Sunday, November 28, 2010

Congrats, Here's One Plate

Hey there Hive, I'd like your input on this one.  Allow me to elaborate...We have friends who are celebrating their engagement with a fairly fancy-schmancy party (whoohoo, I love fancy parties!) in a few weeks.  Great, grand, wonderful, right? Right, but I want everyone's opinions on something-the gift for the party.

I was browsing their registries yesterday (one was at Crate and Barrel and the other was at Bloomingdale's) and couldn't quite come up with a suitable present (I'm mega-weird about presents. Don't ask.) While the stuff at Crate and Barrel was nice, it lacked a certain j'ne sais quoi. I guess I think presents should be special, something splurge-worthy, and nothing from C and B really jumped out screaming to me as the perfect gift.

Which leaves the Bloomingdale's registry.  Suh-weeeet! Well, here's the thing:They registered (as many couples do) for a set of fine china for twelve.  Beautiful stuff (from Bernadaud. Yum) but fairly expensive for a plate.

See? Suuuuuper pretty plates! The bride has excellent taste (at least, I'm assuming the bride is the one who picked these out although I suppose I could be wrong on that.)

First off, let me be explicitly clear and say that in no way am I judging the couple for their pricey registry choices.  If anything, all it's making me do is wish we had registered for fine china (and about a million other things.  Damn me and my principled, anti-presents, pre-wedding self!) but we didn't.

Since it's an engagement party and not the actual wedding, I'd like to keep our gift in the $100 price range.  And as I mentioned before, I prefer to give presents that are something the receiver would not buy for themselves instead of just a random kitchen item or whatever.  In short, I'd like to get them some of their fine china, because I know if I had registered for it, I'd be hella excited to actually start receiving pieces.

So here's my question: Is it weird to gift the couple plate? See, it sounds strange, right? I mean, they registered for a service for twelve, so most likely everything's going to come in bits and pieces and not as a whole (unless they have extremely generous wedding guests, in which case I will be very, very jealous.  Don't judge me, I like presents and shiny new toys. Shush.) I could also do, um, three bread plates or two coffee cups.

What do you think? Would you think it was bizarre to receive a single plate as a present, even if said plate did  reach the gift-giver's generous budget? Or should I just suck it up and pick out a few things from good ol' Crate and Barrel? If you registered for fine china, I'd be especially curious to hear your opinion on the matter!

Has anyone else had this conundrum before? What did you do, buy the single plate or look for something else?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

All My Love, All My Life: Strike A Pose

I last left off with our joyful recessional, set to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love."

As we finished our walk down the aisle and came to the entryway of the Tannery, we stopped short. Much to our dismay, it was raining (I know, I can't shut up about the rain.  Sorry.)  And not just a light sprinkle, either, but full-on raining. 

Before the ceremony, our photographer had instructed us to book it out of the Tannery as soon as we walked down the aisle otherwise we'd be mobbed by well-wishing guests and an impromptu receiving line would form (something we were looking to avoid.)

So with Kelly's advice still in our heads, the sound of rain drops ringing in our ears and the realization that our bridal party was quickly moving down the aisle, we made a panicked, split-second decision to grab an umbrella and get outta there! 

Now, here's the funny coda to this story- During the cocktail hour, Mr Trail Mix was talking with a few buddies from college and one them exclaimed,

"Some a$$hole stole our umbrella! Can you believe that? It was a good one too, it was huge!"

Busted! Mr Trail Mix instantly knew that we were the ones who had pilfered the umbrella, a fear that was confirmed when he asked his friend if it was green.

"Yes, have you seen it?"

"Um, sorry, Dude, that was us."

Luckily, his friend had a sense of humor about the whole thing and they shared a good laugh over the mix-up but it was pretty funny.  Anyways, here's the infamous, green umbrella in action!

This is the first picture taken of us after we exited the Tannery.  I think we were so caught up in the moment that we didn't know what to do with ourselves.

Our photographer instructed us to smooch, which we happily obliged.

We stopped in front of this pretty doorway, since it matched our umbrella perfectly.

From there, Kelly spotted this fire escape and up we climbed.  You'd think we were in an urban, city landscape with this next shot and while it doesn't really fit in with the vibe of the rest of the wedding, I still think it's mad cool.

Mr Trail Mix totally slipped on his way down the fire escape, which made me laugh hysterically, although he was kind of ticked since he got rust on his suit.  Oh well.

Since the rain was picking up, we posed outside the Darrow School's library before heading in.

