The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘My Cousin Vernon and his Wife Wendy’

Easter Vacation: Family Visit

Bob and I spent the Easter weekend in Alexandria, Virginia. We used to go to Virginia a few times a year to visit Bob’s brother and our sister-in-law. We have missed those trips to Virginia, since John and Dorothy moved to Hawaii. We miss visiting with John and Dorothy; however it is still possible to get our Virginia “fix” by visiting my cousin, Vernon, and his family.

When we visited Vernon and Wendy in May 2011, their family had recently been increased by 1. Their son, Aiden, was born on May 14. We were among the first to meet baby Aiden.

This is my favorite photograph of Aiden from our May 2011 visit.

Aiden giving Daddy a fist bump

Fast forward 11 months, and here are the photographs that I took of Aiden this year.

Aiden was fascinated with Bob’s mustache and beard!

Aiden checks out Bob’s beard and mustache.

I LOVE Aiden’s baby blue eyes!

In addition to visiting with Vernon and family at his home, we accompanied the three of them to Wendy’s mother’s house on Saturday, April 7th, for the Seder — the focal point of the Jewish Passover celebration. It was nice to see Wendy’s mother and sister again, as the last time we saw them was at Vernon and Wendy’s wedding in October 2009. A book entitled “30 Minute Seder” provided for a memorable Seder Passover that both engaged and entertained all participants.

Memorial Day Visit with Cousins

We visited with my cousins Vernon, Wendy and Aiden for several hours on Memorial Day.

We hadn’t seen Vernon and Wendy since their wedding in October 2009, so there was much to catch up on. Even though we have stayed in touch via telephone calls and Facebook, I feel face-to-face conversations are the most rewarding. We had a very good visit. As is usually the case when good times are being had, the time went by much too quickly.

Vernon and Wendy have a new son. Aiden was born on May 14th. We were honored to be among the first to meet him.

Aiden giving Daddy a fist bump

New Cousin

I received the most joyous news today. My cousins Vernon and Wendy are the proud parents of a baby boy, their first child. Vernon and Wendy’s son weighed 6 lbs 4.5 oz and was 19 3/4 in long at birth. Congratulations Vernon and Wendy!

Weekend in Annapolis – Day 2

My cousin, Vernon, and Wendy were married on Saturday, October 10. The wedding took place on the grounds of Herrington on the Bay, which is a marina resort located in Rose Haven, MD, along the Chesapeake Bay. Rose Haven was approximately a 30-minute drive from our hotel in Annapolis. The wedding didn’t take place until 4:00 PM; however, Bob and I made a point to arrive early so that we could take in the sights of the resort, as well as spend a little bit of time before the wedding ceremony with Vernon and his brother, Randy.

We found Vernon on the grounds of the resort around 2:30 PM. We were able to chat (and take pictures) for about 30 minutes before the professional photographer arrived with Wendy.

Vernon and Randy at Herring Bay Bridal Garden

The formal wedding photographs were taken before the wedding ceremony and took no more than 15-20 minutes.

Wendy and Vernon

Vernon and Wendy with their Families at Herring Bay Bridal Garden – East Beach

Soon after the formal wedding photographs were taken the bridal party went inside the Historic Yacht Club. I stayed at the bridal garden, watching the final preparations. Flowers were brought in and hung on shepherd hooks at each row of seats; a basket full of wedding programs was placed on a table; and the Chuppah was decorated.

The Chuppah (hoop-pa) represents the home that Vernon and Wendy will establish together. The Chuppah is open on all sides so that family and friends will always feel welcome in their home.

The Chuppah

The guests started to arrive at 3:45 PM. The wedding ceremony began promptly at 4:00 PM.  This was the first Jewish wedding that Bob and I attended.

Escorted by her parents, Wendy entered the Herring Bay Bridal Garden; soft music was playing in the background.

Wendy, escorted by her parents

Vernon, who was at the Chuppah with the rabbi, the best man, the groomsmen, the maid of honor and bridesmaid met Wendy at the first row of guests.

Vernon at the Chuppah

Vernon escorted Wendy to the Chuppah, signaling the start of the ceremony.

