Tag Archives: wedding

Saturday happened


Reynolds & Rock – the view from Westgrand Studios

I didn’t leave myself time to blog for #NaBloPoMo yesterday, and so I woke up this morning feeling all contrite. Also slightly dazed and feeling hungover after Eddie and Lisa’s wedding last night.

My bedside lamp was still on this morning. I didn’t wash off all my makeup. I was able to remove my contacts but that was all I could manage before visions of white gowns and twinkly lights (the loft where the wedding and reception took place was decorated in just white candles and lights and it was GORGEOUS) danced in my head. Keep in mind, I didn’t drink but one glass of white wine. But I had quite a bit of regular Coke to drink instead of diet, and a piece of wedding cake. I bet my pancreas just loved that.

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5 years: Jacinda & Joe

Still writing
Originally uploaded by jasmined

Happy anniversary to Jacinda & Joe! 5 years of marriage, almost 10 years as a couple.

Um, I totally didn’t get you anything. But you know I love you guys, right? You do. Before you get all weepy, let’s get all reminiscent:

Jacinda’s mom had booked appointments for us at the Aveda Institute in Lincoln Park, where a stylist put up most of my hair, leaving some of it down. She curled it all, pinning loops and ringlets above my neck. For a few minutes, before she pulled back some tendrils, I looked like I was about to dance the night away at somebody’s junior prom. It wasn’t good, but then it was good, and I felt kinda like a slutty Imelda Marcos, or that I had just finished performing in “South Pacific”. When I got back to the hotel and put on my outfit, I noticed how my tan lines just looked like I was wearing an undershirt, but it was too late to do anything. Jacinda thought I looked hot, which is really what counted. Oh, and she looked pretty good herself. Um, yeah — gorgeous, huh? She stopped everybody in the lobby, she was so beautiful.

The drive down to Bond Chapel was uneventful. Once we got there, Jacinda didn’t want anybody to see her before she had to sign the ketubah. So we hung out in the doorway of Swift Hall while we watched people walk up: Joe and Seema; Andrew, Rozi, and Foster; Bruce and Joan. Nora parked the car, and Jacinda, her mother, and I walked around to a side door where Jacinda asked us to adjust the flowerpots that held the chuppah aloft. Then there was some confusion and some stuff and I hung out at the main entrance of the church, smelled my flowers, and waited. My feet were killing me, but my shoes were fierce. We bridesmaids and groomsmen cracked jokes while Joe and Jacinda signed, then their parents and witnesses. And then they were outside with us, we formed our lines, and then Joe’s bandmates began to play ‘Jacinda’s Wedding Sonata’. As the Uhlmann boys started down the aisle, then Claire and Frank, and then me and Kissel. And then down the aisle we went.

Kissel and I made it up to the altar without me falling off my shoes and knocking him into the Uhlmanns. I clasped my flowers in my hands, turned to face the aisle as Joe’s parents walked him down the aisle. Then everybody stood, and Jacinda floated in on the arms of her mother and her grandmother. We all faced the couple, and the officiant began. The readings were from Corinthians and from the Song of Solomon. Joe and Jacinda recited their vows, drank some wine from the ceremonial glass. I looked at Claire, who looked lost in thought, and at Frank who looked satisfied in a daffy sort of way. The officiant read from their ketubah, pronounced them man and wife. Becky handed me her bouquet so she could wrap a glass in a cloth, and then place it on the ground for Joe to step on. Smash, and the ceremony was over. Joe and Jacinda kissed, and we marched back down the aisle. Jacinda and her mother and sister immediately began to cry as they hugged each other. At least, that’s how I remembered it. Or maybe the tears started once Jacinda’s mother stepped outside and I just about caught her in my arms.

