The wedding was held on a ranch owned by my family. My great-grandfather came from Ireland and bought the property before the turn of the century, and my grandmother was married here, too. It's planted with beautiful avocado trees.
Brenna wanted a wedding that was simple and elegant. It felt relaxed and fun--not formal.
This is a good shot of the bouquet. The flowers were amazing.
They got to play on the farm equipment after the ceremony.
There are few times in life when there is pure joy without any pain. For instance, having a baby is such an amazing experience and getting to meet your child is beyond wonderful, but it is tempered a little teeny bit by the fact that your body is thrashed from giving birth. Brenna's wedding was pure joy without any pain. The day could not have been happier for me. I love Matt and Brenna and was thrilled to see them commit to spend the rest of their lives together. Both Friday and Saturday were like getting to attend a wonderful party with my dearest friends. Brenna's entourage (Blaine, and her El Salvador team, and her sisters) worked and played hard starting early Friday morning. Blaine made a wonderful breakfast. The bridal party went out for pedicures. Lunch at home. Set up at the ranch. Then the rehearsal. Pastor Paul ran through the ceremony, and then had us gather in a circle to speak words of blessing on Matt and Brenna. This was a special time. Dinner was at Tipp's Thai where we forgot the pre-wedding diet and had Tempura, Pad Pak Beef, egg rolls, and more. Then we had dessert at our house with the wedding party and all of our special out-of-town friends and relatives. I love having the house full and people eating, so I was in heaven with the laughter and the young people and the great conversations with good friends. We heard more about the "Eat more vegetables and eat more pie" diet, as we scarfed apple crisp, carrot cake, lemon snow freeze pie, and turtles.
On the big day we got our hair done and went to the ranch for pictures. Brenna's friends were busy setting up the tables, and snacks, sound system, and doing their various jobs. Her friends were so wonderful and helpful and amazing--each one had a role and carried it out superbly. My dear friend Kris did the flowers and they turned out more beautiful than anything we could have hoped for or imagined. Brenna's bouquet was lemon branches, roses, mini-calla lilies and bells-of- Ireland in a simple, but elegant arrangement. One of my friends commented "My daughter solved her wedding needs by writing checks, but Brenna did it by involving her friends. Brenna's way makes the friendships deeper by having her friends participate in giving on the special day." Kris worked many hours, staying up most of the night to do the flowers. Then she thanked us profusely for letting her do so!
The band, Men on the Moon, was amazing!! These men were also good friends of ours, and their enthusiasm for playing music together overflowed into the crowd. At one point the tables were empty as people from age 5 to 86 filled the dance floor.
The food was delicious. I think back to how the owner of Ali Baba restaurant promised "I make all your dreams come true!" He came very, very close. He certainly made my wedding meal dreams come true. When I went to pay the server at the wedding he said "No, it's Ramadan, and I can't take any money. Everything I do must be in service to God." So I laughed with him, and then said "That's great. Now, how much do I owe you?" "No, it's Ramadan..." and he wouldn't take any money. The next day I told the owner what Mike had said and there was dead silence on the phone for a long time. Then he laughed, too. "I guess Mike bought your dinner!" Of course, we didn't get out of paying the bill, but it was funny.
We danced and talked late into the night. It certainly felt like we stayed until the wee hours of the morning cleaning up, but the girls say it was only 10 pm. I was and am sooo exhausted from the emotion of the day and the work. Seeing months of planning and decisions come together to create a dream come true--two people become one--has filled me with tremendous joy.