For the 723rd day in a row, it is raining. I have been counting. I still don’t know what is chopping my plants in the garden. It has either recently slowed down or stopped (I can’t tell), but I’m not getting my hopes up. As for the sliced/chomped/disappeared melon and squash sprouts? That one I figured out. EleventyBILLION slugs and counting. I have been trudging through the swamp that used to be my yard and murdering legions of them (pick off of straw bales with stick, STOMP to smitherines with rainboots several trillion times, repeat), and then following with a good coating of Sluggo Plus and some extra seeds stuck in the dirt for good measure. As of today, there are living, breathing seedlings of most types of squash and melons that I planted out there… though who knows if they will last. Everything else is in suspended animation.
Today is Memorial Day and I have the day off of work (kinda), while Brian does not, and as I sat here trying to come up with something more fun than cleaning the house or standing out in the cold rain, lamenting the garden, I suddenly remembered that I never finished posting pictures of my wedding. And maybe at this point, eight months later, it’s not so relevant or interesting… but my photographer took AMAZINGLY beautiful pictures, and well… I’m not cleaning the house. It’s just not happening. And, so welcome to the second half of my wedding. The first half was here and here.
We left off at the end of the ceremony. Now, onto the fun stuff… FOOD AND DRINK! It’s all I really cared about anyway. The rest was just details. Everything was fresh, seasonal, local, sustainable, and organic when possible. The idea was to project FALL with the food. The bounty of the harvest. Not fancy. Just perfect ingredients and approachable food. The catering staff truly exceeded all my expectations. Welcome to what truly occupies my mind, about 98% of my waking hours. Bet you didn’t know this about me.
The ceremony was at 11am, so we thought it would be fun to start with a brunch-themed cocktail hour. We had a bloody Mary and mimosa bar, where people could mix up veggies and vodka and seafood or fruits and bubbly to their hearts content. It was a huge hit.
During cocktail hour, the activities began. We were forced to get creative (ok, more like we forced the wedding planner to be creative… we’re not that skilled) because we DON’T DANCE. It’s that whole center-of-attention thing. We don’t do it. Neither one of us. I don’t want people staring at me, all hushed, hanging on my every move, while I try to awkwardly dance in my huge dress with Brian and then my dad and whomever else you’re supposed to dance with. NO SIR. So, we had alternative activities. And they were quite successful, if I do say so myself. No one even missed the dancing. I win.
Julie found us the most incredible “up close” magician. He wandered around the party and performed tricks with everyone. He stood right there in front of people and often, the guests actually participated. I was so busy that I only got to see one trick, which was very cool… but I heard from tons of people afterward that he was incredible the whole time. The one glitch was when he performed a trick where he “tore up” a twenty-dollar bill and then “put it back together.” Apparently, one of our guests, most likely after a few visits to the various bars, took out a $100 bill and tore it up himself and then handed it to the magician and said, “here! put this back together!” The magician was a bit dismayed. Oy.
Another total success was the photo booth. I was unsure about doing this one, but Julie (planner) encouraged it. I couldn’t believe how much everyone loved it. They had goofy props and the booth printed out two copies of the picture strips – one for the guests to paste into a scrapbook with a note for Brian and me to keep, and the other for the guests to take home. I LOVE the scrapbook.
Grilled filet of beef, fingerling potatoes, wild mushrooms, arugula, and red wine jus.
In addition to all of this, was, of course, wine. We were in Napa, after all. But somehow, I don’t seem to have any pictures of the wine. There was PLENTY and it was INCREDIBLE, most notably the pinot noir from Foley in Lompoc, CA.
To finish, there was dessert. And I don’t mean cake. You’ve already seen my cake. I mean the other dessert… as in a house-made pie and ice cream bar, and fresh, hot doughnuts. What, you thought this was all already too much? Silly wabbit, you can always eat more.
Oh yeah, and the favors. My mom and I spent the weeks ahead of the wedding putting up various preserves, pickles, and sauces as things came into season in our gardens and markets, and then we dressed them up and gave them out as favors.
And by “we dressed them up,” I mean that we forced the boys to do it for us in the days before the wedding. They were great sports, draping pretty fabrics and tying cute twine bows. They were also kind enough to pull pounds of dried lavender flowers from the stalks (grown in my mom’s garden) and helped me hand-fill jillions of tiny sachets as favors.