Our friends Nick and Rachel got married yesterday! The ceremony was in a beautiful athenaeum in Providence, RI. The officiant made quite an apt comparison between a hall of learning like the athenaeum and the friendships and cultures of those around you, which are all collected in one room during a wedding.
Afterwards, we drove to Gracie's Restaurant for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner, speeches, and dancing. It was a wonderful evening of catching up with friends, dancing to hits from our middle school days, and talking about old times. I didn't go to school with this crowd, but I've known everyone for about ten years now, so through exposure to stories I almost feel like I was there for a lot of it.
The highlight was likely the last song of the night, "Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional. I was pretty thrilled to find that there were at least 20 people besides me who were screaming all the words and jumping up and down. Who says DC was all just "emo"?
Anyway, I think this is a wrap on wedding season for us. Glad we ended it with a bang!!
(Also, below you will find a slideshow of Nick, Chris, and our friend Ben taking throwback photos commemorating their high school band "ATL". This was at the afterparty.)
Deidre and Sam's wedding was on Sunday, out in Western Mass on a beautiful farm. On Sunday morning, I drove an hour north and met up with Chris, who was getting ready to take photos with the other groomsmen. We chatted and determined that the wedding party would be hungry after the reception and the party would likely continue in one of the farm houses on the grounds, so we ordered 20 pizzas from Domino's and stuck them in various fridges for later. I think the people at Domino's thought I was a bit crazy when I carried them all out to the car.
The wedding was beautiful. The centerpiece of the grounds is a giant old tree out on the far end of a field, which made the walk of the wedding party and eventually Deidre very summery. Sam's grandfather officiated the wedding, and got a lot of laughs when he combined their named by accident and made it a catchphrase.
Cocktail our took place in a covered area with lots of cheese, charcuterie plates, hors d'oevres, and drinks, then we headed into the barn for the reception. The highlight was definitely their first dance, to a touchingly peaceful acoustic version of Andrew Bird's "Night Sky" (5:15 in the video below). There were also a couple of lovely/joke-packed speeches by Deidre's sister and Sam's best friend.
It has been such a pleasure to be part of all of these weddings the last couple of weeks and to see how uniquely each couple has chosen to celebrate. Excited for the next one, in October, for Nick and Rachel!
Still fighting jet lag, and only worked four days last week before heading out to Connecticut for my friend Jess's rehearsal dinner and wedding. It was an unplugged wedding so I didn't take any photos of the ceremony, and I wanted to stay in the moment during the reception, so I only got photos of the rehearsal and wedding prep. But some highlights were Sammy's dad making a hilarious speech during the rehearsal dinner regarding a photo on Sammy's phone, Jess's dad making a speech that revolved around Harry Potter and his daughter's resemblance to Hermione, Jess and Sam's adorable, heartfelt, and tearful vows, and their first dance (which started traditional and then ended with a lot of jumping and a lost boutonnier). Congratulations, Jess and Sam!
Next up is Sam and Deidre, which came the next day, but I'll make a separate post. All wedding photos will be posted in the "events" section on the photography tab. I've never professionally photographed a wedding, but it's so fun to unofficially document the weddings of my friends.
Catching up at this point because the wedding really took it out of me! It was a perfect storm of jet lag, Schnapps, Austrian beer and wine, and staying up chatting with wedding guests until 5:00am. I passed out as it was getting light, briefly woke up at 10am to eat something and drink some water, and then didn’t fully get dressed until well after 2:00, basically resetting to American time. I haven’t stayed up that late or drank more than a couple glasses of wine probably since college, so I feel like I'm still recovering two days later.
That said, it was such a fun wedding! The ceremony took place under a long line of linden trees in the front lawn, looking over the valley. I tried to covertly take some photos while also staying out of the way of the actual photographers and not ruining any photos with my camera being out. They did a nice job of pairing English and German, and the ceremony was completed with the bride and groom signing their names on a marriage certificate, as well as the Maid of Honor and Best Man. After they walked back down the aisle, they took part in an Austrian tradition of cutting a heart shape out of a large sheet, each racing to cut out their half. Lukas won, but Katie was a good sport.
We had drinks on the lawn, took some photos, and then headed into the hotel for the reception, which included speeches, slideshows, messages from family and friends near and far who couldn’t make it, and a couple of hilarious newlywed games. Before dinner, the server, my cousin Tina, and even the bride checked in on me to make sure my vegetarian needs were covered. So sweet! And the resulting veggie-friendly dish was absolutely delicious.
After dinner, I spent a lot of time chatting with my parents and family I hadn’t met before. I was feeling a bit socially anxious so didn’t really join the dance floor that much, but it was still nice to do a lot of visiting. Once my parents went to bed, I hung out with my cousins, did a bit of dancing, spent some time at the bar in the lobby, and even made some new friends of Austrian descent.
Like I said, I’m catching up now because I didn’t end up doing much of anything post-wedding aside from sleeping and taking a leisurely dip in the pool. Then today, we left the hotel and headed into Vienna. We’re staying at the Hotel de France, which is pretty conveniently located close to a lot of the sites we want to visit. More on what we’ve been up to later, but here are some photos from the wedding! I’ll add them to the wedding photo tab once I’m back in the States.
Drawing of Katie and Lukas from the wedding.
The vegetarian dish, and one of the most amazing desserts I've every had. Also the crème brulée served at the restaurant, which I had multiple times during our stay.
