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Wedding Bells!

Last weekend we battened down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Irene and then drove towards the storm to New Jersey for my middle brother's wedding.

Here are some highlights:

The rehearsal (pre Irene) took place outside where the ceremony was originally supposed to be held.

The tent for the reception:

Friends and family at the rehearsal dinner:

The decor (all DIY, flowers too!) by the bride, bridesmaids, and my mom...

The beautiful bride getting ready:

The place cards ( also DIY!)

LP was a very serious ring bearer and spent several minutes telling Uncle Nelson exactly where the ring was on his pillow before a groomsman finally steered him back to his seat with us...:

The ceremony was a combination of the regular stuff ( a reading by a friend, remarks by the officiant, and the vows) and a Quaker meeting during which anyone could stand up and speak about the occasion if the spirit moved them to do so....

I managed to stand up and say something without totally bawling my eyes out, and our youngest brother spoke too.

Hooray!!

The rain really started coming down around 7 or so, but it was very romantic under the tent with the rain pouring down. After the reception officially ended there was an after party in the barn for anyone who could last that long.... And when that was over our immediate family (those of us who were still awake) had an after-after party. Here's my new sister-in-law San with my future sister-in-law Frances (another wedding in 1 month!!!)

And I love this series of my brothers and I. I have no idea what was so funny....

The next morning we waited out Irene a bit, leaving just before noon. We had to detour several times due to flooding roads:

When we got near the Tappan Zee Bridge (we'd attempted to take the Newburgh Bridge as the Tappan Zee is a bit scary even in non-hurricane conditions but couldn't get to it) it was already closed in the other direction. Here's how the road looked on the approach to the bridge:

About an hour after we crossed the bridge I checked online to make sure the roads ahead of us were clear and saw that the Tappan Zee was closed in both directions. We made it across just in time!

We made it home in pretty good time, all things considered, and were glad to discover that while we'd lost a few very large branches, our house was in good shape. We were even lucky enough to live on the side of town that was only without power for an hour or so, rather than the side that was out for several days.

It was a great wedding and a weekend I'm sure no one will ever forget!

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