Friday, September 28, 2012

Wedding Week-Dessert and Dancing

No wedding would be complete without some amazing dessert and dancing.  One of the few things that I truly, truly got excited about in the wedding planning was cake tasting!  I absolutely love cake, and I may be one of the few who really, really loves wedding cake.  However, getting married at a placed named "Pie Ranch", you really ought to have pie.  But then again, I am a fan of nearly all desserts, so we set out to create a dessert table, an opportunity for our loved ones to try a variety of delicious desserts.  That turned into a simple, delicious 2-layer cake from SF bakery, Susie Cakes, 4 flavors of pies from Mission Pie (strawberry rhubarb, apple rhubarb, apricot raspberry and apricot frangipane), macaroons and homemade mints!  And since we love desserts so much, that we sent all of our guests home with homemade strawberry rhubarb "pie-in-a-jar".

I also have to give a shout out to our amazing friends who set up the barn and reception and transported the pies and pie-in-a-jars from the city to the farm.  All of it looked ahh-mazing!!  We couldn't have done it without all of you!

Wedding gift made by our dear friend, Becky!

My favorite wedding purchase was our cake topper made for us exclusively by CreativeButterflyXOX, via Etsy.  And another nod to our Kansas heritage and R's love of Superman! 

A favorite photo of my grandfather!

The dance part of the night was hands down my favorite part.  When planning the wedding, I knew that I wanted it to be a great party with all of our friends!  Party it was!  We had an amazing time dancing to some awesome 90's music like "Whoomp There it Is" and Ace of Base, current pop music and wedding classics like the "Electric Slide"!  So another shout out to our awesome DJ, Scott from Music Now.

R and I's started it off dancing to Jack Johnson's "Constellations".  R introduced me to Johnson's music shortly after we met in Tanzania, and it was the potential of going to one of his concerts out here in SF that got him to initially make the journey west.  Of course, that concert was sold out, but 5 years later I finally made good on that promise.

For the father/daughter dance, I had a really difficult time making a decision.  I wanted it to be somewhat light-hearted and not as sentimental.  I finally found Johnny Cash's version of "You Are My Sunshine" which turned out to be quite perfect.  For R and his mom, it was the beautiful "Its a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.

Spending the final moments dancing the night away in my cowboy boots (yes, I did change into boots!) and eating pie was the perfect end to our special day!

I can't resist putting up a special picture of my adorable nephew on his 2nd trip to SF!

 Awesome, awesome photos via Nirav Photography.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wedding Week-Reception

Looking at the photos this week has really helped me to appreciate how truly special R and I's day was.   It was one event (and maybe the only) where we could be surrounded by all of our family and dearest friends in one place.  It was a time where Kansas could truly meet California.  Both sides of our lives could come together, though not in the middle, but on a ranch off of Highway 1 (one of R and I's favorite drives).

Our version of American Gothic
After we got engaged, R and I immediately knew that we wanted to do the wedding and reception out doors.  We wanted locally-sourced, in-season food and flowers, and a place that just seemed "us".  Pie Ranch turned out to be just that place.  Here was a working farm that also happened to host weddings.  It was on Highway 1, with a view of the ocean across the fields.  It also has an amazing business model and supports one of R and I's favorite local haunts (mentioned here).  The fact that they were available the very month/weekend that we wanted just seemed like it was meant to be!

They also gave us a list of local vendors to work with, all of which turned out to be amazing to work with.  Our caterer, Local Harvest Catering, had an amazing selection of local/in-season/organic food, all of which we enjoyed immensely once sampled!  Also, I got my one food request, which was asparagus!  Crazy, but I go crazy over fresh vegetables. 

Though it was a bit risky to host a wedding in Northern California outside at the end of May, it was well worth the risk and we tried to prepare with fleece blankets and heaters!

The eucalyptus trees lining the road was an immediate love by me when we visited the ranch.

