Monday, June 13, 2005

The Weekend

A chronicle of my weekend events. All took place in weather somewhere between 93-98 degrees with a humidity reading of like, 157%. I really need to invent a strap on A/C unit.

The HOT Wedding
My cousin Eric got married to his longtime girlfriend Shawna, on Friday. She was an incredibly GORGEOUS bride, despite the heat that could have melted the wax off of every figure at Madame Tussaud’s . Her dress was gorgeous, her body was drop dead and her face was one of a flawless, beautiful creature.

I was a bit worried that I would not be able to make it till they said their “I do’s” since there was NO air conditioning in the church. I was convinced the wedding was going to end with a funeral – mine. I seriously thought I was going to die. In my black, polyester blend (I swear it had more polyester than anything else in that “blend”) pantsuit, I felt like I was in a Ziploc baggie, struggling for air. The two, count them, TWO fans in the church were moving the air about as fast as a child does when he blows out a birthday candle. The sweat was pouring down the side of my face as I furiously fanned myself with the church bulletin. My Aunt Michele sat nearby, face set like stone, also miserable in the heat, while my cousin Deana dabbed my brow like she was my personal assistant. Thank God she was there, or I would have left the church with little bits of tissue stuck to the sweat on my face. She picked them off like she was a cotton farmer from the 1800’s.

As soon as the wedding was over, the skies opened up and dropped some rain on us….not the cool air making type of rain but the muggy air making type of rain. Oh, joy. Finally, we made it to the reception hall. I found a seat in the bar directly under the air conditioning vent and was trying to think up ways for them to rearrange the reception hall around my seat so I could stay there. No such luck. I had to join the masses in the extremely hot, extremely crowded, cattle car shaped “cocktail hour” staging area. Had it been December, it would have been fine. But the body heat from the crowd was melting the ice sculpture and making my getting to the cold fresh fruit a serious problem.

All that aside, my word for this entire wedding is: PHENOMENAL

Despite the stifling heat, I managed to squeeze through the cattle in the cocktail hour to get to the food. Shrimp on ice, caviar, Orecchiette pasta with a mushroom cream sauce and pancetta, Portabello mushrooms stuffed with spinach and goat cheese, baked Brie with raspberry sauce, chicken satay with peanut sauce, fresh fruit, a plethora of cheese choices, stir fry, carved meat, fried catfish, fresh bread, vegetable crudite, mozzarella and tomato with basil….need I go on?? So, obviously you now know that the food at the cocktail hour was just as I said: PHENOMENAL.

The reception menu was just as outrageous. The meal started with a hot appetizer of Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with red wine and carmelized shallot tomato coulis. Then, a classic Caesar salad. For the Intermezzo, a Lemon sorbet served on a slice of orange. The entrĂ©e choices were; Sliced Chateaubriand with a Port Wine Demi Glace, Chicken Sorrentino or Grilled Salmon with a Dill Bechamel sauce. I had the Chateaubriand, of course. It was served with fresh asparagus, baby carrots, rosemary potatoes and a dollop of spaghetti squash. The plate was a work of art, but the taste was the true masterpiece. OMG….the beef tenderloin just melted on my tongue. I don’t even recall chewing.

Dessert was next. We all know how wedding cake sucks, right? It’s usually dry, with crappy icing and nothing worth writing home about. Most people don't even eat it. Half the time I don’t even know why the bride and groom take home that stupid topper – what, so they can have crappy wedding cake once again on their first anniversary? Woo Hoo! Not so at the Bonito wedding! This wedding cake was the perfect way to top off this meal. A moist white cake with a thin sliver of raspberry filling, then a thick layer of cream (canoli, I think), another thin raspberry layer and then another piece of cake. All covered in fresh whipped cream. Just so light and delicious!!! Each table was also graced with a tray of fresh Italian pastries and we were served espresso and cappuccino – cappuccino that blows Starbucks out of the water!

So, what do people always comment about? The food and the music, right? Well, we already covered the food, so that leaves the music. And we know what the word for the wedding is, right? That’s right. PHENOMENAL. The music choices were also PHENOMENAL. The introductory music to which they came walking in the room had a great vibe – I’m thinking I even heard a little bit of Metallica in there, not sure. The bride and groom dance, the father/daughter dance, and then one I haven’t seen before: Shawna’s mother chose to dance with her daughter – another great idea - to LeeAnn Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance”. What beautiful words for a mother/daughter dance! BEST of all - they didn’t do the chicken dance song, they didn’t play the stupid “roof is on fire” song, they didn’t do the “hokey-pokey” and they didn’t throw the bouquet or garter. Such class. SUCH. CLASS. The last song they danced to as a couple was The Turtles classic, “Happy Together.” The words couldn’t fit better…”I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you for all my life. When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue for all my life.”

