Saturday, January 30, 2010

our wedding: eat, drink and be merry

{say cheese}

{my family in a photo booth}

{one for the books}

{under the big top}

{sister of honor speech}

{luminarias by night}

{kisses and cake}

{salsa lesson}

{dance party}

{away we go}

After the ceremony we made a beeline for the reception. First up, was a quick stop by the photo booth... it also doubled as a guest book! Everyone had so much fun striking poses and hamming it up for the camera. The guests went crazy for the mustache props... Kiwi and I died laughing when we looked at all their photos. It's hilarious what people will do in front of a camera once the curtain is drawn!

Before dinner, we wandered over to the cocktail area to mingle and have a beverage or two... Christy and I had made a big batch of sangria the night before but it was gone in a flash! Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. For dinner we had the most amazing meal catered by Blue Adobe. The menu included pork tenderloin with green chile mashed potatoes, chicken empanadas and to top it all off shrimp and lobster dip. I cannot tell you how delicious the food was... I saw people skipping the tortilla chips all together and just digging into the dip with a spoon. It was awesome. We kept everything casual by serving the meal buffet style on these beautiful plates made from fallen leaves. Many thanks to Joy for the tip! Even our cups and utensils were made from earth friendly materials. It is possible to have a chic event and be eco-conscious.

After the toasts everyone headed straight to the dance floor... Kiwi and I love to boogie any chance we get and the rest of the guests were no exception. All the girls from my old rugby team were there and let me tell you, they know how to get a dance party started. They had the most amazing moves. We saw everything from the worm, to the classic sprinkler. My sweet little Puerto Rican grandmother even gave us a few impromptu Salsa dancing lessons. We had to be dragged away to cut the cake.

At the end of the night the party was still going strong, so Kiwi and I decided to make a quiet exit. We hugged and kissed our family and hopped into our waiting getaway car. I snuggled up under Kiwi's arm and we talked about what a great time we had. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family. It was truly the most wonderful day of our lives.

{Photos by Brittany Strebeck}

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

our wedding: to have and to hold

{wedding, this way}

{here comes the bride}

{my handsome husband}

{can't wait}

{always and forever}

{try not to cry}

{to have and to hold}

{husband and wife}

{with this ring}

{happily ever after}

Our ceremony was the most magical part of the entire wedding... We got married at my parent's horse ranch, which backs to a beautiful mountain preserve. Family flew in from New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and Mexico. It was so wonderful to have our closest family and friends be a part of this special day. Back at the house, my dad and I shared a quiet moment before the ceremony... He closed his eyes and said a prayer for God to watch over and protect our new little marriage and told me what a wonderful man he thought Kiwi was. His voice caught in his throat and I couldn't stop the tears from coming. It was such a beautiful moment, I'll never forget it.

After the tears dried, I felt strangely calm. I took a deep breath and knew I was ready to marry the love of my life. Sea Breeze by Tyrone Wells {our favorite song} played on an acoustic guitar as I walked down the aisle. We were married by a dear family friend who has known me since childhood. Our wedding reading was an excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran:

Love has no other desire than to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for your beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips.

We exchanged rings and sealed the deal with a kiss. As we walked back down the aisle, hand in hand, the sun was just starting to set over the mountains. I couldn't help but be completely overwhelmed by the love I felt for the man at my side. My husband, always and forever.

{all photos by Brittany Strebeck}

Monday, January 25, 2010

our wedding: all dressed up

{the dress}

{getting ready is fun}

{my beautiful mom}

{great-grandmother's mantilla}

{open wide}

{cinderella, sort of}

The morning of the wedding I woke up with butterflies in my stomach... I could hardly contain myself. We had a blast getting ready and the atmosphere was so relaxed. Luckily, my friend Jessica is a licensed makeup artist and another friend owns a hair salon... They made me feel so beautiful. I still looked and felt like myself, just a little more dressed up. When I put the gardenias in my hair I really started to feel like a bride.

