Saturday: The conclusion

My Dad drives a lovely red Seabring convertible, so he drove Mike and I from the Nelson Music Room over to the reception site – Alivia’s Durham Bistro. Since I didn’t mention much about the planning process on the blog (I wanted to keep some stuff hush hush til the wedding, let me say a bit about our reception location. Mike and I often play trivia, as so many of you know, and a lot of our friends happen to hang out at the James Joyce. And luckily, the wonderful owners of the Joyce think we are pretty cool people too. Therefore, with the help of Mr. Sholtz, one of the owners, we were able to hold our reception at Alivia’s Durham Bistro, another of their ventures. Jason shut down Alivia’s to the public for us so we could have an awesome slammin reception. Thank you, Jason, for everything!
Our awesome cake - www.simplycakesnc.com

Anyway, we get to Alivia’s and jump out of the car. I think someone was supposed to announce our arrival, but I am not totally sure that actually happened! Not a big deal. Alivia’s looked stunning. Courtney and Fay did an amazing job getting the place put together, and Mike and I were absolutely in awe. As soon as we arrived, guests were already raving to us about the food. “It is so good!” nearly everyone said. We had a menu of heavy hors d’oeuvres. Grilled asparagus – some wrapped in prosciutto, bruschetta, spinach salad with candied pecans, fresh fruit, cheeses, steak kabobs, chicken kabobs and veggie kabobs. Hummus and veggies. Another form of bruschetta. Just an amazing spread. It was fresh, delicious and just amazing. If you haven’t eaten at Alivia’s yet, I highly suggest you do so. Their chef, Carlos, does a bang up job. Fantastic.

The bar was set up outside in the beer booth, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. Mike and I put together a “happy hour” mix of music, and everyone seemed to be enjoying that, too! The reception was such a blur, so you will have to excuse me if the last chunk of the wedding is described in total generalities. We hugged people, we talked to people, we caught up, we said hello and thank you, we said goodbyes and wished we would have had more time. The distances people traveled was amazing. Their generosity and good tidings were unmatched by anything I have ever seen. We eventually made our way outside for some toasts (hilarious and moving toasts), then the “party” got started. We put on our dance mix and the dance floor was jumping! Everyone was out there – well everyone, but Mike and I – the whole greeting people thing takes up a decent amount of the reception. There are some great photos out there of the reception. Just awesome wonderful fun photos.
Listening to the toasts!

A conga line? I had no idea.

Eventually, people started saying goodbye. I remembered thinking, “hmmm, maybe this isn’t as awesome as I thought. Everyone seems to be leaving early.” Then I asked someone what time it was – nearly 11pm. Ummm, we were scheduled to leave at 10:30pm! So much for the timeline, right??? It was time for us to go shortly after 11pm. Mike and I were tired, and it was time for Alivia’s to be opened up to the public. We threw the bouquet and the garter, then we said all of our goodbyes before we were escorted to our super secret “wedding night” location. Stefan drove us to our destination – amazingly, the girls had all put together a great night for us at the Washington Duke Inn. We had a goody basket of snacks, drinks, and champagne. Just amazing. It was a wonderful, wonderful way to end the night. Thank you, ladies!!!

Lauren and Stefan got us tucked into the room, and like so many couples…..we went right to sleep. It had been such an exciting and emotional day. We needed some sleep. And the beds at the WaDu, covered in about 20 pillows and 500 thread count sheets were just too awesome to pass up. We were out in a matter of minutes!!!!!


The next day, we managed to get up and out of the room before the 11am checkout time. We headed home to hold an informal meet and greet at the house – that way we could see folks who were in from out of town and about to leave. It also gave us a chance to open gifts, sit back and relax. We had about three waves of people come through, which was amazing. We managed to trash the house with the amount of wrapping paper and boxes accumulated with the gifts. Craziness. In fact, Mike and I actually got rather overwhelmed with the generosity of our family and friends. We have since cleaned out our kitchen of older items, and a full kitchen of stuff is on its way to charity.

Scout, with his newfound freedom, helped us unwrap gifts.

Opening more presents!

That evening, we met my Mom, my Dads and my Aunt out for some dinner and drinks. After that, it was time to say goodbye to the last of the family. It was sad but joyful at the same time. We all had a wonderful time, and it was difficult to leave it in the past. But alas, time requires we move forward. We paid our final bill at Alivia’s then took off for home. Later that night, Mike and I packed our stuff up for the honeymoon. We were leaving the next morning.


Monday morning we got up super early to take Miss Allie to the vet. We made the very tough decision to finally have her declawed.* She constantly beat up the other cats, and poor Scout was too afraid to even leave our bedroom. Buddy’s anxiety got even worse, and Miss Allie thought that her reign of terror was the most fun she had ever had. We just had to even up the odds. We dropped Allie off at our awesome vet, Triangle Veterinary Hospital, and they assured us all would be well. They even promised to call us as soon as she was out of surgery.

Mike and I headed back home to load up the car and get ready to head out. About an hour after being home, we got a call from the vet, Dr. Miller. “She’s all done, and everything went great!” Wow. I wasn’t expecting it to be done THAT quickly. But it was good to know she was fine and in good hands – Miss Allie would be spending her time at the vet til Friday.

Knowing the kitties were set, Mike and I jumped on the road. Thanks to the awesome TomTom we received from my Dad for the wedding, we knew we were set on directions and should easily be able to find our end destination. We made a quick stop at the courthouse to drop off our marriage license and make it official, then we were on the road.

Mike and I rented a cabin in Todd, NC, just outside of Boone and Blowing Rock. We stayed on the New River and started each day on our porch with a cup of coffee and greeting the heron who lounged outside our cabin. The week was wonderful – we slept in, we napped, we went walking up and down the river, we went tubing (River Girl Fishing Company), we explored Boone, and we even hiked up Grandfather Mountain (Mike insisted and I obliged). We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped several places along the way. It was just a wonderful week. We cooked all our meals and managed to not eat out once. Fantastic. We loved the mountains, and I know we will be back soon.

So, there you have it – the wedding in a nutshell. My CD drive on my laptop is acting up, so I will post some professional pics in a few days once I have some time to sit down at the PC at home. The photos are wonderful. Just wonderful.

If you wonder about any of my vendors or want more specific reviews, just ask!!!

*I am happy to report that Miss Allie has recovered just fine from her surgery and is now back to her old ways. Poor Scout and Buddy are still getting chased and beat up, but at least they don't have huge slices across their face anymore. Scout has realized it doesn't hurt as much when Allie hits him, so Scout has actually for the first time since Mike and I moved in together, been hanging out downstairs with us on a daily basis!

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