Wacky and Wonderful Wedding Weekend

Well, my cousin got married on Saturday, and it took a whole weekend to fit in all of the festivities. With relatives pouring in from everywhere (most of her mom’s family is from Florida, my sister and family live in Georgia, and her sister had to come back from the Peace Corps in Ecuador), they made the most of having everybody being in the same place. The party started with post-rehearsal munchies and pool time on Friday night, ran through the wedding on Saturday and concluded on Sunday afternoon with the post-wedding brunch. It was great to see everyone, but man am I exhausted. I can only imagine how much Erin and Chas needed that honeymoon in Puerto Rico at this point.


Friday started with the oft-delayed trip to the Franklin Institute with my nephew and his parents, and my parents. In the end, the visit was a lot of fun, and the “Real Pirates” exhibit was really cool – definitely a good idea for kids, although I think those slightly older than my nephew’s 3-years-old would get more out of it (although he still had a ball).

And his (and my) day continued over at my aunt’s, where they were having a pre-wedding barbecue. There was a big crowd there, including Erin and Chas’ friends, my parents and sister and a bunch of my aunt Linda’s family who I barely knew. It’s funny because I think of my family as this big amorphous organism because of my father’s side, where everyone mingles and knows everyone else, even the relatives by marriage (it’s the Italian in us); but going to my aunt and uncles, there were suddenly whole parts of the family I barely knew, like Linda’s 3 sisters and brother. But we still had fun chatting and hanging around the pool, although Caleb was hysterical as he managed to dunk his entire head in the pool while still ‘not getting in the pool’.

Wedding Day

On Saturday, it was time for the big event. Shari went over a couple hours early while I scrambled around trying to find the stuff for their gift (3 pairs of specialized beer glasses in a case). I got home in just enough time to put the gift and packaging together, get a 5-minute shower and then get stuff together before heading out to pick up Grandmom and head to the wedding.

New Couple

And it was a beautiful wedding – super hot, especially when the ceremony was temporarily delayed – but beautiful. Erin and Chas looked very happy up there. After getting some of the obligatory family shots, we all made a beeline for the hall and the cold beverages within. Well, most of us – Shari grabbed the wedding party and whisked them off to an undisclosed location for some ‘pictures of the moment’ shots that I’m sure won’t disappoint – well, maybe my aunt who wanted more traditional pictures, but few others.

In the meantime, that meant I got to catch up with my cousin Sarah (returned from Ecuador), spend some time with my grandmother, sister and brother-in-law and – of course – play with my nephew. In the heat, play was limited to a single air-conditioned room, and he was more than a little restless. I ended up walking around and trying to get pictures of family with my wife’s Canon A640, since I was expressly forbidden to bring my Nikon (so I wouldn’t get in the way). Man, it’s amazing how much harder it was to get used to a ‘simpler’ camera than my dSLR – waiting a couple seconds for the picture to take, minimal flash, hard to get to the settings, having to switch from PHOTO to PREVIEW mode to review and delete, etc. By the end of the night, I was ready to take Shari’s spare camera out and just start shooting, prohibition be damned.


And I got to spend some more quality time with my nephew, which was always a goal. He’s quite the precocious 3+ and refreshingly direct with his questions, Right before the bridal party made its official entrance, I took him to the potty (my directions: unzip, aim, fire, rezip) and then came out to find ourselves behind 4 members of the party and the bride and groom. I hastily caught Caleb before he could run out, explaining that because Erin and Chas had just gotten married, they were going to be introduced to everyone, and that this was ‘their moment’. To which he replied without missing a beat, “Well, when is our moment, Unca Marty?” Just a half-hour earlier, he had seen Shari walking toward the tent and started shouting at the top of his lungs, “LOVELY AUNT SHARI!!! LOVELY AUNT SHARI!!!” until she came to see him. But he’s a smart kid – when she turned toward us, he said, “She looks gorgeous.” No, I didn’t prompt it, just agreed with it.

Excuse me, Lovely Aunt Shari

Overall, the wedding was a blast – my aunt and uncle seemed very pleased and everyone seemed to have a great time. Even a quickly moving thunderstorm couldn’t dampen the spirits of those under the tent, as they kept dancing away to the DJ’s beat as the rumbling staccato of the storm created its own. There were only a few of us wallflowers sitting down (seeing as how my wife was photographizing, I had no one to dance with – not that I really dance much anyway). Chas and Erin were having a great time and looked really happy. But that was the point, wasn’t it?

To Have and To Hold (A Beer)

After-Wedding Brunch

On Sunday, we went back down to Dennis and Linda’s for a brunch with the family. This one was less populated than Friday night’s party, and was mostly family and very close friends. Not surprisingly, most of the wedding party was absent – I’m told that they were partying until the wee hours, so I’m sure there was some divine matrimonial retribution going on there. Erin and Chas, surprisingly, both looked fine with big smiles and sparkling eyes. Ah, the ‘honeymoon’ phase…


Afterward, we went over to see my grandfather in the hospital to wish him a happy Father’s Day. It’s his 4th hospital in as many weeks, and it seems like it’s just a matter of time until he’s gone. He’s refusing to eat, which is never a good sign, particularly for a man of his age and condition. But unlike most of the other times I have seen him recently, he was rather lucid for almost our entire visit. A little confused perhaps, but generally animated and talkative as opposed to his increasingly common sleeping or confused state.

And better is that he finally got to meet his great-grandson. Cara, Andy and my parents brought Caleb by to meet his great-grandfather, something that (sadly) had not been done to this point. A visit a few days previously had been fruitless because Grandpop wouldn’t wake up, but this time he got to meet and interact with him. I’m not sure how meaningful it really was for Grandpop, but he did seem to get a little sparkle in his eye; however, I know that this was very important for my dad and sister to finally show off their pride and joy, and Caleb will have a memory of his great-grandfather as well. And Caleb got to see two of his aunts and a great-cousin who were visiting as well (yes, we filled that little room up quite snugly).


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