I am pretty sure that hiring a videographer was one of the absolute best decisions we made with this wedding :) Our videographer, Pat Taggart of TAG Visual Media, was PHENOMENAL! I think I watch this recap about once a day (and it's five months later!)
Here it is (and it's less than four minutes, I swear!)
While the boys went to a hotel to get ready, my girls (and Man of Honor/MUA ;) got ready at my parents' house. Here are some of them waiting for me while my MOH and another BM help me get into my dress upstairs.
Then it was finishing touches on make-up and the very long process of tightening my corset!
Once we arrived at the venue, we hurried up to the bridal suite, where I found the sweetest card and a little wrapped box (held by a stuffed Phillie Phanatic ;) Inside of the box were a stunning pair of diamond stud earrings and a note that read: "A half carat for my better half."
Meanwhile, Dan and the boys were downstairs putting on their finishing touches...
I woke up and showered at my parents' house, then went to the salon for my hair appointment. A few of my girls also had their hair done there, and eventually all made it back to my parents' for brunch, champagne, and make up.
Jordan my MUA is also one of my BFF, and I ended up making him my Man of Honor! He was such a godsend that day that I had him wear the bout that my sick uncle obviously wouldn't be wearing, and he rode in the limo with the rest of the girls :)
Here he is with our mutual friend, my MOH, Jenn
The rest of the girls at my parents'
Not gonna lie... I normally dislike these flower-in-the-air photos, but my BM Alison insisted...
I love these with my parents
Then it was time for the (late) limo to get us to the venue. We drank champagne, I showed off my Phillies garters (a surprise for Dan), and my girls calmed me down during my last major freak-out.
Meanwhile, the boys were already at the venue, along with Dan's parents, grandparents, and the officiant.
Dan and my parents: My poor stressed out mother hates this photo, but it's one of the only ones I have of her from the wedding at all :(
We girls arrived and hurried inside between thunderstorms; my FG Abigail met us there :)
In the bridal suite I found a card and gift from Dan. The card was so sweet, and I started tearing up. There are no pictures here, but the gift had a note attached that read: "A half carat for my better half," and inside the box was the most beautiful pair of half carat diamond earrings. Luckily I wasn't wearing anything in my second holes, so I immediately put those on <3
Afterward, while I waited upstairs, my girls all were getting ready to walk the aisle.
I love this shot of Dan seeing me up close for the first time <3
At this point, Dan had taken out the vows he wrote and began reading them to me.
Once I stopped crying, it was my turn. I love Dan's expression as I read them.
Wiping away a tear before the rings... which I tried to put on DH's right hand (oops!)
Our dreams of an outdoor ceremony gone, the venue and florist quickly transformed the reception area into a ceremony space. The harpist played from the time guests arrived until the end of cocktail hour - she was fabulous!
My flower girl, though lovely, did not throw one single petal!
Entering with my Daddy <3
I looked all around at the guests, since I knew if I looked at Dan, I'd cry... which he almost did himself
When I made it up to the "altar," we never stopped holding hands, even when we stood to listen to the readers
Father Jim did an amazing job with the entire ceremony. I was on the verge of tears the entire time.
With the ceremony and cocktail hour over, I hurried upstairs with my entourage to be bustled, have my veil replaced by a hair flower, and get a fresh make-up application. I was swarmed by assistants, MUA, hair stylist, and a server offering me a glass of champagne - in short, it was fabulous!
(Yep, my hair stylist came to my ceremony and stuck around just to fix my hair flower!
Then it was time for entrances!
Dan's parents and grandparents
The bridal party: Gina/John and Tina/Brian
Stacey/Joe D. and Alison/Mark
Amy/Joe S. and Nicole/Fran
Our Maid of Honor, Jenn, and Best Man, Shawn
"For the second time as husband and wife, Dan and Lauren!"
Straight into the first dance, Brad Paisley's "Then"
And then it was time for the blessing, toasts, and the first of four courses
Then it was the toast by my father, which led directly into the father/daughter dance and then the mother/son
I bawled like a baby
When it was time to cut the cake and thank our guests, we realized that we had no idea what to say! We each just took a turn with the mic and hoped it worked out :)
Dan knew how much I didn't want to ruin my make-up with messy cake, so he pretended to wipe frosting on my face! We were about to have a real cake fight!
Soon after we had the anniversary dance: all couples came out to the floor and the DJ would ask unmarried couples (and couples married less than seven hours ;) to step off, then couples married less than a year, then three years, and so on and so forth. My aunt and uncle were the last ones on the floor at 49 years! We gave them the toss bouquet <3
After the anniversary dance, it was time for Michael Jackson! The DJ actually brought an assistant to teach everyone a few moves from "Thriller," which was a huge hit. However, before the assistant began, our guests (and my husband!) started breaking down their own best moves!
