Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Wedding

In the spirit of Valentines day, and my proclivity to delay, here is our wedding recap.

If you are newer to the blog or have not been keeping track, the Gentleman and I celebrated our marriage last August.  However we just got our photographs a couple weeks ago, and a wedding is hard to describe with just words.

For all intents and purposes, it was a "wedding" -- a celebration of marriage.  Even though we had been married for over 1.5 years on the date of the wedding, it was a fairly traditional celebration.  I wore white; I walked down an aisle; we said vows; we danced to "our song."

If it was just me and him in a bubble, we would probably never have thrown a wedding, but a wedding isn't really for us.  It's for the family and friends that surround the couple.  And so the wedding served its purpose.  I think my family and most of our friends made peace with any anger or other emotion they had about our prior private certificate stamping. I had a lovely day too, I truly did, and I'm so thankful to have the memories, but I'm not rushing to do it again.  All eyes on us was just as uncomfortable as I feared it would be, to be honest!

For location, we picked a cozy lake house just a few miles from our Oakland apartment.  It was one of only two places we ever looked at.  We had originally dreamed of a low key "camping" wedding in Big Basin State Park, renting two group camp sites that sleep up to 100 guests.  We figured our friends would hate us if we made them do this, and also Reserve America made it very difficult to pull off.  But with the idea of a "nature" wedding firmly implanted, we went with the charming lake house.

For the date, the most ridiculous of things happened.  The wedding was scheduled on the Gentleman's birthday! We started planning in March 2013, and so we eyed June, July, August, and October, trying to find a weekend that didn't bump up against our family's psychotically early-planned-events (his parents already had plans to be in Hawaii for two weeks during our preferred dates in early August; my sister was throwing a camping weekend for my niece's birthday that made most of July a non-option; my sister was due with my nephew in September which knocked out September.)  Lesson learned: people plan stuff way, way more in advance than I do, so don't try to plan a wedding in 3-4 months if you want anyone to be able to make it.

For the non-traditional: well, we were already married.  We didn't have "colors" and god that question was asked a lot.  I was so unprepared.  "What are your colors?" Ummm....nature...mixed with lake....?  We didn't exchange rings (we still have zero rings, and I could devote a whole post to how bizarre I find the tradition of publicly marking whether you are taken or single.  Creeps me out. Not to mention diamonds don't do anything for me.)  No official groomsmen or bridesmaids, although we did take some portraits with our "dudes" and "ladies".  My ladies played a HUGE part of making the day as beautiful and perfect as it was, thank goodness for them.

Well let's just get to the pictures and let them do the talking!

The ceremony started late because traffic was jamming a lot of the guests.  I killed time by cooing with my niece, who has never loved me more.  She thought I was in a "birthday dress" and was completely tickled by the princess attire.

I'll marry you next time, honey

So much tongue, so much cleavage
The Gentleman and I both picked a song to walk out to.  I adored both.  I dare you to listen here to "Resolution" by Matt Corby if you want your socks knocked off.  The whole song.  Just listen to it while you finish reading this post.  His voice is emotional!

My mom was totally making me cry right before we walked out, which was balls
I was so surprised that my favorite part of the wedding, hands down, was exchanging vows.  I thought this part would be uncomfortable, and I had mixed feelings about saying private things with other ears listening.  But instead it was raw and beautiful and perfect and I'll never forget what it felt like to look into his eyes while saying and hearing true words that were unique to us.  I have no idea what normal vows sound like, we didn't have any guidance.  We just scribbled down a few important words the morning of the wedding.

 I laughed.  I cried.

Cracking myself up?

This handsome face is MINE, all mine
He made me laugh and cry some more.

As part of the ceremony, two of our close friends, and the Gentleman's band members, played a song that has a special spot for us.

I loved it, they did a great job
We rudely talked over the whole performance
Our ceremony had a few unique elements in place of the traditional ring exchange that I'll keep hush. 





