Friday, October 23, 2009

wedding #1: Rachel and Alexis

I haven't written about the weddings yet because quite frankly, I'm still processing it all. They were both fantastic, and both came with such a plethora of friends and fun and memories that I still get a little overwhelmed/teary when I think about them. But I've spent too much time on this blog worrying about the weddings to not tell you all about them, so here goes.

One must start with Rachel and Alexis' first, because it was first.

I went up to Aunt Kim and Uncle Simon's guest house in Sonoma on Friday afternoon, in the vain hope of procuring a last minute tan. No dice, but it was nice to get some sun and laze around with my books for awhile. The wedding wasn't until 5pm the next day, so I did much the same thing on Saturday, and then of course left a little too late to get to the wedding on time while, you know, actually going the speed limit. It all worked out, though, and I got there justintime to catch a shuttle bus up to the house/vineyard where the wedding was held. Ezra and Isa Barth-Rogers were in the shuttle with me- they were the a-little-too-cool-for-school twins in our class- and seeing them all of a sudden was sort of what the whole day felt like, being thrust back into this world of high school. Ezra was very sweet and tried to dredge up things he knew about my life from Facebook- "you're making movies now, right?"- which was nice, since he never used to really talk to me. Isa, however, continued to not really talk to me. Oh well.

We got out at the house, and there are Will and Will, standing on either side of the entryway waiting to greet everyone. I wonder if they were given that job because they were both named Will? Who knows. Most people were already there, and I hardly had a chance to see anyone other than Diane and Phia before it was time to sit down. We found a row with Gio (single people unite!) and Matt Pantell's parents and Martin's dad. The view was horrible, made up largely of Andrew Tolve's head, but I managed to take a few pictures during the ceremony. Some are blurry, sadly, as the sun was setting pretty rapidly and we were under a bunch of trees, but oh well. It's not like I was the official photographer or anything.

Martin and Julia coming down the aisle

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Oh, the ceremony. It was the sort of perfect California non-religious ceremony that I can only hope to have someday- outside, with tons of friends, and someone who knows and loves the couple officiating. Rachel was escorted down the aisle by her mom and her brother (her dad died very suddenly of cancer when we were in college), and she looked absolutely gorgeous- her dress was sort of Greecian and she had no veil, just flowers in her hair. Susan, her mom, looked so incredibly happy. I told you all I would cry when Dr. Adams spoke, and I did, although not as much as I was expecting. The point that really got me was when he talked about how at Lick-Wilmerding, they try to teach students to use their "Head, Heart, and Hands" (which is the school motto, or one of them), and how in this case, they did a good job with the Heart. The ceremony was incredibly short, I'd say twenty minutes tops- Al spoke, the bridesmaids/groomsmen read a poem, Rafi (Rachel's brother) read something, and then it was over, and Rachel and Alexis were married. Holy crap.

Next there was finger food and champagne in the little patio area, which was cobblestoned and made everyone who had worn heels sincerely wish they hadn't. Between the soft earth from the rain the night before and the cobblestones, walking around was next to impossible. This was when I really got to say hi to everyone- Deirdre and her boyfriend (who wore a pastel blue suit with a red bowtie), Jon Anderson and his girlfriend, Andrew Tolve and his girlfriend, Andrew Kelsey, Gabe (Gabe was actually nice to me! For like, the whole night! It was amazing), Jordan, Martin, etc. I spent a long time talking to Martin's dad about teaching, which made me really start to think that I'm barking up the wrong tree with all this ridiculous "making movies" nonsense.

This was also the first point when I didn't eat enough food and had too much champagne. It would prove to be a theme for much of the night.

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Gio, Martin and Phia

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Emily and Julia, bridesmaids

There were little bundles of lavender with our names and table assignments on them, and I was put at the "Poughkeepsie" table, along with Diane, Gio, Gabe, Ezra and his girlfriend, and a couple kids from Vassar, one of whom lives in Los Feliz. It was a decent group of people. The DJ announced the wedding party entering and they all danced down the stairs of the house, and then there were speeches, which were mostly short and sweet. Alexis' mom gave a really nice speech in her thick French accent about what a lovely and warm person Rachel is; Rachel's mom didn't say much but exclaimed about how much she loved everyone there that night; and Maggie, the maid of honor, cried through her whole speech. It was all very simple and touching. Dinner was sort of family style, and I spent a lot of time wandering around talking to people and taking pictures, so again, I didn't eat much. There was salad, and a tomato thing stuffed with blueberries and corn, and halibut, and steak. I don't really remember the cutting of the cake (or of the cupcakes), but I know that when Rachel went to feed a slice to Alexis, it was very neat- no frosting all over everything or crumbs dribbling down his front. Perhaps Alexis just has a cupcake-sized mouth.

