Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wedding Update II: The ceremony and reception

You know how last week I wrote that post with the first part of the wedding stuff? And I said there'd be a part two that went over the ceremony and reception (you know, the actual wedding)? I bet you thought it'd be another month before that post went up. You're not alone, I thought it as well. But here we are, being super productive/avoiding chores by writing this instead. HOORAY.
I left off the last post after we did our first reveal and took all of the posed pictures. Now it was time for a rehearsal. Because yeah, we hadn't done one of those yet. I mean, really, how necessary is a whole rehearsal dinner the night before? We're all pretty smart people so we figured we can figure out how to walk in a straight line, stop when you get to the end (which was a wall so not a whole lot of other options) and then stand to one side. After the ceremony is over, you just walk back the way you came. See, simple?

Given the way I set that up, I bet you're thinking that something crazy happened and I'm trying to say we should have totally had a rehearsal the night before. Nope, things went fine because it was exactly as simple as I just described. Of course, it was so simple because the venue had 2 people that worked with us to make sure everything went smoothly and on time. Seriously, those 2 were LIFE SAVERS and I'm sure we would have needed several rehearsals if they weren't there to say "OK, you walk now, and then go there." And I'm super excited that their services were included in the normal price of the venue cos if they cost extra I know we wouldn't have paid the money for it and things wouldn't have been quite so stress free. They ruled.

The biggest "drama" at the rehearsal was that the officiant wasn't there. I think some people were waiting for me to freak out at this. I mean, if there's no officiant then the ceremony can't really happen, right? I wasn't too worried.

See, we originally wanted a family friend to officiate the wedding. She's a federal judge so we thought this wouldn't be an issue by NY state had other options and said only NY judges can perform weddings. Cos they're jerks. BUT we decided that she and the priest would co-officiate. So say the priest didn't show for whatever reason? OK, so the ceremony wouldn't be legally binding, but we'd still have someone to get up there and say something and whatever. We go to town hall or something for the legal wedding later. See, there are plan Bs.

We didn't need plan B though cos the priest was there hanging out in the lobby of the venue (we were outside in a different area rehearsing cos people were sitting in the ceremony area) so again, see? No need for stress.

Now, it's time for THE MAIN EVENT!

Everyone managed to walk down the aisle without getting lost or tripping or anything. The tripping was a real concern for me but it's cool, I had already told my maid of honor that if I fall she is to throw herself down in a super dramatic fashion so as to help take the embarrassment off me. I was talking to her about this as we were waiting in line to walk in and the best man agreed he would also make a big scene so DON'T WORRY. I love our friends.
Here's the thing about the ceremony. I already told you we didn't have a rehearsal to know where to walk and all that jazz. We also didn't really know what was going to be said. I'd emailed with the officiant/priest a few times where he sent me an outline of a normal ceremony, Tom and I picked out the things to take out, we picked a reading (Shakespeare's sonnet 116), and that was that. And we'd talked to Joy (the family friend) about how Tom and I met, our relationship, etc. The priest was going to say more of the traditional stuff, Joy told the story of how we met and how we got to this point, good times.
There was more religion in the ceremony than I thought there would be but then again, it was a Catholic priest so guess I'm not super surprised. Nor was I upset or offended or annoyed or anything. I didn't know it would be happening but the whole thing was so pretty. And we kept it to under 30 minutes. #priorities

I looooved our venue. This room was a big reason I wanted this place. It looks like you're in a garden. One wall has fake windows, the other is covered in mirrors and windows, and the ceiling looks like a greenhouse. You get the appearance of being outside with all of the benefits of air conditioning, which is just terrific. There was the option to have the ceremony outside and the venue seemed so surprised that we just wanted to do the whole thing inside. I'm sure part of that is because the ceremony and reception happened in the same place otherwise, so if we did it outside, they had more time to get the reception room ready.
After the ceremony it was back up to the bridal suite so we could sign the marriage license. And get some food. Food is important. Everyone else was at the cocktail hour which had SO MUCH FOOD. The bridal attendant brought us plates of everything down there (see how great they are) while we waited. There was some miscommunication between the priest and whoever told the priest where to go. He thought he was supposed to wait downstairs, we thought we were supposed to wait upstairs so it was about 20 minutes before things got figured out, he came upstairs to sign things, Michelle (MoH) and Mike (BM) signed as witnesses and then we could all go down to cocktail hour! Except for Tom and I.

We were juuuuuuust about to walk into the cocktail hour when the photographer came up to Tom and I and said now that the sun was down* we could take some night time shots. Our options were take them now and miss cocktail hour, take them after the reception starts (which our DJ said he FORBADE and not to be a dick or anything but you don't want to miss the reception) or not take the pictures. As much as we really wanted to go to cocktail hour, we decided on pictures.


