I feel like I'm finally starting to recover from last weekend (yes, more than a week later), and I thought it would be nice, for posterity's sake, to do some writing about it.
The wedding was certainly the biggest highlight of the weekend (I'm obviously biased, but I do feel comfortable saying it was the best wedding I've been to). But in addition to the wedding, lots of other fun stuff happened too! On Friday, Cara and I headed down to Columbus, and stopped at Grandpa's Cheesebarn on the way. It's a really cool place with an incredible assortment of cheeses and other delicious foodstuffs. I'd recommend stopping there at least once to anyone who has to regularly make the drive between Columbus and Cleveland. I discovered a new favorite of mine on this particular trip - wasabi peanuts! While there, we picked up some goodies for the groomsmen in the wedding.
On Friday night, Cara and I went out to eat at the Red Door Tavern, a restaurant I often went to as a kid. Cara and I had been there together once before, and we both love their Italian subs. It was a nice bit of nostalgia.
The excitement ramped up on Saturday, as we had our rehearsal dinner at my aunt's house with catering by Junior's Tacos. Yep, we had a taco truck at our rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, there were some difficulties, as the truck got lost en route (Cara and I arrived late to the dinner after struggling to get my family's printer to print vows on a 5 x 7 card, but this turned out not to be a problem as the food was more late than we were). Then, minutes into our departure from the rehearsal, we saw that the taco truck was broken down on the side of the road. I hope whatever happened to them wasn't too bad, as they did a fantastic job of catering, and brought a fun atmosphere to the dinner. I would highly recommend Junior's.
After the dinner was my second most anticipated event of the weekend - Okkervil River's concert at the Newport. The band did not disappoint, putting on another amazing show. Cara and I met our friends from Windsor there, who, to our great gratitude, saved spots for us so we had a nice view of the stage. Will Sheff and company went through a great setlist full of not only new songs but also a surprisingly large number of tracks from their 2005 classic Black Sheep Boy. "So Come Back, I Am Waiting" was just as stunning as the first time I saw it performed on that fateful night in October 2006. Other highlights of the show included "For Real," "Westfall," "Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe," and the absolutely gorgeous "The Rise" from their new album I Am Very Far. After dropping off Cara at her aunt's and visiting for a bit, I got home at around 1:30, and managed to get more sleep than I might have predicted.
On Sunday morning the weekend of great food continued as I went with some friends to Northstar Cafe. I had a delicious breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese on a biscuit, accompanied by fresh squeezed orange juice that was the best OJ I've ever had. And soon, it was on to the main event.
The wedding was pretty much perfect. As I said, I'm obviously biased, but I do think we did a lot of things that made our wedding stand out. Probably the biggest one was writing our own vows. We got so many comments about how beautiful that made the ceremony, and it really did; it was the highlight of the whole event in both our opinions. So if anyone is getting married and wants their ceremony to be special, writing your own vows is definitely something to consider. It might not be easy, but I think if you are really ready to marry each other, it's something you should be able to do. What made it even more special was that we did not know each other's vows ahead of time (and yet, as Cara smartly predicted, our vows were rather similar to each other's in many ways). I know we were both very nervous, but it turned out so well! The outdoor setting for the ceremony was also perfect, and we got really lucky with weather that couldn't have been better.
I also feel confident in saying we did a nice job selecting music for the wedding. The Star Wars "Throne Room" music for the groom/groomsmen processional was a big hit, and the Andrew Bird violin pieces for the bridal attendants' and bride's processionals were lovely. For the recessional, we played the beginning part of "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens. Whether or not this made it a "hipster wedding," I have to say, I thought it was absolutely perfect recessional music. Really, I couldn't imagine any other song going better with the moment, as we walked back down the grassy, tree-shaded aisle getting showered with confetti. We also had some fun music for the reception; everyone loved Weird Al's "Eat It" as the cake-cutting song.
Speaking of cake, this was another point in our wedding's favor. We went with Short North Piece of Cake, and it was amazing. We had two types of cake for the different layers. One was a white cake with raspberry and lemon curd fillings, and the other was a vanilla bean cake with almond cream filling. Both were so good that there's no way I could pick a favorite.
I don't want to get excessively mushy, but I shouldn't leave out that the best part of the wedding was marrying an amazing woman who is also my best friend!
Sorry for bragging about our wedding so much (well, not really), but we were just so happy with how everything turned out. It was such a fun time.
After the wedding, Cara and I went, in our wedding attire, to Jeni's in Grandview. Needless to say, this was very fun, and we were certainly the center of attention. We suspected that we might get free ice cream, and we were right!
I should also mention that that night I did catch the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, with the Mavericks taking down the Heat, much to the delight of all Clevelanders. I can honestly say that, before Game 5, I was legitimately a little bit worried that Miami would take the next two games and cause our wedding day to be the same day LeBron won his first title, which, if he had done this in his very first year after leaving the Cavs, would have been another ridiculous gut punch for Cleveland sports fans. I'm glad that the opposite happened!
The day after the wedding, Cara and I met our friends from Windsor again, for breakfast at Northstar (actually, this was after our first choice was closed for unknown reasons). It was very good, and as there was a Jeni's right next door, we decided to go again. One can never have too much Jeni's, especially on wedding weekend!
On the way back to Cleveland, we stopped at Grandpa's Cheesebarn once more. I thought this was a nice bit of symmetry. And then we arrived home, very tired, but also very happy. It was a good weekend.