I start off the day writing a letter back to my friend Bethany who lives in California. She's kinda "off the grid" so we rarely talk, but it's an awesome excuse to receive snail mail
I am sorely out of practice when it comes to writing. It takes me 2 hours to write 6 pages. Organizing my thoughts happens slower when I can't delete and re-write things!
There's a coffee break in there somewhere
After finishing the letter I get clean (and photobombed by my stuffed giraffe that I've had since I was a kid)
I get all prettied up (and unintentionally photobombed again!)
... and then I immediately change into more casual attire to wrangle my godson. I'll change back later at the shul before the ceremony
Since Suzy is the maid of honor she had to be at the shul super early. I drive Joshua (her son, my godson and Sam's godson) up there later in the afternoon for photos. He's the ring bearer.
He shows me his fancy shoes. Er... the bottom of it that is. Nice!
Inside the shul he makes friends with the wedding planner, Shelly. She's enamored with him, just like everyone is!
We play ninja turtles for a bit
Then I follow a bridesmaid and the maid of honor downstairs to get changed
Time for photos! I was careful not to get in the professional photographer's way and took minimal photos during the actual ceremony. Other people were snapping away though
Sam adjusting Joshua's suit
Suzy looks on while they photograph the fellahs
Sam, Rachel, and Suzy fussing over Joshua's placement. Don't worry, he actually smiled for 90% of the photos!
Rachel's feet began to hurt from the heels (I actually wrote "hells" at first. Freudian slip!)
After the photos I play with
John, Suzy's boyfriend shows up. He's super good with Joshie. Very patient and always willing to be Doc Ock
Futzing around before the ceremony gets under way
Hehe. It was a little boring until people started showing up
After signing the Ketubah downstairs (the legal marriage document) Sam and Rachel are brought upstairs with much fanfare and singing. Rabbi Katz leads the way with Sam behind him and his parents bringing up the rear
Then comes the veiling of the bride
This website puts it succinctly http://www.jewishweddingnetwork.com/jewi
"The custom of the bride wearing a veil goes back to the Biblical matriarch, Rebecca, who veiled herself upon seeing her future husband, Isaac (Genesis. 24:65). By viewing the bride carefully before placing the veil over the bride’s face, the groom confirms that this is his intended bride, that he will not be deceived as was Jacob when Leah was substituted for Rachel (Genesis 29:23)"
It seems rather old school, as clearly a bride mix-up isn't going to happen here... but... TRADITION!
After the veiling Joshie couldn't figure out how to effectively talk to Rachel, so he joined her under the veil!
I run downstairs for Suzy's speech so she can look it over. She's so nervous!
Also, my feet hurt so I slip off my shoes for a bit
It's time for the ceremony! I tease the photographers as they wait, poised, ready to spring into action once the doors open
There is a bit of a delay so Steven (Joshua's grandfather) checks up on football scores. Later we discovered that the mild holdup was due to Joshua needing to use the restroom at the last minute! Poor thing was nervous about walking down the aisle but he did wonderfully. After delivering the rings he came straight to me and sat on my lap for 15 minutes. Then he sat in John's for the remaining 15... thankfully it was a short ceremony so his attention span wasn't stretched beyond its limit!
Exchanging of the rings. Rachel was grinning the whole time. That is her father (with the white hair) behind her. I like how her father and step father escorted her down the aisle and Sam's parents escorted him. They also requested two glasses to be broken (one by each of them)... so they had some non-traditional moments as well!
Under the Chuppah. It signifies the first home they will have together
The reception hall was in the shul, which was nice since we didn't have to brave the cold to go anywhere. We eat!
So in love
Speeches are had. Joshua was in love with the microphone. Despite being nervous, that kid is not shy once he gets going!
Doing the hamotzi (blessing over the bread). He didn't want let that mic go afterwards!
Our table. My lucky number!
Joshie photobombing Sam and Rachel's first dance... this seems to be a theme today!
Ahh there we go!
More food. I don't eat much because Joshua has my full attention. We play with ninja turtles and dance and daaaance (the Horah! And to Michael Jackson!)
Leonardo guards my wine glass
Lots of dancing happens
... and by this time I've changed into comfortable shoes!
I believe this was "twist and shout"
Now just pretend about two hours pass where I play with Joshua more, chat with other guests and the Rabbi (who I met when I was much younger and went to shul with Suzy. I'm not Jewish, but I know a lot of these people from the neighborhood), and partake in general merriment.
Eventually it is time for the bride and groom to give speeches of their own to thank everyone for being here and to also wish Suzy a happy birthday! We all sing to her, haha
But I miss most of the speeches because Joshua decides to play camera man! It's proof that I love him that I let him use my "good" camera!
He gets a shot of Janis, his grandmother and a grumpy looking caterer employee behind her
Suzy and Rabbi Katz
Then dessert! Instead of cake, there is an ice cream bar. Even if I hadn't given up sugar recently I still wouldn't have been able to eat any (because of lactose intolerance)
The bride getting to her ice cream a bit intimately...
Soon after Rachel and Sam depart to a waiting limo outside. They are postponing their honeymoon until this semester is over (Rachel's last. She's in grad school) but they do spend the night in a fancy hotel in midtown. The guests filter out and soon it's just me, Joshua, John, Suzy, her parents, and the bridesmaids. We grab some vases and go. After dropping off a tired Joshie at home we head out to our neighborhood pub, Piper's Kilt for a bit of a birthday celebration. Some other wedding guests join us for a very loud and silly night out (it was karaoke night at the bar!)
Burgers happened since we barely ate at the wedding
We ponder the significance of the bats on this glass of Guinness
We stay until closing and stumble home around 3:30am. I drank A LOT of wine and paid for it the next day (I finally got around to posting this once the worst of the hangover was gone). But all in all, I have no regrets ;)