Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Love and Marriage

I can't believe the big day has already come and gone, and Monica and Glenn are now Mr. and Mrs. Gerardi! I was so honored to stand up as one of Monica's bridesmaids- along with Kelley, Megan, and Katie (Monica's best friend from high school). I'm sure I've made it well known, but I've never been a bridesmaid before, so I was STOKED to be involved in all of the preparations and festivities.

We made it to town late Wednesday night, ready to roll right into bed. No such luck with two little boys who were very sick of sitting still! When we separated them (Lucian and I ended up on the couch upstairs) they were finally able to quiet down enough to fall asleep... although I found out the next morning that the crash I heard around 1:00am was Max falling out of his pack-and-play in an attempt to make it to the big bed with Daddy. Oy.

Thursday was set aside as girls' day- Luncheon with the future family-in-law, followed by manicures at the beauty college in town. I found myself nodding off while getting my nails painted (did I mention Lucian woke up at 5:00?) so when the rest of the girls went to Bully Blends for coffee and wine, I made the hard decision to forgo my favorite spot in Rapid City to catch up on a few winks before dinner.

Oh my, dinner... I haven't laughed that much in a long time. Annie and Bridget joined us for a delicious meal at the Pirates Table, complete with chocolate wine! Two of my favorite things in one glass ... someone is a genius. Our waiter was fun, outgoing, and he happened to be dressed like a pirate. Get a load of this:

The bride-to-be with our pirate waiter

Back at the Yantes home that evening, Kelley broke out her bartending skills and whipped up some tasty Flaming Pumpkins. There also may or may not have been a hookah present... and it may or may not have tasted like apricot... It was a fun night.

Yes, we drank this. No, it was not still on fire.

Friday was a whirlwind of preparations, a two hour rehearsal, Mass with the family, and a beautiful Groom's Dinner out at K Bar S Lodge in Keystone. I had never heard of it before, but what a gorgeous facility! After dinner, Monica and Glenn got up to speak. I had hoped to make it til Saturday before the waterworks, but their words to their families and to each other were so touching that I quickly lost that battle.

Then Saturday arrived! I met the girls at the Best Little Hair House in downtown at 8:30, and I was greeted with a spread of bagels, cream cheese, orange juice and champagne! I have an amazing mother-in-law, have I ever said that? (I love you, Maureen!)

Working on the bridal updo

I did get a picture of them all smiling nicely, but I'm posting this one instead as payback for never smiling when I ask them to!

Well, we got our hair done, then headed to the church to get ready for pictures. Photography was done by Jacques Daniel- you can check out his work here, he's super awesome!

This photograph (and the other two really good ones) by Jacques Daniel

Then we retreated back downstairs to wait for the guests to arrive and the ceremony to begin. Although spending an entire morning in a salon with mimosas and no children was close to divine, my very favorite moment of being a bridesmaid came when we were waiting to go upstairs before the ceremony. The flurry of makeup and dress preparations had calmed and we were waiting for our cue from Fr. Mike when Paul Sr. led us in a beautiful prayer to help us prepare our hearts to witness (and in Monica and Glenn's case, enter into) the sacramental reality of marriage.

Is that Hollywood glamour or what?

Finally, up the stairs and down the aisle we went. Oh, you should have seen Glenn's face when he first saw his bride- he's so totally in love!! And Monica was absolutely glowing. The whole ceremony was beautiful, prayerful, and joyful. And as Fr. Mike said, it was such a testament to the faith of the couple to see three priests on the altar with him, concelebrating the wedding! That doesn't happen every day. Wow, I was so glad to be a part of this- what a perfect start to a life together.

Pictures after the wedding were done quickly, and off to the reception we went! I forgot to mention earlier that my parents came into town Friday afternoon to watch the kids for the rehearsal and wedding. Monica wanted to make it clear to them that they were invited regardless of whether they babysat, but it sure was a Godsend to have them there!! They juggled the boys for the whole reception, freeing us up to relax and enjoy the evening.

Again, what is with this family and not smiling nice??

Max and Luci ... he looks like he's about to go for the "yawn, stretch, arm around the shoulders" move

The food was wonderful, the music was fun, and the decorations were awesome! Each table had an individual cake on a vintage cake stand, and each cake was to die for. I think I tried five different kinds... lucky for me, my dress had extra room in the tummy area. Thanks to Annie Daniel (yes, the photographer's wife... very very creative, artistic family) for help with all of the decorations. She has such an eye for detail that made the overall effect stunning!

We partied long into the night, and the workers finally had to shoo us out the door. The party migrated elsewhere, but I headed back to baby and bed. The whole family came together again for Mass in the morning, then the rest of the day was spent chilling at the Yantes home, eating leftover cake and drinking coffee (lots of coffee...). In the evening was the gift opening, and Max got to swim with his daddy at the hotel swimming pool. Thanks hun for skipping the gifts to keep our child happy!

The happy couple said their goodbyes to the family Monday morning, and headed off on their first adventure as Mr. and Mrs! I am so excited to have a new brother-in-law, and I can't wait to see where life brings these two. Congratulations, Monica and Glenn Gerardi!

1 comment:

lsradecki said...

Wow, what a wonderful summary of the wedding festivities. I love the pictures. I think my favorite is of Paul and Monica. It is hilarious!
So glad we could be part of the very special occasion. (Watching Max and Louie was pretty fun too:)