SHE SAYS:

The last Saturday in March, 2011 was one of the happiest days of my life.  Our oldest son, Matthew was married.  In the scheme of life, marriages occur all the time, but for us, this was of course, a very special day and a very special wedding. 

Many life events have a way of being an everyday occurrence except when it happens to you.  I would say there are universal feelings involved when these events occur, but when it’s the first time for you it seems like you are the only one who ever experienced those feelings.  You know that other people have experienced the same feelings, but when you experience them yourself  or when you see it through your child’s eyes, it takes on more meaning and it seems more unique than anyone else’s experience.  Of course, we know it is not, but we can not help but feel that way. 

Nothing like a wedding can bring together families and blend cultures in a unique way.  Everyone wants the best and much happiness for their children.   Just a few generations ago, a man or woman might only seek someone for a spouse who was of the same culture, race or religion.  Newer generations have forged new experiences and have created more of a blending of families, cultures and traditions.  We have seen that occur with friends and relatives and welcome the diversity of our families. 

Matthew and Erika

Matthew and Erika

Matthew and Erika’s marriage brings together two families of different religions and different cultures, but in many ways our families are very similar.  Within a matter of three days of celebrations around the wedding, we can honestly say we felt like one big, happy family.  Even before the wedding, there was the rehearsal dinner and a large traditional feast hosted by Erika’s parents at their home which included almost two thirds of the wedding guests from both families.  This tradition is meant to bring the two families together and the evening concludes with ceremonial wishes for the bride as she spends her last night with her parents before moving on to her new life.  It was very moving and I was happy to be a part of it. 

Maybe it’s just the euphoria from the wedding and all of the happiness it exuded, but many people who attended the wedding seemed to feel the ‘specialness’ of this marriage and could feel the merging not only of the bride and groom but of their families.  I can honestly say that although we did not know Erika’s family well before the engagement last July, we now feel like we have known them forever and of course we now have the mutual bond of our children and their happiness. 

Matthew, Julia, Joseph and Michael

Matthew, Julia, Joseph and Michael

This just proves how an ordinary event like a wedding, can have an extraordinary impact on our lives.  We are still talking about this wedding and will continue to keep looking at all of the many pictures that were taken to relive the day over and over again. 

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

SHE SAYS:

Love is in the air!  There is nothing like planning a wedding and like many things in life, the outcome of events in your life depends on how well you planned in advance.  Joe and I are both planners and organizers.  People who know us know that we plan lots of details both in our personal and business lives. 

 Now, it is time for Matthew and Erika to do the planning and from the looks of it, the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree and our future daughter-in-law will fit right in.  (But, we already knew that!)

 As you might remember from previous blogs, Matthew and Erika became engaged on July 15th.  By August 7th, we joined them and Erika’s parents on a day trip going from one wedding venue to another to find the perfect place.  Of course we had appointments!  Erika mapped out the entire day for us which ended with a wonderful dinner at her parents’ home. 

 I truly admire Erika.  She is not only well organized and efficient, but she came equipped to each meeting with a notebook and a series of well thought out questions.  If Erika didn’t ask a question, Matthew chimed in.  The parents sat back and let the ‘kids’ take the lead.  Ultimately, they negotiated a great deal for their perfect wedding.  By the end of the day, the date, time and place were booked. 

 As I write this, it is not quite the end of August and to date, the wedding date is booked, the officiant, the band and the photographer are hired, the wedding album is selected, the hotel is on board with discounted rooms for guests and the invitations are selected.

 Oh, and of course, Erika already found the perfect dress! 

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Check back Tuesday for another update from Joe and Annemarie’s trip to Italy!

HE SAYS:

When our son, Matthew, told us he was finally going to propose to Erika, his girlfriend of six years, we were very happy and could not wait to hear all about the wedding plans.   However, when it comes to planning a wedding, things have really changed from my day.

            When I got married, many years ago, I was mostly out of the loop (even though that term did not exist back then) when it came time to plan the wedding.  Once Annemarie said yes, a well organized team of wedding planners consisting of Annemarie and her mother went to work planning the perfect wedding.   From my point of view, it was as if they were planning a surprise party to which I would be invited but would not need to know much more than the date, time, and place.   I was happy to be out of the loop and was extremely confident that everything would be as it should be at the perfect wedding.

            Today, men are much more sensitive and involved, or, at least, they appear that way to me.  This became apparent when Matthew advised us that he and Erika would be checking out several wedding venues together.  Matthew has continued to be involved in all aspects of the wedding plans, so far, and certainly appears to be knowledgeable as to the ingredients of a great wedding.   He has been checking out bands for the reception and helping develop the guest list for our side of the family.  

            I am sure that Erika, as with all brides, is relying on the advice and help of her mother; but, I am both amazed and impressed as to the level of Matthew’s involvement in the planning of their wedding.     

            I am glad that Matthew is in the loop and applaud his desire to be involved; however, he better not decide to bake the wedding cake, there are limits after all.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?