Monday, January 14, 2013

Maggie and Jake at Home

When I met with Maggie and Jake, they had most of their wedding plans completed. The dress, the invitations, the reception site, all in neat and tidy order.

Makes sense, these two met in the military. The Navy, to be exact. On a ship, even. I'm always surprised when one of my Navy clients was actually serving at sea. In my experience, it has been a lot like finding a lawyer who actually tries cases. The bulk of them don't. Much to my simplified view of the world's dismay.

For me, it's easy. I could explain my profession in one sentence to any 2 year old, and they'd get it. That's how I like it. I make cake. Lawyers try cases in front of riveted juries, and sailors, well, they sail. Don't burst my balloon and tell me that there probably isn't a sail on a modern Naval vessel, just leave me to my happy, simplified world view, thank you very much. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of beautiful, soft spoken (although, she claims that she can literally "swear like a sailor" when need be) Maggie in a navy uniform, so be patient with me.

Maggie had a cake in her head. Typically, I design the cakes, and my clients and I work out each tier as I sketch it. I got the distinct impression that this girl knew what she wanted, and happily every time I'd sketch another detail, she would shake her head in approval, confirming that I was getting it right.

The inspiration was their invitations. Based on a Spanish tile pattern, the invitations were bold, and beautiful. I never would have put the color combination together myself, but, as many of you know, my color sense is definitely my Achilles heel. So, I trust my brides and so far, I've never been led astray. We matched the invitation pattern, the striking colors, and even added text from a verse that would be read at their wedding ceremony. Maggie had the topper already ordered, and even got me the glass beads to string the stand. It was an easy one.

A few weeks before the wedding, though, their reception venue fell through. I've seen this kind of thing happen before, and it can be traumatic and heart breaking. Maggie and Jake took it all in stride, and opted to have the reception at their home.

I arrived at their house on the day of the wedding after the ceremony, while the couple was still out with the photographer at the church. There were cousins and aunts abound, helping us with the doors, setting up the tables, putting out the hors d'oeuvres. And it brought me back. Seventeen years back. To my own wedding.

When the Captain and I got hitched, it was straight out of college. We didn't have a huge budget, but we did have great families and friends. His brother, Jim (also the best man) cooked for 125 guests. My Mom and Dad hand made topiary trees for the centerpieces. Two work friends tended bar, and my future mother in law laid out the programs. Magic Phil (my father in law) even worked out a trade for a limo to carry my new husband and me to our reception. We later found out that it was a funeral limo, typically used to carry grieving widows, which explained why the driver was so very happy to have us in his car. At the end of the night, we had forgotten one detail. The clean up!!! But before the issue even hit me, I watched in amazement, as my siblings and friends spontaneously picked up brooms and bused dishes at 1:00 in the morning. It was done without anyone asking. Without anyone thinking. Just out of love. And it is the best wedding gift that we could have asked for.

But I'm rambling again.

Maggie and Jake's at home reception had that same vibe. Everyone there because they loved them. Everyone contributing to the celebration. It was comforting. Joyous. Simple in all the glory of its definition.

We were there when Maggie and Jake came home from the church. He picked her up, and carried her across the thresh hold. And they were home. And I felt a little jealous. Because they get to live at their reception site. Every day they wake up and have coffee and cereal in fuzzy slippers in the kitchen where their family prepped their wedding feast. They eat dinner at the table that held their wedding cake, and they'll always have that echo (if you'll let me get philosophical) of the joy of that day right under their feet.

Added bonus...their puppy Gandalf could attend as well. Can you ask for anything more?