Frances slipped the last button through its hole on the back of her sister Andrea’s wedding dress. The girls stood smiling at each other, Andrea now looking the part of the beautiful bride. Her best friends—the bridesmaids—waited down the hall to see the bride. Before Andrea could begin her walk down to them, Frances said, “I have something for you.” In her hands was a small box wrapped with golden paper. As Andrea held the box in her hands, Frances made a final couple of fluffs to the train of her wedding dress. Andrea began to pull back the golden wrapping paper, and as soon as she saw the red box she dropped her hands low and turned toward her sister. “Is this what I think it is?” Frances nodded that it was, and tears formed in her eyes. Andrea continued to pull away the paper until she held a small red box in her hands. She smiled down at it as she sighed with a smile, “Mom’s perfume.”
Their mother departed from this earth almost ten years ago. As the girls mourned their mother’s death, they would often go into her bathroom to smell the bottle of perfume she’d always wear. Now on her wedding day, Andrea opened the new box, brought it up to her nose, and took a deep breath in. “Mom,” she said with a nostalgic smile. Frances had wanted to find a way to include their mother in Andrea’s wedding, and she did just that! Amy photographed through tears as the girls both applied the perfume to their wrists so that their mother’s scent would be with them throughout the day.
Andrea’s father, Paul, walked in for his first look with his daughter. Immediately, tears filled his eyes when he saw his youngest daughter standing before him. An unbelievably classic, beautiful, and feminine bride. She held her wrist out and invited him to smell. As he leaned in, a smile grew on his face, and he nodded and said, “Mom.” The three of them—Paul and his two daughters—stood together in a moment of unplanned silence. It was an incredible moment to witness; a strong representation of what it looks like for members of the Church to “look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”
This event was really just the start of many similar events throughout the day. A hand-made missal cover gifted to the couple by cloistered Carmelite nuns. Scapulars that were touched to many different relics throughout Italy before being gifted to the bride and groom. Rev. Carl Gismondi’s beautiful homily that helped set Andrea and Gino’s marriage up for success. Andrea’s aunt and uncle opening up their home for the bridal party to use as a getting-ready location and for bridal party photos after Mass. Siblings standing as members of the bridal party. The smiles stuck on all of their parents’ faces. A mother-son dance that also included Grandma. The list could really go on and on and on. The main theme we walked away with from their wedding is how very, very loved Andrea and Gino both are by their family, friends, church, and all surrounding them.
Andrea and Gino, your holiness and greatness draw people in (and it’s definitely what drew us in!) and you two are blessed with such a wonderful community supporting you. As we were leaving your reception, we ran into Gino’s mom, Sharon. Our brief conversation with her really sealed in that excitement. She was completely and entirely happy…about the reception music! She recounted for us the nights of singing on the back porch with Gino and his siblings, using spatulas and wooden spoons for microphones, listening to the same fun, classic 70s and 80s pop songs we all enjoyed dancing to through the reception. We took that conversation with us and expanded on it. Andrea and Gino, your parents, family, and friends instilled so many incredible traits in you as you grew up, and all those traits were there for your wedding day. Good music tastes, charity, hospitality and warmth, thoughtfulness, loyalty, and beyond. You are beautiful people and we were honored to walk with you and serve you on the day of your wedding. We anxiously await seeing God’s plans for your life together from here on out!
Amy and Kyle
A big thank you to everyone who helped make Andrea and Gino’s wedding so special for them!
Officiant’s name: Fr. Carl Gismondi
Church: St. Mary Catholic Church
Reception venue: The Ballroom at the Phoenix
Florist: Dr. John Lilley
DJ/entertainment services: Michael Herbert
Videographer: Eve Siconoffi
Cake: Monica Clarke
Catering: Marino’s Catering
Dress: Alfred Angelo, with bolero by Slawomir Wolny
Bridesmaids’ dresses: eDresstore
Groomsmen and groom attire: Saget’s Formal Wear
Invitations: Keystone Letterpress
Anj and Gino, I pray that you each know how your love for one another has impacted so many in the most positive and beautiful way one can think of. Stay Bless and know that prayers reign with each of your names!-RDMK
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