Archive | family photos RSS feed for this section

FERRAGOSTO 2016: New Orleans

4 Apr

I only just barely qualify as a Millennial (and even then only because the state of Pennsylvania wouldn’t change my birth certificate so I could refute that title forevermore), so while I don’t have the “if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen” mindset, I do suffer from “if it’s not on your blog, you’ll never recall it” syndrome. Being on the border of  today’s annoying younguns means that I’ll be old pretty much by tomorrow– so although the 9th annual FERRAGOSTO, happened 8 months ago, we’re talking about it now before JetSet and I reach the age where we can’t remember whether or not we brushed our teeth in the morning.

And this is truly one year not to forget: for years, JetSet and I have debated inviting others to our bizarre, tradition-driven little jaunts, and this year we finally found just the right beta tester–none other than the beloved DonQuixoteKef! Since you will see him only in the same teeshirt and cargo shorts from here on out, here’s what he looks like when he’s not in his trademarked travelwear:

tk

Alright then, on to it: wouldn’t be FERRAGOSTO if the shenanigans didn’t start off right off the bat. Immediately upon landing in the Big Easy, we had to find an urgent care that was still open because I had fallen while running in DC that morning, went to work all day, and then decided that our first order of business in New Orleans would be seeking out someone to stitch me up. As one does.

FullSizeRender (22)

Seven sutures later (3 internal, 4 external, for the curious among us), we were on Frenchman Street, where the beignets were frying and the brass bands were playing:

After eating more fried food than was healthy, we strolled the French Quarter, which was made infinitely better when we realized we could get our craft cocktails to go. Feeling the itis and the time change, we decided to call it an early night. We headed back to our beautiful and well-located AirBnB, but not before one more stop at our soon-to-be favorite take out bar, The Franklin. This is when I realized that I had become the third-wheel on my own vacation.

IMG_6578

Toasting the age old question: why ARE there so many songs about rainbows?

The next morning, JetSet took off an a hot, humid, long run and DonQuixoteKef and I took a pilgrimage to find the brick memorializing his grandfather at the World War II Museum  Along the way, we made the obligatory stop at Cafe du Monde, enjoyed the beautiful architecture, and popped into the Lafayette Cemetery. The great news about wandering around a new place with DonQuixoteKef is that he stops to read all the plaques, and then generously summarizes the interesting parts for you. That’s service with a smile, people.

IMG_6583

IMG_6581

Just before lunch, we caught up with JetSet post-run and set off across the Mighty Mississippi to the 15th Ward, Algiers.

IMG_6589

IMG_6591

We poked about, ate lunch at the super sweet Tout de Suite Cafe, and headed back across the river. We were having a great walk along the river, when a torrential downpour came out of nowhere and we had to go all Esmeralda and claim sanctuary in the St Louis Cathedral.

…but first, we took a selfie.

IMG_6598

We walked between raindrops, NOLA style–which is to say we followed the awnings from bar to bar. This was the perfect time to be in a group of three, as at any given stop only two of us really felt like a beverage so we could keep the afternoon under control by alternating drinking and seltzering without anyone feeling left out. And to think, just ten years ago I was partnered with DonQuixoteKef so he could help me finish off the second 40 taping our hands together, and now we needed each other for the sobriety triangle. #ReallyNotMillennials

After witnessing a strange Porsche Parade complete with police escort (no, really…) we continued our rainy walk through Louis Armstrong Park and into the Treme.

IMG_6599

We swung by the storied Kermit’s Treme Mother in Law Lounge, where we instantly killed the vibe a few regulars had going at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon.

IMG_6611

On the upside, we did learn a ton about a the eponymous New Orleans Jazz legend, thanks to the 30For30 style documentary they had playing on loop.

Finally, we stopped by St. Augustine Catholic Church, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Slave.

IMG_6602IMG_6603

On this October 30, 2004, we, the Faith Community of St. Augustine Catholic Church, dedicate this shrine consisting of grave crosses, chains and shackles to the memory of the nameless, faceless, turfless Africans who met an untimely death in Faubourg Treme. The Tomb of the Unknown Slave is commemorated here in this garden plot of St. Augustine Church, the only parish in the United States whose free people of color bought two outer rows of pews exclusively for slaves to use for worship. This St. Augustine/Treme shrine honors all slaves buried throughout the United States and those slaves in particular who lie beneath the ground of Treme in unmarked, unknown graves. There is no doubt that the campus of St. Augustine Church sits astride the blood, sweat, tears and some of the mortal remains of unknown slaves from Africa and local American Indian slaves who either met with fatal treachery, and were therefore buried quickly and secretly, or were buried hastily and at random because of yellow fever and other plagues.

