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Monday, 17 September 2012
The Brooks-Vallone Wedding
Mood:  special
Topic: Weddings

The Windjammer Conference Center was the setting of our ninth wedding of the 2012 season.  It was the wedding of Darlene Brooks and Warren Vallone on Saturday, September 15th, 2012.  And while technically still summer, we were blessed with cooler temperatures, making it a perfect day for a wedding.    

In spite of the fact that this was the Windjammer Conference Center's first wedding, all went smoothly and we were pleased to have been a part of it.  The main lobby had been transformed into a wedding "chapel" with flowers, candles, an arch, a runner, and rows of white chairs, perfect for a small intimate wedding.  The Montreal room served as their reception hall complete with formal table settings, a bar, and a dance floor.         

We often encounter nervous brides when we arrive for the pre-ceremony photographs.  And, Darlene, true to her own predictions at the rehearsal, was full of nervous excitement as the hour approached.  Her daughter (the Maid of Honor) and the groom's daughter (the bridesmaid) were trying to calm her nerves by reminding her she and Warren had already been together for over 13 years!  But bridal nerves are bridal nerves no matter what.  In any event it was a good excuse for a couple of glasses of a nice wine to "calm the nerves."      

The bridesmaids proved stunning in their long plum dresses by David’s Bridal.  And as they laced up the corset back of Darlene's bridal gown (also from David’s Bridal) you could see a beautiful calm settle over her as at last everything was finally coming together after so many months of hectic planning.  It was time to marry the man of her dreams.


While Linda was focusing on the bridal party, Warren wandered off in search of the groom's party.  In a unique twist, the groom's party consisted of one groomsman (the bride's son), and a Best Woman - the groom’s daughter.  While the men wore three-piece suits from Men’s Wearhouse, the Best Woman was dressed in a traditional tuxedo jacket and vest, matched with a lovely black “tuxedo skirt”.   It was touching to see that all four children were included in their parents' very special day.     

The flowers from Kathy & Co., soon arrived and it was time for Darlene to make her way to her groom.  On the arms of her daughter and son, she was led down the aisle to her waiting groom.  You could see tears in both Darlene’s and Warren’s eyes when they first saw each other and realized that they were now starting the next chapter of their lives together.    

After listening to a poem read by the groom’s daughter, it was time for the exchanging of vows and rings (from Kay Jewelers).  Once the unity candle was lit, Less Hunton pronounced Darlene and Warren married, and after their first kiss, he introduced them as husband and wife.     

As most of the guests made their way to cocktail hour, we gathered the family and wedding party for formal photographs in the courtyard of the Windjammer.  A few scattered clouds and a gentle breeze kept the temperatures comfortable letting us take our time to capture memories that will be treasured forever.  We even got a couple of photos over by the pool.    

After a leisurely glass of wine on the bench in the cool shade of one of the courtyard trees, they joined their guests at the reception, being introduced by their friend and DJ, Gerry Lawrence.  Everyone soon erupted in laughter when they realized Warren had a ball and chain shackled to one ankle.  

Darlene and Warren had their first dance as husband and wife as the wedding party surrounded them with love and support.  One of the tenderest moments of the evening is when Warren reversed the traditional father/daughter dance and danced the groom/daughters dance.  There were very few dry eyes in the room.   

Toasts were offerred by both the Maid of Honor and the Best Woman and following dinner we were treated to another beautiful, but tasty creation from Julie Almond at Caketopia Cakes as the cake was cut.    

And then it was time to dance, which this crowd loved to dance.  Everyone was having a great time dancing to music, both old and new!    



Another interesting twist happened when it came time to throw the bouquet and garter.  For the bouquet toss, the bride rounded up all the single women, young and old, including the DJ's date, who just happened to be the one who caught it.  So, when the groom rounded up the single men, he insisted that the DJ be a part of the crowd, as the bride commandeered the  microphone.  The groom's first throw sailed over everyone's head landing several feet behind the men amongst the tables.  So, they insisted he throw it again.  This time he compensated too much and it fell short.  As the Maid of Honor's fiance leaned over to pick it up, he flipped it up right into the surprised hands of - you guessed it, the DJ!  It was the first time we have ever seen the DJ putting on the garter to his own music!    

As the evening came to an end, Warren had one final request.  The ever popular Chicken Dance.  As the crowd surrounded the bride and groom, the chicken dance went down as one of the highlights of the evening.  

Of course it takes a fairly large team of people to pull off a great wedding celebration like Warren and Darlene's. Here are some of the professionals that worked together to make this day a delight!

Wedding Professionals:

To see additional photographs from Warren & Darlene's wedding:

Posted by Linda & Warren         

Posted by ayerphoto at 3:21 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 24 September 2012 1:15 PM EDT
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