Theoretically, if two people like ourselves managed to get so busy while planning a wedding, running a business, and trying to execute a remodel in said business all at the same time that they forgot to file their marriage license in time but decided to have a ceremony anyways, then technically those two people wouldn't be legally married...in the eyes of the law anyway. Forget about the fact that they exchanged vows in a beautiful ceremony in front of 150 of their closest friends and family. Forget about that champagne toast, and the first dance.
Or don't forget about it. Think about it so much that you can't wait to make it official in yet another celebration. This shouldn't surprise you considering how much we apparently love getting married. It didn't surprise us at least because we've been here before. It didn't surprise us because this would actually be our third wedding.
Let me back up;
Our first wedding took place on January 4, 2001 at the Church of Elvis (original location, no less). We participated in the "cheap not legal wedding" by exchanging rings and signing a fake certificate. We turned down the opportunity to walk around the block with tin cans attached to ourselves and instead chose to spring for a Polaroid picture which was later taped to the certificate (how desperate I am to track this thing down). I can't remember what followed exactly but I feel fairly confident guessing it was Zien Hong on Sandy; stir-fried green beans, salt n' pepper shrimp, sesame beef, and garlic eggplant. At the very least I know we fed ourselves well because for better or worse that is something Evan and I have always, and I mean always (since like 6th grade, Dudes) had in common.
Our second wedding took place on July 12, 2008 at Pendarvis Farm.
Our would-be wedding turned commitment ceremony was a giant celebration in every sense of the word, made complete with amazing food, amazing entertainment, and amazing documentation of the entire event. We cried, danced, and partied until the wee hours of the morning.
You know the saying, it was a little bit country and a little bit rock n' roll and most importantly, perfectly us. This second wedding was exactly what Evan and I would plan for a country wedding showcasing the best of Oregon.
Our third wedding took place October 6th, 2008 at the Multnomah County Circuit Court, where we finally made it official. We asked our dear friends Alice and AnnMarie to act as our witnesses as we embarked on what would be our third (and final) marriage ceremony. This third wedding was a celebration of all our years together as well as our desire to celebrate in the city. We did what we do best: food, food, followed by more food. And some stuff in-between, I guess.
So what did our third and Portland Proper wedding in consist of? We wanted to fill our day with the things we love about Portland. We tried to create a day that encompassed many of our regular daily activities but rolled in to one gigantic festivity of a day and of course draped in that after-glow worn by two people in love, shamelessly oozing that love from their every pore.
Our morning began with sleeping in and then breakfast at Broder.
Think soft boiled eggs, Æbleskivers dipped in lemon curd, grapefruit mimosas, tangy yogurt drizzled with honey, and club sandwiches featuring avocado and gravlax tied together in a horseradish mayonnaise.
We walked away from this meal holding hands and feeling happy to be alive in our La-De-Da of a Lover's world. On the way home we relished in the onset of our food coma only to get yanked back into harsh reality once we discovered a message on the answering machine warning us that our marriage license had yet to be received by the judge and that in order for us to be legally wed today, we would have to return to SE Portland and fill out the entire application again and re-file and then haul-ass downtown in order to make the ceremony at the courthouse. Did I mention we had to do all of this in twenty-five minutes? Did I mention we still had to pick up Alice (our first witness) at her house and meet up with AnnMarie (our second witness) who was patiently waiting for us in a park? Did I mention I couldn't find my shoes and that Evan's shirt was still in the dryer? Did I mention we were still suffering from a food coma?
'Cause we're going to the courthouse and we're gonna get married....
WHEW! When it was all said and done we made our way down the courthouse steps and officially began our celebration by thrusting ourselves into the arms of the city. Rather than heading for a cocktail we turned to the other sweet nectar of our lives:
Espresso at Spella.
We make sure to stop here every chance we're down near 10th and cannot help but marvel at the precision and care at which our espresso is extracted from Andrea's piston machine. Simply sublime and the perfect elixir for a coffee-shop owning, coffee-cart loving couple like us. Next up, the cake. Happily situated downtown we were finally able to do something we've been dying to do since it opened; and that is make our way to Kir Jensen's impossibly cute and delicious Sugar Cube. We're convinced there couldn't be a better place to get our wedding cake.
The late afternoon/early evening entailed professional massages at an undisclosed location (Sorry Folks, some stuff needs to remain anonymous)...followed by a walk in Forest Park with Zeus.
Toro Bravo. Suffice to say we've eaten dinner at a lot of Portland establishments. We racked our brains for what would be our ideal evening out. It didn't take too long before we knew who and what would hit the spot exactly, in that frighteningly dead-on sort of way. Forget about the fact that the owners are insanely talented, generous, and friendly and that the food is mouth-watering, gorgeous, and finger lickin' good. Forget about the fact that we have the fortune and asinine ability to call this place our neighborhood joint. Forget about the fact that everything is priced unusually reasonable and that blowing your wad is nearly impossible here. Forget about that "restaurant of the year..." stuff and the fact that everything from the cocktails, to the service and food is ALWAYS spot on. We say, "Eat here once and experience it for yourself."
Our first stiff drinks as husband and wife: He had a Basil Hayden, neat. She had the Venus 75: Bombay Sapphire Gin, St. Germain, muddled heirloom grapes & lemon topped with cava. Aka this particular bride's dream beverage.
As for the food. Well, the food was what one can expect from Toro Bravo. We eat a stupidly excessive amount at this place working our way through the menu. We have never once been disappointed. Anything but. We walk away from Toro Bravo with the ability to lick our wounds inherited from own daily grind and feel incomprehensibly humble at the wealth of inspiration and knowledge we can gather from this establishment. Dare I say it but this is the kind of place that we walk away from as better people. We walk away from and know where and who we desire to be in our own restaurant.
Out of our three weddings I cannot say I have a favorite. Each has proved special in their own way. Not everything was different; same bride, same groom; the groom's footware remained consistent; we were surrounded by people who love us; we certainly ate well; and we of course stayed up past our bed time.
I think what I've gathered from these past 8+ years and three distinct celebrations of our love is that I feel lucky to be alive during this undeniably wonderful period of my life. Perhaps better put, I am exceedingly grateful knowing that I love and am loved because of Evan, my husband. My husband. My husband. Sheesh, I love the sound of that. And after three marriages in total to the same man, apparently I always have and I assure you, always will.
P.S. AnnMarie took photos, too. You can see them here at her wonderful blog.