Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Legend of Cousin Camille and "Tooe-Knee"

His real name is "Tony" not "Tooe-Knee" as my adorable mother calls him in her sweet Tagalog accent.  Remember I am of Philippine descent.  Well, half.  The other half is white.  Really white. As white as the come white....like Brave Heart white.  In other words, Scottish.  I know, weird. The point is that we now call him "Toe-Knee" because we like the way my mom so fondly pronounces it when ever she refers to him or of him. "Tooe-Knee, Toooe-Knee, Tooooe-Knee...." The more "O" the more affection it is intended to have.

This weekend, my favorite "Cuz" married the "Toe-Knee."  She was in my wedding.  I love her.  There were only sixteen guests invited and in attendance.  We were honored to just be on the list.  I mean really, think about being only two in sixteen people on the entire planet to stand and witness your vow and commitment to your one and only, true love.  Heavy, right?  

The gathering was seriously one of my favorites.  As a designer and planner for over 3000 weddings and or events, I have seen my fair share of love, cake and famous people.  Frankly, I am still somewhat traumatized as a result of years of high stakes and stress.  This one was different, not like you would predict.   Every detail was sheer perfection, yet no fancy who is behind the curtain kind of pretense or chaos.  My "Cuz" is detailed in a admirable way. Not compulsive like myself; which boarders OCD and highly annoying, controlling and just dense at times.  (However, I'd appreciate it if you assured me that I hide it well.)  

Camille and "Toe-Knee" chose their wedding setting to be on the raw majestic quintessential northern California coast of Mendocino.  The land shore location was staged at an incredible bed and breakfast, The MacCallum House.  The MacCallum House was built in 1882 by town founder William Kelley as a wedding gift to his daughter Daisy on her marriage to local entrepreneur Alexander MacCallum.  I absolutely love this story and memorable detail.  

Speaking of details, these are some most would appreciate...

Beautiful flowers; notice vintage style tussle mussy holder engraved with mom's monogram.

Breath taking hand crafted cake; either organic or sustainable ingredients including  fondant, chocolate, lemon chiffon and vanilla. adorned with fresh gardenias, roses and hypericomb berries mindfully placed upon an elegant vintage rose pedestal stand.

Perfectly behaved and fashioned wedding attendant, with very nice posture.  (I think she is a professional. Notably famous and available for hire at www.wofflehouse.com/mob/

I often refer to these details as "the wedding stuff."   The "stuff" was perfect and believe me there is no one that appreciates a bouquets of imported Sahara roses, herbs; flawless hand picked champagne;  Fois gras; a beautiful dress more than I do!

However (you knew this was coming right?) The thing is...the real "stuff" in the wedding, is the "stuff" you can't buy, plan, rarely capture in a photograph or predict.  When it happens it is the feeling that you are standing in your under wear and everyone sees you.  I mean really sees you; your heart, your soul and some times that soft, tender, vulnerable under belly that you don't really want just anyone to know you have.  This is the stuff that will take your breathe away. Make a grown man cry. Turn an old wedding pro into a blogging believer.  This is what makes a celebration, a marking of time, a day, a moment and a wedding legendary!  I think this is what weddings intended to be initially.  I think the intention was it to be epic, magical, unlike any other, once in a life time...the one day unlike any other.  I really do believe this is how it was originally created.  One has to believe that a vow made before God and your most cherished people should be our legacy!  Basically, this is how magical stories come to be, how memories are made and the essence of what we are made of(sniff, sniff).  

So, you ask what was it about this day that took my breathe away?

When the strong strapping fire strike captain, groom is brought to tears as he read a heartfelt message from his son that was not able to attend... 

When the youngest boy of the family, stands proud, kisses and honors the matriarch of the family as he carefully escorts her to her seat, front and center... 

 When the groom wraps his arms around his bride holding and comforting her so she can catch her breath, as she struggles to articulate to love him for the rest of their lives and how thankful she is that they found each other...

When the groom adores the fact that the bride can't walk in her designer shoes and carries them for her, as they walk together...

When the bride graciously toasts us all, while publicly sharing her heart and appreciation for the day and her mom and dad...

When we except one another, honor each other and love unconditionally with purpose...

I hope and pray that we all take the time to make our days, our legacy.  I hope your story is what you are made of.  I hope that you notice when God shows up and this is "the stuff" that matters.

The beginning...

Peace, Love and tooe-sting you...A


  1. That was beautiful. :)

  2. Replies
    1. awe...B! Thank you! Only 34.5 weeks to go! Think of you daily!

  3. Who are these people...they sound cool, I want to meet them.
    Very nice write up...other than this Toe-Knee character is a chief not a captain....
    Love you Cuz...

  4. Beautifully articulated Alexis - this is how all
    weddings should be!!
    So very happy for Camille, she is an amazing girl and I feel priviledged to have known her.
    Carole. XX

    1. Carole, Thank you! Miss you! How are you! Thank you! Please let's have a "Old Wedding Pro" reunion! How is my favorite speedo wearing boy?

  5. Cousin, Alexis. That was simply beautiful to read and I felt every words expressed in love for Camille and her new husband, Tony. I love how you yourself tell it like it is...It must run in this family of ours because I share the same sentiment. Love to you and your bella familia! ~ Melinda

    1. Cousin Melinda, Well well well how are you? Your ears must have be burning! We all did photos in the Melinda pose; basically our attempt of arching our back, hand on the hip, lips slightly perched trying to be HOT. I am really hoping those don't surface soon. Thank you, sending love!

  6. Tear...sniffle...sniffle


  7. I absolutely love what you wrote here dear cousin, thank you. Much love, love, and MORE love!!!

    1. Ah the bride surfaces...welcome back Mrs. Howard. I like it!

  8. Alexis, that was Fabulous! I didn't want the story to end! Isn't that the quest of a great Author!! I Loved everything!!!

  9. What a beautiful story and amazing wedding. The Mermaid House would be such a romantic place to stay. I will be telling friends about this definitely!
    Thank you Alexis for sharing.