Two weeks ago my husband Terry and I walked our daughter Amber down the aisle of Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton, PA to "give her away" to a wonderful man, John Moralis.
Within the space of an hour our little girl, now a beautiful woman, became a wife. By the next morning her name on facebook was listed as Amber Danese Moralis. Terry commented "that would take a little getting used to."
Amber and John spent a year planning and organizing their wedding. For them it was important the day represent them, their personalities, and their partnership together. I watched Amber paint lengthy pieces of burlap for tablerunners with black stripes........ dye countless doilies for a garland........cut pieces of tulle to tie for streamers. The wedding and reception began as my daughter's vision, one she tirelessly worked on, with John supporting her every step of the way.
There was a lovely engagement party that John's Mom (Maria), Dad (Nick), and sister (Demetra) hosted back in September. In February Amber gathered us all together at our home to prepare and taste test the food for the reception, including sampling fried chicken from several different sources. In March, there was the bridal shower. Each step of this process was a team effort, during which John, Amber, Terry, me, Nick, and Maria.....as well as Demetra, and all our kids grew to know one another and have lots of laughs as we meandered through the various stages of pulling off a wedding on a very tight budget in which we all played a part.
The ceremony at Trinity was beautiful, and went smoothly, other than my stepping slightly on Amber's dress as we tried to enter through the same doorway to walk down the church aisle. Thankfully, neither of us tripped! Father Andy did a fantastic job with the sermon. Thank you to Father Andy and his congregation for all their help...... including use of the fellowship hall for the rehearsal dinner, borrowing lots of space in the church kitchen refrigerator for our reception food, and the use of a couple carts to haul everything back and forth!
Our son Dale played the music, our daughter Lisa-Noel did the cake, and my sister Lisa did all the flowers ( 30 arrangements for tables as well as all the bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages).
Nick, Maria, and Demetra organized the rehearsal dinner, made countless greek desserts (Maria's baklava is the best!!!), as well as appetizers, mac n'cheese, and green beans for the reception.
Terry and I took care of the mashed potatoes (50 pounds!), country style green beans, and cheddar garlic biscuits. Bekah and Lisa baked assorted cookies and corn muffins.
It was truly a labor of love on everyone's part, and both the wedding and reception were exactly what Amber and John had hoped for. We are so thankful.
There were a couple of tense moments...... that now appear funny.
Bekah, Lisa-Noel, and I had loaded the car to make our trip to the church. The cake was in the very rear of our van, and I suggested Lisa sit back there to monitor it while I drove. Having delivered a few decorated cakes before, I knew the hardest part is getting the cake to the destination in one piece. We weren't even out of our neighborhood when I rounded a corner and came to a stop, causing the cake to slide (and I give Terry a hard time about his driving). Lisa was forced to grab it with her hand, which was now covered with frosting.
She started to panic. This was her creation- and her sister's wedding cake. Both Bekah and I managed to assure her it could be repaired when we arrived. I crept around each turn thereafter (the people following me were probably cursing). In the meantime we had Dale standing by with a cart to transport the cake safely into the gym where the reception was being held when we arrived. Once assembled, it was beautiful.
Then there was the last minute chicken issue.....we had ordered the fried chicken for the reception from Giant(a local grocery store) and Dale and Josiah went to pick it up after the girls and I arrived with the cake, around 2:30pm (the wedding would begin at 4:00pm). I was busy, with apron on over my fancy dress, stumbling around in uncomfortable heels, trying to help answer questions of our staff, positioning things the way I knew Amber wanted them in the reception hall- when Terry received a call from the boys that they were at Giant and they didn't have our order. I had Terry send the confirmation email to Josiah and Giant told us we could pick it up in an hour.....which was a slight problem as we had a wedding to be at! So immediately after the wedding we sent Josiah's friend Dan and Lisa's friend Colleen to fetch our fried chicken..... just in time to feed a 150 hungry people!
Needless to say, the fried chicken was hot and fresh........
When I look back at it all, seeing so many moments captured in the photos, I am so proud. First, of John and Amber. They are sweet and quirky, genuinely in love, and very comfortable with themselves and each other. Watching them dance together to Hall and Oates "You make my dreams come true" was delightful.
And I am proud of our families, and friends, that each played a part in making John and Amber's big day a success. The reception was a blast.....including trying to learn a few greek dance moves, not very successfully! There was a sense of love and fellowship, kindness and community, that spoke to everyone involved.
I was particularly blessed to have some of my family fly in from Colorado to be part of celebrating with us. Thank you Daddy, my brother Chad, his wife Jenny, their children Vinnie and Casey, and my nephew Mason for being here. (Missed you Mom, Noel, Chris, and Caroline). Love you all dearly. Terry's brother Rick and his wife Pat came up from Florida too.....love you both so much.
Years ago my son Dale drew a coat of arms that represents our family..... a quiver with six arrows. It was with great pleasure, and a touch of maternal sadness, that I released one of those arrows to fly.......
And in so doing I gained a son, another whole family, and so much LOVE.
It is important to recognize the phenomenal people who helped us. Please follow the link below to see the photos of the wedding by our amazing photographer and friend, Alison Conklin. I also want to recognize our caterers, Nick and Dori, as well as Alyssa and her staff, our event coordinators, who managed to follow my last minute directions regarding decorations, table setting, etc. Then there was Judy, the amazing lady who coordinates the events at the Third Street Alliance in Easton. She was right there with Terry and me doing the final clean-up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And the wedding as well as the cake have been featured on a well known wedding blog........the link follows. Who'd have thought?
The wedding photos:
Our event coordinators:
The wedding blog featuring John and Amber's wedding:
Our church, a great place to worship!
A tremendously worthy non-profit organization which offers shelter for women and children at risk: