We’re MARRIED!!! It’s so crazy! We had the best time with our family and friends, and while it’s fresh in my mind, I thought I’d tell the story of the day.
The night before, JD called me late at night and was feeling a little sad because he somehow ended up alone in our empty house in Austin. We went back and forth trying to decide if he should come to the hotel to sleep beside me, but we decided to stick to tradition and stay apart. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but I slept like a rock because I was staying in the room with all of the flowers in buckets which we had turned down to about 60 degrees to keep them cool.
Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:30 or so and Aunt Carol texted me to see if I wanted to have tea. She snuck down in her jammies and I was looking over my last minute to do list to see what could be figured out between then and the ceremony (at 7 am the morning of the wedding, we didn’t know who was going to drive the shuttle from the venue back to the hotel, who was going to read the 7 blessings during the ceremony, you know, minor details), and I started to write down the blessings on note cards. Aunt Carol dictated while I wrote them out. Reading those words was the first little feeling I had that the day was going to be so personal and special.
Around 10, the hair and make up woman, Adrian, arrived and bridesmaids started getting made up one at a time. Becca brought tacos, Jillian brought the wedding cake (with only a little confusion at Central Market — it was just one 8″ round cake and she had to triple confirm that she wasn’t picking up a 3 layer tiered wedding cake), and Stella brought champagne for mimosas.
The groomsmen gathered at JD’s house and I believe they drank whiskey out of the cool flasks he ordered, although I’ll have to get the full report later tonight.
After we got fancied up, we put on my dress and hopped in cars to go to the venue. The girls hid in an airstream trailer at the edge of the ranch and watched through a window as cars filtered in. We had a last minute pep talk with the flower girls.
Around 3:10, JD was apparently feeling a little nervous because he knew I really wanted to start on time so we’d have light for photos, and we drove over and hopped out. I just saw this on Facebook two seconds ago, but apparently JD yelled “let’s go!”
When I got out of the car, my dad walked over with my giant bouquet and I could see the flower girls walking down. (Maya decided she didn’t really want to walk down the aisle, but Jillian took her hand and told her they’d just walk over to her mom, who was up at the front, and she made it down. Cate threw flowers like a pro). My walk in song had started, so we went! It’s too bad that when you’re the bride, even though you get to make the dramatic entrance, you miss getting to see everyone else walk in. JD filled me in on all of the music he chose for the ceremony start.
The ceremony was so sweet. JD’s friend and Rabbi, Eli, flew in from Philadelphia with his family and officiated. He explained the Jewish traditions, our dads lit a unity candle (that JD’s former boss Jan and her daughter Ally magically produced somehow after being texted about it in the middle of the night on Friday.. not only candles but wrapped in burlap and tied with beautiful lace!), our moms signed the ketubah with us, and we drank wine that JD bought 8 years ago in Israel (the trip he met Eli on), thinking it would be for his future wedding.
The day after the Election, JD and I went to brunch and Eli called and we were planning the ceremony out and we told him it was important to us that he work in our progressive values, so I think the word ‘progressive’ was mentioned about 10 times. It was awesome.
My favorite part of the ceremony was when it was time for the 7 blessings to be read. You know me — in the spirit of brutal honesty and openness, I’ll tell you that once I wrote them on the cards in the morning, I gave them to Becca to give to JD, and hoped for the best. I had no idea who was reading them. So when it came time, Eli said “and now the 7 blessings, you know who you are, your cards are numbered” and then a combination of friends and family each read a card. Some were groomsmen, some were family members, some were guests. They stood wherever they were and popped up one after another. It was so sweet. Definitely one of my favorite moments of the day.
After that, he put a shawl around us and said a prayer, turned off the mic to say something special just to us, and turned it back on and recited a Leonard Cohen quote.
“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
After that, we were married! We took a group photo (that I hope turned out well!), took a bunch of family photos, and folks headed up to cocktail hour while JD and I took beautiful photos with our lovely friend Christine and her assistant, Yaz. It was so hard to take pictures and be able to see our friends and family across the field the whole time, but it was sweet to get to spend that time alone, too.
The reception was so beautiful. I hadn’t been to the venue at all that day and the final setup was left to my mom, JD and a whole brigade of family who set out the flowers we had arranged the day before, set up the cocktail hour snacks, did all of the drinks and final touches. It was exactly what I had imagined and so much better. There were so many special touches — my mom had saved fence posts that had been removed from landscape jobs and she and her friend painted Megan ❤ JD signs. The cheese for the cocktail hour was from Cabot, a co-op dairy that cows on my grandma’s side of the family contribute milk to. Gram made and shipped 9 lbs(!) of peanut brittle on Monday that was on the cocktail hour table. We ditched our pre-selected first dance song and danced to our favorite song from our friend Ben Balmer’s band called Biscuit (about eating the family dog in a post-apocalyptic world, we dance to it at every concert), instead. There were quilts, pie servers and cake plates that we & Aunt Carol had been collecting for the last 6 months.
The whole evening was so much fun. Even though it was in the 40s pretty quick once the sun went down, we had gas heaters and a huge bonfire out in the field. We divided and conquered saying hello to everyone, and with 300+ guests, I’m still seeing pictures from people who were there who I never made it to visit with.
We did first dances, cut the cake, did toasts and just had so much fun. It seemed like ordering 2 things of coffee at the last minute instead of 1 was a good idea.
One of my favorite moments last night was when I heard Jillian yell “hop in!” and I look over and she’s in my dad’s golf cart with Becca and Nirav in the back, and there’s a whole line of people in line for the P. Terry’s truck and she just drives right up saying “drive through!” and people part and we drive through and grab a burger and fries and then she floors it over to the bonfire, where I stayed the rest of the night and listened to stories and drank way too much champagne. It was so much fun.
At the very end of the night, my brother Matt and one of his best friends, David, and JD and I were the last ones standing at the campfire. We laughed and took rides in the golf cart and hung out. JD and I moved our chairs to the far side of the fire so we could look through it and see the empty tent, lit up with candles and strings of lights, in the background. We reflected on what a beautiful, heartfelt day it was.
In the morning, everyone who had camped out slowly emerged from their tents. I had my flannel jammie pants on somehow inside my yoga pants, and both were inside out. (It was freezing at 3 am when we finally made it to bed).
The bonfire was still smoldering and the wreckage of the night before was strewn everywhere — P. Terry’s wrappers, wine bottles, camping chairs, glowsticks and random other things. Aunt Carol brought breakfast tacos, Amy and Ian made coffee with a huge coffee machine they rented from a place in Taylor, and the cleaning team of family and friends commenced with the breakdown without being asked or told. By 1pm, it was totally back to the way it was on Friday afternoon.
I’m sure I’m leaving a million things out that JD will want to add, but it was just the most out of body, fun, surreal experience. I suppose it’s only once in your life that everyone you love most in the world is in one place, all to celebrate you. We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much love and support.
Now I’m going to go take a nap and then we’re going to go to dinner with his sister and her fiance, open presents and read the guest book. What a fun weekend. Definitely the best day of our lives. Many more to come!