it was the long-awaited weekend of the union of these two magical souls, our dear friends CarolAnn and Ezra:
they called it Lovecamp because it was three carefully planned and beautifully thought-out days of revelry at Cazadero Performing Arts Camp deep in the ancient redwood forests northwest of Guerneville.
you had to cross this suspension bridge to get to the wedding.
we stayed in a tent cabin and slept in cool night air to the happy sound of the creek.
for the ceremony and daytime events i wore this beautiful green vintage dress i got a long time ago from goodwiu on etsy. stretched to the seams at this point!
matt and amy and the kids came to california for the wedding! it was sooooo fun to get a whole weekend with them. here, jarom shows off the tent cabin's interior.
heading over to the ceremony...
the crowd gathers in the dappled light under sweet solemn trees as time's witnesses:
their ceremony was beautiful. they incorporated jewish traditions to honor ezra's heritage, blended with meaningful details of carolann's life. for example, they got married under a chuppah, the jewish canopy that symbolizes home for the new couple, but in their case it was a beautiful quilt that carolann made (she loves to quilt). we all contributed squares or fabric so it also included community.
darin read a poem from walt whitman that i thought fit perfectly:
Tiny Home (sonya cotton and gabe dominguez) performed "higher than a hawk" and it was absolutely gorgeous. you can see a different version of them performing the same song here.
chillin after the ceremony.
orion looks sad, but i guarantee you there are movies of superheroes playing in his head.
amy, matt, jarom, orion and bella. how i love them and i am so glad to get to see them three months in a row!
another cute foresty fam, zack, rebecca and sylvan.
moss nests and banana slugs and the wonder of the forest floor:
lemonade in mason jars and farm fresh hors d'oeuvres:
oh, and of course, beer! 4 kegs, carefully selected so everyone has something they like: amber ale, an IPA, a wheat beer, and a hard cider.
rebecca, carolann, me and doniella: ahhhh, my girls! this love goes waaaayyyy back.
it was such a joy to see the love between carolann and ezra. i mean, i've seen it before of course, but over the last four years with them living in the city, i haven't gotten to hang out with ezra and know him as well as i'd like. to see carolann shining at him with pure bliss and hilarity and enchantment, to meet his family and huge group of friends from all over the country, to hear his proclamations of love and later listen to him sing to her (!!!) i truly felt in the company of a magical union.
matt and carolann go back even further than me and her! they were high school buddies along with zack and rebecca.
bella was so pleased and shy and proud to meet the bride. later she danced with her, ecstatically.
back to the tent cabin for some quiet afternoon time:
and a quick dip in the creek. i brought my bathing suit and waded my big old body right on in. oey took one look at my belly swinging low over the water and said with surprise "oh! you're fat!" it was hilarious. i said, you didn't notice before?!!
also, bella was shy about swimming in her undies until sylvan stripped down and went flying straight into the water. sylvan is a real little river fish! bella was inspired and soon we were all splashing about.
back to the lodge for dinner, we found beautiful tables with handcut vintage fabric napkins, bouquets of wildflowers, and fresh jam homemade by carolann herself at every single place setting! we brought home backyard plum and winterport farm berry.
CA and Ez making the rounds and greeting all their loved ones:
i almost forgot to mention, carolann's dress came from me! it is a (get ready, girls....) black label pure lace vintage gunne sax! she saw it hanging in my etsy closet one day a long time ago, tried it on, and it fit her so beautifully that we knew it was the dress. i felt a tingle of pride every time i noticed how stunning she was in it, whether kissing or laughing or flying around the dance floor later.
they found room at our table! i got to sit next to the groom :)
the toasts were so fun. andrew told the long and circuitous story of carolann and ezra's first chance meeting on a raft guided by friends on the american river.
later ezra's parents led the crowd, and carolann's parents, in a beautiful jewish blessing of the couple. i loved what ezra's mom said about needing and giving more blessings in life. she said as a boy they blessed him before he went to school, before he went to camp, when he was happy, sad, or anything in between.
it really brought a sweet and joyful spirit to the room.
a little bit later...the PIE-LUCK! what an overwhelmingly delicious idea. i made the cherry and apple in glass pie plates right in the very center. they were my first ever attempts at pie and guess what? they turned out really good and got completely devoured! it made me feel so good that i am making another cherry pie for my dad tomorrow.
as the sun went down, the music went up! a live band that was completely energetic and amazing played a long and rousing version of "hava nagila" and the crowd all came together in great snaking circles of hand-holding heel-kicking revelers! carolann and ezra were lifted triumphantly on chairs in the center as whoops and cheers echoed into the night.
these two are seriously the BEST DANCERS in the world. it was like they could have kept going forever. they danced with everyone in sight and each other most of all with the most radiant sense of merriment you could ever imagine.
OLD FRIENDS bein cute.
taking a break from dancing (this heavy belly really bounces!) to chat with my brother. as i've mentioned many times before he is the funnest person on earth to converse with; he knows about everything and is funny and well-read and wry and dorky and open and generous.
All the girls together forever: addie, amy, me, carolann, doniella, suzanne, rebecca.
mattie and amy are always doing cute stuff like this:
so we tried to be cute too ;)
ezra emerged in a yellow leisure suit with the most hilarious persona and sang several songs to carolann in a spectacularly unforgettable performance.
it wasn't all that late but i felt more exhausted than ever in my life. i felt like i might melt right into the ground like a banana slug. so we went back and hung out on our tent cabin patio listening to the water and the music across the bridge and telling stories and darin played his guitar.
in the morning there were toasted bagels and all kinds of fixings and strawberries and juice and leftovers from the night before. sleepyheads arriving late for coffee and empty pie plates. all over the camp, people smiling and wandering about in that weekend-long glow of happiness.
thank you lovecamp, and carolann and ezra, for making a beautiful dream of community and love come true!