|The wedding vow kiss. The white you see in the round window is the blizzard on the beach. |
(Sorry about the picture quality--I haven't figured out about editing photos on my new computer and these were the best quality photos I had access to)
In order to make things easier for those of us who were attending the New Jersey event from out of town, the wedding was planned for December 19 in order to coincide with holiday vacations. My wife and I would have been going back east anyway in order to visit family, so having the wedding during that time seemed like the best way to accommodate us as well as the others coming from California and other places.
When I say amazing it's because one of the biggest snow storms in recent northeastern U.S. history hit on that wedding day. Since all arrangements had been made and people had traveled from all over, postponing to another day was not feasible. Despite the weather the wedding would go on for whomever was able to make it through the snow. Incredibly nearly everyone did show up, including some who drove hundreds of miles through inclement weather. What I feared could be a ruined wedding turned out to be a big success with a good crowd who had a great time as the blizzard roared outside.
|The happy couple at the head table with the snowy beach in the background with a might blizzard underway.|
Getting to the facility was somewhat scary. Traffic was light, but the roads were covered in ever deepening snow. It was slow going, but everyone arrived early with time to mingle and get acclimated to the beautiful facility. The place where the wedding was held was on the Jersey beach and had large windows through which in the darkness past the raging snowstorm ocean waves could be faintly seen. What a sight! Watching the wedding ceremony was hypnotic with the blowing snow seen through the windows that acted as a dramatic backdrop.
Now here's the part of the story that has to do with my Battle of the Bands post that featured the song "I Only Have Eyes For You". Earlier in the year Ada and Tom had come to visit us in California at which time Tom was going to ask my blessings for him to marry my daughter and then he would propose to her. I think Tom is a great guy and I was thrilled that they were going to get married later that year. Of course I approved! They were one excited happy couple.
One evening during their visit I pulled my recently acquired Busby Berkeley DVD box set off the shelf because I wanted them to see some of the great dance numbers found in the films. They were especially impressed by my favorite piece which happened to be that song "I Only Have Eyes For You". Then, at the wedding during their dance together, I didn't even realize they were using that same song. Maybe it was the typical father-of-the-bride jitters or the distraction of the snowy weather. Or perhaps it was because the version they used was the one by the Flamingos and it was so different that I didn't even make the connection to the original version I had played for them earlier that summer.
Ada pointed out to me later what song they had used and I was so thrilled that they had chosen that particular song. Maybe it was a combination of a lot of things that made me miss that song connection, but now I clearly remember what I did not immediately remember that night. Now I can't imagine ever forgetting that amazing wedding.
|Tom and Ada dancing to "I Only Have Eyes For You" by the Flamingos|
As a postscript I should mention that the evening wrapped up successfully though the crowd probably started dispersing earlier than they might have had under different weather circumstances. We all partied and had a great time, but at about 11 PM the shuttle service which had delivered most of the guests to the site from the hotel where we were staying or parked decided that they should start taking groups back.
Going back was even scarier than getting there as the snow had not relented and the roads were getting really bad. Several runs were made by the shuttle vans that had been hired for the occasion. My wife and I and her family members were on about the third run. Many in her family had never been in the snow before so I'm sure this was memorable to them. The next morning we awoke to a fantastical hotel parking lot winter wonderland covered in snow. Cold, beautiful, and a heck of a good time for all of us. I don't imagine any of us will ever forget that New Jersey trip and a truly magical wedding.
Were you in the big winter storm of December 2009? Have you ever attended an event that you thought might be a disaster but it turned out great? Are there any songs that you've heard played but didn't recognize because it was a different version than what you had been accustomed to hearing or had expected to hear?
If you still haven't voted on my most recent Battle of the Bands post you can still have your vote counted if you get it in by tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon after which I will tally the votes I've received up to that time in order to determine the winner. Please visit "I Only Have Eyes For You" and tell us your favorite version.