By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Indeed, my niece Lauren and her Romeo [Justin, actually] tied the knot on June 8, 2013 at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church. Happy tears, smiles, and wishes for wedded bliss abounded after Father Mike pronounced them “man and wife”. After the pews had emptied of wedding guests, the photographer herded us back to the front of the Sacristy for family photos with the newlyweds. The wedding planner and the photographer shepherded the bride, the groom, the five bridesmaids, and the five groomsmen on to the wedding trolley for photo shoots all over downtown Indianapolis.
I returned to the hotel on another trolley. As I entered The Conrad’s foyer, I spied my aunts, uncles, and some of my cousins placing drink orders with a server. Hastily I placed an order for a ginger ale just to whet my whistle, for the temperature had reached eighty-one degrees accompanied by humidity. Cocktails were to be served in the Rhythm Discovery Center, across the street from The Conrad. It was a most fascinating venue of rhythm history with spontaneous rhythm performances and flashing lights, which jarred me out of any weariness I might have otherwise felt. After drinking a Sprite, at least I think that’s what it was, I gathered my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and we walked to The Indianapolis Artsgarden [this is the correct spelling!] for the wedding reception. It had been three hours since I had last seen the bridal party. However, they emerged from their extensive photo shoot intact, hungry and thirsty. After the speeches and toasts had been made, the 250+ guests settled into a delicious sit down dinner, followed by cake and coffee.
Several weeks prior to The Wedding, Lauren phoned and asked me if I would let her use my mother’s cameo on her bridal bouquet. The florist assured her that if the cameo could not be fastened securely, it would not be used. I thought about how much my mother had loved Lauren, how she would have embraced Lauren and her new husband, how touched she would have been that Lauren wanted to include this exquisite cameo in her bouquet on her Wedding Day. Of course, I said yes. Actually, I was moved to tears by Lauren’s request, for my late father had purchased the cameo for my late mother on a momentous trip to Italy our family had taken when I was sixteen-years-old. We had visited a cameo fabbrica outside of Naples, on our way to Pompeii. Mama had been enthralled by the craftsmanship. The cameo was a prized possession of Mama’s.
Then the dancing began en force. The live band, Endless Summer Band never stopped for breaks, though they did rotate their musicians in and out throughout the night. We all danced like possessed maniacs; the music was that good, that foot-stomping, that adrenaline throbbingly great! I haven’t danced that much since my graduate school days in the early 1980’s. While there was an open bar, I imbibed only the soft drinks before the reception, a glass of champagne, and half-a-glass of vino. Throughout the night I kept hydrated by downing glasses of water. I simply was having fun to the hilt on the dance floor with multiple dance partners to fuzzy it up with alcohol, though I would have loved a Cosmopolitan!
Finally, my daughter-the-bridesmaid and I retired for the night, past the time for the end of the reception, only because after four hours, my dancing feet were screaming for respite. I forced myself to shower and wash my hair, thinking that would help me sleep. Besides, we had to rise and shine on Sunday for the 10:00 a.m. family brunch at The Conrad. I must confess, when my iPhone4 alarm sounded at 8:30 a.m., I wanted to pound it into silence since I was so comatose I couldn’t find the phone right away. My contact lens held my eyes open for the brunch. Last hugs, kisses, and smiles were offered among us, as we scattered our separate ways hither and yon with the memories of a fabulous Wedding Weekend.
Ciao for now.