My brother-in-law’s wedding last Saturday was a beautiful, love-soaked gathering…I only wish we could start the weekend over again because after months of planning and preparing, it flew by.
Destination weddings are always fun because everyone escapes real life for a few days and is extra-committed to being together. This one was in New Haven, CT, near where my new sister-in-law grew up. We stayed at a great hotel called The Study at Yale, which was sleek, accommodating and put up with all our shenanigans.
Wilson and I packed up the kids and several heavy hanging bags filled with dresses, suits, belts, handbags, and 15 pairs of shoes and headed north.
The rehearsal dinner was on Friday night at the Union League Club: yummy food, stiff drinks, and a room filled with shiny, happy people ready to celebrate.
My kids had never been to a rehearsal dinner and loved all the toasts. Wilson’s dad made a lovely, moving speech, the bride’s mom belted out a clever song about Beth to the tune of “You’re the Top” from Anything Goes, and several bridesmaids spoke about Beth being a great friend who always makes us laugh.
But the highlights had to be Wilson’s cousins, Jeremy and Keith, who wrote an epic, hilarious poem about Jon that made me laugh so hard, my stomach hurt. They were the only ones to roast him good– but they managed to do it with charm and underlying affection.
Beth’s brother Matt produced an amazing photo montage, including video from all the nieces and nephews that made everyone say “awwwwww!”
You may remember that I set up this happy couple. Beth is the sister of our friends, David and Allison, whom I also set up many years ago. So since we were practically sitting on the Yale campus, Dave put on his professor hat to make a power-point presentation of a course about the Lefferts and Ansel family dynasties– complete with family trees, diagrams, and a pop quiz on how well you know the players.
Beth is a detail gal and there were so many personal touches throughout the weekend, like this welcome note in the snack-filled hotel goody bags. It was created by a family friend who’s an artist and known Beth since she was little.
On Saturday we explored New Haven and looked at the Yale campus.
But soon it was time to get dressed for family photos. The process of getting my boys tuxedos and all the necessary accessories and tailoring was torture. They complained every time they had to try them on (itchy! stiff! annoying!) but it was all worth it.
There were lots of snacks and drinks flowing during our wedding party/family photo session, cause that’s how we roll.
It was such a festive scene with everyone adjusting dresses, hair, makeup, and ties and all the adorable kids running around like they were out of a Ralph Lauren ad.
We kept the little ones busy with electronics.
You’ve waited long enough to see the bride.
Beth wanted an ethereal, fairytale mood and she succeeded. Her dress was a silk J Mendel, and with a tiara and light veil streaming only down the back, she looked like Greek goddess meets A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gorgeous!
The mood followed through to the earthy chuppah– with giant roses in the greens– and candles everywhere. Beth and Jon had a rabbi do blessings, but it was David who got ordained online and actually married them. The ceremony was personal, and sweet.
Even the cake had a rustic feel with fresh flowers…..
The venue was an old club with great wood and checkered floors, high ceilings and art deco light fixtures. The food was delicious and abundant….Shrimp, clams, oysters…seafood galore (and that was just the cocktail hour!)
The band was great and we danced our tootsies off.
It was especially fun for my family because all the grandparents were there, plus the Ansels, who have been like family to us since I moved to New York more than 20 years ago.
It was a lovely affair, but what made it special was Jon and Beth so clearly in love and right for each other. Even the crankiest curmudgeon couldn’t deny that warm feeling watching them laugh and dance and take it all in.
And now they’re off to the Caribbean for two weeks, those lucky bastards.
I won’t nag, but I’ll be secretly wishing for a baby soon….and maybe a house in Jersey!
A bridesmaid can dream…..