Once inside, we found a huge, small-paned window to take some photos by and in spite of the rain, we had some beautiful lighting from it.

Here's my one and only "bridal shot." I refused to waste any time taking pictures of just myself because seriously, what was I going to do with a whole bunch of photos of just me? So there's only this one (but I like how it came out!)

Here's the window I was talking about.  Isn't it beautiful?

Alright, I guess I kinda lied since this one is mostly just me (although Mr TM is in the photo, so it's not really a bridal portrait.)

Our rings! Note the placement of them on the map, directly above Venezuela (where we honeymooned.) So clever of Kelly.

Finally, the rain let up enough for us to head outside and get a few more pics of us together.  This is the only "normal" shot of the two of us from the entire day and I actually (ironically, after all my BS about only wanting artsy, photojournalist shots) like it.  Kinda wish we'd taken a few more of us just posed happily next to each other but the next series makes up for the lack of those.

We made sure to get a photo with my "Thank You" sign for our cards.  

Then Kelly directed us back to the grey rock wall that had served as the backdrop for all our family portraits and she got some of my absolute favorite shots from the entire day.

This last one is the photo, the one that I feel most perfectly defines us and our wedding.  There is an 8' x 10' print framed on our living room wall and I'll never get tired of looking at it. *Love-filled siiiiiiigh....So happy...

And with that, we were released from our model duties and given free reign to join the cocktail hour (these photos took about 30 minutes, so we still had another 45 or so left to get in on the party!)

It was time to eat, drink and be merry!

Follow along, if ya want!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Cards From Shutterfly!

I've never been inclined to send out holiday cards but now that I'm in my nesting phase, it seems like it could be a fun project.  I looked around at a few different websites but couldn't pull the trigger on anything. All the ones I really, really liked were either too expensive or I wasn't pleased with the wording.

Then I found this one on Shutterfly and loved the groovy, free-spirited vibe (you know, being the closet hippie that I am and all :)

So, so cute, right? The only drawback to this one was that our photo gets cropped a little bit due to the size but it still looks fine and I was tired of thinking about these cards so I made an executive decision that these were the ones.

But before I got around to actually ordering the cards, I surreptitiously stumbled across Shutterfly's promotion (50 free cards for bloggers!) on my Kelsey's Minted Life blog.  What's better than 50 cute holiday cards at a great price? 50 free holiday cards in exchange for telling you guys how much Shutterfly rocks.

So in case you can't navigate the interwebs, let's make things easy.  Check out Shutterfly's Christmas cards here.  If you're more of a "Happy Holidays" kinda gal, then check out what they have to offer. We all love photos (it's part of being a blogger, right?) so picking a card that used a photo of us was key.  Take a gander here.

And obviously, there's all sorts of other fun items to put photos on, like mugs!

Shutterfly also offers personalized birthday party cards and holiday invitations. Wicked awesome :)

*Note, this is definitely a sponsored post :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All My Love, All My Life: Ceremony, Part Deux

And now, dear friends, it's time to share the moments from my wedding that still make my heart swell with love and happiness whenever I relive them: Our vows, which we wrote ourselves but kept from one another.

I'm going to let the photos do most of the talking for this one.  Mr Trail Mix said his vows first...

Miss Trail Mix-

I love you and am ecstatic to have such an amazing bride.    

I can’t believe we are only a few moments away from finally being husband and wife.  You are beautiful, compassionate, athletic and honest.

You have already made me a better man in so many ways.  You have challenged me to be more patient and understanding.  You have taught me to take better care of myself, and my community. 

You are always there for me and I promise that I will always be there for you . 

I will dance and celebrate with you during special times like today.  I will care for you when you are sick, encourage you when you need inspiration and snuggle with you when you need comforting.

Closed Circle Photography

You will always be my everything, my best friend and my wife. I promise to give you all of my love for all of my life. 

Ani l'dodi v'dodi li

I am to my beloved as my beloved is to me.

Hearing Mr Trail Mix's (who is not an emotional guy by any standards, and neither is he a writer by any standards) sweet words was amazing.  My man is not one for public declarations of love but for our wedding, he dug deep and his vows meant the world to me.  Thank you, babe, for that.

And then it was my turn. While I managed to hold it together during his vows, when it came to mine, I lost it a little after my first (joking) sentence.  You'll see.

First and foremost, I pledge my undying loyalty and devotion to all Florida sports teams, most notably the Miami Dolphins.

