This past weekend my sister, Kimbie, got married! She lives in Boston but wanted to get married in New York because we have so much family in New York. It was a beautiful wedding full of details that my sister and her now husband, Mike, customized to make it a very personal event. She wore my mom’s wedding dress and had the sleeves removed because my mom got married in November. My mom only spent $200 to buy it over 35 years ago. The dress turned out amazing.
My sister had her reception at the Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua. The Kittle House is a restaurant, has a party room, and a few rooms available to stay. It’s quaint and rustic and is known for amazing food and an award winning wine selection. We met my sister in her room and helped her get ready. Vanessa, one of my sister’s best friend and bridesmaid, helped her put on jewelry.
My sister was also wearing a traditional Chinese red dress (cherngsom, 長衫) worn at weddings at the reception. She wanted pictures with it in the garden so she put it on before the ceremony.
All of us bridesmaids helped her into the dress and put on all of the gold heirloom jewelry from our family. My sister let us pick our bridesmaids dresses. Her only requirement was it had to be red. I really liked this because you could go out and find the best dress to fit your figure and style. My sister’s bridesmaids were her three best friends from college, Mary Kate, Teydin, and Vanessa, my sister, Bet, and me.
After she got dressed, we headed to Lasdon Arboretum in Katonah, New York, for her ceremony. It was a sticky rainy day. The rain stopped long enough for us to have the ceremony on the grass next to a trickling stream. This is a picture of my sister taking pictures with my parents.
Here she and Mike are getting together for a picture with his family.
My Princess really wanted to be friends with Mike’s nephew. Little ones always find other little ones and instantly want to make connections.
Here Mike and my sister are taking pictures with the girls. They were their flower girls if they wanted to be. My sister knows how unpredictable the temperament of a 5 and 2 year old can be. Thankfully, they were into being flower girls that day.
My sister had a list of all of the photos she wanted the photographers to take. She wanted pictures with the families, friends at the ceremony, and individual pictures with all of the bridesmaids.
If you weren’t taking pictures, you sat inside the main house in the air condition. My mom initially didn’t want to wear this red dress because she thought it revealed all of her imperfections. Since it was a hot day, she had to wear this sleeveless dress instead of this other dress with a scratchy jacket. She looked amazing.
Here is one of the rooms in the main house people were hanging out in.
My sister and Mike had a commitment document for all wedding guests to sign. By signing it, we committed to stand beside them, offering love and support to strengthen their relationship.
The ceremony began with Mike and his parents coming down the gravel path.
The girls and I were next. It took a little coaching to keep them on the path and not wonder off or pick up rocks on the ground. My sister made little wands for them to hold while walking.
Then finally my Dad walked her down. She looked so pretty and grown up.
Mike and my sister sat next to each other during the ceremony.
Only immediate family and close friends were invited to the ceremony. It was very small, less then 20 people. There was a little drama in my family because of the limited attendees. My family is big so drama is inevitable. We sat in a semi-circle around them. Their friends, Chris and Phil officiated the ceremony. My Dad is pretty conservative so he was freaked out about a non-religous leader marrying my sister. After hearing how personal they were able to get, he understood why my sister and Mike wanted this.
My sister and Mike spoke about their relationship, when they first realized they wanted to marry each other, wrote their vows, and how each of us were important to them. It was extremely personal, they wanted to express their love for each other and to each of us.
Mike is a really emotional guy. He had a hard time getting through all of his speeches. My sister had to finish some of them for him. It was a little funny hearing her say, “Kim, I love you”. Seeing him so emotional was really touching.
My sister and Mike asked each couple to speak on a topic related to marriage. Mary Kate spoke first and her topic was happiness.
Mike’s mom spoke next. She did a playful, light-hearted speech with Mike’s dad on partnership. I spoke on selflessness. Before the ceremony I asked my Grouchy Husband to listen to my speech. He was upset it was so personal and included examples from our marriage. I had to quickly edit my speech to keep the peace between us this big day. What a great example of selflessness!
The cocktail hour was on the back porch at the Kittle House. My sister and Mike built cornhole, bean bag toss, boards for people to play.
This is the only picture I have with my Grouchy Husband.
Here is my Dad with his friends. He’s known everyone in this picture from either elementary school or college.
There were no booster seats or high chairs at our table. The girls were grown up that night with full size silverware and glass cups. Thanksfully(!) , nothing broke.
My Baby is obsessed with babies. She wanted to hold Baby Jacobi all night.
The dance floor was packed. My sister and Mike picked all of the music for the party. It’s a little controlling but they felt very strongly they didn’t want PitBull and many other songs played. My Aunt Faye ironically asked the DJ to play PitBull and was told it was not on the music list for the night…haha.
Both my girls were dancing queens that night. I knew my Princess loved to dance but was totally surprised my Baby didn’t want to leave the dance floor. My Baby wanted to be by my sister’s side all night. I think it’s because so many people were coming up to her she thought that’s where all of the action would be, and she was right.
There was one mishap on the dance floor. My Aunt Martha fell while dancing with my cousin (her son) David. There are conflicting stories between the both of them of what happened. She had to leave the wedding early because her wrist hurt so much. The next day she went to Urgent Care to get x-rays.
For my maid of honor speech my sister made me write it down because when I drink I tend to forget what I want to say. I had been drinking so it was a good thing I had the written version. People laughed, Mike cried, so I was happy.
It was a day filled with so much excitement. Too much excitement. Not everyone could make it to the end.
It was a great day for our family. We celebrated my sister and Mike, their love, and their new life together. I am so happy to welcome Mike to our crazy family!
To love and growing families,