Wow. For the first time on this blog I'm at a loss for words. How do you describe a perfect day? Perfectly in love bride and groom. Perfect weather in gorgeous Verdi. Perfectly happy and lovely family and friends. Perfect food. And the most perfect venue I have yet worked at in the Reno area. Each thing on its own made up a big part of a great day, but together the effect was truly magical.
As you drive up to Verdi Pines it looks like a beautiful mountain house in the trees. There is a large circular drive which surrounds a pond complete with a small island and a mine car and shaft across the drive. Anyone would be impressed with the front- it reminded me of the Chism House in Reno, but the front is just the tip of the iceberg. The back is even more spectacular, but more about that later. Jim & Erin had chairs set up on the drive facing the pond and small island, where the preacher awaited them. The guests arrived and enjoyed their beautiful surroundings and got to see a very memorable ceremony.
Erin picked some contemporary music that was perfect for her day. Her beautiful bridal party entered to Josh Radin's "I'd Rather Be With You" and she and her dad walked in to "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz. There was a sand ceremony in the middle of the nuptials and she picked a song that I will probably use again for such moments, the O'Neill Brothers' "The Prayer", which was a perfect tempo & tone for the mixing of their two different sands into one receptacle. Finally, they were pronounced husband & wife and left with Colbie Caillet's "Brighter than the Sun" to the cheering of friends and family. The family and bridal party stayed out front for pictures and I, along with the guests, moved around back for the reception.
|The pond looking towards the deck & house from the top of the waterfall.|
Speaking of Erin and her bridesmaids: they were all gorgeous and fun. When you have such spectacular surroundings, you worry that maybe the bride and her maids will diminish a bit in the natural beauty, but it wasn't the case. Erin's dress looked like it had been designed just for her (maybe it was) and she really looked almost regal- like she floated above all of us mortals (lol). She was truly a princess that night. Her maids were in simpler, but beautiful dresses but they shone, like Erin, from within as well as from without. Cat, Corin & Michelle were so happy for Erin, so helpful and just fun throughout the night, with some killer toasts thrown in for good measure. The guys were great as well. Jim really enjoyed his friends and family and it was one of those receptions where the love between the bride & groom was so palpable that it spread amongst everyone lucky enough to be a part of their day.
|The Waterfall from the diving spot|
|A secret deck up on the hill|
|The pond from the guesthouse|
After pictures out front, Erin & Jim were introduced and went right into their first dance, my favorite Van Morrison song "Into the Mystic". They mingled for a awhile while Larry from The Best Barbeque did his magic, and when dinner was ready, Erin's Grandpa Bill said a prayer consisting of a couple of poems that really were neat- one by Robert Louis Stephenson I found very appropriate. Then everyone loaded up on amazing BBQ. Larry is one-of-a-kind. All of his food is made from scratch, and if it is cooked, it is cooked on one of his huge grills on-site. He had salad, chicken breasts, amazing beef tenderloin, and red potatoes roasted on the grill along with corn, squash and eggplant all painstakenly grilled for a fabulous real-bbq taste. Even the bread was put on the grill. The ingredients were simple but of the highest quality, and the time taken to perfectly grill everything was so worth it. It makes you reconsider what you think bbq should be like.
|Jim & Erin's first dance|
After dinner the reception started anew with heartfelt toasts and the cutting of the cake. Erin & her dad Joe then danced to "Never Alone" by Jim Brickman & Lady Antebellum, and then Jim and his mom Jane danced to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts. After some initial fast dancing, the first slow song was the Anniversary Dance, which is always my favorite moment. Erin picked "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri which was an inspired choice. Lots of married couples filled and overflowed the dancefloor, and when the smoke cleared, Erin's grandparents Bill & Doreen were the last couple up, with an astounding 59 years of marriage! What role models and what a great pair they are! Erin then surprised them with their wedding song, Nat King Cole's "Too Young", and they danced like they were teenagers again, still deeply in love almost sixty years later. Wow! I told you this day & night were perfect! Doreen even danced to many other songs throughout the evening: everything from LMFAO to Dion to Michael Jackson. And when a slow song came up, there was Bill & Doreen again dancing like the newlyweds. Inspiring!
|Joe and his beautiful daughter|
|Jim & his mom Jane|
|Newlyweds: one pair going almost 4 hours, one pair going on almost 60 years|
The rest of the evening flew by as the shadows darkened and the lights came on making the Retreat even more magical. A friend of theirs (a DJ btw), Roger, serenaded the bride and groom with a wonderful slow song, proving that there are DJ's out there with real musical talent (myself not included lol). The tosses were fun with Erin's bouquet very much fought over while Jim threw the garter before anyone, including the catcher knew what was happening! The rest of the evening was filled with music and dancing, with a great dancing crowd and lots of oldies and classic rock being played as well as some current favorites. I can't thank Erin & Jim enough for having me be a part of their absolutely magical day. It is one of those wedding days that will really live forever in the memories and bring a smile to all who attended it. What a couple! What a paradise setting for a wedding! What a great bunch of family & friends to enjoy it with! What a perfect day!
|The last dance- great crowd!|