Sunday, May 25, 2008

White princess? Will you dance with me?

As promised, I have wedding stories to tell now that it’s all over, and seeing as how I’m sitting at work not doing a whole lot of anything while my audio files are being converted (and I had two cups of coffee before 8 a.m. this morning so I’m pretty wired), I may as well do this now (I know! It's late! I actually started writing this on March 29). Here’s how the weekend went:

Wednesday, March 19

This is when my aunts and my brother came to town. I was working all day so my dad picked them up at the airport. Thus begins the filling of our house with relatives.

Thursday, March 20

Since I work at a wonderful place with wonderful people, I took my birthday holiday today and hung out with the family a little, trying to get a few things done before the wedding.

The bachelorette party seems like forever ago now, even thought it was only last week. We met at about 5:30 and went to Posados, one of my favorite restaurants. Our waiter and my cousin Jennie seemed to like each other quite a bit, I got to try a really tasty new pomegranate margarita they have now (I recommend it, by the way), and Jennie got to find out what real fajitas taste like.

After dinner, we headed over to the Improv, where John Reep would be performing at 8:30. John Reep won Last Comic Standing last season, and though he wasn’t my favorite while he was on LCS, I didn’t hate him, and at least I knew who he was. He actually ended up being pretty funny. He seems to have diverted away from only “hick” jokes (though, let’s face it, that’s who he is so you’re going to get some of that) and added in a few other things too. He wasn’t bad. I was pleasantly surprised. We even got pictures with him and Flat Stanley (Christina’s a teacher now).

After the comedy club, we headed to Chris Bedenbaugh’s house, where we had dessert fondue and visited until 2 in the morning. The girls also all surprised me by each making a page for a scrapbook for me. It was very sweet and I had a lot of fun that night.

Friday, March 21

This was the crazy day. I woke up at 8 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep, which was annoying because I was exhausted from the night before. I decided to go to Jack’s house to pick some things up to set up the reception hall for the next day, which we were doing at 11:30 a.m. There, I found out that instead of an 8 a.m. tee time with the boys (the time I thought they were going), he had scheduled a 10 a.m. tee time. This would mean that he wouldn’t be even a little available to help us set up. After communicating my discontent with the situation then not getting anywhere with that, we went our separate ways and the madness began.

The actual reception hall setup went pretty well, actually. I had lots of help from my family and my wonderful catering team, so the linen placement and decorations were going pretty smoothly. My photographer, Joseph Armstrong, came up there to meet me, and we walked around and I told him what I wanted as far as pictures went the next day. However, I had overlooked a ton of stuff that we needed for the wedding (guestbook, white roses for the rehearsal dinner that would become petals the next day, etc.), and I don’t know what I would have done without Chris Bedenbaugh, Susan Seibert, and our moms running around like crazy picking everything up for us.

After we left there, we went to Allen Café to set up for the rehearsal dinner. Italian Villa (, highly recommended) was nice enough cater all the food to Allen Café, so we had the whole restaurant to ourselves after they closed at 3 p.m. We moved tables around and put the 5 dozen white roses in a bunch of vases, and it looked pretty nice, though there were no tablecloths because I just didn’t have time. When we got there later, I saw that one of the waiters had placed white tablecloths on the tables for me, unasked. It did make it look much nicer, and I really appreciated it.

After setting up, there wasn’t much time to do anything but get ready for the rehearsal and head over to Katie’s Garden. Everybody was on time except the groom, and we got started at about 5:45 or 6 p.m. Kyle Easley, our officiant, was so helpful in telling everybody what to do. I loved that I didn’t have to do it. Susan Seibert warned me that if we could get through the rehearsal, we’d be fine, because it’s the worst time. That part of the day actually went very smoothly.

The rehearsal dinner was also very nice, though a little crowded (the bride had a bad table design, sorry everyone). The food was wonderful and the toasts by the dads were very nice as well. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Hornbuckle, for that!!

Saturday, March 22

The big day. Thankfully, I slept until 10 a.m. without waking and worrying like the day before, so that was definitely a blessing.

At about 11:30 a.m., the bridesmaids, Christina, Susan, and I went to get our nails done. This took longer than I anticipated, and Susan didn’t even get to get her nails done, but she did go get me lunch while I was getting mine done, which turned out to be very important because I wouldn’t have had the chance to eat for the rest of the day. (Thanks, Susan!)

We were supposed to get our makeup done and everything gathered up for the wedding at about 1 p.m., but the fact that my nails weren’t dry at that point really threw off the whole schedule. On top of that, the music playlists were still sitting on my computer, needing to get onto an iPod before we could go, so I was frantically trying to get them uploaded at 2 p.m., sans makeup, when my hair appointment was starting. Thankfully, Jack took over and made sure the playlists were transferred so that I could get to the salon.

When I got back to the house with my fabulous hair, I did my makeup, then grabbed the bags of stuff we needed and started to head out.

“Where’s the marriage license?” I asked.

