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Grape Salsa (The Wedding Post)


So you knew this was coming, the post where I would rave about how wonderful my wedding was and how happy I am to be married to the world’s best fried rice maker (not that my opinion is biased or anything, that rice is damn good).  And it’s all true.  The wedding was wonderful and I am so happy.  But it wouldn’t be, you know, my life, if everything went as planned.  And now that I have all the photos and the craziness of the past few weeks is over, let me map out it out for you.

photos by emily brodie

Remember that singer, Alanis Morrisette?  Remember that song, Ironic? Remember how the only ironic part about that song is that none of the things she sings about are ironic?  Well, that song was stuck in my head for TWO WEEKS prior to the wedding, particularly the verse about, you guessed it, rain on your wedding day.  And that my friends is exactly what it did.  It poured buckets on my wedding day, dumped from the heavens like the apocalypse.  And everyone kept saying, oh, rain on your wedding day is good luck!  It’s a gift from the gods of weather!  You know what I think?  I think that saying that rain on someone’s wedding day is good luck is the booby prize for brides who get poured on.  Especially brides (like me) who plan an outdoor wedding, betting everything against rain during, you know, HURRICANE SEASON IN THE OUTER BANKS.  Okay, in retrospect it could have been a lot worse.

photo by elena (my seersucker white cotton dress by threadless design)

But here’s the thing.  I think the rain actually worked in our favor.  For one, the sound of rain on a tent is romantic and added to the whole feel of the event.  Our photographer also got some great photos of me with rainboots and an umbrella trying to work out the details.  Because it didn’t start raining until 4.15 for our 5 o’clock wedding.  Thankfully, eastern North Carolina is flat.  So the rain may have been pouring down outside the tent, but it sure didn’t flood the tent.  It just drained into the sandy soil.  But the best part was the intimacy it created.  People couldn’t wander the grounds, so they were forced to stay under the tent and mingle, dance, partake in our incredible food.  And the rain stopped long enough for us to take pictures outside, so all in all, we’re considering it a win.  Not so much for my white cotton shoes, but that’s okay.

wedding8 photo by julia fiore

Consider that the first hiccup.  The second one almost caused the death of my brother and father.  A murder/aneurism, if you will.  So last summer my brother, Ryan, and his best friend, Pierce, bought a very expensive sound system.  As a way to save money we borrowed their system as opposed to renting one.  We also asked Pierce (who is a very talented guitarist) to play the guitar for the ceremony and to manage the music during the reception.  Pierce was unable to come down until Friday after the rehearsal, and despite my brother’s assurances that it would get done, they never made sure the equipment was, oh, functioning.  The day of the wedding instead of setting it up and giving it a test run you know what they did?  They went skurfing.  Surfing in the wake of a motor boat.  I’ll let you guess what happened next.  Picture this: it’s 4.05 and I’m rushing to the wedding site with my bridesmaids.  I get a frantic phone call from Ryan saying guess what! a piece is missing from the equipment!  They have to go to Radio Shack!  It was very much one of those “this is your life” moments.

photos by julia fiore.  back row from left: megan patrylick, genevieve pigeon, yours truly, lauren pigeon, mary catherine sonntag.  front row: meredith turcotte, tess waldron, maeve waldron

The rest of the drama was unbeknownst to me until after the wedding because I got sequestered out of site (sending my bridesmaids out like minions), but apparently by 4.45 the equipment still wasn’t working and Pierce was missing. And then Ryan told my father to chill out.  His exact words?  Chill out, old man. My poor father (who had already taken two blood pressure pills) was faced with the choice between following his instincts and killing his youngest son or not ruining my wedding.  Thankfully he chose the latter.  The whole wedding was moved under the tent so people were mingling and chatting and thought that the wedding was late because of the weather and the change in location, not the fact that my brothers are idiots who tried to ruin my wedding through skurfing.  It’s not even a real word.


photo by elena (our honey by queen mary’s honey in holly springs, nc)

