A Year Ago

by LeeAnne on November 8, 2009


On November 8, 2008, I married my best friend, Paul. This past year has been absolutely amazing. We both turned 30; we bought a new condo; we traveled to Disneyland and Las Vegas. It’s incredible how much closer we’ve grown in 12 months—and how much our love has grown for each other. Paul is a man of God, of strength, of integrity—plus he’s great at laundry and dishes, and makes a mean tuna casserole. I am blessed.

On an entirely different note, planning a wedding was so much fun—certainly the biggest creative project of my life! I had always dreamed of being married in autumn, and November 8, which is my parents’ anniversary, just happened to fall on a Saturday. They’d been married for 33 years, and it seemed like a fitting tribute to them, as well as a “lucky” date for us. We booked the church we were currently attending, which was also the place we met when we attended its private high school. I decided on an unusual timeline. We’d have the ceremony at the church, followed by a dessert reception. Then later in the evening, we’d have a sit-down dinner with just our families and the wedding party. It was the best way I could think of to celebrate with both extended family and old friends (the guest list topped 300) as well as to slow down at the end of a long day and enjoy a more intimate setting with the people we’re closest to.

The color scheme was fall reds, browns, oranges, and yellows.  Kristy Rice and Momental Designs, who I discovered through some late-night Web surfing, created gorgeous hand-stamped save-the-dates, invitations, program covers, and favor tags.  I don’t know a lot about flowers, but the ladies at East Bay Flower Company took my fuzzy vision and made it come to life in bouquets, centerpieces, and on lanterns that lined the church aisle.  The cake by Katrina Rozelle was one of my favorite things—it was more beautiful than I could have imagined.  A chocolate and caramel cake, covered in chocolate ganache, wrapped in edible “ribbon,” and topped with real flowers. I knew I didn’t want a cake topper (I find them kind of cheesy), but I did purchase the Willow Tree “Together” figurine, which sat on the cake table among rose petals and candles.  The team from Barbara Llewellyn Catering whipped up all kinds of sweets and treats for the dessert reception, including a chocolate fountain, gourmet cheeses with crackers, homemade pretzels, kettle corn, cookies and petifores, a selection of candied nuts, a float station with personalized Jones soda (root beer, orange, and cream soda) and vanilla ice cream, a coffee and hot coco bar, and a candy buffet with build-your-own favors. The children were in heaven. We wrapped up the evening with a four-course dinner at Postino, an Italian restaurant housed in a gorgeous brick building covered in ivy. I had the most amazing swordfish and a chocolate souffle. It was the first time Paul and I had eaten, having chit-chatted through the entire dessert reception. Lastly, Jessamyn and Robert from Jessamyn Photography captured all the great moments on film. We just received our album, and it is awesome!

I didn’t have a wedding planner, so I just had to wing it. And I had SO many amazing friends and family members helping me out, from Melody making name tags for photo frames and Erin editing music to my mom making five million trips to World Market and Michael’s to all the bridesmaides assembling invitations and programs. It was like a larger-than-life craft project, and it was so much fun.

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