A California Wedding: The Pelican Inn in Muir Woods

Going to the Chapel: A Destination Wedding in California

This post follows Going to the Chapel: The Preparations and Photo Friday: Muir Beach. Check them out if you haven’t already!

In all the planning we did to ensure everyone had a bangin’ good time, we neglected one “small” facet of the wedding itself: the ceremony. In fact, up until THE DAY BEFORE, SVV and I hadn’t a clue what we were going to say or do. Luckily, we had a gem of an officiant, my best friend in the whole wide world Lemon, who is always adequately prepared. She had e-mailed me documents full of readings and vows and other things you’re supposed to say in weddings, so the day before found us skimming through them and hastily copying and pasting text into one master spreadsheet.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

We ran through it once speaking, and then again that afternoon in our apartment lobby with all parties present. Katey video taped the whole shebang.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

Lemon instructed my dad to “shake the groom’s hand, then kiss the bride” before sitting down, a task that proved difficult for him, as he kept repeating (to Lemon), “now I kiss you, then punch Scott?” My dad, ever the comedian.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

We hired a dazzling string trio—cello, violin, guitar—from Starlite Strings, and I had my say in what music would play. Never the traditionalist, I opted for “Over the Rainbow” for the bridal party (all four of them), James Horner’s “Ludlows Theme” from Legends of the Fall as my processional, and “Bittersweet Symphony” as the recessional. Not like I remember any of it; the whole day still seems like a dream that happened to somebody else. And I never even managed to meet said musicians either.

The actual ceremony was about a half an hour delayed. I’m still not sure why—no one keeps the bride in the loop after all—other than that the dudes were having quite the time figuring out the boutonnieres. I didn’t appreciate it much, because again, hello! Freezing out!

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

One of my best friends from New York, Ryan, and his boyfriend, Anthony, flew out on a red eye after Anthony’s graduation to be my ushers.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

I was so touched by this act. Most people would say, “hey, I’m graduating, I’m really sorry I can’t be there.” Not them. They went straight to the airport after to hop a plane out to San Francisco. (Also, they’re extremely dashing and charmed all the ladies they escorted in.)

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

Moose was our point person who alerted Kari, my maid of honor; Kiva, the flower girl; and Jack, the ring bearer, when to go.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

The kids were so brave that day; it couldn’t have been colder out, and they both stood up there beside their dad and Kari throughout the length of the ceremony.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

I’m pretty sure that is not a look of disgust but rather an alarmed, “how long until I can put my fleece back on??”

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

Jack took his role seriously. He was NOT letting those rings fall (even though they were bound in quadruple knots to the pillow my MIL Joan made). Perhaps the funniest part of the whole day, his determined laser vision aside, was when it was his turn. He was supposed to follow Kiva down the middle aisle, but took off to the right of all the chairs. Moose had to chase after him and steer him the right way. We couldn’t have planned that better if we tried; it was precious.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

And then, it was my turn. I’m not normally one to get all weepy at occasions such as this, but perhaps someone slipped hormones into my cereal that morning, as I had to think sad thoughts before my dad walked me down the aisle or risk my mascara running something disastrously. I was also shaking like a leaf—and it wasn’t just because of the 50 degree temps either. I’ve never been so nervous in my life, and having grown up a performer, stage fright is not an element with which I am familiar.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

Who needs a wind machine when you’ve got coastal California hurricane-like gusts screwing things up working in your favor?

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

Lemon greeted the guests, then gave her homily, which was perfect.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

She spoke for five minutes on what was a perfect mix of eloquence, humor, wit, honesty and emotion. See? Funny.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

You’d almost think they were watching Conan live and not at their kids’ wedding.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

We had decided a few weeks before that we needed a reading, if nothing else to at least make the ceremony last 15 minutes. (While we didn’t want a long one by any means, we didn’t want a) people to think we weren’t taking the whole point seriously and b) guests to feel like they flew all that way for one big booze fest.)(Which they essentially did. But I digress.) Since SVV had officiated his sister Lisa’s wedding three years prior—and because she’s a fancy-pants lawyer and, thus, a whiz at public speaking—we asked her to do the honor. I didn’t want any cheesy love poem, nor did I want a Biblical reading. So we settled on one of my favorite poems of all time, Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” and tweaked it to be directed at a couple and not just one person.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

We each said vows, which we extracted from a (non-cheesy) poem, and then did the ceremony of the rings.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

Later on, people would tell me that my eyes were darting all over the place. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure where to look: at Scott, at Lemon, at my guests. But they said the cutest part of all was how SVV had laser vision that never once left me. (Sorry, honey; next time we get married, I’ll try to do better!)

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

And then, it was all over! Just like that, we were official. SVV dipped and kissed me.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

And I celebrated.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

A year engagement, over, done, finito.

