I’ve got a bit of a dark side and so when people say things along the lines of “college will be the most fun years of your life” or “your wedding will be the happiest day of your life”, I politely nod while thinking something along the lines of “yeah right”. Well, I’ve been proven wrong.
Our wedding was the very best day. I’ve never felt more loved, more lucky to be living in that exact movement, or more sure of our choice to to marry. Surrounded by so many people from the different phases of our lives, people who love us, people who traveled from near and far to be a part of this milestone, it was happiness unlike any other. I was either laughing or crying happy tears the entire day, my heart was so full. Even weeks later writing this, I feel the prick of those same tears welling up in my eyes.
We were married in the backyard of the house I grew up it. My mother and brother spent months turning an already beautiful backyard into a truly magical garden, like something out of a storybook. Our families teamed up to string bistro lights across the lawn and patio, and we rented big wood plank tables. My mom collected milk glass from every antique store in the Sacramento Valley and we stuffed vases full of deep green camellia branches picked from the yard, white garden roses and sweet little daisies. I made my own bouquet with the same camellia and roses, big and wild. I slipped into my dress moments before the ceremony, while my mom pinned the veil my sister had made me in my hair. Our dearest friend married us, and then we feasted and danced until midnight. It was more perfect than I could have imagined.
Because this is a food blog and I’m no idiot, let’s get into the most important detail of all—the menu. Before we had even decided to get married, we knew we wanted to roast a whole hog. And on a spit mind you so the skin gets good and crispy, none of this dig-a-pit nonsense. Once that important decision had been made, the rest of it came easily.
During cocktail hour, there were fish tacos, cheesy bread and ceviche, summery and light. I heard good things. Our friends Russ and Kelly brewed us a honey wheat beer special for the occasion, and Jordan had pre-mixed big batches of cocktails named after our favorite surf spots, the Channel and the Patch. Though the pig was dinner’s main attraction, there were also game hens roasted with fresh herbs, grilled vegetables, macaroni and cheese, greens with vinaigrette.
Everyone ate and drank, and then ate and drank some more. Dinner was leisurely, like all the best meals are, and as the sun set, it finally cooled off and those lovingly hung bistro lights began to shine. It was delicious.
Our wedding cakes were from Tartine Bakery here in San Francisco, I picked an assortment because I couldn’t choose just one favorite. My cousin had the stressful job of transporting ten beautiful cakes from San Francisco to Sacramento, and we are forever grateful. The bakery said that at most fifty percent of the guests at a wedding eat cake, but I’m certain that at ours that percentage was more like ninety-five. This is how we know we’re friends with the right kind of people.
While planning the wedding, I figured the party would feature most prominently in my memories of the day, and it was a glorious party, but the tender moments from our ceremony are some of the most special. Our friend Miykaelah married us, and we wrote our own vows. We wanted someone who knew us well to guide us into marriage and help us share what this commitment means to us with all of our friends and family. Her ceremony was exactly right; heartfelt and generous, serious and light. This is the blessing she closed with. I love those last few lines.
May the meaning of this hour be fulfilled through the days and years to come.
May the love of this man and this woman, their unity of spirit, grow deeper and stronger in the uncertainties and changes of life they will share.
Loving each other, may they love all persons.
Trusting each other, may they learn to trust life.
May their love reach out to the love of all, that their lives may bless all whose lives they touch.
May they find comfort together in shared hours of shadow, as well as in the bright sunshine of joy.
May they be to each other both strong and gentle.
May all who follow their lives with interest and affection have cause to rejoice not alone in their happiness, but in their brave and generous living which makes life beautiful and significant.
We are grateful for all of the hard work of our families and friends put in to making this day so special for us. Without their help, generosity and love, a day so perfect and magical could not have been possible.
All photos by the incredibly talented Arturo Oliva Pedroza. Book him!