Archive for the ‘wedding’ Category

Part 5 – Setting the Scene

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham

For some reason, finding a ceremony spot turned out to be the toughest part of planning our wedding. Having a Sunday wedding automatically ruled out most of the places of worship in the area and our reception site, the zoo, didn’t allow ceremonies on the premises. I found a lovely spot due to a stroke of luck, but a week later they called to tell me that they had accidentally double booked us and we would have to find somewhere else. Aaaaa!

At wits end, I checked the map for the closest Episcopal church to the Pittsburgh Zoo, and prepared myself for some serious groveling to try and find somewhere where we could get married, even if it was on the front lawn. I called to make sure that someone would be there who would talk to me and then I went in person because I thought it would be harder to say ‘no’ to my face. I ended up meeting with the Rector of St Andrew’s, Bruce, and he listened and was helpful. It was the complete opposite of all of the other churches I had called; all were too eager to get off of the phone with me. He looked in the church’s date book, saw that September 2nd was clear and booked us with no haggling over deposit checks, no stern warnings about what we could bring or when we had to get out. It was perfect, and the church itself was beautiful outside…

and inside…

The 100 year old building was made of stone and built in the Gothic Revival style. It’s only a small donation for non-members to get married there and free for members. I’m really glad that I found it and we liked our experience so much that we became members even though it is a 20 minute drive out of our way. It’s definitely the place I would recommend to couples looking to get married somewhere beautiful and not go into debt.

We also found a few other ways to save a little money on our wedding day. My uncle was helpful enough to loan us his Jaguar to drive us to the reception. It sure beat paying for a limo.

We thought that the church was already beautiful, so we kept the decorations to a minimum. We had bunches of koi nobori (carp windsocks) at the doorway for color.

We also decided to keep it simple with the pew decorations and used simple metal lanterns on ribbons. My brother later changed the ribbons and used them for his wedding two months ago.

We placed a plastic Virgin Mary on the altar. It belonged to my Mother’s parents and stood on their hallway steps for years and served as a little memorial to them during the ceremony.

The church also came equipped with and organ and a fantastic organ player, Peter Luley. It was nice to have traditional music with our traditional church, though we were Wagner-free, and therefore wedding march-free. I walked down the aisle to Mouret’s Rondeau, aka the theme to Masterpiece Theater.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

The Lollipops Get Hitched: Part 4 – The Philosophy of the Ham

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!

After looking at hundreds of sets of wedding photos, it is clear that there are many styles of posed photos. There the formal family shots, of course, with family and bridal party members arranged in rows. There are ones that look like fashion photo spreads with dynamic colors and camera angles. Others emphasize the romantic, featuring a staged kiss or a couple embracing. Finally there are the hammy pictures, the silly ones that will make you roll your eyes or giggle depnding on your mindset. I suppose everyone has some combination of these types in their photo album, varying by personality. In my mind’s eye I pictured having lots of fashion photography style pictures with Mr. Lollipop and myself looking fierce, but in the end our true personalities won out and we ended up with dozens of photos of us being wacky/weird/ourselves. It took very little to drag the rest of the bridal party down with us.

However, this didn’t start with me. When I met Mr. Lollipop at 18 I was a serious, studious teenager who rarely smiled and certainly never made faces or horsed around. After we started dating he encouraged me to smile more and more.

Eventually, a few years later we both moved to Japan and lived in neighboring cities. He would always escort me in the evenings from Seto back to Nagoya and keep me company on the train. Most of the time we would be in a car by ourselves. It would be pitch black outside and brightly lit inside the car so the opposite windows carried our reflections like mirrors. Mr. Lollipop used to make faces in them at me, and eventually he goaded me into making them back, and soon we were having facial contortion contests. All of my silly facial habits can be traced back to those train rides.