*I was worried beforehand that no one would laugh at my silly little joke vow and then how stupid would I feel? Luckily, everyone laughed.

**Right before I said the next line, I had to stop because it literally felt like my heart had caught in my chest.  I simply couldn't speak or I would have broken down into a sobbing mess.  I took a deep breath, the rabbi handed me a tissue, and somehow, I managed to quell the tightness in my throat and continue on...

But more importantly, here, in front of our families and friends, I promise myself entirely to you and only you, from now until I am no longer of this earth.

       I promise that I will always be by your side, supporting you in every way that I can.

-          I promise that I will be there to share our experiences together when life is good and when life is hard and all the times in between.

-          I promise to respect you, cherish you, encourage you, protect you, provide for you and comfort you with all my heart.

      And finally, I promise to give you all of my love for all of my life.

"Ani l'dodi v'dodi li"

I am to my beloved as my beloved is to me.

For the life of me, I cannot remember why we started laughing during the end of his ring ceremony but the photos are cute, so here ya go...

Once our vows were said and rings were blessed, there were only two things left to do: break the glass and kiss!

A little insider secret: We did not break a wine glass.  Instead, we used a light bulb.  The reason for this, as our smarty-pants Rabbi explained earlier, is that the tradition is only to break glass, not specifically a wine glass, and light bulbs are far easier to smash than a wine glass, thus eliminating the potential embarrassment over a groom not breaking the glass on the first try.  See, super-smart, right?

But it was wrapped in a napkin, so no one was the wiser.

And that was it! All that was left was for me to excitedly grab my husband's face and plant a big smackeroo on him! Which I promptly did.

Weeeeeeeeee!! Married!! Weeeeeeee!! Party time!!!!

I don't think my smile gets any bigger than this. All you need is love! (That's the song we recessed to, if anyone cares.)

Done and done.  Game over. Married with a capital 'M'.  It was surreal, it was incredible, it was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.  Our ceremony touched me in ways I didn't expect (not literally, get your mind out of the gutter) and yet, surprisingly, I only cried twice (on the walk down and during my own vows.) 

I think it's because I was so full of joy, there was just no room for tears.  Or maybe it's because I was so wrapped up in the spiritual and emotional ramifications of the day, I simply couldn't cry. Whatever it was, I will always cherish the memory of our heartfelt ceremony.

PS- Wanna hear something kinda spooky? We had asked two different friends to video tape the ceremony (in lieu of a videographer.) Everything was going along swimmingly until we got to the vows.  Then, at the exact same moment, both cameras cut out for no apparent reason, only to start working again after the ceremony was over. Was it just a coincidence of bad luck? Or was there some higher power at work here, keeping the vows for our hearts and memories only? I'm not sure but it's a crazy story, right?

Follow along, if ya want!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Bees Life: Trailmix Edition

I figured I throw my hat into the ring for this series since I remember when I was a reader, I always enjoyed hearing about the process of becoming a Bee...Plus, I don't have too much longer around these parts (SOB!) so I'm overstaying my welcome as long as I can...

Alrighty then, first things first: How did I find Weddingbee?

Let's see, I got engaged in March 2009and jumped right into planning mode, despite the fact that my wedding wasn't going to be until summer of 2010.  I hit up The Knot and Martha Stewart for inspiration but my greedy bride-to-be self wasn't satisfied with just those two, I wanted more, more, more!

So, I Googled.  I literally Googled "Wedding Blog" and waddya know? The Bee was the first one that came up.  I didn't really understand how it worked at first (the monikers really threw me for a loop) but it was Mrs Peeptoe's beautiful San Francisco wedding that really drew me in and from then on, I was hooked.  And by hooked, I mean rabidly obsessed.

I meandered over to the boards eventually and I fell in love with the inclusive, positive, build-you-up atmosphere.  I loved helping other brides by offering up my humble opinions and appreciated any and all feedback I got from my posts.

My Application Story

After reading the blog for about four or five months, I realized that maybe I could be a Bee blogger too, if I tried.  So I started a blog.  Which is hilarious in itself because I may or may not have been the person making fun of those with blogs before I became engaged.  And now, there I was, affianced and blogging. A little too ironic, as Alanis might say.

But I knew the acceptance rate for being a blogger was pretty slim, so I truly, honestly did not expect to be chosen.  I certainly did not expect to get a "Yes" on my first try! I had read about other Bees applying two or three times before getting picked, so I thought for sure I'd be rejected the first go-around.

