Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Wildest Wedding!

Hey everyone! So last night, Patrick and I had the honor of attending the wedding of our friends Doug and Julie, who made the amazing decision to have their wedding at the San Francisco Zoo! Crazy? Not even a little bit! In my very short life I haven't been to too many weddings, but this one was hands down the best one I've ever been to and will likely ever attend.

Obligatory pre-wedding selfie

This was supposed to be a selfie with a giraffe, but as you can see he stayed pretty far away.

I made a real attempt on my hair for this event, and I must say I am super proud of the way it came out! I learned how to finally use my curling wand AND I only burned myself once!


Patrick and I arrived at the wedding early to help our friends Mandy, the wedding planner, and James, the DJ, set up before the ceremony and reception. While I was setting out gold leaf chargers and injuring myself with plastic boxes of candles and the like, Patrick was busying himself with sound equipment. Thankfully the other Brook (Mandy's wife) alerted me to the time so that I could (quite literally) run to the ceremony just moments before it started!

There was a photo booth right outside of the zoo entrance that we took advantage of before we got to work


One of the guests

Mandy and Brook's son, Harlow! I got to see this little old man before we got started with the setup. 

Our good friends James (the DJ) and his husband Nate! 

Thank goodness I had my tissues ready, because as soon as Julie, the bride, started walking down the aisle, I was in tears. I have never seen a woman look more lovely on her wedding day, and immediately you could see every emotion on her face. Her pure joy and excitement was too much and my mascara was making a run for the hills before she even reached Doug at the altar. When the two of them met, they did a short dance number before they stopped right in front of their officiant, well-known San Francisco drag queen Peaches Christ. While this could have definitely gone overboard and been a little bit tacky, Julie and Doug looked nothing but radiant with the gorgeous, glittery Peaches readying them for their nuptials, and she kept the entire ceremony casual, intimate, and high with emotion.
Doug's emotional hug with his parents, with whom he walked down the aisle

Radiant as ever, Julie walks down the aisle at the hand of her father.

The dancing duo, showing off their skills just before the vows.



Of course, two people as in love as Doug and Julie wrote their own vows, and they were nothing if not packed with love, commitment, and geeky puns-- but like everything at this wedding, they worked so well and were so beautiful that I had to look away from their sweet faces multiple times to keep from completely ruining my makeup with tears. Don't mind me, weddings always make me cry. Not always from the very first moment, like this one, but I am definitely a sucker for love.

Doug and Julie after their deal-sealing kiss

Julie and Doug looked like royalty. Julies dress was a beautiful off-white satin with this incredible blue peekaboo section in the back, held together with this amazing satin corset in the same color with lovely blue floral embroidery in the bust, topped with a sleek mini-jacket. Everything, from her gold charm bracelet to her custom tri-force inspired engagement ring and (afterwards) wedding band, just screamed "radiance." Even her makeup complimented her beautiful porcelain skin and gave her the long-sought-after "blushing bride" effect. Her bridesmaids complimented her in lovely tea-length dresses in blue, and Julie as well as the ladies of the bridal party all carried these amazing paper flower bouquets, made with different shades of blue and ivory paper and sheets of music. You'd truly have to see them to believe it.

Doug was dashing by her side in his black tux with complimenting blue striped handkerchief in his breast pocket and an incredible boutonniere (that he and all of his groomsmen sported), which he made with blue and gold duct tape. I wish I'd brought a real camera instead of just my phone!

Both of them wore faces packed with emotion-- from joy, to excitement, to nervousness-- and they couldn't have looked better together.

The ceremony was held in the middle of the African Savanna Exibit, and we even got to see zebras walking behind the lovely couples as they exchanged their vows.

After the tear-packed vow exchange and "I wills", we headed over to the Lemur Boardwalk for cocktail hour, where they served the most incredible food. If you think chicken skewers with spicy peanut sauce and fried risotto-and-cheese balls are "simple" foods, think again. Because these were hands-down the best appetizers I've ever had. Ever. Even outside of a wedding. I could have eaten an entire tray of just those two things... But I made an effort to save room for dinner.

Lisa and I during cocktail hour

During cocktail hour, we got to meet some awesome furry (and not-so-furry) friends, including a Legless European Lizard, a Kinkajou, a Prairie Dog, a Barn Owl, and an Alligator! THEY WERE SO COOL AND WE GOT TO PET ALMOST ALL OF THEM (only the barn owl wasn't having a good time).

THIS IS HARLEY THE KINKAJOU

#selfiewithakinkajou

Prairie Dog! He was sleeping when I got to him, but when I started to pet him he looked up at me, as though to say "That's nice, thank you," and then went back to napping.

After drinks and socializing, we made our way to the banquet hall, which was decked out in the gorgeous gold and blue colors that were chosen, where we witnessed the bride and groom have their first dance, speeches, and lots of love exchanged throughout the group. When we arrived, we found our wedding favors (two delicious cookies for each guest) which had our seating arrangements on them. Instead of numbers, each table was an animal! Patrick and I got to sit down at the Sumatran Tiger Table, which was (mostly) tech crew (from our Rocky cast), and we were the coolest table, if I do say so myself! Our Rocky friends (Doug and Julie are also fellow cast members) mostly grouped around our table, and even though there was a perfectly nice dance floor at the front of the room, we stayed right where we were and danced in the spaces between tables. One of the best moments of the night was when James played "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers and we, the insane Rocky cast, shouted along and danced together. We must have looked like lunatics to the rest of the guests!



At some point, we got to witness Julie and Doug cut their cake, which was a truly amazing work of art. It was a silhouette of the zoo animals on a sunset background which gradiated (not a word, but it is now!) to twilight with each tier, topped with a Tardis that had Julie and Doug peeking out of it. Such a wonderful incorporation of their beautiful wedding venue and their love for Doctor Who!



And now I will apologize in advance for the poor photo quality.


Kris, Victoria, Maggie, and me

Kris, Maggie, Patrick, Jules, and me

Jules, Mikey, Siobhan, Jack, Matthew, and me

Matthew, Jack, Christopher, and Jules busting a move (they're really good dancers)

Jules is the best dancer.

After a long night of smiles, laughter, and dancing, Patrick and I said our goodbyes and gave our best to the bride and groom before they headed off to their awesome Disney honeymoon today. I can't remember the specifics, but I know they're going to Disney World for somewhere around a week and also headed on an additional Disney cruise! Are you jealous? I know I am!

Our best goes to Julie and Doug and we wish them the happiest life together! We love you guys! Your wedding was the bomb! I've got some really big shoes to fill when Patrick and I get around to having a wedding for our friends and family.



DOUG AND JULIE, IF YOU'RE READING THIS, STOP HERE. I'M ABOUT TO SHOW EVERYONE YOUR WEDDING PRESENT, AND I WOULD RATHER YOU TWO BE SURPRISED WHEN YOU OPEN IT!

EVERYONE ELSE... DON'T SPILL THE BEANS!
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How cool is this? Patrick and I custom ordered a street sign with the happy couple's last name on it. Practical? No way. Awesome? Duh!



The card that I hand-made for them! The paper is tea-dyed, so please excuse if it looks "dirty": I assure you, it is not.


Front (the actual card is a curved shape, as shown, bit since we scanned it in you see that white bit at the bottom from the scanner's backdrop)

The inside, with the phrase that I came up with to go with the gift
(for those of you who can't see it)

"Seeing the two of you together
is the only sign anyone ever needs
to see that true love exists

Best wishes for a long
and happy life together"

The back. I made the card as more of a keepsake than just a well-wishes card!



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