The most sensible place to start with the recaps is on the Eve of the wedding, June 27th. After doing a last check of everything, Ed and I headed off for the familiar drive north to our favorite place. Butterflies were in full force in my stomach as we headed up - I was so excited that this day that I had been waiting for was finally almost here! Ed was, as always, the calm collected one - good thing he was driving :).
There was a bit of uncharacteristic traffic (for us) as we got nearer to our mountain, probably due to the fact that it was a perfect Sunday day for exploring Mt Tam.
We arrived first, and took a seat on the patio as we waited for our various family members to arrive. First up was Ed's mom and his cousin and boyfriend, followed closely by my family. It was wonderful to see everyone and give some their first look of our favorite place.
After lunch was had by many, we were off for the first "optional" event of the wedding weekend - a hike! Now, Ed and I knew we wanted to go on a hike, and hoped some would join us, but didn't expect a big crowd. Apparently, though, when you schedule an official event, people feel obligated to attend, so we had a huge group! Almost everyone who was there for the first night came.
Choosing the right trail gave us some pause, as we wanted to show people some beauty, but also keep it from being to challenging. We finally decided on the paved Alice Eastwood trail - it would be shady and cool(er) and give visitors a great look at the majestic redwoods.
After heading down some stairs...
we hit the pavement and enjoyed a leisurely hour walk down the trail to the campsite and back up again. Some of the family ended up turning around early, to enjoy an even more leisurely pace, but we all had a great time. Ed and I were so happy to have done this, because suddenly it felt like a normal day on the mountain. My nerves were feeling calmed as I drunk in the mountain air, and I felt like I was able to relax and really start to enjoy the day.
When we got back, we were (generally speaking) able to check into our rooms. We all went to get cleaned up for the next main event - the rehearsal!
This was such a special moment in our day, as it was when our closest family and friends got to see our wedding site. It was so much fun to see their amazement at the view (it was stunning that day) and to be here for such a special purpose.
Ed had worked hard on planning how the rehearsal would go, and it went great. One of my favorite parts was our icebreaker (as good teachers, we, of course, had to start with one of these). We asked each person to introduce themselves and choose one word that described us at a couple.
Though we felt a little silly being so self - focused, it was truly special to hear how we were seen through others eyes and set a great tone for the rehearsal.
It was a perfect (and perfectly hot!) rehearsal, which made us confident about the ceremony as a whole, but a little concerned about how the weather would be.
The other unknown was going to be the music - the CD with the wedding music accidently ended up in the car that was setting up the rehearsal dinner, which meant that instead of practicing with our chosen picks of music, we rehearsed to some very fun latin dance music! It actually made things pretty fun, but left a little concern that the music would all line up for the ceremony.
From here, we headed down to Old Mill Park, where Ed's mother, Sabine, along with my brother-in-law, James, and a few others were helping get it set up.
Right before we got to the dinner, my Aunt (and family) gave us the most amazing gift - an amazing quilt she made us for picnics! The back is red and white checked with ants crawling on it, and the front has beautiful patterns with fabric of different foods. It is a work of art, and we cannot wait to use it.
Sabine picked the perfect setting - the redwood grove was cool, shady and beautiful, with red and white checked tablecloths and bottles of chianti at the tables to set an italian mood. We enjoyed lovely wines and delicious food from Pasta Pomodoro as we enjoyed spending time with loved ones in a relaxing setting.
(Ed, Christine and Curtis enjoying the italian evening)
(My dad and his brother, my Uncle Kirk)
(Ed's Uncle Pat and Aunt Patricia - in front - and Jerome, our officient and Ed's mom, Sabine - in back)
One important part of the rehearsal dinner was Ed and my speech. We had procrastinated a bit on writing this, but were really happy with how it turned out. We were thankful to have the chance to recognize and thank all the people who were there to celebrate with us and who had given us so much love and support. It was a wonderful experience.
Sleepy and full, we all headed back up to the Inn after dinner, where we got to take in a stunning sunset.
The rest of the night was spent spending some quality time with everyone. We played games, talked and just generally soaked in the evening. One of the most amazing parts was, while Ed and I were sitting outside in the dark, the most beautiful, orange moon began rising in the distance. After getting the people inside, we all sat and watched as we could actually see it moving up in the sky. It was the perfect moment.
Around midnight, we decided that it was time for bed. Ed and I said our final goodbyes, since we wouldn't be seeing one another until the ceremony.
Going to sleep, I was blissfully happy, knowing that I would wake up on my wedding day.