Everything they say about the time FLYING by is absolutely true. Everything they say about you not eating is also absolutely true. We spent so much time visiting everyone and dancing that how can you even eat. We did manage dinner, or at least some of it, and small bites here and there but for the most part this was the time to actually see everyone who came to share the day with us and at no point was I annoyed I didn't get to eat. Besides, I was so amped up I wasn't all that hungry.

I also didn't drink that much because I kept getting a drink, putting it down, and then forgetting where it was. Repeat. BUT the maitre d was apparently a mind-reader cos any time I would think "I'm thirsty and could use some water" he'd pop up with it. AGAIN they ruled. So I stayed well-hydrated.

Time for a bunch of reception pictures? Of course!

And would you like to see some of our bookish details? 

Instead of a guest book, we had bookmarks for people to sign. Instead of table numbers, we named each table after a literary couple with a quote on the back**. Tom and I (and the entire bridal party and their dates) sat at the Calvin & Hobbes table.

The wedding wrapped up at 1:30, perhaps 2 by the time everyone cleared out and we headed next door to the hotel for sleep. Except as we walked in we noticed the bar that they TOLD US would be shut down by 2 was wide opened and packed with 2 other weddings plus several people from our own. OK, admittedly it was mostly my family that was at the bar because that's how we do. Tom and I made it till 3:30-ish before the adrenaline started to wear and it was time for sleep. Others stayed up and I believe my dad and stepmom won the night, making it to their room by roughly 5:30. Yay on us.

All-in-all there is nothing I would have changed about the night. It was everything I could have wanted. And even though up to and including the morning of the wedding I was thinking "Ugh, we should have just eloped" the day itself honestly made it all worth it. Good job those that convinced us this was the way to go.

I know some people had questions about the music we chose for the ceremony, first dance, etc. I won't keep you in suspense any longer:
Everyone-except-the-bride entrance song: Chase This Light by Vitamin String Quartet (original Jimmy Eat World)
Now-the-bride-comes-in song: In My Place by Vitamin String Quartet (original by Coldplay)
Ceremony-is-over-time-to-walk-out song: Today by Vitamin String Quartet (original by Smashing Pumpkins)
Another-entrance-song: Still Into You by Paramour 
First dance (we danced the first minute just us, then everyone joined in): When It's Time by Green Day
Father/Daughter dance: Daughters by John Mayer
Grandson/Grandmother dance: Gracias Por Ser Mi Mama
Cake cutting (did you know you need to pick a song for that?): Everything by Michael Buble

Most of the thought went into the first 5 songs and the last 3 were sort of "shit we need to come up with something for then too? Umm how 'bout this?" We were also preeeeetty proud of the first dance song choice because it's a really pretty song and also NO ONE could guess it. I guess it helps that it's a song that was only released on the soundtrack to the American Idiot broadway play (which we saw twice so, fans).

So one of my bridesmaids is super handy/crafty/talented (she who broke and sewed in a new zipper) made the favor for the wedding. She makes soap and always gives it out on Xmas and it's THE BEST. So when Michelle suggested she make soap for the wedding favor she was all for it. Doubly lucky, my dad and stepmom own a fragrance company so Lauren made the soap, they provided the fragrance and they turned out beautifully. You want in on this? Just mention it in the comments and I'll randomly pick...probably a few names (I have a LOT of soap left) and send you your very own favor.

*We had kind of a late wedding. The ceremony started at 8. Cocktail hour from 8:30-9:30. Reception was 9:30-1:30 with dinner roughly at 10, father/daughter & groom/grandmother dances & cake cutting around 12:00.
**Want a list of all of the tables? Sure you do
Calvin & Hobbes from Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson: Happiness isn't good enough for me. I demand euphoria! and It's a magical world Hobbes ol' buddy. Let's go exploring! (Since there were 18 of us at the head table we had 2 signs. Same couple, 2 different quotes.)
Eleanor & Park from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.
Thursday Next & Landen Parke-Laine from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde: The vicar shrugged. This was fast becoming the most ludicrous wedding of his career.
Lizzie Bennet & Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen: You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
Sherlock Holmes & Irene Adler from "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.
Ron & Hermione from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: "Hermione, you are honestly the most wonderful person I've ever met," said Ron weakly, "and if I'm ever rude to you again-" "-I'll know you're back to normal," said Hermione.
Jonathan & Arabella from Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke: Sometimes it seemed as if she had fallen in love with him for the sole purpose of quarreling with him.
Beatrice & Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare: For which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
Odysseus & Penelope from The Odyssey by Homer: Stranger, my beauty went forfeit to the Gods the day my Husband sailed with the Argives, for Troy. Should he return, to cherish me, my fortune and favour would improve.
Westley & Buttercup from The Princess Bride by William Goldman: As you wish.