Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Great's 60th Wedding Anniversary

The Great's celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary two weekends ago with a huge bang. Two days after the cousin's wedding, the whole family gathered in Toome at the White Bridge Hotel for a lovely evening of food and dancing.

It's so nice to be part of a big extended family. All the aunties and uncles were there as well as most of the cousins. Some of who we really don't get to hang out with that much because they live in England or the south of Ireland. What's so great is that everyone get's along so well and have such a good time together.

The night started with a private mass at the Desertmartin parish followed by a buffet at the hotel.There were 142 people at this party. Distant cousins, long time friends, and more family. It was funny because I was meeting many people for the first time, but everyone knew who I was. I was the "American" that married one of the grandsons. O of course was a star because she was on the dance floor until she passed out in the corner in a cot (again). The band was so-so or even not that great, but everyone was in such a lively mood that the dance floor was never empty. Plus it was an older crowd so they loved all the old waltz that they kept playing.

The best part of the night I have to say was when the Greats got up and danced with all 9 of their children. It was such a sight to see and so touching that there was definitely a tear shed. It was a great night had by all and ended into the wee hours of the morning.

Here are some pictures of the night. You will all get a great sense at just how big my husband's family really is with a few of them.

O with the two youngest cousins

One of the place settings. There were 12 tables and each table was named after a different family member. From the Greats, all the children, and even Jack the dog. The pictures were all of them when they were younger. As you can see Uncle L is behind his photo.

The cousins and partners at our table.

O playing with Mommy's phone while we waited for dinner.

The Greats cutting the cake.

All the children. For some reason my MIL is missing in this one.

This is most of the extended family.  There are a few people missing, but it's still alot of people.

Adding a few more people to the picture.

O with the Greats watching the slide show.

The two babies crashed out.

My husband at the end of the night. I'm so proud!

oíche mhaith

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Another family wedding and fun had by all

Weddings in Ireland, are something else.

We went to another cousin's wedding on Thursday. It was another all day event. Getting up early, throw on the tan and make up, and head out the door for a 1 pm wedding.
The wedding was in Bellymena at the Tullyglass Hotel. It was a gorgeous building that looked more like a large manor house than a hotel. The corridors were a maze and there seemed to be an infinite number of stairs, even though they didn't have that many rooms.

This was a mixed religious ceremony so it was more what I would call an American ceremony.  It was a justice of the peace and a shorter ceremony. It was in one of the hotel's staterooms with high ceilings and what looked like part of a church vault at the far end. So far I'd only been to Irish Catholic ceremonies and this was a little easier to sit through.

After the ceremony there was a champange reception while the couple took pictures. The bride was absolutly stunning and I loved the colors she picked out, bright pink!  The couple took a little while for pictures so I have to say there was some waiting involved next to the bar. Dinner was lovely and R and I were at a perfect table. We we surrounded by aunties and uncles and had a laugh the whole time. I forgot to mention that there were no kids invited to the wedding, so we were baby free. We had one of my very good friends down the lane watch her. At her house there are 3 boys to play with and I was told that the whole time she was there she was an angel.

After dinner the dance floor was cleared and the band came on, much dancing was involved. After the band came a small buffet and a DJ. I have to tell you, they really know how to throw a wedding party over here. We danced until the bar closed about 1:30 in the morning. Then it was off to the resident bar at the hotel for a night cap. We hadn't planned on staying out all night and R had planned to drive, but we got a call from the babysitter saying O was down for the count and wouldn't need to get picked up until the morning. We were than offered a spare bed in one of the relative's room. So we were able to really party it up.

We did the walk of shame in the morning, luckily with no hang over, but left early enough so that no one in the hotel could see me leaving at 8 in the morning with the same outfit as the night before. I was completely shatterd the next day. The worst part about the next day was the fact that on Saturday we have another big family get together for the Great's 60th wedding anniversary and I could barely make it through Friday.

Here are some pictures from the wedding.  My next blog will be about the chaos that was the Greats party.

The Wedding Party

Aren't we a cute couple

Me with my mother-in-law and my friend C

Waiting for dinner

Two Aunties

The couple cutting the cake
oíche mhaith