some of my past “events”, event A: the wedding!

Just thought I’d share some of my passion for “event planning”.

What happens is I get these visions in my head – full of tastes, textures, smells, colors, light, etc.

I then feast on creating them.

Let’s start with my wedding.

It really does seem like it was CRASH COURSE #1.

My husband being a white south african, and me being of norwegian descent, raised in middle-America (aka, Wisconsin), it only makes senese (right?), that we went for a MEXICAN FIESTA theme!  🙂  It went beyond that – mix of latin flair from all arenas, as well as a Japanese woman dancing a chinese fan-dance :).

So – here’s how it went.  We got married in our friend’s backyard in Berkeley.  It was a garden already feasted for the eyes & senses.  We got married under a “coral naked lady tree”.  There were small coves to hide in, with apple trees nearby.  There were giant yellow trumpet trees.  The list goes on.  nooks.  crannies.  coves.  hidden floral alleys.

My bridesmaids wore bright red.  I wore a white flamenco-inspired dress – yes, fitted at the top to just above the knee, and then – large explosion of ruffles all the way down the train.

We wanted everything to be a real, true celebration – inspired by our trip to Oaxaca, where their weddings looked like giant parades in the street, firecrackers, hundreds of balloons, pinatas.  They get it.

We wanted it to be a real community thing – as local as possible.

So – my dear friend Mirjana made my earrings (her specialty) – as per my inspiration/description.  Giant, & red.

My dear friend Erica made my invites (her specialty).  simple.  red.  festive.

Our incredible friend Adam was the chef – now one of the top chefs in SF – at least working at one of the top restaurants.  to die for.  We all craved that food again and again.  Mexican.  local.  My friends and I were at the farmer’s market the day before gathering a bulk of the goods.  We got fresh, locally-made tortillas.  local meat, of course.  local, local, local.  And, with Adam’s touch – shazam!  And, the presentation?  My favorite part were all the avocado pits still in the guacamole.  nice touch, Adam!

And, we didn’t use those cheezy “catering” dishes or dish utensils either.  nope.  Sam Clarkson – good friend of the family from Santa Cruz, lent us a plethora of his ceramic bowls.  lovely.

again – touch, taste, smell, feel.  I wanted it to be real!

the best of the best of the best of the best of the night was…

RITMOS Y ARMONIA!  Yes – we had a 13-piece cuban band play in the tiny backyard.  horns.  drums.  You name it.  They were there.  It was killer!  Thank God we knew Vladamir – one of the drummers.  That was our ticket in – & definitely the highlight for me.

But coming in real close behind was the cake.  My dear, dear friends at CREPE & BRIOCHE made me (once again), the aphrodisiac of the night (their first hit was my apple crisp at my very first art show – the one where people were essentially falling on the floor, knocked out by sweetness).  that & more at the wedding.  It was chocolate (again – a special tribute to Oaxaca!), with Fresh, Local whipped cream, fresh, local blueberries (from my orchard – aka, the one I’ve been selling fruit for for 7 years!), & hot raspberry sauce.  It took 3 people just to cut the cake & dish it up, for all the “seconds” & “thirds”.  Adam, the chef, was the drunken “let me give you a giant spoonful of cream on top” server, adding to the surreal “cake high” for all.

My biggest surprise with the cake was the…presentation!  They offered to put flowers on it…sure!  go for it!  To my surprise, they nailed it!  It was so “me”!  big, white, spiky flowers.  stunning.  I loved it.  CREPE & BRIOCHE – you rock!  And just fyi – they never make cakes.  It was from the sweet, goodness of their lovely hearts.  But, do go visit them at the Marin Farmer’s Market on Sundays in San Rafael, or to their store in North Beach.

I’m hopping all over the evening (& page) here.  This is obviously in no consecutive order.  So – let me continue…I walked down the aisle to a flamenco guitarest.  He also played during appetizers.

Of course we had margaritas & sangria.

Are you still wondering about the Japanese woman who danced the chinese fan dance?
She was the receptionist at the architecture firm I used to work at.  She used to go to tai chi, fan-dancing, and sword-dancing every morning.  She would often show me her moves at work.  When she found out I was getting married, she offered to do an “honorary” dance for my husband & I.  of course!  She debated long and hard between sword & fan.  Due to the space – she opted fan.  So – on went the canned chinese music out of the boombox.  She began with a very sweet bow to us, announcing “for you”, and began.  both fans closed.  Bam!  both fans opens, swirling.  dancing.  bam!  both fans closed.  Keiko Yamamoto – you rule, and I lost you!  Keiko has since disappeared, and I can’t find her!  I think she may have gone back to Japan.  She is most definitely one of my inspriations.  thank you, Keiko – wherever you are.  much love.

our dear friend Aditya documented the whole event on film.  Aditya was accepted to a grad program at Cal – a particular kind of MFA, where only one candidate gets chosen per year.  Well – one year it was him, for photography.  Thank you, Aditya.  what an honor.

The evening ended with candles lit in glass lanterns in the trees.  I hope I’m not missing anything, except for the fact that 3 of our good girlfriends sang for us during the ceremony, & as everyone else walked down the aisle.  One of my favorite things is “girls singing”.  And, one of my more favorite things is me singing with Cara Luft – one of the founding members of the Wailin’ Jennys – ring a bell?  So, she was there, singing.  And, all 3 of our singing friends were up at the alter with us the whole time – getting “front row” standing seats.  It actually meant a lot to have them there – a choir of female support!  (yes – I was nervous!).

I picked out the flowers like 3 days before.  But, they were stunning.  red.  red.  red.  Red tigerlilies with tiny red orchids.  hanging from the chuppah.  in my hands.  in my hair.  on the men’s chests.  in the girls arms.  The flower children threw – literally threw marigolds down the aisle (to give it just a touch of india! – why not?!).

You get the idea.  Can you taste it?  see it?  smell it?

This is what I like to create – in whatever sense, for whatever occasion.  A beautiful, senesory feast.  And yes – this goes for Messy Monkey too!

I’ll write about my spa parties next.

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