Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Happy 3 Year Anniversary to us!
Our Irish wedding rings, being held by the best man.

Today Oronzo and I will be celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary. We've been together much longer than that (our first date was on Valentine's Day 9 years ago) but I've learned that married life is different than dating.

Oronzo and I built a solid foundation for our marriage with our wedding. We were married in beautiful Killarney, Ireland. Yes, you read that correctly, we were married in Ireland.

People ask us all the time, why Ireland? Getting married in Ireland was Oronzo's idea and it was his compromise to me. You see, I thought I needed to have a big, traditional Catholic wedding complete with hordes of family and friends and a dinner/dance reception. If you haven't guessed by now, large hordes of family (or even small ones) are not Oronzo's style. He likes things small and simple. He tried to see if I'd consider eloping and getting married in Vegas by Elvis. "Hell, no!" was my resounding response.

We went round and round about what type of wedding to have. I wondered if we'd ever get married! Then one day Oronzo came to me and said, "Let's get married in Ireland!"

"Ireland?" I said. "Why Ireland?"

"Well, you always talk about how much you loved going to Ireland with your brother back in '95 and how you want to go back someday. This would be your excuse to go back."

"I'm not sure our families would be able to attend a wedding in Ireland," I said as I pondered the idea.

"That's the whole point!" Oronzo explained. "I'm sure some of our immediate family members would come, but not all the riff raft that likes to show up for a free dinner. I'd get my small wedding and you'd get your Catholic wedding in a country that you love like your second home."

I was skeptical at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I warmed up to the idea. I did love Ireland the first time I went there. It was breathtakingly beautiful! And I learned that although I'm only part Irish, I was easily mistaken for a local several times while my brother and I were there. It truly did feel like coming home.

Once I got on board with Oronzo's idea of getting married in Ireland, I called my local priest and got the ball rolling. Then, we started breaking the news to our families.

Many of our family members were disappointed, some even angry, that I was getting married so far away. A lot of them couldn't or wouldn't come. But when it came down to it, for the most part the ones that mattered most to us found a way to be there. We had 10 people from the States and 10 locals from Killarney attend.

The trip to Ireland was fantastic! We arrived 2 days before our wedding and worked with our B&B owner to get everything lined up that we couldn't do over the Internet. We picked out flowers, we picked out our rings (I wanted rings from Ireland), we met with the restaurant owners that we were using for our rehearsal dinner and reception dinner, and we tied up other loose ends. We made sure to have time to hang out in the pubs at night and drink Guinness and Smithwicks beer and listen to the local musicians perform. Amazingly, everything just fell into place.

The day of our wedding, I got ready in the gorgeous manor house honeymoon suite that we'd be staying in the night of the wedding, while Oronzo got ready in the B&B that we had been staying in (I insisted we didn't see each other the day of the wedding until we met at the alter in church). The picture on the right is me walking down the stairs to get into the horse drawn carriage that Oronzo had hired to take me and my maid of honor (my older sister) to the cathedral. I felt like a royal princess!

When I arrived, with my family in tow, I found Oronzo and his family and best man already there waiting for me. I was too far away to see, but Genevieve took a picture of Oronzo as he caught his first sight of me walking down the eye. His eyes were misty and filled with tenderness and love.

We had a full Catholic mass wedding in the huge Cathedral that you see on the left. It was magnificent! Our wedding was witnessed by those that loved us dearly. The wedding day was not just my day, it was Oronzo's day too. It was our day! I'm eternally grateful for this. I realize now that if I would've forced Oronzo to give me my way, he would've been miserable and that's no way to begin a marriage. As a result of getting married in Ireland, he's happy to tell anyone that will listen about our day!

After the wedding ceremony was over, our horse drawn carriage took Oronzo and I to a nice restaurant in the local town square. The restaurant that we had chose for our reception dinner had only been open a year and they were thrilled to have their first American couple celebrating a wedding in their establishment. They even asked if they could have a local newspaper reporter come and take our pictures and interview us that night, so we made the papers the next day!

