Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Cards

So now that I'm all married, and the wedding and the honeymoon are behind me, I'm getting some feeling back in my long-unused parts. Like the part of me that makes art. Yeah, that's slightly major. I can't believe I've neglected it for so long! It's still being slow to recover - like I have pins and needles in my creative regions - but slowly I am regaining the use of my brain as a whole. No longer is all the blood just going to the wedding planning area!! Hooray!!

So I know I'm a bit late in getting these out there, but I've done a small line of holiday cards, which are for sale in my etsy shop. I'm a little obsessed with birds, if you didn't know. And in the name of shameless self-promotion, here they are!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to light up a dark apartment

I can feel December slipping through my fingers already, so I've decided to decorate the apartment today. I really really wanted to get a real tree, but living in the city, in a neighborhood that doesn't really do cute little Christmas tree sales on corners, without a car, it's not so easy. So I'm seriously considering sucking it up and buying a cheap little fake tree from one of the cheesy discount stores that are, for some reason, so plentiful in my 'hood.

I love our apartment, but it has one major downside. It's dark. It just doesn't get a lot of natural light, and the wintertime, especially, leaves me feeling like I'm living in a cave. To top it off, this has been a super gloomy week, and I'm finding it hard to get motivated to clean and prettify our little nest. I'm hoping that once I get started, and once we get some little white lights twinkling, it will start feeling a little less gothic and a little more cozy.

Cross your fingers that I can get it done!! Hopefully I'll have an update for you tomorrow :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You know what??

I have to stop putting off posting. Really, it's because the idea of writing a blow-by-blow account of our wedding is 1. totally exhausting, and 2. actually probably impossible to achieve in a way that I'm happy with. It was such a perfect day, although slightly blurry in parts, and I don't think I can really do it justice. So here's what I'm going to do. I will jump back in and continue with the old blog. Every so often I may feel moved to include some details and/or pictures from the wedding, and when that happens, you'll get another taste of the day. In the meantime, however, I must confess that I. AM. OVER. WEDDINGS.

Like A Practical Wedding, I will likely talk about marriage, and all the issues and loveliness that it entails. But I am also in a major nesting mode, so I WILL be talking about throw pillows and paint at some point, I'm sure. Sorry Meg :) This was never expressly a "wedding blog" - in fact I started it as a way to share my creative workings and mullings - and so I will return to simply blogging about my life, my obsessions, and the like.

But just because this is probably my favorite product of our wedding (apart from um, my MARRIAGE), I'll share some of our photobooth pictures.

We couldn't afford to hire a photographer. Period. Luckily my husband is a professional photog, and there were at least ten OTHER professional photogs at the wedding. So we ended up getting some amazing shots for free! We also couldn't afford to rent a photobooth, so we decided to set up our own. A dear friend of Matt's volunteered some equipment (huge lights and a giant grey seamless), we set up Matt's digital on his tripod, wrote up some instructions, and let people go nuts. And go nuts they did.

We ended up with over 400 pictures from the photobooth alone. Matt edited them down, and now I present you with a tiny selection from his edits. Enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reception: Part Uno

There is so much to say about this day, I'm just going to dive in. Here's hoping it's not too out of order and confusing. I'm thinking it will take at least two posts to cover it all...

Amanda and her beau, pre-ceremony

Mel as supermodel superhero, also pre-ceremony

My cousins Amanda and Melanie were my AMAZING day-of coordinators. When I asked them if they would do it, I really thought the work would be minimal. Shows how much I know. Luckily, they are two of the most generous, calm, efficient, organized and did I say generous? people I know, and they took it all in stride. I don't know what I would have done without them. Amanda took my phone from me the morning of the wedding, and then went to the venue site to make sure all the vendors were under control. She fielded all my phone calls, and only called my sister (my MOH who was with me all day) if there was something she didn't know the answer to. She came up with this idea, and talked me into it - she wanted me to be able to focus on the getting married part, and not the "omg we don't have napkins" part. She's brilliant. She also made all the flags that were hanging at the reception. By herself. In between tours. Like I said, she's amazing. Check her out here.

Manders did the flags, I did the birds...