So, during our pre-ceremony pictures we were in separate places, but we each individually decided to ham it up with other bridal party members. If you’re inclined to be a little bit silly, I highly recommend it before the ceremony. I would have been a lot more nervous and snippy if I had to squash the impulse. Instead, we had some good laughs and the final moments were happy and relaxed ones.
Photographic evidence can be found below.

Mr. Lollipop makes the Best Man uncomfortable:

Ham-tasticness runs in Mr. Lollipop’s family.

Some of my ladies were more game than others.

Oh no she di’nt!

Oh yes she did.

Penguin is not the only Bee who likes boobs.

I forget the sentiment that were supposed to be displaying here. It was probably something like ‘Hell, no!’

My cousin and I pointed at the plastic Virgin Mary on the altar. It once belonged to our grandparents.

…aaand some normal pictures to balance it out:

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

The Lollipops Get Hitched: Part 3 – Poise!

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty

Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself

There was a weird bit of time between getting ready and finally entering the ceremony. We needed to take a few pre-cerenony pictures, but at the same time I wanted to be seen by as few people as possible, and I especially didn’t want Mr. Lollipop to see me before the ceremony. My bridesmaids and family members acted as guards and messengers to clear each room before I could advance like a king piece on a chessboard.

All photos below are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

We waited on the landing until the front hall cleared. I can’t remember what was said to give me that facial expression, but it was probably something scandalous.

Meeting up with my dad for the first time after getting dressed:

Each of the mothers recieved fragrant gardenia corasges. Coincidentally, the bloom is a favorite of both of our mothers.

The groom and wedding coordinator gave out last minute directions and smoothed unexpected kinks.

Me with my abuelita:

This is one of my favorite pictures of me with my dad.

My mom gave me her wedding ring as my ‘something borrowed’. I was expecting her to loan me a different, less sentimental ring, so I was surprised and honored.

We snuck a few pictures in the chapel before the guests were seated.

I can’t believe how gigantic my dress looed from the rear. It never seemed that big in the garment bag, but after putting it on it appears that I could hide my own pretzel cart under the train. Mmm…pretzel.

My husband likes pictures of me making funny faces. I did my best Bridezilla for him in this photo.

The Lollipops Get Hitched: Part 2 – Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty

Ah, it’s been a while. A month or two ago I managed to get a promotion at work. The good news is that I get to run my own project and hire people. The bad news is that I work longer hours and have less time for blogging. Wah! Still, Mr. Lollipop and I had a wonderful wedding day and I really want to share our pictures.

All photos below are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

My arrival at St. Andrew’s Episcopal:

My lovely $100 dress, a garment I learned to love again:

My mom and I puzzled over my broken iron. No steaming for us.

Here is the full view of the wrinkles. We never did get the iron functioning and after five minutes I said ‘screw it’ and put on my dress. Luckily, it was a warm day so the wrinkles fell out on their own.

Sadly, I couldn’t put my own shoes on without falling over. Wedding dresses are heavier than they appear.

My mom looked great!

Me with my veil over my face during adjustments:

My veil attached to my comb using tiny neodymium magnets. We did this so I could take it on and off without disturbing my hair.

Finally, a look in the mirror…

a hug from my mom…

…(She did get a little weepy.)…(Aww.)…

…and I’m on my way.

Meanwhile…

Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Happy dance! We’ve had our wedding photography proof DVD for a few weeks, but grant deadlines (Sleeping at work! Bah!) have kept me from taking time to look through all 1,400 photographs. I’ve only been through the first half, but there are lots of lovely detail shots. All photographs below are courtesy of Purvis Photo.

My Something Old: My mother in law gave me her veil and bestowed her blessing to cut it to my needs. I removed it from its original Juliet cap and shortened it from a cathedral length veil into a waltz length veil. My mom used her new serger to add the trim of our choice to the edge. It’s one of my favorite accessories from that day; it was a chance to wear a little piece of my mother and a little piece Mr. Lollipop’s mother.