Instead, I applied, waited a few weeks and then serendipitously (OK, fine, stalkerishly) ran into Pengy and Mrs Bee at the Martha Stewart  Weddings 15th Anniversary party.  I spotted them (Mrs Bee was about 8 months preggo at the time, making her an easy target) marched right up and promptly became a blathering idiot, managing to spout a few incoherent sentences about how much I loved Weddingbee and that I had recently applied to become a blogger, before running away and hiding my head in shame over how stupid I sounded.

Sidenote: Hilariously enough, I also managed to wax on about my love for the Bee to the woman who basically runs the Martha Stewart Weddings blog!  Needless to say, she was not pleased...Oooops!

But I guess somehow, between my blogging and blithering, something worked because a few days later, I got the acceptance email from Pengy!!! I was so shocked, I literally ran around in circles around my apartment and then did a face plant onto the bed.

What's it like blogging for Weddingbee?

To be honest, it's freakin' AWESOME!! It's seriously so much fun.  You get to write about your wedding plans (which no one in real life really wants to hear about as much as you want to talk about them) and then everyone oohs and ahhs and comments on everything! It's absolutely brilliant, I tell you...

I've been very lucky though, since I've yet to come across a single negative comment on my posts, which I think is quite unusual.  It's not always easy to put everything out there for the whole wide web to read but I've had nothing but positive feedback.

And I've also made legit friends.  Not like, blogging friends, but honest-to-goodness, real, live, flesh-and-blood friends.  Which effing rocks.

Advice for applicants

The only decent piece of advice I can offer up is to be in love with your wedding. Like, over-the-moon, can'tstopthinkingaboutit, so-excited-you-can't-wait-another-second in love. And then tell us all about it.  Tell us why you love what you're planning, tell us about every single stinkin' detail, no matter how small or insignificant and then show us photos of it all.

Blogging for Weddingbee has been a kick-ass experience that I really treasure.  Thanks for having me!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Secret Life of Bees: Trailmix Edition

Let me just put this out there: I'm a total wierdo.  There's so many things I do that I absolutely would never tell anyone else on the planet (except Mr Trail Mix, since he lives with me and knows about most of them) but, in keeping with the sharing spirit of the holidays, I came up with a few little secrets I'm willing to divulge...

Um, YUM!!!!

One:  I occasionally (and by occasionally I mean frequently) eat either cereal or ice cream for dinner.  The cereal is not a healthy, Kashi-esque type either, it's usually Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Frosted Flakes, etc. And the ice cream is typically Ben and Jerry's.

So, obviously, that's kind of an embarrassing secret given that I am 27 years old but here's the real kicker: I teach a freakin' Wellness class to kindergartners and first graders.  So I stand up in front of 5-year-olds every day and talk about the importance of portion control and eating fruits and veggies at every meal but the truth is, my diet is junk.  Believe me, the irony is not lost on any us...

Ok, that's one, here's Number Two (literally...OMG, cannot believe I'm about to tell you guys this story...):  One time in college, I took such a big poop that I passed out cold on the toilet seat in the communal bathroom in my dorm and my hall mates called the EMT's.  Said EMT's rode an ambulance, complete with sirens blaring to my dorm, examined me thoroughly and then announced to my entire dorm population (who had gathered because of all the commotion) that the reason I passed out what due to the "size of the bowel movement." Worst. Moment. of my Entire. Life.

And finally, number three: I'm a picker.  I pick my scabs, I pick my dry scalp, I pick my hangnails, I pick my zits, I can't leave anything alone, I pick pick pick pick.  Now you're totally grossed out, right? Yeah, I am too...It's a nasty habit I can't seem to quit.  Blech.

So hopefully I haven't sent too many of you lovely readers running for the hills in disgust over the wierdo who somehow managed to become a Weddingbee Blogger, so let's even the score.  Tell me, please, before I die of embarrassment over secret number two, what's your most embarrassing secret?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All My Love, All My Life: Ceremony, Part One

It's time for what I think is going to be my favorite recaps of the bunch- the ceremony. We had numerous "Not a dry eye in the house"-type comments from our guests and I like to think it's because the whole thing was genuinely a reflection of the two of us.

While the ceremony was Jewish, we incorporated other elements that spoke to us and together with our rabbi, crafted the most memorable 30 minutes of my life.  I know I'm not alone when I speak of prior worries about being "present" for the ceremony and now, from the other side, I can safely say that for me, those fears were completely unfounded.

I was there.  Of all the moments from our wedding, the ones that I feel the most deeply are those from the ceremony. I can see so clearly every single second of it in my mind's eye and can vividly remember the intense emotions throughout.  And now, I'm going to attempt to tell you guys about it.

So, here we go...

With everyone seated and waiting, it was time to get this show on the road.

Closed Circle Photography

My two wonderful, musically-inclined friends Heather and Henry (both of whom I went to college with and who are now married to each other) did our ceremony music. I was so touched that they were willing to take the time to learn the songs I wanted played, going so far as to download the sheet music and practicing together for about a month beforehand.  Henry even schlepped his guitar out from Chicago on an airplane!

Closed Circle Photography

As the strains of The Beatle's "Here Comes The Sun" floated back to me, I knew that it was time to start. But I wasn't nervous, I was thrilled. This was it, here and now, forever and ever...My wedding had officially begun...

Closed Circle Photography

First up down the aisle was Mr Trail Mix, escorted by his parents (this is a Jewish tradition. The parents of both children also stand up under the Chuppah with them.) 

He looks so happy, doesn't he? Which is rather reassuring, natch!

Then it was our groomsmen and bridesmaids' turn. Two by two, our bridal party walked down the aisle and parted ways in front of the Chuppah, ready to stand up there and support us as we performed the sacred rituals of a marriage ceremony, as so many have before us...Thank you, friends, for being there for and with us during such an incredible moment in our lives.

Mr Trail Mix waited at the end of aisle for me to make my grand entrance. He didn't have to wait very long because once the MOH and Best Man reached the end of the aisle and parted ways, H and H immediately segued into The Beatles "In My Life..."

Which meant it was my turn.

There are truly no words to adequately express what the walk down the aisle feels like.  To see all of your loved ones there, smiling and crying, while realizing that this, this right here, is the moment.  The big Kahuna moment, the one we've all waited for for so long(some of us, since we were little girls...)

To actually experience that moment is, well...Just writing about it still brings me to tears. My eyes instantly welled up when we first started walking but I held it together and mostly just smiled and took it in, every single second.  I took in the strains of my favorite song, the flowers, the people, the love, my parents, everything.  I drank it all in, then had seconds and thirds.  I couldn't get enough, I wanted this moment to last forever...

I remember seeing my mom's cousin standing up near the front, smiling with tears in his eyes.  And a friend from high school looking back and giving me the thumbs up.  I remember thinking "This is what you live for- the opportunity to share in moments like this." And I gave a little prayer for the fact that I could share this momentous occasion with all of the people sitting in that room on our wedding day; "Thank you, Creator, for blessing me with this day. Thank you."

It is an incredible feeling and it is an incredibly humbling experience.  I walked towards my love with tears in my eyes and an open heart and the happiness that pervaded the room could have been palpable.

And then, before I knew it, I  had reached my handsome groom. We smiled a little knowing smile at each other and gave a quick wink.  

And then I completely froze up.  I couldn't remember if I was supposed to wait for a signal from our Rabbi before starting the Circling (a Jewish wedding tradition.) Turns out I was not supposed to wait and she thought I knew that (I did, just forgot in the moment) and so she was busy looking over her notes and handing out tissues to the parents, not realizing that I was just standing there helplessly.

Finally, after what seemed like ages, although was probably only a minute or so, she looked up, realized I hadn't started yet and motioned for me to go.  Whooops! Hopefully no one really noticed what happened...

And so I circled.  MOH Pip counted for me as I was sure to lose count with all the emotions running wild.

You wouldn't think we'd need counters for only three circles but man, was I glad our Rabbi had mentioned something at the rehearsal.  In fact, I'm still not sure if I did three or four (there's some debate in our household and I'm too lazy to watch the video and count) but I did them, without tripping on my dress, thankfully (which was too long!)

Instead of the bride doing the entire seven circles as is traditionally done, Mr Trail Mix and I decided for a more egalitarian version, so I did three, then he did three (Best Man Charles counted for him)...

And then we did the seventh circle together, giddy and giggling the entire time.

Once the Circling was complete, we walked together up onto the stage and stood in front of our Rabbi, who made a very brief welcome speech before asking my beloved Aunt J to read the Rumi poem (Rumi is a 13th-Century Sufi poet) we had selected.  

My parents are Jewish but also involved in a Sufi community they helped form back in the 70's (yes, a commune. So cliche, right?) so including this poem was a nod to this influence in my upbringing.

Here's the poem...

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

How awesome is that line "The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar?" I Love it! I remember listening very intently as she read, hoping that everyone could hear her and would appreciate the poem as much as I did.

Then it was time to dig in and get into the meat of the ceremony. Our Rabbi began with the Seven Blessings, chanting them in Hebrew and then repeating them in English so everyone would understand.

Our groomsmen show their serious faces...

And my beautiful bridesmaids looked on as the ceremony got underway...

To be perfectly honest, this is the part of our ceremony I remember the least.  Not because I wasn't interested in what the Rabbi was saying but because my knees were killing me!

I have no idea why, maybe because I was locking my legs or something (thank goodness I didn't pass out...You've all heard that rumor that if you lock your knees for too long, you'll pass out, right? Can you imagine?) but all I could focus on was how much my knees hurt.

Anyways, mostly what I remember from the Seven Blessings is that I was constantly shifting my weight from foot to foot, trying to ease the aching.

Our rabbi then read our Ketubah out loud so everyone would be witness to the contract we had signed. 

Here is the text of our Ketubah, should anyone be looking for inspiration (and so you can all witness what it says, in case Mr Trail Mix misbehaves and I have to refer back to it for some reason!)

On the 30th Day in the month of Sivan in the year 5770, also known as June 12, 2010 
Here in  New Lebanon, NY 
The bride, Mrs Trail Mix, daughter of Mom and Dad Trail Mix
And the groom, Mr Trail Mix, son of MIL and FIL Trail Mix
Join one another in a marriage covenant according to the traditions of Israel and the Jewish people
They accept each other as they are on this day
And pledge to support and care for each other on all future days
They promise to foster strength and unity in their marriage by loving and respecting each other always
By offering insight and affection freely
And by recognizing and meeting each other's worldly and spiritual needs
They vow to remain friends
To talk with and listen to one another openly and wholeheartedly
Remembering apology and patience
They commit to a lifetime of learning, discussion and adventure as individuals and partners
They agree to create a warm and generous home open to all
Celebrating life as a Jewish family
Together they promise to pursue Tikkum Olam, the realization of a peaceful and just world
With their friends and families as witnesses
Mrs Trail Mix says to Mr Trail Mix
By this ring you are consecrated unto me as my husband in accordance with the traditions of Moses and Israel
Mr Trail Mix says to Mrs Trail Mix
By this ring you are consecrated unto me as my wife in accordance with the traditionss of Moses and Israel
All is valid and binding

Once the reading of the Ketubah was complete, our Rabbi game a touching and heartfelt speech, speaking about the importance of masah u'matan, or give and take, in a marriage and how this concept was at the core of our relationship.

She then went on to cite how we've negotiated our TV schedule (Gossip Girl and Monday Night Football were both mentioned) as a prime example of this, haha! 

That got a giggle out of us all, including myself, as did the mention of our first date, which was to the movie Ocean's Twelve and then Coldstone Creamery (Siiiiiigh, I can't believe it's been almost six years since that day...)

She concluded her speech with a beautiful message to us both:

"As you take the next step in this journey together, may you never forget the love and passion that you felt on that day and on this one. May you always maintain a sense of masan u'matan so that you never feel off-balance. May you always give each other no less than all of your love for all of your lives. And may you remember the sacred partnership that you enter into today and that it asks no less than you give all of yourselves to the other."

I listened intently to her words and felt as though they were written on my heart from that day forwards...

Next up was the Kiddush (because what would a Jewish ceremony be without wine, right?) Our Rabbi recited the blessing and then both Mr Trail Mix and I had a sip.  Yumm-o, me loves wine!

Although, you wouldn't know it from this photo...

I'm swear I'm not self-centered, there's simply no photo of Mr Trail Mix drinking his wine.  I'm not sure why but I didn't want you all to think I was only concerned with myself, ha!

Anyways, these were the main components to our ceremony and both the parts we crafted as well as the traditional elements were meaningful to hear. In fact,  I was surprised at how much I loved our ceremony, because I really, really did.

But all of this was just leading up to the main event: The Vows.  We wrote our own and kept them a surprise from one another.  Just the thought of Mr Trail Mix reading his to me had been enough to bring tears to my eyes for the month leading up to the wedding, so I was very much anticipating the actual event.

And friends, I was not disappointed (I like to think mine were pretty sweet too, for the record.)  But, sorry to say, you're gonna have to wait for the next post to hear them!

Follow along, if ya want...