After "Thriller," it was back to being a regular dance floor at a wedding
I particularly enjoy this choreographed dance between my two friends who barely knew each other prior to this...
A spin to reveal my pink crinny and heels
And one more dance with my new husband (I was caught checking out my ring!)
Just after the ceremony: officially husband and wife <3
GM Fran - I depended on him to keep the rest of the GM in line! GM Joe was also a good influence :)
I love our bridal party's entrances - we didn't get a photo of Gina/John or Tina/Brian, but the BM/GM we did get really represented each of their respective styles!
Our MOH and BM managed a chest bump!
DH chose our entrance song: the theme to Superman!
Our first dance was to Brad Paisley's "Then"
Jenn, my MOH, made me cry with her speech, and Shawn, the BM, made everyone fall over laughing :)
Here I am getting emotional while Jenn speaks... it happened all over again when my father gave a toast
A hug with my dad before our dance, and then Dan's dance with his mother
A couple details: our cocktail napkins and "I Spy" checklist for each table
When it was time to thank everyone for coming and say a few words, we realized that we never actually planned anything! Dan spoke first and I wrapped it up - I think we did an okay job... ?
Fran the GM always likes to remind me that he had Dan first ;)
And on to the party!
The absolute only picture our photog took of the entire bridal party together
Our godmothers and Dan's grandparents
Our parents: mine are in green and Dan's are in lavender
These are the invites that my MOH Jenn and I designed together. She and I, along with my mum and Nicole (another BM), put them all together - it took hours, but it was fun spending time with my girls :)
Initially our ceremony was supposed to be outside, but there was light rain during the rehearsal, so we moved up to Plan B: the gorgeous wrap-around veranda. (Unfortunately the next day was heavy rain and wind, so we ended up with Plan C, but that's a different story for a different page).
Here I am with a few BM, standing on the stone walkway that would have been my entrance area :(
A couple pieced-together photos of Father Jim, Dan, and the GM lined up along the veranda railing.
Not as effective with the BM photos:
In addition to the bows and ribbons "bouquet," one of my BM made this "headband" at my shower
One of my BM, Amy, flew across the country to be in my wedding. I hadn't seen her since the previous year when she announced her pregnancy. This was the first time I ever met her then seven-month-old son, Liam.
After the rehearsal everyone went to an informal little place around the corner for dinner.
In addition to Baby Liam, Dan's godson Trent, the son of GM Joe D., was also in attendance.
Trent and Liam are only a month apart. We think it's either love or a baby fight :)
The day before I attempted to make a Phillies cake and baseball cupcakes as a surprise groom's cake for my Phils obsessed soon-to-be-husband. Unfortunately, the cake looked pretty pathetic. You can't see here, but I hand cut a dozen little "baseballs" and Phillies "P's" and placed them around the sides of the cake too.
After all of the intensity of planning the wedding, and then having a wedding day where it seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong, it was wonderful to spend eight stress-free days in paradise with my new husband :)
Here are some shots of us at our resort, ClubHotel Riu. It was such an amazing all-inclusive, and we had a junior suite with a gorgeous view of the pool and gardens.
Here's Dan in the lobby when we first arrived
And one of our favorite activities from the beginning:
Our resort's private beach was heavenly
I read four new books start to finish on our HM (and yes, we had time for "other things" ;)
Dan found other activities while I read
During our eight days there, it only rained for a couple hours, and even that wasn't bad
(This is his fake wedding band - we left the real ones at home. Still, I loved seeing him with it on <3)
For our one week anniversary we took a dinner cruise
The crew danced with all of us, but only Dan got an embarrassing photo out of it ;)
We also went on a TON of excursions!
The first was a party boat that took us snorkeling and then to Dunn's River Falls
Our next excursion was a ziplining and river-tubing tour. We met two other awesome couples, tried some native fruits, and even came across a rope swing, which we had to try out!
Our resort offered paddleboats, shows every night, and on Friday there was a huge bonfire/party on the beach
Nothing was sadder than leaving
I wanted a theme, but I couldn't think of one that would be a.) original (or at least not overdone) b.) subtle - nothing that appears costumey c.) affordable - I didn't want to have to choose incredibly expensive decor in order to make the theme visible.
