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One grandmother & two special weddings

By on November 29, 2017 in Travel with 0 Comments

Natalie Joanne Hersel and Dániel Péter Egly joined together in marriage on Aug. 11, in front of family and friends at the Festetics Palace in Keszthely, Hungary.

By Donna Cassidy

If you are fortunate enough to live long enough, you may well attend your grandchildren’s weddings.

Wenatchee grandmother Joanne Lawhead-Reimen attended two very different kinds of granddaughter’s weddings about a month apart this year.

One was in Budapest, Hungary and one was in Annapolis, Maryland.

On Aug. 6, she traveled to Budapest to her granddaughter, Natalie Hersel’s wedding to Daniel Egly, who is from Hungary.

Natalie is the daughter of Wayne and Gerry Hersel, of Wenatchee.

Daniel and Natalie were married in a 16th Century castle in Keszthely. Joanne and other wedding guests got to stay there for two nights.

“The wedding was beautiful and the reception was gorgeous with flowers flown in from Italy,” said Joanne.

They had the traditional four-tiered wedding cake and another cake, that is a replica of the castle and is from a 400-year-old recipe. It is a Hungarian tradition that the bride smashes the cake and how many pieces of cake there are, that is how many children they will have. (Daniel said the cake smashed into two pieces, Natalie said six.)

While in Budapest, the wedding guests went to a 500-year-old winery on the north side of Lake Balaton that sits in a 12th Century castle on the hill.

“Daniel told us the history of the castle and it is owned by Daniel’s cousin. The labels on the bottles bear the name of Egly,” said Joanne.

“We went on a dinner cruise on the Danube River complete with Hungarian dancers. We passed the house of Parliament, which is lit up at night and all the bridges are lit up at night, too.”

Lindsay and Ben were married in the Naval Academy Chapel in a military wedding.

On Sept.14 she traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to granddaughter Lindsay France’s wedding. Lindsay is the daughter of Greg and Karen France, of Wenatchee, and is a TV reporter in Washington D.C. She was Apple Blossom Queen in 1999.

Her husband Ben is a Navy Seal. “Military guidelines say I cannot reveal his last name nor can his face be clearly printed in the media,” said Joanne.

Lindsay and Ben were married in the Naval Academy’s Chapel in a military wedding. After the ceremony, they walked down the stairs under the traditional swords of many cadets.

“After the ceremony we went to the Officer’s Club for the reception. Ben is Jewish so they did the traditional breaking of the glass and the sitting in the chairs of the bride and groom as the groomsmen held them up and down to the music,” said Joanne.

“Annapolis is a beautiful old town. Some churches date back 300 years. The Naval Academy was established in 1845 with a class of 50 students. In 1850 the school became the United States Naval Academy. They have expanded from five midshipmen to a brigade of 4,400 midshipmen and from seven to 600 faculty members.”

The town is situated on the Chesapeak Bay. “We had lunch at the famous restaurant Chick and Ruth’s featured on the food channel,” said Joanne.

“We walked along the historic part of the city where all the houses have plaques on the outside of the house, saying the date it was built. They have to keep the homes restored to the original state.

Joanne Lawhead-Reimen talks with her granddaughter, Lindsay France prior to the wedding.

“I felt really pampered at both weddings because I had my hair and makeup done. At Natalie’s wedding the make up artist’s name was Krisztian Makkai, he does Naomi Campbell’s makeup. At Lindsay’s wedding, she had three makeup artists who do her makeup every morning before she goes on TV. I never saw so many brushes and makeup containers. It was a very special treat.

“My experiences that I have shared of my two granddaughters weddings will be forever in my memory bank,” Joanne added.

Lindsay and Ben live in Washington D.C. and Natalie and Daniel live in Las Vegas.

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