Guests streamed outside, blowing bubbles and fanning themselves as Jacinda and Joe posed for a few pictures. I found my cheering section, who all seemed to agree that with the fabric flower in my hair I could be starring in a revial of ‘South Pacific’. As guests started walking towards Ida Noyes Hall for the reception, the wedding party wandered up to the Botany Pond for pictures. The Botany Pond was, of course, covered in plastic mesh and wooden frames as it was being rebuilt. So off to some nice trees and ivy behind Kent Hall, then back to Ida for the reception, where we followed the sound of the guests as they guzzled wine and beer and Champagne and snacked on cheese.

Ran into more people, like Jacinda’s boss, whose name I could not remember, and who is dating my college BA reader. Also, everybody from the rehearsal dinner, and Dan Meltz’s parents, and co-workers, and my date Thom, who relieved me of my three gazillion purses and kept them with him as the reception began and I socialized while I waited for the buffet line to get shorter. It was a bit warm, hot even, but the reception space had two balconies, where I’d nip out for a quick cigarette and a chat. Drank a great deal of Champagne, then it was time for cake and kisses and toasts. I don’t remember what I said, but the gist of it was that I’m the person people would say is responsible for Joe and Jacinda meeting and getting together. And I’m glad to assume that blame, excuse me, that honor. So my toast said something to that effect. And maybe I hammed it up a smidge, but I’ve always found the spotlight just a bit alluring. A DJ had been playing music all evening, but the dancing didn’t get going until 10 or so, when Joe and Jacinda danced to a recording of Joe singing Big Star’s “Watch The Sunrise”. And then everybody danced when Jacinda motioned for us to join them. A few more dances, and when the strains of “Hava Nagila” filled the air, we began to circle around, put Jacinda and Joe in chairs and lifted them over our shoulders as we danced below and held them closer to the light.

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Marshall + Christine

Marshall & Christine’s wedding was awesome, and the reception was AWESOME. Everybody danced. There was this older Korean couple who Laura swore only got up to dance to the Black Eyed Peas.

The reception started off with a traditional Korean ceremony where Christine & Marshall bowed to relatives from both sides of the family, accepted gifts, etc. The parents of the bride and groom would thrown chestnuts and dates to the bride, who’d catch them in her skirt. The number of each caught would dictate how many boys and girls they’d have. Christine caught a lot of dates and chestnuts in her skirt. Like, 14 chestnuts and 9 dates or something. Oh dear.

Pictures, another video, and a detailed recap to follow. This video depicts a Korean tradition, where the groom carries the bride on his back. I wish my camera wouldn’t stop recording audio when I’d zoom in. The lady in the lavender hanbok is the best friend of Marshall’s mother. She helped Christine with her bowing (as she had to keep her arms folded in front of her eyes, and could not use them as she stooped down and popped up) during the ceremony.

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Just Married!

originally uploaded by jasmined.

Clancy and Maria got married yesterday at Green Lake in beautiful Whistler.

I’m still in Whistler. I’m kinda wishing I had booked a ski lesson, but I didn’t really budget for it. No matter, as the Village is full of cool shops and restaurants to check out, and I think I hear the hot tub calling my name…

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Dear Jasmine,

Dear Jasmine,

Originally uploaded by jasmined

“Jenny and Roy are
very happy to
invite you to
their wedding in
Longford,
December 31st 2007”

  1. I wish I were going to this wedding. Not only are Roy and Jenny good friends, their wedding is in Ireland, and I’ve never been.
  2. Stef is going, however, and she has promised to take pictures.
  3. Stef told me the jars are baby food jars that Jenny’s mom carefully cleaned out before packing the…
  4. Nuts? I think they are nuts. The objects in the jar, not Roy and Jenny.

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317: minneapolis wedding song, part 3

9/3 (Sunday), 10:30 — Arrival at Urban Retreat (http://www.urbanretreat.com) for makeup. I behave myself and do not go mad buying Kiehl’s products for 50% off retail.