Even now, some Treme locals have childhood memories of salvage/restoration workers unearthing various human bones, sometimes in concentrated areas such as wells. In other words, The Tomb of the Unknown Slave is a constant reminder that we are walking on holy ground. Thus, we cannot consecrate this tomb, because it is already consecrated by many slaves’ inglorious deaths bereft of any acknowledgement, dignity or respect, but ultimately glorious by their blood, sweat, tears, faith, prayers and deep worship of our Creator.

A humbling reminder of the power of taking responsibility for our country’s dark history and the tremendous amount of work left to be done to undo the oppressive systems left in its wake. End rant.

We headed back to home base, took a nap and a shower, then headed to dinner… of course with a stopover to see our friends at the Franklin. For the record, I am generally a woman who drinks about one glass of wine per week… but when I realized I could strut about with my champagne, I was just bubbling over with excitement (har har har). We ate a delicious meal at Peche, then went for cocktails at Arnaud’s French 75.  Anyone keeping track realizes that, by this point, my whopping four drinks in 24 hours had me feeling like a million bucks, so I abstained when JetSet and DonQuixote stopped by Franklin’s for one more roadie.

And yet, somehow, I still participated (instigated?) this late night selfie stick session

IMG_6618

which devolved into my brother and I DEMANDING that Don Quixote join, in a ruckus very similar to an entire amphitheater full of fans chanting “one more song!” that didn’t end until the man himself appeared

IMG_6621

and finally agreed to “snuggle and selfie” with us

IMG_6622

two of these people are related by blood, and one of them is sorry he ever set eyes on the FamiliaKef. You do the math.

 

And then, like a rockstar who suddenly realizes the groupies he thought were hottie-patotties are actually thirty-something siblings, DonQuixote was gone as quickly as he came.

IMG_6623

Suddenly, it was morning, and we decided to be industrious grown ups again. A quick trip to the oddly all-inclusive convenience store down the street for provisions revealed the sign JetSet hopes one day to hang on his office door:

IMG_6594

It was our last day in the Big Easy and we were on two missions: get to the Audobon Zoo, and find a muffuletta on the way. We achieved the latter first, which gave DonQuixote just the boost he needed to rebound from the night before and trek across the city, plus all the calories he needed for the next four days of non-travel detox:

IMG_6628

Luckily, we were greeted with perfect weather for our final hours, and we managed to squeeze in the Zoo as well as mini-campus tours of Loyola and Tulane, plus an attempted-but-ultimately-barred jaunt through one of New Orleans’ most exclusive gated communities.

IMG_6629

IMG_6630

IMG_6632

IMG_6633

We zoomed home on by streetcar, and snapped this lovely shot:

IMG_6636

And that, friends, wraps up FERRAGOSTO 2016. No word on where we’ll head this year (or whether DonQuixote’s Stolkholm Syndrome is severe enough to agree to join us again), but as it is the TENTH ANNIVERSARY, we have some exciting possbilities in the mix.

It won’t, however, be Cleveland:

IMG_6625

Wedding Wednesday Finale, Straight Outta Wedding Central

27 Jan

0695

If it had been up to me, MrKef and I would have rented a rec center and had an awesome wedding and party without a single centerpiece or place setting. But it turns out that 99.9% of the world is more formal than I am, and I was flatly overruled pretty much every time I asked, “But do we really NEED that?” Luckily, I have a mother who is the reigning queen of Pinterest’s Budget Weddings for Stubborn and Cheap Daughters scene, and she came to the rescue in a big way.

For about a year, MamaKef referred to her dining room as “Wedding Central” (and sometimes even answered the phone, “Wedding Central, how can I help you?” which gave me particular joy). Let’s review some of her amazing work!

My favorite detail: my bouquet. When I mentioned I really didn’t care to carry a bouquet, MamaKef actually recoiled in horror. But she knows the way to my heart: sentimentality. She doctored up the silk flower arrangement that she carried at her wedding to make this beautiful bouquet that I was thrilled to carry down the aisle with me.

0008

And she also made sure my beloved Grandma Ann was represented, and included this handkerchief in the 2016 version of her bouquet:

0013

Welcome bags were a MUST-have for MamaKef and the out of town guests, so she did up these super cute little inserts and added them to a basket of black & white cookies, a map of DC, and water bottles

0028

She also designed and printed the entirety of our ceremony’s program:

0670

All those amazing photos taken in foam board frames? 100% the work of the parentals, who spent a weekend perfecting these awesome props.

