Tag Archives: wedding

Wedding in Paradise

After a week in Zihuatanejo, we were ready for the grande finale: the wedding of our close friends, Sandra Sotelo-Miller and Tom Simmons. Sandra’s father’s family is from Zihuatanejo, so it was very special to celebrate their marriage in the village where she had her roots. The couple rehearsed their vows on Playa la Ropa in front of La Perla restaurant…

Los novios durante el ensayo

While the betrothed rehearsed, we found other ways of amusing ourselves…

Totem pole!

The rehearsal dinner food was excellent – tiritas de atún, guacamole, and parillada de mariscos y carnes – but the real topper was the 75-year old (Sandra, correct me if I’m off on this!) bottle of tequila brought by one of Sandra’s aunts. We sipped it during dinner and toasted the lovely couple with it. I’ll choose that over champagne any day!

Gustavo Sotelo, in his element

When we arrived at the wedding the following evening, we were greeted by the bride and groom. Judith (Tom’s brother-in-law’s mother) had painted colorful portraits of the gringo and the chilanga and set them by the entrance…

Portraits of the bride and groom hand-painted by Judith

Sandra and Tom had worked hard to plan a beach wedding, but sadly, the rain gods weren’t cooperating.

La lluvia amenaza

Luckily, they were able to have the ceremony under a palapa overlooking the beach, so we were still surrounding by the majestic views and soothing sounds of the ocean. But we were much more captivated by the beauty of the ceremony unfolding in front of us…

La ceremonia

The party decorations were colorful and vibrant, just like our favorite newlyweds!

Las flores flotando en la pileta

Each table was named for a place that Sandra and Tom had visited (they are avid travelers).

Table decorations at the reception (Tom's sister Shannon did all the stationary)

After a long day of getting dressed and worrying about the weather, followed by GETTING MARRIED, greeting all of their eager guests, and listening to toasts made by relatives, the couple seemed ecstatic to finally hit the dance floor.

La primera danza

A Simmons family gathering wouldn’t be complete without some kind of performance, and Patrick, Jason, Elisa, and Shannon delivered. They had prepared a song about Tom and Sandra’s future life together and sang it to the tune of the Black Eyed Peas “Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night.”

Los hermanos de Tom prepararon una canción especial para los novios

Then “tía Sandra” was honored by her two nieces, Ingrid and Galia, who had prepared dances for her…

Galia baila

And then the pool party ensued (led by the life-of-the-party bride and groom, of course!)…

Bridesmaids in the pool always makes for a good reception party

When the mariachis arrived around 3 a.m., we all climbed out and continued to dance the night away. It was the perfect ending to a perfect wedding. Congratulations to Sandra y Tom. Two of our favorite people in the world. We wish you well in your future life together. A huevo!!!

Los mariachis serenaron a los recién casados

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You say “I do,” I say “I do, too”

Last week Christian traveled to Limestone, ME (population 2,361…eek!) for a job interview, while Sarah went home to Rochester, MN for her cousin Jeff’s wedding. We both had to don our winter coats for the trek north…

The wedding ceremony was lovely, and it had just the right amount of comic relief. The bride and groom had some difficulty lighting the unity candle (the wax from their candles kept dripping and suffocating the recently-lit flame), so they improvised and placed a lit votive on top of the wick of the unity candle. The minister congratulated Jeff & Beth for having passed their “first test of marriage,” and we all got a healthy laugh out of it.

The reception took place at the Rochester Art Center, which overlooks the Zumbro River. Sarah’s uncle Mick – true to form – had prepared a slide show of pictures of the bride and groom from childhood to the present. He plans to add wedding pics and a soundtrack and sell the DVDs for $20 for wedding guests and $10 for family (just kidding, but don’t get any ideas Mick).

The speeches were brief but heartfelt. Beth’s sister read a lovely poem that she had authored in honor of the couple. Jeff was welcomed to the family by Beth’s father as his “third son” (Beth’s other two sisters are married). The best man averted disaster, admitting that he had drank too much and would spare Jeff the embarrassment of a speech. Beth gave some kind words of thanks, and Jeff followed it up with a heartfelt “ditto” – also true to form.

Sarah witnessed two “firsts” at the wedding. The first of which was “kissing”…Certainly there is plenty of it at most weddings, but it takes on a whole new form at a Minnesota wedding. If someone taps their glass (much like they’re about to make a toast), others chime in, and as the sound of forks clanging against crystal grows, all eyes turn to the head table, where the bride and groom are expected to embrace and kiss in a dramatic fashion – each kiss more dramatic than the previous one. Finally, when the bride and groom are exhausted, they seek revenge on those who put them on display (all is fair in love and war, right?). The bride or groom clings their glass (feigning a toast) and then calls on a couple from among their guests to kiss in front of the entire party. After much “kissing,” the reception began to feel like an NBA game, where “kiss cams” scan the audience looking for couples eager to have their smooch broadcast for all to see on the jumbo tron hovering over center court.

The second “first” was a polka that Beth and her dad danced for the father-daughter dance. Sarah had never seen a bride step so quickly or so lightly in a wedding dress (in heels no doubt!), let alone after a pit stop at Kathy’s Pub before arriving at the reception. Hats off to Beth for winning the “Most Hardcore Bride” award of 2011.

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