More than I could have hoped

Well. You might not believe me when I say this, but I've missed you all an awful lot. I can do without American coffee, or a climate that does not yield artichokes and chestnuts and backyard clementine trees and white truffles all November long, but you people, you I cannot. The past four weeks have been the most perfect, happy, wonderful ones of my entire life, but still, I absolutely could not wait to get back here and tell you about every single little thing.

For starters, we got married. I can't even really believe I'm old enough to have gotten married, or to be called even jokingly Mrs. Hay, but according to Maine state law, I am. (Then again, Maine state law also required us to read a pamphlet called Drugs and Alcohol Can Hurt Your Baby! before we could get our marriage license at town hall, which was also jumping the gun a little bit I thought, so who knows.) At any rate, we did it, and it was far and away the best thing I have ever done in my whole life.

It all happened in this barn, at noon on November 7th, while Alex stood at the back doors and my dad propped me up and a hundred camera lenses walked us down.

If you look closely you can see the tire swing where the flower girls played after the ceremony was done, and the field we all walked through to get to the reception in a tent on the water down the street. There was a violinist and a violist and a fiddler and one hundred and seventy-seven of our closest family and friends, including my 91-year-old grandmother who flew to Maine for the first time in three years just for the occasion. There were toasts, jokes about Alex's first girlfriend (a certain Snoozy Susie pillow), the time I asked my father if he Even Had a Brain, and from the best man, something charming and sly about unheated barns and November and very cold feet.

We drank cider martinis with Cold River Vodka alongside a New England cheese and homemade pickle bar, and the waitstaff walked around with plates of Vermont lamb chops and Maine crab cakes and beet and squash soup shooters and five types of deviled eggs. Then we sat down to dinner, served family style, and my heart just about burst.

Just about everything was from Maine. Katy did everything we asked and much, much more. She made that all Maine grain pilaf, a salad of local lettuce and dried cranberries and goat cheese, and plates of Topsham chicken stuffed with Six River Farm spinach and Cape Cod haddock with spicy aioli served whole. She got the bread from Standard Baking and the salt was evaporated from Cape Cod bay by a friend. There was Peak Organic on tap, and the cupcakes, of course, were these, homemade. Everyone ate until the tables were bare, and then we got up to dance.

Unfortunately, I don't have all the pictures just yet (unless my sister has actually gotten them from the photographer already, and is hiding some particularly incriminating evidence), but I promise to show you that part too when they come. For now, just know that Alex got a chance to step in on the drums, I may or may not have done a repeat of the Worm in my wedding dress, and no one went home until the music stopped. Even then, a whole bunch of us went out to a bar on the river downtown, and although Alex didn't seem quite so sure, I thought we made a pretty mean husband-and-wife karaoke team.

By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around and the brunch was over and our cousins and friends and aunts and uncles had hopped on planes or driven home, I think we were the happiest, most exhausted people on the planet. We went over to my parents' house with a bag of Indian take out and drank mango lassis and opened presents and switched the laundry from the washer to the dryer until finally, sometime around 8:30, everyone collapsed, utterly contented, into bed.

It was more than I could have hoped for, even in my fingers-crossed wildest dreams, and if I could, I would relive it over and over and over again every single day. Of course, Paris wasn't bad, or Florence, or the little Umbrian town, Panicale, where we stayed tucked in between the vineyards and the olive trees, but those are a story for another day. For now, just know that I am exceptionally glad to be back at home as Mrs. Alexander Bradford Hay.

P.S. Many thanks to our photographer, my sister's Tufts classmate Elizabeth Herman, for the pictures above. We don't have very many yet, but as you might imagine, the ones we do bode very well for what's to come.


Cape Cod Judy said...

Warmest congratulations as you and Alex begin this new journey - and welcome back!

What a wonderful day - and meal. It was exactly as you had hoped and you cannot get any better than that.

Looking forward to seeing more pics and reading more about the day as well as your travels.

In spite of the no truffles, etc. able to grow here in November, I'll bet you found something yummy that you'll be able to translate to Cape Cod fare. Can't wait!

Katy Kenedy said...

Welcome Home, Mrs. Hay!

Hope you had a fantastic time and that you plan on posting pics from your honeymoon.

You were a beautiful and wonderful bride. I'm so honored to have been part of your big day.

xoxo Katy

Anna said...

I'm NOT hiding any incriminating evidence because I have no photographic evidence of your doing the worm. If someone does, I must have it.

PS. I think you should adopt the name "Mrs. Alexander Fisher Bradford Hay" since in reality you're married to both of them now.

Anna said...

PPS. I am SO glad you are back because, despite my search for one, no food blog could EVER take the place of my darling sister's. Even though one did give me the idea to make donuts (and it was a very good idea which I suggest you try immediately).

Anonymous said...

You're BACK! Oh, we can't even tell you how much we missed you! November 7 was magical. You took my breath away, as did your gorgeous maid of honor and that dashing father of the bride and your incredibly handsome groom.

We missed you AND your blog! Anna is right, we couldn't find anyone to compare with Diary of a Locavore. I will concur with Anna, though, that her homemade donuts were fabulous -- and that is being said by someone who really isn't all that enamored of donuts. You should have her do a guest blog on them sometime.

In the meantime, we are jumping for joy to have our very own locavore HOME!

xoxo, Mama

Ali said...

Congratulations Elspeth!
I'm Ali, Anna's friend from SYA. I love your blog and always look forward to reading it. Your wedding looks and sounds as though it was just perfect and I, too, am glad you're back and can't wait to read more about your travels.
With regard to Anna's cider doughnuts, I second your mom's idea...I have a sneaking suspicion I saw the recipe.
Welcome back!

chewy said...

Warmest congratulations to Mr & Mrs Hay!

Diane Warren said...

I loved reading your blog about the wedding. We had a fabulous time and were so honored to be a part of it. Now, I really, really need the recipe for the wheatberry and oat groats. Delicious.

bruce said...

Wow Elspeth. You Are a Storyteller. My eyes welled up repeatedly reading the events of your day. Thank You. You made MY day with the memories you evoked of my own wedding.

It just gets better from here.

Tamar said...

Elspeth! Welcome home!

Personally, I've got nothing but good things to say about married life, and you certainly started yours off on the right foot! What a lovely picture. What a lovely bride.

Congratulations. I'm glad you're back.

Elspeth said...

Wow. You all are too much, you know that? Thank you so much for your very warm welcome home...it feels so good to be back. As for Italian surprises, I promise there will be lots of them.

All the best,

Anonymous said...

Big and sincere congratulations to you both.In the midst of your brimming happiness,though, could you not have found a moment to recognize that while your Maine marriage was taking place, the right of others in your state to do similarly was being voted away?
I realize wedding prep makes for tunnel vision,and that your happiness did not directly create sorrow for others.Still,you cannot work in the food industry and not know gay people. At least token recognition of the privilege you enjoy and the heartbreak the Maine anti-marriage vote caused others would be polite, sensitive and welcome.

localfoodfan said...

It is SO great to have you back! Congratulations! Elspeth I have never met you but am smiling ear to ear and cannot wait to read more and see more pics!!

Welcome back and thanks!

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