I didn’t know. None of the bridesmaids knew. My aunts and cousin didn’t know. I called Jack, and he didn’t know either. My last and most reliable hope, my mom, didn’t know, but anybody who knows her knows she doesn’t give up looking for anything, much less something this important, so she stayed behind to look for it while the bridesmaids and I went to Heard-Craig Hall to get dressed.

When I called my mom at 4 p.m., when the pictures were supposed to start, she was in tears, still unable to find it. I told her not to worry about it and come anyway, and reluctantly, she did.

We did all the pictures before the ceremony, which meant that Jack and I would have to see each other before the wedding, but I wouldn’t change that for anything. It was so nice and easy to get that done before all the guests got there; it was relaxing to just play and spend time with all our wedding party and each other, and it was really nice after the ceremony to just head over to the reception and eat right away.

After the pictures were over, I went back to the little house to wait for the guests to all arrive, and much to my bridesmaids’ annoyance, I stood in the window and waved at people as they arrived. They really didn’t like it when I stuck my head out the door.

The ceremony was absolutely perfect. Everything looked beautiful, the weather was awesome, and somebody even drove by and yelled “woohoo!!” after we said our vows (great timing!) Except for the fact that we weren’t actually married after we got married (no marriage license, haha), it was awesome! (We found the marriage license the next day, no worries.)

Reception highlights:

  • Jack and I figured out what people talk about during their first dance. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Mostly it’s just a discussion about how much they wish the song would end soon and everybody would stop looking at them.
  • The kids absolutely LOVED the stage as the dance floor. They could run around and dance like crazy and their parents could still see them, so they liked it too. At one point, I had to tell Ashlyn, my youngest flower girl, to stop running and go get a drink of water, because she was bright red.
  • My brother gave me a hug after the ceremony, then another when we were leaving the reception that night. This may seem normal to many families, but it doesn’t happen much (he’s just not touchy-feely-huggy), so it was special.
  • Instead of a guest book, we had lavender cardstock squares (that had been beautifully corner-rounded by my wonderful friends, by the way) that people wrote messages on – these squares will go in my wedding album with all the pictures. I loved reading these later! I think Shane and Cassandra win the “best guest-card” – theirs simply says “Thanks for the free food.”
  • My bridesmaid, Brynn, gave me an Aggie garter to wear. I liked it a lot.
  • The cakes were absolutely perfect – beautiful AND delicious. Janet Meredith is amazing. Jack and I had actually had a lot of fights about the groom’s cake – Jack wanted the B-Co logo on top (a knife, broken bottle, and chain – they were the “Streetfighters”), and I had told him years ago that this wasn’t very “wedding-y.” However, I did think it was important to him, so the first time I met with Mrs. Meredith, I gave her the picture of the logo and told him that’s what Jack wanted on his cake. I didn’t tell Jack that I did this, because I wanted it to be a surprise, until one particularly bad fight only a few weeks before the wedding when I blurted it out to him angrily when he just wouldn’t let it go. Yes, he was surprised.
  • Angela, who said the prayer for our meal before the wedding, left the cards she had written the prayer on on my desk before she left, so I could put it in my scrapbook. She is so thoughtful!! I was so excited when I saw that!
  • My bridesmaids were incredible – one of them had sun poisoning, another had been in the hospital all week (we were afraid she would fall over during the ceremony!), others had finals that week. They were all there, (looking beautiful and being extremely helpful!) and I really appreciated it a lot.
  • When we were planning the wedding, I told Jack he was in charge of transportation for leaving the reception. He debated whether to borrow or rent a cool car, but he decided he just wanted to leave in his truck. “That’ll be really great!” I told him, when he suggested that. “It’s going to be so cute with ‘Just Married’ written on the back window and the cans… great idea!” The week of the wedding I begged Jack to get his truck cleaned out so I wouldn’t have to get in a dirty truck in my pretty wedding dress. Well… Jack’s corps buddies got ahold of his truck, and to be quite honest this was the only thing that really disappointed me about the wedding. They completely trashed it, writing inappropriate things on the windows, filling it with balloons with inappropriate things written on them, smashing marshmallow peeps (why?) on the inside windshield, putting feminine products everywhere, and worst of all, they put K.Y. on every surface they thought we would touch. It was pretty surprising (they’ve never done this to any other buddies’ truck… why ours? I would think we’re the least likely to enjoy this kind of prank…), and it was disappointing to leave upset by this after such an amazing evening. It was also disappointing to have to get out and help Jack clean the windows and throw away a bunch of condoms, tampons, and other stuff in my wedding dress at a gas station a couple blocks down the road (it was memorable though!). In the long run, it doesn’t really matter. But FYI, if you’re in a wedding party decorating the car, please don’t trash the getaway vehicle.
  • I will be the first to tell you that most of my vendors were absolutely incredible:

    Joseph Armstrong, of Armstrong photography, was so helpful and got every shot that I requested in, and on top of that, he had them edited and back to me the next week.

