At the end of the wedding, Rob handed out presents to the wedding functionaries. Somehow, I had managed to get on that list, although I can for the life of me not understand how.
As Rob collects knives the presents were just that - knives. As he was about to hand them out just after the bride had thrown the bouquet, and since a not frugal amount of alcohol had been consumed, some people wondered if he was about to throw knives blindly - whoever caught them got to keep them. Fortunately he didn't.
The bride throws a bouquet, but what does the groom throw? One of the bride's garters, after tearing it off with his teeth. The guy who catches it is next in line for marriage. Watch me disprove by counterexample.
Rob, watching you settling with such intensity frightens me. Best of luck! Leo.
All branches of Rob's family have big families. Rob himself have four brothers, and his cousins (Colleen, Kathryn and Stephanie) and their parents make up a family of mom, dad and three sisters. Nicola has two half-brothers and a sister.
On this picture we see the boys, from left to right: Sam Chisholm-Douglas (Nicola's brother), Michael Monroe, Mark Monroe, Robert Monroe, Ron (Rob's best friend), Rick Monroe, Jason Monroe and Sean Chisholm-Douglas.
Because just having chocolate cakes isn't gluttonous enough - oh no! Ten kilos of chocolate, a tower and a pump gets you a chocolate fountain. You then pick up marshmallows, candies, grapes etc. with sticks and coat them in chocolate. Like a fondue, but with candy and fruit instead of meat. And with chocolate instead of cheese, obviously.
This is Staff Sergeant Chris Braman. His military history started as a cook, but with his physique he was quickly grabbed by special forces and made into an airborne special forces soldier. After being away from his family 218 days a year for a couple of years he went back to cook duty at the Pentagon. When the hijacked plane slammed into the Pentagon on 9/11, he rushed in and out of the still burning ruins, managing to carry three people out of the flames. Only one of them survived. Chris himself suffered chemical burns to his throat and lungs, as well as the mental scarring. He received the Purple Heart and the Soldier's Medal for his bravery. You can read his account here.[b]
Although the presence of a camera appears to extinguish every trace of a smile from his face, he smiles and laughs a lot. He is 33 years old and has a family consisting of his wife and three children.
Clockwise from Rob we have Colleen, Stephanie and Kathryn, their mother Michelle and Nicola. Turns out that Stephanie's husband, Steven (Steven Wagner, cue Ride of the Valkyries here) is in the real estate business and know about Interchange (the US company that bought my company), and even knew the CEO's name (Heath Clarke). Apparently he had (unsuccessfully) tried to get business with them. It's a small world!
Colleen just finished college (nurse), and Kathryn works at the Westin chain of hotels. I've already secured an invitation to dinner at their place when I'm in Irvine, as well as a promise to go bar-hopping through LA, so I'm sure I won't be bored.
Good guys wear black - here exemplified by Leo of Clan Sutic. The kilt is made of heavy wool, and the socks worn are also the thick and warm variety. I later realized that the pouch can be very useful for storing cellphones, keys, etc. Not only do I wear something that resembles a skirt, I get something resembling a purse to go with it!
From left to right is: Richard Monroe Sr., Robert's father. Nicola, the bride. Rob. Michele, Rob's mother. Michele, whose name is spelt with only one "l" has french ancestry. The family history documents handed out at the reception describe the connection between France and Scotland - for example, anyone born in either country would automatically receive citizenship in the other, up until 1903. In addition to the US branch of the Monroes, a sizable contingent of French arrived.
Left to right again: Chris Braman, Chloe (younger sister of Nicola and best maid), Nicola, Rob, Ron (Rob's childhood friend and best man). This picture was taken right after the ceremony in the abbey. The temperature isn't that high, and there were some nasty cold winds blowing when this picture was taken. Good thing though, there wasn't any problem making people hold their pose as most joints in their bodies froze solid in less than a minute.