Vernon escorts Wendy to the Chuppah

The wedding ceremony began as a few moments were taken to remember all of those loved ones who are no longer with us to share in this special day. After this moment of remembrance, the Rabbi said blessings over the wine. Vernon and Wendy drank the wine from the same cup.

symbolizing that married life halves bitterness and doubles sweetness

Then came the exchange of vows and rings, followed by the signing of the Ketubah.

The Ketubah is the legal marriage contract. It is one of the oldest elements of the Jewish wedding ceremony and has played a significant role in the Jewish wedding for over 2,000 years. It describes the couples responsibilities and commitment to each other. The Ketubah is traditionally signed during a private ceremony just prior to the wedding services. However, Vernon and Wendy have chosen to sign it as part of their service so that their guests can hear the words and witness the signing of this very special document.

The Ketubah was signed by Wendy, Vernon, two witnesses and the Rabbi.

Wendy, signing the Ketubah

After the Ketubah had been signed, the Rabbi recited the Seven Blessings.

There are seven traditional blessings in a Jewish wedding ceremony. They are a biblical tradition that began in the days of Abraham and Sarah. They wish the bride and groom happiness, love, companionship, and peace.

After the Rabbi had recited the Seven Blessings, Wendy and Vernon were pronounced husband and wife. Vernon was told that he could kiss the bride.

The Kiss

At the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, Vernon stomped on a glass, shattering it.

Vernon stomps glass

There are many interpretations of this {breaking the glass} tradition, but two are most significant. The first is to remember the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The second is a reminder that relationships are fragile and must be treated with great care, love, and mutual respect, lest they break apart.

Once the glass was broken, guests shouted, “Mazel Tov!” (“Congratulations!”).” After breaking the glass, Vernon and Wendy and their wedding party walked away from the Chuppah. The time had come for dancing, celebration and dinner.
The wedding reception was held in the Historic Yacht Club. We congregated first in the Island Room, where we congratulated the newly married couple and enjoyed a tasty selection of Hors d’oeuvres, drinks and conversation. The selection of Hors d’oeuvres included seasonal fruits, melons and berries; a variety of cheeses served with gourmet crackers and flat breads; crab dip served hot with French baquettes, filet mignon canapes and coconut fried shrimp. The Island Room is softly lit and has quiet nooks surrounding an open central square. The open central square has an overlook from above, which makes a great place to watch the bride and groom’s first dance. We did this, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Soon it was announced that dinner was ready. We moved from the Island Room, upstairs to the elegantly decorated Chesapeake Room. We picked up our name tag from a table at the top of the stairs. Each couple had an assigned table, which was identified on the name tag. We sat at table 3 with three other couples. Dinner was served buffet style and included Caesar Salad, rolls and butter, Prime Rib of Beef, chicken breast topped with crabmeat, red potatoes, and green beans with almonds. Dinner was delicious.

Vernon and Wendy at our table

The Harbour Deck on the second floor offered an expansive view of the bay and harbor. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset while eating dinner.

Sunset

After dinner we watched Vernon and Wendy’s first dance from the overlook of the Island Room.

First Dance

We made our way down to the Island Room in time to see Wendy dance with her father.

Father and Daughter Dance

Everyone was then invited onto the dance floor. Those who danced looked like they were having a good time. I enjoyed watching, and photographing, those who were dancing.

Vernon and Wendy cut the cake around 7:30 PM. They did not smash the cake into each others’ faces. Instead, they carefully fed each other a piece of cake.

Cutting the Cake

After the cake cutting ceremony we witnessed a dance in which the bride and groom were lifted up on chairs by the guests and whirled around.

A short time later we witnessed another traditional Jewish dance in which the bride’s parents sit on chairs and the guests dance around them. This dance was performed because Wendy was her parents last child to wed.


Vernon and Wendy’s wedding contained many beautiful customs and traditions. Bob and I were very glad to be a part of Wendy and Vernon’s special day. Congratulations Vernon and Wendy!

*** Please note that those portions of this blog in gray typeface were obtained from Vernon and Wendy’s wedding program. ***

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