Since the wedding location is about 45 minutes away from our home, we only had a short time to prepare. We had that Sunday, November 10th, plus Saturday the 16th to accomplish most of our tasks. Ricky's apartment would serve as a location for both ceremony and reception. Chairs would be set up for the ceremony and be moved after. Between the ceremony and dinner, Eric and I would have photos taken while family set up the Chipotle buffet and eating areas. As you can see, it takes more than just the wedding couple to make it happen.
While thinking about the chunk of time between the ceremony and eating, I was stressed. How would we get the guests out of Ricky's apartment and down to the lobby for light snacks? There had to be a nice way of saying, "Okay people. We need to bring in the tables. Go hangout in the lobby until someone calls you all up." We'd figure that out later.
On the same night Eric would finish the Wedding alter, Karla flew in from Northern California. Karla and Eric have a friendship that stretches far back through the web of time. When I met her in 2003, a friendship between her and I began to blossom. She's been "an ear", a person of knowledge, and a source of infectious laughter. Soon after Eric and I became engaged in 2009, we asked Karla to be our officiant.
Let us fast forward to the Saturday before the wedding. I had to work. Off to Disneyland, at 4 AM I went. Eric had a few more hours sleep and headed back to Hollywood. Karla, Ricky, and Eric went at it all day. And then I waltzed in after work, around 4:30 PM. It was quite a long day. By the time I arrived they had a vast amount of set up complete and the place was glistening. Later Eric's mom Mary arrived with his aunt, Cecilia. They had the center pieces ready and were about to set up the Candy Bar.
Once the candy was set up in their glass display jars and the navy blue ribbon was thoughtout the space, it felt like this was all coming together. Eric and I were so worried about logistics, we still didn't have that "OMG, WE ARE GETTING MARRIED" moment. But, I think under the surface it was slowly starting to sink into our brains.
That night I had an awful experience where I was up every hour. I'm sure most people can relate to an annoying night such as that. The one thing I didn't want was to appear completely exhausted. We were taking lots of photos the next day and we both wanted a refreshed look!
Eric and I weren't awake too early. We finally got up around 7:15 for our big day. The set up was mostly complete so there was no need for a rushed morning. And once we set out to LA, it was a stress free ride.
Once we arrived we added some last minute touches and waited for the cake delivery. There was a hole on the counter for our cake, so this would complete our spread. Too bad the delivery man was all business. I don't think he looked one person in the eye.
We got over the weird delivery man quickly. Cassie and Ryan, great friends and photography duo, arrived to snap some shots of the place beforehand. At that point Eric and I decided it was time to get ready! In Ricky's bedroom, as we changed clothes, we strategically avoided the five tables we had stored there. I kept thinking, "oh poor Ricky. We've turned his world upside down". Soon, the guests would start to arrive.
I'm not sure if anyone realized, but we had pop music as background, performed by a string quartet (recorded). To name a few, kudos to those of you that recognized Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters or The Beatles!! We had one or two guests arrive, then it seemed as though most all guests arrived at once.
I told Eric, "At the moment it feels as though we are hosting a nice cocktail party. But, we are getting married in about 15 minutes!" It was nice to see how excited everyone was and people's reaction to the decor was great!
Karla delivered a deeply emotional introduction tailored to Eric and myself. She touched on our vacations, love for collecting, and even Cirque du Soleil. Karla said that although we love these hobbies/places, it isn't as deep as the commitment we have for each other. There was even a moment where she surveyed our guests "Who has known the couple for 15 years......" and so on. It was nice she included them as well.
"Do you take Eric to be your husband?"
Those words will resonate within my memory forever. He and I stood there in front of our family and friends while admitting to one another we were in it until the end. Although I knew that two feet from me were our guests, I felt like Eric and I were the only ones in that room. I can't explain how special it was and still is.
The ceremony felt as thought it lasted a few minutes, but I am told it was around 20 minutes. Karla graciously led the seated guests to join her for a light refreshment in the lobby. After a few quick family photos and hugs, Eric and I followed Cassie and Ryan for our wedding photos. We were heading to the streets of Hollywood and the location of our first date, The Pantages theater.
As I said, The Pantages was our first date on April 19, 2002. We watched The Lion King. As it turns out, the same show was back in Hollywood again!! It was meant to happen!! Well, most of us think it's pretty cool.
We took a few shots standing underneath the marquee. Cassie and Ryan stopped traffic to get the shot!! It was insanely hilarious. But there we were trying to only smile and not laugh. The Russeks are hardcore!
When we headed back, Eric and I found the place ready for food! It was a relief that the wedding was happening smoothly. When we throw a party I like to oversee the event, but I had to let go of the reigns this time.
So far everyone was loving Chipotle!! Based on this wedding meal, our friend Angie decided to use the same catering service for work. I dug into my meal with a little wine! After all, it is mine and Eric's favorite place to dine. I probably should've taken a photo of the food. Well, it was a taco bar with burrito bowl options.
A short while later we gathered for the toasts. Both Ricky and Martin delivered some wonderful words and wished us well. The drink of choice for the toasts was Moscato Champagne. It was delicious and I'm glad we still have one bottle left!
I had never cut a cake "with" someone before so we tried to make it look as natural as possible. If you were there, did it work? As we knew from already tasting it, the cake would be fabulous. I'm pretty sure I ate 2 1/2 slices. Another big thank you to my cousin for taking care of the cake's cost!
As a matter of fact, there are many people to acknowledge! It feels like we can't thank our family and friends enough. Our Mom's made a big contribution to the day and helped us bring this to life. They gave us a day Eric and I will never forget. It's been almost two weeks and I'm still reliving it in my head. But, that was only the beginning. In two days we have our Disney World Honeymoon! After that there is life. I don't know what we will go through together, but I'm glad I will be with Eric.