Yesterday was the big wedding extravaganza for James and Simi. The day started very early at 7:00 am when the hair and make-up people arrived at our door. The bridesmaids and Simi got ready upstairs at our house while the groomsmen showed up dressed at the more respectable hour of 1:00 pm. As you would expect with a wedding, things got rushed the closer we got to the ceremony. It was slightly chaotic as the photographer andvideographer tried to get their shots of people getting ready. Originally there were going to be pictures of the wedding party before the ceremony but they ran out of time. We did get a nice family shot in the backyard though.
I left with the groomsmen in the limo to head off to church around 2:30 pm. My job was to make sure everything was set up correctly in the Mission. We put out the unity candle and programs and had some time to catch up with relatives outside. About 10 minutes before the scheduled start of mass everyone came in to find their seats in the pews. My brother was fairly calm as we waited for the bridal party to arrive. In the end it turned out that the hold up was my parents because they were trying to get the hair and make-up people out of the house.
The mass and ceremony went well. I was responsible for the first reading, from the Song of Songs, in which I got to utter the words "gazelle," "stag," and "lover" (4 times!). Both James andSimi became emotional when they were saying their vows and exchanging the rings. All in all it was a lovely ceremony and thankfully everyone fit into the Mission Chapel. After mass we did wedding party and family photos on the alter and then headed off to the reception while the wedding party had a little detour to B Street Tavern, where James andSimi first met three years ago.
The reception took place at Deer Park Villa in Fairfax. The cocktail hour was outside in the redwood grove, which was decorated with lights and pink lanterns. Everyone hit the bar and enjoyed the hothors d'oeuvres that were being circulated. We did lots of groups photos, including all the family shots- siblings, cousins, etc. During one of our pictures we smelled smoke. It turned out that my cousin's pashmina wrap had caught on fire from a candle on the table. We were disappointed that my brother didn't do his job and act to put it out first.
As it started to get dark we headed inside for the sit-down dinner. My mom, the unofficial wedding planner, did a great job making sure the tables were set up in an elegant way- right down to the napkin fold with name cards and menus inside. We started off with a spring mix salad and then people had a choice of chicken breast or prime rib for dinner. The best man, matron of honor and bride's father all gave toasts. We also got to watch a video of James andSimi's photos as they grew up and then pictures as a couple.
After the bride and groom's first dance and father/daughter dance everyone hit the floor. The DJ paced the music well and played all the greatest hits first. After the older attendees had worn themselves out on the dance floor he started playing more current hit music. The garter bouquet tosses and cake cutting went smoothly. The cake was really good and made locally. My brother was desperate for a piece of the banana/nut layer that was his choice and we finally found him one. It was a really fun reception and people had time to catch up with family members and/or dance and drink the night away (some more than others). Things started to wind down around 9:30 pm as the lights came up and people started to head for home. We stayed to clean up the tables and grab a few decorations and floral arrangements before leaving.
Today we had lunch for some of the out-of-town family members. James and Simi opened up wedding gifts and my brother's old room is currently full of boxes. They are going to have to move into a bigger place to fit in all these presents. It's hard to believe that my little brother is now married. Congratulations to the newlyweds!