I didn't start out by looking for a theme, but because I'm an English teacher, writer, and avid reader, I found myself drawn to all things literary. Not unexpectedly, FI and I decided to have a couple non-traditional readings at our wedding. I immediately began collecting famous and obscure quotes, excerpts, and poems about love, romance, marriage, etc. (the second-to-last entry in my bio has a lot of them - feel free to check them out!)
First, I saw these amazing cakes:
Writing around the tiers! Love it! Our colors are pink, gold, and ivory, so we'll probably do a pale pink cake with ivory writing, but with a stronger contrast like in the blue cake. I was so excited that FI loves this style, too!
For a cake topper, we're doing a large, fresh peony (just the top - not the other tiers)
Flavors (the best part!)
Bottom tier: Rich, chocolate pound cake with raspberry filling
Third tier: Raspberry marble pound cake with rich, dark chocolate fudge filling
Second tier: Chocolate chip pound cake with rich, dark chocolate fudge filling
Top tier (the one that we take home and is just for us chocoholics): Rich, chocolate pound cake with rich, dark chocolate fudge filling
We're also having a dozen gluten-free cupcakes placed around the cake (six vanilla, six chocolate) with pink icing and little 'L&D" designs on top (they're mostly for the benefit of my cousin who has Celiac)
*** And here's how ours came out***
After the cake, I saw these awesome STDs on Mydreamring's bio page.
Bookmark the dates! How awesome! I told mydreamring that I'm totally stealing her idea, and she was so sweet that she directed me to the DIY step-by-step instructions!
*** And here's how ours came out***
Here are the ones we ended up creating and having printed by printmything.com.
How precious is this sign?? Even though our venue is at the end of a long cul-de-sac, I still think I need to make one of these!
*** And here's how ours came out***
So then I was paging through a bridal magazine (The Knot - Pennsylvania Brides edition) and saw these fabulous "picture frames." Taking books like Great Expectations and The Sun Also Rises, cut out the first few pages and lightly glue in e-photos to display at the reception. Brilliant!
I wish I could find the photo of my inspiration :(
***And here's how ours came out***
Here are some of the books
The covers/titles I chose (all from Dollar Tree!) and the inside of the books with our photos:
Here is a close up of the photos and slightly messed up cut jobs, oops!:
Here are the inspiration pics for my bouquet; none of them are exactly "it" since I want a combination of peonies and open roses in soft pink, blush, and ivory. Some of these bouquets are perfect for flower type, some for color, some for size, etc.
I would like my mother's handkerchief and my late Nana's rosary attached to my bouquet like in the last photo
***And here's my bouquet***
Florist: Rhoads Garden
My name is Lauren, and it's still a little crazy to me that I'm on a wedding planning website! Before I met Dan, I never wanted to get married. I loved being single and actively avoided getting too caught up with just one person. Then in March of 2008 I had my first date with this guy, and well... I fought it and fought it for as long as I could ;) Truth is, he's just perfect for me, and I can't even remember the direction I once thought for sure my life would take.
A little about Dan and me (and our precious fur-baby), taken directly from our website and thrown on PW
Lauren grew up in Southampton, PA and attended Arcadia University (although she'll always call it Beaver) for her B.A. in English, B.F.A. in graphic design and photography, and M.Ed. in secondary education. A second Master's in English is the next plan, but she thinks a new school may be refreshing. As surprising as it surely sounds, she loves writing, reading, and anything to do with the arts.
Lauren works as an English and journalism teacher at Central Bucks High School South, which is only a quick drive from her condo in Horsham that she shares with the world's sweetest blind, obese pit bull, GingerBaby.
As an only child, Lauren was (and still is) very close with her parents, Kathy and Ray. They helped instill her love of animals, her obsession with travel, and her overwhelming desire to redesign and redecorate every room of her house. It is also impossible to be a member of this family and not have a passion for politics and an involvement in volunteer and charitable causes. Her parents are not, however, to blame for her addiction to college basketball (UNC and Nova!) or rather intense shoe collection
When Lauren is not with her fabulous family, fabulous friends, or fabulous fiance, there's a good chance you'll find her at the gym or out for a run. There's also an equal chance that soon after she can be found in the kitchen, baking something that will likely put all of the calories back on. Hopefully the prospect of a beautiful wedding gown will help her keep a healthy balance.
Daniel grew up in the Tacony/Wissinoming section of Northeast Philadelphia across the street from American Legion Playground (commonly referred to as Devereaux or Devro). The house he grew up in is no longer standing, but for one week it was a lovely shade of pink and could be seen from space. Dan attended St. Leo’s for grade school, Northeast Catholic for high school, La Salle University for a B.A. in psychology, and Holy Family University for a Master’s of Education. Dan also is considering going back to school for a Master’s + 30 or maybe even a second Master's degree because he believes that whoever dies with the most degrees wins the prize.
