Toasting us with some almond ‘champagne’
(…technically sparkling wine for those of you connoisseurs….)
Bubbly, Tri-Tip BBQ, grilled portobellos, rainbow cake and dancing, oh my! I can tell you right now, we had fun, ate well, and danced our boots off at our reception…
One of the things that my mom came up with was the idea to have Almond ‘Champagne’ (Sparkling Wine)–a bubbly you can only grown in California from the acres and acres of almond groves. It’s slightly sweet and available at Trader Joe’s for a reasonable price! This fit perfectly in with our overall theme and want to keep things ‘local’–whether it was local to Siskiyou County or local to California. Our almond sparkling wine complemented the ales from Mt Shasta Brewery, Hunter Orchard’s apple cider and home-brewed iced tea.
For dinner, we had a buffet–no appetizers or nibbles beforehand necessary! Tri-tip barbecue is the wedding feast of our area so we served it up with potatoes, ‘honeymoon salad’, rolls and grilled Portobello mushrooms for the veggies. Word to the wise, if you’re including a food option for specific diets (whether it be veggie at your meat buffet, or meat at your veggie buffet) CLEARLY label the dish!! The Portobello’s were and looked so good that there was a bit of a squeeze for my dearest veggie friends…
Food…and our local caterer provided the decorations.
We had enormously help the day before the wedding in setting up the venue. We had really, really wanted a barn (inspired partly by Ms. Grrrl’s gorgeous do!), but sadly most of our friends’ barns were full of hay during October and the only one in town was too small. So we made do with the Art Building at the fairground and decided to still keep it basic. Our bridal party + their significant others + family members helped set up table & chairs, lay the glasses, table ware and decorations as well as hang Christmas lights (borrowed) and our embroidery hoops with fabric (DIY from thrift store hoops & fabrics!), and the amazing English chintz bunting that Alex’s mum made!
We went for simplicity in our decorations: champagne colored table cloths, red napkins, and sets of glasses & water jugs for each table. To decorate, we had our jammy favors (sorry, pun intended!) of various jams, jellies, salsas and preserves along with red buttons and tables named after country female singers, i.e. Tammy, Wynonna, Reba, Faith, Carrie, etc. The head table had the most jam jars and we called it The Dixie Chicks (we used to blare ‘Taking the Long Way’ while driving around Santa Cruz when we were first got together…).
Ain’t she pretty?
Alex’s Maid of Honor (middle) and bridesmaids
My Uncle Tim…
The guests demanded Alex speak too…
Once everyone was full up from firsts or seconds of the buffet, my brother kicked off the speeches–this time impersonating Alex’s brother with a toast from him, in a British accent!! He had a rolling with laugther! Then the mike got passed around the room: my uncle, my maid of honor, Alex’s maid of honor and bridesmaids, my bridesmaids, my dad and Alex’s mum. In the UK, both of us had stood up at the end to say something, but as this time we were in my hometown where a good half of the people had not met Alex before the wedding weekend, I wanted to make a speech about her. That, and we had SO many thank yous to friends and family who had helped put the weekend/day together. Throughout all the speeches, we cried.
And when I wrapped up, the calls when out for Alex to say something! They weren’t letting us get away with it! She graciously stood up and figured out something to say: a thank you and a sharing of much love. I think that picture of her holding up the mic and her champagne glass is absolutely adorable!
Well, as you can see, the cutting of the cake got a bit messy! My dear friend Maeve of Maeve Makes Cakes (based in SF, but hailing from further NorCal) made our three-tier, rainbow inside, all white on the outside, white chocolate button perfection wedding cake! We were super excited to surprise the guests with rainbow wedding cake and thrilled with how she carried out our button theme with the cake.
One thing I had asked Alex specifically NOT to do was smash cake in my face. In the UK, this is a lot harder (and not as common) because the cake is thick and sticky fruit cake. But for Alex, the temptation was too great! As you can see, I got a nose full after our loving kiss…but I got her back, too! (I will admit I almost yelled at her–that was how much I didn’t want cake-face–but she was laughing so adorably that I couldn’t really on our wedding day. As she said later, she was considerate of the dress; I had to remind her though that I wasn’t concerned about the dress, I was concerned about my face! Ah well, love is love…)
Alex’s mum changed into her plaid shirt, hat and cowboy boots for the ‘hoe down’!
A little bit softer now, a little bit softer now…
A little bit louder now, a little bit louder now…
We do love our dancing, and our guests did not disappoint! The dancing got under way while Alex and I cleaned the cake off ourselves, and then it was time for our first dance. We picked a more up-tempo tune this time around called ‘Love Serenade’ by The Waifs. Then the party got under way. Sadly, the DJ wasn’t the best, but we still rocked out–as evidenced by the photos above. I have never seen a crowd get more into ‘Shout’ as I did on our wedding night!
Guests slowly said goodnight and we continued until about 11:30 when realized…we were completely exhausted! Our bridal party was amazing and had already started taking things down and cleaning up, being strict with both of us that we were not to touch anything. My brother was the last off the dance floor of epic-ness, and crawled home to our hotel completely happy…
With still a few more pieces I’m excited to share with you (think black and white photobooth and gay details!!!), in the meantime, is anyone else planning a country or locally themed wedding? What fun things have you discovered so far? Or super glad you included in your own?
All photos by Wyatt Olson Photography