Details! Our Wedding Day

On Friday, July 5th I woke up and smiled before I even open my eyes. It was finally our wedding day at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center, California!

After eating a little breakfast, the girls and I headed to the florist to pick up the flowers for K’s hair (my youngest bonus daughter) then headed to the salon and the beautification commenced!

I know that there is an old tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding. Nothing about us is very traditional, and heck, I followed tradition years ago and give thanks that didn’t work out for me. With two children that’s also a little more challenging than one might expect. So when my then fiancé stopped by the salon to say ‘hello’ the women went gaga over how good looking he is. For my teenage bonus daughter this was a bit aw-kward (say that like a teenager) LOL. At one point they told her, “Sorry. I know that’s your dad.” She was like, “Yeah. I KNOW!” I think the word delicious was used. Yes, indeed. He is gorgeous.

We got home and picked up our things and husband-to-be, then headed out to pick up our wedding cake from Extraordinary Desserts, the place we met. We stopped at the bank, but the line was to the door so we skipped it and headed to our lovely venue, Keys Creek Lavender Farm (about a 45 minute drive from downtown San Diego).

That’s us!
The house off to the right is the “bridal barn” – wonderful for relaxing and getting ready!
The ceiling of the bridal barn. The lavender smells soooo good and I am sure it helps keep everyone calm!
I was relaxed. I think we all were. My very close friend and her husband arrived just behind us and we went into the “bridal barn” and enjoyed the air conditioning. I filled out thank-you cards and we just chatted and the girls explored the grounds a bit. Soon after, one of E’s shipmates and close friends arrived.

The officiant arrived and saw all of us, very casual and worried he was overdressed. I assured him we’d be changing and before I knew it, it was time to get everyone ready! Everyone got into their outfits and left to wait for me to walk down to the man who would be my husband in just moments.

My wonderful friend helped me into my gown and I took a peek at everyone waiting for me. I was overwhelmed with joy and happiness. Everyone looked beautiful. The man I was going to marry looked more handsome than I think I’d ever seen him.

We opened the door and I started shaking. It wasn’t a bad shake. I think I was just overwhelmed with emotion. B calmed me immensely. I think M played “Here Comes the Bride” on her iPhone LOL. I got to E and we held hands and smiled and looked into each other’s eyes. He has amazing eyes…

My “something blue” peeking through


We wrote our ceremony and we really wanted to incorporate the girls into it. We declared our intent to marry, and then read our vows. E went first. I don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere to be found. His vows were beautiful and I was in awe. I still can’t believe that someone can feel so strongly toward me, and find in me the inspiration to pen such thoughts. There were a lot of happy tears. I read my vows next and had to breathe a few times to get through them. It was an incredibly intense and emotional time. I also said that having the girls in my life is a bonus, so I want to be a bonus mom to them because steps are for staircases. Then we did the ring exchange. I was so excited to finally wear my rings! I have three  rings and the meaning behind them is for past, present and future.  The eternity band I wear closest to my heart had one diamond removed and a ruby – husband’s birthstone – put in its place. The second band is my black diamond band which is my engagement ring and the third is another eternity band. E’s band has five black diamonds – one for each of his girls and two for us. The photos were taken by M, my 13 year old bonus daughter. 🙂
 After our ring exchange it was time for the sand ceremony. Here is the sand ceremony portion of our wedding. I think it will explain it best, but feel free to skip over.

Heather & Earl, today you are making a life-long commitment to share the rest of your lives with each other and to honor K, M, and L as well. Your family relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these individual containers of sand; one representing you H and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, one representing you E, and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

There are children who will share in this marriage; K, M and L.  Each child who will share in this marriage will also pour an individual container of sand (since L cannot be there, M and K will do it for her). The creation of this new unit will have a deep influence upon them. It is essential that there be Love and understanding between the children and the adults being married. As you each hold your sand, the separate containers of sand represent your lives up to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together.

