Sunday, August 9, 2009

Show Us Your Life: Wedding Reception and Honeymoon

It's time for the last wedding installment of the Show Us Your Life Series over on Kelly's Korner. (Sorry it's a little late, but we're just getting back from vacation...more on that later this week.) This week's topic is: your wedding reception and honeymoon.

I've had an awesome response to the first two posts in this series (you can find them here and here). But before I go on to dish the juicy reception details, I have to address one very important issue. The elephant in the room, if you will. Lots of times we bloggers are guilty of only focusing on the good things in life, and sort of skimping over the negative parts. Well, I can't share all of my lovely wedding details with you without painting the whole picture of our wedding day.

You see, IT RAINED. I know you're thinking, 'what's the big deal? it rains on lots of people's wedding days.' Well, it was a huge deal. Seeing as we had planned An Outdoor Ceremony. At The Beach. Overlooking The Water.

For months, I had pictured our wedding ceremony in my head to look a little something like this. The idea of the waterfront ceremony was the reason we wanted to get married at the beach. The reason we asked most of our guests to drive 2+ hours to our wedding.

Oh, we had a back up plan of course. A tent that the ceremony could be held under in case of rain.

We cancelled the tent 3 days before the wedding.

We knew that some rain was coming through but were assured that it would be gone long before the wedding. Well, instead of passing through, the storm system decided to descend upon coastal NC and SIT. For DAYS. It was the most bizarre thing you'd ever seen. Even the weathermen were bumfuzzled.

People kept telling me, "oh, it's good luck if it rains on your wedding day." What? That's the biggest bunch of crap I've ever heard. That's something someone dreamed up to tell rainy-day brides TO KEEP THEM FROM JUMPING OFF THE NEAREST TALL BUILDING. 

I tried very hard to keep it together. On the morning of the wedding, our wedding planner at the country club called to discuss the situation. Luckily, the country club had a pretty large covered porch (that still overlooked the water) where we could have the ceremony. It would be a tight squeeze to fit the "altar" and bridal party, and we wouldn't be able to have chairs for all 200 of our guests, but she assured me that some guests could stand and everyone would fit. I was disappointed. Scratch that. I was devastated. But it would all work out. I was ok with the plan. And still keeping it together at this point.

She calls me back about two hours later. Not only is it raining, she says, but the wind is blowing really hard. It's blowing the rain onto the porch. I'm afraid some of your guests might get wet. And you and Lee and your bridal party, since you'll be closest to the outside. Ok, I say, what do you suggest? Is there another option? By this point my voice is cracking. I'm about to sob. I should be upstairs, getting ready with my bridesmaids in this fabulous beach house my family has rented for the week. I should be laughing and joking and doing my makeup. Instead I'm downstairs holed up in a bedroom, talking on the phone to the wedding planner, listening to the rain, with my mom and sister peeking in and out of the room, wanting to be supportive, but not wanting to say the wrong thing.

Well, says the wedding planner, we can set you, Lee, the pastor and the bridal party up inside on the dance floor. The guests can watch the ceremony from their tables we have set up for the reception.

This is the point where I lose it. I'm thinking, as if Plan B isn't bad enough, now we've gotta resort to Plan-FREAKIN-C?? Ok, I sob, let me think about it and call you back. My mom says, I don't think that's such a bad idea, that might be what we have to do. WHAT?? By this point I'm ready to scream. So I do. "I DID NOT SPEND A YEAR PLANNING THIS WEDDING TO GET MARRIED ON THE DANCE FLOOR OF A COUNTRY CLUB!!"

Ok, ok, says my poor mother. And now Lee is on the phone. Someone asks, "do you want to talk to him?" Yes. I have to talk to him. To hell with all the 'no seeing or talking to the groom before the wedding' -- he's the only one that can make this better.

"Baby, what do you want to do?" By this point he's at the country club with his groomsmen. I say, "I don't want to get married on the dance floor. I don't think I can do it." "Ok then, it's done, we'll do it on the porch. I'll take care of it." And I realize, he doesn't give a shit that it's raining. He's just worried because he knows I'm upset.

And it hits me: I don't care where we get married or how. All that matters is that I'm married to this man at the end of the day. This man who knows exactly what I'm feeling and why. This man who puts my happiness before his own, who will do anything to keep me from being upset. That's. All. That. Matters.

