A jazz trio was playing Christmas music, and they were wonderful! We got some wine and socialized a little. Appetizers were being passed around, but we didn’t get any. My dad came up to us and said, “If you start the buffet line now, we can eat!” So Mark and I started the buffet line. The caterers were surprised to see us so soon but scrambled into action. The food was delicious – there was a vegetable tray, and there were cold meats and cheeses, and there were shrimp, and there was an incredible onion dip, and a yummy pasta, and a wonderful roast sirloin carving station.
One of the centerpieces at the reception.
The bride and groom with our parents.
Mark and I had a sweetheart table, but didn’t get much alone time as people were frequently coming up to talk to us. After we ate, we went around to each table and tried to spend some time talking to everyone. Then I motioned it was time for the toasts. Champagne was served, and Mark’s dad gave a toast that was brief but beautiful. I thought it was very sweet.
Mark's dad gave a toast.
Then Mark and I went to cut the cake. We had agreed beforehand not to shove cake in each other’s faces, as we both agree this is a tacky and distasteful “tradition.” He did give me a slightly bigger bite than I could chew, though.
Cutting the cake.
Feeding the cake.
The cake was delicious. It was chocolate with raspberry filling and white chocolate fondant icing. We received many compliments on it, and some people said it was the best wedding cake they’d ever eaten!
After cake we talked some more to guests and drank some more wine, and then I made a presentation to give my bouquet to my grandmother. I had a calla lily bouquet, and I made a speech about how she had wanted calla lilies at her wedding in the 1930s and her father had paid $25 and a mule to get them for her. I also talked about how when my mother got married, it was my grandmother’s idea for her to give her bouquet to her grandmother, so now I was doing the same thing. I think she was surprised by it, but she seemed to be touched.
Presenting the bouquet to my grandmother.
After that, there was more socializing until around 11:00 when we decided it was time for the bride and groom to go. The guests were ushered downstairs and given sparklers, and then Mark and I went downstairs and headed toward the getaway car. Walking past all the sparklers was really pretty! Alex and Margaux drove us back to the Casa Monica. The funny thing was, before we headed downstairs, my mom went to look for Alex and found him in line with a sparkler! Hey, you’re supposed to drive! Poor Alex, he was disappointed he didn’t get to wave a sparkler at us as we left.
Leaving, with sparklers.
After we were dropped off at the Casa Monica and we were finally alone, we agreed that it was the most beautiful wedding ever. It was certainly everything I ever dreamed of. It was absolutely the best day of my life and I will never forget it.
Once again, I'm sorry I couldn't invite everyone on this website, but I'm glad you were with me in spirit. I hope this little summary helped you experience it as if you were there with us.
I can't thank you enough for sharing all this. It was a very special day for you and Mark and you conveyed the beauty of the day to all of us in wonderful detail. I got a lump in my throat while reading all this....quite a few times.
You brought back memories of our wedding (chocolate cake...no bride and groom on top but flowers and birds) and I want to remember all this so when Hayley gets married (hopefully several years from now.....she's only 17) we can incorporate....I think the sparklers were genious!!
Angela Z., who feels like she just watched a great love story!!
Beautiful pictures and what a gorgeous place. I know St. Augustine well - my family is among the founding familes of the Cathedral there - the names are on the monument outside. We stayed at Casa Monica last Christmas when we were down there - pretty place.
Best wishes for a wonderful life together. Much happiness.
Once again best wishes to you and Mark. Sorry I spelled his name wrong before. My BIL spells his with a C THis was lovely. Just what was needed tonight. Enjoy this new year as your first as husband and wife. Live long and prosper.
Anne and Jeff Marsh
Jamie and Peter
Thank you Michelle, everything was so beautiful, especially you! What a lovely couple you and Mark make. I wish you both all of the best of everything. So glad you did it your way and didn't let anyone talk you into doing it differently. Good that you have it written down, because with time some things will fade. Be happy and love each other always.
It was really great to read about your wedding and see the pictures. It made me think of the wonderful day 11 years ago when my Mark and I got married. I too, decided not to let anything bother me and I enjoyed it to the fullest and didn't let anything stress me out. I think that life is so stressful and one day a person needs to let it go and live in the moment. It sounds like the moment was spectacular for you!
Thanks for sharing your special day with us Michelle, I know we've all been waiting for you to get back and to hear all about your wedding and cruise!
I absolutely loved your wedding cake - wish I could've tasted it! And I also loved the sparkler idea - how completely different! I have to say you looked absolutely radiant, and Mark looks happy to be the lucky guy who married you! Best wishes to you both!
Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed reading your reports. I am glad you decided not to shove cake into each others face. When I am watching a wedding show and they start that I turn the channel. I think it is so disrespectful of each other. When my daughter was getting married his groomsmen kept talking to him trying to get him to do it. He just told them that he had more respect for her than that and besides that she would kill him for wrecking her dress.
Geeze Michelle ya got me all welled up with gator tears!!! BEAUTIFUL wedding and like the others thanks for sharing with us. You did a great job with it! I do believe 2004 is going to be a FABULOUS year for you
Congratulation to your wedding and may you be happy forever
What glorious music you picked .
Loved the candles with bows for the bridesmaids.
Thank you for sharing all this. You where a beautiful bride.
Michelle, I've read the saga, and perused the album. As a rabid anti-nuptialist, I must say that looks like a far more refined wedding than I've seen in years. I find particularly touching and civilized your bouqet to your grandmother. That is truly a mark of class, far superior to the barbaric practice of tossing it to the ravenous horde. Maybe I don't get out much, but I've never seen that done at any wedding I've attended.
And your musical selection...! I too am a fan of "...Sheep May Safely Graze." It is one of the few Bach cantatas that is not in my music library. If I could only find a copy without the vocals. I find vocals distracting when I'm trying to read.
For once, if only once, it looks like a worthwhile wedding. I wish you and Mark continuing joy in each other.
I may dwell on the land, but I live at sea!
Sensation 2/03 I disembarked, but never really left the ship.
Sensation 04/05 The vessel made me do it!
Summit 03/06 to Hawaii, Where God left his fingerprints, in memory of Margaret.
Carnival Freedom (March 08)
\X\Mercury (January 09)
Congratulations Michelle and Mark. Thank you for sharing your most beautiful and memorable day with all of us,especially, your tradition of presenting your bouquet to your grandmother. I have seen it given to the mother of the bride, but this was a first for me. Best of Luck to you both for a long, happy and healthy life together.
Tigercat - there were some catcalls from the groomsmen asking for cake to be smashed, but I was glad he behaved! Disrespectful is the right word!
Seahunks - I didn't even know "Sheep" had vocals. I've never heard vocals with it. During the seating of the mothers it was played by just the organ.
I tried to have my wedding be different from a "traditional" American wedding, and I think I succeeded. I really hate cookie-cutter weddings. I hate the bouquet toss, I hate the garter retrieval and toss, I hate annoying DJs trying to get everyone to dance the Macarena.
At one point, before I gave away my bouquet, my mother-in-law started asking loudly, "When's she going to toss the bouquet? She's not going to toss the bouquet?" Excuse me while I roll my eyes....
Again I add,,,thanks for sharing with us your gorgeous wedding. I loved the bouquet idea,,,and your cake was outstanding,,, My daughter did the flowers on her cake,,,b/4 that I had not see it done that way,,,I loved the sparklers,,,,what a very special,,,very delightful wedding for 2 very special,,, delightful people. Enjoy your life together.
Lovely bride, lovely wedding, thank you for sharing it all with us. Congratulations to you and Mark. What do you do for an encore after this past year? New home, new job, wedding, honeymoon ; how are you going to top that?
Michelle, I hope you and Mark enjoy a long , happy life together complete with the fulfillment of all your dreams.
Lovely saga. I think it was a great idea to record all the little details , over time you will cherish having a record of them, goodness knows I've forgotten many of the little things form my own wedding!
I thought it was very thoughtful of you to present your bouquet to your grandmother, I too did a non traditional bouquet presentation. I had a best friend , I had known her since We were in kindergarten, of course I chose her to be my maid of honour. Six months before my wedding, she was killed.I was devastated . One of the many ways I dealt with incorprating her memory into my special day was that on the way from the church to the reception my hsuband and I stopped at the cementary and I put my flowers on her grave. This of course horrified many , but I didn't care , I thought that the throwing of the bouquet is always "fixed " anyways , people usaully have a freind that they want to catch it , so I just cut out the show and gave it to whom I wanted to have it!
I think it's a special day and everyone should celebrate it in the ways that are special to them!! Congratulations on making the day " yours"!
Everything looked beautiful, and having been to St. Augustine before, I know it was even prettier then the pictures showed. We also eliminated alot of the "traditions" from our wedding (3.5yrs ago) for a little more elegant taste to it. I didn't want the only thing that differentiated our wedding from everyone else's to be the color of the dresses and flowers.
Glad you have all this recorded in print for the future. The first time I watched our wedding video there was so much that I didn't remember or just didn't see because I was busy. Some of the little details slip your mind quite quickly.
Re: Re: My wedding - part 8: the reception and end
It is your wedding and you should be able to have it the way you want. I just videod a wedding for a friend and they played the music from "Tom Gun" as the bride walked down the isle. That was the first time I witnessed this, but to each his own and it was what they wanted. Pictures and music looked good.