From left, the bride and groom in front of a fire truck from the groom's firehouse, Jovana Rizzo and her boyfriend Adam Sontag at the wedding
By Jovana Rizzo
July 24th was the big day -- my cousin's wedding! She looked gorgeous and everyone had a great time. It was a beautiful -- if long – day. Here’s how the day played out:
7:30 a.m.: Woke up, had some breakfast, showered and headed to my aunt and uncle's house, AKA Wedding Headquarters.
9:30 a.m.: With three other bridesmaids, I went to Salon Gio in Brooklyn to get our hair and makeup done. We were each wearing a flower in our hair, and finding the right place for it to sit on my head was a challenge. First I thought I would wear my hair half-up, half-down, but changed my mind because of the 95-degree heat. I decided to have my hair curled and all pulled to one side.
Then my hairdresser and I had to figure out where to put the flower. I had him move it about 10 times (luckily he was patient). Everywhere it sat on my head, it stuck out awkwardly and just did not go with my hair. Finally we found a place that looked ok, just behind my ear where all the curls came together. Around 12:30, we were all finished, hair done and makeup on. We paused before we left the salon. It was so hot and humid out, and we had to be at church at 3 p.m. Would our makeup melt in the interim? Would the heat make our hair frizzy? These were big concerns.
1:30 p.m.: All the bridesmaids met up at Wedding Headquarters, armed with extra hairspray and makeup for touch-ups.
2:30 p.m.: Picture time! Everyone was in their dresses, including the bride who looked gorgeous. We each took turns taking pictures with her, and then the bridesmaids got in the limo to go to the wedding ceremony at St. Ephrem's Church. The bride was in a Rolls-Royce.
3:00 p.m.: The music in the church started playing, and we all walked down the aisle. There were more bridesmaids than ushers, so the girls had to double up with the guys. Everyone's eyes got teary when the bride walked down the aisle.
4:30 p.m.: The ceremony was over and my cousin officially had a new last name! The groom is a fireman, and friends from the firehouse were parked outside the church with the fire truck honking horns in celebration. The guests spent some time at Wedding Headquarters before the reception. The newly married couple in their Rolls and the wedding party in their limo (stocked with champagne) were chauffeured to a pier under the Brooklyn Bridge for some picturesque wedding photos. We took them quickly, and then ran back into the air-conditioned limo. Then it was on to Steiner Studios for the reception!
7:00 p.m.: Cocktail hour began and all of the guests showed up. Steiner Studios had a great spread of appetizers, and the weather had cooled down a bit, so we were able to enjoy the beautiful balcony looking towards the Manhattan skyline.
8:00 p.m.: The wedding party made their grand entrance into the reception hall, and the party began. The bride and groom shared their first dance, the bride danced with her father and the groom danced with his mother. The maid of honor and best man made touching and funny speeches. The bride threw her bouquet (which I didn't try to catch -- marriage is not on the agenda for a long time). There was no garter toss, though -- those are always awkward at weddings, in my opinion.
12:00 a.m.: Everyone shared one last dance, and then it was off to the after party at Delia's Lounge in Bay Ridge. I stayed until around 2 a.m. My makeup stayed strong throughout the day, but my hair loosened and the flower was droopy, even though it was covered in many layers of hairspray. After removing more than 20 bobby pins from my hair, and after almost 20 hours of wedding festivities, I was ready for bed!