My Something New: I purchased new Capezio ballroom dancing shoes. My dress restricted me from putting them on by myself from a standing position. They were well-padded in the inside, but they weren’t quite broken in despite several sessions of wearing them around the house. They wore the skin off of one my ankles soon after the ceremony. I’m glad that my coordinator brought plenty of band-aids.

My Something Borrowed: My Mom loaned me her wedding ring and I wore it during the ceremony. Below is a detail from a photograph of my bouquet, my hand is the one with the ring, and my mom’s is the one without. My mom is great.

My Something Blue: I wore my blue robot watch purchased when we both lived in Nagoya. The little robot guy was upside down all day unless I checked the time, so I flipped the photo below so that he can look like he is having a little fun.

What is your old/new/borrowed/blue?

Programs for Everyone!

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

I know that our programs were yet another element in our ‘unnecessarily complicated’ DIY wedding tapestry, but I can’t help but love them. The covers probably didn’t need to be screen printed, but I just couldn’t help myself. I’d fallen in love with the color combination and the intensity never would have come through with regular screen printing. Plus, the paper had a slight sheen to it so the ink stayed on top and created a 3-D effect. I’m really thankful that I had the sense (for once!) to keep it to one color because thick layers of ink take forever to dry.

The image on the cover is from series of pictures I took of Mr. Lollipop and myself jumping in front of our green screen. The quote on the cover is from first Thessalonians, chapter 5: “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” It’s my favorite even if it makes it sound like we’ve both, um, dated a lot of people.

The outside cover was made of a piece of green 8.5″ by 11″ paper folded in half. Inside we stapled a piece of tabloid sized paper (11″ by 17″) that we folded into quarters. That means that we had 8 quarters to work with, front and back. When guests first opened the front cover they were greeted with another jumping picture of Mr. Lollipop and myself along with a short biography of us as a couple.

Next, that portion flipped open to reveal a series of silhouettes of the wedding party memners as well as short, humorous biographies of each person. I’ve been to too many weddings where I’m wasn’t sure who the heck was up on the altar next to the bride and groom (Sibling? Childhood friend? Jail buddy?), so I thought it would be a nice courtesy to fill in all of our guests.

When the program is fully opened the inside reveals a full script of the wedding ceremony as well as a few notes and directions for guests. Most of my family is Catholic and his is fairly non-religious, so we thought it would be a good idea to let them know where to say ‘we will’ and ‘also with you’ in our Episcopal ceremony. Plus, I screwed up the directions to the reception in our invitations (oops!), so it was a good place to put revised ones.

Finally, we were able to put some of our thank yous in the last empty quarter on the other side of the program.

The bottom four pictures are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

Handing Out the Goods

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

I’ve never received an out of town bag, but I decided to give them out because everyone loves tiny gifts in bags, right? They are a fun way to welcome guests who traveled far, but due to the flurry of activity before the wedding might not get to see the bride and groom until the big day. Nothing says love like a nice note and a snack when you can’t be there.

It wouldn’t be a gift bag without a bag. I screen printed canvas totes with an image of a ticker tape machine:

Gift bags are ideal for distributing two things, information and stuff. Really, the information is the important part. We enclosed the following in our welcome note:

  • A schedule of all wedding related activities
  • Directions to our ceremony and reception locations
  • Walking directions to nearby restaurants that we like
  • A local contact phone number just in case anyone got lost

If you’re on a budget, this will be more than enough to keep guests on track for the weekend. The rest of the stuff, including the bag, is just for fun. Our fun stuff included the following:

My mom helped me mix up and package the trail mix in our kitchen.

We handed out a mix of banana chips, sunflower seeds, vanilla rum peanuts, golden raisins and pepitas. Our concoction was a big hit with our guests.

Crafty Goodness!

Friday, November 9th, 2007

There has been a renaissance as of late in the crafting world. Old techniques have been reborn thanks to new technology and a renewed sense of humor. Craft fairs like Handmade Arcade, Craftin’ Outlaws, Bazaar Bizarre, and Renegade Craft Fair feature handmade items that are fresh, inspiring and found no where else. Plus, with sellers numbering into the hundreds there is bound to be something that will knock your socks off.