The caterer was late. They didn't bring napkins. The musicians ended up having to do a sound check that morning, because we were missing some vital piece of equipment and couldn't do it the night before (Matt was a CHAMP that day - he was at the church all morning, running around in his tux, getting shit DONE). Things definitely went wrong, but thanks to the incredible support system we had, it all got handled. Amanda and Mel ran out to get napkins, like half an hour before the ceremony. They also picked up dozens of yellow and blue balloons to line the pathway to the garden. Totally their idea, and totally amazing and helpful. I think the most incredible thing about the wedding (apart from getting married, of course) was the unbelievable wave of support we felt that day, and the days preceding.

Sitting in my parents house the Thursday before, with at least three cousins, four siblings, and one nephew all sitting in a circle, assembling programs..... having so many people show up the day before (a weekday, I might add) to help set up the reception space that we were finished in a fraction of the time I had allotted, and some people didn't even need to do anything..... seeing pictures, taken the morning of the wedding, of people running around the hall, setting up the music, while I was obliviously hanging out with my bridesmaids.... arriving at the reception and seeing it utterly transformed.... GORGEOUS flowers, everywhere...... wine bottles all out and opened, hundreds of candles lit, all without my saying anything about it..... just amazing.

Magical wedding elves doing some last minute set-up the morning of...

It really was a community project, and that made it so much more special and meaningful.

Seriously? I'm already tapped out for today. Tomorrow, I tackle the music. Oh. The Music.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Ceremony

Okay, no preamble here, I'm just gonna jump into it.

So we had this amazing procession. Matt and I, our parents, and our bridal parties, led by our wonderful minister, started it up. Matt's brother - on guitar - and cousin - on euphonium - walked behind us playing "All You Need Is Love." EVERYONE fell in behind us, and we had the biggest, most love-filled procession EVER. Ah-mazing.

We were both so floored by the power of this walk. We kept looking at each other and saying "this is insane!!"

We arrived in the garden. We had about 45 chairs set up, and about 140 guests. The ceremony was short, so we figured some people wouldn't mind standing. We wanted people to be close to us, and be part of the action, so we encouraged them to stand behind us, next to us, in front - whatever they wanted. I was a little nervous about this, but it worked out super well. ALSO, the weather cooperated! That morning, it was dark and stormy, and I was a little anxious, but I made a decision not to worry, and it turned out to be a perfect October afternoon. The sun came out, and the cold snap hadn't started, so it was crisp but not too cold. Someone told me later that the sun broke through just as we said our vows :)

My uncle kicked things off with a heartbreakingly beautiful speech. I wish I had the text so that I could quote it. I'll try and get my hands on it so that I can share. Lets just say for now that I had several people - NOT sentimental types - come up to me later and tell me that his talk was the best part of the whole day. Yay uncle P!

Listening to Uncle Peter work his magic...

Our officiant, Carmela, was the mother of a dear friend of ours, and she did an incredible job. She has such a warm, loving spirit, and she was SUCH a great support and help during the planning process. She gave us exactly the ceremony we wanted, and I don't think I'm being too biased when I say it's the best ceremony I've ever been to :) This picture is jumping ahead a bit - I just love Carmela's expression here - it captures the joy and love and enthusiasm she brought to the ceremony perfectly.

My mother and Matt's father each chose readings. We let them pick whatever they wanted, as long as it wasn't the same thing! My mom read the classic biblical verse about love ("love is patient, love is kind.."). It's a classic for a reason people! it was part of my parent's ceremony, my sister's, and my brother's, so I was so glad she chose it. My father-in-law read something totally non-secular and just as moving. But I'm a terrible daughter-in-law and I don't even remember the AUTHOR, never mind the text. I'll have to get that up later as well...

I cried. A LOT. I knew I would - I'm a big crier - but I had no idea how ridiculously copious my tears would be! It was just hard to talk, and I felt like Carmela just kept asking me me to say more and more and more :) Matt was SO sweet. he kept brushing my tears away. It was weird, but I have never felt so unselfconscious in my life as I did that day. So the crying didn't bother me until later, when I started looking at everyone's pictures, and I'm like "dude! can we find one where I'm NOT making an ugly cry face???"

