The Wedding Celebration – A Memorable Valentine’s Night

On February 14th, 2009, Valentine’s Day,  the Catholic Daughters teamed up with the Knights of Columbus to put on a fabulous event called, “The Wedding Celebration.” Guests were treated to a night of mingling, dinner, and dancing just as they would at a wedding reception – complete with a surprise bride and groom!
Prendergast hall was decorated beautifully, thanks to our friends Cathy and Tomas at Celebrity Weddings, who provided chaircovers, table linens and various decorations throughout the hall. Catholic Daughter, Chris Murphy helped with the decor planning and centerpieces. Jean Barrett and friends, as well as a few Catholic Daughters assisted in setting up the tables and making sure the hall was transformed into a wedding reception.
The bride and groom (a married couple) plus the wedding party of single guests were chosen at random from a bucket of entries. The lucky couple, Ron and Anita, won a 2-night stay at Barona Valley Ranch and Casino with dinner for 2 at Sage restaurant and a round of golf.
The evening started with a cocktail reception where guests reminisced about past weddings at the wedding album viewing table. Our bartenders, Leo McGarry and Bill Kelly, from the Knights of Columbus kept the mood lively, serving up beer, wine, sodas, margaritas and cape cods. Guests were treated to vegetable crudités and a cheese and cracker display where portions where donated by Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.
Throughout the evening, events were being documented by Tony Amat of AR Event Photography and were featured on a projector playing at the beginning of the party. Dinner was coordinated and prepared by Catholic Daughter, Melissa Hiatt and her team of helpers in the kitchen. The Columbian Squires assisted in getting the food to the guests and bussing tables.
The evening would not be complete without the DJ and Masters of Ceremonies, Thom Hiatt, who kept the night going, announcing the wedding party, giving away door prizes, and making sure that events happened on time. Like most wedding receptions, there was a first dance, garter and bouquet toss, a “Mad Libs” style champange toast, and a cake cutting. There was also a money dance, where the money collected went to the charity of the bride and groom’s choice – approximately $109 was collected for St. Vincent de Paul.
The event was a success, raising $1100 in profit for the CD’s and $1100 for the Knights. A second annual “Wedding Celebration” has already been scheduled for February 13th, 2010.
Below are some photo highlights of the event:

Guest feedback:
Just wanted to let you know that we had such a good time last night.  As advertised, everything was beautiful.  The food was 5 star, restaurant quality-really yummy!  Thank you both for all your hard work-every minute you put into it was worth it-at least for the rest of us.  I heard many people say it was nice to come to an event that they didn’t have to do anything for- except show up.  I hope you saved one of those Barona prizes for yourselves-you deserve it. Thanks again. – B & S
A+ event.  At this event I heard ONLY good comments.  Everyone had a great time.  They are all looking forward to next year. The food was perfectly prepared.  The food was HOT from the very first person, to the very last.  WOW, what an orchestration!  I wish the Knights could do that. – J
Please let the Knights know that my invited family and friends had a wonderful time at the Valentine’s Day  Dinner Dance last night. It was an very creative way of celebrating love and marriage and embracing those of us who have been divorced, separated or widowed…and who otherwise would likely have had no place to go on Valentine’s Day! I must say that the food was phenomenal, the cake was fantastic and the service impeccable. Thom did a great job of keeping the party going with his great stage presence and excellent music selection. He made those of us from St. Lukes feel very welcomed at your parish event. My thanks goes out to  all of the donors and contributors who put on a spectacular event for a worthy cause. The stunning decor was most appreciated and really added to the festivities. My mother (one of the bridesmaids, incidentally), loves to dance. Since my dad passed away, she really doesn’t have that opportunity. She is also recovering from knee surgery and was laid up for several weeks. You have no idea how much joy it brought me to have a place to bring my mom on Valentine’s Day…where she got to dress up, dance and celebrate. We had a great time!! Anyway, let the party planners know that everyone did an excellent job of executing this first-ever non-wedding Wedding and I hope to see this become a Valentine’s Day tradition there at Santa Sophia. I think all would agree that it was a smashing success!! (PS It was such a honor to stand up for that most deserving couple and to be a part of that lasting memory.) – G
The Valentine’s Dinner was really fun, even though I had to be the groom! Thanks again,  you were a great host! – R
A Great Big THANKS to our sponsors and donors:
Jerry and Pam Kay, Rosarito Penthouse
Griffin’s Auto Repair
Marie Rame
Rita Frizenkotter, Premier Jewelry Designs
John Kruzel
Millie Maraia
Harriet and Pat Chagnon

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