Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm an Uncle!

Shortly after 4pm on Sunday, September 5, 2010, I became an uncle for the first time. Or, to put it another way, I got married.1

Thank you all for your congratulations and well wishes! The whole wedding weekend was wonderful. Both the game night and reception went off without a hitch, and the ceremony had just the one.

(And, now that I've gotten the obligatory bad pun out of the way...)

How We Met

I first met my ex-fiancée2 at a place called The Blue Turtle, where my friend Scott was celebrating his birthday. Of twenty or so invitees, only three showed that night, and the third was already married. (Plus, he wasn't my type.)

Denise let me beat her at air hockey, and the rest, as they say, is history.3

The Bride

The bouquet: red & yellow gerber daisies
The gown: from David's Bridal
The old: grandmother's pearls / grandfather's ring
The new: gown / shoes / floral hairpiece
The borrowed: aunt's handkerchief
The blue: toe nails
The penny: in her shoe (the right one)

The Groom

Wardrobe provided by Men's Wearhouse, JCPenney, and Macy's, adorned with — and I quote — a "Golden Imperial Hankie." Hair by MPA.4

Suave. Sophisticated.
And in an abandoned streetcar.

The Ceremony

We were married in North Collins, NY, under a willow tree on a small island in a small pond usually frequented by ducks and geese. In one direction you can see old train cars and tractors and a rocket. In another you can see totem poles, and anchors and bizarre sculptures. Across the pond sits the top of a silo, painted as a giant pumpkin head.

Denise is Catholic, and I'm Jewish-ish, so we had a non-religious ceremony. I did, however, keep the Jewish tradition of "the breaking of the glass," because I enjoy smashing things. Afterward, our closest family and friends pelted us with birdseed. One rogue kernel still resides within the lining of my jacket. I have no idea how it got in there.

The Music

We hand-picked all the songs played at the reception, with help from Scott, our Designated iPod Manager (or DiPM). The songs were grouped into playlists and then randomized, which meant we spent half the reception saying, "Hey, I love this song!"

We did, however, play a few songs at specific times:

Processional: In My Life, by The Beatles (played on violin)
Wedding song: Nathaniel & Denise's Wedding Song, written by my sister5
First dance: The Luckiest, by Ben Folds
Played in the background during our intro: from the Muppet Show... Mahna Mahna6

The Reception

Ilio DiPaolo's, in Blasdell, NY, provided magnificent service and their food was phenomenal. Many raved about their veal marsala, and I loved (loved!) both the Italian wedding soup and the rosemary red potatoes.

Oh yeah, and Table 5 won the sugar packet tower-building competition.

If you enjoy Italian food and ever find yourself south of Buffalo for some reason, stop in at Ilio's for a meal. You won't be disappointed.

The Photos

Kaz of Kaz Photography was an absolute pleasure to work with. Not only does he have a spectacular eye for composition and color, but in some of the shots, he even made me look handsome. You can see all 24 of the "teaser" photos here.

If you ever find yourself in Buffalo and in need of a photographer, Kaz is your man.

In Summary...

I was overwhelmed by how well everything went, and of course, Denise looked amazing. In fact, I don't believe the weekend could have turned out any better. And, if the first few hours and days of our marriage are any indication, my ex-fiancée and I are going to have a long, happy life together.

1 I inherited twin two-and-a-half year-old nephews. Although, I did have fun telling people last year I'd be an uncle this September. They'd start to congratulate me for my sister, then falter as they worked through the math and realized it was more than nine months away. (Earlier last year I also announced my upcoming nuptials by saying my girlfriend got engaged over the weekend. Eventually, people will start to figure out they shouldn't take anything I say at face value.)
2 She prefers "wife."
3 Then again, pretty much everything is history, no matter how mundane it is. So I wouldn't get too excited.
4 Male Pattern Awesomeness
5 The song contained the names of 39 vegetables, 37 Halloween costumes, and 36 types of cheese. And no, I'm not exaggerating. (Also, there was a kazoo solo.)
6 Do doo de-do-do.


  1. this sounds great!
    Was there really a kazoo solo? Because if there was, that is effing AWESOME

  2. "Oh yeah, and Table 4 won the sugar packet tower-building competition." YEAH WE DID!! :)

  3. The wedding was great, game night was fun, and thanks for marrying a girl with family near Buffalo!

    I wish you many years of happiness!

  4. Why yes, Falen, there was a kazoo solo. What makes it even better is that it was played on a kazoo shaped like a french horn.

    Larysa, it has come to my attention (thanks, Kyle & Scott) that your winning table was actually Table 5. Apparently, my memory of the day isn't as clear as I thought. I've made the edit.

    And Mark H! Glad you enjoyed the wedding, even if your injury kept you mostly off the dance floor. And of course I married a girl from Buffalo... I always wanted to be like you and Joe, didn't you know that?

  5. Nate! Thank you for the kind words about my work! You'll be happy to know that there are, of course, photos of the french horn kazoo solo. You and Denise are next in my queue, and I'll be working on your photos this week. Be on the lookout for them soon!

  6. Congratulations Nate! Great photographs! Denise looks beautiful! (Sorry we missed it!) (and we share a first dance song!) :D

  7. What a lovely homage to your Special Day. We are sorry that we couldn't be with you, but you've shared sufficiently here so that we are able to gain some vicarious enjoyment of the festivities.
    The photos are, indeed, remarkably beautiful; the shots of the red barn silhouette of you two and Denise's air conditioned shoes peeking out from under her gown are our favorites.

    Most importantly, you look and sound happy. Your Harlem family wishes you two a lifetime of wonder, mystery, joy, compassion, and most importantly, listening. Sidney and I celebrated our 24th year together in July; it seems like yesterday and it seems like it always was. Timeless.

    Hoping your days together are measured in caring moments and an abiding faith in one another.

    Philip, Sidney & Dora.

  8. Kaz, that's fantastic news! (I'm referring here to being next in the queue, not the shot of the french horn kazoo solo.) Oh, and by the way, your photos are getting raves from all our friends, families, and co-workers. Sorry more of them don't live in Buffalo... Anyway, phenomenal stuff! Looking forward to seeing the rest.

    Thanks, Jessica! I knew there was a reason I liked you, but I always thought it was because you're awesome. Now I know it's just your taste in music. ;)

    And Philip, thanks for such a thoughtful note. Give my love to Sidney and Dora, and we hope to see you soon.