Jun
2009

0

Stern-Crowley-Gottfried

For the vast majority of people, planning a wedding does not lead you down the path to your chosen profession. I happened to marry the anomaly, which has worked out real well for me so far. I now get to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. After our big day, I secretly harbored the belief that no wedding would ever top the level of personalization and complexity that ours did. Now I know better.

Dave and Erin’s wedding was what happens when extreme creative forces and milestone life changing events decide to party in the woods. The scope of this wedding was insane. The logistics were challenging, to say the least. There was a meeting in the morning where the all days tasks were divvied out those who had been camping on site. Lots of creative problem solving ensued. Every single person who was working the wedding was a friend of theirs. It was a celebration that will never be forgotten. And now, some delicious bullet points:

  • The theme was dragonfly. It carried through the enormous dragon fly rice krispie cake that Dave constructed (which ┬ácompletely lit up in the dark using plasma balls and el wire) all the way to the belt buckle (that Dave also made).
  • Nine pies were lovingly made and brought to the ceremony by one of their friends. But this isn’t extraordinary enough. All the ingredients for the pies (except for the flour) were organically grown on the farm where the pie maker lives.
  • Best wedding band in the history of wedding bands. Two of their friends are in Albino, the Bay Area afro-cuban sensation that sells out the Great American and the Independent. They hired a couple heavy hitters to round out the band and threw down the funkiest authentic afro-cuban in the woods. Its was SICKNESS. Somehow Dave and Erin have amassed this huge friendbase of total hotties. Amazing music + attractive dancing fiends = yes.
  • A talent show run by the most enthusiastic hosts on this planet.
  • Their first dance was a sight to behold. Erin’s sister is a dance instructor, and Erin is a serious dancer, so they choreographed a high energy salsa-eque dance that brought the house down. When Dave picked up the morocco’s I nearly pissed my pants.
  • They found time to create a entertaining 20 minute slideshow presentation of their incredible 9 month journey through South America where they volunteered at a number of orphanages and organized three large scale community driven murals.
  • The setting itself at Ranchno┬áCicada with the river that ripe for tubing was a scene for constant entertainment. I enjoyed the many hammocks that were setup along the river.
  • Their very personal ceremony led by two close friends was very spiritual without any strong religious undercurrents. After Dave read his written vows, Erin made hers by passionately delivering them right into Dave’s eyes. That was the most intensely emotional moment I’ve ever witnessed in someone else’s wedding. I still get shivers when I think about that moment.

My major contribution to wedding was that I composed their processional for piano and guitar. At 5pm, when we were supposed to be providing background music for the arriving guests, Andrzej (the guitarist) hadn’t appeared yet. At 5:15, while I was merrily improvising away, Andrzej shows up out of breath, guitar in hand. Since we had no time to sound check, I plug him in, he tunes up, and then I get the signal to start the processional. That was the most amusing moment of the day for me – I had assumed I was going to do the processional solo at that point.

I spent almost half of my time at the wedding working my butt off with the various tasks at hand, and I performed only a tiny fraction of what needed to be done. It took a lot of their friends giving it their all to pull off this celebration, and because of that, we really got to know each other much more then they would have naturally. We all came together and really felt connected to the celebration at at hand.


Jun
2009

1

Belize

Stina took me along for a journey to Belize, and that turned out to be quite a privilege.

We spent much of our time on a island a 10 miles long and half a mile wide. Almost everyone spoke English, which simplified just about everything. Everyone we ran across was extraordinarily friendly, though half of them wanted to sell your something. Tourism is the major industry there.

For the first couple days that we were there, there couldn’t have been more then 10 percent tourists. We really enjoyed ┬ábeing immersed in the local culture.

We stayed at the crazy swank Phoenix.

Nothing makes me madder then sunsets. Grrr.

An amazing enormous healthy reef was only half mile from the shore.

We journeyed into Guatemala to check out Tikal, a giant Mayan ruin. Our guide was Mayan priest, and he was a trip. In fact, that was a great theme for this trip – all the amazing colorful characters that we met along the way.

We spotted (or rather heard) the obnoxious cry of the howler monkeys in the jungle. That was pretty rad.


We even hit up some zip-lining while we were there. Nice.