Weathering All Storms

Hello music lovers. We’ve made a wedding mix for you.

For those of you that don’t do a lot of downloading, here are some instructions:

Click here. Your computer will probably ask you if you want to download a .zip file. Say yes. Unzip the file (clicking on it and following any instructions that appear ought to do the job). A folder called Weathering All Storms should reveal itself. Drag the folder into your iTunes (or into whatever program you use to manage your music files). Search for “Weathering All Storms.” That should show you all the songs, in the proper order.

If you have any trouble, call or send an email, and we’ll help you figure it out.

Album art and track list below…

1. Hurricane – Loudon Wainwright
2. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke
3. Roll, Brandywine, Roll – Hoots & Hellmouth
4. Big Ones (and Little Ones) – Wiley Kestner
5. Meet Me By the Back Door – Charlie Mars
6. Wildin’ Blues – JT and the Clouds
7. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) – Frank Wilson
8. She Came in through the Bathroom Window – The Beatles
9. Boogie on Reggae Woman – Stevie Wonder
10. Glad Tidings – Van Morrisson
11. Might as Well Be – Brian Whaley
12. Baby – Devendra Banhart
13. Your Party – Tweed
14. Be All In – The Grouch & Eligh
15. Shine On – Sun Loverz
16. If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out – Cat Stevens
17. Christmas – Blues Traveler
18. Watching the River Run – Brian Whaley
19. Willin’ – Little Feat
20. Song for an Old Friend – Jake and Brian

Check for Ticks!

One friend sent in this pic of her “party favor.” She caught it early and is on antibiotics. If anyone has any post-wedding itchy scratchies, could be worth a Lyme’s test. Really sorry, everyone. Let’s hope this is the only case.

A Wedding Crasher Named Irene

Our New York Times. SundayStyles. Page 14 (and 18).
Thank you, David Stubbs, for shooting us in the rain. And thank you everyone for celebrating in stormy style!

A Wedding Crasher Named Irene


THE lights flickered. The music stopped. The dancers stood still. We could hear the horizontal rain drumming the tent flaps.

For months before, from our Los Angeles apartment, Jake de Grazia and I had envisioned our three-day homegrown wedding on Jake’s family farm in Chadds Ford, Pa., about 25 miles west of Philadelphia.

In the end, nature disrupted our plans by sending the ultimate wedding crasher — Irene.

At 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, about 230 fearless guests watched the ceremony begin. (We had expected to hold our ceremony in the late afternoon sunlight on the edge of a field of sunflowers, but relocated to the old barn, in preparation for Irene’s arrival.)

But by 10:30 that stormy Saturday night, the band’s speakers had shorted out; the caterers, who had already served dinner and dessert in a tent on the property, were running for home (rumor has it that they were packing chainsaws to get through downed trees); and a handful of guests was following them out. But many other guests grabbed a second cup of gelato and gathered on the dance floor to sing a cappella.

My dad, a musician, left the tent and sprinted to the barn to check on his speakers there. After a few minutes, he was back. The speakers were on, and so was the party.

We all ran through the pouring rain, jumping puddles across the farm, and moved back into the barn. Our backup generator was in place; all we had to do was appoint a D.J.

Moments later, soaking-wet aunts, uncles, cousins and friends were dancing, singing and scavenging the heirloom tomatoes, homemade organic mozzarella and rum punch left over from the postceremony cocktail hour.

At 3:30 a.m., sipping fresh, unspiked watermelon juice from the carved melon itself, wearing my lacey mud-soaked wedding dress, I said good night to the remaining dancers. Our guests made it safely back to their homes or hotels or to neighbors’ places where they were staying. I could not have been happier and more relieved as we drove around downed trees and power lines to reach our honeymoon suite in Chadds Ford.

When we woke up four hours later, all roads were officially closed. The area, like so many others, was ravaged by the storm. But we wanted to rejoin our guests on the farm. We left the car at the hotel and waded back to the farmhouse, two miles down the road, the water rising as high as our chests as we walked. Jake carried our backpack on his head, I hiked my dress up to my armpits. We laughed most of the time in disbelief at our first adventure as husband and wife. We were the only ones on the road that day and we marveled at the quiet of our mini-honeymoon down the flooded road back to our friends and family.