0033

Plus she commissioned this amazing, surprise step-and-repeat for us, which KMBGSKef tells me was quite a feat of engineering to assemble…

0034

But the fun didn’t stop there! She fashioned some beautiful decorations for cocktail hour:

0678

0675

Which included pictures of both our families, because MamaKef is the official family historian:0674

And even made my ultimate cheap-as-anything-bride move look super cute with the help of ChampagneOnlyKef’s perfect penmanship:

0687

MrKef is a proud alumnus of Posse, and they have a tradition of “Warm and Fuzzies” that MrKef wanted to try and recreate for our guest book. So, we made these little note papers on VistaPrint and MamaKef found a creative way to display them

0036

0685

Our seating chart was also a MamaKef original (with a little help from KMBGSKef’s fine hand)–this was a repurposed foam board of my grandmother’s with little tags designed by (who else!) MamaKef:

0669

… and that was all before you entered the reception room! As mentioned above, centerpieces were very low on my priority list, but MamaKef came to the rescue.

 

0810

 

The pictures don’t actually do them justice–the venue gave us the cylinders and mirrors (for free!) and MamaKef came up with this brilliant glitter-sticks-fake-tea-light arrangement. They gave off this beautiful sparkling low light that looked so pretty as the sun set over the Potomac.

… but low-cost don’t mean low-stress… this was the scene until about 1130am the day of the wedding (not pictured but should be: KMBGSKef, ChampagneOnlyKef, CafeKef, BabyKef and TresParisienneKef as WeddingCentralMinions).

IMG_4370

One of my other favorite details: the table numbers! We decided to do pictures of each of us at ages that corresponded to the table number. MamaKef and HomeBrewKef tag-teamed to make these amazing placards:

0801

0804

Finally, MamaKef bequeathed us what was 100% the most appreciated detail of the wedding– flipflops! 0808

And that, good people, is the work of the world’s Best Mom, with only minimal input from the world’s Worst Bride.0693

And now, I leave with with just a few moments from the Kef Wedding After Dark:

THE BIGGEST THANK YOU TO EVERYONE AT THE KEY BRIDGE MARRIOTT, who were awesome. Especially our Captain, Cristina– obrigada!

IMG_4408

So many favorites in one spot:

IMG_4448

MrKef’s mom served beignets during the after party, village style:IMG_4422

while DoJobKef entertained my side of the family with her discovery that my dad’s best friend bears an uncanny resemblance to her OB:

IMG_4419 (1)

There is a video of my parents, my dad’s best friend, and KMBGSKef belting out some Irish Drinking Songs… but I will spare you that and give you a blurry picture, instead:FullSizeRender (1)

At about 2:00 am, we piled into two huge Ubers and headed–where else?–to Korean BBQ:

FullSizeRender (2)

…and THAT, my friends, is how I woke up looking like this:

FullSizeRender (3)

How better for the anti bride to end this seemingly-endless blog series?

(Almost The Last) Wedding Wednesday: Reception Kings and Prancing Dads

20 Jan

Today we’re gonna finish up the party pics I couldn’t get posted last week, next week it’s all about the amazing work MamaKef put into this life event, and then its honeymoon in Croatia time. Sharing all these fun wedding moments has been great, but I’m ready to move on. (Part I ; Part II ; Part III ; Part IV)

First things first, I have to crown a King of the Reception. I’d like to think everyone had a great time at our little fiesta, but there was one guest who stood out in a sea of really fun people as the person having the MOST fun: RussianBearKef himself! There was not one single scene the photographer caught without him in, having a blast. A smattering of the many snapshots of one of my dearest friends getting down with pretty much every woman I know:

15621351

1251

Impossibly, we have known each other for TEN years– so because I can, I think we need a before-and-after comparison:

1927684_508964808295_9318_n

1353

I rather think we’re getting better with age (and less Russian Bear!).

It was an extremely tough decision. The runner up goes to SummitKef, for cheering us on SO wholeheartedly as we fed each other beignets and baklava. The whole photo series is priceless, but here’s just one to wet your whistle:

1237

Back to the party:  the FamiliaKef really knows how it’s done:1503

1554

1530

1416

FINALLY, JetSet learns how to Wobble.

