Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Wedding

The Wedding

Team Thayer signed up for a life time commitment!  On October 17, 2015 Jason and Desiree became man and wife. A whirlwind of activities consumed the days around the wedding! Lots of laughter, smiles, hugs, and happy tears showed up at the various events.

They got the license and we knew we were in GO mode now!

Our first official task was picking up the Swengels.  My sister Nancy, her husband Roger, and their daughter Lori arrived at the airport on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.  We took them to their hotel on hotel row.  After checking in we went for an early dinner at the Gordon Biersch restaurant.  Jay, Derrille’s brother, and Jay’s wife Lynn joined us. Unfortunately both Lynn and Lori got ill from their crab/shrimp salad.


Thursday we had no wedding related things to do, so we gave the Swengels a grand tour of San Diego. We started with a drive by of the Abbey.

 Originally and for many years it was  a church. Then it became a restaurant. Today it commands a corner like a cathedral and lives as a popular wedding venue. 

 Next we drove to the site of the rehearsal dinner. The Prado Restaurant located in Balboa Park just a few blocks from the Abbey. The kids reserved a second floor banquet room.

 The entrance is accessed through this courtyard.  On the evening of the rehearsal dinner they had another wedding reception in this courtyard, and wedding photos were being taken in the garden.

Balboa Park photos

We spent time walking around this part of the park. The old architecture provides fascinating viewing.  

The Prado is located in this building.

Here are a bride and and groom. We did a double take when we  spotted the wedding party.  Check out this bridal party....three little dogs, appropriately dressed.

 Then off to at Old Town, which was all decked out for Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead.  We ate lunch amid the festive displays and explored the many shops.

 Coronado Island

The Hotel Del Coronado
After lunch we toured several areas in the city, including Coronado Island and the fancy hotel.  The photo above is from the beach side of the hotel. The sand castle builder is here most days building his castles. This photo was one from when we had Flat Stanley out touring.

This shows the front of the hotel. Below, my niece, Lori, poses with the hotel sign.

 We ended the day back at the RV, so they could see where we live.  This is the view from our motorhome.  We returned them to their hotel about 10 hours after we had begun.


Derrille ordered his suit jacket from Macy’s last summer. He wasn’t happy with the fit. He thought one he tried on in the store fit better.  We doubled checked it during the summer, and kept the original one that he ordered.  Now on the day of the rehearsal dinner, he decides he wants a different one.  We scramble to call several Macy’s in the area and find one in stock at Horton Plaza downtown.  The plan was to get dressed for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner just before going to the airport to pick up Jeff and Julie. So we moved up the schedule a bit to accommodate a new plan.  We fortunately found a parking spot in the Plaza garage right by Macy’s.  The transaction only took a few minutes. We put the new coat in the car and headed for the airport, which is just north of downtown.  Jeff and Julie arrived about 2:17pm. Jeff changed into party ready clothes at the airport and we headed for the Abbey, up the hill above the airport. 

The rehearsal originally set for 3 pm was moved to 3:30.  The parking angel helped again and we found a spot across the street from the Abbey.  This venue provides NO parking. You have to find something on the street, but that's not a problem. It's a beautiful venue near downtown San Diego.  Having met the wedding coordinator Holly, we rehearsed our parts a few times.  Then we headed to the restaurant hoping the parking angel would help us find a spot there….and she did. Lynn and Jay taxied the Swengels from the hotel to the rehearsal dinner.

The Prado sits in the middle of Balboa Park, near the Museum of Man. The entrance courtyard was full of other wedding parties.  Our room was on the second floor overlooking the patio with its roof of colorful red and blue umbrellas, and the gardens beyond. Another wedding group was finishing photos in the garden.

Our reservation also included use of the balcony with a hosted bar and hors d’ oeuvres.

 People photos….


Jason and Desi  


                  Jeff and Julie 

Lynn and Jay (Derrille's brother)

Roger and Nancy (Dorothy's sister)   

Lisa and Richard (Desi's parents) and Desi

The banquet room setting included three large round tables with places for 9 people. It felt elegant.  Watching the wait staff serve our food turned out to be an event in itself. Three servers approach the table.  In a motion that would make synchronized swimmer swoon, the servers stand behind every third guest, and put down a plate at exactly the same time.  They return to the kitchen for the next plates and do it again.  The synchronized serving occurs with the salad, the main course and dessert. The choice of food was boneless ribs or sea bass. The pressed salad was exquisite!  As was the Vanilla Bean cheesecake.   Dinner far exceeded our expectations. No wonder the Prado is written up as a must-see in San Diego.  At the close of the evening we delivered Jason, Jeff and Julie to The Embassy Hotel across from Seaport Village on the Embarcadero.  Then Derrille and I headed home after another 8 hour day.


The wedding was an incredible event!  The morning started out overcast but gave way to a lovely afternoon.

Derrille and I arrived at the Abbey about 3:00 just before the bride and her attendants.  The girls and Desi’s mom Lisa headed up stairs to the bride’s room. Here they peeked out at the preparations below. This is Desi, mom Lisa, good friend Robin, best friend since kids, Joci and little sister Cami.
 Lynn and Jay assumed taxi duty for the Swengels.

    Since we were early and got to witness the preparations just prior to the wedding.

