Memorial Day Weekend is always special both for the reason we have the weekend to honor service men and women; and for the couples that choose this long weekend to get married on. On Saturday I was in Asheville, NC and on Sunday I was in Cary, NC. Opposite sides of the state, but, two weddings which complimented each other and ended up being connected in a small way we couldn’t have guessed.
Grayden and Zach set themselves up in the backdrop of Asheville, NC at the amazingly beautiful Yesterday Spaces, with the Smoky Mountains looking down on them. Perfectly blue North Carolina sky, a slight breeze and a day in the mid 80s gave everyone just what they wanted – and in no small part thanks to a bottle of Maker’s Mark which was buried in the ground. Wait – what?
Grayden told me last year to be prepared for a good time – that their friends and family liked to have fun. I didn’t know it involved some mystery tradition of burying a liter of Maker’s in the ground to ward off rain on the wedding day. Or that tradition involved the groomsmen digging it up, popping open the cap of the dirt and mud covered bottle and taking shots from it until the wedding started. I didn’t know tradition dictated I become a defacto groomsman and do bottle shots with them. Or that it involved family polishing the bottle off with Grayden, the moms, and various guests at the end of the recessional in lieu of a receiving line. Oh, yeah – we’re in for a real good time!
This is not to say that the ceremony, under the Ketubah, to represent Zach’s Jewish heritage, wasn’t really beautiful against the backdrop of the mountains. Or that it wasn’t super cool that the friend who introduced them also performed the wedding ceremony (a theme which has been popping up a lot for me lately, where friends and family are marrying the couple. It happened in the last two weddings I blogged and will happen again on Sunday’s wedding – one of a few small similar connections this weekend). Or that this exceptionally musically talented family had Grayden’s brother Shor play guitar and sing them a song for the ceremony. (It would be good to note here that Shor, a newly minted PhD in Mathematics/Physics is heading to teach at West Point. It just so happens that Josh, the groom in Sunday’s wedding (and the next blog post) went to West Point. Of course, being a physics major myself, I have to give props to Shor as the coolest brother of a bride this year).
But that bit of Maker’s Mark set the pace for what this was. A no holds barred, let it all out celebration of love and family which went deep into the night. Wandering through the cocktail hour on the front porch, people picked up their seat holders with, yes – mini bottles of Maker’s Mark – which took us into the reception.
And after the dinner we had a heartfelt toast from Grayden’s sister Anne, endless but loving ribbing from Zach’s brothers Dan and Josh, and DJ Joey took us into one of the funnest parties of the year. As shirts started to get unbuttoned, somehow Zach got the wireless mic, the crowd gathered and a small silence fell, and then the familiar melody and singing started with Zach at the mic: “Is this the real life….Is this just fantasy….Caught in a landslide….No escape from reality….” Visions of Wayne and Garth pops in your mind, the crowd gets closer surrounding Zach as he serenades Grayden, playing to the crowd – as this became the greatest most intense group singing of Queen’s anthem ever to have been reproduced. Air guitars wailed, heads banged and everyone, literally everyone, joined into this explosion of musical genius. As the first half of the song ended, the torch was passed to Shor, as he showed his range by taking the 2nd half of the song home.
And if that wasn’t enough, Dirty Dancing’s “Time of My Life” played out next. And nobody puts Grayden in the corner. The dance circle widened, Zach prepared himself and Grayden ran and jumped into his lifting arms, recreating the iconic scene which was filmed only 30 minutes from where we were.
And there you have it. Day One of Memorial Day weekend. An uber cool bridal party, a very fun group of friends and family, and an exceptionally cool bride and groom. Special thanks to Pat, both usher and videographer, and Amy Wood of Shay Brown Events who helped pull this awesome wedding together.
Cheers to Grayden & Zach as they move into year one of their married life together. Let’s check out some photos :)
Asheville, NC Wedding Photography at Yesterday Spaces
Cool vendors who made this wedding awesome:
- Venue: Yesterday Spaces
- Wedding Coordinator: Amy Wood of Shay Brown Events
- DJ: DJ Joey at SplitSound
- Catering: Black Eyes Susan