

Kim & Matt's first dance as husband and wife

Uncle Alan and Kim

After the toasts, the eating continued as we were served salads. Then we did a little dancing before our entrees were served.

Dancing with my husband

Eric's dad and stepmom, Ron and Suellen

Dinner was also amazing. They offered a choice of chicken, filet mignon, or salmon. Eric and I both had the filet and it was excellent. Mmm, I love steak.

Delicious filet, served with mashed potatoes and bundled vegetables

After dinner the fun continued with the cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter removal/toss, and garter-putting-on. Good times. Then, the dancing resumed!


Feeding each other

While the cake was being cut, we were served these dessert plates with apple pastry, molten chocolate cake and cheesecake. Yum.

The cake was red velvet and delicious, but for some reason Kelley was served such a small piece! Poor Kelley.

Cousin Kristen caught the bouquet!

Garter removal

One memorable moment of the evening at the Chardonnay table was Ronnie and Stephanie laughing! I don't remember what was said, but they just got themselves into quite the laughing fit and Eric was there to capture it all on film. It was cute, and so funny!

Then Eric and I did a little goofing off for the camera, too.

We spent the rest of the evening dancing, but before we knew it, the reception came to a close. We all took the shuttle back to the hotel (the one the rest of the family was staying at), where many of the wedding guests (Eric, me, Ronnie and Stephanie included) continued the party in the hotel bar. Then, Eric and I called a cab to take us back to our hotel. That was the end of the evening!

Waiting for our cab at the end of the night

The next morning Ronnie picked us up and took us back to the other hotel to meet up with Kelley and Susan. We said our goodbyes to Ronnie, Stephanie and Eric's dad then Kelly, Susan, Eric and I headed off to the train station to catch a ride back to New York City.

And that's that! Another great wedding experience under our belts. Congratulations to Kimberly and Matt! We wish you all the best in your life together. Here's to many happy years!

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