Wedding Party! 23 April 2011.   ~mike and joy.
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Party photos! If I am in the photo, I didn't take the picture; if I know who did, the credit is in the caption. Thanks everyone for helping take photos!
kenwood farms and gardens venue can you find the easter egg? dining and seating area
they just happened to have these colorful cloths we brought the centerpieces kenwood farms and gardens venue
once a barn, now remodeled nicely I rented these cafe tables couch and table from craigslist, rental benches
we brought the snacks forks and napkins scrapbook-making table
couch and table from craigslist, rental benches favors were glass containers for taking cookies home the puzzle was part of the egg hunt - one piece in every egg
benches and table in the corner I rented the pool table and cafe tables greeting guests
anna overloaded with eggs frenzied egg hunting Jomay is a good egg finder
inside the barn the pizza oven and grill outside the pizza oven and grill outside
Rosso Pizzeria, making pizza mmm tasty hot pizza outside seating
Steve Ben Joyce awaiting pizza the bar
salads and sides salads and sides under the tent
roger kardinal plays guitar mike at the bar people and pizza
badminton on the lawn, by S. Marko pizza and wine, by S. Marko Ben Mike Steve
Hoi, Edgar, Alison, Eli Mike Joy Hsun-Tzu Gradziel clan at pool
the cookie table games room games room
jump guests pasadenians
It all started two years ago when I began designing Joy's engagement ring. Then we planned our wedding at San Francisco City Hall, a nice short ceremony in a spectacular setting with our immediate family attending, followed by a ride across town in a vintage streetcar to lunch on the sunny waterfront by the Bay Bridge. Joy and I went out to dinner and spent the night in a boutique hotel. Without the pressure of a large event, it was a wonderful experience that we enjoyed very much. See our wedding photos.

Next, party planning began: where could we gather a hundred people and procure all our favorite foods and drinks? It would have to be in a town where guests might enjoy staying, and we wanted a mixed indoor-outdoor space. It had to be large enough for the crowd yet not so large that it would feel empty if fewer people came, or later after some left. I wanted a wood-fired pizza truck, and Joy wanted an egg hunt. It was going to be on Easter weekend, as it turned out. We bought board games and rented a pool table. Our venue in Kenwood, in wine country north of San Francisco, fit perfectly.

It had the looks and the location but not the people we needed. Arrangements were forgotten, plans overlooked, and we had to engineer every detail on party day. I really wish we could have had more time to visit with our guests, but of course when one hosts a hundred people even through five hour long event there is not time to have conversations with them all. The food was delicious, the setting ideal, and though the weather threatened to rain all week it turned out perfectly with a dry warm afternoon of hazy sunshine followed by light drizzle coming along right at dusk, bringing the remaining guests together in our cozy games room where the party found new energy. We could have stayed there until late at night.

What fun! What an insane amount of work! Planning a big event like this is something I do not plan to repeat until our children get married! In the meantime, we will do smaller parties where we need not entrust ordering of cookies to someone else. There were supposed to be snickerdoodles! It was in the contract! What good times we had, without the anxiety of a ceremony and with all our attention applied to visiting with guests, now one combined group of friends and family. It went by in such a blur that my memories of the day are more from photographs than first-hand experience.

Steve and I went back up to Kenwood on Monday morning and managed to fit all the furniture in one precarious truckload, even though it took two trips to deliver. What's more, we had several cases of beer in the truck too. At the party the bar ran out of Chimay and almost ran out of Anchor Steam, but there were a great many extras of the other beers. Fortunately, we had fifty-seven extra limes to go in all the extra ice-cold Coronas (limes got double bought, by us and the bartenders)!

After returning the 620 pound load of furniture we set out on an adventure involving chalupas, more pizza, wine, ice cream, a search for the cows that yielded said tasty ice cream, then a search for the Pacific Ocean (successful!), an encounter with a car commercial film crew and (separately) with a herd of elk, and sunset by the sea, all the while caring for our haul of beer which diminished slightly in size by the time the sun had set and the elk had run off when Mike emerged from some shrubbery wearing his mountain-lion-colored fleece pullover.
arriving to load up furniture, monday morning extra beer loading furniture
loading furniture load of furniture chalupas from el molino central
olive trees at BR Cohn Steve, wine tasting walking among olive trees
vineyard in spring poppies mike photographing poppies - by S.Marko
vineyard - by S.Marko mike driving - by S.Marko more pizza at Rosso
more pizza at Rosso - by S. Marko steve gets an ice cream in Petaluma green pastures
green pastures - by S.Marko the source of the ice cream - really Tomales Bay - by S.Marko
Tomales Bay - by S.Marko Mike and the beer haul - by S.Marko Tule elk - by S.Marko
Tule elk at Point Reyes McClures Ranch, Point Reyes Car commercial
McClures Beach, Point Reyes - by S.Marko McClures Beach - by S.Marko McClures Beach
Steve on the rocks crashing waves crashing waves
steve mike - by S.Marko mike - by S.Marko
camera rig car McClures Ranch Tule elk
beer at sunset sunset

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