We got hitched April 19th, 2014…and this blog is all about my perfect day!
The Stanford Inn By The Sea as my oasis, and heaven on earth. My whole experience at Stanford Inn was magical. The setting of this resort is in the majestic Mendocino California. Mendocino California is along the northern coast of California, and has picturesque views of crashing waves upon rocks and bluffs. The drive into the resort is colorful, with flowers, organic gardens and greenery everywhere. This was truly the perfect place to elope!
I met Alex in the organic garden at the Stanford Inn for him to see me for the first time in my wedding dress. That moment was special for us. Since we are both vegan’s, and connected by the food we share, the organic garden was the perfect setting. He was turned around waiting for me. As I walked toward him I felt overcome with joy and excitement. I barely could hold back my tears. My family watched this unforgettable moment from behind the organic garden’s wooden fence. I then approached behind him, tapped him on the shoulder, and he turned around. I will never forget the expression on his face. I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world at that very moment.
Alex and I got married at Jug Handle State Reserve, which was about 10 minutes from the resort. The ceremony was along the bluffs and could see the crashing waves below us as the officiant said our vows. The wind blew my veil from side to side as my family members (a group of 7) watched the love and beauty of their surroundings unfold before them.
After the ceremony we took pictures along the bluffs, down on the beach, in the redwood forest and the pygmy forest which made for some very enchanting pictures.
We then drove back to the Stanford Inn for a lovely reception of organic, vegan food. All 7 guests were able to choose from the menu of the beautiful, delicious food. Each and every guest thought the food was incredible, absolutely out of this world!
My dad played a song of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” for us, and it was my most favorite moment of the whole day. This is where it all came together for me. I was in a beautiful place, with a the people I loved most, eating food that would nourish their bodies. I was dancing with a wonderful man who shared my views on life, all while dancing to my most favorite song I listened to countless times as a child. And to top it off my father, who I always wanted to make proud, was playing it especially for us. I hoped in that moment I had made him proud of my life choices, and surely I did. “Dreams really do come true.”
The rest of the week would get even better. Alex and I took a gourmet cooking class with Sadhana Berkow, the executive chef. It was an unforgettable experience where we learned the elements of gourmet cooking including ingredient combining, cooking techniques – sautéing, braising, cutting/chopping styles, and artful plating. At the end we even got to put together our own gourmet plate and enjoy it together. Sadhana was very passionate and fun, it is easy to see why she is the executive chef! We also got to meet with kitchen director and Nutritionist Sid Garza-Hillman. Sid is the author of Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto. I read the book on the plane ride home, and it is certainly a MUST read! Sid is a very personable guy, easy to talk with and very knowledgeable on plant based nutrition. Every morning at the Stanford Inn we went to the Raven’s Restaurant and were served a delicious plant based breakfast. It is hard for one not to get extremely excited about the wonderful food. During the day we would explore the town of Mendocino, visit the parks, and walk along the beaches. We even went horseback riding along the coast. What an amazing experience that was! In the evening we would visit the Spa area, and soak for an hour in the hot tub and swim in the heated pool. Later we would visit the Raven’s restaurant for dinner and drinks. After dinner we would sit by the fire read and sip on a delicious cocktail. We had 2 massages at the resort during the week. We also attended a yoga class and learned the breath of fire technique. These experiences topped off our relaxation level to a 10! We cannot wait to visit again for our one year anniversary next April….and we can bring our new puppy along with us! The Stanford Inn is pet friendly! We left relaxed, energized, full of nutrients, and topped off with love and excitement for life on this beautiful earth.
Check out our Video Documentary of the wedding to get a glimpse into the magic!