Relatives and friends flew in from literally all over the world: Arizona, India, Singapore, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Pennsylvania, South America, Canada and England as well as around Texas. Several of the officiates commented that not only was this the closest they had come in their lives to a royal wedding but that it also appeared to have been the most photographed nuptials they had ever seen. I tried to work with the official photographer at least in not firing off my flash at the same time as his so the subjects wouldn't appear washed out and shiny. Didn't always work but hey, the happy couple will have over 600 shots from me alone to choose from free of charge. He's a cousin so don't get any ideas I do this for a living or just anybody!
Yes, this wedding to me compared quite closely to a state dinner or an inaugural ball. Attorneys, orthopedic surgeons, insurance agents, pharmaceutical movers and shakers along with city planners and other usual suspects in an extremely well connected gathering of Dallas high society packed the church with close to three hundred guests. At the reception the group photo of just the groom and his friends from high school was the size of any well attended class reunion, each as successful as the other and remarkably still in touch one and all.
Simply put, Dallas, Texas knows how to throw a damned good party. The Ewings would have been pleased. Accommodations ranged from the Embassy Suites to the Adolphus Hotel. Venues included the Adolphus' Grand Ballroom, the Park Club and the W Hotel after hours. There was a Bridal Tea right out of England with summer florals, hats and heels preceded by a family "kick-off" at Cyclone Anaya's earlier in the week. The Summer weather cooperated in dry roasting everybody evenly at 100 degrees for one solid week with no rain to ruin day tours of the area, shopping runs, hair appointments, shuttles to the airport or afternoons in the pool for the little ones in tow or a part of the bridal party. The big news was the earthquake in Washington DC that week, of all places.
Then there was the food: fudge, curries, potato roti, cake, catered BBQ from Dickey's on one occasion, enough soda and beer to fill the pool outback and all this before three nights out on the town including the rehearsal dinner featuring tortilla crusted red snapper, salad and fajitas with all the fixin's followed by the reception itself featuring four "filling stations" with hand-tossed spinach or marinara pasta, more salads, breads and cheeses, carved roast beef and turkey or baked salmon over shrimp fried rice with an open bar at every event.
The Hebrews didn't eat as much after 40 years in the desert. Oh, and this was only the groom's side of the family. Whatever the bride's family and friends plowed through outside of the organized events is not on official record! The dress was gorgeous and the bride flawless so nothing else mattered.
At the end of the reception Saturday evening I drove away thinking how happy I am to live in this city and how proud that the best of Dallas was on display for family and friends from all across the planet. We laughed, we ate, caught up or met for the first time, ate again, of course the men watched the British Open, talked trash over football or rough housed with the kids while the women rolled their eyes, cooked and we all ate some more.
After moving back to Dallas over two years ago friends and family saw and commented on how my outward demeanor had changed so much for the better in comparison to years before. It is true but this week wasn't about me or Dallas, Texas. I stayed respectfully in the background while my city served as the backdrop for the beginning of a beautiful new life together. I'm pretty sure they were the happiest people of all.