Marry Me! The proposal was beautiful. Dan planned it for months: there were flowers, chocolate, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a ring-stuffed-dessert; there was kneeling, and a romantic long speech about how Dan can't live without Assana! That's our story since everyone seems to get disappointed that we don't have a "How did he propose?!"-gushing-with-poof story!
Shhhh For months it was our own little secret. During a drunken night in Hawaii we tell our friends Sheri and Larry, but months go by and still the only other people who know are those we had to book years in advance: Jennifer Pennington (photographer), Theresa Wasley (event planner), and Tom Fundaro (chef).
When Pigs Fly We have as much fun planning the surprise for our friends as the wedding itself. We hire Alex, a very talented Southern California designer, to design our Save-the-Date cards. She does an amazing job. We love the pigs, and the scarce wording, albeit too minimalistic for Assana's family who supposedly doesn't understand what they are saving the date for. Even more fun is the reactions from friends. A lot of WTFs and disbelief. Perfect.
Assana shifts into high gear once the cat is out of the bag. We know exactly what we want: only our closest friends and family, no suits, no fancy dresses (except for Assana's, of course); ceremony on top of our property + a mariachi band playing Quien Sera; dinner at Denner with a Classical guitarist; no dancing, no table cloths, no fancy flowers - just white hydrangeas; everyone at one table; food served family style; bacon; no big cake!
14 For the next few months Assana does nothing but stress over each detail: the food, her dress, the music, her dress, the other music, her dress, Dan's outfit, her dress, the venue, the lodging, the website, her dress, our parents, the aunt, the shuttle, her dress, the drinks, the dirt road, the port-a-potties, her dress, worker's comp insurance, her dress, etc. Yes, there is quite a bit of stress around the dress after the Vera Wang lady told her that her "street size" translates to "size 14 in couture", and especially after she found out that stress causes cortisol, which causes belly fat, which causes her not to fit in the size 14 dress that she had ordered month earlier! Can't imagine what it would have been like had Theresa not taken care of the big items!
Heat Lamps We pull off a perfect wedding… well, almost perfect: it is the week before and Paso is experiencing a heat wave. Assana hyperventilates with stress, which means she is driving Theresa nuts. Question: can we get misters on top of the hill? Answer: No. Question: Can we we get a swamp cooler? Answer: No! OMG! Our guests are gonna go home with heat stroke! Thank goodness Assana told everyone to dress lightly and not to bother bringing wraps and sweaters.
Tuesday before the party and it is 106 degrees at 6:00pm. Wednesday, 100 degrees. Thursday, 90. Hmm. That is promising. Fast forward to Saturday: the gap does what the gap does: it rolls in the fog. The top of the hill is 65 degrees, windy with ocean-chilled air. Prior to the ceremony everyone is freezing and huddled in the little patch of sunshine they can find. Assana's hair comes un-done and blows all over the place! Thank you, Theresa, for the heat lamps at Denner.
Thursday Nothing we can change at this point. George, Suzanne and Lohren are in town on Thursday so we all have a great dinner at Il Cortile.
Friday the 13th We meet our friend John at San Luis Obispo City Hall on Friday. John is witnessing our official marriage. Dan wears his "Game Over" t-shirt, and between that, and John's ever present goofiness the judge doesn't know to throw us out, or take us seriously! But she chooses the latter, and we are married! Yeay!
Night Cap That same night, after dinner with our parents we meet pretty much the entire party at The Pony Club, the wine bar in Hotel Cheval. It is one of the funnest times we have ever had: all our friends mingling, chatting and drinking wine, and no one is driving! We love it.
Saturday It is the moment of truth: will all of the stressing pay off?
Joel officiates our ceremony. It makes sense since he introduced us in 1993! He does a reading from an adorable children's book called Consider Love. The mariachis play our favorite song, Quien Sera; we pull off our unscripted and unrehearsed woes without a hitch; Jennifer takes amazing photos when Tara isn't in the way; everyone makes it back to Denner for dinner. The food is amazing, Christopher plays an amazing array of classical pieces - though Dan can't hear any - and after all the stressing, we have a perfect wedding.
We couldn't have imagined spending our special day with anyone else, and anywhere else. The next time this crowd is at Willow Creek Road, it will be for our housewarming party!