Sealed the deal. 
We then took some portraits, which turned out lovely.  Unfortunately the site has this gorgeous waterfall that wasn't working last August.  I will use my imagination to visualize a waterfall pouring down around us, you can do the same.

I love the colors.  So many shades of green.  I could swim in shades of green forever.








My favorite, if I was forced to pick just one


I'll never forget this moment; my niece bounded up the stairs to interrupt our glamour shots, and she was so happy with her little cheese pita.  I distinctly remember thinking how funny it would be to see her little sandwich in these wedding photos.

Ah, the bouquet.  Initially I didn't want to bother with one.  But I found this small dried one on etsy, which was intended for a flower girl, and thought why not.  I love that it will last forever.  It looks pretty hanging on our dining room wall.

My sweet family, the quiet lake, the bearded men that me and my sisters all chose
SISTERS.  Lots of sisters pictures.

My older sister was just about 8.5 months pregnant with my nephew here.  I'm sad he isn't photographed as part of the day, but her bump is a cute reminder that he was brewing.

Sister number 1, cute and pregnant

Number 2 with her huge gorgeous eyes

Number 3, taller than me in flats with her knees bent, even though I'm wearing 4 inch heels. She's a supermodel.

And the parents to round it out.  Loved seeing them so dressed up.  I think they had a good day. 
Dinner rolled around and our caterer (Ann Walker) did a great job with the food--all local--but I was disappointed that the food was whisked away quickly.  I heard that people had wanted seconds but didn't get a chance to grab some from the buffet, even though there were massive leftovers.  Including me, ahem.

I didn't have a chance to eat much of the delicious food, which I guess is how it always goes for the bride and groom.  I made up for it with drinks and dessert ;)

Speech, speech, speech! 
My dad, the meticulously prepared person that he is, prepared a binder with his speech in it.  If you look closely enough, he is wearing a pin that is my soccer picture from when I was 5 years old.  Such a cute and sweet touch.  I loved his words, even the embarrassing ones.  Running made a cameo appearance in both his speech and my vows! There, I satisfied the running requirement of this blog post.

The centerpieces were entirely done by my bff Allison.  She did the burlap runners, the tree slice plates, the teacups and succulents and other greenery.  It was perfect for the cabin/lake house feel.  Forever thankful to her for all that hard work.  (Sage, which is her middle name, is also one of my favorite colors in the world, so it was incorporated into a lot of the decorations.)

The munchkin stole the show again my jumping into my lap during the speeches.


 After dinner and some schmoozing we danced.  For me and my dad we chose a short and incredibly sweet, timeless song.



For me and the Gentleman, we danced to a romantic song by our favorite super cheesy artist that I adore.  It makes me weepy with love. 

Once dinner and first dances were done, I was excited to finally have the chance to simply mingle with everyone who came far and near to be a part of the day.  I had only a small chance to talk with friends at a few tables during dinner.  Unfortunately, it was already nearing 9:30 p.m., and I was surprised to learn that many people turn into a pumpkin at 9:30.  I was major bummed about this.  

If I could do one thing differently, I would have scheduled the wedding at 4:00 or 4:30 instead of 5:00 (and due to traffic, it actually started at 5:30) so I could spend more time with people before they fled.  I know one solution is to do photographs before the ceremony, but I don't regret doing photos after the ceremony.  I enjoyed having that breather with the Gentleman and family.  

Regardless, the party really got started at 10:00, when the friends who stuck around danced to pieces and hogged the remaining liquor and cigars.  (Our wedding favors were personalized matchbooks and cigars, and personalized bamboo fans for the August weather.)

The fans
The matchbooks
Dessert was ice cream sandwiches.  Various cookie flavors, various ice cream flavors, all mixed and matched.  I had one of each, four in total :)  I loved brownie cookie with vanilla ice cream, and salted almond cookie with dulce de leche.  Sorry no food photos, what kind of blog is this!?

