Friday, July 27, 2012

Ponies and Zebras and Yaks, Oh My!

Sorry I've been silent for two months but I've been sitting on a big announcement that I only got confirmed today....


Official proclamation:  The Lowensohn/Rohr Wedding will be held at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California

Oh it feels so good to say.  This has been a long time coming, mostly because Joey and I have just not had a spare moment to go out to LA since our big venue hunt in April.  My parents were very willing to check out venues for us and do some of the legwork that we could not, but they were understandably hesitant about committing to a venue without either the bride or groom to be ever having laid eyes on it.    This led to several weeks of me googling, them visiting, and then phone reports of the good and bad.

One place they visited, though, stood head and shoulders above the rest.  It was a vineyard that I had initially dismissed for silly reasons (my cousin, Erin, got married at a vineyard ten years ago and I didn't want to be a copycat) when I was in the initial phase of narrowing down a list of four thousand possible venues in the LA area.  My parents and little sister went to check it out and came back with glowing reports of the beauty, versatility, and added bonuses of the location.  It's in the Malibu Mountains, which means no ocean view (bummer) but beautiful natural backdrops of mountains and plants and all sorts of loveliness, fitting in with my natural and organic vision for the wedding, as opposed to a harsh city atmosphere, which I love for my life, but doesn't reflect the values I want my marriage to be built on.

Saddlerock Ranch's gentle atavistic delights

Another venue we considered, but discarded due to its harsh (but cool) feel

There were several concerns that my mom came back with, like "where do you go to the bathroom on a farm?" and "how do we get everyone in the tiny lot on the tiny road?" and bringing everything in (turns out, farms weren't built to be banquet halls) and lighting the place up.  Fortunately, this is not Saddlerock Ranch's first rodeo, and they have nice bathrooms that aren't, as my mother feared, "executive porta-potties" and a plan for getting everyone there easily.  There's a catering company that we like working with that has all sorts of great ideas for bringing everything in (and it's not nearly as difficult as I had been led to believe), and we have a wonderful close family friend who does professional studio lighting for a living.  All our (minor) fears were alleviated!

The real clincher on Saddlerock Ranch, though, was the added perks.  There's apparently a beautiful bride's room that my mother and sister were gaga over and, most importantly, it has wonderful unusual animals!  As the title of this post suggests, there are ponies and zebras and yaks, as well as water buffalo and llamas and peacocks and camels and other things I can't even remember.  Bottom line: you will receive a carrot along with your cocktail to feed to our fat little pony friends.

That was all I needed to hear.  Joey, who was sitting next to me when I got the original report from my mother on Saddlerock Ranch, just heard the word "zebras" and was done.  He bugged me for weeks asking why we didn't just sign paperwork because obviously, if there are zebras, this was the right place.  For my part, some of you know that I tend to find the symbolism in EVERYTHING, and the idea of a black-and-white striped animal being at my wedding, where a groom dressed in black and a bride dressed in white are joined together just seemed perfect.

For several weeks I played a strange game of ping-pong in which Joey would ask why we hadn't committed to the zebras yet (I honestly think that's the only thing, aside from the carrot and cocktail combo, that he remembers about this place), and my mother would ask when we were coming out to see the ranch so we could commit to it. Of course, this all started in approximately late April, just before finals and packing up my home and graduation and moving and job interviews and Joey's lab rotations and starting my new job and travelling to New York for our dear friends' wedding and hosting visitors here in Omaha and a million other things that made a trip to LA impossible.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I called my mother and explained that I was much too busy and far away to have any realistic role in many wedding decisions.  I could fight that, and insist that the florist and caterer freeze-dry their samples and overnight them to me so that I could personally approve each piece and person, or I could just give in and trust that, between my mother, father, and sister, they could probably choose things that Joey and I would like.  With such glowing reports from all of them and what I could glean from pictures, I wasn't worried.  Secondly, Joey and I had already been telling people, when they asked, that nothing was finalized yet, but, our hopeful wedding venue had zebras and pony carrot cocktail hour.  I explained to my mother that we had told too many people about the zebras and we couldn't go back now, so the wedding was either going to be at Saddlerock Ranch or we were importing zebras to an alternate location.  She laughed and said okay and she'd run as much by me as she could (really just so I have something to blog about for you) and she would call Saddlerock Ranch as soon as possible.

Today, I called Saddlerock Ranch to check on the status of our paperwork and I was told by the lovely lady on the end of the line that we were officially locked in and could spread the good word.  Of course, the loveliest tidbit that comes with signing contracts on our venue is finally having an official date that we can announce to the world.  And so, in an unprecedented DOUBLE DOSE of official proclamations, I hereby announce...

The Lowensohn/Rohr Wedding will take place on May 18, 2013