Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Wedding Trip, Part One

The problem with having a blog and taking a vacation--especially a trip like this one-- is that in the time it takes to get home I forget half of what I wanted to write about. I know that there are scenes, events, moments to describe that have already slipped away. I will try to go in order, use the photos my brother took. Start with the wedding before going to the honeymoon. Still, half of the trip seems hazy already. In the course of twelve days Don and I took 6 flights, drove over 500 miles, took a train, multiple taxis, and walked maybe 15 miles. If you charted our journey on a map, it would look like something from a cartoon, with dotted lines running everywhere... But we never have been resort-hotel kind of people.

Travel Stage One was flying from Virginia to Albuquerque, New Mexico; driving from there to Santa Fe to pick up Don's parents, and getting to Angel Fire, location of my parents' new house and the wedding. This took the better part of two days. Angel Fire, New Mexico, looks like this, with mountains, pine forests, ski slopes. We saw deer and a coyote there.


My sister was a lifesaver with the whole girly getting-ready thing. She did my hair, my nails, my makeup. Brought me wine (white, of course, just in case) when I was upstairs alone, waiting. Here we are, grooming: helping me with eyeliner I believe. Shortly after this shot, she will demand that the photographer (I mean brother) leave the upstairs to girls only, and leave us to these private ministrations. When guests started to arrive she helped to mingle everybody, especially Don's parents as they were meeting our family for the first time.


The judge that married us was so very judge-like. As one of my uncles said, he looked straight from central casting. Distinguished mien, silver hair, billowing black robes. The ceremony took place on the back deck of the house and was quite informal; no procession, no 'aisle'. We just all stood up together, with Don, my father (who was "giving me away" although I've been living with Don for 6 years now, haha), and me before the judge. Dad actually didn't quite get the hint to step back until Mom kind of pulled him away a bit, so most of the ceremony pictures look like that one. In his defense, though, he was to read a Shakespearean sonnet afterwards and didn't want to get lost in the shuffle. I have no idea where my brother stood to get this picture-- in a tree? From the railing of the deck? We look so far away. It gives a good idea of the scenery though, and explains why there are trees growing out of people's heads in any given close-up. As soon as we stepped outside, everyone started fussing that I must be freezing-- strapless dress, chilly evening in the mountains. I wasn't, though; I was warm, flushed even, all night. Maybe from the dressing-room wine, or just from sheer nerves.

The reception, of course, was inside the house. This is the part that gets fuzzy: I remember champagne toasts; that the food was really good; us cutting the cake. There was just so much happening throughout the evening that it blurs together. I loved having the party at the cabin; it made everything so comfortable and homey. A fire in the fireplace, wine, talking, laughing, eating. It felt more like a cross between a family reunion and a dinner party than a wedding reception, at least to me. One of my cousins has a baby, the first new baby in the family for a long time. She was, quite definitely, the hit of the evening-- but who could be jealous? Even a bride can't compete with such perfect adorableness. In every picture I seem to be kissing her sweet little head. Our obvious infatuation with my baby cousin brought the inevitable questions about starting a family; (none of the relatives outside my parents/sister/brother know about the miscarriage) but we fielded them pretty well. Just knowing that we were trying again now made it easier to feel happy and hopeful; a few weeks ago I probably would have cried. Here it looks as though Don is just talking to her, but he is actually pretending to eat her fingers. She loved him, of course.

The Cake. Inside all the innocent-looking butter cream frosting is a deep chocolate cake, with a chocolate and raspberry filling. It came from the catering company rather than a fancy wedding-cake bakery, which is why it looks more homemade and less formal than most wedding cakes, and why it tasted divine-- not the usual wedding cardboard. As per tradition, we saved the top layer for our first anniversary and I'm looking forward to it. In addition, we held a big brunch the next morning and the rest of the cake made a reappearance then, by popular demand.
I love this photo, taken shortly after everyone left. To me it represents the entire evening better than any other. In the background you can see my mom and sister in the kitchen, tidying up. I am not trashed, merely exhausted and blissed out. Having it finally having happened, after all the anticipation and planning. Having the entire evening come off without a hitch anywhere. Having everything just as I had hoped, and then even better. That is what this picture is.


ayla said...

I love it! You look so happy! Laid-back weddings are the BEST, i truly believe. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Benjamin said...

That looks like a wonderful wedding! I especially like the last photo of you blissing out on the couch with Don.

So what's your last name now?

Bella said...

I wish we could have been there, it looked so beautiful! And yes, that last photo is fantastic. Our wedding was great, but if I could go back and do it over, I would have stuck to the original plan of it just being the two of us, having the ceremony on a hill top in Ireland and coming home to have a big back yard party. That would have been so much more memorable, fun, and worth the 5 grand we spent on the ceremonial/no music/no alcohol thing we ended up doing. :) yay small private weddings!!!