Dan works at Kensington High School for Business, Finance, & Entrepreneurship and teaches Algebra 1 to freshmen. Although he is not currently involved in any extra-curricular activities at the school, he does volunteer as a baseball and basketball coach for Wissinoming Boys Club.
After hearing daily about how his mother went through over 33 hours of labor, it’s no wonder Daniel is the only child to his loving parents, Joe and Diane. From early on in his life, Dan’s parents have always been there for him, whether it was to help him with school projects or to take him to one of the many sports that he played while growing up. Collectively, they have instilled in him the value of treating others as you would like to be treated and the benefits of putting 100% in all areas of life (school, work, sports, etc...). From his father, Dan gets his sense of humor as well as his punctuality, and his mother has not only taught him how to treat/respect women but also to speak his mind and deal with the consequences later.
When Dan is not educating America’s youth, spending time with his beautiful fiancée, or enjoying his season tickets to the Phillies, he remains active by competing in numerous activities. Daniel plays softball and basketball, goes to the gym, shoots darts, and even does stand-up comedy. Dan also has the fortunate advantage of being surrounded by an amazing group of friends, some of whom have remained in his life since grade school. Let’s just hope that at least one of them can assist him in getting to that altar on time on the big day.
Dan and Lauren's family wouldn't be complete without their beloved pup, GingerBaby. When Dan first began dating Lauren, she let him know that, without exception, if he didn't like her OCD pit bull, there would be no future for them. Luckily, Dan has always been a dog-person, and even more luckily, Ginger has adored him from Day One.
Two and a half years later, Dan is by far the favorite parent.
Yeah, Ginger sleeps a lot :)
It was pretty much the most romantic night ever, even before the proposal. Dan and I have always loved fireworks, and every year on the Fourth of July we make sure to catch the beautiful show over the beach in Sea Isle City. This year everything seemed perfect: the sun had set, but there were still traces of pink and purple in the sky; the promenade was lit up with grand, old houses in the background; boats were silently bobbing on the ocean;and although people had all come out to the beach, we managed to find our own little section on the sand near the water where no one was too nearby.
In hindsight I should have seen it coming... Dan, although seemingly calm, had made sure that we were both well-dressed and that none of our friends back at the shorehouse came with us. We watched the show and said sweet, gooey things to each other, and when the fireworks came to a dramatic close, Dan said that he had one more thing to make the night even more romantic. He had written me a poem.
Now I'm usually the writer, so I was especially touched by this. It was sweet and cute and sometimes funny, and thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite poem ever. This is particularly because the last line read, "I hope you've enjoyed the reasons why I love you, because now I will propose."
I stood there like an absolute fool, mouth gaping open and tears already starting, and even as he was down on one knee in the sand, holding up a black box that I could barely see in the darkness, I started bawling. Not cute little tears, but full on sobbing with little shrieks that probably made the people around us think that there was an Independence Day attack taking place. Looking at the mascara streaks in photos from that night, I'm sure I wasn't cute at all, but it was one of the greatest nights of my life. And it was only made greater when we finally stepped into some light, and I could clearly see the stunningly gorgeous ring he had picked out. (Seriously, this thing alone is enough to make a woman say yes. Getting Dan is just an added bonus ;)
(This photo does it absolutely no justice. It's a nearly flawless 1.24 carat diamond in a medium-height, four-prong setting with a white gold band. I always wanted a solitaire because I love the simplicity of the band against a beautiful stone... I never expected it to be this amazing though!)
On my 30th birthday, FI and I went into Center City for our engagement photos. My fabulous bridesmaid Stacey and her talented BF Frank are beginning a photo business and offered to take and edit our pictures for free! They get to add to their portfolio and website, and we get awesome pics!
The shoot went so well, and I cannot believe that they've already edited the first of mannnnnyyy pics (they took over 300, easily). I'm sure more are coming, but I couldn't wait to post these!!! [Update - we clearly added more, haha! 11/27/10}
After a devasting first dress shopping experience, during which I felt a.) like a bus and b.) humiliated for crying because I felt like a bus, I got back in the saddle and tried again. The only alternative, as I threatened FI later that night, was to get married in a denim mini and tank top. Either that or the wedding was off, which I had angrily announced in the dressing room when a particularly nasty little halter gown managed to make me look like I was pregnant and in my third fourth trimester.
Regardless, my resilient and saintly mother and I trucked on into three shops today, although the last two were only needed to reassure me that The Dress was in the first. In fact, she was only the second of twenty-trillion dresses I had tried on, but she spoke to me. Loudly, but with the voice of an angel. An angel I never expected to hear from, as she came in a silhouette I never in a million years thought I would like, let alone fall passionately in love with. My pretty little Victoriana.