The staff worked like clockwork.  On the exact moment they finished set up wearing blue polo shirts. Then in a flash they disappeared and returned dressed in black for the event.

 The DJ set up lighting and music. The wedding coordinator, Holly, goes over last minute details with the DJ.

This mailbox on the gift table provided a place for the wedding cards.

 The florist finished her tasks.

The photographer took photos with the bride, bridesmaid, and Desi’s mom.

Guests waited outside while Desi was being photographed. 

With the bride tucked away from sight the doors were opened to the guests.

Stevie, Jeff and Derrille await the procession.

At 4:30 pm on the dot, we lined up and processed in. According to wedding protocol, having the mother of the groom take pictures is not recommended. So ...many thanks to my niece, Lori who took over my camera and her cell phone to capture the moments.

Jason’s good friend and roommate of 10 years, Stevie led the procession by accompanying Lisa, Desi’s mom, to her seat.

Derrille, Jason and I were next.

Jason and Stevie await the bride.

Desiree’s siblings came next…the twins, Richie and Cameron, and older brother Ryan.

Oops...we missed a photo of Ben, Jason's friend since he arrived in San Diego, walking in with Robin, a good friend to both Jason and Desi.

Jeff and Joci came next.  Joci is Desi’s best friend.

The bridesmaids are in place. 
Cami, Robin, Joci

As are the groomsmen.  
Jeff, Ben, Richie ....and
My apologies to Ryan for not getting him in the photo.

Here comes the bride with her father Richard. By the way she processed to the orchestration arrangement from Little Mermaid…Kiss the Girl!

Stephan officiated the service. We knew he may tear up, as would all of Desi’s family and Jason. Stevie delivered an extremely moving service, as only one who truly knows the bride and groom ever could.  Even some of the biggest guys had tears in their eyes.  You could tell how connected Stevie is to Jason and Desi. An aura of specialness hung in the air.  The ceremony held everyone’s attention.

 Then he pronounced them man and wife.

We processed out of the Abbey and to the side area for pictures. The guests moved upstairs to the bar, appetizers, and photo booth. The staff set up for the reception.

The photographer, Andrew, arranged us in various family groupings. Then he moved on to photographing the wedding party.  About this time the family moved to the upstairs balcony to visit with the guests.  Here are some that Lori and I caught.

The Laureano  extended family

The Thayer extended family minus a few, and was taking the photo.  The reason there wasn't separate sides for the bride and groom.  

             Groom's parents. 

     Bride's parents.

                      The in-laws..
                 Thayers and Laureanos

Jeff, Jason, Desi, Julie

         Desi's immediate family:
          Richie, Cami, Jason, Desi, 
                 Richard, Lisa and Ryan

Jason and Desi provided all the men with these wild orange socks. Fun and laughter, hugs and smiles are a big part of this family.

A fun compliment to the orange ties and pocket squares.

 I could hardly believe Richard could hold this pose for several camera shots.

Also notable were the heels that Desi chose for her special day.  It was fun to see that after the photos were taken the bridal party switched their fancy shoes for converse (or similar) tennis shoes. I switched my shoes for sandals.

The photo booth provided props to create a funny strip of four pictures.  Each guest received a strip, and a second strip went into an album that would serve as the guest book.  The strip’s placement on the page provided and area for the guest to add comments.

 Soon we were called to return to the main floor and dinner was served. 

Tonight the menu included a piece of filet mignon and salmon for the entrée.

Here is Grandpa Willie coming to say hello!

Several bridal party members chose to speak about the incredible people and couple Jason and Desiree offer the world.

Jason and Desi opted for an array of bite sized cupcakes, cookies and brownies rather than the traditional wedding cake.  Yum!!  The cupcakes and snickerdoodles were especially tasty. The kids even had a table of snacks...candy, chips etc. for late night nibbling.

Following dinner, Jason and Desi had their first dance among the dining guests. This allowed a good view for all guests. The dance floor itself sat below the dining level.

 Unfortunately, I didn’t use my flash, and these photos are dark.

This led to the father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance.  

Here Jason and I await time to join the father-daughter dance.

Then the party began. Here you can see Desi's tennis shoes.

Neon necklaces and rings added to the festivities.  The blue lighting that the DJ provided added to the ambiance too.

We partied until 11pm.  Those who have been parents in a wedding know what comes next. We loaded up the back of our car with all the the “wedding stuff”. Our stuff included decorations, props, gifts, leftover candy, chips, etc.  A considerable amount of cupcakes were left, but Desi’s mom took them to the hotel for the after parties.

This is Jamaica....the view from their hotel room.

This gives you a view from their room looking out toward the beach.

Jason and Desi had a week home before flying to Jamaica for a week.  Their honeymoon site looks like paradise.  Desi and Jason said the people they met were warm and welcoming.  Who would want to come home from there?  Of course, work beckons.

We were involved in some way for almost three weeks. WOW! That is more activity than we do in months.   As a side note, our refrigerator went out the day before my sister arrived. Between no fridge, and the wedding we ate out sometimes a couple of times a day.  All that rich food and dining out has us appreciating dinner at home.

Life is returning to normal in San Diego. We found this frame for the kids. The bottom caption reads: Contemplates name change to  Mrs. Always Right.

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