My cousin Alissa got married this weekend in Chicago. She's only 25 years old! I am 24! Am I next?! Now, that is a scary thought...but I do not want to get into that right here and now. Anyways, I had a really good time getting to see my crazy family and my girlfriend, Sarah, who flew in from New Jersey. I wish I was to see my family a little more. I just feel so out of the loop sometimes because my aunts, uncles, and cousins all live in the Chicago, my parents live in New Jersey, and I live all the way down here in Atlanta. But that's not the issue at hand here. On to the wedding!
The actual wedding ceremony was held in a church outside of Chicago. It was a very nice ceremony...a little too religious for me, but I think the manner in which the ceremony was conducted was excellent. The priest spoke a great deal about loving each other, being loved, and even a little humor about the different ways in which men and women view marriage. That was all very nice. But he also spoke about how their love was God's love and that God shared his love with them and that they could love because of God. Blah, blah, blah. In an attempt to not be disrespectful, I had a difficult time stomaching those few points because I just do not see the love between two people being a religious experience.
The second part of the traditional American wedding consisted of a reception at the Chicago O'Hare Marriott later that day. The first hour was a cocktail party where the family greeted the guests. The rest of the evening took place in one of the ballrooms at the hotel. We drank, we danced, we drank some more, and did the normal wedding reception things, which I do not want to get into. You can figure out how it all went down.
I have to be honest. I found the entire event rather emotional. There is one part that sticks out to me though and I had a very hard time holding back the tears. My Grandfather spoke and sang at the reception. He sang a song that he used to sing to my Grandmother, Won't You Be My Sweetheart
, before she passed away. I know this may not sound like an overly emotional moment, but there is some more background information. The last few years before my Grandmother passed away, she was in a nursing home stricken with Alzheimer's disease and my Grandfather was not able to give her the continuous care she needed. Well, about four years ago on Spring Break, Sarah and I went to visit my grandparents and we went to visit my Grandmother in the nursing home. My Grandfather visited her everyday and every time he sang with her because she loved to sing. They used to sing Won't You Be My Sweetheart
. She remembered nobody and nothing, barely even my Grandfather, but she remembered the words to this song. Every word. It was amazing. He was so good with her. I couldn't hold back the tears then and couldn't do it at the wedding. All these thoughts came rushing back to me. My Grandfather was so good with her. Every day for years and years. He was so devoted and so loving. I admired my Grandfather immensely after seeing that (not that I didn't before, just more so)...probably more than I have ever admired another person. I will remember that day until I die. Hopefully I can express my love and devotion to my wife some day as he has. I even feel like crying while sitting here and writing about it. So in order to deal with my feelings at the wedding, I slammed back three glasses of champagne. When in doubt or pain, resort to alcohol...not really, but it sure helped here.
Back to the positive stuff. Alissa looked incredible and her dress was gorgeous. Everything seemed to go as planned and I had an excellent time. I think her and her new husband Kevin will be very happy together. I wish them the best of luck in the future.
Here are some the pictures taken at the wedding