Joe and Alina's White Wedding in South Bend, Indiana.

A nice day for a white wedding…

Congratulations Joe and Alina!!! Joe and Alina got married on Groundhogs Day. And it was a nice day for a white wedding…

Joe and Alina's White Wedding in South Bend, Indiana.


A nice day for a white wedding…


The Ceremony

I think weddings teach me that I either need to go to church more often or never go again between…
…joking with Julie over the church’s really big organ.
……waving at people from across the room.
………always forgetting that you’re supposed to say “peace be with you.”
…………completely forgetting what to say when you’re offered wine and taking forever to even be able to get the wine in my mouth.

Saturday was pretty cold and the snow was still on the ground from the day before which made for a kind of chilly church but a beautiful winter landscape. It was a nice day for a white wedding.

Joe always really had a knack for planning rafting trips during really heavy rains, so was it really any surprise that his wedding date would be during really heavy snow?

The ceremony was held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. The church really was absolutely gorgeous from the beautiful organ (yes, yes it was huge), to the detailed painted ceiling. It was a good call to not try to decorate with flowers and pew bows as the space really didn’t need anything more. After many false alarms (every time the music stopped everyone would get quiet and wait) the ceremony began.

Joe came up with his mother, the bridesmaids came up in their gorgeous purple dresses (I totally have the exact same dress in a lighter shade of purple, I so could have worn it and blended in). What was odd was that when the bridesmaids started walking down most everyone stood up. Maybe I am wrong but I always thought you only stood up for the bride? Oh well.

Alina looked absolutely amazing. She was so beautiful.

The ceremony was really nice as well. The priest did a whole joke about how it being groundhog day shouldn’t “overshadow” the events of the day. He even seriously used air quotes which was pretty rad. I don’t mind having the full catholic mass at a wedding, the only thing I find odd with Catholic weddings is that they do the whole ceremony, then have the mass, then at the end you finally get to kiss. I dunno, I think I’d be mighty anxious!

Joe and Alina's wedding at Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

But finally a few songs later, a few prayers later, a few communions later, a few well wished later they sealed the deal and were officially Mr. and Mrs. JoeJoe.


The Reception

So, within the course of the reception, I managed to…
…lose my earring.
……shatter someone’s glass on the dance floor.
………”drool” on Jeff’s shoulder.
…………catch the bouquet.
……………find my earring…luckily unharmed.
………………wear my high heels the entire night.

We drove back to the hotel then shuttle bused it to the reception at the country club. Joe and Alina hooked everyone up with nice big busses to go back and forth so that people didn’t have to drive which was pretty sweet.

Once we arrived it was time for wine and appetizers and mingling. The hors douvres were quite tasty. I especially liked the little potato-filled mushrooms…and the asparagus and goat cheese in puff pastry…and the beef crostini…mmm.

It's a nice day for a white wedding. Joe and Alina's White Wedding in South Bend, Indiana.

I am quite surprised at just how many people I knew there: from good friends to new friends to KCSAers to Inline Insomniacers I haven’t seen in quite some time. Between the six tables worth of people I knew it was quite the night.

After the cocktail hour I settled into my seat at the awesome table and watched as the bridal party was announced and as Joe and Alina shared their first dance. JoeJoe danced!

It's a nice day for a white wedding. Joe and Alina's White Wedding in South Bend, Indiana.

After some speeches (Glen gave a very wonderful speech), some Isla setting herself on fire (that happened), some salad with yummy red pepper dressing, steak, chicken, potatoes, crispy sweet potatoes, broccolini, and sorbet it was time to get the party started!

The rest of the night could basically be filled with one word, repeated for emphasis: dance, dance, dance!

Dancing with Glen. It's a nice day for a white wedding. Joe and Alina's White Wedding in South Bend, Indiana.

There was a real band and it totally rocked because they played a decent mix of oldies and newbies and it was all totally danceable. They even played Shot Through the Heart. So I danced with my girls and with Mikey and with Glen and with Jeff and with Scotty and with MattyK and with Andrew and with Dave and with Brian and with Doug because I’m a total playa like that.

At one point I completely lost my earring but later I was able to find it right next to the dance floor totally unharmed.

At one point I accidentally knocked a glass out of someone’s hand while we were dancing and it totally shattered.

Once the bouquet toss was announced I took my spot in the front. Everyone else will say that I wrestled everyone for it, but It hit my hand, fell at my feet and I grabbed it, I swear no one else was running for it. Maybe they all heard when I pathetically said I hadn’t had a date in forever and let me have it. Isla tried to argue that I dated the Canadian but we never went on a date, we just slept together.

Catching the bouquet at Joe and Alina's White Wedding in South Bend, Indiana.

So I am apparently getting married next. Any takers? It’s probably bad luck to try to marry the guy whose wife tossed the bouquet so I guess JoeJoe is out of the question…

More dancing. More dancing. And did I mention more dancing? And did I mention that I managed to do all of this dancing in heels for the entire night?

Me, Emily, and Heather at Joe and Alina's White Wedding in South Bend, Indiana.

Alas, the night finally had to end…only forty minutes after the last bus was originally supposed to leave. Everyone was having way too much fun to leave any earlier!

So we boarded back on the bus and bid adieu to the happy newlyweds, Joe and Alina.


After Party

Sometimes at bars Val learns…
…that she is really slow at picking up on things.
……what Pepsi really means.
………that there is yet another song about her.
…………that sometimes people ask you to watch their drink and never come back.

Emily and Julie called it a night when we got back, but I really wasn’t tired and felt like going out so I joined up with Jeff and Mike and Sarah and Sid and Dave and we headed to a bar across the street. The bar was pretty crappy but whatever. I ordered a Pepsi and tasted stronger than any alcohol I would have ordered. Weird.

I had earlier promised Dave a lap dance if he got me a drink at the wedding. It was probably a pretty stupid move seeing as the drinks were free. But I hadn’t wanted to leave the dance floor. Anyways, so he kept trying to cash in and also tried to get me to give him a “Pepsi,” which apparently doesn’t mean the soda.

Jeff and Sid bought the song “Valerie” from the juke box from me. I had never heard it before and it wasn’t until the explained it that I realized what Reel Big Fish means, ’cause I’m kinda slow like that.

At some point Dave left for the bathroom and asked me to watch his drink. He then disappeared for a very long time and finally returned but had another drink.

There was also this weird guy who was talking to people in the bathroom and Lindsay thinks you should think of anal penetration while in the bathroom. Just sayin.

After a couple hours at the bar we decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel, figured out how to get into the hotel, and called it a night…


Congratulations Joe and Alina!

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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