These fairs are fabulous for finding unique, clever bridal party gifts. Less obvious is that they are also fantastic places to check out local stationers. Many of them will sell greeting cards, calendars, or stationery. It is a good chance to look at the quality of their workmanship up close, discuss pricing and compare vendors. Also, keep your eyes peeled for knick-knacks that can be used as unusual favors or cake toppers. If you can’t find exactly what you want or enough of what you want, many crafters will take custom orders.

I’ll be a vendor at this weekend’s Handmade Arcade. I won’t be selling anything really wedding related, but please don’t let that stop you from saying ‘hi’ if you plan on attending. It’s always nice to meet bees in real life.

Staving Off the Post-Wedding Blues

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

The prospect of a post-wedding crash is scary, isn’t it? Planning and preparation for my wedding seemed to occupy all of my free time for the entirety of my 13 month engagement. I didn’t even like weddings before I got engaged, but overnight they became my obsession. I could see that feeling on the horizon, the “What do I do now?” feeling that would ambush me after the honeymoon.

So, stupidly/smartly signed up to participate in a local art/craft show as a vendor. I do this show every year, but I usually take the preceding six months to make/test prototypes and build up stock. With only six weeks between the end of our honeymoon and the show I thought I would take a year off. Two days before the wedding I realized how bored I would be and sent off the application on a whim. I found out I was accepted during our honeymoon and upon arrival back to our abode I have been in non-stop production mode. The show is this weekend and I am finally ready to get off of this DIY roller coaster. I am ready for a break.

I’m really looking forward to getting our lives back. Suddenly the prospect of a weekend trip isn’t so terrifying, nor is the idea of spending a weekend on our house instead of running wedding errands or tying a thousand tiny bows. Our housekeeping is in a state of deep neglect and I’ll be happy to finally turn the situation around. Our living room has not been dusted for a year and our fridge has turned into a chamber of mysteries.

Mr. Lollipop was excited after the wedding because he would finally have time to exercise and lose weight. He’s also psyched about having time to fence in our back yard so we can get the dog he always wanted.

What did you do to chase away the post-wedding blues? What do you look forward to doing after the wedding?

What’s My Name?

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

I didn’t change my name when I got married. I did this for a variety of reasons, the most important being that I didn’t want to. Mr. Lollipop left it up to me from the beginning, and even more so when he realized that my first name with his last name would rhyme just like ‘Julia Guglia’ from the Wedding Singer. My in-laws and my parents have been supportive of this decision as they have been of all of our other decisions. (They rock!) Finally, we have a baby naming plan that satisfies all concerned parties. Really, I had the least controversial name non-change, ever.

I prefer to be called Ms. MyLastname or Ms. MyLastname-HisLastname. Both work just fine for me. Collectively, we are the MyLastname-HisLastnames, and that was exactly how we were announced at the end of our ceremony. To further clarify matters, we added a note to our program indicating the non-name change and were announced under our own names at the reception.

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of our wedding it seems like only a few of our family members caught these name change clues. Our friends are young and savvy and only a few assumed that I kept my name, but we’ve been getting lots of checks, invitations, and letters to my non-existent married name, especially from my side of the family tree. Perhaps thank you cards and Christmas cards will be the best vehicle for a subtle reminder, with a polite phone call to some of the repeat offenders. It’s very tempting to add a little card with a graph explaining our whole naming system, but I’m afraid it might be seen as too blunt.

In most cases, I don’t see it as a big deal, but there are times where I am nervous about getting a big check addressed to a name that never existed. On the other had, I will admit to fantasizing about taking anything addressed to Mrs. HisFirstname Hislastname and returning it marked as addressee unknown.

For changers and non-changers alike, how did you let everyone know what you would be called after the wedding? What did you do with people who didn’t seem to get it?