Well kids, they did it! My brother tied the knot last weekend.
It was the most unconventional wedding I’ve ever attended, in all the best ways. I’ll break it down for you in photos….
To review, my 46-year-old brother, Adam, had dated a lot over the last 20 years, but had never been married. You can read more about him, how he met his lovely wife, Heather, and their adorable proposal in a previous post here.
They decided on a destination wedding so all their family and friends could gather for the weekend to party like rock stars. They live in LA but the wedding was in La Jolla, outside San Diego.
The night before we gathered at an outdoor venue for the rehearsal dinner– sitting at long tables under twinkling lights to toast the happy couple.
It was great to see so many old friends of our family– many who hold a special place because they knew my father, who died when I was 25.
It was also a mini reunion of high school and Chicago friends whom I hadn’t seen in forever. It’s always great to bring people together to celebrate love, and these two are truly gaga for each other.
Several people made toasts. I decided to write a poem that was part biography, part roast, part advice offering. Eli helped me feel less nervous when I read it.
The next afternoon, the wedding party met on a cliff overlooking the ocean on a clear, hot sunny southern California day to take photos before the ceremony.
The location and views were spectacular, and although it was no small feat to walk in high heels and a long dress along the sandy rocks, the photos were well worth it.
Heather looked stunning in a gorgeous lace gown and a sparkly tiara.
Despite the blazing sun, she never looked hot or sweaty and her hair never frizzed– it was like the wedding gods were shining on her all day and night.
She seemed unflappable, calm and happy the whole weekend with a perma-grin from ear to ear.
Adam had a few Groomzilla moments of stress but kept it mostly together and really enjoyed being the center of attention. He paired his sleek suit with leather Pumas, and complained his cheeks hurt from too much smiling during the pictures.
The ceremony was terrific. They had an ordained friend marry them and his words were uniquely personal, funny, and meaningful. He kept it short and sweet but hit all the important points.
There was no religious aspect of the ceremony but Adam decided he wanted to break a glass at the end — a Jewish wedding tradition. The only snag was that someone tried to use an industrial new energy-efficient light bulb, instead of a camera bulb or old school bulb and since Adam was wearing sneakers he couldn’t break the glass!
It turned into a funny moment and then he finally gave up and we all shouted “Mazel tov!” and the bride and groom kissed and shimmied down the aisle to Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.”
The cocktail hour was fun and the venue was a cool space with wood floors and strings of lights and lanterns.
Heather is quite the planner/organizer and her personal touches were evident everywhere. There was a tree of cupcakes baked by a friend, a tub of handmade lip balms with the wedding logo, and a special groom’s cake at their sweetheart table that had Han Solo and Princess Leia on top– since Adam is a huge “Star Wars” fan, and they once dressed up as the rebel couple for Halloween.
There was a slide show projecting pix of friends and family on one wall and after the wedding party was announced, they broke into a flash mob and then grabbed all the wedding guests to get them out on the floor to start off the party.
No one had more fun in the photo booth than Eli, who clearly likes to see himself on film….
The best man and matron of honor made wonderful, heartfelt speeches that explained the essence of Adam and Heather and why their coupling is so special.
Adam’s friend Chris wrote a song and sang it with his guitar, which was sweet and absolutely hilarious.
Adam got emotional during his speech, especially when he got to declaring his love for Heather and how she has changed him and made him a better man. He said she sees him and he is his best self with her. You can’t ask for more than that from a groom.
My brother has been a Dead-head and Phish-head for years and he and Heather originally bonded over their love of live music. They often plan their vacations around when Phish is touring. When making wedding plans, Heather created an Excel spread sheet to establish when the best date for the wedding would be that would not interfere with the Phish tour. And yet, Phish happened to open the tour on the night of the wedding in our hometown of Chicago.
The irony was rich.
You may know that if you follow Phish, the set list for shows is an obsession for fans. So at one point in the evening, one of Adam’s fellow Phish heads wrote down the set list on a chalk board and delivered it to Adam after his speech. He then proceeded to go through every song, analyzing the show in front of all the guests. It was hilarious and also the oddest moment I’ve ever witnessed at a wedding. But so, so my brother.
Guests boogied on the dance floor until the last song and then many of us went to the after party and the after-after party. The die-hard crew lasted til 4am in the bridal suite (Wilson and I did not stay up that late.)
The rest of the weekend was filled with more drinking, eating and laughter. Adam was hoarse by Saturday from talking so much and shouting over loud music.
Mr. and Mrs. Schon will be jetting off to Hawaii in a few weeks for their honeymoon and then it’s back to reality.
I was worried that my boys would be bored over the weekend but they learned lot about Uncle Adam and were total troopers, enjoying every event and socializing with everyone. Eli was extremely excited to officially be able to call her Aunt Heather.
I’ll leave you with the last stanza of a poem I read at the rehearsal dinner:
So here we are in southern Californ–I-A
About to hear words some thought he’d never say
We are so happy to be here for you both
To witness your special day of betroth
Good luck in the future, hold each other tight
Never argue in bed, sleep well through the night
Keep romance alive, don’t forget to call
Honesty and laughter are the keys to it all.
We’re thrilled that true love is finally found
Congratulations to the grooviest couple around
We love you guys!