By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/19/2018
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Photos taken before the actual ceremony.

We were told to be at the home of Chip Simpson, the groom's father, at noon for a 1 PM ceremony.

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Morning dawned and Keith, Michael and I enjoyed our breakfast bowls on the veranda of our rental condo before getting showered and dressed for the wedding.

On the other side of this little island, Jenny was also ready, with her maid-of-honor hair.

Even Gianna was ready to go!

The wedding was held at the home of Rob's dad and stepmom, Chip and Patty Simpson.

The house, beautifully restored and decorated, was actually built in the 1870s.

When we arrived there was already an outdoor refreshment area set up, though I was asked to assist in putting the beer and soda into coolers.

I was told the balloons were more infalted the day before, but they still looked festive.

In the dining room was a buffet setup for sandwiches and amazing cupcakes, which Karen had requested in lieu of a wedding cake.

The flowers were especially lovely.

Jenny arrived with her barefoot slippers.

Zach, Dominic, John and Gianna made their appearance.

Clockwise: Chip (Rob's dad), Zach, Jenny, Gianna and Dominic. (Yes, Chip is tall!)

Clockwise: Chip (Rob's dad), Zach, Jenny, Gianna and Dominic. (Yes, Chip is tall!)

CW: Chip's wife Patty, Zach, Jenny, Gianna, Dominic

CW: Chip's wife Patty, Zach, Jenny, Gianna, Dominic

L2R: Zach, Dominic, Jenny

L2R: Zach, Dominic, Jenny

Chip catches a smoking break during a lull.

I was assigned Gianna-watch, and told she could have some chips (her favorite) if she sat at the table.

John Cilwa

Gianna can turn any home, no matter how traditional or refined, into a jungle gym.

Ben and Dawn.

Ben and Dawn.

While I watched Gianna, Papa Michael got to entertain Dominic. Or perhaps Dom was entertaining Papa Michael!

Karen gave each of the men in the bridal party custom T-shirts so our mutual relationships would never be in question when these photos are viewed in years to come.

While we waited for Karen to arrive (she was having her hair done), the electronics came out.

Ben, Rob's identical twin brother.

Ben, Rob's identical twin brother.

Meanwhile, Gianna was still exploring. First, she stepped on each of the flagstones running along the front of the house, back and forth, over and over. With me following.

L2R: Michael, John

L2R: Michael, John

Then Gianna decided to run back and forth on the porch itself.

Patty and Dawn,

Patty and Dawn,

Zach and me.

Zach and me.

It's being such an old house, the ceilings weren't really designed for the tall Simpson men. Hence, the ceiling had to have a warning applied. Chip certainly needed it...

And Rob (and Ben, of course) really needed it.

From left to right: Chip, Zach, John, Keith, Michael.

Ben and Dominic definitely hit it off.

Snow, Chip's first wife and Rob and Ben's mother, arrived looking even more lovely than she had when we met her a few days before. She and Patty and Chip are all dear friends, as are Michael and Keith and I. "Key West is like that," she remarked. "Throwing our the old, unworkable ways of living and embracing mutual respect and love with the right to be a little eccentric. Or a lot!"

Finally, Karen arrived from her beauty appointment. "The woman took forever," she explained to Patty. "I kept telling her I had to get to my wedding on time, and she just kept saying, 'Well, they can't start without you!'"

Karen and Rob and Ben's dear friend Nycole arrived from Virginia, where she was promptly greeted by both brothers.

With Nicole came another dear friend, Kristen.

Rob and Ben's aunt Connie (Chip's sister) arrived with her sons 'Little' Rob (on the left) and Tom.

Long-time friends of the family David and Betsy arrived as well.

Zach and Gianna waited for Karen until she arrived, looking both radiant and stylish in her beautiful shorty wedding gown.

The soon-to-be Mrs. Karen Cilwa-Simpson

The soon-to-be Mrs. Karen Cilwa-Simpson

And now it's time to begin the ceremony...by walking my daughter down the, er, porch.