Now, onto The Dress!
(You girls know the drill... pardon the unusual facial expressions, unattractive backfat pockets, and general weirdness that accompanies photos taken by one's mother in a make-shift dressing room while wearing an unfitted gown.)
The usual bride-in-her-beloved-gown shots
close-up of the beautiful bodice, the scary surrounding mirrors, and the back of the gown
a side view, the appliques at the pick-ups that will be swapped for a few gold beads, the consultant crawling under my gown to pull up a little crinoline!
***Now to accessorize!***
Like just about every girl I know, I love me some jewelry :) For the big day, my generous mum is letting me borrow her (ridiculously expensive) Mikimoto pearl bracelet and graduated pearl necklace <3 Both pieces are classic and lovely, and I am so honored.
After searching without success for an equally pricey pair of earrings to match, I ended up finding the perfect pair for a mere $45 at Macy's! (Let it be known that price does not always dictate beauty.) My wonderful father bought them for me as a gift - what a sweetheart!
To finish off the look, I will obviously have my e-ring and wedding band, but also my late grandmother's e-ring on my right hand. It makes me unbelievably sad that she can't be at my wedding, so I like knowing that I'll at least have something of hers near to me the entire day.
(pics to come soon)
***Onto the hair!***
Here's my flower! My mum spotted it at a bridal show, we both loved it, and she bought it on the spot! I love that it's ivory with a little gold tint in the center, since my gown is ivory and gold is one of our wedding colors!
Hair trials! I'm still torn!
my fabulous stylist and me <3
Somehow I deleted this page in my bio! I am so sad that I lost all of the wonderful comments that were previously posted here :(
Anyhow, the gist of it is that, as soon as we were engaged, I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to have the wedding. It was an historic estate, with beautiful grounds for the ceremony and a stunning mansion interior for the reception. There were multiple rooms available to us: a place for cocktail hour, another for dining and dancing, another for quiet conversation, and so on. We visited it and loved it. But we also realized that we would never be able to accommodate 140 guests.
Instead, we found Manor House at Commonwealth, an 18th century fieldhouse that was massively expanded and renovated throughout the years... basically a historic estate with beautiful grounds for the ceremony and a stunning mansion interior for the reception! It has multiple rooms for cocktail hour, dining and dancing, quiet conversation, and so on ;) We fell in love as soon as we saw the sweeping view from the ballroom and the stunning wraparound veranda overlooking the grounds. It was perfect.
Here is the photo I saw in a magazine that made me book an appointment in the first place... even though we're getting married in the summer!
This is what the front looks like - it's much more grand in person <3
This is the back, and the back at night
I love the linens that they provide for us! We even based our color scheme around them!
I love this 18th century stonewall behind the cake table
Ceremony shots on the grounds - we'll be getting married there weather permitting!
The view from the veranda
I can't wait to be married here!!!
I have seven girls in my bridal party, and I really love the look of seven different, yet similar dresses. I chose tea-length, A-line, pink taffeta dresses with gold accents (ribbons/sashes when applicable). However, the top portion of each dress is a little different.
Initially I thought that it would be impossible to find seven different dresses from the same designer (necessary to keep shade of color identical) that would match my vision, but I think I did it! One of the dresses has removable straps and a removable ribbon that change the look of the dress, so one girl will wear it with straps but no ribbon and the other will wear the reverse.
I can't post them in pink, so use your imaginations ;) (All photos are from DaVinci Bridal)
MOH - Jenn Bridesmaid - Nicole
Bridesmaid - Amy Bridesmaid - Gina
Bridesmaid - Ali Bridesmaids - Tina, Stacey
The last dress is the one that will be worn by two girls, one with straps and the other without. I may also remove the ribbon for one and keep it for the other, just to make a further distinction.
This is the necklace that I bought for each of them as part of their gifts. I think it compliments the dress and hope it will be something they can wear after the wedding.
I also got this for my MOH:
It came from a little boutique in Peddler's Village, PA.
As for shoes - all I asked is that they be gold. Style and heel height are all up to them. Since I'm not paying for hair, make-up, or shoes, I really don't feel right telling them what they have to do/wear.
And here's what my beautiful Mum will be wearing! I think the soft sage color will be perfect with our color scheme! She is having the seamstress shorten it to tea length.
Less than six months from the wedding I finally began tackling some DIYs - first is was the bathroom basket.
