by Bret Cole
Sometimes I can’t believe that we’re really going to be welcoming a baby into our home in less than three months, but that doesn’t stop me from fixing up the nursery and pinning things like little felt shoes and imagining how next year the Easter bunny will visit our house. The last two weeks, Ryan and I have been taking childbirth classes, and with each session I’m more and more excited to meet this little girl! I wonder what her eyes will look like, what her skin will feel like, what her laugh will sound like… Anyway, I’m still blogging away, but there’s no doubt that part of my mind is always in Babyland, which is why this pic from Silvana di Franco feels sort of perfect for me today.
Photo by Silvana di Franco.
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Have a happy weekend, everyone!
Really, all you need for the perfect wedding is the one you love, and this couple kept that in mind when planning their simple and intimate wedding at San Ysidro Ranch. Says the bride: “After years of attending and performing music at weddings, we knew we just weren’t the traditional type. It took two and half years of planning and a recent visit to San Ysidro Ranch, to finally realize we had found the perfect venue. We decided that three important criteria were essential for a blissful wedding day: being present, not being overwhelmed by mass amounts of family and friends, and surrounding ourselves in a small cocoon of love and support. Ultimately, we decided to elope with a magic thirteen members of close friends and family – it truly was perfection.”
The couple met in a Piano Ensemble music class in college.
After their first look, says Lauren, “we chose not to see anyone until the ceremony and having that quiet time made the impact of seeing our guests for the first time was wonderful.”
From the bride: “It rained the entire day of our wedding. Words do not describe the experience of it. Hummingbirds, glistening flowers and the soft patter of rain enveloped our ceremony. All of our guests were asked lay down an olive branch along with a blessing for us in the place where we were to stand during our ceremony. The ceremony was held in the Old Adobe House and we both entered the room at the same time, as equals.”
“Our dinner was held at the Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch on one family-style table underneath an awning of lights. The flowers were probably one of my favorite parts of our wedding, and each guest received a small box of See’s candy, a family tradition. Before dinner, each one of our guests toasted us, which lasted close to an hour. It was a moment we will never forget. After the most delectable dinner and chocolate soufflés we stayed awake until the morning talking about our wonderful day and left the next day for our honeymoon in Tulum, Mexico.”
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? San Ysidro Ranch is the most beautiful venue in our opinion. The food, wine list and ambience is exquisite.
Is there a standout detail or any surprises from the day? We had no idea it would rain the entire day of our wedding, but it truly made everything feel that much more special. Everything was perfect, from the flowers to the photographer/makeup artist and we wouldn’t have had our wedding any other way.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Initially, we planned on renting the lavender field for our ceremony at SYR but decided to use the Old Adobe Room instead. The Old Adobe Room only cost $400 for six hours. A total steal!
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We used olive branches as a unique symbol of blessing as we are not religious. Our guests bought us, “something blue” gifts and we spent the morning getting ready in separate locations which made the first look a beautiful moment.
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Romantic Elopement at San Ysidro Ranch14 March 2013
With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was important to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.
When DeAnne left the Georgetown bar where she first met Greg, she remembers telling a friend that she had just met the man she would marry. Little did DeAnne know, Greg was simultaneously telling a friend the very same thing!
After eighteen years of marriage, Greg and DeAnne are still on the same page and have learned a few lessons along the way.
When the couple was first married, DeAnne says she found it difficult to understand why Greg chose to work so much. “I realized pretty quickly that a man shows his deepest love through creating a life and making things stable for his family. It was difficult for me in the beginning to accept how much my husband worked but I soon realized that it was all for us and our family. I’m so grateful for how hard he worked in those early years because now he has so much more flexibility.”
Through the loss of DeAnne’s parents, the couple realized how much they both rely and depend on each other. When her parents passed away, DeAnne explains, “Greg just understood me and quietly stayed by my side and let me grieve. Through this process I learned that marriage is so much more than romance; it’s about having someone to hold you up when life knocks you down and you can’t do it for yourself.”
Greg and DeAnne leaned on one another through the adoption of their two children as well. “It is tremendously comforting knowing there is one person that you can share all of your excitement, fear, and vulnerability with and who will be by your side no matter how challenging the circumstances,” says Greg. DeAnne agrees, “In the end, the family we have created is so special and irreplaceable. This is something that we undertook as a team and I can’t imaging having gone through that process with anyone else. We learned that there is more than one way to make a family and the only necessary ingredient is love.”
My little sister is in the midst of planning her own wedding right now, and when she asked me for registry suggestions, Traveler’s Joy immediately came to mind. For couples who already have all the household items they need, Traveler’s Joy is the perfect alternative, making it a cinch to register for your honeymoon. Whether you want to sunbathe in Hawaii, eat your way through Italy, or see Patagonia on horseback, Traveler’s Joy will allow your loved ones to contribute to the trip of a lifetime.
With their pre-made theme-based (think cruise or mountains) or location specific (think Paris or Bali) registries, you can instantly add items and experiences with just one click. The best part? Traveler’s Joy allows you to register for any portion of your honeymoon, so you’re not limited to flights, hotel stays, or even activities. You can register for items like luggage, guidebooks – even a digital camera to capture your honeymoon adventures!
Traveler’s Joy is also full of ideas and inspiration, in case you need tips for places to go and things to do. Not only are there thousands of real honeymoon stories and real registries from Traveler’s Joy members to inspire you, but now you can get personalized suggestions with Honeymoon Tipster, a one-on-one consulting service to help you figure out all the details.
It gets even better! Right now, Traveler’s Joy is giving away $5,000 toward a honeymoon or first anniversary trip to one lucky couple that signs up between January 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013. The winner will be notified on May 8, 2013. So where do you want to go?!
This post sponsored by Traveler’s Joy.