Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Wedding and a Feast

Most of my blog posts relate to art-making, junking and collecting, and on occasion my travels. But now, I want to share a wedding we attended over the weekend in Wenatchee (located in Central Washington) as it was perfect in every way, a true fairy tale, filled with intention and meaning, personalized and gracious, but lacking in any pretension.

Alyson and Steven were married on Sunday afternoon at the Ohme Gardens. Alyson is the daughter of long-time friends Don and Linda, so long, that Howard met Don in 7th grade and he and his family have remained a part of our lives for more years than I care to figure out!

But first, a few photos of Howard and myself with two of our grandkids, Luke (5) and Ella (3). We had Luke and Ella for the weekend, so we brought them along with us.

The wedding. Aly had seven attendants, all wearing brown dresses. She must have told them, “Get a brown dress to wear in my wedding.” Each dress was brown, but unique and personal to the wearer. The groomsmen all wore khaki pants, brown shirts, a tie of their choosing, and were barefoot!

Aly’s bouquet was made up as she walked among those in attendance: she picked up dahlia’s from various people and a friend quickly wrapped satin ribbon around the stems, pinned it into place, and presto! A simple, colorful, and elegant bridal bouquet. The newly married couple!

Music during the ceremony and throughout the evening was acoustic guitar and singing by talented friends, including the bride’s sister, Heidi, and brother, Steven. Before dancing began later in the evening, a friend had written a beautiful song just for the new couple. Here's Heidi and Steven singing a song during the ceremony.

After the simple ceremony, performed by a husband and wife who have known the family for years, we all walked deeper into the Gardens along rocky paths and past hidden ponds, to a large grassy clearing with a breathtaking view of Wenatchee and the surrounding countryside, where white linen topped tables dotted the grove with a view of the Wenatchee Valley that was stunning.

We were delighted to learn we had been seated with our friends, the parents of the bride. Also at our table were Connie and Eric. Connie had been the Maid of Honor at Don and Linda’s wedding 27 years, two days ago, and Howard had been Don’s Best Man. Their bridal party together again.

Okay, now for the feast part of the evening. The feast was a luscious spread of local, organic produce –and all vegetarian. Being vegetarian, I am usually digging thorough dishes trying to figure out if there is any hidden meat. Not here – everything was fresh fresh fresh and all vegetarian. Several people were overheard saying, “This is the best wedding food I’ve ever had!” I saw several people going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds given the grunts and groans of pleasure I heard as people were eating). Here's Howard and Linda enjoying the evening, Howard and myself, Aly and Steven greeting guests, and finally, signing their wedding license at our table!

Luke and Ella had a great time and made two friends, Isabel and Charlie. Luke kept asking: "Where's my friend in the blue dress?"

After a round of toasts, Don invited everyone to make the five-minute drive to their home for the evening’s festivities to continue. We hadn’t been to Don and Linda’s house for years (too many, I’m afraid to admit), but we knew that Don had been working and playing in his yard over the years. It was a little urban estate filled with ponds, waterfalls, and mounds of rocks. Don said that whenever he was tired of mowing, he just converted another section of lawn to a water feature. It was gorgeous – white lights had been strung throughout the back yard, two fire pits had fires blazing, a dance floor assembled, and off to the side a table with seven large buckets of ice cream. Yes, ice cream, with flavors like Balsamic Strawberry, Honey Lavender, Salted Caramel, and four others I can’t even remember. Instead of cake, we were served ice cream cones. (We let Luke and Ella have two cones . . . shhhhh, don't tell their Mom.)

In talking with Linda, Aly’s Mom, earlier in the evening, she said that every part of the wedding had been planned by Aly with care and intention. It showed. So what’s in store for the newlyweds? Here's what they'll be doing beginning in January in their own words:

As many of you know, we will be moving to Guatemala in January for six months to a year. We’ll be living in Nebaj, a small town in the highlands, and working with villages in the surrounding area in a partnership with an organization called Agros International. Aly will be fulfilling a grant she received from the Jackson School of International Studies at UW to do research on the connections between rural community development and land rights. Steven will spend some time learning Spanish, using his photography, and hopefully helping with some ecotourism or conservation projects.

What an awesome couple!


Kim said...

This looks such a special wedding, like you say unpretentious and full of meaning. What a perfectly wonderful time it looks for everyone. Nice to see the right priorities instead of a wedding full of expensive hooha! Lovely pics too!

Karen D said...

looks like a beautiful day, thanks for sharing it.

Nena's Art & Designs said...

How refreshing.

Nancy Duffey said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

mshmoore said...

Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and experiences during Aly and Steven's wedding. We were unable to attend and it was so wonderful to enjoy the pictures you shared!