Monday, September 5, 2011

A Fairytale Wedding

Ryan is my cousin on my dad's side, and he and I were born only months apart.  I have great pictures of us running around in matching pajamas and remember fun Thanksgivings and Easters spent together.

Ryan met his beautiful bride, Vanessa, in a way we never would have imagined before the invent of the world wide web: an internet dating site.  From the stories I've heard, it was a very real, very deep connection that they shared from the start.  Something of a modern fairytale.

When we received the invitation, I couldn't WAIT for the wedding.  They got married in Laguna Beach, and Danny and I enjoyed the "excuse" to leave the kids at home and enjoy such a beautiful location.

We hit a bit of traffic on our way into the area, as the Festival of the Arts was going on right around the corner from the church.  We arrived just after Vanessa walked down the aisle to Ryan.  They began the wedding with prayer and song, worshiping God for what He did in bringing them together.  In my opinion, this is the way to celebrate marriage.  It ought to be a worship ceremony.  The music was just beautiful, the quiet moment they took together later in the ceremony to pray together simply corroborated the worship ceremony.  My Uncle Jim (Ryan's father) performed the ceremony at Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church, and he did an incredible job.  When it was time to pronounce the two husband and wife,  the couple did so with an appropriate measure of joy, anticipation, and thankfulness.  It honestly was one of the most beautiful nuptials I've ever witnessed, and both Danny and I were honored to be there.

After the ceremony, there was a time of mingling with bottles of San Pellegrino, packages of almonds with rosemary sprigs, and lemon muffins.  The weather was perfect, and it was such fun to spend time with my family (and extended family - the Grants) as we awaited our transporation to the reception: a chartered coach.

The coach picked us up, and my Aunt Kim (Ryan's mom), the bashful lady that she is, hopped into the passenger seat in the front and had the group in stitches as she told stories about Ryan in his younger years.

The reception site was at a private residence: Villa Diamonte in the hills of Laguna.  Words do this place no justice.  Every time I dream of a vacation in Italy, I dream of this home.  We walked onto the first balcony to a view of the stunning ocean only enhanced by the gorgeous green hills of Laguna.  The aroma of rosemary followed us everywhere we walked.  Butler passed hors d'oevres rarely made it past my handsome hubby and I without a sampling.  The food was divine.  Everything was picturesque, and the details were just splendid.

The stone staircases swept down to the second veranda, to the tables set for the guests around a Roman pool.  I took moments to just allow the beauty of the location to permeate the whole of me.  It was heavenly.

The lower level was the piece de la resistance, as it was the garden that the homeowner loved most.  The passion she held for her garden was evident, and her taste was exquisite.  As I explored the lavendar, lemon thyme, rosemary and lemon trees, I contemplated ways in which I could hide in the bushes and live there forever.

Dinner was nothing short of brilliant.  The cheese plate was a work of art.  The bread basket put a tear in my eye.  The toasts and celebration of the couple were thorough, thoughtful, heartfelt.  I do believe my eyes rolled all the way into the back of my head when tasting the heavenly desserts.  All of the guests were given sparklers for the couple's first dance, which made for some fun and sweet pictures.  The dancing started off with a bang, and we only wished we could have enjoyed it into the wee hours.

Ryan and Vanessa deserve nothing less than the most beautiful of marriages.  With their effort to put Christ at the center of every aspect of their celebration, it will be nothing less than just that.  Blessings, Mr. and Mrs. Meyer!

For more pictures, feel free to check out my album.  :)

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