10:35 — After hanging up my dress, Dana starts on my face. She does my eyes to match the dress (http://www.watters.com/images/products/fullview/1432.jpg in periwinkle) and finds that none of her lipstick works with my eye makeup. I didn’t bring anything that would work with lavender eye shadow because, well, what in the world could work, so she puts on some nude gloss and we cross our fingers. I admire Cathern’s perfectly smooth flat-ironed bob and wished that I had hair that behaved itself.

11:00 — I hang out with Rozi as her hair is put up, then taken down and then put up again with some stephanotis. The stylist Shannon is upbeat and cracks jokes with us. I drink a gigantic iced coffee, get cash, and gossip with Jacinda on the phone.

12:00 — Shannon pulls my hair off my face, curling it so it looks like a waterfall. At certain angles, it makes me think of a bridal mullet, but I still like it. Miriam and I take pictures of Rozi, Elaine, Rozi and Elaine, Shannon, Shannon and Rozi, Elaine and the almost mute girl with implants who does her hair.

1:30 — We drive back to the hotel to dress. Dawn is running around doing coordinator stuff, so I struggle into my toe-less hose, put on my dress, and realize that I should have tried to lose 10 pounds. Dammit.

2:30 — I make my way to Cathern’s room, where she zips me up, and we go over our toasts. Cathern’s friend Steve watches the US Open while we touch up makeup, fiddle with our hair, and snack on fries.

2:45 — We go to Rozi’s room for a little quiet time. Andrew, handsome in a suit and Brooks Brothers tie, nearly cries when he sees us in the corridor.

2:46 — I nearly burst into tears when Rozi lets us into her suite. She looks gorgeous.

3:00 — We make it down to the Frost Room for formal pictures, stopping in the Quinn Room to get our flowers (the bridesmaids’ bouquets are pink sweetheart roses with blueberries), and pop in breath mints. Pictures of everyone in every single configuration we can conjure are taken: Rozi and Andrew with parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, each other, Grandma Charlotte, and Aunt Rita and Uncle I still can’t remember his name. One of the photographers hands me some MAC blot powder to take care of the oil slick on my forehead, and I concentrate on looking thinner.

4:30ish — Andrew and Rozi meet with the judge to sign the ketubah. By this point, it’s raining pretty steadily so Andrew and Rozi nix the original plan to take post-ceremony pictures by the Mississippi River. The photographer suggests they hop in somebody’s car after the ceremony is over to catch their breaths and be alone before the reception.

4:55 — We line up, wait for the music to start for the walk down the aisle. As we walk along, I catch up to Andrew, who looks at me and says “Did you know that next month we’ll have known each other for ten years?” I nearly cry right then and there.

5:00 — Procession starts. Ceremony begins. My sandals almost fall off my feet, but they don’t. The space where the ceremony is held is a corridor in the depot, between the ballroom where the reception is to take place and the indoor ice rink. We all stand on a stage, facing out towards the guests. I don’t have anything to do during the ceremony except not fall over and try not to sob hysterically during the readings. But when I heard Rozi choke up a bit reading one of Pablo Neruda’s sonnets, my eyes watered and then it was all over by the time Andrew read the following:

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

And the roses were very much embarrassed.

“You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.”

“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.”

I swear to Jebus, my eyes are tearing up as I write this, and the wedding was almost two weeks ago. So of course at the wedding, I was nearly inconsolable. Everything was gorgeous, and all I could do was cry. Rings were exchanged, shawls were draped around them in the Ismaili tradition, and they kissed. And as Ben walked me down the aisle, I was completely overwhelmed. A summer of my best friends’ weddings and I was completely undone. Jacinda felt the same way. Later in the evening, after dinner but before dessert in a room full of pink roses and candlelight, after Rozi and Andrew had their first dance (an Elvis impersonator singing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”), Jacinda and I smoked in the hotel bar and cried a little bit.

