A special birthday wish…

A birthday tribute to my favorite cousin!

Ok so I really do HATE to help family and friends with the wedding they are planning but this was an extra ordinary circumstance.  I have a cousin that I really didn’t have much of a relationship over the years.  Her Dad (my Uncle and dear friend of my parents) remarried and Alison was born when I was in high school so we didn’t really “Hang” until… she became engaged that is.  Alison and Ricky were married on June 5th.  Yes – you may recall that day as one of the hottest days of summer!!!  Despite the crazy over 100 degree weather we all had a GREAT time.  I must admit that they had a wedding that was really FUN to be a guest!

Leading up to the wedding Alison called me and asked me for advise on the lil things…where to have her reception, who in the biz to work with, how to spin her own personality on the big day and a few other conversations that we had during the late hours of the nights and throughout the days leading to the big day.

Alison was marrying Ricky in my own parish:  Our Lady of Assumption in Wayne, PA.  I wanted to do something special for them at the ceremony – the ceremony was going to be a bitter sweet moment.  Ali lost her Mom to brain cancer just a year before so although she was marrying her soul mate she was missing her Mommy.  A few months before the wedding I opened an account with a new floral wholesaler so I figured it was a good time to give them a try!    I emailed Alison and asked her if she liked “luguna roses” which are a pink and ivory rose that open to a full lovely rose bloom.  She did so I ordered her 300 and we gathered vases that her Mom had saved as well as her Aunt and sister in law.  Each vase on the alter floor had a memory!  I wanted them to look down and feel like they were being married in a bed of roses but we were limited to a long list of church rules.  Here is how Alison remembers her wedding ceremony… “We said our vows among a sea of beautiful pink roses adorned with gold ting ting.  My girls looked absolutely stunning in their pink gowns and the flowers were AMAZING!  My husband cried as I walked down the aisle, and I spent the entire day bawling as well.  Although in the back of my mind I missed my mother dearly, the 225 guests that attended my wedding were the best support anyone could ever ask for.”

As you can see – the couple lightened up soon after mass!  Alison says her favorite part of the day was… “my dad asking me “Are ya ready?” before walking me down the aisle… and my husband sobbing at the altar, just barely making out the words “You look beautiful” – I’m pretty sure it’ll be the only time in our lives where he’ll be breathless!!!! ”

I absolutely adore this picture of Alison spinning in her gown and cathedral length veil.  She glows like I have never seen before.

Here’s the rest of the family… Dawn her sister and I went to grade school together and David her brother and my brother have been friends for a long time.  The guy in the middle is my Uncle Joey – he’s AWESOME!!!  I think he is just relived as so many father of the brides are… “she is just someone else’s problem now!! ” 

Okay so when Alison reads this she is going to kill me but the picture below was taken by val – a good friend of mine and her photographer.  Ali was not so much into standing in a field in waste high weeds with bugs crawling under her layers of dress!  As a matter of fact – I think she hated every second of it.  Funny thing is… SOOOO many people LOVE this picture!  I told her that models and famous people have endured much worse.  She didn’t really want to hear it.  Ali – I love you and you know you look STUNNING in this picture.  And Yes Ricky – you do too!!!  You can check out more pictures of  Valentin’s work at http://www.jean-valentin.com

Alison and Ricky had the reception at The Waterfall ballroom  (http://www.the-waterford.com) which is known as a luxurious multi level ballroom, featuring extraordinary style and first class sophistication.  A perfect match for Alison and Ricky to celebrate in style!  Uncle Joey (who was flipping the bill) wanted great service and tons of food… we are Italian of course!  Clem, Sharon Dachino and the rest of the hotel staff took care of every request – big and small!

Alison and Ricky wanted tons of dancing (Alison is a 20 something cheerleading coach) and a candy bar all color coordinated (I can’t remember but this may have even been the grooms idea?).  They researched the candy and I lent them really cool glass canisters from Karen Pecora Events.  One night Alison was sitting in my living room and looked at the candle sticks on my coffee table and said… “hey can I use that on my candy bar.”  A few glasses of wine later… out came the brown pintuck linen that I had custom made last Christmas for my dining room table,  along with a variety of other Nudy/Pecora household items!  Viloa the candy bar was competed!

I have NEVER seen a wedding where every single wedding guest danced.  I have to say that even the old… the handicapped… the drunk… and everyone in between danced at least one or two times that night!

I can’t even describe the vibe in the room.  Rian Winther and Brian Latosha from Toner Sound were more then amazing.  I am not lying when I tell you that every single person danced that night!  I have worked with Toner Sound for years but it was just something about Brian and Rian that just raised the roof – fist pump like I have never seen before – fist pumping from 80 year olds is something you just don’t see very often!  Check them out at www.Tonersound.com

Here’s what the bride has to say…”On to the reception of a lifetime… my dj’s rocked the house – not a SINGLE GUEST remained in their seat.  The dance floor was packed.  My aunts made about a million delicious italian cookies that Rick and I carried in a basket to each table – an italian tradition my dad insisted upon.  It was a huge hit with the guests and I hope someday my children will do that as well.  The cake was gorgeous and Rick and I cut it with beautiful cake servers covered in crystals.  The Radisson took such good care of us … we were treated like royalty.  Everyone says that your wedding is the one day in your life that you feel like a princess… and that doesn’t even sum up how I felt.  Karen made sure everything ran perfectly – from the way the girls carried their flowers, to fixing a destroyed bustle!”

The day was an incredible start for a lifetime of happiness for Alison and Ricky!  They are a wonderful couple who have come in my life forever!  I now think of Alison as the lil sister I never had.  Today (Ok – it is really tomorrow but I thought it was today!) is Alison’s birthday – so here’s a poem for you my girl…

I’m wishing you another year… laughter, joy and fun!

Surprises, love and happiness…. when your birthday’s done,

I hope you feel deep in your heart,

As your birthdays come and go,

How very much you mean to me,

More than you can know.

Happy Birthday Alison…

I love you!