When the party shut down at 11:00, we ended up at a perfectly random spot: a tiki bar.  They brought us a vat of alcohol and a big chocolate cake.  We danced some more. 



Thanks for indulging!  I did my best to whittle down 250 pictures to the 30 or so here, and left out so much of the fun for the privacy of the guests.  

Tell me a great memory or something random about your wedding if you've already had one; or something on your must list for a future wedding; or why you will never have one, which I completely understand!  

And feel free to ask any questions! I had a lot of fun (and stress) with planning in a short timeframe, but we kept the budget nice and tight.

43 comments:

  1. I want a nature-y wedding in the future! I love how it was a perfect backdrop to your wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been reading your blog for about 6 months or so, and never commented, but I had to today. Your wedding photos are stunning! Your wedding looked simply amazing. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sweet of you, thank you! It takes a lot to make me comment on other blogs at this point too, so I appreciate it

      Delete
  3. We planned our wedding in a super short time frame too and tried to keep it as simple as possible and it was the BEST! I LOVED seeing all of your pictures - you look gorgeous, your dress is perfection and your gentleman looks quite dapper!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Dapper is the word I would use too. Glad your wedding was awesome :)

      Delete
  4. That looks lovely! I was admiring your dress in all the photos - it's so pretty and simple and perfectly suited to the location. If I were to get remarried, I'd love a dress like that. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can borrow it for a "vow confirmation" or whatever it is Seal and Heidi Klum used to do every year

      Delete
  5. Sounded / looked great, thanks for sharing.

    > Our ceremony had a few unique elements in place of the traditional ring exchange that I'll keep hush.

    That's crap! fess up already.

    For my wedding...
    My wife gave away the bouquet to the couple attending that had been married the longest (everyone danced and then people who've been married X years or less were called off until only the longest couple was left) Turned out to be her Aunt/Uncle... who did the flowers for the wedding.

    After the wedding (which was at a museum) we went to a local bar with the last remaining guests and some random couple sent over a bottle of champagne which was really touching. Something we'll have to pay forward in the future when the situation arises.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your wedding sounds so so sweet, I love that bouquet idea...I'm going to make the next engaged friend I know do that. And I LOVE museum weddings. Super special.

      The "hush" is not that interesting, I promise! It incorporated a little bit of nature and a little bit of family heritage.

      Delete
  6. I loved. loved, loved this. Your pictures are beautiful.

    For the longest time, I thought I wanted a huge wedding with the big, poofy dress. But as I have gotten older, I realize that that is about the furthest from what I want. I had a good friend do pretty much the same thing, courthouse marraige certificate and didn't tell a lot of people. About a year later, they had a weekend-long party up in Banff (they live in Calgary) where they provided all the food/booze/entertainment. They even planned a scavenger hunt (which I sadly could not participate in due to an ACL and meniscus surgery a few months before). We dressed up in 1920's Canadian Rockies themed outfits and it was a blast.

    I have a feeling I will be doing something along the same lines as you. I would be content with just going down to the courthouse, but I think it would disappoint a lot of my family, especially my mom. Being an only child can have it's drawbacks...anyways now that I have rambled on forever and successfully avoided work, I just wanted to say beautiful wedding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear first borns and only children get the full pressure for the wedding! A simple one is so underrated. They are really the best. I hope your future one is lovely!

      Delete
  7. Love this recap! Your dress is so lovely...was so curious what you ended up with after the David's Bridal post from last year :)

    I'm getting married on June 28 and have the ceremony scheduled at 5pm with pre-ceremony photographs. Hoping that works out okay! Am also hoping to be able to stay up late for the post-party :)

    On my must list: stations with tacos, mac and cheese, and other comfort food + Night Shift beer + a toast with champagne in a can and Miller High Life. We're also both educators & runners, so our centerpieces will include vintage books and tables will be named after towns & landmarks on the Boston Marathon. Not sure yet whether our sweetheart table will be the starting line or the finish line :)


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haaaa, the David's Bridal post....so I ended up purchasing the one that I rated "#1" in that post -- BUT I canceled it before it shipped -- and then bought it from preownedweddingdresses.com. Then I couldn't get over how much it didn't feel right to me. So I resold it on the same website. And found this one :)

      Dang. Your wedding plan sounds rad, you can invite me if you want. I can't decide between finish line or starting line either! I like the idea of starting...unless you have been together (especially living together) for a long time.