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

Let the real party begin!

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

pelican inn, wedding

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

pelican inn, wedding, muir beach, california, marin, photography

COMMENTS
  • July 14, 2010

    You guys are so cute. I love it.

    Also, ring bearers are the best. Eli was the ring bearer at his aunt’s wedding and walked down the entire aisle with his eyes CLOSED and making a load sort of moaning/humming noise. I guess he figured if he couldn’t see the 200 people watching him, it would be ok. Hee.

  • July 14, 2010

    So precious! I am loving these little glimpses into the wedding day. Y’all are too cute!

  • July 14, 2010

    Sounds like a great wedding! Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  • July 14, 2010

    Lovely, LOVELY pictures. What a wonderful ceremony. You both look so happy.

    As I was looking through each picture, the background began to look more and more familiar. And when I saw the one with The Pelican Inn in the background, I knew! My husband and I have been to a wedding there before! A good friend of hubs from high school got married there a few years ago. SO lovely, and yes, COLD!

    Congrats again!

  • July 14, 2010
    Bethany

    Ahh, I teared up while reading this! You two look exactly right together.

  • July 14, 2010
    kat

    awwwwwwwwwwww.
    seriously just awww.

  • July 14, 2010

    Perfect…just perfect!

  • July 14, 2010

    Thank you for sharing your day with us! The pictures, as usual, are fabulous and help make us feel like we were there. I got a little teary eyed since weddings (and graduations) make me cry. During my wedding, my husband squeezed my hands super hard each time he saw me tearing up so I wouldn’t cry. My goal was to have great pictures (since we eloped in Australia) so I didn’t want to cry.

  • July 14, 2010
    Melissa

    Looks like you had a beautiful wedding! Thanks for sharing!

    PS I got married in 2008 and I was also shocked how nervous I got walking down the aisle and going through the ceremony!!

  • July 14, 2010

    You two are so cute. Beautiful wedding. You were a beautiful, beautiful bride. Thanks for sharing your most special day!

  • July 14, 2010
    Michelle

    I love that Dr Seuss reading! My sister read it at my other sisters wedding back in December. I did the E.E. Cummings reading ‘I carry your heart’

    Sounds like you had a lovely ceremony and the photos are once again gorgeous!! 🙂

  • July 14, 2010

    Yay! Great, great pictures. It looks like it was just right for your personalities. 🙂

  • July 14, 2010

    Everything was just so gorgeous and perfect! I couldn’t be more happy for you and SVV. I definitely think you should have a 2nd wedding!!! 🙂

  • July 14, 2010
    Susan C.

    Gorgeous! Looks like it was a fabulous day. It is amazing after all the planning how quick the actual wedding day goes by. Enjoy being newlyweds!

  • July 14, 2010

    I thought the ever-so-lovely Lemon did a beautiful job. I was in awe of her poise.

    Woot! Let the party begin.

  • July 14, 2010

    I’m really enjoying these posts and the pictures are simply beautiful. Love the bracelet.

  • July 14, 2010

    I love the untraditional traditions of your wedding. All that planning, and yes it is over before you know it. Now married life begins.

  • July 15, 2010

    It’s great you’re doing this recap while it’s still fresh in your mind. I can’t remember anything about my wedding day now, other than the fact I felt faint and sick from all the people staring at me. Excellent choice on the Dr. Seuss poem!

  • July 15, 2010

    I love these photos and your ceremony recap. Even though it was freezing cold, it looks like everybody had an amazing time! It really sounds like your wedding was exactly how you wanted it to be, and I hope your marriage is just as wonderful!

  • July 15, 2010

    Hey, did you meet a hottie at your bachelorette party and decide to marry him instead? Well, congrats, at any rate, it looks like it was a lovely ceremony, and very *you*. Oh, and your hair? Fierce.

    (Oooh, that hottie was Scott? Damn, let me know where I can get in line!)

  • July 15, 2010

    Sigh. I loved finally seeing this. So, so happy for you guys. 🙂

  • July 15, 2010

    SO sweet! We kept (errr, stretched) our ceremony to right around 15 minutes too. Dan and I high-fived when it was over- I wish someone had grabbed a photo of that!

  • July 15, 2010

    how wonderful! Congratulations again, again, and once more you two!

  • July 15, 2010

    beautiful! love the picture of the ring bear, jack (i believe), rest upsidedown on the stairs. precious!

    the fist bump – classic. just classic!

  • July 16, 2010

    Beautiful mix of professional and amateur, sardonic and romantic… Really cute. Congratulations!!!

  • July 16, 2010

    I could look at wedding photos all day long.

  • July 19, 2010

    I love your pictures, you look so happy and pretty! great location and great ceremony. and the fist bump is the best pictures of it all 🙂
    viele grüsse, kristina

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