After the dinner, our wedding party hit the streets and went to the pubs for a few drinks. We had far more than a few drinks! The locals were tickled that we were making the pub rounds in our wedding attire and Oronzo and I had many drinks purchased for us and many Irish men and women toasting to our health and happiness and showering Irish blessing down upon us. I was having so much fun that I didn't want to leave, but eventually Oronzo and I were loaded up and taken back to the manor house to spend our first night as husband and wife.

We spent the next two weeks touring various parts of Ireland for our honeymoon, staying in B&B's wherever we went. I couldn't have asked for a more relaxing, romantic honeymoon!

That was 3 years ago and I remember it all like it was just yesterday. Just writing about it makes me ache to go back to Ireland, my second home. Oronzo is determined to get us back there before our 5 year anniversary, we may be going back next year.

And how have the past 3 years treated us? Quite well actually. We've moved twice, we've purchased a new house, we've adopted the most precious child alive, and our married life has been pretty darned good!

Don't get me wrong, Oronzo can drive me nuts at times (like when family comes to stay) but I love this man with all my heart! He's my friends, he's my lover, he's the father of my child, he's my dear husband. He was gun-shy about getting married because he had been married and divorced 2 years before I met him, but despite the 5 agonizing years of dating and wondering if he'd ever come around and marry me, I realize now that he was well worth the wait!

And now, dear readers, because you've patiently waded through this anniversary tribute, I'm going to treat you with a picture of Oronzo and me, leaving the cathedral as husband and wife. I normally don't like to post identifying pictures on this blog, but for you I'm going to make an exception. Yes, my Italian husband wore an Irish kilt (in the proper Irish fashion) and looked pretty damned sexy, if I do say so myself!

Happy Anniversary to us!

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7:04 AM

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Kim from Hiraeth said...

OH! I loved this post! So romantic!

It is my fondest dream to visit Ireland someday. I am Irish through and through and I truly long to be in Ireland someday with my husband and my children (and grandchildren if the Lord blesses!)

I feel as if I've had a little visit through your lovely anniversary post.

Happy Anniversary!

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Jenna said...

I just got weepy. You really should have put a warning on this post: HAVE TISSUES. I'm just over-emotional right now as it is.

Thank you for sharing this. And, dear, you are so beautiful. :)

At 11:11 AM, Blogger momteacherfriend said...


Happy Anniversary.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger abebech said...

Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful story, and beautiful pictures! Wishing you much more beauty . . .

At 6:55 PM, Anonymous krista said...

Indeed! Kilts are sexy.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

What a beautiful story! And you'll always have a truly unique tale to tell. Thanks for sharing!

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Catch said...

you were a beauiful bride...and your hubby looks pretty good in his kilt! God bless you...happy anniversary and many more to come!

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Thanks for the Happy Anniversary wishes, ladies!

Jenna, sorry to make you cry. As for being beautiful, thank you! I felt like a million bucks that day and it helped that I went to a salon the morning of the wedding and had my nails and hair done. :)

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous chelle said...

Happy Anniversary!!!

Our wedding looks absolutely beautiful and your description totally sweeps me there!! Thanks for sharing ... you guys are sooo cute!

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Happy Anniversary!! What a beautiful recounting of your looks like such a magical day and ceremony and everything! What a special way to get married and have your honeymoon!

Today is also my mom & stepdad's anniversay - he's also Irish (last name of Nolan). My sister is going to Ireland this summer as part of a school trip; I've heard what a beautiful country it is - can't wait to see her pictures.

Thanks for sharing this little piece of your life- I enjoyed seeing the pic of you and Oronzo.

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous mayasmom said...

Happy Anniversary!

DH and I were married on St. Patrick's Day - neither of us is Irish either - so another reason to raise my glass to you both;-).

Such a lovely, personal wedding story! Thank you for sharing it. And I quite agree; you and Oronzo look absolutely gorgeous!

At 6:24 AM, Blogger JennG said...

Those photos are gorgeous; thanks for sharing with us! Happy Anniversary to you two!

At 6:54 AM, Blogger GiBee said...