Because Rozi looked magnificent. Because Andrew’s speech was hilarious. Because my speech was excellent. Because there were no viable single boys for me to smooch. Because the cake was delicious. Because Rozi’s mother and aunts could not stop laughing. Because we wanted to write Rozi a thank you note for loving Andrew enough to marry his crazy (but in a good way) ass. Because Kevin danced the savoy. Because the Elvis impersonator jumped on stage with the band and kicked serious ass. Because I really loved my bridesmaid dress. Because if I ever got married I would want it to be exactly like that night.

9/6 (Monday): After brunch at the hotel, we piled back into the rental car and drove home to Chicago. Stopping, of course, in the Dells to visit Culver’s for custard and burgers. My bouquet tucked safely in beside me, I listened to music, checked e-mail from my cell phone, and started making plans for Nick and Nadine’s engagement party this winter. Kevin and I ended up having dinner at Joe and Jacinda’s, sitting around the living room while the dogs made eyes with us, silently begging for scraps.

So, what did you lot do for Labor Day weekend? Is it getting colder where you are? Are you still wearing white even though white after Labor Day weekend is a no-no? Did you, like me, go crazy redecorating your bathroom? Did you go out earlier this week and consume a large Indian dinner? Tell me tell me tell me.

Cheers,

Jasmine

“Nice girls don’t let men kiss them until after they’re engaged. Men don’t want the bloom rubbed off.” “Personally, I think I have too much bloom. Maybe that’s the trouble with me.”

*songs*

De La Soul – I Can’t Call It; Don Covay – Overtime Man; Wayne McGhie and the Sounds of Joy – Dirty Funk

*links*

http://www.princessmelissa.com/real.php?page_id=2

http://www.theonion.com/news/index.php?issue=4037&n=3

http://www.nypress.com/print.cfm?content_id=11002

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315: minneapolis wedding song (teaser)

1. It’s been three weeks since I’ve written. I am aware of this. You can always go back and read the archives at http://flipfront.wordpress.com.

2. Culver’s (http://www.culvers.com) is the greatest thing that could happen to a hungry motorist travelling throughout the upper Midwest.

3. The bed in Doug and Dave’s guestroom was wonderful.

4. Don’t eat five pounds of fried cheese two days before you have to wear a very form-fitting bridesmaid dress.

5. If you’re racing your friends down the giant slide at the Minnesota State Fair, it helps to have big boobs. Just ask Jacinda.

6. Everybody looks good wearing a pair of paper pig ears.

7. The river rapids ride at the Minnesota State Fair looks tame, but your ass will get soaked and your skirt will become see-through. Just ask Jacinda.

8. If you’re running a dinner cruise service on Lake Minnetonka, I believe it helps to have Dramamine on hand for those guests of yours afflicted with motion sickness.

9. A 2002 VW Cabrio is, according to someone who is not actually me, gayer than anal sex.

10. If Jacinda calls you up with good gossip, try not to cackle too loudly into the phone unless you’re prepared to share.

11. Even if you say you’re not going to cry, be cautious and don’t have Dana at Urban Retreat put mascara on your bottom lashes. And if she does it anyway, make sure you have a handkerchief ready during the wedding.

12. There should be more Elvis impersonators at wedding receptions: http://www.elvistributeartist.com/information.htm (check out http://www.elvistributeartist.com/wpe63.jpg).

13. Dawn Kim kicks ass.

14. Toe-less pantyhose is a strange (no toes!) and wonderful (if you often forget to moisturize, as I do) invention.

“I’m nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I’ve begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I’m reminiscing this right now. I can’t go to the bar because I’ve already looked back on it in my memory. And I didn’t have a good time.” (Max, Kicking and Screaming)

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313: sentimental reasons

Jacinda says that I am secretly sentimental, but I think you all know that it’s not such a secret anymore. I am sentimental, but not without hesitation. Which is probably what it’s taken me so got-damned long to write this flip front. They’ve been dating for a few years, and I’d thought of them as married even before they stood up in front of their friends and family and said the words. But weddings always hitting me a little harder than I expect. Not because I’m not married and have no viable husband material around me. But because it’s so grown-up. I think of me and my friends as being young (or at the very least immature) and getting married strikes me as something very adult.

