Amy and I had the pleasure of attending my niece’s wedding this past Saturday. It was held in New Hampshire at 3 p.m. and, though only a few leaves had turned colors, fall was in the air.
The wedding was held in a park that had been beautifully decorated for the occasion by the groom’s family. The reception was held in a pavilion on the park grounds. Memories exploded for me when I realized that we had held our family reunion in that same pavilion in 2000; my niece was barely a year old at the time.
Amy and I had absolutely no expectations for the wedding and wondered if there would be, in fact, any type of reception. We were pleasantly surprised.
Seating for the service was outside on the lawn. Both her father and grandfather walked her down the “aisle.” She was dressed in a traditional white gown; the groom was dressed more casually. The pavilion was decorated with white chiffon curtains on the perimeter with little white lights among them. The picnic benches inside had padding on them so no splinters would pierce our behinds and the tables were outfitted with white tablecloths and gray runners. A DJ played some awesome music bringing many of us onto the dance floor (I’m paying dearly for that with sore muscles). When a charcuterie board was presented Amy and I loaded up thinking this was going to be the meal of the day. Again, we were wrong.
After some more dancing a Mexican meal of tacos, fruit and assorted yummies was brought out. Never fearful of having a full stomach, I again filled my plate.
When the day drew to a close, we stayed around to help clean up. After all, we’re family.
At no other time was that sentiment – we’re family – more poignant than when I hugged my newly married niece. She’s the daughter of my deceased (and only) sister who died in 2015. While I held up just fine during the (brief) ceremony, when I hugged my niece my tears welled up and spilled over. I cried for my dead sister and for her husband, and that she wasn’t at her daughter’s wedding.
Unfortunately, my sister’s husband – my niece’s dad – didn’t fare well after my sister’s death and is grappling with issues of his own. We were so happy that he attended the wedding. We told him so, too, and he replied that of course he’d be there. Amy corrected him on that note explaining that he didn’t have to be there, that there were circumstances of which she was aware when the father of the bride couldn’t take the heat and either left prematurely or failed to show up at all. So bravo to him.
Years ago I wrote a column of my night being an honorary Canney (Canney being the maiden name of my sister’s mother-in-law). The Canney girls were well represented at the wedding and I had so much fun spending time with them … especially on the dance floor.
I am so happy that we flew out for the wedding. Not only did we have a great time but it reinforced the most important thing of all: family.