While my family was dancing, MrKef and co were up to some very-usual antics

1433

1411

1419

1322

1266

#posselove #brandeis

Naturally, FlailKef, SpeakToSomeoneAboutThatKef and I were picking some apples and putting them in our pocket:

1430

It was just a room full of dancing fools!

1320

The most beautiful couple on the planet, clearly.

1330

I think this is me “dancing” to Makossa

1243

Countless cool points were won and lost that night.

1401

1106

1259

1368

1524

1544

Partying like we should have in 1999.

1375

Things reached a fever pitch when MamaKef’s cocktail hour props made their way to the dancefloor:

1464

1467

 

1452

1482

1458

1441

1463

1192

Not in a frame, but they’re two of my most beloved, so I’m going Blogzilla and throwing it in there, anyway.

In case there was ANY wonder whether this whole night had been worth it, a miracle happened. Our last song of the night was “New York, NY.” Everyone was swaying in a circle, minding their own business and belting it out along with the original Bl’italian when…

1573

… SUDDENLY MRKEF’S DAD AND MY DAD ENTERED THE CENTER OF THE CIRLCE HOLDING HANDS AND PRANCING:

1579

It cannot be understated how happy this made me– my father does NOT dance, does not like attention, and does not touch other humans. My reaction was pretty much the same as KPopKef’s, captured wonderfully in the background to the right.

Once we got over the shock, everyone piled through the dads to form a bridge.

1583

1589 I honestly think this is the happiest moment of my whole life. I bemoaned the process of putting together a wedding for a price below the Federal Poverty Line for an entire year, but  I would happily pay twice the cost of the wedding just for this amazing memory!

Beautiful MakeUp and Emergency Hair Touchups: Colleen the Stylist
Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Alterations that kept the bride IN said dress: G2G Couture
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

Wedding Wednesday: Syrtaki, Stanky Spanx, and Suspenders

13 Jan

Okay so today there’s good news and bad news: the bad news is that I had some technical difficulties this morning uploading all the party pics I wanted to use, so I may have to draw the reception out into two posts–sorry y’all. I tried to be a really low-key bride, so what I spared you in Bridezilla moments will be made up for in Blogzilla posts… okay? Great. The good news is that the upload failed pretty much right at the moment I was trying to teach JetSet how to Wobble, so he is spared one more week of embarassment.

So, after we rehearsed, said “I Do,” and MrKef got a major roasting, it was finally time to start the party. Clearly, there’s only one way to do it: Zorba (syrtaki if we’re being technical, but just go with it)! 1081

People tried–they really did–but eventually it devolved into a circle of clapping while the Greeks took care of the speedy bits.

1101

And then it was all party, party, party!

1127

1133

1158

1134

1160

Unfortunately, there is now photographic evidence of my doing the most STANDARD white girl dance post-college– one point in the “ChefKef-is-secretly-an-UGGs-wearing- PSL-sipping-basic-babe” column:

1199

Eventually, an epic dance-off between WokeUpLikeDisKef, RumNRedBullKef, and BabyKef broke out, which was amazing beyond measure.1173

No need to drop the mic– BabyKef threw down with her trademarked “Stanky Spanx” dance:

1165

Of course, MrKef and I had to then show off some of our signature moves, like Playing Dice:

1143

and “Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay!”

1221

and, my personal favorite, the Ashanti/JaRule Thug Love:

1217

Somehow, we forget to put Ma$e on the “Must Play” list, so MrKef had to do without his DiddyBop on his big night. Shame.

While all this was going down, there were beignets and baklava to be had!

1230

The beignets came from a random Cameroonian lady who turned out to be a total drama queen. The baklava came from the most amazing woman alive, Kat at Baklava Couture. Further proof that Our Greekness is Your Weakness? I think so.

1229

HomeBrewKef was surprised to find himself 100% on-trend at this shindig

1225

And that, sadly, is where my upload ends– more next time!

Beautiful MakeUp and Emergency Hair Touchups: Colleen the Stylist
Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

Extravaganza 2015: Sparkly Selfie Sticks & Seating Arrangements

4 Jan

Welcome to a new year in Kefland. Sadly, my time management skills have not improved since 2015 and I do not have any resolutions to rectify that, so we’re going with a quickie post full of pictures today with the promise for some yummy recipes later this week.

The FamilyKef and our surrogate family, CafeKef and ChampagneOnlyKef, love Christmas, and we love an extravaganza. For more on both of those things, read this post and this post.

