Between You and Me: We are still on cloud nine over the...

Between You and Me: We are still on cloud nine over the wedding in Orlando

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By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief,
Publisher

The bride was beautiful. The groom was handsome. The scene was appropriate for a fairy tale. There was love all around. That is the short version of my oldest grandson’s wedding this past week’s end.

Now for the details.

The bride and groom worked out all the specifics themselves. They had plenty of time to do so since he proposed in December of 2021. The magic day, when they would be officially united, was set for 3/23/24. At the time, it seemed a universe away.

Then together they began to plan. And in planning, they enjoyed every prenuptial tradition on the way to the ceremony. 

They decided on a venue. Since they were moving to Orlando, Florida, that seemed like the most appropriate location for the wedding. They visited a number of sites before selecting a grand hotel in an Eden-like setting, with flowering gardens and sculpted waterfalls alongside a lake. They checked out the scene, the food, the rooms and the quality of service before committing. The hotel’s availability then determined the date.

Next, they sent out word of their engagement and charming save-the-date cards that they designed themselves. The cards were uniquely attractive and foretold the creative details that were to follow.

A shower for the bride was a delight last year  in a waterside club in Massachusetts, where the bride grew up. Her childhood friend organized the event that gave both sides of the family a chance to meet, along with some gifts for their home It was postponed once, when the bride-to-be came down with COVID, but was successfully rescheduled for later in the year. Bachelor and bachelorette parties followed.

The actual celebration was to be a four-day affair, fitting for a destination wedding for the guests, 100 of them, who were arriving from different parts of the country. The weather would predictably be warm in Florida, so the festivities would begin with a backyard barbecue at their new home. 

As it turned out, the barbecue changed to a food fest when they realized some 60 people had arrived early and were coming to their house. We sat around in the sunshine (and for me, the shade) in the backyard and inside the screened  porch, enjoying the warmth of both the weather and the company. The event brought the family together, some of whom we had not seen in years. Everyone’s palate was provided for, from southern fried chicken to a limitless selection of salads and vegetables. And delicious cupcakes. The only thing missing was their dog, who was spending the weekend at the kennel.

Next came a welcoming cocktail party Friday night, for which I wore a flowery floor length dress that I bought in Charleston on the way to the wedding. Shopping for it was great fun as we toured the city, my two good friends with whom I was traveling, helping.

And then the big day. The morning and early afternoon were spent in a flurry of hairdresser and make up appointments. Then photographs were snapped. The guests were seated outside, under a covered pavilion next to the lake, and at 5:30 sharp, the wedding procession began. 

I entered on the arm of my second grandson, feeling so fortunate to be there. We were followed by the grandfather of the bride and the bride’s mother. The bride and her father walked around a corner of the lake to the belvedere, and the temperature was perfect, although the breeze was a bit mischievous, blowing off the bride’s headpiece as she was reciting her vows. 

In a move that laid waste to the mother-in-law stereotype, the much loved and respected mother of the groom was asked to be the officiant, and she did a wonderful job, explaining parts of the ritual and leading the ceremony. The vows the couple then read to each other referred to the love they have shared over the past seven years since they met in college. There were not many dry eyes by the end. My son, a new father-in-law, beamed.

We, the onlookers and well wishers, basked in the affection they offered  each other and marveled at the miracle and the sweetness of love.

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