Nora went to Cape Cod for a vacation with her parents, she
realized that it was a perfect place for our wedding. Next
time, they took me along too, and I had to agree. We went
all over the Cape, looking for the "perfect" venue.
But Chatham's charming town center, old historic buildings,
and general quaintness stole our hearts. This was IT!
also thought it felt right, because it seemed to have a lot
of "New Zealand character" about it. I guess it
was just the colonial feeling about many of the buildings,
not to mention the close proximity of the beaches. I definitely
liked the idea of getting married in a place that had a mixture
of American and New Zealand qualities.
We wanted to have our wedding in a Catholic church. There
was only one in Chatham, so we didn't have much choice. But
when we went to visit it, we were not disappointed. It was
just gorgeous with its clapboard walls, very characteristic
of that time and area. It was really too big for our purposesour
meager 20-person crowd would be dwarfed in there. But it was
otherwise a perfect venue.
also went and met the resident priest. We already loved the
place, but Father Scales just made it even better. He was
very talkative, and had a very strong local accenta
wonderful person to work with. Even in the service itself,
he was constantly whispering instructions and reassuring us
that we were "doing great so far!"
went to visit many inns, looking for a place to hold the reception.
Once we had narrowed it down, it really came down to two choices:
the Chatham Bars Inn or the Queen Anne Inn. The Bars had an
absolutely breath-taking front garden, lovely gardens around
the back too (ideal for photos), and beautiful views of the
beach. But because our party was so small, we were offered
a pokey little room off the side of the main dining area for
our reception. It just didn't feel right.
Anne immediately stole our hearts. They catered for small
groups only, so we knew we would be well cared for. The inn
has some beautiful woodwork. The owner, Guenther, was extremely
helpful. We came to him basically with an open slate and asked
him, "What can you do for us?" He made a number
of suggestions, and also recommended other accommodations,
activities for the guests, and so on. While the outside of
the inn felt cramped and less neat and trim than the other
inn, the indoors was just perfect. We, being indoor people,
felt this was more important than having a nice outdoor garden,
and anyway we naturally gravitated towards this place because
they were much more experienced with small parties.
our initial meeting, we asked Guenther if he would be able
to make us a pavlova (a tradional New Zealand dessert) instead
of a normal wedding cake. Surprisingly, his answer was yes,
because he had previously had a New Zealand chef working there
who had left many recipes. This just clinched the deal!
the day, the reception dinner was wonderfully done. There
were three main dishes on the menu, and everyone got what
they ordered (I think!). The food was just exquisite. We heard
from several sources that the steak just melted in your mouth.
I personally could highly recommend the duckvery flavorful.
The third dish was salmon and scallops, which also got rave
only disappointment was the pavlova. I think they realized
a little too late that pavlovas are very difficult to make,
and they resorted to some sort of instant pav-like goo squeezed
out of a confectioner's tube. It was wonderfully presented,
with sour friut that complemented the dish nicely...but it
was definitely not a pav!
recommended florist was unavailable on our chosen day, so
we had to find our own. Not to be beaten, Nora did a bit of
Web searching and hit on a great find. She found Kathryn Manson,
who calls herself not a florist, but a "floral designer".
She doesn't normally do weddings because she can't bear to
have the bride fussing about this color or that color. She
wants to do the designing! But she took us on instantly because
we again came to her with an open slate, and let her think
about what would look good.
On the day, the flowers were so good they brought tears to
my eyes. Everything was so well laid out and arranged to fill
the spaces so perfectly. Only having seen how she works do
I know how much precision went into those arrangements. For
example, every bouquet was a slightly different size, so that
it matched the person carrying it. But of course, no-one would
notice this because everything fitted their surroundings so
recommended Spencer Kennard to us for our photographer, and
that turned out to be great advice. On the day, he was extremely
professional. He had many ideas for places to shoot, an eye
for composing pictures, and always watched out for loose hair.
hasn't produced the photos yet, but on the positive side,
he hasn't cashed our checks yet either. He used both traditional
cameras and a digital camera, I guess to be on the safe side,
but also because he is still experimenting and learning about
the new medium. He printed up a couple of the digital ones
immediately and gave them to us, free of charge. That digital
camera was of such good quality that I cannot tell even when
I look up close at the photo. He uses good equipment, has
a good professional style, and I would recommend him to anyone.
a limousine, we needed something that could carry 6 people,
yet wasn't too grand. We found a company called Connexions,
which had an ideal car for us. It was a dark color, but not
black; and it was slightly stretched, but not awfully so.
the best part came when we met the driver. He went out of
his way to hold Nora's dress off the ground, and he was generally
very helpful to everyone. After the photos he drove us back
by a scenic route so we could all see Chatham's sights. We
got a complimentary bottle of champagne on the trip, too.
For favors at the reception, we decided to use local candy
makers. There is one shop in Chatham, the aptly named Chatham
Candy Manor, that is just filled with just about anything
chocolate coated, and a lot more besides. We contacted them
and they were very happy to work with us. It was hard to choose!
I personally liked the idea of giving everyone a small candy
lighthouse surrounded by chocolate pebbles and shells (very
realistic!). But in the end, we decided that it's better to
have something that is easier for people to take away with
them. We went with some chocolate-coated cranberries, which
were attractively packaged and quite scrummy!