I've put off writing about the wedding for long enough (nearly two months now). It's not that I don't want to write about it, but it's getting myself into the right mood for it mentally and finding the time. I couldn't possibly sum up the intensity of emotion, beauty, and events of the day in one update, or at all to the extent that would do it justice.
However, I've just put on some Brian Eno to relax and I will try to relate some of it.
(The photos I've posted in the gallery were all either taken by me or friends and family. I don't have a scanner so posting of the professional and photobooth photos will have to come later.)
I was surprised at how emotionally placid I was the night before and the morning of the wedding. I thought for sure that I would be tossing and turning all night with anxiety and excitement. In the morning Alix did most of my makeup and hair and my maid-of-honor (and only bridesmaid), Becca, arrived. Becca has been a very close friend of mine since we were children. She was one of the few friends who would stay for weeks at a time with me on Sinclair Island and as a result we became very close-knit.
I hadn't seen her for almost a year, so it was exciting for us both. She had very little clue of what my dress looked like and I let her pick out her own. Her dress went with mine beautifully. I knew I could trust her intuition.
We helped each other into our dresses and laced each other up (we both had corset-style lacing). I had bought an edwardian-style necklace and matching earings to go with my dress, but the silver on the necklace didn't go as well with my tiara, so Becca let me borrow her necklace which accompanied the tiara perfectly. It seems like we were on the same wavelength that week.
My parents and other friends and family were already running around preparing things. My grandparents (Gael's parents) were to drive Becca and I to Chetzemoka Park, where the ceremony was to be held. It was around this time that I started to become nervous. Happy nervous, but still nervous. It was almost time to go to the park when Gael arrived to change clothes. She said everyone was arriving at the park and that Macsen looked handsome and everyone looked really sharp.
Becca and I sat in the back of the van while my grandparents drove us to the park. It was only about a 5-10 minute drive, but in my memory time seemed to slow down. Becca and I held hands tightly. She said to me, "Who would have imagined when we were children that I would be here with you, next to you on your wedding day? We're all grown up, Nomi." Tears welled up in both of our eyes, I can't really explain the intensity of emotion. We had been through so much together, the day simply would not have been complete without her by my side.
Becca and Alix helped touch up my make-up and we waited for my father to arrive. I could already hear Emily playing the violin beautifully down by the gazebo and familiar voices, some I hadn't heard for years. Suddenly I saw Macsen run up to the bathroom and we yelled at him to not look at us. We were laughing pretty hard at that point. We noticed that on the other side of the park there was a birthday party in progress for a little girl named Naomi.
My dad arrived and we joined arms. Alix walked down to the gazebo which was Emily's que to start playing Meditation by Thaïs. Becca walked out first, my dad and I commented to each other on how she looked like a greek goddess, framed by the rose arbor and the blue of the sea in front of her. When we walked from the arbor arm and arm everything for me became a bit of a blur. I could see my friends and family standing and smiling at us, but everything seemed like a dream. I remember it like a dream. My dad whispered to me to take a deep breath and take to take it all in. It was finally happening.
My main focus when we turned towards the gazebo was of course Macsen. We were both beaming. My dad handed my arm to Macsen and we walked up the stairs to Peggy, our officiator. As we listened to Peggy read the introduction I noticed a ladybug on my bouquet and I knew Macsen saw it too. I tried not to laugh. There was something strangely soothing about that ladybug. It being completely oblivious, going about it's ladybug business.
Macsen and I stared into each other's eyes, listening to Peggy's words which we had chosen. I think we were hardly aware of everyone else around us at that point. We then exchanged vows and rings. There was some giggling from us and others when Macsen slipped on my ring (which was his French grandmother's) and it was too big, then when I put his on (which was his mother's) and it was slightly too small. We had them resized, but somehow someone made them the wrong sizes. :)
We were then told to kiss and when I turned to look out over my friends and family there wasn't a dry eye. Everyone stood up and cheered, and tried to blind us with birdseed. Emily started playing and we received hugs and kisses from everyone. My mom and I hugged for a long time.
Then it was photo time. Lots and lots of photos. To the point that I actually started getting a little agitated because I knew there were some friends and family who were only staying for the ceremony and as a result I wasn't able to speak to or see them much. After photos we signed the marriage certificate with Macsen's parents as witnesses.
Finally we moved on to the Palindrome for the reception.
Gael, her friends Shun and Mark, Kirsten, and an old friend from Anacortes, James (who also is in one of the bands we had play at our reception) all worked really hard at decorating the Palindrome. When I walked in and saw the room and the wedding cake I literally gasped, they had done such a beautiful job. They had spent the morning picking braches, greenery, and wild sweet peas from the countryside around town and arranged them on all the tables with oranges and clear bowls from ikea, which they floated lit tea candles in. The ceiling was decorated with white christmas lights. Shun was basically the mastermind of it all and it looked incredibly professional.