Here's one of them in its plain, boring original state:
(purchased at Michaels)
I had some wide ivory ribbon, a hot glue gun, and these supercheap wedding cake scrapbook stickers:
(purchased at Joann's)
Pretty soon I had these little baskets:
Not bad, huh? :)
This next project took longer than I expected, mostly because I'm OCD about everything being perfectly neat. I bought plain wooden "I DO" letters and a wooden heart from Michaels and some pink and gold paint from Joann's... and something else that I questioned at the time...
The letters painted pink with gold trim:
But something was missing... turns out the pink "Fairy Dust" (yes, that's the real name) I bought at Joann's at the same time as the paint was what it needed.
I sprinkled the Fairy Dust only on the wet pink paint of the top layer.
I went to Joann's to find materials for a cardbox... and instead I found these beautiful boxes with magnetic flaps:
I bought a large one and a small one, with the idea that I'll attach one to the top of the other. I'm actually going to seal the top and cut an envelope-sized slit in the front below the bow and above the writing. (The top and front are scripted "Life is meant to be celebrated" - perfect!)
Now I can't wait to work on some more projects!!!
My wonderful MOH and I met as graphic design majors in college... eight years after graduation she's working in the field while I'm teaching English. This means that I have an overwhelming desire to design my own invites in a professional manner and an overwhelming fear that I've probably both forgotten everything I've learned and that design programs have changed beyond recognition in the last decade.
Thank the heavens that my darling friend is willing to help a bride out! I'm just trying to keep ideas, images, and wording all together so that she isn't completely lost when I try to explain my "vision."
(all photos below came from PW photo gallery unless otherwise sourced)
pretty much what I want the outside to look like, minus the initial
I think I like this arrangement... not sure
I love this arrangement and the elegance
I think I like the flourishes here... but I'm not sure...
There is something very elegant about the organization and the flourish
(source - PW photos)
(special thanks to SanFran, who searched out many of these images)
Here's what we ended up creating:
Since I'm not changing my name, having a traditional monogram isn't going to work. Instead, here's what the talented Sarah (GTBG) came up with for us - I love them!
Here is the mock-up of my MOH first version!
Mr. and Mrs. my parents
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Mr. and Mrs. his parents
Friday, the eighth of July
two thousand eleven
at six o'clock in the evening
Manor House at Commonwealth
300 Tournament Drive
Horsham, PA 19044
Reception to follow
From Upper Bucks County – Take Rt. 611S to Horsham Road (Rt.463W). Make a right onto Horsham Road and follow for 2 miles, turning right onto Tournament Drive. The Manor House is the last building on the right hand side.
From I-95 – exit Woodhaven Road (Rt.63) to Rt. 1 exit (Roosevelt Blvd) to Turnpike entrance. Take PA Turnpike West to exit 343/Willow Grove. Follow Turnpike directions.
From Turnpike exit 343/Willow Grove - Take Rt. 611N (Easton Road) to left on Horsham Road (Rt. 463W). Follow for 2 miles and turn right onto Tournament Drive. The Manor House is the last building on the right hand side.
Please see our website for maps and detailed directions: laurenanddan.projectwedding.com
We have reserved __ seat(s) in your honour.
The favour of a reply is requested before May 30, 2011.
( ) accept ( ) decline
Name and meal choice:
Roulade of Chicken
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
[I figure this would make it difficult to add children or other not-invited guests]
Dan is a huuuuuuuge Phillies fan, so I want to surprise him with a Phillies grooms cake at the rehearsal dinner, along with a ton of baseball cupcakes :)
I already have the recipe for an amazing chocolate cake that he loves, so I plan to make something similar to this:
The best part is, since he HATES fondant, I can keep the "dirt" the chocolate buttercreme anyway, and just add the fondant decorations.
Then, since the cake will be triple chocolate, I can make the cupcakes vanilla with buttercreme for the guests who don't care for chocolate. I figure they'll be pretty easy to make and will look something like this:
Although I always imagined having only three or four girls, Dan had to have his seven guys. Being OCD, I couldn't handle the uneven number, so I recruited seven of my own... and am so happy I did! What gorgeous girls and wonderful friends! As for Dan's boys - they don't come more loyal. The flower girl is my cousin's daughter and pretty much my favorite child in the world. We're sooo lucky to have these people in our lives.
