The unofficial photos from Anitra and Joey’s wedding

anitra - joey wedding 01

The blog’s been quiet for the past couple of weeks, but I have a good excuse: I married Anitra on Saturday, March 7th, 2015, and the wedding and everything related have been keeping us busy. It’s been a week since the big day, we returned from our honeymoon yesterday, and we’re both back at work this morning after ten days well outside reality.

We won’t get to see the official wedding photographer photos for about another week, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any photos. I’ve compiled this “album” from pictures snapped by Yours Truly, best man Eldon Brown, “father” of the groom Dr. Domingo de la Fuente, bridesmaid Elizabeth Cannon-Dang, Rob Strickler, and guest and unofficial wedding cruise director Marichka Melnyk. Thanks for the photos, folks!

We had the big event at the Grand Plaza Hotel, which hosts its wedding ceremonies right on the beach:

grand plaza

Here’s an overhead view of their ceremony areas. There are two sets of palm tree “aisles” down which happy couples can march:

birds eye 1

Here’s a closer look at ours, the southwest-facing aisle:

birds eye 2

Here’s a scene from the wedding rehearsal, with Anitra’s uncle and our officiant, Rabbi John Fischer giving best man Eldon some instructions:

anitra - joey wedding rehearsal

Fast-forward a day to the next morning, and we’ve got Eldon giving me the traditional best man gift of booze, which in this case was a hard-to-find and very delicious Canadian whisky, served in the most appropriate vessels we could find:

drinks 01

And here I am with my father-in-law, who was greatly amused by the whole thing:

drinks 02

Male bonding:

drinks 03

We don’t buy into this “you can’t see the bride before the ceremony” nonsense. With a bride like this, I want to see her as often as possible!

anitra - joey wedding 05

Here we are from another angle:

anitra - joey wedding 05b

Time to head to the lobby, where our big event was already posted:

lobby sign

A quick gathering of Team Groom, featuring my mom, Yours Truly, and my groomsmen Eldon and Richard (who’s also my brother-in-law):

anitra - joey wedding 05d

I was ready to get the party started:

anitra - joey wedding 06

Here’s the last photo I snapped as a free man! It’s of my view of the “aisle” before I made my way to the front:

anitra - joey wedding 05c

And here’s my last walk as a free man:

anitra - joey wedding 05aa

I was raised Catholic, she was raised Protestant, the officiant’s a rabbi, and the ceremony combined Jewish and Filipino wedding traditions. Here’s a Jewish tradition, where the bride walks around the groom three times, in a process I call “circling your prey”:

anitra - joey wedding 05a

Post-ceremony parasol pix with the bridesmaids:

anitra - joey wedding 02

And now the bridesmaids and groomsmen:

anitra - joey wedding 03

Here’s the mandatory “Ocean’s Eleven” pic:

anitra - joey wedding 04

Here’s where we had the reception: the Presidential Ballroom, located on the Grand Plaza’s penthouse level:

ballroom 1

As my friend George put it, it’s a classic James Bond villain’s lair waiting to happen, and it’s also reminiscent of the reclusive billionaire’s hotel from Diamonds are Forever:

ballroom 2

ballroom 3

Here’s a closer look at the “sweetheart table”:

ballroom 4

A quick welcome to the guests before we all descended on brunch:


Here we are at our Star Trek-like table, with me sitting at Mr. Sulu’s post, and Anitra as Chekov:

anitra - joey wedding 09

Of course there was some accordion playing:

anitra - joey wedding 10

Anitra looked amazing, but in my opinion, she always does:

anitra - joey wedding 07

love this photo:

anitra - joey wedding 08

Here’s the wedding “cake”:


At the end of the reception, a couple of hours before sunset…


…we made our way to Bongo’s Beach Bar, where we had the less formal, unofficial part of the day that stretched well into the night:

anitra - joey wedding 11

aftermath 2

anitra - joey wedding 12

anitra - joey wedding 13

anitra - joey wedding 14

Here’s a view from the bridal suite the next day:

suite view

Before we left, we went for the first of many walks on the beach as husband and wife:

beach next day anitra

beach next day joey

…and when we got to our car, we saw that one of the guests left us a geekily appropriate gift: a pair of twenty-sided fuzzy dice:


19 replies on “The unofficial photos from Anitra and Joey’s wedding”

Congratulations Joey and Anitra. Everything looks amazing in your wedding pics. And you both look very happy. Wish you many years of happiness together.

Eeeee! So happy; much joy, such wow, so much love!

Congratulations you two – you both look so joyful, and the love absolutely shines through. If I run into you two in October in Tampa again this year, I hope I can buy you both a drink and toast to your good fortune.


Congratulations and best wishes for your future together! I really like the whole format you took, it had a relaxed and fun vibe, and seemed to be about everyone enjoying themselves, versus following a strict format for the sake of following a strict format. And that, really, is what a wedding celebration should be, a celebration. Bravo!

Great pictures, Joey! Congrats to you and Anitra. Really happy for both of you – have a wonderful life together!

[…] On Saturday, March 7th, the lovely lady for whom I moved from Toronto to Tampa and I got married. We had our ceremony on St. Pete Beach followed by a brunch reception on the penthouse ballroom of the Grand Plaza Hotel, a stunning room that looks like it would’ve made a great hideout for Sean Connery-era Bond villain. As you might expect, this big life event took priority over a great many things, including blogging. […]

[…] I also made breakfast for the both of us while she showered this morning — scrambled eggs with spinach and a little onion — which should net me at least 100 Husband Points. I try to keep my score high. Later tonight, we’re catching up with friends on Pass-a-Grille Beach, a stone’s throw away from where we got married just over six months ago. […]

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