Aren't my bridesmaids lovely?!!? They each chose their own yellow dress, and then some of them wore blue shoes and some of them wore pink. I bought them each a wrap to match their shoes. They looked gorgeous and bright and sunny!!

Really, all I could think about after we exchanged rings was kissing my husband. Carmela said some BEAUTIFUL words (which, luckily, I had read beforehand, so that I was able to fully absorb them and also so that the crying was kept to a minimum), and my sister and Matt's brother (the moh and best man, respectively) read the benediction:

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be a shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now you will feel no loneliness,

for each of you will be a friend to the other.

Now you are two people,

but there is one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place

and enter into your togetherness.

And may your days be good and long upon the Earth.

Then, we smooched. It was the best kiss ever.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

tune in tokyo

Or Mexico, which is where I've been for the last week :)

Ack! I have been away for so long! Every time I sit down to write, I'm completely overwhelmed and end up bailing. Where to start? And even more than that, the idea of GOING BACK - to the stress, the uncertainty - is kind of exhausting. Of course, the days and weeks leading up to "the big day" (a term I happen to loathe) were not ALL stress and uncertainty. There was a whole whopping load of excitement, love, and giddiness. But all that is somewhat inextricably linked to the nervousness.

But. I suppose the best thing to do is start at the beginning. The beginning being where I left you last.

Leading up to the final week, there were some minor break-downs, some drama, and lots of introspection. I suffered from occasional bouts of cold feet - not, you understand, because I doubted the rightness of the decision, but the sheer SIZE of the decision sometimes gave me cold sweats. And on top of that, I had this enormous party to worry about. Would our plain-jane reception hall be made pretty enough with the decorations I and my cousin had slaved over? Would the vendors all have their shit together? Would everyone show up, be healthy, and have a good time? Would the food stink? WOULD EVERYTHING GET DONE IN TIME??? I hardly need to list the reasons I was stressed - anyone who has or is planning a wedding knows them all too well. Suffice to say, I was a ball of nerves.

At the one week mark, however, I finally had my real and complete moment of letting go. Worrying about whether all my bridesmaids would get along? Pssh. Not my problem. All the little things, just clearly revealed themselves for what they were: completely unimportant. I really, really, REALLY just wanted to be present for all the festivities, and I really, really, REALLY didn't want to be so freaked about the party going smoothly that I was a bitchy irritable witch to my husband the week of our wedding. So my mantra became "it's none of my business what other people think of me" - thanks apw :) And it worked. I let go. And guess what? As I had read time and time again on the blogs of my like-minded brides, IT WAS EXACTLY RIGHT.

I had underestimated the power of that day - and specifically, of the ceremony. I had thought of it as a formality we were going through. Granted, a super romantic formality, but I was completely unprepared for the power of the ritual. It was huge and overwhelming and uplifting. Everything fell away, and all that mattered was my husband and this promise we were making to each other, and all the love we felt from our families and friends felt like it was carrying us along. I felt buoyant and utterly peaceful. I can't overstate how incredible it felt.

So tomorrow, if I can continue on this streak (I've been so good this week! I re-organized my file cabinets, shredded all my old paperwork, caught up on bill, made calls I've been dreading! It's like I'm spring-cleaning my life!), I will start with more of a blow-by-blow account of the day.

But here's a bit of a teaser: for our procession, since we got married outside, we had everyone line the path from the church to the garden, and then Matt and I walked, together, past everyone. As we passed people, the fell in behind us, so that all the people we love were in the procession with us. It was my mother's idea, and I have to say, it's by far one of the best things we did. Walking down that pathway to the sound of Matt's brother and cousin playing "All You Need Is Love," seeing all those smiling faces, many of them singing along? A totally indescribable feeling.

Some shots of the procession:

That last one shows everyone going into the garden - and you can see my beautiful bridesmaids in their yellow and blue! And the yellow and blue balloons my AMAZING impromptu day-of coordinators bought and set up that morning. More on them later!!

And so I bid you adieu for now - back for more tomorrow!