Fiona, International Student Advisor &Tony, Lawyer
Sum-up of the wedding vibe: An emotional, homegrown wedding followed by an international dance party
Soundtrack for reading: “Suavemente Besame” by Elvis Crespo
favorite thing about the wedding:
I was overwhelmed by all of the ways friends and family banded together to make Tony feel a part of the family and community, especially because “his people” were two thousand miles away. My German folk-dancing grandfather, Opa, said his favorite part was Tony’s and my Dominican first dance. “We have another dancer in the family.”
other cool stuff we should know about:
We found our photographers, Aaron and Whitney, through APW and were the winners of the most amazing photography package. This was our incredible luck for so many reasons, and it all ended in gaining two wonderful new friends.
Looking back, one of my most profound feelings is gratefulness. I’m grateful to our friends and family for creating music, reading, singing, listening, celebrating Hesed, and unwrapping what seemed like hundreds of candles, growing grass, and folding paper airplanes with dear little hearts at the end of the exhaust fumes, searching desperately for paper cups, not Styrofoam, but alas, for building a dance floor, for more than just a “Talking Party” (my husband’s term for what white people do when we celebrate), preparing the Blaukraut for my husband’s German acculturation, building a deck by the pond to last for many weddings to come, driving to New Holland to pick up my mom’s new car before the wedding, making my Aunt Tillie’s day, and helping to lead the general direction of the day’s preparations.
What else do I credit my friends and family for? Producing a plethora of wedding day signs with my favorite color (glitter); making bouquets to rival any Pinterest collection; serving guests and working behind the scenes from 1:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.; designing, printing, and mailing wedding invitations for long-distance lovers, planning dishes to *wow!* our palates in 2014 (when we cancelled wedding #1 due to the groom STILL not having a US visa) AND 2015 (with the actual groom present); painting the dance floor at midnight with a broken roller; bringing the canoe on-site at the drop of a hat; traveling all the way from Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and New York; bringing homemade pickles, jams, homegrown flowers, and much more for lunchtime; giving clear direction (“It’s The Gruganheim, not The Guggenheim”); attempting to scatter flower petals with no hands; squeezing in a stint as Best Man right after an international flight; your first child’s college orientation and right before the start of a new semester; creating (each) personalized invitation to the bridal and groomal shower; baking 795 cookies decorated to look like works of art; serving guests because you love your mother/your wife; keeping the deaf guests in good hands; meeting; greeting; cooking; cleaning; ironing; folding; setting; sweeping; all manner of help sleeping on blow up mattresses; hauling 60 bales of hay across The Valley and then back again; sorting hundreds of mint leaves; and driving to State College and back at 3:00 a.m…. twice.
Finally to all the Bateyeros who were here in spirit and showed your love through your video messages that made us cry for missing you, I am grateful.