Cara & Ken
Cara's Story of the Wedding

Ken and I arrived in California the Wednesday before with our wedding attire and shoes to match! My dress and his suit were to remain a secret from the guests until the ceremony.

Our first order of business was the marriage license. In California, you’re guaranteed same day service, except on Fridays, so we went on Thursday. We took Sunset Boulevard to the Beverly Hills Courthouse to get the process started. It was a smooth operation and a friendly office as the security guards offered us their congratulations on our way out of the building.

The next day, my best friend Robyn arrived and we all visited The Getty Villa and enjoyed a gourmet lunch, complete with garlic fries! (Robyn claims they are the best fries she’s ever eaten!)

Saturday, the wedding day, began with a whole family excursion to the Los Angeles Flower Mart. Warehouses in downtown L.A. are filled with every color imaginable, fresh flowers shipped in from all over the world. By purchasing a $1 ticket at the door, you have full access to wholesale florist prices! This is a bride’s dream! From the selection, I chose beautiful wine-colored calla lilies. Carolyn would later pair these with greenery to make the perfect wedding bouquet. Ken and I purchased 2 purple leis to wear to the beach on Sunday and Robyn and I picked out bright red and orange Gerber Daisies for Carolyn.

That afternoon was lazy, considering the event, as Robyn and I took a break from decorating the backyard to jump on the trampoline! But, despite our procrastination, the decorations came together beautifully and promptly with the expert advice of Ken's dad, Mar. Who knew the secret to elegantly draping fresh green ivy was your average ball of string? Mar did. And 15 minutes later, we all stood back and admired our work. The perfect setting for a backyard wedding!

There was no set ‘start time’ or agenda for the wedding. I was sitting in the bathroom, staying out of sight to keep my dress a secret, when I looked up at Robyn and said, “Lets do it now."

And so we did. I think it turned out to be around 5:30pm and Robyn organized everyone outside. Carolyn folded a scarf and put it under her judicial robe and kept Ken calm. My mom came in to see her daughter one last time as a single girl and I quickly gave the rings to Samantha with no instructions but to "Give them to us when we need them. You’ll know when its time." She didn’t have time to get nervous. No one did. Except maybe Ken because he was ready way before me, hiding on the stairs.

But, all was well, and I told my dad, to his relief, to come on in as he was shuffling at the patio door, uncertain whether it was time for him to see me or not. He was telling me how beautiful I looked as I was pushing play on the radio. We waited for the first beat of ‘Here comes the bride” to start, and I hit the door running. I say “I” because, in the pictures it seems I pulled my dad all the way around the stone walkway at a brisk, focused pace to Ken, but I don’t really remember that part. I just remember standing… waiting… breathing… waiting… smiling… waiting for that song to end so we could begin the ceremony! (photo of dad and I)

Ken’s sister, Judge Carolyn Kuhl Highberger, presided over the ceremony. She spoke so clearly and with such sincerity that I started to cry. I realized, as I looked at Ken, at the mountains in the distance, and at the guests gathered around us, this was our wedding! We were here in the moment and everything was perfect! And, now, all I needed to do was compose myself enough to recite my vows!

And, just in case your were wondering, Samantha was right on cue with the rings!