The energy of this wedding was just PHENOMENAL. I am especially impressed with the song choices, the announcing of the wedding party, the joy of the family and friends and even the Steelers football helmet ice sculpture!

The chemistry between Eric and Shawna is palpable. They have a very sexy, very feisty, very deep, loving relationship. I know they have been through a lot, but you can tell by looking at them together that they are a strong couple, can handle anything and will weather whatever comes their way. They have a sexy, sensual, heat between them. And they have passion – for each other, friends, family and LIFE.

As a couple, they did a wonderful job of getting friends and family together and providing them with a wonderful time. But, I have to say, this wedding was the “essence” of Shawna. I felt her warmth and laughter, her down to earth persona and her love and humor shining through everything. In addition, her mother was fantastic - so warm and loving and making everyone feel welcome and comfortable. I can’t even tell you how many times she walked by and touched my face or my shoulder, making me feel like part of her family. And her sister, who shares her gorgeous looks and her laugh – the one that is welcoming, comforting and funny, was a true maid of honor. And although I only met her brother briefly, he was kind and had a huge smile on his face the entire time. I believe that a wedding event really shows you who the bride is. The way it makes you feel, is what she is about. This wedding did exactly that. As a bride and as a couple, they owned this wedding. It was as individual as their fingerprint, and a fantastic way to start their married life.

The HOT Pool Party
My brother and family were in town, so it was decided to hold an early Father’s Day party on Saturday so that we could all celebrate together. Of course, it was another HOT day. With my father’s house having no air conditioning, it was going to be rough. Thankfully, he does have a kick ass pool. My father pared down his usual cooking to hamburgers and hot dogs and his girlfriend had a few items catered in. Very smart on her part – Daddy shouldn’t have to cook for his own Father’s Day celebration. My brother was there with his wife and my three nephews, our cousins and Aunt and Uncle came up from the Bronx and my cousin Ro and her boyfriend Brian came up from Westchester County. Of course, Eddie was there too in case you were wondering. We spent the ENTIRE day, from noon to 10:30 at night eating, laughing, swimming, talking, eating, laughing, taking pictures and just enjoying each other’s company. It was a fantastic way to wind down from the fancy wedding…..just sitting around in shorts and having burgers on the grill. Did I mention it was hot?

The (very) HOT Mall
Eddie and I spent Sunday at the Palisades Center – the HOTTEST mall in Nyack, NY. Either I am going through an early menopause or everyone has become cheap bastards and doesn’t want to run the air conditioning. I think they’re afraid of another grid overload like the Blackout of 2003….but I don’t care. People can die with no air. Helloooo?? Every single level of this 4 floor complex was a sweat box. Even the stores that were “cool” were hot….and not in the Paris Hilton way. We finally decided to go see “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” to get into a cool theater. It was better, but not the meat locker I was hoping for. After the movie, we met Ro and Brian for Mongolian BBQ – don’t ask – and had a great meal and dinner conversation with them. The night ended early since they had work the next day. Ed and I hit the sweaty Barnes and Noble steam bath spa for a while, then retreated to the truck to sleep. We had spent the entire weekend in a hotel and I have to say, I was so happy to get back into my mobile little air conditioned heaven. Sleep came quickly as would the morning when we have to get back on the road and go back to work. Until then, I will dream of the great weekend I had and count the icicles forming above my head as I go to sleep……


Anonymous said...


Hello - it's Shawna's Mom Sharon. Thank you for posting such a wonderful,moving, touching and heartfelt piece on the wedding. I could not have explained the wedding better, you nailed every aspect of the day! You are a hoot! You are a part of the "family" and please know that you are always welcome to stop by when you and Ed are in the area. Thank you for accepting Shawna in to your family with such honesty, openess and feeling. You are a gem! Love Mrs. C (Sharon)

Anonymous said...


I read this when we were still on our AMAZING honeymoon. It almost made me cry a little! It was honestly the best day of my life and I'm so happy that everyone else enjoyed it too!
Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece.
I really do read this every day!
I love you!