We’re married!

Well, we tied the knot on the 16th of July! The days leading up to it were filled with a bunch of fun as the girls came into town but also stress as we stayed up late nights trying to complete the last of the errands, which included having last-minute alterations done to their dresses, folding and assembling programmes, getting Chris’ dad (who was also the best man) his suit! Throughout all this what I realised most was how blessed we are to have the friends we do. I was worried about the details, but people spent time and went above and beyond to help us. Alice was my matron of honour, and she had recently been married, so she understood the stress of a DIY wedding. Though we paid to have more done for our wedding than she did (she sewed her own linens and baked her own cakes!), many elements were still personally done. I dubbed her husband, Brad, as the “unofficial groomsman” for all the help he’d provided, including picking up and shuttling people from place to place as we ran errands.

On the morning of, we ran a half-hour late to our breakfast and a full hour late to the set-up. Many of the little details were forgotten, such as the extension cord for the coffee maker, and Michelle Schneiter, our coordinator, provided invaluable help in remembering the details and renting trays for the warming oven to hold the extra chafers of food as well as a water heater for the tea. We were on time for make-up with Angelique Trump, who did a beautiful job with mine and my mother’s make-up and the hair-styling for all the women (myself, my mum, Chris’ mum, Alice, and Sristi). However, Chris had left his suit out in Goleta, my phone was out of battery, I wasn’t sure if Mike and Ryan, my brothers who were ushering, had arrived, and his dad forgot the single thing he’d had to remember – the flowers for Chris and the groomsmen. It seems bridesmaids are a lot more hands-on with the help than are groomsmen. Nonetheless, the prayers of my brother, Mike, and Pastor Ricky helped a lot, and the ceremony was smooth, stately, and beautiful. I breathed a sigh of relief as it began, and for the rest of the day, we enjoyed one another as husband and wife surrounded by friends and family.

One thing I did not realise would happen was how little we ate and drank. I never finished my plate and had drank nothing more than a single glass of wine and our toast. We were too busy dancing to the beautiful music of Judy Chamberlain and her Jazz/Swing Quintet! Their music was lovely, and she read the crowd so well that the dance floor was full all night! Add in a lovely surprise at our hotel of a bottle of champagne and olives and cheeses, and everything was as perfect as we could have asked for.

We followed this with a breather of a weekend in 112-degree heat in Paso Robles (or El Paso de Robles), where we went wine-tasting at L’Aventure, Booker, Caliza, Linne Calodo, and Denner on the first day, Adelaida and Tablas Creek on the second. By far the most enjoyable of these was Adelaida, who was extremely friendly, gave us information about the production of each wine (and we tasted about 10!), explained the climate and vineyards and the winemaker’s intention, gave us an industry discount on our club membership and wine purchase, and even threw in two free bottles of wine because we were honeymooning and showed such interest. All their wines were well-balanced and full of complexity. We bought the Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Estate RESERVE 2005 and the Viognier Glenrose Vineyard 2007, and they threw in the for free the Ice Wine 2007 and the Vin Gris de Pinot Noir 2008, which is a bone dry Pinot Noir rosé made by bleeding off juice, after only 48-hours of contact with the skins, from the barrels of pinot noir picked at the optimum ripeness for making a regular red! Second best was Caliza, whose winemaker ran the tasting room, along with his wife, and had two beautiful wines, the 2006 Companion, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, and the 2006 Syrah, both of which were amazing fresh out of the bottle but would age gracefully, as they also had bottles of each that were opened the night before. We bought a bottle of the 2006 Syrah, because the fresh bottle featured amazing fruit, limestone, spice, and pepper, and the bottle from the night before was a delicious rich, dark fruit jam, a little smoother and mellower, but still peppered.

Throughout the weekend, we stayed with Margot Van Horn at her lovely Vine Street Inn, a charming Victorian that she had converted into a bed & breakfast. Breakfast every morning was delicious and hearty, from fresh berries to fresh baked focaccia bread and eggs picante to Finnish pancakes, and I enjoyed every minute of chatting with her about food, wines, travelling, and even music. She was very sweet and had even blogged about our visit. These are definitely places we will refer to our travel clients in the future!

Now that we are back to normal life, we often get asked (or, at least, I do!) how married life is. I have to say, well, it’s less stressful, much nicer to be able to cook and eat together, but it hasn’t changed our relationship in great ways except that we don’t have to worry about leaving one another to go home at the end of the night. Behind it all, supporting us, is just the knowledge that we’ve made this tie official and the bond sacred before God. Every day we learn from our relationship, and hopefully, we only grow closer and wiser! Halberg Photographers has put up a small slideshow of the ceremony and formal pictures, and Studio West Video also has an edited clip of the ceremony and reception.

God bless, hugs and kisses.

Lots of Love,
><> Elizabeth <><