After a month away from the blog, I’m glad to be back and I have so much to share.
First up: the full scoop on our wedding.
Yep, I’m officially a Mrs now, though I’m still not used to seeing my new name in print yet. (Heck, I’m not used to writing 2014 yet either!)
As I mentioned before, we decided to do a very, very small wedding.
While we would have loved to have had all of our friends and relatives present, we felt that a larger wedding would have been too stressful, too chaotic, and a total blur.
We wanted a calmer, quieter, simpler day. That’s exactly what it was.
(It was so calm, in fact, that I even had time to pick up a couple items at Whole Foods Market on my way home from the hair salon).
Believe it or not, the picture above is of EVERYONE that was in attendance:
Mike’s parents (fun fact: Mike’s Mom’s name is just one letter different than mine – Diane & Diana)
My sister’s family (including her sizable baby-bump and the cutest Flower Girl ever)
Sue & Sandy (my 101-year old great-aunt Sue, and my Mom’s best-friend who came to help)
My brother was also invited, but unfortunately wasn’t able to make it.
As small and simple as our wedding was, I’m still glad my Mom insisted on a brief Rehearsal so we all knew where to stand and what order to walk, plus some extra practice for the flower girl!
The Rehearsal Dinner
Mike’s parents also treated us to a fantastic Rehearsal Dinner. We went to Market 17, a farm-to-table restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. The food, wine, and service were fantastic. What impressed me most of all was the restaurant’s flexibility. Our server told me I could pick almost any item from the menu, and they’d happily adapt it for me.
I started with their Winter Squash Salad (hold the Goat Cheese!) which included Beets, Kale, Pumpkin Seeds & Sherry Vinaigrette.
For my entree, I chose the Key West Pink Shrimp (hold the Shrimp!) since I wanted the Beluga Lentils, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts, Asian Pear & Kale that it came with. What came out was a beautifully composed dish, garnished with edible flowers, and generous portions of lentils, fruit & veggies.
The Internet is my Hero
Since Mike & I met on the internet, of course I felt comfortable using the internet for other important matters too.
Google lead us to choose Market 17 for the Rehearsal Dinner and Colombia as our Honeymoon destination.
Yelp.com steered me to Rock Paper Scissors Salon for my hair & makeup. They do a lot of styling for special events so they knew all the tricks – I was surprised at how much makeup (and fake eyelashes!) it takes to look natural in photographs.
We had great success using Thumbtack.com to get bids from local vendors for our Officiant and Photographer. Rev. Ann Kurtzman, our Officiant, helped us to customize our “spiritual but not religious” ceremony, and Tyla Smith our photographer was a pleasure to work with and got so many amazing shots!
Lastly, a purchase from Amazon.com helped us out in the music department:
We held the ceremony at a park less than a mile from my parent’s house. I was a regular on the playgrounds here as a kid, and ran daily laps around the park during Cross-Country practice in High School.
The park freshly painted the gazebo for us and my parents completed the setup with some plants, garlands, and the chairs from their back yard.
To start things off, we played the song “And the Winner Is” (the Little Miss Sunshine Theme Song) – it’s beautiful and we thought the name of it was fitting.
Then, in lieu of the Wedding March, my Dad walked me down the aisle to the tune of Canon in D.
Our Mom’s each did short readings, including this quote from Les Miserables:
“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindess. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. Great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves”.
Before we knew it, this song was playing, and the ceremony was over.
But of course, in more ways than one, the fun was just beginning…
We rented out the private room at Sublime restaurant in Fort Lauderdale for the reception. I was so excited when Mike agreed to hold our reception at a Vegan restaurant!
Some of our guests may have been disappointed that they wouldn’t be having the traditional wedding meal of a tough steak or rubbery chicken, but the omnivore-friendly appetizers quickly seemed to put the group at ease.
I heard “Mmmmmm” sounds round the table as the Frito Misto & Pretzel Bread was served. The Frito Misto reminded me of Orange Chicken, though it was really made of Cauliflower with Sweet Chili Sauce & Sesame Seeds. The Pretzel Bread was incredibly soft and the group seemed divided as to whether the Carmelized Onion Spread or the Tomato Hummus was a better pairing.
Next, some chose a hearty Succotash Soup while others had the Caesar Salad. For me, the soup was tempting, but I had to go with the salad since it’s one of my favorite dishes there.
The entrees (Tofu Tacos, Gardein Picatta, or Vegetable Lasagna) were better than typical wedding fare, but the starters were what really stole the show.
Next up were Speeches and Dancing. Each of our Dad’s gave a speech, and my Dad even brought a prop – a photo of me as a kid, steering his sailboat and saying “I can do it, Dad”. And yes, if you look closely, I really did have bleach-blond hair as a kid.
As for the dancing, for a party of 11, we did a LOT more dancing than I was expecting – largely thanks to my 4-year old niece who started dancing before dinner, and dragged us onto the dance-floor in between each course too.
After dinner, we did all the traditional dances:
- First Dance: Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeroes – Home
- Father-Daughter: Taylor Swift – Never Grow Up
- Mother-Son: Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole’ – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Then finally, it was time for CAKE!!!
Sublime’s Coconut Cake is flat out amazing. I’m drooling just thinking of the piece my Mom is saving in her freezer for our first anniversary. If it were in my freezer, there’s no way it would last a whole year!
The next day, my Mom made us a beautiful Brunch before we headed off to the airport to start our Honeymoon.
In honor of our destination, she made us a Colombian-style Tofu Scramble!
While our wedding was simple compared to most, I was still surprised by how much effort and attention to detail it took to craft such a perfect day. And the majority of that effort was my Mom’s. She’s incredible. Not only did she coordinate with the park, the officiant, the florist, and the restaurant, she was also there with me as I picked out my shoes, jewelry, and Spanx (yes!).
But perhaps her biggest contribution of all to the big day was that (true story), knowing that I hate shopping, she single-handedly picked out my wedding dress. There she is below, taking a selfie of one of the many dresses she tried on.
Mom – Thanks for all you did to make our wedding so perfect. I love you!
I’d love to hear from you!
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or Share a highlight from one of the best weddings you’ve been to – yours or someone else’s!