Monday, December 8, 2014

Mary's Day, Mary's Children (A Wedding Story)

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and it's also the one-month anniversary of the wedding of son #2 and his bride Ginger.  I have been meaning to sit down and devote a couple of hours to writing a nice, long post about the glorious day that these two kids got married, filled with delightful pictures of the event; but I've just been having trouble lately remembering that I'm NOT, in fact, a chicken with my head cut off.  And also remembering how sweet the readers of this blog are--and how interested they are in all the news that concerns our growing family.  Activities such as baking coffee cakes and sugar cookies, painting doors, and scouring the attic for our boys' old toys and bringing them downstairs for our granddaughters, all in anticipation of having my entire family with us this Christmas--all of that stuff can wait until after I share these wedding deets with you.

I think this feast day in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a perfect day to talk about a young couple who began their courtship with a 54-day Rosary novena to Her, in order to discern God's plan for their relationship.  I blogged about this before, when I told you their engagement story; but I think it's worth a quick re-tell today.  My boy and his new wife met a year ago yesterday, at the wedding of my middle son and his Preciosa.  She was a bridesmaid and he was a groomsman; and although they talked a little, they never got around to hitting the dance floor together.  My son told me afterward that on the entire 12-hour drive back from VA to NH, he was kicking himself for not spending more time with her.  So the first thing he did when he got home was to send her a Facebook friend request.  (As wonderfully old-fashioned as this couple is in all the right ways, they ARE, after all, 21st-century creatures.)  Once they became FB friends, texts flew back and forth, followed by epic phone calls, followed by visits via air travel...and when it seemed as if they were headed in a very serious direction, they decide to say the novena.  God was a part of the equation from the get-go, and they appealed to His Mother for Her intercession.  Due to the long-distance nature of their relationship, they had to say many of their Rosaries together over the phone.  When the 54 days were up, it seemed that God's answer was something like, "You two really need to be together, and I think you know that."

Within six months of meeting, they were engaged.
And just one year (actually, less than a year!) after being members of the wedding party at the wedding of her college friend and his younger brother, they became man and wife.
It's a beautiful story, isn't it?

And they had a beautiful wedding day to go along with that story.

To begin with, the Mass was very holy and reverent.  The couple recited their vows while holding a crucifix that they bought especially for that purpose, and which they plan to hang in their house for the rest of their days together on this earth.  The music was so incredibly lovely--in fact, the same team that sang and played for the wedding Mass of son #3 and Preciosa a year ago was employed once more.  (Ginger and Preciosa have been friends for more than a decade, and the singer is the younger sister of one of their mutual best friends.)  The litany of the saints, a favorite of mine, made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  It was like being in the company of the angels.  The priest who married them is young and extremely likeable--and as someone pointed out, bears an uncanny resemblance to Brian Kilmeade of Fox TV's "Fox and Friends" morning show!
Ginger picked out something quite different for her attendants to wear than the run-of-the-mill prom-style gown.  She had striped skirts made on Etsy, and then her bridesmaids wore black twinsets with them, accessorized with multi-strand pearl necklaces given to them by the bride.  I LOVED this classy, unexpected look.  Two of the bridesmaids had given birth recently and two were pregnant, so it was challenging coming up with an ensemble that would suit all the various body types; but look at these pictures!  I'd say the outfit flatters every single one of these beautiful young women!  It's like the preppy look meets Audrey Hepburn, or something like that.  (Work with me here!)

Okay, I better stop with the bridesmaid pictures, or this is going to turn into a fashion post!  (But don't you love this look?!)

What about the guys--you didn't think I forgot about them, did you?  Here is a clever shot of the gray-suited groomsmen that I didn't understand at first.
You'd think after raising five sons, I'd know a superhero-themed stunt when I saw one...but I didn't.  It was explained to me that son #2 was pretending to hit the ground, Thor-style, and that the force of his superhero strength made the earth explode and sent all the other guys flying into the air.  How did I not know this right away?  It's so obvious to me now.  I love this picture, because it illustrates a quality in the male of the species that I love so much: a man, no matter how old he gets, will always have a bit of little boy in him.

I'll bet you're smiling, aren't you?  Okay then, on to the reception!

We were thrilled that the party was held in the same Marriott hotel where all the out-of-town guests had reserved their rooms, so it was an easy walk back "home" after the festivities.

