May 21, 2012

Celebrating Emily and Henry's "I Do's"

Hello Everyone!  I apologize for another loooong absence on the blog.  I fully intended to get this post out to you yesterday, until I experienced some unforeseen technical issues.  Specifically, our computer decided to stop recognizing the cable to my camera (insert hair-pulling here!), and therefore I couldn't transfer any of the photographs from my camera onto the computer.  After all, what good is a post about a wedding when you don't have any pictures to show for it?!

My point exactly.

The good news is that that genius husband of mine figured out the glitch.  So here I am, finally getting around to sharing my amazing weekend celebrating Emily and Henry's wedding!

Emily and I have been friends for over six years, and she is one of my dearest friends.

Although it wasn't always that way...

Emily and I met in 2006 at a job interview with the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS).  The interview took place in Washington D.C. (where the NSCS headquarters are located) over a two-day period.  We were assigned to the same hotel room for the weekend, and we immediately disliked one another.  I would go as far as saying that we each found the other annoying, unlikable, snooty, and self-absorbed.

Not the best start to a life-long friendship, right?!

About a month later, we were both hired as one-year interns with NSCS.  As a component of our employment, we would be living together in a house in Washington D.C. (in addition to four other interns) for a year.  It took a number of months before our dislike and frigidity towards one another began to thaw, but once it started, the warming up to one another happened quickly.  Ironically, over a few glasses of wine, Emily and I realized that we had A LOT in common:

  • we were both book-worms;
  • grew up dancing and - in particular - loved to salsa; 
  • held similar religious and moral beliefs; and
  • had aspirations of attending graduate school and staying in the D.C. area.

Upon the conclusion of our internship with NSCS, Emily and I decided to move into an apartment in Greenbelt, MD (she got a job at George Washington University and I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park).  Talk about a relationship 180!

In spite of a few hiccups, mess-ups, mix-ups, and all-out snaffus, everyone had an awesome time celebrating Emily and Henry's wedding this past weekend.  The festivities officially started on Thursday evening with the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!  Emily provided us all with miniature sombreros.  Here's a picture of the three bridesmaids together:

From left to right: Shelbi, me, Michelle

Before flying into town for Emily's wedding, I had only heard about Shelbi and Michelle.  Having never met them in person before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  But I must say, the three of us totally "clicked."  We got along famously well, and within an hour of our introductions were laughing, joking around, snapping photos, and acting like life-long friends.  It must say something wonderful about Emily if all of her dearest and best friends instantly get along so well.

Through the course of the weekend, not only did I get to celebrate Emily and Henry, but I felt like I made two new great girlfriends too!

Emily's mom, Ceci, really knew how to rock her sombrero!  Her take on the style reminded me of the "fascinators" Kate Middleton and all the English ladies wear. :)

By the way, don't Emily and Ceci favor one another?! 

Here is a pic of Emily with her mother and father (Ceci and Hal).  What a cute bunch these three were!

The Rhineberger clan with its newest addition: Henry!

Henry is from Peru (he has been living and working as an electrician in the United States for over a decade). Although his father and brother were unable to make it, several members of Henry's Peruvian family were able to make the trip to the states for his big day.  Most importantly, his mother - Teresa - was present.

Top Row: Henry, Emily, Dioselinda, Delmiro
Bottom Row: Teresa, Candida

Henry and Emily worked together to give "thank you" speeches and gifts to their parents and the bridal party.  Henry was nervous to give his speech in English (according to Emily, he had been practicing it for weeks), but he did a wonderful job! 

For Teresa, Emily and Henry bought a large vase and had a family tree painted upon it.  The tree included all of the names of the Carrasco (Henry's last name) family, and added Emily to it as well.

Needless to say, Teresa cried.

For her parents, Emily wrote, illustrated, and published a book.  She read it aloud to the guests, and I would dare to say that there wasn't a dry eye in the room upon its conclusion.  Sniff...sniff...sniff...