The backyard of the house, by the way, was really decorated beautifully, especially with the sun setting over the mountains in the distance:

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Rachel and Alexis thanking everyone for coming

And then, right before the dancing started, we took a giant photo with all the Lick alumni who were there, plus Dr. Adams (and, for some reason, Ezra's girlfriend):

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It makes me incredibly happy to be a part of this photo.

And then there was dancing! The dancing was long and drunken and man am I glad I brought flip flops along with my heels. The great thing about dancing with these people now was that there was no strange relationship crap going on like there always was at high school dances; we were just there to have fun and celebrate.

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Alexis and Rachel with Al Adams

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Alexis' mom, Julia and Alexandra McKleroy dancing

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Andrew Tolve's patented dance move (and Gabe really enjoying it)

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Jordan, Will Madison and Matty P

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Martin and Jon Anderson with their respective girlfriends (this, by the way, is pretty much what all my pictures from high school dances look like)

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I don't know what is going on here, but I hope it's what it looks like- Rachel's friend India slapping Alexis' ass as he dances

At some point I had a long drunken conversation with Susan and Al Adams, which in retrospect is pretty embarrassing. . . but they are so nice and I love them so I hope they weren't shocked or appalled by me. And then, it was pretty much time to pile into the shuttle to the house where the after party was and where the whole wedding party was staying. All I remember about the shuttle ride is Phia asking the driver if they could smoke up in the van, and he said yes, and they did. I didn't think about it very much and didn't bring anything with me to sleep in, nor did I really expect to spend the night at the after party house, because I kind of thought there would be a shuttle to take me back to the winery. . . but there wasn't, and it was not a good idea for me to drive anyway, so oh well. I slept in my fancy dress, but worse things have happened. The house was pretty amazing, with a pool and a huge sunken living room with a weird ledge thing that just seemed to invite MTV Grind-style dancing. Oh, what an insane party- as all good Lickie parties are. There was dancing, drinking, random conversations, lots of pictures taken, more dancing, pool shenanigans, boys cooking some weird hamburger/cream cheese concoction that was congealed and gross the next morning, people falling asleep in random places and/or leaning on others, and oh yes, lots of dancing:

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India and Rachel

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Rachel, Maggie and Julia

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living room ledge

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Rach and me and Deirdre

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Andrew Kelsey and Gul. . . oh god, just like high school.

Eventually Andrew Kelsey fell asleep on the couch, and people began quieting down and/or falling asleep in various random spots. I snagged a spot next to Andrew and sort of lay there in an uncomfortable daze smelling odd things from the kitchen while the boys cooked the weird cream cheese burger. Stephen Blair was on the other end of the couch from me and in the morning when I woke up he was on the floor, maybe because I had kicked him too much. I know Andrew kicked me. I heard people throughout the night throwing up, which was gross. Didn't sleep much, in the end, and when I finally decided to get up I was one of the first ones. The house was a wreck, almost comically so:

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Emily's boyfriend Ryan with congealed cream cheese hamburger

Rachel made mimosas and coffee, which were both helpful (strange how alcohol can cure alcohol, isn't it?), and everyone pitched in to clean up, and then Maggie's parents showed up with breakfast for everybody and we ate by the pool in the sunshine. Eventually I figured I should leave and get back to clean up the guest house in Sonoma, so I convinced Rachel's friends Peter (the one who lives in Los Feliz) and Kunur to give me a ride to my car at the winery. Said goodbye to everyone, till Christmas or thereabouts, I imagine, and then. . . it was over. I went back to the guest house and fell asleep for awhile, then went home to two very angry kitties, annoyed with me for having left them in the care of someone they didn't know.

It was such a strange weekend, but such a wonderful one. I have a weird relationship with the people I went to high school with- on the one hand, I feel more comfortable with them than anyone else; on the other, the group at the wedding largely consisted of people who were never my BEST friends. Julia still is one of my best friends, of course, and Rachel is certainly one of my best friends from high school, and I also had years when Phia and Deirdre and I were very close... and Matty P was one of my good guy friends. But in the end, these were the cool kids, and I was never REALLY one of the cool kids. I was a floater, in the most classic sense of the word- I was friends with the Julias and Rachels, but also the Jonnys and Danielles, the ones who rebelled against the cool group pretty much just because they were the cool group; and then I was also friends with people like Thomas Chow and Greg Maximov, the undeniable nerds who were the secret gems of Lick society. It's weird how all it takes is a few people who used to be cooler than you to make you feel 15 and insecure again. In the end, I love my Lick friends- I love them in a unique way I'll never love another group of people- but I feel much more safe and loved with my friends from college. Rachel and Alexis' wedding was beyond amazing, the perfect California hippie liberal kid wedding, the sort that I want to have for myself- but as far as friends go, Jack and Kat's beat it to a pulp.

And that post will be next. . .

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