So here we are leaving the wedding, just minutes after pledging our lives together, and heading off to the reception:
Yes, I held my dress up nearly halfway down the aisle. I forgot to let go after coming down those steps!
And here we are in the limo.
We were received at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, PA. Otherwise known to us simply as, The Cathedral.
No, we are not masons, nor do we support their mission, but this building has been a fixture throughout my entire life. I've danced in many recitals there, attended many banquets there, been to shows, sales, concerts, and even quite a few other wedding receptions. When we were looking for our reception hall, this was one of the first places we looked. They have a HUGE ballroom, but with just 250-300 guests, we would have been lost, so we chose the more intimate, yet beautiful, crystal ball room. Even the name of it sounds lovely!
The room was so pretty by itself, it didn't need a lot of embellishing. It had hard wood floors, pillars, and crystal chandeliers. But we hired a professional decorator anyway. haha. The reception began around 6, so I wanted to go with a candlelight glow, so we had lots of candles and white twinkle lights.
I was super excited when I came up with the idea for our reception favors. Chocolate covered pretzels, sprinkled with lavender-colored jimmies, and a tag that read, "Bobby & Jennifer tie the knot, 3-15-03!" Get it? Tie the knot... pretzel... ?!?! Wish I had a picture to show you how cute they were.
After our grand entrance and the blessing, we had a delicious dinner of rigatoni, meatballs, chicken, potatoes, carved roast beef, salad, rolls, and I'm not sure what else.
For dessert we had cake (of course) - you can see a picture of it in my post from last week - and a humongous cookie table. Have you all heard of these cookie tables at receptions? They are all the rage up here in this part of the country. I've never been to a reception around here that didn't have one. I'm thinking about taking the tradition out to Oklahoma with me and spreading it around there. So where do all the cookies come from, you ask? Well, a couple months before the wedding, family members & friends contact the bride or MOB and ask what kind of cookies they would like them to make, they tell them and then they make several dozen of that kind. And pretty soon that adds up to about 100 dozen or so. Yummo!
This picture hardly does it justice.
While everyone was eating and mingling, our parents had assembled a little slideshow of pictures of Bobby and I through the years. I'm a sucker for those kinds of things.
We didn't have much for entertainment despite the fact that we had a DJ. Since Bobby's family doesn't really like too much dancing, we stuck to classy background music mostly. We did a couple of the regular dances like our first dance which was to, "When the Rain Comes" by Third Day (since they were the impetus for us meeting in the first place, we figured it was only appropriate) and the father-daughter dance.
But I think the highlight of the evening was when I threw the bouquet. We had about 6 single ladies come up for it, including my sweet great-grandmother Tillie.
She did not catch the bouquet, but darnit, she tried! haha. I love that lady.
This is our staged photo of us leaving the reception. :)
Oh boy, I spent all that time talking about the reception and I haven't even started on the honeymoon.
So I went to one of those bridal fairs/shows that everyone goes to, even though you never use any of the vendors there. You go for the free stuff, right? I do. After we made our rounds and collected bags full of junk, I stopped and filled out a little card for the raffle they were having. Then about two weeks later I got a call. Actually, no, they left it on my answering machine at my parents. When I listened to the message, my chin dropped to the floor and I cried. I won a 7-day, 6-night honeymoon (including airfare for 2) to the all-inclusive Grand Lido Negril Jamaica resort! I got to choose the dates (we left at 6 am the morning after our wedding, yikes!) and everything was reserved for us, it was amazing. The only thing we had to pay for was souvenirs and excursions (we weren't even allowed to tip!). We never could have afforded a honeymoon like this otherwise.
Our favorite parts of our honeymoon were the luxurious ocean-view room, 24-hour room service, the yummy food, the beautiful and warm ocean water, the absolutely perfect weather (so if you want to go to Jamaica, go in March), snorkeling, water-skiing, kayaking, shopping at the local markets, sunset cruise aboard the M/Y Zein (Princess Grace Kelly's honeymoon yacht), seeing rasta farmers, and our excursion to the Black River/YS Falls. And did I mention it was all free?!?!
Can you believe that I do not have a single photo on a computer of my honeymoon? Not one. I had to scan all of the wedding photos, but the album that my honeymoon pictures are in is packed away in a storage unit in Oklahoma. :-(We were in Jamaica from Sunday evening (the day after our wedding) until the following Sunday morning. We arrived back in Pittsburgh LATE Sunday night, drove one hour to my parents' house, arrived around midnight, then stayed up until 2 am talking to them and opening all of our wedding presents. I hear about these people who have these big events, even brunches, when all of the friends & families come over to watch them open their gifts. Not us! I sat there in my pajamas and braids in my hair, in the middle of the night/early morning until I collapsed.
Then we had to get up early the next morning and drive far away, to a place called Oklahoma. (we lived there for 2 1/2 months, in Bobby's bachelor apartment, before heading off to seminary in St Louis.) It was such an emotional day for me. I just got back from the most wonderful vacation of my life with my new husband and then had to leave my hometown and parents for the first time ever in my LIFE (since college was a mere 30 minutes away). We all ran to Walmart that morning and when we picked up an atlas for our trip, I started bawling. In the Walmart checkout line. It was so bittersweet. I was excited to begin my life with Bobby, but I was struggling to leave my comfortable, happy, safe life with my parents. And now I have to do it all over again in THREE WEEKS!!! Why do we keep doing this?!??! Oh, because God is leading us there. That's right...