When they got engaged last summer, August 2004 seemed so far away. Joe and Jacinda had plenty of time to find a reception hall, buy a dress, hire a DJ, a photographer, an officiant, a caterer. Naturally, August 7 crept up faster than we had thought, and all of a sudden I was running late to the bachelorette party I had organized. The very capable Amanda of Sole Nail Lounge took the wine off my hands and steered me over to the wall of nail polish, where I could choose dueling shades of pink for my pedicure and my manicure. Lourdes did my nails, all the while laughing at my jokes (‘cos you know I’m a funny girl) and extolling the virtues of Zenecal. Gail joked about her manicure, her nails painted a shade that could only be described as handjob red. Jalissa fretted over her delicate fingernails, worried that they might break, and made sure we all had enough cheese. Post-salon, we adjoined to Cafe Iberico for dinner — I’d only brought a couple bottles of wine to the salon, so we blew through a few pitchers of sangria with no problem whatsoever. Also, mussels goat cheese pork loin mushrooms chorizo flan and one rather suggestive dessert. Oh, and we crashed the boys’ party, meeting up with them at VIP’s. We had free coupons for admission, which meant we had that much more money for booze and lapdances. And while I’m not going to go into detail about who did what to whom, where, and how high the heels they wore when they did it, I will say that Andrew gives an amusing lapdance, and shoeshines are free. Oh, and some questions.

  1. What’s up with all the mirrors?
  2. Is it rude to ask the dancer to show you her boob job scars?
  3. Do all strip club DJs remix old rock songs into booty bass? Is there such a thing as ‘Stripping to the Oldies’, and could Richard Simmmons make money off off such a video?
  4. Is there such a thing as a strip club that’s BYOB?
  5. If Andrew gives you a lap dance, how much do you tip?
  6. When it comes to lapdances, are two dancers at a time better than one?
  7. Is it ‘lap dance’ or ‘lapdance’?

The night ended for me at 12:30, when I took my ass home in a cab while Jacinda, Jalissa, and the boys left standing (Joe, his groomsmen, Dan, Jalissa’s boyfriend Thomas) went off to Estelle’s and Flash Taco. Though I turned in relatively early, I still didn’t get up until 10 or so the next day. I showered, dressed, and went to the rehearsal, which was surreal. I was a bit overheated for some reason, we weren’t in our wedding garb, Joe said “Fa shizzle” instead of “I do”, which cracked up everybody but the officiant. I finally got to meet Joe’s sister and brother-in-law. And I got to see Nora, who I hadn’t seen since last summer and was appropriately fetching in a low-cut sundress.

I drank more mojitos than I care to discuss, and actually fell while walking into the restaurant after a cigarette break. My over-moisturized feet just slid out after my heels got caught in the doormat. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The food was delicious, and did I mention the mojitos? Delicious. After dinner, we danced around until the older folks started pleading exhaustion after long flights, and then we just drank until the open bar ended at 10 (thanks, Mr. Goldberg). Matt Irvin turned up for cocktails and dancing, wearing Nora’s sunglasses until I told him he looked like he was starring in a regional dinner theater production of ‘The Matrix’. And then more drinks and again I put myself to bed a bit later intended. And then I woke up and it was Jacinda & Joe’s wedding day.

Jacinda’s mom had booked appointments for us at the Aveda Institute in Lincoln Park, where a stylist put up most of my hair, leaving some of it down. She curled it all, pinning loops and ringlets above my neck. For a few minutes, before she pulled back some tendrils, I looked like I was about to dance the night away at somebody’s junior prom. It wasn’t good, but then it was good, and I felt kinda like a slutty Imelda Marcos, or that I had just finished performing in “South Pacific”. When I got back to the hotel and put on my outfit, I noticed how my tan lines just looked like I was wearing an undershirt, but it was too late to do anything. Jacinda thought I looked hot, which is really what counted. Oh, and she looked pretty good herself. Um, yeah — gorgeous, huh? She stopped everybody in the lobby, she was so beautiful.

