Weston proposed to me when I was about 5 months pregnant. It was on the beach in Malibu, CA, and it was a total surprise for me. Very romantic, it was pretty much a storybook proposal!
Fast forward to November, 2010. Sydney is well over a year and a half, and Weston and I are STILL engaged. You do the math.
I honestly don't remember what spurred me to not only plan an entire wedding ceremony on New Years Day, but to make it a complete surprise for Weston. I think I just began feeling guilty that we never talk about wedding stuff. Something always seemed to come up (like, oh, I don't know, our HOME getting robbed and having to move?). I finally realized that getting married should be easy, not stressful!
I knew that we couldn't just elope. I needed a little bit of help, and I knew that Weston was extremely close to his grandparents. Before I even broached the subject with either of our mothers, I researched wedding officiants online. The first woman I called ended up being the perfect fit for us! She and her husband are super down to earth, kinda hippie, she writes her own poetry and her ceremonies are about ten minutes. Perfect. I met her at her home to discuss the details of the speech, and gave her the down payment. The ball was rolling.
I called Lyndi (Weston's mom) and my mom, then told them my idea. My initial thought was to have the ceremony at someone's house. I also thought it would be fun to actually surprise Weston on THE wedding day. What was I thinking!? I eventually realized that Weston needed a little bit of time to process the fact that he would be getting married. So I settled for telling him the night before. :-)
I only wanted immediate family at the ceremony for two reasons. Number one was cost. Two, we had ALWAYS wanted a small, quick wedding. It was only 12 people (our parents, our sisters and their significant others, and Weston's grandparents).
Weston and I had a night out with his family a week or two after I had the plan set in stone. We went to Anselmo Vineyards, which is just before Shingletown. It is fairly new, and I am pretty sure we were their first wedding. Anyway, after having a fantastic dinner in a beautiful atmosphere, Lyndi called me up one day and suggested using the vineyard as the venue. Um, yes please!
I now had the venue and the officiant. On to the tiny little details. With the help of both moms, I organized a cake, ring pillow, music, cake topper, and much more. Christmas was right around the corner, and I figured out the perfect way to get Weston to sign a marriage license... LIE, LIE, LIE.
I pretty much told him that I had our wedding on my mind, so most of his Christmas presents were going to be wedding-themed. He wanted to wear linen for our beach wedding, so I bought him a linen shirt (and made him go in to get it fitted), kick-ass linen pants (thank you, Cubavera!), and some fabulous white shoes. No, not Pee-Wee Herman white shoes. They were slip on DC kicks, and he's worn them every day since the wedding. :-)
I spoke to the lady that handles the marriage licenses and begged her not to say anything about the 90 day expiration date. I convinced Weston that they are good for about a year, and this was one less thing we have to worry about for our summertime beach wedding. He signed the thing without batting an eye, and I was doing a silent victory dance in my head. The lady almost ruined it, because when we walked in I introduced Weston, but she then proceeded to shout out "HI, SYDNEY!". He either didn't notice, or didn't tell me!
I wrapped all of his "gifts" and stuck them under the tree, then bought him a few other REAL Christmas presents to throw him off (an ox-horn beard comb, a hat, and Bioshock Infinity pre-order... which apparently doesn't even get released until 2013... OOPS!). I had my dress, my shoes, and my handmade hair piece ready to go. Showtime!
I planned a romantic New Years Eve dinner at Tapas in downtown Redding. I waited until Weston took a call outside, then told the waitress what was going on. He came back inside, and I handed him a card that read "Will you marry me.... tomorrow?". He laughed at first, then said "Wait, what?". Then the flood gates broke, and I gushed about everything I had been planning and buying and saving for. The waitress brought champagne and dessert, and we spent the rest of the night talking about The Big Day.
He said yes. :-)
The next day was perfect. It had snowed the night before, and my plan was to have the wedding outside, regardless of weather. It was snowing while we were married in a beautiful marble gazebo in the middle of the vineyard. What better reassurance about this entire scheme than to have perfect romantic winter weather? It was truly one of the best days of my life, of OUR lives, and my family is now complete.
We are definitely planning a reception on the beach for extended family and friends. I didn't plan this to hurt feelings or to exclude anybody. I did this so that Weston and I have a special anniversary date, and so our little family could feel whole. I hope we have everybody's blessing. :-)
Mrs. Kristen Jenkins