So fairy tale-esque 

Photos via the incredible Nirav Photography.
Food / Lavender Lemonade: Local Harvest Catering
Wine: Cupcake / Layer Cake / Korbel
Centerpieces: Flowers from Dinner Bell Farms / vintage mason jars / Arranged by my amazing bridesmaids 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wedding Week-Ceremony

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.  "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse.  "It's a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse.  "You become.  It takes a long time.  That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.   Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
-"The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams

I read this quote on a blog post shortly after we got engaged.  I knew at that time that I wanted this to be the reading at our wedding.  R and I are both avid readers and I loved incorporating some amazing literature into our wedding ceremony.  And the message of this particular passage is incredible and tells of the true beauty of lifelong love and commitment.  R was not that keen on the idea at first, but after I mentioning that maybe his little brother reading it would bring even more impact and give Jeremiah a special place in our wedding.  He did an AMAZING job in the reading and captivated our guests.

I wanted to wait until the ceremony for us to see each other, but unfortunately timing took precedence over tradition in this one.  So here's a glimpse at our first look!  It also gives an amazing view of the farm and overcast weather.  Though, thankfully, it was only slightly chilly and with little wind!

Before the ceremony, we took all of our family and wedding party photos.  It was complete chaos in the hour or so before the ceremony.  Our ceremony was led by R's friend and mentor Keith.  It was so fun to get to know him in the weeks leading up to the actual wedding and getting to tell him R and I's story and passions.  Standing up with us was our dearest friends and family--15 in all, including Moises as the ring bearer (the rings were clipped onto his bowtie!).

The most interesting and possibly one of the most fun moments was choosing our music for the ceremony.  I don't have a true passion for music, so I surprised myself with my insistence on making each of the songs be meaning to R and I.  

One of R and I's first dates in the city was to a Mason Jennings concert and I fell in love with the lyrics of "Be Here Now".  It was the perfect opening song for our parents and grandparents.  For the bridesmaids, we chose Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am" mostly because of LOVE for all of her music--whom R also introduced me to.  For my dad and I, it was a pretty obvious choice, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  We chose the version from Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, but it was still the perfect ode to our homestate (and of I knew it would make my mom cry).  Walking out, we chose "You Picked Me" by One Fine Frenzy...yet another artist that R had gotten me hooked on.  The lyrics of this song are also quite beautiful and I added the title to my vows as a way to recognize be pursued and chosen. 


Another ode to Kansas-I insisted on having sunflowers in my bouquet.


"Something Old"-my grandmother's watch


Again amazing photos by Nirav.

Location: Pie Ranch, Pescadero CA
Flowers: Cathy Haney (family friend)
Groom: Vest/Pant-J.Crew, Shirt-Banana Republic, Tie-Macy's
Bridesmaids: Dress-BHLDN, Nordstrom, Target, Make-Up-Nicole Woelfel
Groomsmen: Pants-Banana Republic, Ties-Macys
Moises' Bowtie/Leash: Bow Wow Couture via Etsy
Flowergirl: Dress-GapKids, Sweater/Shoes-Crewcuts

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wedding Week-Getting Ready

Two days from now will mark R and I's 4 month anniversary.  I cannot believe that the entire summer and September has flown by so quickly.  I also cannot believe how long it has taken me to put this post together.  I wanted to give it time, effort and energy...most of which I did not have these last couple of months.  I know many of our friends have wondered where we dropped off too...well to tell the truth, I have been hiding at home--sleeping, reading and drinking wine.

However, with the beginning of fall, it is time for me to come out of my hole and share the photographs from our amazing wedding photographer, Nirav. He was able to capture the day so vividly, that looking at the photos these last couple of months brings the entire day back.  

I will admit that I have been holding the photos hostage these last couple of months.  Admiring them and cherishing my memories of the day.  No longer though!  Because R and I had an AMAZING day, surrounded by our dearest friends and family, and the photos are too good not to share.  So thank you everyone who was there, and to Nirav and Heather, who were like part of the family!

p.s. Check out Nirav's blog/portfolio.  The guy is incredible!!!  We were so lucky to have him be part of our big day!

Dramatic view of Highway 1

There are so many amazing photos, that I thought it best (and to keep you coming back for more) to break it up into sections of the day.  So here is "Getting Ready"!

Bottom photo-I actually wrote my vows at 2:30 in the morning the night had to practice!
R's family house that they stayed.
Our wonderful flower girl-Johannah.  
Top Left-Jeremiah, who did the amazing reading at the ceremony!

Wouldn't be my wedding without a British fastener hat/veil 


Details--Dress: J.Crew / Veil: Local SF vendor from Edwardian Ball / Necklace: Anthropologie / Glitter Flats: J. Crew

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