Monday, November 9, 2009

A wedding hike

I had very few particular dreams about my wedding. However, I'd always known that I wanted to be barefoot: grounded to the earth, and bare-headed: open to the sky.

These requirements meant that the wedding had to be outdoors. I had dreamed of getting married high on a bluff, reflecting our love of the mountains, but we knew that for the comfort of our younger and older guests, this was not to be. When we found a reception site less than a mile from the beach (itself a few miles from where we got engaged), it was clearly the ideal spot. The location was even more special because I had once worked on the land, restoring native plants to the area.

We could incorporate our love of hiking and the outdoors into the ceremony, by inviting guests to park at the reception site, and stroll 20 minutes down to the beach.

While Beach Day dawned sunny and bright, the fog moved in at midday, obscuring my vision of the 'perfect' day. My friends insisted that the fog added a romantic, ethereal touch. I tried to believe them. The previous day's rehearsal had been hot and sunny. Where was that weather when we needed it???

But where is the beach? On a clear day, you can see the waves from this point.

Not only was it foggy, it was chilly. Our guests are bundled up in heavy coats!

Such dense fog! Those faint white lines at the top of the photo are chairs at the ceremony site on the beach. From the crest of the path, you can see the beach, and Rodeo Lagoon, separated from the ocean by a thin strip of sand.

Oh, there are the chairs! But where are the waves??? The fog is so thick you can hardly see the water from the beach.

The walk to the beach was one of the very best parts of an utterly fantastic day. The festivities had officially begun, but we weren't yet in deeply in the swirl of it. It was just the nearest and dearest, out for a hike, albeit in fancy clothes.

Two of my oldest friends - my Ladies in Waiting, as they dubbed themselves - helped carry the back of my dress, keeping me from fleeing, we joked.
"This is surreal. I don't feel like myself," I said, struggling to remain calm.
"This is a ritual moment of transition. You're not supposed to feel like yourself," one of the Ladies sagely responded.

Guests gathered in the gloom on the beach.

When guests reached the beach, they could kick off their shoes and wiggle their toes in the sand. I wore spangled flip-flops for the walk, replacing them with the glorious Jimmy Choos later for dancing.

Here we come... The fog is lifting! Hooray!

Fog lifting over the lagoon....

The last wisps of fog are vanquished by the warm, autumn sunshine!
An apt metaphor for love.

Thanks to guests Madeleine and Srabani for the photos!


LPC said...

So, so, beautiful. The fog made it otherwordly.

Halsey said...

Any wedding where I could take my shoes off before entering sounds amazing!

Eco Yogini said...

very beautiful!!! :)

bunniesnbeagles said...

That's really cool. I'm so glad the weather cooperated with you. I can imagine that the change from fog to blue skies made everything all the more dramatic.

Olivia said...

This is beautiful! I love the fog, and the brilliance when it burns off.

I have a practical question for you - did you have guests who weren't able to make the hike to the beach? Was there an alternative way to get there?

We're also thinking about a Marin beach wedding, but there are grandparents to consider.