One week from tomorrow I will be getting married! Feelings of excitement, exhilaration and anticipation overcome me as I imagine hundreds of friends and family all together celebrating our magnificent wedding day. This will be a second marriage for both of us, as the first ones failed miserably. I was only 16 the first time around, so that really didn’t even count – I was only a kid! And his marriage was purely obligatory to an unexpected pregnancy with someone he did not intend on staying with. This time, it is a thoughtful, conscious and clear choice to unite in holy matrimony.
So here we are, finally ready to surrender our single status and commit to being life partners for the rest of our days. It has taken us five years of being together to realize that we are truly a perfect match for one another. We are both 41 years old, which makes it fairly easy to relate. We enjoy much of the same music, food, lifestyle, humor, and activities. I’m quite congruent with this decision and look forward to the upcoming nuptials and festivities.
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What I feel most nervous about are things completely out of my control such as the weather (everything will be outdoors), logistics with out of town guests, people drinking too much and making a scene, my face breaking out as it sometimes does when I feel stressed, not having enough food or something totally crazy happening. There is no use whatsoever to worry about all the “what ifs”, so I’m letting that go and will instead intend absolute perfection. I have spent an entire year planning this massive event, so it better be beyond spectacular!
With numerous family and friends coming from out of state, we chose to hold our festivities in a little southwestern town about 20 miles from our house in North Phoenix, Arizona. Cave Creek is a quaint little community with fascinating appeal and exquisite desert landscape. It is not very far from the big city, but it feels far removed - like a scene from the old wild west.
The ceremony will take place around 1:00 PM at a charming restaurant courtyard area that looks like an old Spanish Mission. Several large trees grow right through the partially covered ceiling, which feels fantastically rustic and natural. We will express our vows in front of a tiled archway with iron gates near a little waterfall trickling into a pond full of ducks and turtles. The non-traditional ceremony will involve all the elements (earth, air, fire, water) as our favorite activities are all in nature; hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, camping, etc.
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Directly following the formalities, we will share a lunch buffet with about 70 of our dearest loved ones. Our good friend and talented musician will play guitar and sing while everyone enjoys their meal and visits. However this is not the official wedding reception, as there are actually two separate events on this day - part 2, is where it gets really fun!
The BIG LOVE FEST begins at 5:00 PM about 6 miles away in a regional mountain park nature preserve. We reserved the large event area and expect over 300 people to attend! There are 2 large ramadas with 12 built-in tables near a 90’ x 60’ smooth cement platform – perfect for the best dance party ever! There will be big stage with custom lighting and special effects, as well as lots of festive décor.