On October 17 John and Mandy got married. It was the best wedding ever. Really.
Mandy is my niece. She’s spunky and gutsy and smart and funny and cute and clever. If I was John I’d marry her too. That makes him a pretty smart guy too.
We planned our trip to California around the wedding date. We spent 5 days in San Francisco, then drove to my mom’s house, then drove up to Chico for the Big Day.
John and Mandy planned everything themselves, with big help from friends, family and I think especially John’s Mom. It was a wedding on a shoestring, but it was the classiest shoestring you can imagine. Creativity and class took the place of money and expensive excess. Everything about the day represented the two of them, who they are, and how they live.
The day we arrived in Chico we went immediately shopping for cookie ingredients and set to making my dad’s famous Buffalo Chips cookies. We made 12 dozen I think. What a nice way to start the weekend!
The next day we helped them set up the wedding site. They got married at an old farm house with huge gardens and grounds surrounding the old house. There is even a redwood plantation where we gathered after the ceremony.
Even though it was mid-October, it was very warm. We were actually amazingly lucky with the weather – it rained 2 days before and again 2 days after the wedding!
The Bride and Groom arrived to the front of the house, where the ceremony would take place, riding a bike (see first photo). This grand entrance was a surprise to everyone. It was so cute! They rode all the way around the grounds while music played them in (I don’t remember the song now).
Here they are during the ceremony.
It’s very difficult, in a short space like a blog, to describe such a special day and such special people. I won’t even try. Suffice it to say that I was very touched by the two of them, by their loving friends and family, and the day that they created for all of us.
I will end this post by showing you one of my favorite Mandy-as-a-kid photos. It was taken in 1984, in front of my parents’ house. We were having a picnic and Mandy was telling me some big story. I felt honored that this little kid wanted to spend time with me. I still feel that way today. She was, and still is, the apple of my eye.