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The Wedding!

September 25, 2014

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Paula and I got married!

So I’m interrupting my not-so-regular recipe-posting schedule [although finally the tendinitis/RSI pain is subsiding a little] to bring you these photos of our tamale-centered wedding feast!

Next time I’ll be back with a recipe, though… I promise.

Unlike all of my other blog posts, these are not my photos, but those of our fabulous wedding photographer, Debbie Gardner. And the food wasn’t made by me or Paula (although we thought about doing it ourselves — for about 5 seconds!), but by Pure Joy Catering. We were very happy with both!

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Our wedding was on the beach in Santa Barbara — a bit of a destination wedding maybe, but also where we are lucky enough to live! It was such a fun day, and we are so grateful to all of the friends and family who traveled to celebrate with us, and to everyone who helped make our wedding possible and lovely.

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I will now leave you with nothing but food photos, and notes about the food — after all, typical of us, it’s the part we’d been fixating on for months leading up to the wedding. And this was not one of those weddings where the bride & bride barely have time to eat — we made sure to partake along with our guests! I mean, neither of us is one to turn down a tamale, even on our wedding day…

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Appetizers: Salsas, corn chips, and guacamole,
with cilantro on the side (for some of our guests),
and onions on the side (for Paula).

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Caprese skewers with heirloom cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

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Fresh citrusy ceviche with jalapeños. This was my favorite food of the night!

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The two of us, holding our cocktails: Blood orange margaritas.

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Ortega chili corn bread muffins served with sweet butter.

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Farmer’s Market fresh vegetable and heirloom tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

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And the main course: Three types of tamales! Chicken with red sauce,
roasted green chili and jack cheese, and vegan mushroom and cheese. Plus all of the
trimmings on the side including Spanish rice, black beans, and queso fresco.

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The delicious meal was thanks to Pure Joy Catering, but Paula and I also
snuck a bottle of Tapatío onto each table… she we wouldn’t dream of
enjoying tamales, rice, and beans without it!

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And for dessert, raspberry cupcakes, …

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… lemon cream cupcakes (with candied blood orange slices),
and vegan chocolate cupcakes (which absolutely vanished!).


We also gave away about 280 homemade cookies (in packs of 3) as end-of-the-night
wedding favors, all (frozen individually in her apartment in Chicago and) baked by
my awesome little sister in my apartment the day before the wedding! The cookies were
peanut butter chocolate chip (smitten kitchen), snickerdoodles (smitten kitchen),
and Orange Cardamom Cranberry Oatmeal (coming soon to spontaneous tomato).

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Related recipe posts:

Adobo Chicken Tamales Roasted Tomatillo Guacamole Green Chile Cheese Tamales and vegetarian tamale masa Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
Adobo Chicken Tamales Roasted Tomatillo Guacamole Green Chile Cheese Tamales and Vegetarian Tamale Masa (Dough) Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
95 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2014 7:44 am

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing. Wish you loads of happiness for lots and lots of delicious years!

  2. September 25, 2014 7:58 am

    This is too wonderful for words. The biggest congratulations to you both!!! (And the “pick a side” sign is hysterical.) So happy for you and wishing you all the best.

  3. September 25, 2014 8:11 am

    A tamale feast on the California coast?! So beautiful! Congratulations on your wedding, Allison and Paula!

    • October 9, 2014 12:06 pm

      Thanks, Brianne! I know, it actually took us a while at first to decide on what kind of food we’d be having, but the second we thought of tamales, we both agreed it was perfect!

  4. September 25, 2014 8:46 am

    Congratulations! What a lovely wedding. I love all the little touches included to make the day special.

    • October 9, 2014 12:07 pm

      Thanks so much! And that’s nice of you to say — we definitely thought a LOT (too much probably) about the details — and we had a great caterer who rounded out the decorations, too — and I think it was all worth it.

  5. Sandhya permalink
    September 25, 2014 9:00 am

    yay allison! was waiting for this post. the photos look absolutely fantastic and i’m totally bummed I missed it. *LOVE* the glasses with the bike motif too. :)


    • October 9, 2014 12:09 pm

      Thanks, Sandhya! I know, we really wish you guys could have been there too… but we can celebrate belatedly the next time we see each other!

  6. September 25, 2014 9:28 am

    A million times like!!! Mazel tov to the both of you =)

  7. September 25, 2014 10:31 am

    Many congratulations. What a wonderful feast! :)

  8. September 25, 2014 10:36 am

    The food looks gorgeous and you both look relaxed and really happy. Congratulations!

