The wedding, yes THE wedding. It's been in the works for a full year. My baby girl got married yesterday. Wow! That sounds so weird. Since this is a cookie blog, I'll show you those first. This is a small sampling of them. There were exactly 100 cookies adorably bagged for the guests.
We arrived back home last night from Mellissa & Irik's wedding at The Pines Resort in Bass Lake near Clovis & Yosemite. The wedding was by far the most beautiful wedding I've ever seen. Mellissa and Irik planned every last detail and included everyone in the ceremony and festivities. It was such a remarkable event.
After the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, I stayed with Mellissa in the bridal suite the evening before the wedding. The plan was to curl her hair and put it in curlers for her wedding day, but we decided to wait until the morning since we got a late start and then the curls would be a little more relaxed for the wedding. We ended up staying up chatting until 1am. I was exhausted and she was excited. Then as she talked about the wedding, I got excited and she got exhausted. There were several times that one of us would say "stop talking to me" and then we would both crack up laughing so loud that we were worried we would wake up other hotel guests. Here we are practicing at the rehearsal. Isn't the garden and lake and scenery BEAUTIFUL!
The happy couple:
In the morning we went to breakfast at Ducey's Restaurant. Mellissa had chosen The Pines Resort because my father had sent her and my niece, Nicole, to summer camp close-by and of course my Father's name was Ducey, so it had sentimental ties. Mellissa & Irik were even married in the Ducey Garden and they stayed in the Ducey suites. My father lost his battle with Cancer 3 years ago, but we know he was watching over Mellissa's wedding.
Can you believe she looks so calm when she was getting married in just 2 hours?!
We had a really nice, happy morning without stress or nerves. I wasn't feeling emotional at all. I was worried about breaking down while giving the Matron-of-Honor toast, but I allowed myself a back-up plan of having Mellissa's dad read the (full-page+) toast that I had prepared. The photographer came and took some photos of Mellissa getting into her wedding dress. Everything was going great until the photographer asked for a photo of me looking at Mellissa all dressed and done-up gorgeous for her wedding day. I lost it. I'm not one to have the sweet tears trickling down my cheek all adorable. I completely broke down. I was sobbing so hard that I couldn't get a breath and thought I was going to pass out. This was all AFTER make-up and about 15 minutes before we were to walk down the aisle. Ugh. Somehow I pulled myself together and as always, Mellissa kept completely calm and composed.
We got the call to head toward the wedding garden. I wanted to re-apply make-up and decided it is what it is and we left for the wedding. There was an adorable, decorated golf cart outside the hotel waiting to take us to the wedding. I had calmed down and caught my breath and was again, feeling ready. Mellissa looked so beautiful and so confident and so ready to become a wife. We came around a corner and I saw Mellissa's dad. Rich took one look at our gorgeous daughter about to be married and he teared up. Ugh. That was it for me. I stood in line to walk down the aisle completely sobbing. I concentrated on remembering to sit at the end of the aisle and to direct everyone to stand when the wedding song came on and to fluff Mellissa's dress when she arrived at the alter. That changed my focus enough that I held through the ceremony perfectly fine.
While standing at Mellissa's side at the alter during the ceremony, I didn't see her face the entire time. During her vows to Irik, I could see her back going up and down in heavy breaths as she tried not to cry. I saw Irik's lips tremble during his vows. It was all very touching and beautiful.
Their ceremony included almost everyone. They had pop-up speakers that said short verses of love. They had most of the family give a specific flower and meaning to the "Garden of Edens" vase. Mine was "Jasmine for Courage and Strength, it's spirit everlasting". After the pop-up readers and after the flowers from specific people, then there were many people that had roses to add to their Garden of Edens vase. It seemed like everyone had a role in the wedding and that was such fun and so incredibly special. The officiant pronounced them husband and wife. I gave Mellissa her beautiful bouquet back and they walked down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs. Edens.
The photographer took lots and lots of photos that I can't wait to see. Then the D.J. announced the married couple and they did their first dance. Mellissa & Irik had been taking dance lessons and their dance was absolutely beautiful and perfect including a dip at the end. They looked so happy and at ease together. Irik decided that he wanted me to give the first toast instead of the best man. I had been worried about it for weeks. I wrote out what I wanted to say, made some last minute changes and asked Rich to take over when I fell apart. Amazingly I didn't fall apart. I teared up and I paused to catch myself from crying too hard, but I got through the entire speech about my baby girl and welcoming Irik to the family and it all went wonderfully. The best man then gave his speech which was really funny. There was some more dancing and then the newlyweds cut the cake. The cake was a special surprise. Since Mellissa & Irik had met at Cold Stone Creamery, they had ice cream cupcakes brought in for each guest. They were super fun flavors too. I ate two :-)
Mellissa then threw her bouquet (well my bouquet actually). I forgot to mention that each bridesmaid received a beautiful white bouquet and when Mellissa handed me my bouquet before the wedding, it was absolutely gorgous PINK. Seriously she thought of every little detail to make this such an incredible event. After the bouquet toss, Irik took the blue garter from her leg and tossed the garter out to the eligible bachelors. Nick caught the garter. I went up to use the D.J.'s microphone and I said that it was not okay for me to lose two children to marriage in the same year. Nick will just have to wait, thankfully he's completely okay with that ;-)
Each guest received one of my hand-decorated cookies at their table setting. The cookies sat out in the hot, hot sun for so long that the pink on the cookies faded. I ate one last night and they still tasted great! I now have a son-in-law and a very happy daughter. I couldn't be more blessed.
Congratulations to Mellissa & Irik!