So flash back to me in my hiding place, feeling a lot like the Wizard of Oz (seeing all but not being seen).  I’m in this yellow house on the site, the Beaufort Historic Site.  The house is all 18th century furniture and funhouse mirrors and stuff you’re not allowed to touch so naturally we’re touching it.  I’m in there with my mom (who is drawing eyebrows on my face) my bridesmaids (who are spilling champagne on 18th century ceilings) and my flowergirls (who are posing for the camera like they were born L.L. Bean models).  We get the go ahead to start the ceremony and so people start filing out, all being escorted from the house to the tent under umbrellas.  After the flowergirls get a good head start my dad and I start walking in and I could tell he’s stressed (narrowly avoiding a ruptured brain vein is stressful) and trying to hold his shit together.  We get to the tent and instead of halfway down the aisle where they’re supposed to be my flowergirls are right there, at the edge of the tent, staring in horror at 90 people looking back at them.

photo by  han nguyen

I had three flower girls- my niece Meredith and my cousins, Maeve and Tess.  Tess is the youngest, and when we got to the tent she totally defected, scattering some flower petals by the bar but mostly opting to keep the petals for herself.  Meredith and Maeve were right in front of us, so we gave them a little nudge and they reached deep within, found their confidence, and started bombing the aisle with rose petals.  I mean it, there was no dainty tossing of petals.  Those petals hit the ground hard.  And all the while these two are giggling like this was totally the plan, to flank me with atomic bomb style petal dropping.  It was amazing.

photo by  han nguyen. on left, maeve waldron, on right meredith turcotte.  to the far left you’ll note tess waldron.

The ceremony itself was amazing, it couldn’t have been more special or more… us.  One of the biggest compliments we got about the wedding was that it so entirely captured Dan & I- who we are, what we love, our relationship.  Most of the ceremony and reception is a blur.  Dan kept asking if it felt like it was our wedding, and I feel like that sums up the way I felt the whole night.  It was surreal- it was a great party, but it didn’t feel like it was my wedding. It was a strange sensation.  After an incredible dinner by our caterers, Beaufort Grocery, we started into the dances.

photos by han nguyen

Dan and I chose our first dance to be to Ben Fold Five’s The Luckiest. It’s such a beautiful song and I think it’s perfect for what we wanted, but there aren’t many ways to dance to it beyond the typical sway.  So we swayed for 2 1/2 minutes, which was simultaneously wonderful and the most awkward two minutes of the night.  My father told me a few months before the wedding that he wanted to Carolina shag dance to My Girl by The Temptations.  Did he want to practice?  No.  You know what he told me?  He goes, “just follow my lead.”  Okay.  So it’s the day of the wedding, I’m in a floor length wedding dress and shoes that are falling off and while I’m following his lead he’s whisper screaming “IT’S A DOWNBEAT, YOU’RE MISSING THE DOWNBEAT” at me.  I’m still convinced he was trying to make me fall.  That being said, apparently we looked great because we got a whole lot of compliments on it.

photo by john turcotte

After the first dances came the part of the night when Dan and I were finally out of the spotlight, which at that point (after the awkward cake cutting) was a huge relief.  Everyone had so much fun.  It was incredible to see broken families and estranged friends laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  Over the summer my brothers Reid & Ryan asked Dan & I if they could perform a special something for us.  This was right after Michael Jackson died, and after watching the video for Bad they decided that they wanted to use it as a platform for showcasing their dancing (and background noise making) talents.  So 8 songs into the dance music playlist, Reid and Ryan took over the floor.  For the record, both of my brothers are insanely tall and lanky, gangly and spastic.  And when they dance it’s a perverse combination of skill and hilarity.  They have some rhythm but mostly the appeal of their dancing is that it looks so damn funny.  There was a moment when Ryan slid under Reid’s suspenders and started dancing on Reid where I thought I was going to die of laughter.


photo by  han nguyen. on the left, ryan rosemond, on the right, reid rosemond.