Maid of Honor - Jenn
Jenn and I met as graphic design majors in undergrad school. I'm so excited that within two months of each other, we both became engaged, on the beach, to our dark-haired boyfriends named Daniel! No one works harder at her day job (graphic design), evening jobs (freelance designer AND dance instructor), or degree (MBA) - and yet she still has time to be such a wonderful friend. Dan and I are both only children, so there are no sisters to chose for a MoH, but I knew immediately that Jenn would be my sister on my wedding day <3
Bridesmaid - Nicole
Nicole's nickname is "Sweet Nicole" - no joke! I met Nicole six or seven years ago through a mutual friend. She is an elementary school guidance counselor during the school year and works with autistic children in the summer. When I was in her wedding as a bridesmaid, I was shown the absolute opposite of Bridezilla. There isn't a kinder, gentler, more dependable person in this world. Some people say their SO makes them want to be a better person - for me, it's Nicole who is the inspiration!
Bridesmaid - Amy
Amy and I also met as art majors in college, although her degree is in metalsmithing and jewelry. And my God, is she talented! She was named one of the top emerging artists in Philadelphia and has her own line of jewelry. When she moved out to Arizona she also began and maintained a professional cake business up until she started her new office job. No one is more creative, and yet no one is more organized! I am so honored that she's going to be my BM since she has to fly across the country AND she and her husband are expecting their first baby only months before my wedding!
Bridesmaid - Ali
Everyone says they don't care what anyone thinks about them. Alison is probably the only person I know for whom that is true. She is so incredibly fun to be around because she genuinely just does what she wants. She's never hurtful or mean to anyone; she just doesn't worry about creating a certain image. Ali is a total original and never boring. My only hesitation in asking her to be a bridesmaid is that, in addition to working as a model scout, she herself is a model! And what bride wants a model standing next to her in wedding photos??? ;)
Bridesmaid - Stacey
I met Stacey through Alison, whom, incidentally I met through Jenn. I remember thinking that she seemed so pleasant - I couldn't imagine her being in a bad mood or getting angry. And through the years, I can honestly say that I still can't imagine her angry or in a bad mood. No matter what unexpected thing happens, she rolls with the punches. And there are a lot of unexpected things! I have never met someone who has had so many crazy (mostly good) experiences... My wedding instantly became exciting when Stacey joined the bridal party!
Bridesmaid - Tina
Tina and I work at the same district. I'd love to say that we met at a district workshop or meeting, but we actually first started chatting at a work happy hour! T is the most bubbly, energetic girl anyone could meet. She's the gym teacher who does every activity with her students all day and then hits the gym or dance class that night. We've shared gossip, a shorehouse, nights out (that ended up long sleepovers!) and just about everything else except clothes - she's the tiniest little thing... I have no idea how so much energy fits inside!
Bridesmaid - Gina
Earlier I mentioned that Dan and I are both only children, so therefore neither of have a sister for the wedding party. However, we both are very close to our cousins, so when it was time to chose my seventh bridesmaid, I immediately thought of Gina. Gina is Dan's cousin, and I can honestly say that she's also our friend. I absolutely adore her; even if she weren't family, I would want her in my wedding. She may be the youngest by almost a decade (the lucky girl will only be 22 at the time of the wedding), but she's so incredibly mature, fun, and brilliant. MY MoH loves her, and I know that as the other girls meet her, they will too.
Best Man Update!!! Dan has made a decision! The BM will be the wonderful Shawn!
Groomsman - Joe
S. Groomsman - Joe D.
Fran Groomsman - Mark
Groomsman - Brian Groomsman - John
Our darling flower girl - Abbey
Abigail is my cousin's daughter and most likely the sweetest, brightest, best-behaved, and all-round loveliest child in the world. I'm not a kid-person - in fact, Abbey is the only child involved and invited (because she's in the bridal party, of course), but I just melt when I'm around this little girl. FI wants a baby one day, and he always uses the possibility of another Abigail in his persuasion :)
GIFTS FOR MY LADIES <3
First I ordered these necklaces. I think these should compliment their dresses but also be something they'll like for after the wedding.
Yay! They arrived!
I love the textured box each necklace comes in!
Then I added on to their gifts :)
Each girl will be getting one of these jewelry envelopes in her favorite color. I also got a slightly smaller one for my FG (since she's slightly smaller too ;)
These are the two biggies, but I also decided to throw a few fun, little, cutesy things into the BMs' gift bags:
(The purse hook is from Party City and is actually practical, the lipglosses are from CVS and just meant to be a cute whatever, the lotions smell amazing and are from Bath and Body, and the sanitzers (also from B&B) are kind of a joke... all of the girls tease me for my germaphobia... although most of them carry sanitizer all the time, too!
I put everything inside of these little gold pouches that I got from Michaels for crazy cheap!) They ended up looking like this (the thank you card is also inside):
In addition, I bought this for my MOH:
It came from a little boutique in Peddler's Village, PA. I also bought this necklace for my FG there!
