Rachel and Brett’s Wedding Week

Place ring here.

Getting Gorgeous
The week of the wedding contained all the traditional wedding preparation activities, like the ritual mani/pedi fiesta for the bride, her sister Rebecca, her Mom (i.e. me), her sister-in-law to be Sarah, and her cousin Amanda.  We had a good time, although the designs chosen by some of the more adventurous members of the party challenged the creativity of the manicurists.  You’ll see those designs in the picture gallery posted below.  Rachel chose to have a little heart painted on her ring finger so Bret would know where to put the ring.

Rebecca goes glam.

Of course, hair and makeup for Rebecca, Rachel and me was part of the ritual for the wedding day.  Sergio Salvador, the official wedding photographer was on hand to capture those moments.  Rebecca went for the big-hair, glamorous  makeup and had false eyelashes for herself and Rachel.  Unfortunately, they turned out to be uncomfortable and both girls removed them before the ceremony ever began.  It was a great look while it lasted!  Rachel’s regular stylist did a beautiful up-do, as planned.  While we were at the salon, Frannie and Lucy were having their hair done by Amanda at our rental house.  All styles are displayed in the photo gallery.

Party Week
On Wednesday evening all the parents gathered for a parent-exclusive dinner with the bride and groom at the house I had rented for the week.  Madeline and Jedd and Amanda went out to dinner with Chrisi (Rachel’s best friend) and her husband Mike and managed to have a good time without us.  Tom and Sally had not yet met Bret’s parents, so this was a great opportunity for all of us to become better acquainted before all of the larger wedding events.  The house had a wonderful patio courtyard with a grill, so we (well, Bret) grilled pork tenderloin and paired it with a big green salad (and lots of wine 🙂 for a simple dinner and great conversation.

Nature Pointe

Thursday’s rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were held at Nature Pointe, the wedding venue.  After getting off to a bit of a rough (well, ruffled) start due to a booking overlap with another wedding party’s rehearsal, our rehearsal was both fun and productive and the picnic sponsored by the grooms parents, Judy and Jerry Aaker, was perfect.

Rebecca, as the wedding officiant, was a paragon of preparation (oooo…nice alliteration) and organization.  The flower girls and Henry, his Dad’s best man, took their roles very seriously.  On their own initiative, Frannie and Lucy practiced their pacing for the procession diligently and repeatedly while Rebecca worked with the rest of the wedding party.  Henry learned about how to hold his hands during the ceremony (relaxed behind his back) and managed during the actual ceremony to keep them there for a remarkably long time before they found their way to his pockets.

Judy Aaker, friends Jacque Martin & Caroline Kelly, & Lani Lucky (Bret’s sister)

Having the rehearsal picnic at the wedding venue was especially pleasant.  It was a great facility as the guests were able to visit and eat inside or out, and the pool was available for the guests who wanted to take advantage of it – like every one of the children!  Bret and Jerry grilled hamburgers and hot-dogs to accompany all the other delicious fixins’.  An added benefit was that the guests were able to become familiar with Nature Pointe and the somewhat complicated route to get there prior to the wedding day.

Sarah and Malkie Aaker (Bret’s sister-in-law and nephew)

The Silliman Family – Jeanne Albrecht, Mary Gibson, Emily, Wade Gibson, Tom and Sally Silliman

That evening, Bret and Rachel hosted a cocktail gathering at their home, so the party just continued!  On Friday, Rebecca arranged for a cocktail hour at the upstairs outdoor lounge at Seasons in downtown Albuquerque so that the out-of-town guests could gather and spend time together with the Bret and Rachel and some of their in-town friends.  Wedding Week was pretty much Party Week.

The Big Ta Da!
After a year of planning and a week of preparation and partying, the big event began at Nature Pointe on Saturday, June 30, 2012.

Approximately ninety guests, many of whom arrived on the specially decorated school-bus (how appropriate since both bride and groom are teachers) shuttle, gathered on the spacious patio for an outdoor ceremony at 5 PM.

The wedding party was all family.  Looking incredibly handsome, Henry was his Dad’s best man and Lucy and Frannie led the procession as flower girls.  Tom and I escorted Rachel up the “aisle” we had configured on the patio where the guests were seated.  Rebecca officiated her sister’s wedding.  The ceremony was a heart warming combination of traditional and non-traditional and was highly personal thanks to her having submitted questions to the bride and groom ahead of time.  Jerry Aaker, father of the groom, provided the benediction at the end of the ceremony, and at the beginning and end of the ceremony Rachel’s aunt, Mary Gibson sang songs   Rachel and Bret had chosen.

My heart was so warmed to see the great happiness and love that was so evident in  Rachel and Bret’s faces as they held hands and spoke the vows prepared by Rebecca with such care and love.

Then, of course, we all, family and friends did what we all do best – party!  The band, Le Chat Lunatique, played their jazzy-bluesy songs as we ate, mingled inside and out, and danced the night away (well, until 10 PM).  Sergio and his assistant were on hand throughout, and here’s a link to the whole shebang.
Rachel and Bret Wedding Pictures – Sergio Salvador
If you prefer a smaller collection, I selected some of my favorites and they are posted below along with some I took during the week. (Click on any one image to view a carousel of enlarged images.)

Still to Come:
“Wedding Season: Afterword
– Yours, Mine, and Ours: reflections on the importance of family, friends, and chosen family” and
“Amanda and Jedd Wedding – Memories & Reflections from MOB, Madeline Harris”