The drive down to Bond Chapel was uneventful. Once we got there, Jacinda didn’t want anybody to see her before she had to sign the ketubah. So we hung out in the doorway of Swift Hall while we watched people walk up: Joe and Seema; Andrew, Rozi, and Foster; Bruce and Joan. Nora parked the car, and Jacinda, her mother, and I walked around to a side door where Jacinda asked us to adjust the flowerpots that held the chuppah aloft. Then there was some confusion and some stuff and I hung out at the main entrance of the church, smelled my flowers, and waited. My feet were killing me, but my shoes were fierce. We bridesmaids and groomsmen cracked jokes while Joe and Jacinda signed, then their parents and witnesses. And then they were outside with us, we formed our lines, and then Joe’s bandmates began to play ‘Jacinda’s Wedding Sonata’. As the Uhlmann boys started down the aisle, then Claire and Frank, and then me and Kissel. And then down the aisle we went.

Kissel and I made it up to the altar without me falling off my shoes and knocking him into the Uhlmanns. I clasped my flowers in my hands, turned to face the aisle as Joe’s parents walked him down the aisle. Then everybody stood, and Jacinda floated in on the arms of her mother and her grandmother. We all faced the couple, and the officiant began. The readings were from Corinthians and from the Song of Solomon. Joe and Jacinda recited their vows, drank some wine from the ceremonial glass. I looked at Claire, who looked lost in thought, and at Frank who looked satisfied in a daffy sort of way. The officiant read from their ketubah, pronounced them man and wife. Becky handed me her bouquet so she could wrap a glass in a cloth, and then place it on the ground for Joe to step on. Smash, and the ceremony was over. Joe and Jacinda kissed, and we marched back down the aisle. Jacinda and her mother and sister immediately began to cry as they hugged each other. At least, that’s how I remembered it. Or maybe the tears started once Jacinda’s mother stepped outside and I just about caught her in my arms.

Guests streamed outside, blowing bubbles and fanning themselves as Jacinda and Joe posed for a few pictures. I found my cheering section, who all seemed to agree that with the fabric flower in my hair I could be starring in a revial of ‘South Pacific’. As guests started walking towards Ida Noyes Hall for the reception, the wedding party wandered up to the Botany Pond for pictures. The Botany Pond was, of course, covered in plastic mesh and wooden frames as it was being rebuilt. So off to some nice trees and ivy behind Kent Hall, then back to Ida for the reception, where we followed the sound of the guests as they guzzled wine and beer and Champagne and snacked on cheese.

Ran into more people, like Jacinda’s boss, whose name I could not remember, and who is dating my college BA reader. Also, everybody from the rehearsal dinner, and Dan Meltz’s parents, and co-workers, and my date Thom, who relieved me of my three gazillion purses and kept them with him as the reception began and I socialized while I waited for the buffet line to get shorter. It was a bit warm, hot even, but the reception space had two balconies, where I’d nip out for a quick cigarette and a chat. Drank a great deal of Champagne, then it was time for cake and kisses and toasts. I don’t remember what I said, but the gist of it was that I’m the person people would say is responsible for Joe and Jacinda meeting and getting together. And I’m glad to assume that blame, excuse me, that honor. So my toast said something to that effect. And maybe I hammed it up a smidge, but I’ve always found the spotlight just a bit alluring. A DJ had been playing music all evening, but the dancing didn’t get going until 10 or so, when Joe and Jacinda danced to a recording of Joe singing Big Star’s “Watch The Sunrise”. And then everybody danced when Jacinda motioned for us to join them. A few more dances, and when the strains of “Hava Nagila” filled the air, we began to circle around, put Jacinda and Joe in chairs and lifted them over our shoulders as we danced below and held them closer to the light.

