September 23, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Escaping During Sunset

Our photographer grabbed us after dinner to take some photos with the amazing sunset as the backdrop. Afterwards, we escaped over to the site of the ceremony for a few moments and wandered the grounds together. I picked up a beautiful leaf that had changed color from the ground and a few of the orange rose petals that were thrown on the ground before I walked down the aisle to marry John. Of course, I think I lost them sometime over the course of the evening. But, it was a nice, quiet moment for John and I during the reception.

Mother Son Dance

John's second dance of the evening, with his mom. I had actually promised him that I would drag my brother or his dad out on the dancefloor half way through the song so he wouldn't have to be the center of attention for that long. But I was chatting with my mom and lost track of time, before I knew it the song was over! It turned out fine though, it looks like they were having a good time out there dancing to "At Last" by Etta James. How sweet!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wedding Food

Our caterer (from Celebrations Gourmet) came up to John and I during the reception and congratulated us for being one of the few couples she has seen actually sit down and eat dinner! I even went back for seconds, but unfortunately never got around to eating them that night. But how could we pass up all that yummy food? I was especially impressed that the waiters brought over hor d'oeuvres for us while we were taking pictures. I tasted the veggie sushi (my fave), samosas, and falafel but missed the spring rolls. The salad course was mixed greens with sauteed apples, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a harvest vinaigrette. Here is the one picture I actually took during the reception, my dinner plate:

A piece of the Wild Mushroom Tart with shitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms (many people liked this one)....

Roasted asparagus....

And roasted sweet potato wedges....

For dessert we had a fruit display (I missed out on this as well, too busy dancing I guess!)....

And of course cake! Funny, I know I had a piece of cake that night, but I honestly can't remember if it was the chocolate or pumpkin. Doesn't matter I guess, I loved them both!

There were plenty of leftovers at the end of the evening. Our caterer sent home lots of food with the Mariano's and packed us a lunch for the next day (which we ate on the plane ride home). Plus, we got to take home the top layer of our cake. More on what we did with that in another post!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mother of the Bride

There is no way I could have gotten this wedding together in such a short amount of time if it wasn't for my mom. She was there the whole way; helping me look for a dress, picking out paper for the programs, arranging details with the musicians, designing the cover for the candy bars, and basically staying on top of every detail! She found her dress while we were visiting the Boston area back in July, not far from Misselwood in Beverly Farms. I think it looks beautiful on her. Her jewelry also matches mine. I know that on Sunday she was running around taking care of so many things I didn't even know about. If there were any disasters, I sure didn't realize it! Can't thank you enough mom....

Dancing with my Dad

For the traditional father-daughter dance, my dad led me on the dancefloor to the tune of "Daughters" by John Mayer. During the song, he talked to me about how happy he was for John and I. He also mentioned that one of the readings during the ceremony was important to keep in mind; love changes, it is not always the same. It was a special moment to share with him. When we were getting ready to walk down the aisle together, he helped calm me down and keep me focused. Just as we were about to walk out, a beautiful butterfly flew by, surely a good sign :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Raise Your Glasses

Here we are looking a little serious, I think we were both at a loss for words! My dad, John's brother Tony, and my sister Jennifer all gave very memorable toasts that we will always remember. My dad thanked everyone for coming and especially to those whoe traveled, reminesced about my passions growing up, and welcomed John into our family. Tony welcomed me to the Mariano family, spoke of the end of an era, and said that good things come to those who wait. And my sister used words like choices and compromise to describe our relationship and the journey we have made together thus far. Cheers!

My Bouquet

The flowers at the wedding were even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Pictured here is my bouquet which included green hydrangeas, kermit mum, hypercium berries, green cymbidium orchids, mango cala lilies, orange ranunculus, and some other greenery. The flowers are wrapped in lace from my mother's wedding dress. Scattered on the tables were orange orchids. You can also see our champagne toasting flutes (engraved with "Our Happy Ending, September 23, 2007") and soy candles that flickered on every table.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Our First Dance

For those of you that know John, you know that dancing is not his favorite thing. But he was a good sport and actually got out on the dance floor three times at our wedding!! Our first dance together as husband and wife was to "Blue Eyes" by the Cary Brothers. We chose this song because we both have fond memories of hearing this song from the Garden State soundtrack, most especially it reminds me of us driving through Rocky Mountain National Park on a gorgeous fall day. John also danced with his mom to "At Last" by Etta James and we concluded the reception by dancing to "Amanda" by Boston. He didn't even step on my toes!

Cutting the Cake

We were both a bit unsure of how to cut this huge cake! Luckily our photographer offered a few tips. We fed each other a bite of the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and strawberries. I lovingly dabbed a bit of green frosting on John's nose. He didn't even get me back! What a sweetie. All through the ceremonial cake cutting, the song "Sugar Sugar' was playing from the iPod.... how appropriate I thought, cause there was a lot of sugar in this cake! What did yall think of the vegan wedding cake?

We're Married!

What a perfect wedding day! Don't worry, there will be plenty more details and pictures to come. If you took any photos during the wedding, I would love to get copies!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

All Packed and Ready To Go

This evening we leave for Boston. The past few days have been a bit crazy taking care of last minute details, but as far as I can tell, I'm still sane and relatively calm. Most of all I am just excited. I have been slowly packing since Saturday, it is usually a long process for me....

I even found some time to make pumpkin muffins to bring along. Vegan breakfast options don't usually abound at hotels. Plus, these are the perfect fall treat!

I am going to try to set up my phone to send pictures to my blog over the next few days. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and find an internet cafe somewhere (with all the spare time I will have). Regardless, there will certainly be a multitude of posts when we return to Houston. Woohoo, I'm getting married!

Weather Update

It looks like perfect fall weather for the weekend! Even a bit cool for us Texans!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hen Night in Houston

On September 7, a few of my closest girlfriends here in Houston hosted a bachelorette aka hen night (as they call it in the UK) for me. The night began with cooking dinner together. The menu included tomato bruschetta (not shown), tofu-mango spring rolls, tempeh with curried peanut sauce, and a green salad with loads of veggies. Everything was so tasty, the tempeh was a pretty spicy, just how I like it though!

We then moved onto dessert, fondue! We mixed dark chocolate with chocolate soymilk and the result was a rich, yummy fondue. For dippers, we had long-stemmed strawberried and some vegan coconut-covered marshmallows. The marshmallows dipped in chocolate was so melt-in-your-mouth delicious, I can't even describe....

Then I opened gifts, I will spare you many of the details (they were all amusing and mostly PG-13 ). But I did get this nifty shirt with my soon-to-be last name across the front. I think I'll be wearing this the day after my wedding :-)

After some more goofing around, we headed downtown for some dancing. It was a bit short-lived (long story, but one I'm sure we'll all remember), but that's alright since we returned to the house and ended up talking and bonding the rest of the night. I can't thank these ladies enough for such a fun night! My true last night as a bachelorette is approaching quickly. Hopefully I'll get in one more quick update before we head to Boston tomorrow evening.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bridal Shower

My aunt from Temple, Texas hosted a bridal shower for me yesterday at my mom's house in Houston. It was a lovely afternoon of visiting with family and old friends, listening to marriage advice, eating yummy vegan treats, and relaxing before this busy week ahead of me. I was so touched by everyone who came and sent their best wishes to John and I! Here are the beautiful flowers on the table (in our wedding colors of course!).

I was so happy to see that all of the food was vegan! We had two huge trays of spring rolls (half tofu, half portobella) with yummy peanut sauce, an assortment of vegan sushi, fruit kabobs, and vegan cupcakes from the Yellow Rose Bakery here in Houston. All of the food was delicious. Best of all, there were so many leftovers, John and I can have spring rolls to munch on for the next few days. It was so amusing to watch my dad try and show my aunts how to use chopsticks!

Speaking of chopsticks, this was the shower favor, a set of chopsticks inside a sheet of green paper tied with a bow.

Another fun part about the afternoon was that everyone wrote down a piece of advice, one for John and one for me. Some were funny (like being on time...there's a story there) and some were serious (like never go to bed mad), and some were sweet (love each other for who we are). Here they are hanging up on our refrigerator door.

While opening gifts, I was informed that for every bow I broke, that was one baby John and I will have. I was very careful with this one. I took special care not to break any bows.... that is until the last gift from my mom. The smile on her face made it worth it, now I just have to convince John!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One Week To Go!!

One week from now we will be married!! Let the countdown begin....
More tomorrow on my recent "hen" night and a bridal shower.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Breakin In

Well, we are down to the final days. Today I will start thinking about packing for our trip up to Boston. I picked up my wedding dress yesterday, all nice and white and pressed. Hopefully it survives the journey! I've also been breaking in my shoes at home, which every bridal magazine will remind you to do. I decided to go with simple, comfortable shoes, and of course, they are vegan. Don't you just love the little blue skull and cross bones on the inside? Very cute I thought. Thankfully, they seem pretty comfortable! I wil try to post some more last minute things before we leave on Wednesday evening. :-)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Meet Your Adopted Pig!

In honor of our wedding guests, we have adopted Petunia, a pig now living free at the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary in Colorado. Our donation goes to the costs of food, shelter, supplies and veterinary bills, making the lives of these rescued residents happy and healthy. You can read more about Petunia's story here on the Peaceful Prairie blog (we'll have it at the wedding as well). Several months ago, I also adopted Lucas, another pig. He is in love with Petunia. How could you not love such an adorable pig?

Pigs are amazing creatures. They are more intelligent than dogs and are amazingly sensitive and aware animals. To hear more about how wonderful pigs are and how they are mistreated and exploited in society, listen to this amazing podcast from Compassionate Cooks.

We are so happy to be able to give such a meaningful gift to our wedding guests. It is my sincerest hope that all of our guests will take pride in being an adoptive parent of Petunia!