On March 4th, 2022, Arizona did something it hardly ever does,
'Why today of all days'
This is all I could think as I got ready for my wedding day. The wind was also a nightmare, which isn't unusual for Arizona. We were prepared for the wind. We weren't prepared for the cold, and I definitely wouldn't have chosen an off the shoulder dress if I knew it was going to be 66 degrees. Thats very cold for a native Arizonan like me! It was cold and rainy, in Arizona, in the spring. 'Why me?!'
Like many couples who got engaged during the pandemic, our wedding took many forms and had many, many date changes before it happened. Kurt, my husband and I brainstormed so many ideas, styles and themes for our wedding. Despite all of our interesting ideas, one was always clear- We wanted to incorporate our favorite literature into our wedding.
After our second postponed wedding, we were feeling very let down. Despite feeling completely defeated, it did brainstorm our best wedding idea yet! An enchanted forest/Lord of The Rings Wedding.
The Front of Nardini Manor, with two Lions standing guard.
The back of the manor, complete with statues of Apollo (left) and Artemis (right)
Inside the tent, my grandfather (who served as father of the bride) and I danced to "Lodi" by CCR, as an homage to Lodi, California, my grandpa's hometown.
Kurt and I exchanging our vows in front of the Gazebo, which made me feel like a total Gilmore Girl.
Our venue was one thing that changed in between our first wedding and the final wedding. We found Nardini Manor Events, a historic location in my Hometown. The Manor boasts four and half acres, a hedge maze, gazebo and a huge Tent. As a little girl when my mom would drive by the Manor, I would say "when I grow up, I want to get married there". Some dreams do come true! We got married in front of the Gazebo and partied all night in the Tent. The cocktail hour was in the garden with the hedge maze. The huge trees and flowers added to the enchanted forest feel we were looking for.
I actually wore two dresses on my wedding day. My first dress was an off the shoulder ivory ball gown. I wanted something very classic and timeless. I accessorized it with opera length gloves and a long, cathedral veil. The strong Arizona wind actually blew my veil out from my hair during the ceremony! My second dress was by Christina Wu, and I found it in a small bridal shop in New Hampshire. I wanted it to be more on theme and totally different than my wedding dress. The dress had long lace sleeves and a long flowy train. I felt like a modern-day Galadriel or Arwen!
The Flowers were absolutely one of my favorite things about the day. Flowers were provided by Thee Wedding Warehouse, and were so beautiful! Jacque was another trooper who was so patient with me and my ideas. The flowers completely pulled everything together. The bouquets includes purple haze roses and anemones.
Here is my second wedding dress. Kurt and I also wore matching medallions during the reception, mine with the Virgo symbol and the symbol of The Chalice Well at Glastonbury for him.
The Cake was done by Sweet Fusion Bakery and Events. Amber was great to work with and so patient with us. We changed our minds about the cake around three times, and each time she was so enthusiastic about every design. We eventually settled on a three-tier cake, make to look like a birch wood tree with our initials carved inside a heart with an arrow. The cake tasted as amazing as it looked.
Pride and Prejudice at my wedding.
Would I really be a true Janeite if I didn't have some elements of Pride and Prejudice at my wedding? "Dawn" from Pride and Prejudice 2005 played as the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle. My sister played "Clair De Lune" on the piano as I marched down the aisle. As we all went back down the aisle my sister played "Bella's Lullaby" from the cinematic masterpiece that is Twilight. My sister was also the maid of honor! She did too much! My hair was also regency inspired.
Centerpieces had lanterns from thrift shops, along with purple haze roses and candles.
Father of the Groom snapping a pic during the ceremony.
The hedge maze, which I got lost in too many times.
The Garden and Courtyard, where cocktail hour was supposed to be. The rain and cold drove everyone inside the tent.
Maid of Honor and Ceremony Piano Player, Jillian, at the reception.
Just chilling in the door frame.
Groom hanging out. The Groom wore a Seiko running man watch and his Grandfather's cufflinks.
Bride and Groom leaving the ceremony as "Bella's Lullaby" played. The veil had blown off from the intense wind!
Mr. and Mrs. Strom.