Friday, August 30, 2013

Getting Fatter (or Day One in Sonoma)

We were in Sonoma Valley - the heart of California Wine Country - for two days. On our first full day we drank:

  • 61 ounces of beer (15, 3 oz. samples at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa plus a pint over dinner) - that's the equivalent of 5 bottles
  • 70 ounces of wine (35, 2 oz. samples at Sterling, Benziger, Mayo, and Ty Caton Vineyards) - that's the equivalent of 14 glasses of wine or nearly 3 bottles.
It should be no wonder at all that, on our first full day in Sonoma we also ate (a) an entire pizza, (b) two mini loaves of bread, (c) two bowls of pasta, and (d) half a chicken.

We are grateful that we are only in Sonoma for another half day. If we had to be here longer it is uncertain if we'd fit into our airplane seats for the trip home with all this eating and drinking.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Gretchen's Vows

Do you know where I am right now? I am fully present, right here, net to a GIANT duck. In Brockton. Getting married to you. For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. I am choosing to tether my bliss to yours because, for some crazy reason, I love you with all my heart.

Like me, I know you have choices. You have control over what happens in your life. To make sure you choose me – choose us – I vow to:
  • Pat you when you need it (and sometimes even when you just want it).
  • Always have macaroni and cheese in the cupboard and drinks in the fridge.
  • Tell you what I need to feel safe and loved.
  • And go to social events with you, even if I'm exhausted or afraid. 

I PROMISE to be faithful, to be honest, and to continually err on the side of life (not work).

You know I believe that marriage is not happily ever after. Instead it is a commitment to grow together on our respective life journeys. And I know – I know – that in between the NCIS reruns and trips to Target, you and I will grow while experiencing moments of pure joy, deep passion, angry struggle, and, of course, rich laughter. Oh Jeff Cutler, I am so glad to be on this journey with you.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"Fulfillment" by Langston Hughes

Gretchen's mom read the poem "Fulfillment" by Langston Hughes during the ceremony. Enamored of the words and the sentiment, this is the only poem Gretchen has ever memorized.

The earth-meaning
Like the sky-meaning
Was fulfilled.
We got up
And went to the river,
Touched silver water,
Laughed and bathed
In the sunshine.
Became a bright ball of light
For us to play with,
A yellow curtain,
A velvet screen.
The moon,
Like an old grandmother,
Blessed us with a kiss
And sleep
Took us both in

"Finish each day..." by Ralph Waldo Emerson

After some squabbling over whether it was appropriate for Jeff to pen his own exegesis on love to be read at the wedding (Gretchen won that fight), Jeff spent some time considering the sentiment he wanted reflected in a short reading during the ceremony. Of the four he picked, each focused on living every day as if it were a new day, with the goal of living a life that is brilliantly exhausting. This is the one he eventually chose. 
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." 

Curious about the other readings he considered?

Life should not be a journey..., by Hunter S. Thompson

Jeff's Vows - Wedding Day August 17, 2013

Here are the vows Jeff spoke during the wedding ceremony today...

Vows remind me of knights in armor and mediaeval settings. They remind me of heartfelt proclamations shared before a quest...or a journey. 
Though I didn’t bring a horse or a sword today, the words I share carry a similar weight as those spoken centuries ago between knights and maidens. 
I vow to enjoy our journey together and to bring you happiness in all the ways I know how. 
I vow not to change, except to be more attentive to you every day.
and I vow that we’ll never be homeless, because wherever we are together, that’s our home. 
That’s my simple proclamation to you Gretchen. And this is our quest. 

Our wedding vendors

We are big fans of recommending people who do great work. With that said we want to share the contact info for our wedding vendors. If you need a caterer, a florist, an event venue - please consider using any of these people. They all provided great service at a reasonable price.

Fuller Craft Museum
"Brockton? You are getting married in Brockton!?" The most frequently heard question about the wedding. Yep. We got married in Brockton at the Fuller Craft Museum and were thrilled. The venue was unique, the dedicated event staff was creative and generous, and we felt like we had a special and non-traditional event in a special and non-traditional venue. As an added bonus, Gretchen's pal Nikki is close friends with the event planner on staff (herself an artist), so we were REALLY taken care of while we were there.

Cindy Laney with Catering to You
Cindy's team cooks elegant food in Brookline, and offers meticulous displays. Her service includes display accoutrement, including linens, plates, silverware, and serve ware. She keeps her margins low -which mean her office isn't fancy and she's often stretched too thin to be believable - but her food is unbelievable and the service is impeccable.

Kelley Sousa with Alchemy Flowers and Gardens
Recommended by a pal in Hingham, Kelley Sousa really understood what we were trying to the decor for the event. When I explained my vision to everyone else, I imagined blank stares and David Tutera's voice saying, "Chalkboards? Gramma's old tea kettles? Bird cages? This thing is a mess!" But not with Kelley. Kelley got it. I recommend her without reservation.

Kristin Jordan Photography
Recommended by Ben and Katie Cutler, Kristin Jordan expressed the most enthusiasm about photographing our wedding. Her enthusiasm, combined with her skills, made her a great choice for us. She encouraged creative thinking about our engagement and formal wedding shots, and delivered our products on time.

Baked Things
Baked in North Scituate provided nine different flavors of cupcakes for the events. After a cupcake tasting extravaganza that took us as far away as Dover, we ended up with a shop right in our own backyard. And, in the spirit of everything working out in the end, we learned that the shop manager is besties with our caterer!

Design and Printing
We are uncertain how anyone planned a DIY wedding before Pinterest and Etsy came along. Were it not for Etsy we would likely never have found our designer/printer, Irene and Blake with Sparkvites. Their spirited and eclectic designs appealed to Gretchen and Jeff, and they were more than happy to make our vision work.

Gretchen's Hair
Deja Vu Salon in Hingham, (781) 749-9769
Sarah Curtin, Gretchen's hair stylist for more than five years, is relaxed, encouraging, and really enjoys doing updos (who knew?). Special thanks to neighbor Angie for helping with the creative vision.

Gretchen's Nails
Nail Flair in Hingham, (781) 749-5800
Rick and his team, over the course of two days, prepared not only Gretchen's nails, but those of all the women participating in the wedding.

Gretchen's Make-Up
It was the amateur hour in the make-up chair. But not really. Professional writer and nearly professional lover of all things product related, gal pal Meg Tripp did make-up as her wedding gift to us. Thank you!

Have a question about who did what when? Please drop Gretchen a note and she'll answer as quickly as she can. Email is your best bet, @