Friday, May 16, 2008

Sail Away: Anniversary Trip to the British Virgin Islands

Big Guy and I received a vacation as a wedding gift and they were kind enough to book it for our One Year Anniversary. So we are off in five hours! We fly to Puerto Rico in the morning and then on Sunday we head to the Virgin Islands. We are going to Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St.Kitts and maybe even one more that I am forgetting. I am guessing that I won't feel like blogging and I don't even know if I will have access to a computer- so I suppose I will talk to you all when I return on the 27th!

I wanted to let you know that there are a few blogs I have not had the chance to add to my list, but it is not for lack of caring- I promise to add them when I get back- I just ran out of steam at the end.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and next week. I know Big Guy and I will be enjoying ourselves- especially being able to be away together for our 1st Anniversary on Monday!

Final Wedding Post: My Flowers

I must be CRAZY, because with absolutely no training or knowledge of flower arranging, I decided to undertake the task of doing the flowers for my wedding. I did everything-except the church flowers. I picked garbage bag after garbage bag of Rhododendron and with the help of my aunt and many of her talented friends we made 10 centerpieces for the table. I can't even tell you the scary spiders and other bugs I saw in the English countryside while collecting these blooms.

Then I had to do the boutonnieres, the corsages, the bridesmaid bouquets and mine- so I set off to a wholesale flower market to collect the flowers I would need. Because I did not know exactly what was available, I had to conceptualize on the fly and work with what they had--which fortunately was a lot- and it was organized by color which was very helpful. I had enough foresight to bring floral wire and pearl headed pins and lots of ribbon, so I was a little prepared- although I was not sure how this stuff was supposed to be used.

It turned out very well- miraculously. I had a few start overs, and my bridesmaids refused to help because they were afraid to invoke the bridal wrath if they screwed something up- which I cannot blame them for. I was just glad to have them with me cheering me on and giving feedback when I needed it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wedding Memories: The Look

I was fortunate to have family in England and they were so wonderful to let me have my wedding there. The ceremony was held in a little church in the next town over and then we wnet back to the house where cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served on the patio near the fountain and then there was dinner and dancing in a large marquee.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wedding Memories: Food

The first thing I learned from planning my wedding is that I am far more type A than I ever knew. I don't have the dominating personality that often comes with it, but I completely exemplify the attitude of: If you want something done right you've got to do it yourself. Of course I did have help, but my Aunt is incredibly talented and has impeccable taste, and my mother and sister were willing to help and are good at taking direction.

The food at my wedding was spectacular. We ordered the beef for Argentina since we were in England and didn't want any one complaining about the whole English beef issue. We chopped apple wood and piled it into an open fire chimney on the grounds where the meat was cooked-which infused it with the smokey apple wood. We also chose to serve local asparagus because it was in season and my mother, sister and I went down to a farm in the area and pick each and every stalk ourselves. Some of you are probably thinking that this sounds awful- and the last thing you would want to do the week of your wedding, but i loved every minute of it. I felt SO MARTHA.

Before dinner, we had a fresh chilled avocado soup served in a white mug and garnished with a chive blossom. We also had this adorable bread baked in flowerpots that was meant to be passed and shared around the table; everyone tearing off a piece.

The beef was served with a smoked sun dried tomato and tarragon chutney and accompanied by horseradish crusted garlic potatoes and asparagus. The vegetarians were served a Salmon en Croute that my cousin Daniel made.

At first I wasn't excited about my cake- I had wanted several small tiered cakes in shades of palest blues and green, but when I tasted the cakes that I helped to bake and frost- I was convinced. They had a lovely almond flavor and the lightest hint of lemon in the butter cream frosting.

After the cake, we did a cheese board loaded with fresh strawberries. The table was decorated with tulle from France and real ivy and grape leaves. It was a huge hit and people still talk about the apple wood smoked cheddar that we served.

One of my favorite touches was the wine- we had labels made so that every bottle was a custom tribute to the wedding-- and looked fantastic in the great silver tubs. I loved the way the bar looked.

The food was fantastic and since I love food as much as I do, it meant so much to me to be involved in everything and to see it come out the way it did. People still talk about the quail egg and caviar that we had during the cocktail hour and I smile as I remember how hard it was to peel those tiny little eggs, and they get excited when they tell me that they had never had endive before and now they can't get enough of it- and I am glad we decided to do that when we planned the menu. It was the most perfect wedding that I could imagine- it was such fun to prepare for. To see my husband's face and know that he was so proud of what I put together was a real treat.
It is such a fun memory and I love sharing it with the 100 people that made the effort to show up in England to celebrate with us. The gratitude that I feel toward my aunt and uncle for hosting the wedding is beyond words. That was the best wedding gift I could have asked for.