Looking back, there are few things I would have changed.  Even with rainy weather, technology glitches, and the fact that until dinner I was HANGRY, it was perfect.  Everyone we’ve talked to said they had such a great time, that it was relaxed, intimate, and fun, which is exactly what we were going for.  I had such a good time dancing and laughing and seeing everyone.  From the tandem bike photos we took the morning of (we sure did) to meeting up with our friends and family at the bar later (and ordering Dominos to the bar) it was excellent.  My biggest fear leading up to the wedding was that the effort we put into it, all the handmade touches, wouldn’t shine through.  But those are the touches that were most commented on.  After thirteen months of planning, it was worth it that I searched high and low to find a cotton (seersucker) wedding dress, that the honey we gave as favors was not just any honey but the state fair winning honey.  It was all worth it.  It was worth the tears and the stress and the constant negotiating.  To stand up there with the love of my life flanked by friends, family, and all of my hardwork and effort, to feel that I did everything in my power to make it perfect.  Totally and completely perfect.


photo by elena (my bouquet by petal pushers in atlantic beach, nc)

We weren’t the only ones that thought it was perfect.  The day after the wedding Dan and I had lunch with some of our friends, and we decided to go to Beaufort Grocery, because, well, we can’t get enough of their food.  While we were at the bar waiting for a table we overheard a couple talking to the owner, Wendy.  Apparently they had walked by the wedding and thought it looked perfect enough to use Beaufort Grocery and the Beaufort Historic Site.  And as my mother always says, imitation is the highest form of flattery.


photo by  han nguyen

If you’d like to see more of our photos see our flickr page here, here, and the group of guest’s photos here.

Grape Salsa
Source: Beaufort Grocery Company

2 cups red seedless grapes

1 small red onion

2 limes

2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Salt & pepper

Slice your grapes and dice your onion and cilantro.  Mix together in a bowl.  Squeeze juice from both limes over the mixture.  Sprinkle in salt & pepper, and stir.

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Honest Scrap Award


So today I was given the Honest Scrap Award.  Actually, I got an email from a fellow blogger that used the phrase “now it’s your turn.”  Which is a little menacing, but I won’t hold it against you, Lucinda.  From what I gathered from the interweb is that the honest scrap award is passed from blogger to blogger and when it falls on your lap you have to do two things.  First and foremost you have to share with the world ten completely honest and true things about yourself.  Then, you have to implore other bloggers to do the same.  So, world, here are ten facts about myself.  Actually, they’re a mixture of facts and anecdotes.  I’m a story teller.

1. My full name is Elena Brent Rosemond-Hoerr.  My first name is after a little girl that used to come into the clothing store where my mom worked.  She would bring my mom fruit.  My middle name is after my mom’s good friend Brenda Taylor, whose birthday I share- July 7th.

2. The first time I met Dan we were waiting in line at MICA’s Cafe Doris on a break from the Exhibition Development Seminar.  I showed him my compass.  It was a GoreTex compass.  It was awesome.

3. The only nickname I’ve ever received is Enie.  I have a cousin, Taylor, who is 5 days younger than I am, who couldn’t pronounce Elena.  My family’s favorite anecdote to tell is when I cornered Taylor and smothered him with kisses (we were 2 or 3) and he exclaimed “too many kisses Enie!”  Most of my family still calls me Enie.

4. When I was a junior in college I dyed my hair dark red.  My dad was furious and kept giving me dirty looks because “Rosemonds are blonde.”  During the winter my hair is a light brown, but during the summer it gets white blonde, especially when I was a lifeguard.  Not to mention that my father doesn’t have enough hair to really be a blonde anymore.

5. My mom is from Ewing, NJ and when we were growing up we would drive up there for the holidays.  Inevitably along the road my mom and I would get in a fight and start giving each other the silent treatment.  I can maintain the silent treatment for days, but my mom has a short attention span.  So when she was tired of ignoring me she would turn up the (disco) music and start dancing in my personal space.  She always broke me.

6. Gilmore Girls is my favorite tv show.  Keep your criticism to yourself, I’ve heard it all.  That show, along with everything made by Julia Styles totally shaped my formative teen years.

7. My dad is 6’9.  I’m 5’11.  My brothers, Reid & Ryan, are 6’2 and 6’5 (approximately, they grow so fast).  My  mom is 5’6.  She looks so cute and tiny standing next to my brothers and I.