    • October 9, 2014 12:11 pm

      Thanks! Haha, I’m not sure how ‘relaxed’ we were (until after the ceremony when my sister put those cocktails in our hands…), but we were definitely both very happy — it was such a fun day!

  9. September 25, 2014 10:46 am

    Congrats! <3

  10. September 25, 2014 10:54 am

    Congrats! the both of you looked so beautiful and the food looked fabulous, so happy for you, hugs:)

  11. September 25, 2014 12:03 pm

    Wow, congratulations!
    Wishing you lots of happiness, love and laughter in your married life :-)

  12. September 25, 2014 12:37 pm

    Congratulations – what a wonderful feast!

  13. September 25, 2014 12:37 pm

    Looks like an awesome wedding. Congratulations!

  14. September 25, 2014 2:11 pm

    Congratulations! Just gorgeous, the location is super. Look at that sky and the food is the business! Made my mouth water. Love the adorable monogrammed bicycle glasses. :)

    • October 9, 2014 12:17 pm

      Thank you! I know — we really couldn’t have asked for a better location, and the best part is that it was affordable because it’s part of a city park, right on the beach, so we rented the venue from our local Parks & Recreation dept.! We were really happy with the sky, the food, and the bicycle glasses, too. :)

  15. September 25, 2014 2:33 pm

    Congratulations to you and Paula! What a beautiful sunset, and of course, the food looks absolutely mouth-watering!

    • October 9, 2014 12:19 pm

      Thank you! Yeah, the sunset was beautiful — we got lucky because there were actually clouds that day (kind of rare in Santa Barbara, especially during this drought!) and the sunsets aren’t usually as impressive when there aren’t any clouds in the sky.

      (Also, my sister suggested that we step outside during dinner just in time for sunset photos — I never would have thought of that!)

  16. September 25, 2014 3:24 pm


  17. September 25, 2014 3:39 pm

    This is so beautiful, congratulations to you and Paula! How fantastic :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  18. September 25, 2014 3:57 pm

    Congratulations ladies! Muchas felicidades! L’shana Tova. Gorgeous cookies too.

  19. September 25, 2014 4:12 pm

    WOW! WOW! I LOVE this, everything here is so fresh and beautiful, and delicious looking! Heirloom tomato salad, blood orange margarits-wha-wat?!?! Congratulations to you both, Allison and Paula!!!

    • October 9, 2014 12:25 pm

      Thank you so much! I like your enthusiasm :) It really was all super delicious, thanks to our caterer, especially the blood orange margaritas — I’ve had at least 5 separate conversations with friends/family who are still raving about them during this past month since the wedding!

  20. September 25, 2014 5:06 pm

    Congrats <3 So beautiful :)

  21. Richard Adelman permalink
    September 25, 2014 6:05 pm

    looks like a beautiful wedding! love, dad

    • November 29, 2014 12:43 pm

      Thanks, Dad! You make it sound like you weren’t there… :) Which reminds me, I need to send you some of our family photos, since so far you’ve only gotten to see the photos of food!

  22. September 25, 2014 7:24 pm

    Best wishes, Paula & Allison! The food looked (secularly) divine :-)

  23. September 25, 2014 7:47 pm

    How wonderful! Best wishes to the happy newlyweds!

  24. September 25, 2014 8:13 pm


  25. September 26, 2014 1:26 am

    Congratulations to you both! Everything look AMAZING! :)

  26. September 26, 2014 2:49 am

    Congratulations! It looks like the MOST amazing display of food and isn’t everything else so beautiful?! Stacks of best wishes for all to come :D

  27. September 26, 2014 7:49 am

    What a fabulous feast and wonderful way to celebrate! Congrats!

  28. September 26, 2014 9:24 am


  29. Larry Wells permalink
    September 26, 2014 11:47 am

    Wonderful menu and photos. Many congratulations, again.

  30. cookeasyvegan permalink
    September 26, 2014 11:56 am

    Congratulations Alison and Paula! Looks like a beautiful event. Love the “bride’s side” sign!

  31. September 26, 2014 3:56 pm

    Congratulations girls :). Have a blessed married life!

  32. September 26, 2014 8:33 pm

    Yaaaaaaaay! :D And thanks for sharing pictures! Congrats, ladies!! :)

  33. September 27, 2014 1:49 am

    Congratulations! Wishing you every joy. Beautiful wedding and the food – divine!

  34. September 27, 2014 7:09 pm

    Sweetest thing I’ve seen in, well, I don’t know when. Happy, happy. Congratulations. Best wishes. All that, and more!