On Friday morning, all of the ladies woke up early and headed to the salon.  The entire bridal party got both their hair and nails done for the evening's big event.  Although we all looked great, Emily outshone us all (as she should have).  Her hair alone was stunning!  It took almost 90 minutes to create and was a piece of art in its own right!

Simply.  Gorgeous.

After a quick bite to eat, all the ladies returned to the hotel to see that our flowers had been delivered.  The orange bouquets were for the bridesmaids, whereas the rose arrangement was a gift to Emily from her soon-to-be husband.  The bouquet included a note that said: "I can't wait to meet you at the altar.  I love you, Henry."


And then it was time to get dressed!  

It took Emily a long time to find her perfect dress (one that she could salsa dance in), but in the end she found the PERFECT wedding gown!  Not only would this dress be great for dancing, but it fit Emily's fun and outgoing personality to a tee!

Being the cutie-pie that she is, Emily's "something blue" were lace biker shorts underneath her dress.  Don't you think that is a fun twist on tradition?!

Although I have purposely chosen to focus on all of the positive aspects of the wedding celebration in this post, there were NUMEROUS things that went awry over the weekend.  By far the most stressful/unexpected/hilarious was when Shelbi's zipper burst FIFTEEN MINUTES BEFORE THE CEREMONY started!

I will never forget how it happened.  

As the bridal party was sitting in a quiet room, sipping on champagne, and awaiting the wedding planner's cue to line-up, Shelbi looked over at me and said:

"Ally, I think we have a problem."

"What?" I said.

Shelbi turned around in her chair until her back was facing me.

Immediately I see a hook-and-eye tenuously holding up her dress.

Her back...and leopard print thongs...are fully exposed.

And Shelbi has a look of pure horror on her face.

This shot was taken AFTER we pinned a napkin inside her dress.

Sad face. :(

In the midst of frantically trying to fix the unexpected dress situation, Michelle and I tried to keep both Emily and Shelbi calm.  While flexing our creative muscles and trying to come up with a workable solution for our wardrobe malfunction, we also snapped photos to capture the moment.  In the end, we found a napkin almost the same color as Shelbi's dress, folded it into a large rectangle, and pinned it onto the outside of her dress.

Keep in mind, the only thing actually holding up Shelbi's dress was a single hook-and-eye closure.  With the dress being strapless, as it was, she had practically no support in the dress.




By some amazing stroke of luck. 

Shelbi's dress didn't fall down or totally burst open during the ceremony or pictures.  Regardless, once all the formal pictures were complete, Shelbi, Michelle, and I rushed to the bathroom, cut her out of the dress, and Shelbi changed clothes.  WHEW - she made it!

Afterwards, we all headed into the reception tent just in time to see the bride and groom make their grande entrance and cut the rug in their first salsa dance as a married couple!

Just look at those hips move!

Emily's dress was PERFECT for dancing!  

Every time she swayed...or turned...or twirled...the dress moved with her.  It looked great!

Emily and Hal together in their Father/Daughter Dance.

Henry and Teresa in their Mother/Son Dance.

You can't really tell in any of my pictures, but Teresa's dress was both perfect and stunning for the occasion. She really looked lovely.

Towards the end of the evening, Emily and Henry cut the cake.  They were both very nice to one another while feeding them a icing or cake in the face! :)

All of the weddings I have recently attended have really brought my mind back to my own wedding day.  It is hard - if not practically impossible - to believe that Bo and I will have been married for a year on this upcoming Monday, May 28th.


I guess the saying really is true: "Time flies when you're having fun!"

Question of the Day:

Have you ever met a friend of a friend and instantly "clicked"?  

Ally and Bo


  1. I continue to enjoy your recap of the great weekend we had. Thank you for being a great friend on my special day. Besos! XOXOX, Emily

    1. I miss you and read this post with a HUGE smile on my face. Can't wait for a girls weekend sometime in the next year or so!!!