As 2015 was the year of the weddings, this was the first Extravaganza where all our spouses joined in, and they did so each with their own zeal:

Jimmy2.0Kef with his rifle/gift

IMG_5369

MrKef with his 1920s-style toothache remedy

IMG_5386

and KimmieKef with her usual cuteness.

IMG_5370

Now, one would think that the major life events and additions that happened over the last year would have been all the change one family could handle. But then, MamaKef realllly rocked the boat by… SETTING THE DINING ROOM TABLE FOR SEATING, INSTEAD OF BUFFETING. This was a scandal no one saw coming, and so we all waited patiently for MamaKef to provide each of us with seating assignments.IMG_5377

I’d say it was dinner as usual, but I have a feeling most people’s Christmas Dinners don’t include a riling version of “Chrissy the Christmas Mouse” (featuring ChampagneOnlyKef on the spoons) and the Queen Mama herself drinking a Pumpkin Pie Vodka cocktail at the table.

IMG_5381

This one is blurry because ChampagneOnlyKef was just THAT enthusiastic about the spoons.

IMG_5385

Hot Mama– ow OWWWW.

So then it was gift… I mean, NO GIFT… time, which of course meant there were some gifts. ChampagneOnlyKef and CafeKef totally took the cake by giving MrKef and JetSetKef those magic towels that come in a teeny little package and expand to reveal their shape. Suddenly, it was 1995 again and there were two small boys in our midst:

IMG_5390

IMG_5391

To round out the night, CafeKef (who is looking hotter than ever), whipped out her sparkly selfie stick and we took some group shots. Here’s a blurry shot of both the magical woman and her magnificent wand:

IMG_5375

We tried to recreate our first-ever Ganza Group Photo, but we weren’t particularly impressed with the result. For posterity’s sake, here’s a comparison of life  BSS and ASS (before selfie stick and after selfie stick):

kefiextravaganza

IMG_1012

I’ll let you guess which one is which.

We decided a venue change was necessary, as only JetSet and MrKef had the skin tone to withstand that fluorescent lighting. We managed to get the lovely shot below, which I think is really quite nice.

IMG_1019

But, of course, there were some bloopers along the way:

IMG_1024

And that, my friends, was Extravaganza 2015! I’m sure I missed some important moments, and I’m sure my lovely family will remind me in the comments below.

Later this week: champagne punch, amazing eggplant, and a cake that will knock your socks off.

Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony

9 Dec

0610

Last we left the wedding updates, our families had stormed Alexandria in red dashikis, I had slept for about 2.5 hours the night before the wedding, CafeKef finally had luscious lashes, and we had posed for 17,091 family photos. To read all about that, check this out.

Back when MrKef staged an amazing engagement surprise, it was already pretty apparent that we wanted different things in a wedding. My dream nuptials included an “engagement party” that was–surprise!–actually a wedding. No expectations, no rules, no problems. If it had been up to MrKef, on the other hand, he would have had 500 people, flying doves, and fancy floral centerpieces galore. So… there was negotiating to be done.

All this to say, when 150 people showed up and were milling about in the next room (and when all I could hear was MamaKef nearly having a coronary keeping any of them from seeing me), I was feeling very nervous and very much like I wanted to skip over the whole stand-in-front-of-everyone-you-know thing and get right to the dance-all-night bit. But, the show must go on, and so the procession began.

MrKef chose the beginning of this instrumental version of “Let’s Get Married” for his, his parents’, and the wedding party’s processional.

0541

0554

Of course, cheers erupted for MrKef as soon as he entered the room, and any lingering worry that we would have a stuffy, sterile wedding went right out the window of the 14th Floor.

0558

0563

I chose Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah I Love Her So” to walk into. All the informal ceremony cheering in the world couldn’t keep me from looking like a deer in headlights as I walked into 300 eyes staring at me. Not having to do that again is reason enough to stay married forever!0572

0585

Our officiant was PurplePenKef, who’s been a great mentor and friend to me and MrKef over the years. She created a truly memorable ceremony that was heartfelt, unique, and kept everyone laughing:

0561

It was important to us to include our parents in the ceremony, so we each chose one to speak on behalf of our respective families in order to pledge their support, advice, and opinions (as if either set of parents waits to be asked to provide those!). This was a great excuse for me to out MamaKef on her obsession with the deer population of Orange County, NY.

0619

SoulFoodChefKef read a short excerpt from Hilary T. Smith’s Wild Awake:0605

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.