In the next flip front: Nick and Nadine’s last night in town; Jasmine and Olivia do Chicago; hotties of the Olympic Games; puttin’ on the ritz with Dan Meltz; ice cream with Kathy and Kevin; new contact lenses (finally!) for me.

Cheers,

Jasmine

“Do you see that crate? Sausages! They will eat sausages. Europeans eat sausages wherever they go.” (The Old General, ‘Black Narcissus’)

*songs*
The Band – King Harvest; Interpol – Song Seven; Goldfrapp – Black Cherry

*links*
http://www.buttafly.com/originals/friendster2.php
http://www.animalsontheunderground.com

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308: your star will shine

1. stars (July 2, 2004)

Celi & I drive over from the Holiday Inn to the Rao’s to help decorate the tent. There are stars to put up in the tent, the house to tidy up, road signs to put together for those folks driving to the house for the wedding, and Koi to adore. Koi is Joe’s dog, and is loved by everyone. Celi refers to Koi as “he”, which she does with Jacinda’s dog, and I think it’s so cute. Koi is adorable as she follows Seema or Joe around, lies around, and licks herself.

The ceremony is going to take place in front of the house, with Joe and Seema standing on the front steps, so it’s decided that: Joe and Mayor Peg will come out from the house and take their places on the front steps. Jessica (one of Joe’s sisters, and my fellow reader) will open and I will follow them out, standing behind them for the ceremony when we’re not reading. Dr. Rao escorts Dr. Mrs. Rao to her place on the lawn, and waits on the walk. The bridesmaids and groomsmen start, coming from the side of the house, down the driveway, up the walkway, and array themselves around the front door. Seema and her uncle, Dr. Rao’s brother, walks her to the walkway where Dr. Rao takes her arm and takes her up to Joe. Hands her over, then takes his place by Dr. Mrs. Rao. I didn’t print out my readings so I mime my reading and then Jessica reads Corinthians 13:4-13.

At the rehearsal dinner, I have no official place as I had replied so late. I sit where Celi’s dad was supposed to. I introduce myself as Roberto for the duration of the evening. Celi gets several calls from Nate, who is flying in late and not sure if he’ll make the rehearsal dinner in time. While we wait, we eat a truly delicious dinner and check on the kids’ table, which is populated by a gang of boys ranging in ages from six to 17. I refer to this as the “Lord of the Flies” table and wait for them to build a bonfire or start roasting a pig. After dinner, a gang of Joe’s cousins lead us over to the hotel bar, Club Capers. There is a dance floor, and one of the Iaccabucci (sp?) cousins is buying. I talk to Beth, a cousin of Joe’s dad (I think) and Nate and Celi and Manju. It’s crowded and the cousins are on the dancefloor doing the electric slide. Sadly, I do not take pictures of this.

2. mr. & mrs. joe

6:55 am: Arrive at salon to find the owner Sally and her staff bouncing around to an 80’s rock station. I immediately slather a bagel with cream cheese and stuff my face. Seema, Megan, Mary, and Dr. Mrs. Rao arrive in their pajamas. The photographer arrives and starts taking pictures as we get our hair and makeup done up. Me: smoky eyes, frosted nude lips, hair pulled back and curled. When we finally get back to the Raos’ later, I wipe off my lipstick and remove about half of my eye makeup.

10:45 am: Guests are milling about on the lawn, and I spy on them through the Raos’ dining room windows. Mary’s sister Emily sneezes. Andrew and Rozi shade themselves from the bright morning sun.

