Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh What A Night


The wedding party was incredible. Everything went smoothly, I can't write all I want to; it would be much too long (imagine that…me…wordy!!!)LOL. Seeing my daughter and her new husband come in the door was something I won't forget. We embraced and just had a good cry, tears of happiness. Her wedding in Antigua was wonderful, better than they had imagined, so meaningful, and two couples that are close friends were there with them. The setting was incredible. After a week's honeymoon, they came back to the celebration here so we, family and friends, could celebrate them and their union.
It was incredible. That's all I can say. I'm still on a cloud here. We connected with so many of Jeni and Tom's friends and it was all so loving and beautiful.

Bill and I could not have done it without Jojo Conley and Charlene Brunswick, who are great friends of Jeni and Tom and just plain sweethearts to us. They are the best party planners (and work cheap!LOL). Also, Jeni and Tom and the planners knew friends who did a lot of the work. The flower girls were incredible, every flower arrangement and OMG, the wreath on the door with a photo of Jeni and Tom was incredible. The cake artist was a friend and her Creative Cakes were a work of art. She made a sandcastle cake, along with two huge sheet cakes to feed everyone! I think it was not only the focal point but the most studied cake I've ever seen. It was amazing. Even the seashells were sugar and hand painted with deliciousness. J The DJ, Danny, was great and brought his own dance floor. The caterers were Southern Gourmet and they are from Fred's Market here. Incredible ribs, parmesan potatoes, roasted veggies, and every kind of appetizer...yummy! The bartenders were from Spunky Spirits and they had a specialty drink for Jeni and Tom called the Fliperoni. That a neat idea. J&T decided what would go into the drink. One interesting person who has a real niche in the entrepreneurial world was Michelle. She is a friend of the planners who has a one person business called "Not Quite Catering". She did everything from lighting all the candles to making sure the garbage bags were changed, helping clean up to making sure the guest were happy,had their leis, and had signed in on Jeni and Tom's photo matte. What a great worker and wonderful personality. The photographer, Michael, took incredible shots and I look forward to seeing the wedding party results. I already saw the beach photos and they were really great. He is an artist and it shows in his work. I don't have any of those photos yet, these are the ones we took at the party. Of course I will share more when the photographer gets them to us. :)

Tom's mom and Alan were here early with their usual great moods and personalities. Their help and support was just what we needed so we got ready while they took care of everything for us. It was nice just having them here to share this moment with. They are such wonderful parents and friends, as are Tom's whole family. I know that's not a usual thing so we are very fortunate I think. It's such a joy spending time with Kay and Alan, Tom's sister, Pam and her husband, Greg; their children Seth, Marc and Leah; Tom's brother Todd, his wife, Erika, and their twins Jake and Alex. I am so glad we are all here for Tom and Jeni, and Tom and Jeni are here for us.

I feel so blessed today, I can't begin to tell you.

I just love Jeni's friends and haven't seen some for years. What a joy that was to reconnect. I got to know many of them better through this process and just had so much fun with them all. They make me feel young. J

Jojo Conley and Charlene Brunswick were tireless right-hand women who did all the hiring and heavy lifting for this event and I just love these women. We had some great laughs and a priceless bonding experience. So much wonderful in this post, in that party, in these people who helped and were there. I would be speechless in view of having to express my thanks to everyone and the joy at having known or met them during Jeni and Tom's engagement, wedding, and wedding party. I am blessed.

Speaking of blessed, two moments I will always remember but not without some tears of joy. When Jeni walked in the door and I saw her and held her and we both cried from the sheer joy of life at this time. She went away Jeni Roney and came back a newly wed called Filipkowski and it fits her so well. She had on a beautiful white summer dress and I'll always remember that moment when I first spotted her and the look on her face. Then Tom, seeing him come in was eclipsed later when, after he had a mother/son dance with his mom, he asked me to dance. I couldn't stop crying. There wasn't a moment of sadness in it but I have to say that one thing I miss about my son is his future. I'll never see him marry, have the mother/son dance at his wedding, hold his children in my arms, love his new wife, etc. Not only was my life as I knew it wiped out, so was my future with my son. When Tom asked me to dance I felt I had that chance right then and that it was a dream come true for me. Tom, my son-in-law, practically had to hold me up as we danced what I will call the Mom in law and son in law dance. He is tall like Brian was and Tom practically had to hold me up because my knees were buckling from living this dream right at that moment. Dancing with my son. Tom leaned over and said, anytime you want to dance, you just ask me, we will dance. I could not stop crying. What a great guy to understand something so far fetched to anyone who hasn't lost a child. He is such an incredible, intuitive person and I'll always love this man who loves my daughter.