So I take a deep breath. Put on my big girl panties. Dry my tears as best as possible. And go upstairs to be with my bridesmaids and get dressed.

Yes, the rain was a nuisance, but the next thing you know, I'm standing next to my dad.

And he's walking me down the aisle.

Down to the man who cares so much about me.

"Are you ok?" he whispers when I get there. I smile and nod. And then we can begin, once he knows that I'm ok.

It wasn't what I had envisioned. No one could see or hear the string quartet I was so excited about hiring. Some of our guests got wet. Some of the outdoor pictures I had planned were no longer possible. But you know what? Our ceremony was incredibly INTIMATE. We were literally surrounded by our family and friends. Our 175+ guests were so close it seemed like we could reach out and touch them.

Here's a you-may-now-kiss-the-bride shot to demonstrate the intimacy of the ceremony :-)

And, I have to say, I think the drama of the ceremony made the reception all the more amazing. It was such a relief to have the ceremony done and be out of the rain that I wasn't going to allow ANYTHING else to get me down. So now, onto the reception details!

Starfish escort cards led everyone to their table:

And placecards hung from the back of each person's chair:

For our favors we did a candy buffet, with purple and green themed clear chinese takeout containers. This was a HUGE hit with the kids and kids-at-heart.

This is technically a ceremony detail, but I worked so hard on the handmade programs that I had to include them:

Loved, loved, LOVED our wonderful cake. It was five tiers of flawless cake perfection.

Here's a feeding-the-cake shot:

In lieu of a traditional guestbook, we did a polaroid guestbook, where we asked guests to take a picture of themselves or their group, and leave it in the guestbook along with a little note. This was probably one of my favorite details of the wedding, because we will treasure that guestbook forever. It is so sweet and ridiculously hilarious all at the same time.

However, all of these details pale in comparison to the sheer fun that we had at our reception. I still have people who randomly come up to us to tell us was an amazingly fun wedding it was.

Remember when I was telling you about the relief we felt once the ceremony was taken care of? Well, it looked a little something like this:

And this:

And this:

Then there was this guy:

And the cupid shuffle. Our DJ said it was the largest crowd he's ever had on the dance floor for the cupid shuffle. This may or may not have been due to the fact that we practiced ahead of time.

I love this one of Lee and his sister:

And this is one of my favorites from the night:

And before you know it, it's time for the last dance. The DJ plays "New York, New York."

Huh? Not exactly what I pictured as the last dance song. But everyone forms a chorus line and starts kicking their legs and getting really into it. And what happens next is like something out of a movie. All of a sudden Lee is up in the air.

Everyone's cheering and laughing and I think it's the greatest thing ever. Until all of a sudden I'm up in the air myself.

And for the next 30 seconds or so there we are, in the air, swaying and laughing. And the reality of this wonderful night hits me. All the months of planning have paid off. Here we are, surrounded by the people that love us the most, soaking it all in. That, my friends, is a pretty darn good way to start the rest of your life.

Of course, we still had to do the exit:

And here we are in the limo, sweaty and tired, but amazingly happy:

Oh, and there was a honeymoon as well. That was just as amazing. We spent a week at the Excellence Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. It was fabulous, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for an awesome vacation. The accommodations were great, the unlimited meals and beverages were amazing, and we were literally waited on hand and foot. You can see pictures here, in the photobook of our honeymoon that I recently created. (If you need it, Book ID is S2581144 and Password is 2692601.)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story! It rained during the reception of my beach wedding. Almost the reverse of your story. The skies were beautiful during the outdoor ceremony. About an hour into the reception (under a tent on the beach) the winds picked up bad. We got the side walls down fast but not fast enough to save the cake from being sandblasted. Every bite was crunchy. Then the rain came down hard. And it started to storm. People with children ran quickly up the boardwalk back to their cars. But we had some great friends and family stay until the end. The DJ, photographer, videographer and bar tenders, however, did not stay. haha. So all of our reception pictures are from before the storm and then just snapshots from friends during the storm. Luckily we had a friend there that is in a band so he set up his mic and played guitar for us for the rest of the reception so we still got to dance.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...