All in all, 2009 is shaping up to be a year of happy events: my cousin Trista gave birth to her third son, Benjamin, on Thursday. My cousin Aimee is pregnant, and due in December. My cousin T.J.'s wife is due to have a baby this summer. My cousin Alica got married in March, and this weekend, my parents and I trekked down to St. Louis for the nuptials of my cousin Abby at the St. Louis Family Church in Chesterfield.
The ceremony blended traditions from Christianity and Judaism, in a nod to the bride's Jewish heritage.
Abby and Jon lighting the unity candle. The church had the best lighting I've ever seen. It was like a theatrical production in there!
My Aunt Faye's children, Courtney and Cameron, blowing bubbles outside the church.
Me and Mom with my grandpa's sister, Aunt Dolly, at the reception.
The day after the wedding, the parents of the bride held a family brunch at their home. Here they are with Aunt Faye and Dad.
Me and Aunt Dolly.
The wedding was lovely, and the bride was radiant in a strapless gown of beaded lace, with a playful chiffon ruffle peaking out of the bottom. Her twin daughters, Lena and Nora, acted as flower girls and wore dresses made from the train of their great-grandmother (my great-aunt) Dolly's wedding gown. It couldn't have gone any better.
The reception was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Clayton, and featured several creative flourishes. At Abby and Jon's request, the reception was alcohol-free, a move which I whole-heartedly support. I admire them for sticking to their convictions. It never would have occurred to me that a dry wedding would even be an option, and I respect that they didn't let anyone pressure them into having alcohol merely because it's what is expected.
However, in my estimation the highlight of the evening was the dessert table, where they featured cookies baked by Abby and various family members according to time-honored family recipes. There were Polish chrusciki from the groom's family, spritz cookies and lemon sesame cookies from the other half of the bride's family, my great-grandmother's spice cookies and anise cookies from our half, and chocolate-chocolate chip and regular chocolate chip cookies to honor the favorites of the groom and bride, respectively. Considering my fondness for the cookie arts in general, I was impressed by the decision to gastronomically demonstrate the merging of different traditions and cultures through the medium of baked goods.
Abby and Jon were lucky to find each other, and Lena and Nora are doubly lucky to gain such an upstanding father. I wish them the best of luck in their new life together!