New Years Day found us getting up bright and early to drive to Baltimore for a wedding we’d been looking forward to for some time – my cousin Molly and her beau Patrick. Edie was to do a reading in the wedding, so the idea was we’d leave early to allow time to settle in where we were staying before getting cleaned up and heading to rehearsal.
We stayed with Andy Friend* and despite his warnings that he lives in “a bachelor pad”, we found ourselves with all the comforts of home. Actually, given how stocked Andy’s fridge was, it was better than home. Plus there was Ruby….
It was a big ol’ Irish wedding, that sort that brought in seemingly all the parents’ siblings (the five living siblings of the bride’s father and the four (is that right?) brothers of the groom’s father among them) as well as some of their oldest and dearest friends. The rehearsal dinner Friday evening was easily the largest we’ve ever attended. Saturday’s event adding in the locals, filled a ballroom.
Held at The Belvedere Hotel downtown, the wedding was elegant, free spirited and festive – very much Molly and Patrick. The band was totally kick-ass (which was sort of a given, considering Patrick is a kick ass musician himself), so there was lots of dancing.
Edie girl tore up the dance floor, dancing with just about everyone – Helen and the COPPIPS**, Uncle Kevin and Patrick’s 91 year old grandfather (who still has it), among them.
Edie girl, wearing a black velvet dress that had belonged to the bride at a similar age, read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit during the ceremony that left very few dry eyes in the room. Honestly, that girl knocked it out of the park – having no rehearsal in the room with the microphone, she got up and with spirit, spoke to room of 200 people like she did that sort of thing on a regular basis.
There was much to push my girl out of her comfort zone all weekend – from reading in front of all those people, to being sat at tables different from ours all weekend – but despite some moments of anxiety and nerves, she rolled with it, in no small part because of her love of Molly and Patrick. A huge, huge thank you to Patrick’s brother Michael for being so assuring to Edie Friday evening in the five minutes it took for her to hit it off with Grace, the fourteen year old sister of the oldest Rainey brother’s wife.
Weddings are a celebration of love and this particular wedding was one of those wonderful events where the couple in question are the sort that just being around them, one can feel the mutual love and respect. Molly and Patrick are both incredibly talented individuals who live life on their own terms. To see them as a team, working in mutual support and respect is one of those things in life that words cannot describe.
And so, the official joining of these two made for an absolute love fest. It was hard to capture it all in words or photos – there were so many special moments for all of us over the course of the weekend. I wish there had been more time to visit with everyone, but alas, real life began calling some of us back early Sunday morning.
Thankfully, there was one last gathering among those of us who still had a wee bit of time before hitting the road home. It was such a fantastic weekend, one I’m sure that we’ll all remember fondly for some time to come. Happy Happy Molly and Patrick.
(*Andy Friend went to high school with my cousin Mark and was best man in his wedding. At a party a few years ago, we were all issued name tags, with how we knew the hosts, my aunt and uncle, on our tag. Andy was simply, “Friend” and thus, his name became Andy Friend. He spends holidays and other occasions with us and is part of the extended family.)
(**COPPIPS stands for “Cousin on Premise, Party in a Pocket”, which is the name Edie came up with after hanging out with Sean and Danny at our cousin Mark’s wedding. We’re not sure we’re technically related – their mother’s brother is married to my mother’s sister and we have no mutual grandparents – but since Sean and Danny are Molly’s cousins, they are somehow Edie’s cousins as well as a darn good time.)