I went on a honeymoon ... with my daughter and son-in-law. True story!!! They were married 22 years ago today.
They planned their wedding when they were still in the Navy and stationed in the Aleutian Islands. It was going to be a small affair - just the bride and groom and me. Well, of course I was going - but to the Aleutian Islands??? They planned to honeymoon in Anchorage and since accommodations on the Islands weren't all that accommodating I suggested we meet in Anchorage and they could marry there.
Fortunately, the bride took me up on my suggestion and immediately got in touch with Holy Cathedral Church in Anchorage. After numerous phone calls from my daughter to the church and convent, the date was set. I booked my flight and made her bouquet. A friend of mine moved to Anchorage and told me that the couple that manages the apartment building he lived in were empty-nesters and had two extra rooms that they rented out. One quick phone call and we had a place to stay.
One evening, the nuns and one of the parishioners were having dinner and the wedding was the topic of conversation. One of the nuns told us later that she said that a wedding is one of the biggest and happiest moments in a girl's life and should be celebrated with a church full of guests. She said she felt badly that only one person (me) was going to be there. After some discussion, they all decided that they would help "fill the church." The first nun said, "I'll play the organ." Another said, "I'll sing." The third nun (below, wearing green) said, "I'll be the 'best man." The fourth nun said, "I'll be the photographer." After listening quietly, the parishioner (below, wearing pink) said, "We will be happy to host the reception in our home." And so, a wedding and a reception was planned.
What a wonderful wedding it turned out to be all because of perfect strangers!
The woman's husband (below, sitting behind the groom) came home on his lunch hour to pop the cork and propose a toast and the priest that married them stopped in. The bishop also came - bearing a gift he purchased during a recent trip to Russia!
In addition to the champagne and gifts, there was a small wedding cake, which the parishioners purchased for them. I just wish we could remember everybody's names so that I could give them proper thanks (again.)
We enjoyed the sunny (but very cold) day taking pictures in the nearby park. A wedding dinner was scheduled to be at the hotel where they would be spending their first night together as husband and wife. After eating, we headed to the lounge. The band made the announcement that there was a bride and groom in the room; the dance floor emptied and they had their first dance together.
I'll never forget picking them up the next morning - the dress she was so worried about on the plane was now all rolled into a ball and she was carrying it under her arm. I wish I would have captured that sight on film.
The next few days were spent touring the area. All. Three. Of. Us. To this day I still joke around and remind them that mamma honeymooned with them (haha - like they need the reminder, right?) My son-in-law has even told people that I went on the honeymoon with them. Yes, he gets a lot of "WHAT?" but that's okay.
Here's the card that I created for them. Happy anniversary, Mark and Alescia. Many more ...