I wasn't sure I could do it because I had been emotional all week but I read my poem that I wrote for them to them at the wedding. That poem follows in case you haven't seen it on my poetry blog. What a great couple they make. They are both so caring and loving people whose love for each other shows in everything they do. May it always be so, may they be as happy as Bill and I have been for almost 40 years. My heart could not be more full right now.


First of all, here is one of Jeni and Tom's favorite songs and the inspiration for my poem. What love is

By Mary Jo Blige

And it feels like joy

And if feels like pain

And it feels like sunshine

Feels like rain


Beautiful, horrible, magical, terrible

Reason to laugh and smile, reason to cry yourself

To sleep at night, start a fight,

Makeup, breakup, wrong or right

Heaven for all it's worth can equally be held right here on




What Love Is


This is what love is:

A girl born in December

sharing DNA and stealing our hearts

with a burp, a smile, a kiss, and finally

the words we waited to hear, I love you.


This is what love is:

Watching her bloom and grow;

her quiet, shy ways; her beauty that began

inside and shone like a beacon wherever

she went, a heart bigger than her body,

caring for every person she met, making

friends that would last a lifetime, and making

us more proud each day.


This is what love is:

The fear of the teen years and letting her go

one small step at a time, even though

we wanted to hold on so tight. Driving,

dating, school dances, events and clubs,

slumber parties, pool parties, friends,

graduation, a job at Progressive, then she

was out on her own.


This is what love is:

Meeting the man of her dreams and watching

them together. Watching him love her in ways

we recognize; the way he looks at her, the way

he holds her hand, the way he thinks of her first.

A tall, handsome, hard-working man who also

honors us as her parents, allows us to get to know

and care about his family as they become

a cherished part of ours.


This is what love is:

Jeni and Tom going to an island, getting married

on a beach of white sand, promising to love

each other forever, and knowing what that means.

They know that there's sunshine, but also rain;

that things won't always be as perfect as they are today

but they know they can weather any storm and that

heaven can be - right here on earth.

Judy Roney

April 18, 2009


Mary said...

What a beautiful summation of the big day. I am glad everything worked out so wonderfully on the day of Jeni and Tom's party. Especially that you had the mother & son-in-law dance that you did & the promise of more dances if you ever want them!

Victoria said...

What a grand scale you celebrated on - gorgeous and so heartfelt. I love the poem and the song on which it was based. And that CAKE!!!!! WOw. I'm glad you had help, and so impressed by the celebration you all pulled off. Blessings on your heads, every one.

Bill said...

What a wonderful party to mark the great occassion.Everything went so well and wonderful memories for all. I am so happy for Jeni and for us.

Mary said...

Wow, the last time I looked at this blog (last night) there were no photos. Now there are. The photos add so much, and the looks on everyone's faces say it all. Walk this week in the glow, Judy and Bill!

Diane T said...

What a wonderful party for the bride and groom. I enjoyed reading about it, seeing Jeni and Tom (such a good-looking couple, and seeing the setting where the party took place. I am so glad all went well and also happy about the dance with your new son-in-law. Your poem fit the occasion, and I cannot imagine that anyone would not be moved by it. I am so glad for the happiness of all!

Darrell said...

Judy: Good for you, good for Bill, and most of all, good for Jeni and Tom. What a great, positive, happy story. Made my day! May they have many happy years together. Love, Darrell

Marlene said...

Judy, what a glorious day for you and Bill and of course the happy couple. You are all just glowing!I am so sorry that we were unable to join the celebration. These wonderful memories will stay with you forever.


Anonymous said...

What a glorious and wonderful celebration! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures. Best wishes to all and especially to Jeni and Tom for many years of happiness together.

kwgnana said...

What a wonderful time, and a wonderful family. Love and blessings to all for continued health and happiness...and lots of dancing.