And then BabyKef read from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin:

0625

     Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love,
have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

And then it was time for PurplePenKef’s “homily.” She had been hilariously holding this over our heads for the better part of the year, but instead of roasting us as we deserved, she made the loveliest speech, using one of her favorite (!) crafts, quilting, as the metaphor. I would share a short excerpt, but I keep tearing up reading it over and over looking for a stand-alone portion, so it’s really better that we just keep things moving.

0659

And then it was time to say some vows! Neither of us felt tied to the traditional vows, nor did we particularly care to write our own. Luckily, we stumbled upon this set of vows which we both really loved. Someone, somewhere on the internet attributed them to Quakerism, but I have not independently confirmed that with two reliable sources. I will post them here in the event one of my readers is on the lookout for some heartfelt-but-not-cheesey-or-new-agey vows:

Today, I make you my family.
Loving what I know of you and trusting what I do not know,
I will turn to you in every joy and every struggle.
I will build a life that makes you proud,
and I will honor your dreams, wherever they may lead us.
I will share my adventures with you,
and I will make my home wherever you are.
I promise to cherish and delight in your spirit and individuality,
to face life’s challenges with patience and humor,
and to nurture our growth.
Whatever is placed before us,
I will be right here by your side for the rest of my days.

0604

And with that, we were presented as Mrs and Mr Kef for the very first time to all our friends and family!

0528

0534

Next time, on Wedding Wednesday: speeches, surprises, and signature drinks!

0540

Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

Wedding Wednesday: A Hodge Podge of Pre-Ceremony Stuff

25 Nov

While most of y’all are brining your turkey or drinking with your friends from high school in your hometown, I’m just trying to avoid the wrath of MamaKef, who is dying for CuK Wedding Edition Post. So, it’s not the most curated or well-thought-out, but here’s the first of a few wedding posts I’ll make:

It’s a West African tradition that close family/friends wear different outfits of the same fabric to weddings (and, it turns out, other ceremonies–just ask MrKef’s dad who told CafeKef “you should see how many of these shirts I have from funerals!”). In an adventure of epic proportions, MrKef and I gathered both our families at Monsieur Diallo’s little tailor shop on Flatbush Ave one afternoon and we commissioned QUITE the line of red dashiki, if I do say so myself:

FullSizeRender (2)

We held the dinner at Columbia Firehouse in Alexandria. They were reasonable, flexible, and gave us the whole upstairs to ourselves–perfect for a no-muss, no-fuss night before the wedding!FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender (1)

IMG_4394

And of course, there was a little hoodwinking:

IMG_4393

That night, I intended to go straight to bed… but instead ended up drinking (more) champagne and trying to smoke a cigar with one of MrKef’s best friends… whoopsies. #thebrideisdrunk

Our ceremony and reception were both at the Key Bridge Marriott, which was the perfect venue for a billion reasons, not the least of which being the huge suite with this amazing view that was ours the night before and night of the wedding–perfect for getting ready!

0025

Before I inundate you with photos of our families and friends, let me pay special homage to what was REALLY going down on August 21, 2015: CafeKef got her some lashes:

IMG_4397

Okay, now you’re pretty much caught up on what isn’t run-of-the-mill wedding stuff, so I’ll give you what you came for: lots of pictures.

0055

#abovethelaw

0109

I wore earrings my dad had CUSTOM MADE (his emphasis) for my 18th birthday.

0138

There was A LOT OF ANXIETY OVER THIS DRESS, so I was relieved when it fit, didn’t show my spanx, and didn’t make me feel like a cookie-cutter bride.

0115

ChampagneOnlyKef, helping me put on a beautiful bracelet that was GrandmaB’s.

0124

The only safe way to greet HomeBrewKef these days… he’s really into licking.

 

0451

Our poor photographer wasn’t quite sure what to do with 5 groomsmen and 1 maid of honor, but luckily KPopKef came up with some photographic gold: the FLYING V.0211

Which devolved rather quickly:

0218

These pictures were taken at that little pocket park in Rosslyn where the Jazz Festival is every year… KMBGSKef and I found the perfect spot for our portraits, of course:

0258

Finally, we got together for 4,328.503 different iterations of family portraits:

0095

0284

0381

04020361

0378.JPG

0390

0408

Is that not the most beautiful Greek-Cameroonian family you have ever seen?

Next time, on Cooking Up Kefi: Wedding Edition: the ceremony, the party, the speeches, the… Irish Drinking Songs? Stay tuned… it could be awhile.

0518

Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

%d bloggers like this: