Ten years ago, just a year out of college, my husband chose me. They must be in the minority, those well-educated men who know their hearts and can make such serious pledges at such a young age. Although getting married (well, getting engaged) was originally my idea and I understood the scale of that pledge, it was many years later that I began to understand its full scope and meaning, and realized the full significance of the choice he (and I) made at that age. Ten years after that dream-like day sitting in our house with our dog and working on our business, I'm struck by wonder over that choice and gratitude for my best friend, the most impressive human being I've met, and our life together.
I'm not saying life is easy and marriage is a piece of cake. (Wait, cake isn't easy to make! Not the the moist, delicious, labor-intensive, suspenseful, made-from-scratch kind... the authentic, legitimate kind. So maybe marriage is like cake after all.) Act I of life (pre husband-to-be) made me think I drew the short straw. Fortunately, the universe balanced that unsolicited, soap-opera worthy first act with Act II, the real deal.
Our wedding was a sweet, languid, old-timey celebration on the lawn of a cozy 17th century waterfront house on the National Registry of Historic Places. Think "an al fresco high tea à la Martha Stewart". The house, somewhat close to our alma mater, is in the country by way of long and windey unnamed roads. Picture a rolling lawn with a gazebo-like well, tiger lilies, and an unobstructed view of the river. In retrospect, I think the house is much like us - combining a love of history with a love of innovation, old stories with fresh, modern sensibilities. Its renovation was beautiful, from the restoration of the original house to the addition of sophisticated yet airy and unpretentious modern quarters. The grandparent-like owners didn't advertise, so theirs was a small operation distinguished by their elegant Southern hospitality. This made the site a hidden gem, giving our wedding a made-to-order feel. I was so charmed by that house that I, during my years as an event planner, took clients there for their destination-esque weddings. Apparently, something about our wedding inspired the owners, too; ten years later, our photos still head the site's online gallery.
So how did we celebrate this milestone anniversary? We went to Istanbul in May (more on that later), so on the big day we did one of our favorite things. We cooked dinner together, experimenting with new recipes, while listening - and, occasionally, dancing - to all kinds of music. Course I: Mymouné Whole Figs in fig-infused Syrup with Manchego and Novella Rayons de Soleil 2008 Muscat Canelli from Trader Joes (maybe overkill on the sweet stuff, but this wine is so refreshing with its aromatic notes of apricot and honey). Course II: Tilapia steam-baked with zucchini, tomato and basil. Course III: English trifle, for which I suggest using sponge cake instead of pound cake, Framboise or Grand Marnier instead of light rum, and lemon curd with or in lieu of vanilla pudding. You can't beat a gourmet meal at a fraction of the cost at a restaurant. We had a blast!
What token did we gifting experts give to each other? The trip to Istanbul was gift enough, of course, but we sneaked in a little something extra on the big day. He surprised me with a shirt I tried on in Istanbul and a replica of the first gift he gave me, a Coke and a Snickers bar (college story). I, in the bad habit of buying the perfect card months in advance of a special occasion then hiding it so well that I (or he) find it after the occasion, rushed to make him one when I couldn't find the store-bought card. From style of card to style of wording, our cards coordinated - jinx! (Those are silver-stamped birds in a sky of clear iridescent glitter on the cover of the one I made. The one he gave me, on the right, has clear iridescent glitter on the wings.) I paired it with a handmade crepe-paper rose reminiscent of the flowers at our wedding. I had another gift in mind, but it's such a time-intensive project that it's still in-progress. Hopefully, I'll finish it for his birthday, and I'll unveil it to you then because he does read this blog.
On to the next ten years... and more cake, of course.
p.s. - Our wedding cake was exactly like the one in the photo. Lemon with raspberry filling. To. Die. For.
l i v e e x u b e r a n t l y™
Martha Stewart wedding cake, bridal bouquet by deeakright, cards by natalie@calliopeboutique