      Delete
  8. Gah! This post made me so happy. I loved reliving all the moments of your most beautiful wedding. What a fun, magical day. The best part was how relaxed you were about everything. I think it made the whole event just feel so effortless. And your photos are absolutely stunning. The ones of you and the gentleman amongst all the green are so gorgeous and timeless. Love you guys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a gazillion billion Sage! That is nice to hear I seemed relaxed. I felt that way! It never occurred to me to feel any other way.

      Delete
  9. *Beautiful* pictures!!! Your venue seems like it was perfect. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love how you described the experience, the photos are beautiful, the dress was amazing and you looked gorgeous. (And the gentleman looked very dashing, too.)

    I will mention two awesome things about my wedding (in 2005).

    1. It made my mother so happy to see me wedded to a wonderful man. And I have the photos to prove how happy she was, including a hilarious one where she seems to be peering down the cleavage of my dress wondering where my breasts are(n't). And I'm so glad I have those memories, and those images, because less than a year later she died after a short and unexpected illness.

    Yeah, not what you expected in a comment on your blog. Not what I expected either. But you know, experiencing my mother's happiness made every irritating aspect of planning (and holding) a wedding melt away, and all I remember now is everyone's smiles and laughter.

    2. So to make up for wonderful sad story number one, I will tell you about a funny moment. My husband and I wrote our vows, and he promised to bring me coffee in bed every morning. Guess what? He still does (probably 99 days out of 100 and it would be 100 except that occasionally I insist on doing it myself). I promised to try harder to eat vegetables. Guess how often I eat lots of veggies. Hard to measure "try harder". Guess who is the lawyer in the family?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a sad but sweet story. I decided the father/daughter dance, and aisle walk with both parents, was a must because you always know there will be a day...when you don't have them anymore. I want/need those memories and photos.

      What a sweetheart husband. Too bad he didn't consider the nuances of how you phrase your promises. Clever lawyer ;)

      Delete
  11. Beautiful! I know waiting for the pictures was super lame but they look amazing. - stalker girl from ggpark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Jen -- thanks for qualifying which "Jen" you are. Signed, the awkward blogger girl from ggpark.

      Delete
  12. YOUR DRESS. I need to know everything about it. I am planning-to-plan (ugh, I'm that girl) a more casual, non-traditional wedding - probably just a big, boozy party - and your dress is everything I've been dreaming of. It looks amazing in the pictures. I am a bit of a different body type, so that EXACT dress probably wouldn't work great on me, but I love the details and the way it seems to move. Would you be willing to share some info on the designer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was totally hoping someone would be as obsessed with the dress as me!

      It moves, feels, looks amazing. I literally wore nothing under it, that's how comfortable I rolled! I purchased it used from a bride in New York City, and she had it specially designed for her at a boutique in NYC. I recall it originally cost her about $2000, so if that is in your budget, I bet you could have the designer dig up her drawings and use your measurements?! Message me at roserunnerblog@gmail.com if you want to try and make it happen! I never saw anything else like it from the more well known designers.

      Good luck with you planning! It is such a fun time.

      Delete
  13. Oh I wish I could have been there. You looked amazing and the location was just perfect for you. So glad the day was amazing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Brittani! I missed you a ton, hopefully we will get a chance to celebrate Mac and marriage some time soon in Napa or AZ.

      Delete
  14. Because if you don't have the ring how are people going to know that he owns you. Duh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Other way around -- I think the ladies like to mark their territory. I'm not worried about my hunk fighting the girls off, so he can strut around with a bare finger.

      Delete
  15. Even though I've already seen the photos (Yes, I'm so special, give me a cookie already), it was great to read about your version of events. As for me, I've gone from wanting the big traditional wedding with a Chinese wedding banquet to maybe nothing at all. I'm ambivalent about marriage, and T's pretty much against it, so... my one motivation was to make my parents happy, and since they can't come to the U.S. due to visa/Greencard issues, it makes it less of a priority for me. If T and I were to get married, I'm imagining a backyard potluck or similarly low key event (like at a park!). I probably won't have bridesmaids, and if I do, I'll let them wear whatever they want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two cookies for you! Your low key version sounds perfect, will make your wallet happy, and I bet T would go for it :) So many parks to choose from in the Bay Area. Is he against getting a domestic partner license too?

      Delete
    2. No, but we don't know anything about that domestic partner thing, mostly cuz we're too lazy to look it up. T's main objection is the wedding vow part -- he doesn't want to make a promise that there's even the *slightest* chance that he (or I) won't be able to keep. What can I say, the man is a realist, not a romantic. I still love him anyway. ;)

      Delete
  16. I REALLY loved the photos. You looked beautiful and that's not something we Brits say lightly.

    Please can you tell me how tall you are as I am baffled. In Jen's kaiser photo you looked the same height as her! but in these photos you look taller, so I am confused. Feel free to post more photos for 'wordless Wednesday' or whatever proper bloggers do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm 5'6" :) Was wearing some serious heels, probably 3.5ish inches.

      Permission to post more wedding photos, thanks! There are so many good ones

      Delete
  17. I've been reading your blog for a while, but I think this is the first time I've ever commented... your wedding post made me want to say how much I loved everything about your special day! Your dress is absolutely beautiful... it really was perfect and looked so stunning on you. If/when I ever get married this is how I would want to do it! Congratulations to you and your husband... and thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. very sweet of you to take the time to say this, thank you

      Delete
  18. What a lovely wedding!

    My wedding fell on my dad and aunt's (they're twins) 60th birthday. So it was fun to be able to celebrate with them. As for a great memory ... sobbing all the way up the aisle. It was a mix of emotions and stress relief that it was finally happening and worry that I might pass out during the ceremony (I do that sometimes ... pass out). I didn't pass out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an intense aisle walk! People pass out during their own weddings all the time, youtube has taught me that. Good job on not being one of them

      Delete
  19. You look STUNNING and that dress is incredible. I love the mix of traditional and non-traditional; if I ever decide to get married my approach would be similar.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your photos are breathtaking!! I'm happy you decided to throw a wedding to celebrate with your family. It will be a day you will always treasure. One of my fondest wedding memories was my mom dancing during the reception. I think she was in shock that her daughter was getting married so young, but whenever I hear the song "funky town" I will of my mom getting her groove on during the wedding reception. I also remember how excited I was to start my life with my husband. That sense of adventure was so strong!
    Thank you for sharing your photos with us! Did you get to wear the other dress?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't wear the other dress! I'm waiting for an invitation to a black tie event so I will someday get to wear it :)

      Man, I would've loved to see my mom get down! That didn't happen at all, totally regretting not pulling her up for a dance

      Delete
  21. It was a beautiful wedding and the photos are amazing! You guys put on a good party :) Your dad's speech was so great.

    The funniest thing that happened at our wedding (aside from ants getting the cake!) was when my youngest stepson (6 yrs old) who held the rings just GUFFAWED once really quickly and loudly when everything was at its most quiet. I couldn't stop giggling after that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gotta love a good awkward moment. and ANTS in your cake!? Ha.

      Thanks for being a part of the party!

      Delete
  22. You are stunning. That dress is amazing. Wow, I love all the pictures. It looks like it was the best day in the world. All the best to you!!

    ReplyDelete

we have a strict no-word-verification policy. Comment away!