When Camille met Collin seven years ago, it was at a party in San Francisco, where they were each there as friends of friends. Though they both grew up in Sonoma their paths had never crossed until that night. Attending as guests of guests, neither of them knew many people at this party. So Camille was sitting alone on a couch when Collin approached her with a mason jar he found on a shelf, full of what looked like Happy Meal toys and said, "Do you want to play with these toys with me?" She was a little taken aback but replied, "Uh...OK..." After that they spent the rest of the evening chatting and walking on Ocean Beach together. Each one saved a little toy from that jar all these years and they became the wedding cake toppers.
Collin always told Camille that the song Galway Girl reminded him of that night. So as a gift, as a surprise for him in that moment when he, his parents and the whole bridal party were waiting for her entrance with her dad and I, her dear high school friend, Emily, sang this song to him! Not a dry eye in the house. I don't have a video of the actual song at the event, but I do have this video from the rehearsal the day before. I was privileged to be locked away with the music crew where no one else could hear. But the very sweetest thing was watching from the distance with Camille and her dad, as Collin kept peeking around the tree grinning and trying to see her. :)
So the event was an evening wedding at Collin's parents' home here in Sonoma. Mother nature and Father Sky could not have provided a more beautiful moment of weather and sunset. It was a golden late afternoon and evening. But let me start at the beginning!
All Camille's "girls" got ready together at my daughter Brooke's house. We hired someone to do hair and make-up (actually, two teams of hair and make-up people! lol) The champagne toasted, Beyonce played (Camille's favorite), and there was plentiful chatter and laughter. Camille's two best friends flew in from Brooklyn and Vermont. And then her two sisters, nieces, sister-in-laws and myself. All the boys were elsewhere. Camille texted us all early that morning with this photo and the words, "It's wedding day!"
Mother of the Bride putting on the pearls my mom gave Camille for her 18th birthday
Brooke and Camille
Shannon, Fiona and Camille
My daughter-in-laws and Baby Mare
Camille and her nieces
Camille's two big sisters and her little nieces were the Maids of Honors and the Flower Girls. All the nephews were the Ring Bearers. Collin's brother and cousin were the Groomsmen. The little girls wore specialty dresses made from etsy and carried flower fairy wands. The little boys all matched in slacks and vests, and white silk bowties from crewcuts. They ALL wore spanking new white converse!
Camille's best friend since kindergarten got ordained and married them. She wrote the most beautiful ceremony. She and Collin so gracefully blended their family traditions. We created programs so that the guests could have a clear idea of who was who as well as the meanings of the traditions.
We spent months collecting vintage china, glassware and napkins because Camille wanted her reception tables set this way. It was stunning! And fun! The catering was local, organic, and yummy comfort food. Lasagne, Eggplant Parmesan, grilled summer vegetables and Ceasar salad. Simple and really enjoyed by the guests.
The party was....a blast! It started just as the sun went down, and the beautiful lighting and Mexican Wedding Flags created a romantic and very, very fun mood. There were the traditions: father mother of the bride and groom dances, first dance, signing the katuba, cutting the cake. Camille wanted to dance to Puff the Magic Dragon, the song her father always sang to her as a child.
And then "it" happened. It all started with dancing the Hora. And the music played, and the guests held hands and laughed and danced around the bride and groom lifted high in their chairs....and then the groomsmen and other assorted friends had the bright idea...the music crescendo-ed, Camille and Collin laughing and dancing with arms in the air, the chairs swayed closer to the pool...and in they went for their first swim as husband and wife!
This blog post could have ended here. The reception could have ended here. That is if Camille was Bridezilla. But my girl, she proved what she is made of! Back in they went holding hands, and in seconds the pool was full of friends and party-goers galore. A pool full of folks in party clothes! The bride and groom changed into cut-offs and t-shirts and then the night celebrated on....it was an epic memory. xoxo