The ballroom was decadently beautiful.  The food, served buffet-style, was decadently tasty and plentiful.  The air was filled with the sound of non-stop dance tunes (provided by a father-son DJ duo the bride has known since high school), and the dance floor was packed from the minute dinner ended until the lights went on at the end of the night.  I don't think there was anything about that wedding reception that could have been improved upon.  One of the best things about it was that there were so many CHILDREN in attendance, which is the hallmark of any Pearl wedding--and our son married into a family that is very like-minded!

I got to dance my third mother-son dance in the span of eleven months, and I started to get a little weepy.  But then my son and I decided to do a little swing dancing to lighten things up.

My husband loves watching me dance with my sons.
That's him back there next to the bride, holding his little dance partner Bonny Babe.
I could go on and on here; but I think I'm going to let some pictures do the talking for me.

No wedding reception would be complete without "YMCA"--am I right?

Or my baby's "Thriller" routine.

Cutie Pie was either on my lap or on the dance floor
with me, all night (we were like peas and carrots!),
 until it was time for a sitter to put her to bed.

My husband was sporting his wedding must-have: shamrock suspenders!

Ginger was a spectacularly beautiful bride.

My son likes to say he "married up."  But I'd say they both did quite all right indeed!
Mary, these children of Yours came to You for help when they were in the process of discerning whether or not they should be joined together for life.  You helped them to see that God's answer to their prayers was a resounding "YES!"  Please continue to watch over and guide them.

But I don't have to tell you that.  You're their Mother, after all.

(P.S.: Today's the last day to enter to win a signed copy of Erin's Ring.  Just leave me a comment before midnight tonight, and your name goes into the hat!)


  1. Mrs. Pearl,
    It is no surprise to anyone that knows your family that your boys would grow up and be great young men. You and your husband guide them to see the life of a family of love and God. My father and I enjoy reading your blog and follow your family grows. May God Bless you and your family and have a Blessed Christmas.

    Jack and Ron Leary

    1. Well, my eyes are filling up here! What nice words from two men who have been so wonderful to our boys over the years. We can't even imagine their high school years without you. God bless you, and Merry Christmas to you and yours! <3

  2. What a beautiful wedding! I do love the skirt/twinset bridesmaid options. Lovely!

    1. I so agree! (I think I need an outfit like this, actually. I may have to head on over to Etsy myself...)

  3. Just love, love, love this story! Parts I remember and parts I didn't know. I think Ginger's choice of bridesmaids dresses shows a respect and caring about her bridesmaids, so many brides don't always think about what makes the BM look best.
    Didn't know your two girls, P & G were already friends!:)
    so many attendants and so many children!
    and so many mother and son dances so rapidly!! only one lad left!

  4. This is one of my favorite stories of discernment! Love every bit of it! It looks like the wedding day was beautiful and amazing, too.

    Oh, and not to be creepy, but I've known the priest personally for something like 10 years. I remember when he was just a 'baby seminarian' in college seminary! Towards the end of his time in seminary, one of his Apostolate assignments with the diocese was -- along with a fellow seminarian -- leading a Bible Study for high schoolers at my parish (well, the parish where I grew up and attended through high school before the Bishop assigned my Dad to our current parish post his permanent diaconal ordination); one of my brothers and I participated. Your affirmations of him were spot-on! (On a related humorous note, my cousin once dressed up as St. John Bosco for All Saints Day. Both dressed in a cassock, Father and my cousin looked eerily alike!)

    But anyway, enough of that ;-)

    This is such a beautiful and wonderful way to celebrate today's Solemnity! Many blessings!

    1. Sarah Therese, I can't believe how small the world is!! I'd like to get to know this priest better--he is wonderful!

      And thanks for your sweet comments--I agree, such a great story of discernment. Such a special couple.

  5. I love this - meeting at a wedding, praying a 54 day rosary, marrying less than a year after meeting! What a beautiful and romantic story!

    1. I totally agree! They are such a wonderful young couple!

  6. What a great love story! I love your blog-it makes me miss my hometown in the White Mountains! And when you wrote about checking your mailbox at Holy Cross, it reminded me of the hundreds of letters that I sent to my future husband during his years there (box 983!)

    1. Your husband's mailbox was very close to mine! I was there from 1976-1980. You're probably a lot younger than I am...although you did say you wrote hundreds of LETTERS, and maybe that means we're not so far apart in age after all? (For me, it was hundreds of letters to my boyfriend/now husband, who was at Notre Dame--and hundreds of late-night phone calls, on a land line, after 11 p.m., when the rates went down!)