I'm back at last from a wonderful week with my family, a weekend of insanity and joy and, well, marriage, and a five-day cruise to Mexico and back. You can see three pictures so far that Christine/BigPinkCookie/PointySticks has released to the world.
I was typing up a post on the Ravelry wedding planning board about everything that went wrong and everything that was unusual and everything that went really well, when I realized that my blog was probably a better place for this nearly full-length novel than the Ravelry forums. So if you are completely uninterested in wedding stuff you should probably skip to the next blog on your feed reader, because there aren't even any pictures here. Well, except this one of the queso fountain.
It's something you actually can pull off if you're serving TexMex at your wedding, it turns out. I think my caterer may be the first one to think of it, so you saw it first here. Any standard chocolate fountain can be converted to a queso fountain, but hint: puree the rotel.
Ok, here's the scoop:
First piece of advice: make up a schedule for all the wedding events and a map with all the relevant locations. Out of our rather large wedding party, only three people were even remotely familiar with the town where we held the wedding. I sent a schedule to the bridesmaids in an overly wordy email. Not so easy to print out and carry around. And I sent it to Dave so he could consider sending something similar to his guys, but he never took the time to read it.
Second piece of advice: if you ask someone, say an FSIL, to be a bridesmaid so you can get to know her better, make an effort to actually include her with the bridesmaids activities during the weekend. Do not forget about her in favor of more talkative people you know better. This is something I'm really upset with myself for doing. Somehow she didn't even find out where the bridesmaids were getting ready and was completely left out of that. If I could go back in time I don't think I would have asked her at all. I think she would have enjoyed herself more as the best man's date than as one of the bridesmaids. But I really should have worked harder to include her.
First triumph: our amazing friends, along with some amazing relatives and some amazing friends of my parents, managed to set everything up at our reception site in less than two hours and everything was completely stunning. I hope you are all lucky enough to have willing and able friends like ours.
First hiccup: not having anybody call FSIL to tell her where the bridesmaids were getting ready, but we covered that already
Second hiccup: forgetting the beautiful heirloom handkerchief that MIL gave me, which had once been Dave's christening bonnet.
Third and biggest hiccup, with some advice: forgetting to get everything set on the ipods (one for ceremony, one for reception) before I even left home a week before the wedding. One of the ipods didn't have any of the wedding music on it at all, so I spent a lot of extra time on the day of my wedding trying to get the d*mn ipod synced so we'd have music at the reception. Then, when we got to the church, it turned out I didn't actually have all my ceremony music.
Let me just say a word about my ceremony music. My father is a musician, and he wrote a song for me when my mom was pregnant, and named it Elizabeth Jeanne (just like me). This was to be my processional. There are two recordings of this song, one very casual which he did for a cd he sells at his gigs, and one more elegant version he recorded just for my wedding. Guess what wasn't on the ipod? The second one. The other was there because it was on the reception playlist, so we made do with the other and nobody knew the difference. Dad was a little upset because he'd put so much effort into the pretty version, but he got many compliments on the song and I think that helped. (I had, of course, put a very sweet summary of the song in the program to make sure everybody else was crying too)
But if you decide to self-dj, make sure you have all the music right!
Second triumph: we wanted to do our pictures before the ceremony, but we got started a bit late. Our church doesn't have any good ways of entering or exiting without everybody seeing. So just about the whole wedding party, plus a good chunk of family, was at the church before I even got there, and Christine the WonderPhotographer had to convince everybody to leave the marginally comfortable seats of the air conditioned church to go outside. We did this so that when Dave and I saw each other for the first time, it would just be us and the photographer and not fifty other chattering people. But it meant that pretty much the whole world saw me outside the church before I got to go in. Still, our quiet time in the church was very nice.
Then we let everybody else in so we could take pictures, and pretty much everybody came in. Including all the guests, pretty much. And there I was, not cloistered away like brides are supposed to be, but up in front of everybody. I wound up seeing some old friends who'd traveled for the wedding and went to go mingle. I know not every bride would be willing to skip the big reveal, but I am SO glad I got to talk to people before the ceremony. There were quite a few guests I wouldn't have been able to spend any time with at all had I not been out there in front of everybody.
Fourth hiccup: We got married. It was awesome. We went outside. It started to rain. It rained for a half an hour--the entire time needed for everybody to move from the ceremony to the reception. Thanks, weather, that was super brilliant. Also: if you're going to dye your shoes to be your something blue, SCOTCH GUARD. I didn't think of it till today, but it would have saved the dye from running. My shoes look pretty awful now.
Third and biggest triumph: Ninja Attack! Because there was only food and no dancing, pretty much everybody split after cake. By the time Dave and I were ready to go, only the wedding party was left to shower us with flower petals or whatever, or to catch the garter and bouquet. We decided to just go ahead and leave, and handed out our special showering apparati: Ninja Attack!
We'd only gotten enough for the wedding party but since that was pretty much everybody who was still there, they all got 'em. I think those pictures are going to come out really well. And after Dave and I had run the gauntlet, he turned around and threw my garter, secretly removed so they wouldn't suspect anything, at the group of guys. Surprise!
Well, in my list the hiccups outnumber the triumphs but really the triumphs far overshadow any problems we had. The food was great, and I think everybody had a great time. Plus Dave and I couldn't be happier together. So, yay!
If you ask nicely maybe I'll pick out some good honeymoon pictures to post.