The Kentucky Wedding Summary
Here it is: Nico and Katie’s Wedding Weekend!
The weekend began on Thursday afternoon, May 21, 2009, when our guests started arriving in Kentucky, home of the famous blue grass and rolling hills, but only after we had finished dashing around Louisville finishing off Katie’s “to-do” list.
This list was as long as pony’s tail and included many more than these things, but here’s a sampling. The flower shop; the cleaners; Starbucks; Enterprise Car Rentals to pick up a 15 passenger van for Felipe to drive all over town in; Katie writing directions to the airport and back to the hotel. For these, she used a yellow pad of legal paper. Then we were off to visit Katie’s mother Lera’s house to check on Otto and Izzy and let them romp around in the garden–the dogs declined the wedding invitation. No comment. Lastly we visited Debbie Folley’s ranch to see the new baby ponies, some only a month old, nursing from mothers situated all over undulating stretches of hills, slopes and fields. We toured the stables and watched Debbie train a two year old, who’d never been ridden. Somewhere in-between we grabbed a bite to eat.
Katie and Nico left us and went off to complete other errands while Felipe and I made umpteen trips to the airport. FR chauffeured the van, picked up and dropped off people at the hotel on the grounds of the Seminary on Alta Vista, all the while I rode shotgun along for company!
In the evening we went to Bourbon’s for dinner—4 huge tables filled with people laughing, conversing, eating and drinking. The food was well prepared and the service was extremely good for this lively crew. The five Johnson’s and Maria’s mother June arrived from Utah and joined right in—the soiree was a complete delight.
Friday morning there was a scrumptious bridal breakfast for Katie…her Aunt Judy was our lovely hostess. Thanks again.
At about 1 pm the van, affectionately dubbed “wedding mobile,” departed for Churchill Downs and a sumptuous banquet day at the races. The Fourth Race was named in honor of the bride and groom: “Katie and Nico Race to the Altar,” after which they presented a beautiful trophy to the winner. I bet the wrong horse but it was fun being in the paddock and living the high life of a make-believe horse woman with savvy about jockeys! No, I did not wear a hat!
Saturday, May 23, 2009 was the wedding and exchange of vows, held in the beautiful Cathedral of Louisville, celebrated with an 11 o’clock Mass, beautiful organ music and a glorious choir. We all lit a Unity candle—Felipe and I walked down the aisle to my mother’s favorite hymn, the Ave Maria, followed by Lera escorted by her dear friend Patti’s son Greg. The groomsmen were all spiffy in their dark suits and somber ties, while the bridesmaids were dressed in chic bronzy-chocolate taffeta with plunging necklines, carrying bouquets of pink flowers.
When Nico, standing at the altar in his Armani tux, saw Katie walk down the aisle on her mother’s arm, his eyes glistened with love and pride and we all started to cry from the highly emotional charged moment.
Katie made a gorgeous bride, slender and lithe, sheathed in a beaded strapless gown and her mother’s veil trailing down her back, falling to her tiny waist line. They make a striking couple, despite the difference in height—he’s 6’ 3” and she’s all of 5 feet nothing! During the exchange of “Peace be with you” we gave and received kisses from the stunning couple and handshakes and kisses from everyone in close proximity.
I never take Communion from a layperson—only a priest—but my brother stood next to the priest with a raised chalice, and when I reached the altar, I received the host from my brother’s hands. The moment was sealed with our mutual tears of joy, understanding of our blessings and love for family. A Kodak moment for sure!
After the bridal party left the altar, Felipe escorted Lera and me down the aisle … a nice hunk of ham between two slices of read! Congratulations! Kisses all around! Nobody throws rice anymore, which may save the lives of birds, but I missed the rain of grain for happiness, longevity, prosperity and fertility!
The married couple had a Bently waiting and after the wedding ceremony we all headed back for a fabulous reception held on the Seminary grounds that housed the hotel where the out-of-state guests stayed.
At the reception: excellent food, divine, sparkling Prosecco, luscious wines, a salsa band, wedding cake and confetti! Katie chose hot pink and lilac hydrangea plants for the table decorations, so that they could be planted afterward, and wedding favors—known as bombonieri—wine glasses stamped in gold with a jockey-mounted horse, filled with the requisite five white confetti. She also had placed pictures on the mantelpieces of precious moments in the lives of both families, including grandparents—a sweet, thoughtful and touching gesture from a precious daughter.
And believe it or not, after the reception … another party in the hotel lobby with more wine flowing than the waters of Trevi Fountain. It’s not over yet! This was followed by yet another party at Brendan’s for a light repast and, yes, dear Bacchus, more to drink! The wedding party continued, after most of us “more mature folks” left, smoking cigars, sharing jokes and not surprisingly, drinking till way past 2 am.
Not a sour puss in the joint! Not an unhappy moment for an entire weekend! Only tears of joy!
My sister-in-law Donna overheard the photographer say, “What a great, happy wedding—wish they are all like this one.”
Some guests departed, but others stayed for a tour of Marker’s Mark on Sunday followed by another luncheon of delicious pulled pork soused and doused in Kentucky Bourbon Bar-B-Q sauce.
Needless to say, the kids had a great weekend send-off!
Cent’anni e figli maschi!