Chadds Ford’s quiet little Brandywine River had reminded us just how much we humans cannot control.

By noon Sunday, our guests were stuck, either on the farm or in hotels. Our three-day wedding weekend turned into four for the 15 of us still on the farm. We spent the day playing cards by candlelight under the tent and hearing stories about how our stranded guests skinny-dipped in the pool in the storm and danced in the barn until 6:30 a.m.

As we ate leftover gelato, we thought about those suffering from the storm and its aftermath — far beyond being stuck, but safe, on a farm surrounded by loved ones.

Lauren M. Whaley is a multimedia reporter for the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting in Alhambra, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in print on September 4, 2011, on page ST14 of the New York edition with the headline: A Wedding Crasher Named Irene.

Austin’s Reading

From Island by Aldous Huxley:

He was too busy looking at her to be able to pay much attention to what she was saying.

“You’re so incredibly beautiful,” he said at last.

“But it wouldn’t matter if you were incredibly ugly; you’d still be a Rembrandt-but-five-thousand-times-more-so.

“Beautiful, beautiful,” he repeated.

“And yet I don’t want to sleep with you.

“No, that isn’t true. I would like to sleep with you. Very much indeed.

“But it won’t make any difference if I never do.

“I shall go on loving you—loving you in the way one’s supposed to love people if one’s a Christian.

“Love,” he repeated.

“Love. It’s another of those dirty words. ‘In love,’ ‘make love’— those are all right. But plain ‘love’—that’s an obscenity I couldn’t pronounce. But now, now…”

He smiled and shook his head.

“Believe it or not, now I can understand what it means when they say, ‘God is love.’ What manifest nonsense. And yet it happens to be true.

“Meanwhile there’s this extraordinary face of yours.”

He leaned forward to look into it more closely.

“As though one were looking into a crystal ball,” he added incredulously.

“Something new all the time. You can’t imagine…”

Robin’s Reading

From First Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by M. D. Herter Norton:

Understand, I’ll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale
stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.

I’ll pursue pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream:
You come too.


I, Jake de Grazia,
Will help you, Lauren Whaley,
Stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

I will help you do good work,

Help you learn new things every day,

Support you when you try to do too much,
And comfort you when you don’t think you’re doing enough.

I will encourage your curiosity
And demand it when you get lazy.

I will do whatever it takes to understand you.
I will help you understand me.

I will
And explore the world … with you.

I will make sure you never doubt how grateful I am to be with you.


Beverage Recipes

In case you’ve been thirsting…

Tears of Irene:

1oz rye whiskey
1oz Jamaican rum
.75oz lemon juice
.5oz falernum
.25oz raspberry syrup*
.25 honey syrup (1:1 honey to water)
-2 drops Allspice Dram (not necessary)

Combine ingredients, shake and strain.

*4 cups raspberries, 2 cups sugar, 1.5 cups water – muddle raspberries, add sugar and water, bring to a simmer for 12 mins, then strain out raspberry meat

Mimi’s Iced Tea:

Boil 6 cups of water.

Pour over 12 tea bags and 4 stalks of mint.

Let stand covered for 25 minutes.


– 6 cups cold water
– 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
– 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Add sugar (or agave sweetener) to taste.


Lost & Found

Hi y’all. It’s amazing we didn’t find more treasures buried in the mud and flood (Casey: we really hope you recovered your ring). But, here are the remains. If any of these items belong to you, please email us and we’ll send a yak or pigeon to return them. Thank you again for celebrating with us! What a weekend!
Love love, L & J

Share Your Photos, Please!

We have created a Flickr site for our wedding photographs.
Please please upload yours so that all of our guests can see what a wet love fest we had at Hill Girt Farm on August 26 – 28.

Go to
Sign In
Username: jakelauren2011
password: photos

Upload and enjoy! (We realize a lot of photographer guests – including the bride – left their cameras in the corner all night so they could dance, laugh, cry, party! No worries. That’s what we hoped would happen!)

Photo by Axel Gerdau.


Thank you, fearless guests, for coming to our wedding weekend. It was the most magical, loving, wild gathering ever. We so appreciate your presence.
Thank you thank you thank you!


Jake and Lauren