Lolo from Sweet Laurette was just putting the finishing touches on the cake when we arrived. It looked absolutely stunning. To refresh your memories it was "classic apricot & raspberry", which is a light vanilla butter cake layered with fresh raspberries, apricot preserves, and finished with italian meringue buttercream. The cake was deocorated with fondant leaves and fresh raspberries. I had worked with Lolo on designing the decorations, so it was very personalized.
Our friend Pete Toyne's 4-piece jazz band began playing and our caterers (and yes, also friends) started bringing out the appetizers. Efra, David, David's twin brother Peter, Nate, Nathan, and Eli had been working all night in two shifts just to prepare all the wonderful food. They did it because they wanted to and as a gift for us. I can't thank them enough for everything.
The food was layed out buffet-style on a long table. Philip and Jackie brought a few wheels of cheese over: camembert, stilton, English cheddar (the only real kind), and port salut. Along with those we had smoked gouda, a fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad, mortadella, proscuitto, levan bread, dungeness crab pasta salad, smoked salmon and dill crepe rolls, starfruit, melon, a green salad with feta, and cold prawns with cocktail sauce.
That was just the "first course". For the second course we had grilled wild salmon with a ginger lime hollaindaise sauce, chicken molé (Efra's own recipe), and roasted vegetables. All this with red and white wine.
Yeah, we had a damn good feast. :)
We made a champagne toast after dinner and Macsen's father, Philip, gave an amusing speech. Macsen, Gael, Becca, my Mom and Dad, and Alix all gave little speeches. Becca's made me laugh the most, she talked about some of the games we used to play together as kids. I gave my thanks to everyone who helped out and to the guests.
Macsen and I had our first dance and then my dad cut in. A bunch more people joined us and I danced with Philip, who is an excellent dancer. I loved watching he and Jackie dance together.
The "photo booth" arrived at about this time. Our friends set it up in the corner for people to take black and white photos of themselves. It was a blast, I highly recommend it to anyone who has a wedding or large party. The photo booth photos ended up being some of my favorites from the day. My only regret was that I thought it would be up longer so I didn't take as many photos of myself with friends and family in it as I would have liked.
We cut the cake and Macsen mercifully didn't smear cake all over my face.
Around 8pm our second band and old friends from Anacortes, Voodoo Spoon, started playing (they describe themselves as "blending latin, bluegrass, celtic, and african influences, Voodoo Spoon plays high energy dance grooves that combine the styles of the world"). They are very danceable and everyone got into dancing then, more than I expected. I loved watching Jean-Pierre dance, he just lets loose. I danced until I was out of breath. Everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves too.
I enjoyed mingling with everyone and catching up with people I hadn't seen in years. Everyone kept telling us that it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to. Macsen's friends and family said it was completely unlike any wedding they had ever been to in England or France, which they assured me was a compliment. I only had a couple disappointments, mainly that several of our close friends and family couldn't come (especially on Macsen's side, understandably). We were expecting over 100 people and ended up with about 80. Their prescense was missed.
It was reaching the end of the day and night before I knew it. The day went by so ubelieavably fast, I actually still feel a little emotional about how quickly it was over. So many months of intense planning all for one day.
We said our goodbyes to everyone for an hour or so and then went to our room at the Manresa Castle. I immediately took off my shoes in the lobby, they were lovely but damn painful. We had a jacuzzi suite and it was a wonderful way to wind down and relax after such an intense day, but unfortuately it sounded like a jet engine so we eventually turned it off.
That, my friends, is the last I will share with you. :)
it's coming up 3am and i'm heading off to bed to get some sleep, but before i do, i just wanna say that you look **so** beautiful on the wedding photos! truly like a faerie or elf...
i'm looking forward to finish reading about the wedding tomorrow, thanks for sharing!
thank you so much for sharing. it was really--just, ah. wonderful to read about, and to catch a glimpse of.
well wishes for you! congratulations.
and what you mentioned about just needing to be in the right emotional frame of mind to do a rendering justice--that makes way too much sense to me.
i'm glad you found the time and the right mood to share. :)
Just lovely. I'm amazed how much you can recall! My own wedding memories are much hazier (even discounting the passage of time...)
I recognized the park. My own Naomi played there once a few years ago. How fab to have your ceremony in such a splendid place!
I still feel like I'm not recalling enough in a way, a lot of the day was such a whirlwind. I think having an almost absurd amount of photographs has helped me recall a lot of it.
The park has seen it's fair share of Naomis considering on the day of my wedding a little girl named Naomi was having a birthday party there. :)