Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Year Love

We had a wonderful turn of the year during a weekend away to celebrate the start of 2011 and the start of a sure to be wonderful marriage between our two friends M.C. and L.O. in Carmel, CA.  The wedding was on 1.1.11 so we decided to head down early and splurge a bit on a 'cottage' with a fireplace at the Carmel River Inn for new years eve and the night of the wedding.  We had such a glorious and quiet time arriving at the inn and walking into our lovely little abode.  The cottage had a gas fireplace and to our surprise it also had a little private garden patio with a table and chairs.  We ended up stepping out for a bite to eat for lunch, then returning and spending the entire afternoon reading outdoors on our patio.  The bride and groom invited us out to dinner which we greatly enjoyed, but we split off from the group to escape back to our fireplace and a chilled bottle of sparkling wine to ring in the new year.  

The next day was the wedding.  Chris escaped early in the morning and took a stroll down to the ocean front and around Carmel while I slept in.  He proceeded to rub it in for the rest of the day, and while I did regret not getting up to go with him, I did love the extra hour of sleep and ended up needing it for the  day's requirements.  We went off for a lovely big breakfast at the Black Bear Dinner and did a few errands for the bride and groom (flower delivery, place cards, etc).  Then back to our cottage for relaxation and prep for the evening.  We fielded a panicked phone call from the family of the bride about the zipper on her dress getting stuck (eek!) but luckily they got it fixed before the need for reinforcements (though I was ready to go buy needle and thread to sew her in)!

Chris and I enjoying the wedding dinner at Casanova's.

The wedding was absolutely lovely, intimate, and personal.  The bride's godmother 'smudged' the guests with sage smoke as they arrived, the bride and groom welcomed the guests and asked them to take a small shell or stone from a bowl to hold durning the ceremony and pour their good thoughts and well wishes into, the guests formed a circle around the bride and groom and the ceremony was performed by her mother and his father.  They faced south, north, east, and west to be reminded of all of the world's supports for their marriage and to see all of the guests and feel our support as well.  They exchanged their own written vows, the bride smiled, the groom was moved to tears, and we all felt their love and dedication to one another.  It was magical and meaningful for us all.

My place at the table with my stone filling up with well wishes and love for the couple.
The stones and shells were collected at the end of the evening and will be displayed by the couple at their home. 

After the ceremony we were treated to a celebration with an incredibly delicious dinner at Casanova Restaurant in Carmel.  We were welcomed into a cozy room with two long tables set up with yellow tablecloths and pitchers of roses.  The restaurant is the favorite of this couple and it was clear why as plates of melon with prosciutto and then dishes of airy spinach gnocchi were brought out for the guests to enjoy.  The dinner was a choice between roasted chicken or filet mignon and the dessert was a perfect creme brulee.

Our view down the long table.  It was a perfect evening.
The guests toasted the bride and groom and speeches from family and friends abounded.  Chris and I even gave a speech about sharing in the first meal with the couple when they met (my birthday dinner nearly 2 years ago) and the joy in knowing that first night that they had met their matches and then the honor of seeing them fall in love and progress as a couple.  It was a fantastic event, one that was exactly fitting for this couple, and we look forward to supporting them and celebrating with them throughout their marriage.  May it be a life long and happy one!

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