Paudh and Amy’s wedding day had arrived!
On the morning of the wedding, I enjoyed a couple hours gloriously alone in a beautiful hotel room overlooking Lake Michigan with a delicious room service breakfast of crab benedict while I got some work done, loving the peace and quiet of a few child-free hours.
We took a few pictures at the church before the ceremony began.
Danny had fun with uncle Brian. Kevin, who seemed to cry whenever someone other than me tried to pick him up, had fun with a little ball tied to a ribbon.
In the pocket of his tuxedo, my brother Kevin found a leftover party favor from New Year’s, and Danny loved playing with it.
At the church, I got to meet Pierce, my sister Maureen’s adorable six-month-old son.
Six of my sisters who would be singing during the mass practiced their songs and warmed up their voices.
Paudh and Amy’s wedding day – April 1, 2017 – was the 73rd anniversary of the wedding of my my maternal grandparents, married when my grandpa was on leave from his duties as a soldier during World War II. In memory of my grandparents, my brother Kevin wore cuff links from our grandpa. (Watch this space in late August when Kevin, my sixth sibling to have gotten engaged since I moved to Paraguay, marries his fiancé Matty!)
The bride and her entourage arrived at the church.
The ceremony began with the procession of the mothers, and then the three sisters of the bride were escorted down the aisle by the three brothers of the groom.
The mothers lit taper candles to be used for the unity candle.
And then, here comes the bride!
Paudh and Amy were so happy!
All of my siblings had a role in the mass. The boys were groomsmen and the girls either sang or did readings. Clingy Kev came with me when I did a reading.
Here are the new husband and wife!
After the ceremony we took pictures with the happy couple.
Ever since a waiter at the luncheon following my grandmother’s funeral four years ago told Rita that her “husband” (a.k.a., my brother Paudh) had been overserved and should probably go home, it has been a joke in our family that Rita and Paudh had been “an item” until Amy came along. Rita played this up in a few funny pictures with Paudh and Amy!
On the way out of the church, my weirdo brothers checked out the limo for the newlyweds.
While the bridal party took a few pictures around the city, I ditched the boys with Jay and Michele.
Danny was completely exhausted, had a major meltdown at the prospect of me leaving him, and passed out of the couch about a half hour after I left after some extreme sobbing. He slept straight through the night and didn’t even have dinner!
The reception at Spiaggia began with cocktails and passed appetizers.
My mom’s brother George was the wedding photographer and he joined us for the reception.
Here are the beautiful and unique wedding rings, designed by a friend of the couple. Patrick had a braided gold band and Amy had two diamond bands – one above and one below her stunning engagement ring.
Guests dined at five different tables, named for funny or significant memories in their relationship – the swim team where the two met, the bride’s sister’s broken foot that reconnected them, the fire alarm the groom pulled to give the bride more time to study for a high school exam, the song the two danced to at a grade school swim team banquet, and the torrential downpour in Madison, Wisconsin when the two got engaged.
The evening ‘s menu was delicious.
There were lots of laughs!
When the reception ended, there was an after-party at the bar at the Whitehall Hotel, with lots of singing and story-telling. For the first time possibly ever my mom wanted to go home before my dad did. We all stayed til they kicked us out, about 90 minutes after last call as there were turning off the lights.
I spent another night at the hotel enjoying solitude, room service breakfast, and lake views. I picked up the boys from Jay and Michele and we drove back to suburbs.
While Danny and Kevin and I enjoyed the weekend in Chicago, Patrick and Brian were having a good time in Paraguay. At Patrick’s request, they went to TGI Friday’s and sat at the bar, accompanied by Jiggly Bear, a small stuffed animal teddy bear with a bell inside. Patrick was thrilled to run into his classmate Tommy at TGI Friday’s and the two read the newspapers together. Patrick also rode his bike at the Embassy and convinced Brian to have a bonfire in the backyard. What more could a six-year-old want?
Danny and Kev and I spent the next few days enjoying things we don’t have in Paraguay, like first-rate medical care, family, and bacon. And I stocked up on a few things t bring back to Paraguay with us.
Danny went to the White Sox opening day game with my brother Kevin. When they passed through China Town on the L, Danny told Uncle Kevin, “This reminds me of the movie Kung Fu Panda.”
Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and the game was canceled due to rain. Danny was happy to have enjoyed popcorn, cotton candy, and time with his uncles! Danny ended up going back to my brother Kevin’s apartment where they ate chicken nuggets and watched Zootopia.
Our flights back home to Paraguay was long but uneventful. The kids slept a little and were mostly well-behaved.
The next morning it was backto the grindstone for a long day of work which included an evening reception at the Ambassador’s house.
I am already looking forward to the next wedding in August!