My little sister {and maid of honor} looked so lovely and grown up, she is definitely more of a glamour girl than me! My dearest girlfriends came over to help put my nerves at ease and make me laugh. I don't know what I would do without them! My darling mom started tearing up when I put on my great-grandmother's mantilla. It was the perfect finishing touch.

*I loved my little Jeffery Campbell flamenco shoes... I danced all night with nary a blister!

{All photos by the incredibly talented Brittany Strebeck. She is amazing.}

Thursday, January 21, 2010

our wedding: east side bride style

Our wedding is being featured on ESB!
She is pretty much the coolest wedding blogger alive. Seriously.
You can check it out here...

*I'll start my own little wedding recap on Monday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

what a difference a year makes...

{his and hers}

{our engagement spot}

{new zealand is for lovers}

One year ago today... the love of my life asked me to marry him.
I said yes, a thousand times, yes.

{Photos taken after Kiwi proposed in Raglan, New Zealand}

Monday, January 18, 2010

happy birthday dad!

Happy birthday Dad! The older I get, the more I appreciate what a wonderful and caring father you are. I love you so much!

*And thank you for pretending that a new golf glove is exactly what you've always wanted... year after year. You're the best.

{photo by the lovely Brittany Strebeck}

Friday, January 15, 2010

we'll always have paris...

{home on rue elvezir}

{saturday in the park}

{bubbly at the opera}

{we love the louvre}

{cafe break}

{la belle epoque}

{smooching on the seine}

{the city of light}

It's hard to put into worlds how much we loved Paris... We loved our little apartment, Christmas Eve at the opera and exploring the Louvre. We loved sipping cafe au lait, eating crepes and climbing the steps of the Arc de Triomphe. We loved strolling in the sculpture garden at the Musee Rodin, sipping cocktails at the Hotel Keppler and spending our last night gazing up at the lights of the Eiffel Tower. It was the perfect honeymoon.

We'll always have Paris...

*If you're not totally sick of our love fest... there are more photos here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

paris at your feet

{notre dame}

{winter wonderland}

{saint george}

{knock knock}

{melancholy gargoyle}

We loved exploring the cool, dark chambers of Notre Dame.... There is such a sense of peace within the walls. The normally boisterous tourists suddenly hush in awe of the vaulted ceilings and the beautiful rose window. It's always amazing to think of how many people have passed through those doors over the years. Kiwi and I decided to climb the 387 steps to the top of the towers... and it was well worth the hike. Even on a cloudy day we could see the Eiffel Tower in the distance and Sacre Coeur tucked away in the hills of Montmartre.

Victor Hugo said it best...
"All Paris was spread out at his feet, with her thousand turrets, her undulating horizon, her river winding under the bridges, her stream of people flowing to and fro in the streets; with the cloud of smoke rising from her many chimneys; with her chain of crested roofs pressing in ever tightening coils round about Notre Dame."

Monday, January 11, 2010

a moveable feast

{coquilles st jacques}

{market bounty}

{fresh sea urchin}



Our first day in Paris we signed up for a market walk with the lovely Meg Zimbeck and Context Travel. Meg introduced us to the wonders of Ble Sucre {the most amazing bakery} and Le Baron Rouge {a fabulous local oyster and wine bar}. We even sampled some fresh sea urchin, straight from the shell!

To top off our amazing tour she took a moment to write down the names and addresses of her favorite restaurants in Paris. Kiwi and I loved all of her picks... We had the best meal of our trip at Chez Janou {the scallops were to die for} per her fabulous recommendation. Thank you for a wonderful tour Meg, it was the perfect way to kick off our honeymoon!

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
-Ernest Hemingway

*Kiwi and I chose to take Mr. Hemingway literally on this one... Paris did not disappoint.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

decor dilemma: wall art

When I have time off from school I tend to get a little antsy. I always need to have a project or two going to keep me entertained. A conversation with my friend Rachael got me thinking about picture frames and art work... Kiwi and I have been trying to figure out what to hang over our bed for months now. What's your vote... frame wall, chalkboard canvases or mirror wall? Maybe a combination of all three? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

*I know people talk about "nesting" after you get married... but I've always been a sucker for a good home project.