The pool, and sunset on our last night at the hotel.
We made it to Austria!!
Despite my best planning (neck pillow, eye mask, and only relaxing nature videos as stimulation), I had a rough time sleeping and am extremely jet-lagged. I was in the back middle row, right next to the bathroom, so even when it was quiet, the high-power suction of the toilet woke me up every few minutes. I was also in an aisle seat so was able to stretch my legs out a bit, but had nothing to lean my head against aside from my neck pillow. I wish I had packed Benadryl; historically that has knocked me out.
I arrived a bit before my parents and Aunt Bobbie, who were flying out from JFK. I collected my bag and then sat and waited in a jet lagged stupor, catching my first earfuls of rapid German conversation. I found their baggage pickup area once it showed up on the arrival board, staked out the area, and we were happily reunited before heading out to find our ride The wedding is out in the countryside surrounding Vienna, so we had a scenic drive through the city and then out into the foot of the mountains.
The hotel is absolutely beautiful. It’s called Berghotel Tulbingerkogel, and faces a valley with a long stream of mountaintops far beyond. I’ve never seen so many layers of mountains. It almost looks unreal, like a theater set painting. Our rooms look out on the view, and I have the door wide open to draw in the mountain air and sunshine.
In other news: during check-in, I met a dog named Anke. She is adorable.
After we got setup, we were starving, so my parents and I checked out the award-winning restaurant downstairs. Please expect lots of food pictures on this trip.
I do prefer to stick out the first day of international travel without napping, but am worried that I will crash during a wine tasting this evening, so I’m going to shut my eyes for a few hours. More news to come.
The bachelorette party was excellent! We stayed at an AirBnB in Orleans, and the bridal party did a great job preparing different activities. Including “beer olympics” (which ended with a single game of Root that lasted at least an hour), a cooperative game called “Crossroads” which had the bride choose different actions if she did anything predictable, plus dinner and breakfast at some great local joints.
The beach was also lovely, even though it was a bit cool. The tide was out and you could walk out as far as the eye could see.
It was also wonderful to meet all of Jess's friends from medical school. It's funny; when you're close with someone and then meet the friends they've made in your absence, it's great to immediately be able to recognize why they became friends and see their individual chemistries. And I feel like it ends up being easier to get along with the friends of the friends you are closest with, because they end up having a similar set of values and senses of humor.
Anyway, that last sentence didn't make much sense. Here are some photos!
The next couple months are going to be pretty crazy. I have everything down in my Google calendar at work, but my head was still starting to spin so I made a calendar to organize everything.
The second to last weekend in July, I have a bachelorette party for one of my best friends from high school, who is getting married Labor Day weekend. We'll be in the Cape Friday to Sunday.
The first weekend in August, we have a couple of birthday parties for some local friends, and a going away party for a work friend who is moving to London for a year-long graduate degree program.
The following week, Chris and I will be babysitting Juliette in New Haven, CT, while her folks attend a wedding. Pretty stoked to see how much she's grown since she was only 2 days old!
4 days later, I head out to Europe for my cousin Katie's wedding in Austria. The wedding is that Saturday, and then my folks and I will spend a week in Vienna. I'll fly back and resume work, though they will continue on traveling Austria and Germany for another 4 weeks! Retirement looks pretty appealing...
The following weekend, I will have a rehearsal dinner and be in a wedding for the friend I mentioned earlier, which is on a Saturday in Avon, CT. Meanwhile, Chris will be prepping to be in his best friend from high school's wedding, which will be on Sunday, so he can't attend the one I'll be in. That Sunday, I'm going to wrap up in CT and then drive up to Western Mass for the wedding he is in.
As an introverted person, it can be challenging for me to maintain the level of energy needed to bounce around every weekend and not recharge with some quiet time as a homebody. I think once we hit mid-September, I'll probably barricade myself in my apartment with my guinea pigs and cherish some time at my desk. In the fall I can resume using weekend time to work on my comic. Though I'm planning to work all of the holidays coming up (including today, Indigenous People's Day, and Veteran's Day) so that I can earn back some vacation days to use in December.
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. After stopping by Endicott for my dad’s retirement party, I went back to work for two days, then on Tuesday night drove to Long Island. Visiting hours at the hospital were only a few hours in the afternoon, so I kept busy at their house by doing some cleaning, shopping, and printing the photos that we took at the hospital.
I would have stayed through the weekend, but my friends Becca and Ruben were getting married on Saturday back in Cambridge, so I booked it back that afternoon and just barely made it! I normally love taking photos at weddings but was just too frazzled, so unfortunately I don't have much to share. It was an absolutely lovely wedding though, which included catered pizza, Harry Potter references, and friends from multiple workplaces. I met Ruben 4 years ago at the toy store, and Becca through Ruben, but now Becca and I work together at CIC. Pur friendship must be kismet!
Since I don't have any pictures of the wedding, here are some of the Juliette prints. I went a bit wild while buying frames so that I wouldn’t have to choose which photos to feature. They're all too cute.
Alfred reunion + Detroit friends + Belle Isle Aquarium + Amazing Food + the couple the makes the most sense in the world and are the most fun to play paparazzi for. Not to mention the after party with tons of glow sticks and impromptu limbo and a brunch the following day with the best bagels ever. Nuff said.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Brookline, MA.