Today was my cousin Jennifer's wedding, which was the main reason for my trip to the States. The ceremony took place at Saint Francis Solano church in Sonoma at noon (the mantra of the day was 9/10/11 at 12:00 pm). The weather was warm but not too unbearably hot and it was nice to see relatives outside of church before mass started. My nephew Logan was the ring bearer and he looked very cute in his white suit. We were curious to see if he would make it down the aisle, and he did- but he was carried by the junior bridesmaid because he got scared at the last minute. Jennifer looked beautiful in her dress and the ceremony went smoothly. Once Alex and Jennifer were pronounced man and wife we all exited the church and did a big photo on the front steps of the church (with the photographers stopping traffic and standing in the middle of the street).
The reception took place at Jennifer's grandparents amazing property in Sonoma. There was a bar in the middle of the grounds and appetizers being passed around when we arrived. They had also set up a photobooth with props, which kept all of us cousins entertained for a while. Once family photos were completed everyone headed into the impressive tent for our multiple course Italian meal. The wedding party came in and the newly married couple had their first dance. In between courses we had speeches from the maid of honor and best man. My uncle Tony also led us all in singing "That's Amore" before getting his father/daughter dance. We then all hit the dance floor as the live band played a wide range of songs from different eras (Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It" was a highlight for Missy and I). The wedding cake was a very yummy red velvet, and we continued to dance as the sun set across the vineyards. As the evening came to a close everyone gathered on either side of the driveway with lit sparklers in their hands as the couple walked through to their car. It was a wonderful day and so nice to be able to spend time with my extended family. I wish Jennifer and Alex all the best as they embark on married life together.