The day we got married was grey and drizzly and incredible. Our ceremony and reception were in the evening, so the weather did not really impact us, although I remember hearing multiple times, “Happy the bride the rain falls on.” Oh, I was happy, alright! Here are some highlights.
My top ten memories of the day we got married:
- On the morning of April 29, 1995, the Brolin side of the family met for breakfast at Dottie’s in Hyde Park. There were probably fifteen of us then. I can still picture the plates piled high with white toast!
- My maid of honor and I drove up to Marblehead for lunch, hair and make up. We went with friends to the Barnacle for steamers and bloodies. As we were leaving, the groom and his party were just arriving. I love that we were on the same page even then.
- When I saw my mother at the Hawthorne Hotel where we were all staying she was less than enthusiastic about my chosen hair style. There’s a great picture taken by my beautiful friend Jann Van Horne of me sticking my tongue out at her behind her back.
- Getting married in the Catholic church was, we thought, our gift to our parents and grandparents, as neither of us was much of a believer. To do that, we had to go to pre-Canaa classes with a fabulous Jesuit priest at Catholic University in Washington, DC. We mostly talked politics. He did preach to us about the unspoken language of love. We believe this was code for sex. We made it about making obscene gestures at each other.
- We and best man Jay were very silly on the altar even before Father Burns launched into his famous, “LOVE, soft as an easy chair” homily. We were looking out at the full pews, pointing people out to each other, whispering the connections and family affiliations. Jay pulled one of the dancing hula girls from the rehearsal dinner the night before, gifts from the fabulous Scott and Linda, out of his pocket and was playing with it even as we were all kneeling. I still have three of them on my desk. We refer to them as the “rock ’em sock ’em lesbians.”
- Father Burns’ homily referenced the famous Barbra Streisand song, declaring it “NONSENSE!” Love wasn’t easy, he proclaimed! Love was HARD! When he gave the same sermon at Jay and Ann’s ceremony years later, we had written our own version, replacing nonsense with Poppycock! Balderdash! Bull$#*!!
- The reception was in the East India Marine Hall at the Peabody Essex Museum, and guests could wander through the whole museum. Everyone looked so beautiful. My brothers so handsome in their tuxes, my mother looking as beautiful as she ever had, my father so proud. All of our guests dressed to the nines. The Apollo Club performed in the China Trade room during cocktails.We had a receiving line going up the stairs and we spoke to each of our three hundred guests. There was a band and a DJ. We had food stations by Holten Brandi set up in the South Pacific Trade room. My cousin Charlie pulled me aside there and told me it was the best wedding he had ever been to.
- Our guests included Tom and Angela Menino and Jim and Sarah Brady. Friends later told me that as I walked down the aisle, Jim was in tears. When they asked him why he was crying, he blubbered “She cleans up well!”
- We danced first to “Do I love you?” by Cole Porter. When my son was a baby, I sang this song to him every night, answering the question definitively “I DO!” before continuing with the appropriate lyrics. The last song was appropriately “Last Dance” by Donna Summer. We danced with everyone in a giant cluster laughing, singing, celebrating love and each other.
- We walked back to the hotel from the museum, a large group of us, all decked out in our finery. The hotel bar would not let us in, so we all went to bed. Our friends thought it would be funny to prank call us. Over and over. I guess it was pretty funny, come to think of it with twenty one years of perspective.