Beautiful post! I love the final picture of the two of you!!! Lovely!

Also -- I just tagged you for a meme!!! C'mon over to my blog to copy the questions!

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is such a cool post! I am half Irish and my Grandma was born there! So we have always been an Irish kind of family. I soo wish that I could visit there! I really wish that my hubby and I could have been married there as well! I loved reading this and escaping for the moment into a whole 'nother story! Happy Anniversery! Oh and congrats on being one of the few women that have had a wedding that was your husbands as well as your own. Mine was my Mom's.....bummer. But I was only 18. Anyways, great pics too!

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Morgan said...

Hey! I love the pictures! Wow, Ireland! :) Yeah, Savannah is nice, it's getting busier since summer is here, though, so it's kind of aggrivating to go into town.
Thanks for your comment. I'm having a girl sometime in August/September-- the midwives aren't completely sure of my due date, and I'm not either.
Well, thanks again. Talk to you later!

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Faith said...

OH.MY.WORD! Girl! I am simply speechless!!! I wish you would give me some info as to where to stay,go etc. I want to go to Ireland some day! I am just so blown away by your story!
Oh! The Kilt? Waaaaay awesome! What a sweetheart to wear it!
I'm lovin' y'all. Y'all are just too cute!

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So funny, I just came upon your blog and saw that church. We went to a wedding there 3 years husbands cousin. It is sooo beautiful. Small world. Sounds like a fairytale.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Karla said...

How wonderful!
My husband's family comes from Killarney! Small world. We would love to visit one day....
Happy anniversary...late.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger firstborn said...

thank you for telling me about your irish wedding! i thoroughly enjoyed reading all about it!

your story sounds similar to mine!!!! we'll be celebrating our 4th anniversary this sept, but we knew each other since '97! & my hub doesn't like big fancy hooplas {or circuses, as he calls blow out weddings} & we had a small private ceremony in our special tower on our special mountain!

& my hub is 3/4 irish & 1/4 german...his mother's people are from somewhere in central ireland & his father's people are from belfast area...

a dear friend of mine, who is of irish descent, went to visit her parents' village & described unbelievable beauty...& when this same friend came to visit us when we were living in maine, she said that our area reminded her of ireland!

one day...we'll visit that magical place...

thank you for being out there in blogland!

:) mary ann

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Mieneke said...

Such a lovely and touching story. Thank you for sharing.
(Blimey, sitting here all teary eyed...what am I like?)

Hope you make it back here soon.

At 5:08 AM, Blogger Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

How beautiful! I've never been there. Thank you os much for sharing your story!

At 5:55 AM, Blogger macboudica said...

What a beautiful post! I would love to get there one day.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Beautiful. The cathedral looks amazing! Congrats to you and your husband. Here's to many more years of happiness!

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Eagles Wings said...

WOW that is a dream wedding!!! Thanks for pointing me to this post. I just love the photo's on your web page! It makes me all the more want to go and do research there!
Thanks again, that is so awesome that you got married there! That ROCKS!

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Susanne said...

What a beautiful wedding! You guys look very happy. :)
I went to Killarney a few years ago, and I thought it was one of the most beautiful places on earth. Thanks for sharing your story!

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful! Have a wonderful anniversary.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Carey said...

What a beautiful wedding.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Sally said...

What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing it with me.

I never had much desire to travel outside of our country, but after a trip to Europe 8 years ago, I have the itch...and our trip to Ireland last spring cemented it!

I think I'll post about our trip soon. We went a year ago, but I just started scrapbooking the trip, so all the memories are coming back (except for those nights when the Bulmer's cider was flowing freely -- those nights are a litle fuzzy! =} ).

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Marcia said...

OW, I'm such a nosy parker that I followed your comment over at Boomama's to see what you look like - you look exactly as I imagined you to look!

And I love your wedding story - Ireland is one of my favourite places (just from reading and seeing photos) and I can't wait to go next year.

Organising queen and
Take charge blogs

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful - I loved this!!!


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It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

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Adoption #2- considering the State
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Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
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Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
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It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 4)

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