These containers are here to represent you (officiant addressed the girls at this time) and your importance. Like colors of the rainbow we’re all different and special, valuable and precious. Therefore it is only fitting that you be shown as an important part of this marriage.

You may now blend the sand together symbolizing the uniting of the children and the bride and the groom (I went first, the girls next then E last – there is a reason for this).

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage and your family be. And will you now seal the vessel as a reminder that nothing is more important nor more sacred than the bond that all of you share? M and K,  do you see where you and L are? You are in the center of Earl’s and Heather’s hearts, now and forever.”

I am at the bottom, L is light blue, K is purple, M is dark blue and husband is red. The children are at the center of our hearts, so they are in the center of the vessel.
We then had the proclamation and the officiant presented us as husband and wife.
We sealed the ceremony with a kiss and then it was picture time!
Then it was off to take photos in the lavender fields. We had such fun! I have to fill you readers in on what is known as the “The Duck Song.” The first time I met the girls, they played a You Tubevideo for me. A duck goes to a lemonade stand and asks for grapes, over and over. It became a running joke and we still go places and ask, “Do you have any grapes?” I ordered duck bills from and bought grapes so Lauren could take some fun pictures. I cannot wait to see them! To watch The Duck Song click here.

Finally, it was time to eat! We sat out on the patio and watched a beautiful sunset. The weather could not have been more perfect.

Our menu:

Dinner Rolls with butter
Spring Mix Salad with tomato, mushroom and avocado served with a raspberry vinaigrette
Lavender infused rice pilaf
Sauteed baby carrots with asparagus
Beef filet tip with port wine demi glaze
Chef Jay’s special caramel chicken breast
Wedding cake from Extraordinary Desserts – where we met

The food was delicious. We were stuffed!

As with every wedding, there are some things that are bound not to go as planned. The caterer did not have cold drinks on the order! I can’t blame anyone, it was an innocent oversight, but we made do with what the Farm had on-hand. With a small wedding, this wasn’t such a big deal. They did bring coffee and tea, at least :).

E and I had some more photos taken, then came back and cut the cake. It was rich and decadent! We hung out a bit more, laughed and hugged and the girls were dying to change out of their dresses so they did. After thanking our friends for coming, we packed up and headed home. The girls got into bed and my new husband and I danced to our song in our wedding clothes in our bedroom. And it was perfect. Our first night as husband and wife…well…the night was perfect, really.

Before I knew it, we were waking up to head to Disneyland. We had a fabulous time. At the end of our night, we ran into a man named Bud. It was his “un-birthday.” He was an older gentleman with a very cheerful demeanor. He wore a button that said he was an honorary citizen of Disnyeland. I think he must have worked there years ago. He seemed to love the magic of everything going on around him and greeted everyone with a smile. He randomly invited us to sit in a roped off area on his blanket, along with others, to take in a live show called Fantasmic. He announced our new marriage, other’s birthdays and told us about the show. After waiting a bit, it finally got started! With her back turned toward me, K was fixated on the show. Mickey Mouse appeared and I heard the raw laughter of a 7-year old and then I looked at M, 13, who was also impressed and just cried tears of joy. The utter happiness I was feeling in that moment cannot quite be put into words.

In a million years I never thought this would be my life. I had a plan that did not involve marriage, children, Disneyland trips or anything other than focusing on a career, time for friends and my charity work. Whatever you believe in, sometimes life and the universe have other, better plans for us.

They certainly did for me.

Wedding Details:

Wedding venue: Keys Creek Lavender Farm, Valley Center, CA (San Diego County)
Something new: My dress and our wedding rings
Something borrowed: My beautiful friend’s Tiffany bracelet
Something blue: My shoes
Something old: The bracelet was old and my shoes were, too lol
Photographer: Lauren Nygard
Offciant: Chad Gibbs
Husband’s suit: Kenneth Cole
Wedding Rings: Levi Family Jewelers (the ONLY jeweler I trust and recommend – can even ship)
Cake: Extraordinary Desserts Little Italy