11:00 am: The string quartet begins. Standing in the house, guests take their seats. Jessica opens the door, and Joe takes the mayor’s arm to walk her into the sun. I stand just behind Joe, next to a potted plant which has an American flag tucked into it. Jessica folds and unfolds the index card onto which she has printed out her reading. Reading in hand, folded so that I know to read the Shakespeare first, then the Neruda as Joe had requested, I don’t know where to hold this piece of paper. I should have pasted it to one of the brightly colored cards in the foyer, stacks of which people would sign later in lieu of a traditional guest book. I hold the paper first in front of my waist, then in my right hands, then clasp my hands behind my back, then clasp my hands in front of my abdomen and turn and watch, with everybody else, as first comes Dr. Mrs. Rao. As soon as I see that Dr. Mrs. Rao is crying, I choke back tears myself. Watch for Seema as she floats down the driveway on her uncle’s arm, then her father’s. She take Joe’s hands and Mayor Peg welcomes us. I’m the first person to read, so I step up and take the mayor’s place. I look at Joe and Seema and I recite (excerpts below):

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

I flip over my paper and read again, this time Neruda:

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

And I step back and Jessica reads from her card, held close to her face so she doesn’t falter. Mayor Peg steps up and begins the ceremony. I can’t recall if they say “I do” or “I will” but the important thing is that Joe and Seema are married. They join hands and walk down the aisle and back up to the porch for toasts. All the guests and bridesmaids and groomsmen and families move around to the side of the house, where the photographer can take a huge group photograph from the roof. Marty the best man and Mary and Celi the maids of honor make toasts, and we have mimosas and samosas. Brunch is served under the tent — entirely vegetarian, and utterly delicious. I turn around to look at Seema, who is glowing such that she is almost unrecognizable, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her so happy.

2:00 pm: After brunch, Andrew and Rozi and I go back to the hotel so we can change. We go for a drive, ending up at the lakefront. We watch several bridal parties get their pictures taken near the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and critique their outfits. Groomsmen in pistachio green jackets. Bridesmaids in gunmetal blue gowns. A bride is photographed lying the grass, with her groom’s face posed a few inches from her own. Rozi told me about some law school friends who seemed perfectly normal until she saw one of their wedding pictures: the bride dips her foot into a reflection pool, the groom holds her by the arm to prevent her from falling in. What is it supposed to mean? I consider this as we browse the aisle of the hall of fame gift shop, and come up with nothing.

3. the delicious eggplant cheese thingy and salmon

You go through the front door, where Jessica takes a Polaroid of you that you include with a note that you write to the happy couple. From there, you can go to the left for the crudites, or straight to the kitchen for the antipasti. The second course comes out a few minutes later, salmon or this eggplant pasta thingy that I consume almost as quickly as it is brought to the buffet table. On the porch, beer and wine is served, along with a sherbet punch which Celi tells me is tradition in Ohio. The lights are on in the tent, and people eat and chat and gamely try to dance to the way too hip music the DJ is spinning. Celi’s mom brings her sister, who lives a few towns over in Lorraine. I admire Blanca’s fringed shawl and curse myself for wearing heels, which bore holes in the Raos’ backyard. I smoke the occasional cigarette, drink a lot of punch, and talk to family — cousins, aunts, tipsy uncles, Dipthi (Seema’s hilarious friend from Berkeley who goes to U of I med school — Seems, give Dipthi my number so we can hang out), Joe’s adorable cousin Jamie who lives three blocks from my old apartment in Lakeview, Celi’s mum and aunt, the Raos. Nate takes pictures of everything and everyone: Mary flipping him off, cousins dancing on the slanted dance floor, Jacinda’s Joe trying to dip Andrew. I am laughing so hard that I don’t have the energy to get all verklempt over Seema and Joe. When we finally have to go, Seema brings out Koi so Andrew, Rozi, Jacinda’s Joe, and Jacinda can meet her. Seema kisses us goodnight, we kiss each other goodnight, we kiss the dog goodnight, take our party favors (these gorgeous painted wooden? papier mache? birds), and drive back to the hotel.

Cheers,
Jasmine

*songs*
The Stone Roses – Your star will shine; Garnett Mimms – I’ll Take Good Care of You; Simple Gifts; Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring; Canon in D; Spring (from The Four Seasons)

*links*
http://www.saab-stuff.com/pop.swf
http://www.newyorkish.com/newyorkish/2004/07/coming_to_a_sta.html

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