Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of providing one of my Intimate Wedding Packages for an adorable young couple. Juan Pablo and Sara met while at Florida Tech. For their wedding ceremony, they decided to have a simple affair at the bride's parent's home in Melbourne Beach with just close family in attendance.
They had already ordered flowers, purchased a sand ceremony kit, and hired Cheryl Clermont as their photographer, so about all I had to do was bring cake and champagne. I usually use disposable paper items for my package weddings when I have to travel, but these two were just so cute and the needs so simple I decided they should have real silver, china and linen for their reception festivities.
I enlisted the help of my fifteen year old son, and if you know anything about fifteen year old boys you know he did not do it just out of love for mom. He was compensated monetarily for his efforts and was a huge help. He even functioned as my chauffeur. He thought I was letting him have more driving practice when actually I needed a bit more time to practice the Spanish I would be speaking during the ceremony. I think I only seriously flubbed two words. The groom, Juan Pablo, had graciously translated a fair amount of the ceremony so his parents from Ecuador would be included in the ritual of the wedding.
Thanks to my son's help, the set up was a piece of cake - absolutely no awful pun intended. The wedding was held on the beach right behind the house. Family members had set up chairs and created a beautiful heart mound in the sand with rose petals outlining the heart. Juan Pablo and Sara picked the perfect time of day for this time of year. We had some decent cloud cover, but no rain. We had a cooling breeze, but no full out gales to destroy the decorations or interfere with the sound equipment.
I always provide a little more than just cake and champagne because that seems a bit too minimalist even for my simple tastes. In their case, I brought strawberries, roasted almonds and sugar-free cupcakes for the bride. She was too excited to eat anything more than the single bite of their wedding cake Juan Pablo fed her for the portraits, but I left the cupcakes behind in case she wanted to get wild and crazy later. I like to leave a little surprise gift of some kind when I do packages, so I was thrilled when I also found a really sweet dove cake topper that converts into a Christmas tree ornament.
I definitely appreciated that we were having the reception inside the house rather than outside. That does make things a bit easier. It also confirmed my decision to bring the china and silver. I like to use these if at all possible because of the meaning behind many of the pieces. The Haviland china is a pattern my mother-in-law gave me. It is impossible to identify and despite many web searches I have no idea how to replace the pieces should something happen to them.
I thought the cake knife and server were the ones my parents used at their wedding and my husband and I used at ours. But it turns out they are a set my husband and I were given as a present for our wedding. One of three such sets actually. Oh well, they still have sentimental appeal even if they don't go back quite as far as I believed.
The silver flutes are part of a six-piece set my husband bought for his parents and their children for my in-laws' 40th wedding anniversary Disney cruise. The silver cake platter was a gift my grandmother received from Northside Hospital in Atlanta when she retired in 1976. The ice bucket was a wedding gift my husband and I received, though I have to make the awful confession I have no memory of who gave it to us.
I like using these pieces because I am dreadfully sentimental and adore layers of symbolism. We all need to be reminded from time to time that love as a past, a present and a future. The irreplaceable china reminds me that the decision to marry constitutes a risk, but with trust and proper care, the marriage bond can remain whole and complete. That and it's just more elegant than paper plates and plastic forks.
Congratulations to Juan Pablo and Sara. May the saddest days of your future be no worse than the happiest days of your past!
Rev. Ann Fuller
The commentary on this blog is my own opinion developed over years of officiating a wide range of wedding sizes and styles. I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.