Once again, I am not a wedding photographer; Meryl and Mark are very dear to me and I wanted to have some of my own mementos from their wedding.
First off, I would like to give thanks on behalf of the newlyweds and myself to all of the people that helped make this day so special and run as smoothly as it did. Thanks first to our parents, Dave and Judy, for their property, patience and check books ;) ,to Deacon John of Holy Innocents Church for marrying my sister and brother-in-law; Anne's Party Rentals for the tent and set-up; Sperry Tents for the beautiful bistro lighting; Ash Imagery, the photographer; Hank Brandt for the delicious cake; Pat's Market, the catering company, for the great food; Maggie's Penguins, the wait staff and bartenders; Shrewsbury Wine and Liquors for well, you know; WIldflowers; Mom's Kitchen, for the rehearsal dinner; Eva Gerapetritis of Make Me Up for the lovely make-up; Liz and Jacquie for doing the ladies' hair; the Basilone family for all the wine bottles; Pete, Sally and Oak Tree Lodge staff for the lobsters and clean-up; Billy Simmons, the acoustic entertainer at the cocktail hour; DJ Jersey Joe for all the wonderful music; the B&B where the bride stayed and all the bridesmaids got ready; Johnny on the Spot; the valet service; and all of the bride and groom's friends and family. There were many out of staters that came to celebrate and we are so happy you could all be there for their big day.
Now onto Mark and Meryl! Meryl is my older sister. I have and always will adore her. She attended JMU in Virginia and hardly ever told us about her romantic relationships, until a few months after she met Mark. When we found out she was dating a guy named Mark on the soccer team, my dad immediately jumped on the JMU soccer website to check out the roster to see her new man, but there was a problem, there were two Marks on the team. It soon became obvious which one she was dating, once we looked at the details; one was over six feet tall while the other was 5'6/5'7 and as we all know, Meryl is just about 5'2, so we figured it out pretty quick.
The first time I met Mark was at a party at JMU when I visited Meryl. He was sitting on a couch when we walked in and the first two things I noticed were his dimples and his shiny diamond earrings. A few months later, Meryl brought him home to New Jersey. It was clear from that weekend that they had something special and our family readily accepted him as part of the family. The day he left to go back to Virginia, it was obvious Meryl was sad; I think we all were. That was over 5 years ago. Whenever anyone asked me if I liked Meryl's boyfriend Mark, I would answer, without hesitation, yes, I love him. He may be a little bratty sometimes and bicker with my sister, but he is a great guy and an absolute pleasure to be around. When I found out he was going to propose, I was ecstatic. I couldn't be more proud to call him my brother.
My parents made me promise not to tell anyone, so I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut until the very end of August, 2012 when I was sitting down to dinner at a Mexican restaurant and got the call, “how do you feel about having a brother?” I was giddy for the rest of the night. In less than a year, my sister put together the most fantastic wedding. All her free time was consumed with planning, but that did not stop her from adopting a dog! Little Bosco, featured in this blog several times, has showed us just how caring Mark can be, only making us like him more. I got to spend a lot of time with Bosco the weeks leading up to the wedding. Mark and Meryl arrived at our house on Sunday before Labor Day and it was non-stop preparations. As hectic as it was, it was really nice to have the three of them at the house. Seeing everything coming together was a relief for everyone involved. The weather was especially a blessing. Every day we were checking our phones to see what the weather was going to be like and each day the chance of rain decreased. The rehearsal went well and the Broncos won, so it was a great start to the wedding weekend.The day of was so beautiful in every way. All of the people that helped out did a wonderful job. My sister was such an angel too. The day before she had a small freak out and apologized for being a bidezilla, but it was hardly anything and she was calm and easy going the rest of the time. Her dress was amazing and showed off her beautiful figure. It was hard not to take pictures of her or just look at her; she was stunning. Mark looked great too, as did the 11 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen. The bridesmaids were told to get any dress they wanted, as long as it was in the range of navy blue, gray or purple. Somehow with 11 bridesmaids, we all picked out dresses that looked great together. People had their doubts, but we pulled it off. The groomsmen had blue suits with a white shirt and orange tie; the colors of the Broncos!
Meryl didn’t have a maid of honor, but a few days before the ceremony, she asked me to be her witness. I was surprised, yet deeply honored to do it for her. Our other sister, Marissa, did a reading at the ceremony and did a fantastic job, much better than I would have done. Mark’s aunt also did a reading and nailed it.
The party went well past 1:30am and everyone had a great time. The food was amazing, the DJ was great, the speeches were touching; everything was just perfect. My sister is a lucky girl to have met Mark. He is part of an amazing family that I know will treat her right. They each gained two more sisters with M names. It’s the little things you notice that hint they were meant to be together. Now enough about Mark and Meryl, take a look at the photos I was able to capture. Since I was in the wedding, I was not able to take photos the whole time, but I think I got some good shots. Please enjoy and share with friends and family. Thank you for being a part of their big day.
(Click on link below to view photos)