It’s Monday morning, a third of our clan has flown home, and there’s a few minutes to blog.
Saturday morning we had several hours at home to prepare breakfast for the whole crowd – 16 people – and put all hands to work. The menu: homemade buttermilk biscuits with Jimmy Dean sage recipe sausage and gravy, with eggs scrambled with green peppers.
Below: Three generations dance along to the Wiggles’ performance of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”:
Above Left: Silvia checks her email, Tawn occupies Emily, and my mother chops peppers. Right: Pat (my mother’s younger sister) and her husband Carl prepare the sausage and gravy.
We got ourselves dolled up for the wedding and headed out mid-afternoon for the 3:30 ceremony.
Below: Tawn and Emily pose on the front porch of the villa.
Above left: Jenn, Kevin and the girls at the ceremony site. Right: Emily poses in the wine garden. Below: Chris and Tawn at the ceremony.
Alexandra is the oldest child of my mother’s younger brother, Dick, and his wife, Sandy. Alex and Bill have known each other since high school, where they played football (soccer) together. Bill’s been a regular figure around Dick and Sandy’s house for years and I think for the past three years or so it was a given that they’d marry eventually.
The ceremony was held at a park in Walnut Creek, California with a nice gazebo and enough mid-afternoon shade to keep guests comfortable. It was a short ceremony and was written by the couple, so it had a lot of meaning for them. We followed the ceremony with a lion dance and then the tea ceremony.
Above: Alex and Bill at the ceremony.
Above left: Chris and Ava, who was a little under the weather in the afternoon. Right: Ava looks on during the service. Right: Jackie, Dick and Sandy’s youngest child, stands in front of Patrick, their number two, while Sandy looks on in her Chinese-style top. Below: Grandma and Grandpa speak with Dick.
Above: During the lion dance, everyone stopped to watch. Kari, my oldest cousin (Pat and Carl’s oldest child, the oldest grandchild after Jennifer and myself), looks on with Tawn and Sandy.
Right: Tawn and Ava, who got less and less happy as the afternoon progressed, and started running a fever. Below: Kelly, Pat and Carl’s middle child, Patrick, my father, and Brad, Pat and Carl’s youngest child.
The tea ceremony was an interesting affair as nobody on Alex’s side of the family was familiar with it. I arranged the red envelopes for everyone and explained the steps. Alex and Bill included all of their married cousins, so the ceremony ran a bit longer than expected.
Below left: My grandparents are served tea. Below right: After the elders were served, Bill and Alex contemporized the service and weren’t kneeling. But I provided some gentle ribbing that they were not paying us our due and so they brought the pillows back out. Actually, lots of kudos to them for recognizing us as a couple. I’m not surprised, of course, as the entire family has been very accepting. But it might have been a little unusual for Bill’s family.
Following that, we headed to Ten’s Tea House in Walnut Creek for a traditional Chinese banquet. It was very nice with good food, lots of visiting, and a very cranky niece (Emily) who was unwilling to try anything that was served. Actually, she did try a bit of abalone. Very expensive tastes!
Alex is a graphic designer and designed (and made) all of her own invitations, menu lists, programs, and other decorations. The party favors were fortune cookies with fortunes they wrote themselves, served in take-out boxes with a clever “Wongolian Barbecue” (Bill’s last name is Wong) sticker.
Below: Patrick with Grandma and Grandpa.
Right: Patrick is also quite a skilled baker and made the wedding cake – a cinnamon-carrot cake. The figures (does that one really look like Bill?) were bobble-heads so when they rolled the cake into the room, they just bobbled along. Below: Jackie, the budding actress, makes her speech.
Below: Pat and Carl and their children: Kari, Kelly, Silvia and Brad.
Congratulations to Alex and Bill!