    Karen Craven, of Sweet ‘N Savory, was our caterer, and I have never known better food or better service. She coordinated pretty much every detail of the rentals and food, and I don’t know what I would have done without her. She even made a special meal for one of my best friends, Angela, who is allergic to sugar, dairy and gluten, which makes it very hard for her to eat anything at these kinds of events.

    Janet Meredith, of Cakes by Janet, did our cakes and arranged to deliver it even when I couldn’t be there so that everything would be fresh. On top of that, it was absolutely beautiful and delicious!

    Mark Fultz, of Olivia Designs, was our florist, and I’ve been so impressed with him every single step of the way. For our big consultation, where we were to pick out the flowers that we’d use in the wedding, he actually ordered all the special kinds of flowers I’d want and arranged every bouquet I would have for the wedding (during the consultation!) His prices were also very reasonable and the whole staff over there is just so nice.

    Rachel Stricklin, of Rachel Brooke Photography, was our engagement photographer, and she does awesomely beautiful work. She’s in the Houston area now and comes very highly recommended.

    Heard-Craig Hall was a wonderful reception hall/event center. They were also really helpful when I needed questions answered about space or accomodations.

    But I must say that there is one vendor that I was NOT impressed with, and that’s TLC Rentals, the rental company we used for the wedding. I will admit that their products were fine, but their service really really was not. To begin with, the reason I chose them was that they had advertised white wooden garden chairs for $2.19 each, a better price than anything else around here (by the way, this is still advertised to this day on their website). Six months later, when I got the invoice for the first deposit, I found out that they booked white resin chairs for $2.99 each. When I inquired about it, I found out that even though they still had the wooden chairs advertised, they didn’t offer them anymore. (Bait and switch. Nice.) Later, they told us we would have to pay $200 extra to have them picked up “after hours,” which I agreed to because I was told that would also include setup. Two weeks before the wedding, we found out that this extra fee did not actually include setup after all, and I would have to pay another 55 cents per chair to have them do that. I told them I couldn’t pay this much for chairs when I expected to spent 80 cents less per chair anyway, based on the price advertised on their website, so I requested to downgrade the chairs to regular folding chairs to cover that cost. No, they said, I couldn’t do that either. (“Screw you, we have your money, we don’t have to do anything you want.”) After fighting with them for several days, they finally knocked half-off the setup fee and claimed there was nothing else they could do. I didn’t have the energy to argue anymore, so I didn’t. As it turned out, when they got there on Saturday, they unloaded the truck into big stacks of chairs, and then my wonderful friend, Chris Bedenbaugh, had to set them all up herself. Good thing I paid that extra money so my friends wouldn’t have to spend time helping set up chairs. So…Don’t use TLC Rentals, unless you’d like to get screwed. That’s all I’m saying.
  • We had to use bubbles instead of sparklers as our going-away thing, because there was a burn ban during our wedding. It’s a shame, but it’s also a shame that I have 280 sparklers now that I don’t really know what to do with (4th of July is going to be crrazzzyy this year). This was another wonderful thing the bridesmaids and neighbors did, though – they tied purple ribbons around every single one of those bottles for me the day before the wedding. Thank you Susan, Chris, Michelle, Brittany, and Greg!!!
  • We forgot to take a squishing picture. :-(
  • One of Jack’s buddies’ kids (he was about 3 or 4) followed me around during the whole reception calling me “white princess.”
  • Darlana, my friend from my Dad's work, was our MC, and she did such an incredible job. My favorite part was the "shoe game," where Jack and I stood back-to-back with one of our own shoes and one of the other person's shoes, and she asked us questions like
    "Who's the better driver," and we would hold up the shoe of the person we thought it was. It was a huge crowd pleaser and a lot of fun.
  • I had flip-flops for the ceremony and ballet flats for the reception. The Seiberts had made my flip-flops for me with fancy little lace and everything, and then I had bought the ballet flats at a dance store and sewn (yes, sewn!) on plastic pearls and little blue bows (my “something blue!”). Right before the ceremony, I realized that my “something blue” wasn’t on me until the reception, so my dad brought out his wallet and dug through it. “Here, this is blue,” he said, and handed me a receipt that had a blue advertisement on one side. “Perfect,” I said, and stuffed it in my bra (nowhere else to put it in a wedding dress!). I forgot about it until after the wedding, when I was changing out of my dress at the hotel. Jack heard me laughing from inside the bathroom, and asked what was so funny. “I just found my ‘something blue.’” I told him.
I must finish this way-too-long blog entry with a big “thank you” to my friends, family, and especially my parents, for all the help and the financing for the wedding. It was really everything I hoped for and I can’t thank you enough for all of the support in letting me be “white princess” for the night I got to marry my friend. Thank you all, for everything.

Oh yeah, and thanks Jack, for asking.


becomingone said...

I just reread this entry and I LOVE the "first dance" comment. It's so true. Our song was only 3minutes and 24 seconds and I felt EVERY MILLIsecond of it. It was so awkward!