Weddings: One Day Two Celebrations

I’m having trouble giving up the idea of summer.  So I keep re-running a day I spent in July that was crazy, emotional, beautiful, and inspiring.  Two sets of friends celebrated their unions.  Yes, on the same day.  The first in Santa Ana, the second of the day in Santa Monica. Yes there was crazed driving.

These were both deliberate not made in the flush of lust filled youth (although certainly not lacking in that department either).  One couple met on a plane.  The other couple were brought together by a passion for their community.

Both couples decided that a street fair, carnival atmosphere would best suit for celebration.  Couple #2 who live in a lovely historical house with beautiful grounds used the personal space they have to create a non-hierarchical self-directed party experience.  No banquet tables, bridal dias or timeline directed entertainment.

Couple #1 had an actual street party facilitated by the bride’s experience doing street fairs for a living.  Again, the infrastructure served to create a backdrop for spontaneity allowing like-minded guests to find one another, and choose to be raucous on the dance floor or simply wander and partake of the playful vibe of the event.

The Words

Couple #1 Spoke only to say their vows.  Instead they asked a friend to speak for them.

With this marriage, {our friends} intend to create a family.  Not the traditional kind of nuclear family we all know, but rather a family based in the community, with {them} at the center. And they would like to invite all of you to become part of that family today.

Then they were officially wed by a local judge and friend in an historic Santa Ana arts district building.

Couple #2 Had eloped a couple months before so were already married.  But before the cake was cut a good friend, a Rabbi spoke to them (even though they are both Catholic) as we all gathered around.

In response to the question “Why are angels dancing on the head of a pin”? …some of the things we do are distractions, or even destructive, {of restoring light to the world}. But other things we do can help restore that shattered light, such as loving and being loved by a person who knows your soul, gladdens your heart, gives purpose to the work of your hands. We cannot heal each other, but we guide and accompany each on other on our path to healing and create a love that causes some indeterminate number of angels to dance rapturously on the head of a pin. 

I was so filled with emotion at the end of that very long day, having witnessed dear friends come together amidst family and friends to declare their love and commitment that I started sobbing in the car on the way home.  What really stuck with me was how special each celebration was and that what I witnessed was the opposite of what weddings can so often be, somewhat rigid scripted affairs that lurch from one timed expression of feeling to another, ending invariably after three and a half or four hours after months of planning, the cake being the timeworn sign to the guests that it’s ok to go home.

Here are some of the highlights of the Day of Two Celebrations of Love

The Food

Couple #1 asked a few friends who cook to make one dish each, which provided the perfect amount of sustenance for a daytime, not lunch nor dinnertime wedding. Of course, the friends were a pretty cool group: The immensely talented Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria made  Aguachile, Roland Rubalcava of the former (beloved) Rubalcava’s in OC made a Build Your Own Torta Ahogada with Fideos Frias.  (A Torta Ahogada is a “drowned” sandwich.  In this case drowned with a bright orange spicy hot sauce.)  I made Angeli’s Insalata Forte.  La Guera Tamalera made appetizer sized tamales (some of them vegan).  And one of the groom’s best pals (from Northgate Markets) provided snacking bites like chips and salsa and helped we chef’s out with ingredients. The teaching moment of the food buffet was Asado de Boda from the groom’s ancestral home in Zacatecas, MX made by “comadre Irma”.  It is a spicy (as in hot and tons of spice and chocolate) mole-like but not mole stew.

Couple #2 wanted stations to encourage wandering, and a bit of this and a bit of that kind of meal.  Since I couldn’t cook for the wedding being a member of the daytime wedding of Couple #2, I suggested that we reach out to a few of my favorite chefs and ask each of them to create one dish that when taken together would create a varied and filling meal.  They generously said yes which sent me onto one of the most fun wedding coordinating experiences I’ve ever had.  The chef lineup was: Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon, Evan Funke of Bucato,  Jessica Koslow of Sqirl, Tin Vuong of Little Sister, and Kuniko Yagi of Hinoki and The Bird.  Yes, it was incredible.  Yes, I was in heaven.  I’m even jealous of myself that it actually happened.

The Drink

Couple #1 elected to have a serve yourself water and soda bar into which various spirits could be poured + Guelaguetza has a new michelada truck Miche Mobil which served draft Pacifico and spicy, salty additions all day long.

Couple #2 had a serve yourself wine, water and agua fresca bar and a separate bartended cocktail bar.

The Music
Richard Blade provided the 80’s danceable groove for Couple #1.
Chris Douridas created a perfectly evocative party soundtrack for Couple #2.

The Cake

Couple #1 had a one tier ten inch cake made by a relative meant for ceremonial cutting.  Instead guests slurped up Front Porch Pops and Mother Moo ice cream to ease the heat of dancing during the day on a street on a hot humid summertime SoCal day.

Couple #2 were having so much fun throughout the evening they cut the cake when half the guests had already left, knowing that the guests were already sated by the purposefully excessive dessert explosion buffet, including desserts from Magnolia, GTA, Clementine, Valerie Confections, Sweet Rose, and a candy buffet including a cotton candy cart from Hollywood Candy Girls.

If you want to see more pics of the festivities go to twitter/Instagram:
#delstavo and  #adelaidelove

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