Destination! Wedding – by Charlotte Canelli

Read Charlotte Canelli’s column in the June 1 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin or listen to the podcast on SoundCloud. Podcasts are archived on the Voices from the Library page of the library website.

In this column, I have written about the marriages of our two eldest daughters in 2010 and 2011. They say that the third time is a charm. So, yes, we attended our third, and youngest, daughter’s wedding this past weekend amidst more joy, beauty and love.

We can agree that none of our three lovely girls are very traditional. They are, instead, incredibly independent and sassy. They are also sweet, bright and beautiful and masters of organization.

Our eldest daughter, Jill, married her wife Alyssa in a candlelit ceremony in Salem, Massachusetts in November 2010. Their wedding included a family walk among historic homes and buildings of Salem to the downtown Lyceum Restaurant. It is said that on Feb. 12, 1877 Alexander Graham Bell gave the first demonstration of a long-distance telephone call in the building. Other brilliant men and great thinkers, like Emerson and Thoreau, met at the Lyceum to discuss serious issues in the colonies. The setting could not have more fitting for Jill and Alyssa, two women pursuing graduate studies – one a master’s degree in education and the other a doctorate in literature.

Next in birth order is daughter, Beth, and her now-husband, Rob, who chose Boston’s environs for their wedding venue on Memorial Day weekend in May 2011. Outdoorsy and environmentally-aware, Beth and Rob, both Harvardians, were married on the banks of the Charles at the Harry Parker Boathouse – a Community Rowing center built in 2011 and recipient of architectural awards for its amazing design. Wedding guests stayed at Cambridge’s old Engine Firehouse No. 7 – now the Kendall Hotel. 150 guests were transported to the boathouse on chunky yellow school buses. Festivities lasted the entire weekend and included events at hip city venues such as Red Bones in Somerville and the Think Tank in Cambridge.

And so, I should not have been surprised when youngest daughter, Ciara, chose the most non-traditional route of a destination wedding. Last week we traveled to the island of Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. We did this to witness Ciara and her fiancé, Pat, who were joined by twenty-four immediate family members and twenty-six of their closest friends, all invited to festivities in Mexico over a period of four days.

Prearranged activities included snorkeling in the ocean waters halfway between the island and the mainland and bumpy golf carts trips across its length. Impromptu activities included late night jaunts to tequilerias and morning swims in the mild surf. We stuffed ourselves with delicious fish and shrimp tacos and drank margaritas by the bucketful. We then slept to the sound of the ocean’s waves and woke to the calls of foreign sea birds.

Ciara and Pat were married on the beach during a sunset that never quite materialized due to a sudden thunderstorm that pelted us with raindrops and threatened us with distant thunder. Born in Ireland, Ciara has an uncanny way of turning all raindrops into a rainbow and her wedding to Pat was beautiful. The happy party moved under an outdoor palapa (large thatched cover) and carried on. We danced until we dropped and flew home thrilled to witness one of the most wonderful weddings ever.

If you have a family member thinking of a destination wedding there are some library books that you should consult. For starters, “Destination Weddings for Dummies” (2007) by Susan Breslow Sardone will actually help you decide if a destination is a good idea for a particular bride and/or groom. There is stress involved in travel and planning takes patience and fortitude for any wedding, let alone one in a foreign country. Ms. Sardone guides you through sites on the Internet and gives you plenty of ideas. Another source of good information is “The Knot Guide to Destination Weddings” (2007) by Carley Roney.

The two books above focus on the details and planning for large destination weddings which can be complicated and pricey. “Let’s Elope: The Definitive Guide to Eloping, Destination Weddings, and Other Creative Wedding Options” (2001) by Scott Shaw and Lynn Beahan gives great advice for avoiding the large guest list and keeping costs down. “Picture-Perfect Worry-Free Weddings – 72 Destinations and Venues” (1998) by Diane Warner might be a bit out-of-date but should help you.

Interestingly, my daughter chose Isla Mujeres, the “island of the women” for her destination wedding. I watched her entertain her choice group of special family and friends on a tropical island. The strength and determination, beauty, independence and intelligence of our women-daughters were not lost on us during the events they planned that changed their lives.

If you would like to reserve any of these titles please call the Reference or Information desks of the library, 781-769-0200, or reserve them in the Minuteman Library catalog.

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