On Tying the Knot


I promised a photo from our wedding once I got them, and here you go—there I am, in the white dress just after tying the knot. The handsome fellow on the right is my new husband Mike.

We got married in a beautiful park on the edge of the golf course in Aspen, Colorado, where my immediate family lives. The weather was absolutely stunning that day, after a week full of rain and gray skies. Family and friends came from all over the country to join in a whole wedding weekend of events, including a couple’s shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding day, and day-after breakfast.

Some especially unique wedding tidbits:

[disclaimer: I got a bit long-winded below—I won’t be offended if you don’t read every word—but there might be some interesting thoughts on alternative wedding ideas for those of you getting married soon]

1) The park we are in for the picture above was our third ceremony location site! Months before, we had reserved a park in downtown Aspen, but when we got there the week before the wedding and finally got to physically stand in the park, we realized it was too loud with downtown traffic, and to be honest, just not what we had imagined. So, we switched to a park a few blocks away (a cute little park with a little grassy hill), only to find out (two days before the wedding and thanks to Mike’s mom who saw “No Parking on Saturday” signs in front of the park) that they would be doing construction on the street in front of the park on the day of our wedding. Many calls later this info was confirmed, and my sister and brother-in-law (Aspen locals) suggested the park above (Tot Lot Park), and that saved the day. The park has a beautiful view of the mountains and was very quiet and calm. My main lesson learned was “be flexible.” The day turned out so beautiful, despite the last-minute changes.

2) All of our “wedding services” were done by family! How lucky we are to have so many creatives in our family! We had the reception at my parent’s restaurant with catering done by us (My dad in the lead, along with various other family helpers, us included), my mom did the cakes (we had two–chocolate, chocolate and carrot), my cousin Rose did the flowers (she actually does wedding flowers professionally), and my Aunt used to be a portrait photographer, so she did the pictures. Also, my brother-in-law’s father was our officiant (anyone can marry you in Colorado). It was wonderful to have people who know us doing all of these things! It really gave things a personal touch, and I loved going to the reception and seeing the food that we helped make and the tables that we helped set.

3) Mike and I both walked into the ceremony at the same time with our parents. It was important to me to emphasize that this is a joining of our lives, not me being given away to Mike.

4) E.E. Cummings made an appearance at the wedding—the lovely Era and Jaja read this beautiful poem at our ceremony. It meant a lot of me to have poetry, and two of my favorite poetry lovers in the ceremony.

5) We had a very informal reception set-up. I put this in here for anyone out there who is planning a wedding and is torn between wanting to have an informal/non-traditional reception and feeling they’re supposed to have a full sit-down dinner. My parents’ restaurant is on the small side, so we tried to keep the numbers small–we had about 60 guests. Still, the inside of the restaurant is not big enough to accommodate that many people, so we split tables between the inside of the restaurant and the patio, which we tented in for the occasion.

We did not have assigned seating, and all of the tables were smallish–many were set for 4 people, with the highest number of seats at any one table being about 8. We had two buffet tables that changed throughout the evening from appetizers, to a pasta course, to the meat and vegetables (lots of salads and a whole pig, in addition to fish, prime rib, and grilled vegetables), to desserts (including lots of cookies and two cakes—no tiers or traditional wedding cake—just wonderful, delicious cake).

The whole reception had a very relaxed feeling with lots of movement. People had time to eat and time to circulate, and then we naturally progressed into dancing on the patio (which was so much cooler). Mainly, we wanted an intimate family feeling, and we really had that. I think it’s important to decide what your priorities are and to let go of other expectations (or what other people will think) so you can let yourself have the wedding you want.

6) We wrote our own ceremony based on other ceremonies we read. This is not that unusual, but I will say, it was more meaningful to me to have picked the words. The ceremony was very short and simple, and also very organic—no music, just some kids ringing bells to announce the beginning. I remember thinking, “It’s so quiet” as we walked in. I don’t think I even noticed the audience. The ceremony just flew by. I really think the part that had the most impact on me was the readings—having people we know read things that mean something to me really felt special. In addition to the E.E. Cummings I talked about above, we had Mike’s step-mom read Kahlil Gibran’s chapter on marriage from The Prophet.

7) I did not wear make-up and I did not have my hair done professionally (I mean, I barely have any hair!). I did get my nails done, and I wore a cute headband with fresh flowers on the side (any brides out there with short short hair, feel free to contact me, and I can describe the headband better). I really wanted to throw this comment in here because there was some pressure on me to wear make-up, but I never wear make-up, so why should I wear it at my wedding? Is the groom wearing make-up? This is a very personal choice, but I just wanted to say to anyone out there like me who does not want to wear make-up at her wedding, have courage—just say no! You will look just like you’re beautiful self without it.

Now, I will tell you the one reality I realized, at least for me in the form of advice for people getting married in the near future: chances are, there are going to be some challenging bits, especially in negotiation family relations. It’s going to feel a bit crazy and stressful. People will say it is your day, and it is, but there are also a whole bunch of other people there, and they want to share your day with you. I’ll admit that both Mike and I got stressed at times, but in the end, it was exactly what we wanted, and we were happy that we stuck to our guns on the things that were most important to us (like keeping it small and family-oriented), and let go of others (like our ceremony location and many wedding traditions that weren’t so important to us).


5 Responses to “On Tying the Knot”

  1. 1 Pica October 20, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Love this. Congratulations to you both.

  2. 2 Jenny October 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Congratulations, Nicole! You both look lovely and it sounds like it was a wonderful time. Welcome home!

  3. 3 Kerri October 26, 2009 at 1:53 am

    I love how you were brave enough to do what was right for you. I bet you did get some shocked comments about the fact that you were wearing no make up but you look fabulous and I bet you felt great too! The readings were so lovely as well, it sounds like the most glorious day x x

  4. 4 Angelica June 1, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Congratulations! Your wedding sounded wonderful and it was great to read about someone getting maried at Tot Lot. I’m getting married at Tot Lot in August. I was wondering how you got your guests up there and where they parked? That was my only concern with getting married at this park was the lack of parking space. Any answers you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Again Congratulations!

  1. 1 Giving Thanks « blue bicicletta Trackback on October 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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