Rachel and Dan’s WeddingAngela | November 20th, 2005 | 7:38 pm
We’re back from a week in Tampa for my sister Rachel’s wedding.
It was a crazy week, with Eric and I arriving late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, as it were) after about 24 hours of air travel (Sydney-LA-DC-Tampa).
Waiting in line to check our bags
After jet-lagging it through our Sunday and catching up with my parents (making them sit through a slide show of *all* of our photos from Sydney), we were lucky to be able to meet up with my friend Beverly Barber on Monday for a long lunch at Hugo’s, a Spanish diner in Tampa with a great cuban sandwich*. Beverly and I date back to junior high, when we were fast friends. We ended up going to different high schools, and then off to college, but we both coincidentally ended up in Boston in the early 90’s and chanced to run into each other in the subway one day. We resumed our friendship, but I haven’t seen much of her since I moved to Pittsburgh in 1999, so this was a special coincidence that she was in town at the same time we were there. Beverly is an artist by avocation, and a dealer in French antiques by trade. Her paintings are lovely and you can see them hereÂ at beverlybarber.com.
Angela and Beverly after a lunch of Cubano sandwiches. Mmmm…, Cubano…
*[Incidentally, we ate cuban sandwiches for lunch for 4 out of our 8 days there. The “cubano,” as it is known, is an exquisite concoction (speciality of Cuban communities in Tampa and Miami) of ham, roasted pork, a thin slice of gruyere, pickle, lettuce and mustard, which is crammed together and toasted in a buttered sandwich press (plancha) between two subway-length slices of cuban bread. Sometimes there is also some salami, denoting the Italian influence on Cuban cuisine in Tampa. The cubano is worth a trip to Tampa all by itself. We’re partial to the cubans prepared at La Teresita in West Tampa and La Tropicana in Ybor City.]
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Dan and Rachel arriving in Tampa
Preparations: Rachel and Dan (the happy couple) arrived on Tuesday night. My parents were really excellent sports about giving over their home to 5 extra people and about 700 roses and other assorted orchids and greenery, drapery, tablecloths, and glass vases, most of which arrived by UPS in a multitude of boxes on Tuesday morning. For the rest of the week, we were shifting our way through boxes and supplies, and forming an assembly line to finish off all the accoutrements of the “THEÂ wedding,” as my mother referred to it. We tied ribbons, folded programs, stuffed gift bags, ran errands, and watched as Dan filled out table cards, Rachel cut and sewed pillows for the beach deck in the themed “citrus” colors, and Bill trimmed, cut, and assembled the floral arrangements with admirable speed and skill. Special acknowledgment has to be given to Bill Chisnell, my sister’s best friend and her Maid of Honor (or “Dude of Honor” as one of the guests dubbed him), who commandeered all the wedding decor and floral arrangements.
Bill, a floral designer and event planner in Pittsburgh, created a gorgeous theme based on “citrus” colors and brought with him a raft of fabrics, drapery, ribbons, votives, and vases. The flowers were as beautiful as they were in magnitude.
Arranging all the flowers
In a real beachy mood: We left for the Clearwater Hilton in a series of convoys on Thursday afternoon. The rehearsal was to take place that evening, and we arrived just in time to check in and greet the minister and arriving members of the bridal party– Dan’s family. The wedding would take place on the beach as the sun was going down, so After running through the paces, we adjourned to the bar, and then to dinner at a nice local restaurant. The following morning we found our way to a little hole-in-the-wall beach diner for breakfast.
The Clearwater Hilton
Rehearsal on the beach
11/11/05: The event itself went off without a hitch, and you couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. Dan’s family is very musical and Dan planned a beautiful sequence of music played by a string trio, with an interlude following the exchange of rings composed by his brother-in-law, David Himes, andÂ performed by his sister Amy,Â David,Â and two other singers. Rachel looked radiant (sounds cliched, but it’s true, with the long golden rays of the late afternoon sun shimmering against her gown and veil) as my father walked her down the beach “aisle.” She was gorgeous in a slim, backless column of ivory silk, bouquet of ivory roses and green orchids, with a sheer wisp of a veil catching in the ocean breeze. Mom and Dad together gave Rachel away, which was very touching, but I managed not to tear up. The wedding party was made up of Dan’s two sisters, Amy and Kristen, and brother, Scott, on the groom’s side, and Bill, myself, and Dan’s 11 year-old neice, also named Rachel, on the bride’s side. Pastor Robert Elsner, the minister from the church we grew up attending, performed the service.
The Meyer Family, + one
Father and the Bride
After the ceremony, we adjourned to a beachside deck for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as the sun was setting. I’m sure the wedding photos will be spectacular, taken with the sunset as a backdrop. The deck was beautifully adorned with shimmering panels in citrus tones and tables of orange and lemon.Â Everyone mingled and enjoyed mojitos.
Cocktail table with bouquet
The dinner reception adjourned indoors, and the room was another perfect setting of citrus-toned tulle and candlelight, with beautiful centerpieces of densely packed roses and orchids in green and yellow. Could have been a royal wedding. Dinner was very nice (filet and aparagus), the wine kept pouring, and the dancing went on all evening until the older generation had all gone to bed and the younger ones retired to the hotel bar till the wee hours. Eric and I found ourselves somewhat in the middle, and retired to bed once the dj and the open bar packed up.Â
The dinner tables before everyone’s arrival
The “cool” table. Table No. 5 represent!
We feel quite lucky to be gaining Dan as a brother-in-law.Â He’s the proverbial “nice boy”– a good natured and proper sort of fellow– smart, affable and funny, with his heart in the right place (firmly in the grip of Rachel’s hand). He’s a strapping marathon runner who sings with the New York Choral Society and practices law withÂ White, Fleischner & Fino in downtown Manhattan.Â (No wonder Rachel answered his online ad– we all think he’s dreamy.) He’s apparently a huge Steeler’s fan, for reasons not quite clear to us.Â He also belongs to an exceedingly tall family– as the wedding photos will demonstrate. For those of you who don’t know, Rachel is my younger, taller sister. They will surely be sending their children to basketball camp.Â He and Rachel really make quite the striking couple. Here they are as they depart for their honeymoon in the Florida Keys and Miami. Let’s hope they don’t lose their wedding bands in the pool at the Delano.
Off to the honeymoon in the Keys!
The lovely couple.
You can view the complete album of Rachel and Dan’s Wedding here.