Chapter 3: The Rehearsal Dinner

The wedding party and the rest of the immediate family on both Mark and Vanessa's sides reconvened back at Uncle Frank and Aunt Martha's house for dinner afterward.Grandma Gracie sat in an easy chair and directed the show; Judy got to try out Grandma's walker; and everyone ate a lot. There were at least a dozen pies, two crockpots full of shredded beef for sandwiches, cheese and crackers and veggies, pans of baked potatoes with cheese, salads of all kinds, and about five pans of brownies and bar cookies. We visited a lot with the cousins, and Judy and I helped Aunt Martha clean up so she wouldn't be left with a houseful of dishes to face on the morning of her oldest son's wedding.

Dave and Robert went back to the tux shop to get Robert's new, larger shirt, and then came back and picked up Candy and me. Along with Mark and Mark's friend Scott, one of the groomsmen, we went back to our hotel to relax and swim in the pool and the hot tub for awhile. Meanwhile, Judy drove Grandma Gracie home, while Vanessa and the bridesmaids headed out to Target for some last-minute pre-wedding shopping (Vanessa mentioned something about Tupperware. . .). We stayed in the pools for about an hour, moving back and forth between the two, talking to the few other hotel guests who wandered down and getting excited about the next day. When Mark decided he should go back home and get to bed, we called it a night too.

Here you see some pictures taken at Uncle Frank's house that night.

Chapter 4: The Wedding Ceremony

Dave and Candy and Robert and I drove to Perkin's, across the street from the hotel, for breakfast. Robert pointed out the aburdity of driving so close, but as we were already shivering in the Minnesota cold, no one seriously objected. Dave ate a cheeseburger and hashbrowns, Candy had eggs of some kind, and Robert and I split the country-fried steak and hashbrowns with cheese, and eggs and pancakes--Robert eating the more traditional breakfast components of the dish. Judy and Bill and cousins Mary and Gary were also in the restaurant, eating breakfast, as were at least two other tables of family, so we said hello. Robert, of course, brought the free instant capuccino from the hotel lobby with him to breakfast--now, after 18 hours in Minnesota, he must have been on his sixth or seventh cup.

We hurried back to the hotel so Robert and Dave could change into their tuxedoes and make it to the church in time for pictures, but of course we were running late. When Candy and I dropped them off at the church at 11:15--instead of 11:00--only Brian and Jerry stood there waiting. We waved goodbye, with Robert still fastening his studs and his bowtie, and headed back to the hotel, with a quick stop at a shoestore along the way.

Two hours later, we were coiffed and dressed and waiting, sans capuccino, in the lobby of the hotel when Judy and Bill picked us up, as planned, to go over to the church in time for the 2:00 ceremony. Once there, we all posed for one last massive Slattery/Collova family photo on the steps, and then the wedding party went downstairs and Robert and the other ushers began ushering in earnest. Candy and I sat on the right side of our pew, near the front, next to Uncle Don and Aunt Loretta and near Jerry's girlfriend Holly.

Above you can see some of the pictures from the ceremony--the bride and groom's parents lighting the candles, then Mark and Vanessa lighting their candle, and Mark and Vanessa, surrounded by their bridal party.


on to Chapter 5. . .

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Created: 11/02/02. Last Modified: 11/02/02.