  35. September 27, 2014 7:27 pm

    Congratulations to you and Paula, Allison! Everything – the food, the setting, you two, the whole dang day – looks absolutely perfect. So happy for you!

    • November 29, 2014 12:52 pm

      Thanks, Shannon! It really all felt perfect to us, too… and after worrying about making sure everything would be perfect in advance — *especially* the food! — we both stopped worrying on the day-of and just had lots of fun. :)

  36. afracooking permalink
    September 28, 2014 10:45 am

    OH, congratulations!! You wedding looks so lovely. And let me tell you a secret: I do not really like weddings. Either traditionally formal or forcefully “relaxed” is what I usually experience. Yours looks so charming – REAL! And the two of you look so happy! Wishing you all all ALL the best!

    • November 29, 2014 12:56 pm

      Thank you!! And wow, what a compliment! Seriously, it made me smile so much when I first read your comment (two months ago now… sorry!) and it made me smile again to read it today. I do hope all of our wedding guests agreed with you that it was charming and REAL — it certainly felt that way to me! I think it helped that we dropped a lot of the “official” wedding traditions, but also kept a few of them too :)

  37. September 29, 2014 5:10 am

    Congratulations! Looks like a beautiful day….

  38. September 29, 2014 9:22 am

    Congratulations!!! What a beautiful occasion and a fun, delicious time:)

    • November 29, 2014 12:58 pm

      Thank you!! It was incredibly fun — more so than I expected, since I think I’d been stressing myself out worrying about little details in advance, but luckily I stopped that in time to just enjoy the day. :)

  39. October 2, 2014 12:15 pm

    congratulations, and it looks like you had a fabulous time. May you be forever happy!

  40. October 3, 2014 6:07 am

    Congrats! It all looks perfectly lovely! I’m sure it’s the start of many more perfectly lovely things…

  41. October 9, 2014 10:56 am

    Love the pick the side sign! Awesome. What a beautiful day you had and the food looks amazing. Congrats!

  42. October 10, 2014 9:15 pm

    YAYYAYAYYAAAAAYYYY!!! Congratulations, ladies!!! You look beautiful and happy. And the food looks fabulous.

    Also: cutest wine glasses ever.

    • November 29, 2014 1:02 pm

      Thank you!! We were very happy with the food (and wine glasses!), among other things… And now I kind of hope that someday, probably a long long time from now, like say, when we at least own or rent a place with a garage, we will get a tandem bike for real, to match our wine glasses. :)

  43. October 16, 2014 7:22 am

    Beautiful and congratulations! I must say I love those little bicycle glasses!

    • November 29, 2014 1:06 pm

      Thanks so much! We were really happy with the bicycle glasses — we love them too. (And now, since the wedding has passed, we still have a bunch of the reject glasses left, that have little smudges or parts missing from the design… but it’s kind of nice to have a favor that’s a little more permanent than our wedding cookies, which all disappeared within 24 hours of the wedding, I’m sure.)

  44. October 23, 2014 10:20 am

    Congratulations!!! This seems like the best wedding menu I’ve ever seen! The homemade cookies provide a great touch :)

    • November 29, 2014 1:10 pm

      Thank you! Wow, that’s nice of you to say! (We did spend a LONG time discussing our wedding food, since food is always important to both of us :)

      The homemade cookies were really awesome too, all thanks to my sister!

  45. Isabel Lopez permalink
    October 27, 2014 2:38 pm

    I stumbled upon this post by accident looking at a pinterest chicken mole enchilada recipe (which i’ll be making tonite!) and it brought to tears. First of all, congratulations on your beautiful wedding!! And Second, the menu is incredible!! It totally took me back to being a kid with all of the tamales and incredible mexican food. I think that’s how i’d like my wedding to be. Okay, I’m going to stop crying now. Congratulations Again!!

    • November 29, 2014 1:15 pm

      Hi Isabel, thank you so much for your sweet comment! It really made me smile (and I’m sorry for my long delay in responding… I’ve been really behind in responding to comments all summer/fall!)

      Anyway, yes we were happy with the menu, and with making tamales the main course — I know tamales are often more of a wintery thing, but we wanted to serve Mexican food (because of Paula’s Mexican background, plus it seemed fitting just because we live in Southern California) and tamales seemed like one of the most festive things we could serve! I think they are perfect wedding food :)

      Also that’s awesome that you found this by accident from our chicken mole enchilada recipe! Hope you enjoyed that too :)

  46. October 29, 2014 3:42 pm

    Belated congratulations, looks like you had a great time!


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