On October 24, I married the woman of my dreams in perhaps the most “non-traditional” manner one could imagine. It’s the second marriage for each of us and we both have grown “children,” so instead of taking the flowing-white-dress-and-tuxedo approach, we decided to have a party. You can read my detailed blog on that very fun, wine-filled day here.
Of course, the first matter to be addressed was the venue, and since both of us are lifelong bowlers and count bowlers among our best friends, we opted for the lounge of a bowling center that is owned by a good friend. The beautifully decorated room accommodates 160 people for dinner with round tables.
After paring the potential guest list to that number, we invited that group of people via Facebook (for the most part — some older family members have not yet embraced social media). Then we sent out “information packets” via traditional mail so everybody would know what to expect.
The centerpiece of the day was a salute to veterans, since my bride’s dad — a long-ago bowling teammate of mine — served and was wounded in Vietnam. Bowling’s long-time charity, the BVL Fund, raises money to fund programs that brighten the lives of hospitalized vets, so we decided that in lieu of a gift registry, we would ask our guests to make a donation to BVL. (Besides, I already own a Keurig machine, so we’re good.)
We had an Italian meal served buffet-style, and on each table we placed one bottle of a fruity white wine (a multi-variety blend), one bottle of rosé, and one bottle of red wine. When it came time for toasting, a user-friendly Prosecco was brought out. And the dessert table, which was put together by long-time friends and my brother, was a big hit. You can’t go wrong with Grandma Johnson’s ginger cookies and a glass of sparkling wine.
We also had our favorite band, Incendio, perform. Their infectious mix of guitar-driven world instrumental music brought them many new fans. And, yes, a fun bowling tournament followed the concert/wedding, raising more money for BVL. It was quite a day.
Before gathering around the dinner table yesterday for the first of two Thanksgiving feasts this week, I took a moment to reflect on 2015 and the many things for which I’m thankful — a wonderful daughter, a cool son-in-law, two gregarious grandchildren and, now, a beautiful wife following a most memorable wedding.
I hope your year also has been blessed by many wonderful experiences — even if you didn’t get married. And on this long Thanksgiving weekend, I hope you’ll have some time to reflect and be as thankful as I am.