Monday, September 29, 2008

Trip to Chicago: Part III, The Big Wedding Day

The day of the wedding arrived and the weather was beautiful, with glorious sunshine without being too oppressive.  We went to Hube and Bonnie's house early to transport us, Hube, Dad and all our luggage to the new hotel.  Mum stayed at the house to get her hair and makeup done with Bonnie and the bridesmaids.  We had an incredible amount of luggage, which only just fit in the car with us.  Thank goodness American cars are bigger than their British counterparts!

The new hotel was next door to the reception venue and where most of us were staying.  It was lovely and after checking in we were immediately able to go to our rooms.  As a surprise, we had booked a honeymoon suite for Hube and Bonnie as they hadn't arranged anything prior to that.  Hube went to the room to find it had a big Jacuzzi!

One quick nap later, we rushed to get Lauren and Jocey ready for the wedding.  It took me five attempts to get Lauren's hair in place (no hairspray, lots of wiggling and pulling out of clips) but at the end I was happy with it.  She looked natural and beautiful.

We carted the girls off to church in their pyjamas to change them in the car park.  We arrived in good time but a bit flustered, just before 2:30 in the afternoon for the 3 o'clock wedding.

The church was beautiful.  Here is St Paul of the Cross from the outside on the day of the wedding.

Wedding 182

Inside, it was spacious and cool with marble and stained glass windows.

Wedding 001

Jase was immediately pulled off to organise the handing out of buttonholes and corsages, to organise the giving out of programs and general sorting out of the wedding party, as Bonnie's wedding organiser fell ill on the afternoon before the wedding.  The rest of us sat patiently in the church to await the arrival of the bride.

Wedding 061

A little after 3pm, the bridal party arrived and the ceremony began.  The mothers of bride and groom led the way and came down the aisle together.  They each lit a candle at the alter before the rest of the attendants appeared.  Unfortunately, Lauren refused to walk at the last minute; I think it was a combination of tiredness and the fact that the flower basket was too heavy for her and therefore she didn't want to carry it.  Daddy made a lovely replacement flower girl and walked down the aisle carrying her with Ruaraidh the ring bearer at his side.

Shortly after, Bonnie and her dad came down the aisle and we had our first glimpse of the wedding dress.  It was in an ivory satin with intricate champagne coloured embroidery on the bodice and champagne coloured satin overskirt and trim.  She looked radiant and beautiful.  Here is her dad Joe giving her away.

Wedding 006

There were a number of readings, of which I did one.  I was pretty nervous, but remembered to take my time and speak up to be heard.  I had to laugh when I found out I was doing the famous "sounding brass" reading - you'll know what I mean if you've ever watched the film "Four Weddings and a Funeral".

Wedding 009

Here are the bride and groom, surrounded by their attendants, exchanging vows.

Wedding 014

Here are the happy newly weds at the end of the ceremony!

Wedding 018

Here's our entire family at the photo call.Wedding 022

Back outside, we waited patiently for the bride and groom to emerge.  Here's the extended Sun family in front of the church.

Wedding 236

Here we had a photo with mum and dad.  I thought mum looked lovely in her blue silk outfit.

Wedding 196

This is a photo my cousin Amy took of Lauren; I think she looks so beautiful in this picture with her hair coiled up.  I was amazed that it had stayed in place this long!

Wedding 238

And here are my darling girls with my mum and dad.  They looked absolutely gorgeous in their little dresses (made by Jase's mum Suzanne).

Wedding 035

After their photos were done, Hube and Bonnie emerged from the church.  Wedding 184

We were there waiting to greet them with a soft shower of bubbles!

Wedding 193

Here's the happy couple with Bonnie's lovely parents looking on.

Wedding 032

Out in front of the church, Hubert posed with me and his cousins.

Wedding 203

Soon after this, Hube and Bonnie were whisked away in their vintage car and we made our way to the reception.  The reception hall was about 30 minutes away by car; really lovely inside with a foyer containing fountains and sweeping double staircases. 

Wedding 092

In the photo above, I am trying to fold and shorten Bonnie's train into a bustle (eventually with some success)!  Hube and Bonnie were one of three wedding receptions being held at the venue on the day; we were next door to a massive Bollywood style wedding, complete with gorgeous ladies in colourful saris.

Once safely inside our hall, we found our table and settled the girls.  We were all starving; the girls hadn't eaten since breakfast because of their lunchtime nap and it was now about 6pm.  Jase and I had had a very small lunch because we were in a hurry to get the girls ready.  Needless to say, we all made short work of the canapés, which were all delicious.  Lauren wolfed down about three or four chicken satays, whilst Jocey ate her baby food.  I think in this photo Mum was feeding me a little piece of quiche!

Wedding 099

Hube and Bonnie arrived with the wedding party to take their seats, looking happy and relaxed.  Here, they greet the top table before sitting down.

Wedding 225

I was quite surprised that they decided to cut the cake and have the speeches first - obviously quite different from weddings in the UK.  Also different was the fact that the chief bridesmaid stood up to speak and not the father of the bride.

Wedding 245

Their cake was really modern and pretty, and (of course as it is Bonnie's favourite) chocolate.  We were served the cake for dessert and it was really good.  In fact the whole dinner was surprisingly good especially when you consider the problems of mass catering and the standard of food normally served at a wedding.  The only pity was that the desserts were tucked away in a corner and very few people had any of the lovely treats on offer (I think because many didn't know the desserts were there).

All throughout the wedding, the girls behaved impeccably.  I was so proud of them.  They laughed and smiled the whole day and were both so beautiful!

Wedding 251

I think they enjoyed the day as much as we all did.  Lauren in particular had a great time playing with Ruaraidh, the Best Man's son and the ring bearer.

Wedding 289

When it was time for the dancing, everyone got up to do a turn around the dance floor.  Of course, the bride and groom went first.

Wedding 310

They were followed onto the dance floor by the attendants.

Wedding 325

The parents quickly followed.

Wedding 331

Wedding 334

Then Lauren thought it would be fun and dragged Ruariadh onto the dance floor.  Good for her!

Wedding 326

Unfortunately, we had to leave the party in full swing as the girls were getting very tired and needed to go to bed.  We said our goodbyes to everyone and went to our room in the hotel to put the girls to bed.

Wedding 346

Mum and Dad stayed on and had a fantastic time.  When the girls were in bed, we managed to spend some time chatting with my uncle, aunties and cousins before they left for the night.  We returned to our own room at about midnight - the end of a wonderful wedding and a wonderful day.

The photos from the day can be seen here in my Flickr album.

No comments: