Tag Archives: gumbo

Wedding: Dinner and Dessert

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When it was time to feed our guests, Chet proudly brought up the huge pots of gumbo that had been slowly cooking in the kitchen below all day. (Including a vegan gumbo!) Pretty much as soon as we set our wedding date he decided he wanted to cook our reception dinner himself. Although many folks tried to tell him preparing food would be the LAST thing he’d want to do the morning of his wedding, I’m so happy he didn’t listen, and I think he really enjoyed the opportunity to feed so many of our loved ones.

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We also put out platters of charcuterie, cheese, salad, rolls, and potato salad that we ordered from Good Foods Co-op. Everything was so delicious and looked pretty, too!

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For dessert, my mom baked two kinds of cupcakes. The groom cupcakes, per Chet’s request, were peanut butter and jelly. The bride cupcakes were berry shortcake. My mom doesn’t mess around when it comes to cupcakes. The pb&j had a creamy peanut butter center and the bride cupcakes were stuffed with a little pocket of fresh berries.

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And the lovely Good Foods Co-op bakery made us this tiny, two-tier cake. Isn’t it adorable?

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(Chet’s boutonniere is from Michler’s Florist + Greenhouse. The chalkboard labels were purchased at Office Depot and we got the 3-tier cupcake display on Amazon.)

(Photos by Sur La Lune Photography.)

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Wedding: Getting Ready

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On the big day, we got to our venue early in the morning, and thanks to a tremendous amount of help from our family and friends, everything was set up in no time.

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Once the furniture was arranged to our liking, Chet was holed up in a basement kitchen for most of the day. He lovingly prepared a gumbo (and a vegan gumbo, too!) for our guests. Feeding people is a strong love language with this one.

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In no time at all, we were ready to put on our wedding duds!

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We claimed an upstairs ballet studio, and my mom arranged my hair into a beautiful up-do. Although we had gone through several practice-runs on the hair, this was her best one yet! And for the finishing touch, tiny white flowers pulled from the previously mentioned Trader Joe’s bouquets. (Great value, if I do say so myself.) Finally, I whipped my gorgeous dress off the hanger and slid it on. So excited to finally debut it! Spoiler alert: I changed my mind.

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Meanwhile, Chet was getting dressed in the studio next door. So handsome!

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As if she hadn’t already gone above and beyond in making my wedding a dream come true, my mom also gave me this gorgeous diamond necklace. She had it made from one of the diamonds in a set of earrings my dad gave her as an anniversary present. Since my father has passed, she wanted me to have a piece of him by my heart on my wedding day. I was so honored by this special gift and will cherish it forever.

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Chet and I chose to see each other before the ceremony so we could brush off the nerves and take some photos. When we finally met up, dressed in our wedding attire, we hugged and spent a little time fawning over each other…

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…before capturing a few snapshots in this remarkable ballet studio (that arch!) with our friends and photographers Carrie and Ganer.

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And with one final touch…

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…we set off for a whirlwind photoshoot in Downtown Lexington. More on that tomorrow!!!

(My dress is from ModCloth and my necklace was made by GDA Jewelers. Chet’s suit is Joseph Abboud. The ballet studios are home-base for The Lexington Ballet, a company I studied with for many years.)

(Photos by Sur la Lune Photography.)

Delightful New Orleans Wedding

My dear friends Carrie and Ganer got married in New Orleans on Saturday and had such a thoughtful, dynamic wedding. I was beyond grateful to be present for the magical few days they lovingly created for their friends and family. The entire trip was fantastic. I laughed until my belly ached until the wee hours each day. I cried fat, happy tears when the bride and groom exchanged vows. The whole experience, piling a bunch of lovely friends into a house for a few days and capping off the stay with a wedding ceremony out on the front lawn, reminded me of Ernest Hemingway’s words, “We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.” It seemed so fitting that as they became husband and wife, the word HOME glowed brightly just behind them. Because that’s what Ganer and Carrie create wherever they go.

Here are a few highlights from the trip…

Roadtrippin.

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Chet and I split up the drive from Miami to NOLA (and back again). We aren’t gluttons for punishment and…he did all the driving (#blessed, #copilot). We stopped in beautiful St. Pete both ways to enjoy some sister time at Starbucks. I LOVE that my lil sis is so much closer now. She agreed to take care of her nephew-kitty while we were away and it was so nice knowing he was in good hands. We also enjoyed our stopover in Gainesville, which supplied us with a delicious dinner of Japanese food and 4 hours of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Bless you hotel cable. In the car we listened to a ton of NPR, many episodes of the podcast Criminal (highly recommend), and Hotline Bling on repeat. On our journey home we stopped at one of those quintessential-Florida “Citrus Centers” to cash in on a free cup of fresh squeezed OJ and a tank full of baby gators on full view.

The Mansion. 

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We rolled up to this house and our jaws dropped. I can’t believe we got to stay in such a beautiful mansion. Massive Southern porch, grand dining room, landscaped grounds, billiards room, gorgeous kitchen, cozy basement den. It had everything and MORE. And it served as the perfect backdrop for Carrie and Ganer’s nuptials.

Louisiana touches. 

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More than just an amazing wedding, this trip felt like a real New Orleans vacation. I was scarfing down a catfish poboy pretty much as soon as I arrived! We enjoyed the night life on Frenchmen Street on Thursday. Friday, Chet and I explored the shops and sites on Magazine Street. Ganer’s mom made a massive pot of delicious gumbo for the rehearsal dinner and after the wedding I cut myself a big ol’ square of bread pudding. Suffice it to say my Cajun (and slightly home-sick) fiancee was in heaven…while I just enjoyed the awesome excuse for a vacation!

Sweet friends. 

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I spent our time in NOLA relishing in the presence of so many sweet friends. I told Chet as we drove away from the city that I had felt so blissfully unplugged during our whole stay. I wasn’t on my laptop once, my phone remained tucked away in our bedroom for hours at a time, social media was an afterthought. This means my digital coverage of our adventures was pretty lacking but the sweet memories definitely outweigh. (Plus, there was a super talented photographer staying with us and I can’t wait to see everything she captured!) I loved having so many of my favorite people in one place! After moving all the way down to the tip of the U.S., I do not take this occurrence for granted. Our social interactions have been lacking this Fall but now my love tank feels so full.

Lovely love. 

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I’ve long admired and found inspiration from Carrie and Ganer’s relationship. Seeing them showcase their love for each other in such a meaningful and grand way was so special. Their vows, and the ceremony itself, embodied the passionate, warm, giving and creative human beings these two are. I also enjoyed listening to our friend Ben officiate, the readings fit for a truly forensics wedding (Black books! Spliced!), and all the lovely toasts spoken in the couple’s honor. All the little details of the day and all the thoughtful words shared amongst loved ones made me so excited for my own wedding!!! Eeps! Time to get plannin’!

A wild and wonderful party. 

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Dancing and laughing with your friends never gets old. I remember dancing and laughing with friends when Ganer first showed up in Bowling Green. He ended up at a little house party in my very first apartment and immediately started making eyes at Carrie. I remember dancing and laughing with friends the night Ganer introduced me to Chet at a local dive bar. How thankful I am for those nights, and now this one too.

When you’ve got such a delightful crew by your side, so many wild nights lead to wonderful consequences.

Congratulations Carrie & Ganer!!! Thanks for letting me be a part of your magical wedding. I’ll never forget it. Chet and I love you to the moon and back! 

P.S. Want a behind the scenes look? Check out Chet’s vlogs. The Trip and Wedding Celebration Part 1 are up now…and more to come!