8. When I got married in September I inherited the most adorable 3 year old niece, Meredith.  She’s the smartest child I’ve ever met, and her ponytails form natural ringlets.

9. I have a stepsister, Lauren, who is 6 months older than me.  On her 16th birthday, she got diamond earrings.  On my 16th birthday my dad and I got SCUBA certified.  Now half of my family and my husband are certified and my dad owns his own dive charter.  Smartest birthday present I’ve ever asked for.

10. Before I started dating Dan the strongest thing I drank was black tea, maybe the occasional pumpkin spice latte.  Now I drink two cups of black coffee every morning.  When I made the transition from tea to coffee it only made sense to hold the milk.  I really don’t care for milk.

So there it is, 10 little things about me.  Now about the other bloggers.  I made a short list and then I started having this feeling in my stomach and decided not to.  Since a lot of my readers are bloggers themselves, here it is.  To steal a line from Lucinda, now it’s your turn.  Post your 10 things here in the comments or on your own blogs (link it back here!).  Have fun!  And HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Caramel Turtle Pie


A few weeks ago, I was the wedding photographer for a friend, Candice.  Candice is the older sister of my close friend Kellie from college, and she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  When she got engaged the day after I did, she asked me to be her photographer and I was delighted.  So, the first weekend of November we hiked up to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and spent the weekend celebrating with the happy couple and their (incredibly fun) families.


Because I never go anywhere empty handed, I brought up a pie.  At first I was going to bring my caramel apple pie, but then I changed my mind and decided to bring cupcakes.  Then I changed my mind again because I was invited to join this Springpad Thanksgiving recipe contest and I needed to try out my perfect Thanksgiving pie idea before the deadline.


I came up with the plan for this pie a few months ago and I am so excited about it.  One of my favorite holiday treats is the caramel turtle, a chocolate candy stuffed with caramel and pecans.  Usually when a candy has the chocolate/caramel pairing the chocolate is hard and the caramel bursts out in a displeasing fashion.  Not so with the turtle.  It’s all the same consistency and texture.  It all smooshes together and nothing bursts.  I really hate it when the caramel bursts out.


This pie is layers of chocolate ganache, caramel, and toasted pecans.  Candice called me a few days after the wedding and told me how much she and Trent (her new husband) were enjoying the pie.  My favorite part was when she told me that Trent cut himself a big piece, exclaimed “this is like eating 10 candy bars” and couldn’t finish it.  I love when I make pies that are too rich for even the biggest sweet-lovers to eat.  It’s as good as winning an award.


This is also a good time for me to announce, officially, that Dan and I started a small business this month, Pressed Magnolia Studio.  I’d always kind of felt like working as a wedding photographer was a sell out of my BFA in photography, but something about seeing Candice tear up the day after the wedding while looking at the pictures just made me so happy.  Made me think I could do it, officially.  So here we are.

Caramel Turtle Pie

1 cup chopped pecans

1 pie crust (recipe here)


2 cups sugar

4 tbsp water

1 cup heavy cream


11 oz bittersweet chocolate

3/4 cup heavy cream


In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. When it is melted, stir in the cream.

Bake the pie crust in a pie dish with nothing in it. Allow to cool. Poor half of the ganache into the pie dish and let cool.


Heat sugar and water in a heavy medium size pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly as sugar melts and turns a golden color. When sugar is completely liquid, remove from heat. Add cream and continue stirring. The caramel will bubble and steam like crazy- it’s okay, just keep stirring. When it is calmed down, allow to sit for 15 minutes.

When the ganache has hardened in the pie dish, pour half the caramel over it.

Toast the pecans for 3 minutes at 350. Chop and spread over layer of caramel. Cover with another layer of caramel- use the remaining. Top with the remaining ganache.

Let sit for 2 hours or until everything has cooled and set to room temperature.

**The second time I made this pie I used a springform pan, which was awesome because it allowed you to see the layers.  If you’re going to do this follow the same instructions, just make sure to butter the edges of the pan so that it comes apart easily!

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