Well, hello there!
The last few months have been full of Abu Dhabi explorations, summer heat, and unfortunately non-blogging. I'm going to blame the lack of posts on the pure unadulterated wedded bliss because, oh..yeah..WE GOT MARRIED! Wade and I spent the most wonderful week back in September in California with our family and friends. We always knew that we were going to have a destination wedding, as we have family and friends scattered all over the U.S., and as soon as I visited Sonoma County...and more specifically, the town of Healdsburg...I fell head-over-heels in love! It has all that the rest of California Wine Country has to offer-stunning natural beauty, friendly people, and world-class, artisan food and WINE-with a whole lotta small town charm! My dream had always been that guests would be forced into a mini vacation over our wedding weekend, and I'm so happy that most people did just that. I can't put into words how humbling it is to have all of your favorite people travel across the country to celebrate with you, but it's the most incredible feeling in the world. I am still reeling from all of the love we felt. No wonder people say wedding day is the best day of your life! It was one heck of a way to start a marriage!
Earlier in the week, I spent an afternoon with my extremely talented photographer Buffy Dekmar taking bridal portraits around the private house we rented. I am so unbelievably grateful to her and the team for capturing all of our moments so organically and making us feel relaxed and present in every moment. Not to mention, the photographs-like all of her work-are just out-of-this-world!
The evening before the wedding, my in-laws hosted an awesome Welcome Dinner for all invited guests, in lieu of a traditional Rehearsal Dinner. We had so many wonderful people traveling to celebrate with us, and we wanted to spend as much time with everyone as possible! The get-together was held at Bear Republic Brewery on the downtown Healdsburg Square, and it was the most relaxing evening, spent chatting and chowing down on some pretty amazing food (just thinking about that mac and cheese has me drooling!). I wish I had more pictures, but here are a few:
Throughout the week, it seemed that we had brought the Abu Dhabi heat with us to California, but on the morning of the wedding, a nice breeze came in and the temperatures dropped dramatically. The ladies and I spent the beginning of the day at the house chatting, laughing, and getting ready before heading to Trentadue Winery. A special thanks to the glam squad, Artistry by Danika and Elizabeth Patton! The most special moment of the morning was when my mom helped me put my dress on. It was the first of the this is really happening moments, and it was the perfect reminder that the celebration was not just about us. To us, our wedding was just as much about everyone else who helped form our story as it was about being royalty for the day.
The ceremony was as perfect as it could be (...with the exception of a little veil mishap...Ask my dad about how he stepped on my veil and I almost landed right on my butt seconds before walking down the aisle. Best way to get rid of afraid-to-trip-down-the-aisle-jitters!). Wade and I opted to be a tad old-fashioned and not see each other before the ceremony, and man, the moment we locked eyes, it was a fight to not burst into joyful tears! We kept the ceremony short and sweet, but we were able to incorporate a few special bits. We had a close family friend officiate the ceremony, and it meant so much to have such a kind, happy soul unite us in marriage. Second, I had two of my dear friends read passages selected by Wade and I, and I'd like to share one of them below...along with more pictures, of course!
by Dena Acolatse
Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...
Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...
Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...
Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...
Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.
Now, the photos of us...I mean, how many do you need?
I wanted cocktail hour to be light, jazzy, and boozy, and although we didn't make it, I've confirmed with guests that it was all of the above. Park Avenue Catering made sure to bring us some hors d'oeuvres and champagne in the middle of photos (Thank you, Justine!) because we were NOT going to be that couple that doesn't get to enjoy the delicious food on their wedding day! I opted to have the dining portion of the evening set under the grape arbors at Trentadue Winery. People probably had to pick twigs, leaves, and wine grapes off of their plate of aforementioned delicious food, but I felt that it was a cozy atmosphere that made for some beautiful pictures! The toasts that night were the best I've ever heard. Perhaps I'm a liiiiittle biased? ...but seriously, if anyone has the video of my dad's speech please share so that we can all have a good little cry!
And now it was time for my favorite part of every wedding: the dancing! I had
forced encouraged Wade to learn a few choreographed moves for our first dance, "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by James Taylor, and he did really well. However, my dad outshone everyone on the dance floor by pulling out some stellar Texas Two Step moves and calling my mom in to join us halfway through the dance.
The rest of the evening was a dream, and our band Lucky Devils Band was an absolute blast! Seriously, the best. We ate lots of mouthwatering dessert from Moustache Baked Goods, enjoyed our cheese wheel cake, drank lots o' wine, sipped port, smoked cigars, took kooky photobooth pictures, and danced the night away!
At the end of the day, wedding day is just that - a day. To those of you that weren't able to attend - we missed you! I will always stand firm in the fact that a marriage celebration is not about the flowers or the cake or the dress. It's about the commitment two people make to spend the rest of their lives (and even longer if you believe in The Big Guy Upstairs) together. Think about that...FOR-EVERRRRR. I've always said that IF I found someone that would put up with me forever, there would be a party. And there was. Because weddings are also pretty dang fun. It's the only time in your life that you'll have your favorite people in one place, so to the people that are planning a wedding...or the people that aren't but might one day in the future...be sure to soak in every moment of your wedding. My husband and I are so grateful to everyone who made ours happen. We are so full of this gross, mushy, gushy, lovey, dovey, bubby, wubby type of love, and we don't see it going away any time soon. You have been warned, my friends. You have been warned.
The Darling Dilettante
Bonus: Our video from Dekmar Films....enjoy!