Feeling Included at Danny & Nikki’s Wedding

7 Jul

coupleYour wedding should be about you. It should reflect your love, your passions and your life together while letting your personalities shine through. But if you do it right, your family and friends will feel included in your life and love. Danny and Nikki did it right. It was a pleasure to feel included in so many aspects of their wedding.

From Danny g-chatting me the day after he proposed last March through consulting on the mother-son song choice and the official hashtag for the wedding in the months leading up, we felt especially included in their union*. It was a lovely wedding that let Danny and Nikki’s love and personality shine through, and we felt lucky to truly be a part of it.

*This is especially not easy to do for the fiancé of your friend you don’t get to see that often anymore, but they definitely made me feel like they were happy to have me join in their celebration of their love, and I greatly appreciated that they made that effort, even though they were by no means expected to since, as Zack said, it was really their day.

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Danny and I first bonded over Seinfeld when we were in the same class in 6th grade. Everyone liked “Seinfeld,” then in its final season, but we were obsessed. I’d wear Kramer and George t-shirts and Danny would quote the show with me endlessly. We wanted to get Danny and Nikki something Seinfeld related, but Danny admitted he wouldn’t watch the DVD box set, since it’s always on cable. I found out that the “Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld personalizes signed pictures and ladles and added the hashtag I suggested they use for the wedding. I have to admit, I sort of shrugged at the idea of this gift for the couple — yeah, I get it, everyone loves “Seinfeld” but really? The Soup Nazi? But I think it turned out great, and I’m glad Zack went with something that was so personal to him and his friend.

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The wedding was just over a year after they visited us in Austin and Caitlin got to meet and get to know Danny and Nikki for the first time*. We saw Danny as soon as we arrived on the wedding day. He was lounging by the hotel pool, but was more focused on welcoming guests. As soon as we got to our room, we found a great welcome bag full of snacks, Advil and a schedule for the weekend. Perfect way to acclimate your guests and make sure we had what we needed. After a quick dip in the pool and a rush to get ready in time, we were on a lovely shuttle ride winding up the road with Whitney** and her fiancee.

*Zack is forgetting that I totally bonded with this adorable couple when he was in Jonathan Walton’s wedding party in Chicago, and Nikki and I were the sole ladies in the gang of groomsmen, helping adjust ties, hold things and generally just watching with proud smiles as our handsome fellas posed for the camera. That was when we really forged a bond.

**Zack’s childhood friend, and I do mean childhood — Whitney and Zack were in diapers together!

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After hanging with our good friends in the wedding party, everyone took their places and the incredible background of enormous trees was the setting for the lovely ceremony. Danny and Nikki did a wonderful job of incorporating numerous important people in their lives into the ceremony, from Nikki’s brother officiating the ceremony to her aunt doing a reading, to Danny’s groomsman reading the significance of the Chuppah and the stepping on the glass. It made it feel like a real inclusive event. I *loved* the groomsman, Zaks’, prepared speech about the Chuppah! I’m tempted to steal something like that for our wedding, if we have a Chuppah ourselves.

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The party began with a photo booth, hors d’oeuvres, with champagne and wine flowing. The extended cocktail hour allowed us to chat up the guests and catch up with old friends. Soon, a chilly bay area evening had all the ladies wearing the men’s sport jackets and we had a feast of ribs, mac and cheese, corn on the cob and more wine at the table. After dinner, we ducked inside to start dancing. Well, after some rather lengthy speeches, we danced. I indulged heartily in the champagne and wine, which I learned made me sleepy far too quickly, and turned me into a bit of a wallflower when it came to the dancing. Lesson learned — I have to pace myself so I can truly unleash the party animal that I’m just so sure is hiding inside of me, somewhere (cue Zack protesting this sentiment now).blackwhitecookie

My favorite moment of the dancing was Danny coming up to a dancing Caitlin and I, to half jokingly say “I stole your song!” as we danced to “Drunk in Love,” which we fully plan on dancing to at our reception.* Danny said he worried we wouldn’t get to talk much, considering he’d be pulled in a million different directions, but we even got to share a black and white cookie together a la Seinfeld. We danced until we couldn’t dance anymore and took the parent shuttle back to the hotel, dozing off on the way**. As tired as we were, we were supremely impressed by Nikki finding the energy and warmth to be so sweet and attentive to us at the Sunday brunch. She was glowing, telling us the day after the wedding is the best feeling. We got to hang more with Danny, watch his dad’s adorable baseball themed montage video and help out by taking the Chuppah back to the shop on our way back to Oakland. Cheers to the lovely couple and many thanks for letting us share in your love.

*This was probably also my favorite part. He was so excited to have stolen the song, and I was just so happy to share it with him and have it included in the playlist line-up!

**I felt so guilty about being the bigger party pooper towards the end, just being too tired to move, and it didn’t help as we overheard conversations on our shuttle about how “I really love the dances where there are instructions,” and, “Yeah, the shuffle was good. But where was the Macarena? Or the chicken dance?!” Oy vey. On the parents bus, we certainly were.

 

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