On August 29th, our family attended the beautiful wedding of

Doug & Allie Tomczak!

Doug is our newphew, the youngest son of cousin (genetically my sister) Sue and Joe Tomczak.  They were married in lovely Allie's hometown of Moline Illinois, with a tremendous reception in a Banquet Hall on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.

Kathy & I along with 3 of our 4 boys were honoured to witness this special event.  Son Ben, however could not attend as he was back at Eastern Illinois University and couldn't get away.   We were joined by all the extended family, all of which can be seen in the photo's below.

Click here for the reception photos

Allie, along with Doug, is an Augustana grad where the two met as undergrads several years ago.  As you can see Allie is quite the beauty - and easily passes the "You Gotta Be A Babe" criteria required to marry into our family. 

At the reception, sons Bryan, Brett & Brad were seated with the other youngsters of the family, specifically, Scott Gallo, and Chelsea, Allie & Zach Gray.   Kathy & I were seated with Red Rabbit Racing partners Peggy & Jean along with their husbands Bob & Steve. Also at the table were Kathy & Ken Longerman.

The reception started at 4:30 with delicious appetizers, (I liked the mozarella and peeled tomatoes on a stick) before we moved into the Banquet Hall.   Pictured right are Sue & Joe Tomczak looking lovely as ever in their formal wedding attire as we were about to enter the Hall.

Once seated for dinner, we listened to the traditional toasts and settled down for a great meal.  Following eating, it was time to dance.

Son Bryan & Brett both burned up the dance floor with their cousins and their Aunts - not to mention several dances they had with beautiful mum Kathy.

The drinks were flowing and everyone had a tremendous time.  Doug tossed the Garter - though no one seemed to be in a hurry to pick it up.  Picture below left is of the beautiful bride throwing here bouquet to the next bride-to-be. 

Then the Happy Couple danced to their special song - though I can't remember the name of it.  Following Doug danced with mum Sue while Allie danced with her father.   The tears were out.

A new dance craze broke out that night, that will shortly sweep the nation.  Invented by sisters Chelsea & Allie Gray, 'The Running Tango' features dancers in a Tango hold with the galloping speed of the Quick Step. 

All of their dance partners were required to learn it.  My own Dad would have loved it!   Take a look at some video of this frantic dance below that can be seen by clicking the play button when you hover over the video....

Most of the "Johnson" contingent stayed until the final note of music was played.   Some 7.5 hours after the reception began!  Luckily, the hotel was adjacent to the Banquet Hall so we all wobbled over there afterwards and toddled off to bed.   In the morning, we all met for breakfast  - where as you can see some were still Tango-ing!  A fantastic time!

Congratulations Doug & Allie as you start your married life.   We love you both!

Afterwards....     As we left the reception, there were a number of Table Bouquets that were left.  Kathy took a couple of them along with a Church Wedding announcment.   Kathy & I had plans for them.

You see, Doug was blessed with both great parents and tremendous grand parents.   Sadly, Doug never got to meet one of his grandfathers on his Mother's (Sue) side.  He died way before Doug was born. 

His name was Russell Charles Johnson.

Although Doug never knew him, Russ is in Doug - anyone who knew them both can see it.   So we stopped by Russ' grave and left a bouquet and a wedding announcement. 

Click here for a couple photos

 I know Uncle Russ would have been very proud of Doug and joyous to have new Granddaughter Allie. 

Though Life goes on...   you are still Loved, Remembered & Missed...