(clearly we went to lunch afterward, haha)
I got this little ladybug compact mirror for my FG at Bath and Body
and here's the little bag for my FG:
I bought these for my cousin Angela who is one of our readers. She is a writer and currently publishing a book:
(The book is from Barnes and Noble and the pen came from a little bookstore called Canterbury Tales)
Between the MOH, six BM, FG, and reader there were a lot of gift bags needed! I bought some fairly cheap ones at Target with matching tissue paper, and then I bought a Sharpie and a cheap alphabet stencil from Michaels:
Each bag has a girl's name and a little heart - some on the fronts and some on the backs
Of course, there were mistakes!
Here are the finished bags!
And how perfect are these thank you cards??? They match my bags perfectly and were quite cheap at Target!
- Manor House at Commonwealth - Venue (ceremony and reception)
- Monsignor Jim St. George - Officiant
- Ashley's Bridal - Gown, Tuxedos, Wedding Party Attire
- Jean Valentin Photography - Photographer
- Pat Taggart Video - Videographer
- East Coast Event Group - DJ
- Steven Singer Jewelers - Rings
- Rhoads Garden - Florist
- Lochels Bakery - Cake
- Verve Hair Gallery - Hair
- Jordan Liberty - Make Up Artist
- Sterling Limousine - Transportation
To the gathered Assembly and the couple the priest says:
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Priest: Who supports this woman in her marriage?
R: I do!
Good evening. It is truly a blessing from heaven for two people to find one another and to love so deeply. We gather here today to witness and celebrate an act of deep love. Lauren and Dan, in their devotion, respect, and love for each other wish to unite in the holy bond of marriage, and to dedicate themselves to each other’s happiness and wellbeing as life mates and partners. On behalf of them, I welcome you all.
And Although this is their day, it is also a tribute to all of you. For knowing you and interacting with you has helped to make our Bride and Groom who they needed to be to find each other. They would like to thank you all for that. All of you are the threads of which are woven the tapestry of their lives. Each one of you is an important piece in the story it tells. It is the fabric that they wrap around themselves and take comfort in when the world seems cold. And on days like today when everything is right in their world, that tapestry is proudly spread out and displayed for everyone to see, with all the glorious colors and textures that your diversity adds. You all hold a place in their hearts reserved for those that they have chosen to call 'Family' and “Friends” and they are deeply grateful for each and every one of you here today
Marriage is a gift from God, a miracle. A true spiritual marriage is an act of metamorphosis, a profound mystery of creation and rebirth, as two become one. After speaking to you both, it is obvious that you already know some of the great blessings marriage has to offer. It is an opportunity to feel the joy of taking care of someone who takes care of you, to be challenged towards growth yet gently nurtured, to love deeply and receive it in return. It is about trust, friendship and having a partner to share all life has to offer. It is a commitment to participate in a process of mutual evolution, understanding and forgiveness. It is indeed a sacred union to be treated with reverence.
Marriage is not a place to hide from the world. It is a safe place to grow and become wiser. It is a place to evolve into better people; so that you can go out in the world and make a difference by spreading the joy and wisdom that you have found with each other. Together in this marriage, you shall contribute more fully, for you both shall be more full.
Lauren, Dan is a gift to you from God, but he is not a gift for you alone. It is God’s will that in your love, this man might find within himself a greater sense of who he is meant to be. You are asked to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be. In this way, God’s purpose shall be accomplished in this relationship. May this man find the kingdom of heaven through the love you share.
And so it is with you also Dan, that although Lauren is God’s gift to you, she is not a gift intended for you alone. You are asked by God to so love this woman, that in your love she might find herself as God has created her, so beautiful and strong and brave and true, that the entire world might be blessed by the presence of a woman who shines so. May she relax in your arms as she has never relaxed before. May she know, from now on, that there is one on whose love she can depend on forever.
In such a marriage, the wedding ceremony is the gateway into this mystery. But remember that no ceremony can create your marriage. Only you can do that through love, patience, and dedication; through helping and supporting and believing in one other; through learning to forgive and appreciating your differences; by making the important things matter and to letting go of all the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you have made to begin a new life today as husband and wife.
And so now you stand before this loving community of family and friends, ready to acknowledge to God and to the world: this is my beloved, the one with whom I choose to create the rest of my life.
Reading: An Excerpt from Plato's Symposium
The Parental Honoring and Silent Blessing:
Lauren and Dan wish acknowledge their parents on this occasion. They offer their profound gratitude for all the love and care they had shown in raising them. The unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts, for guiding them to this celebration of love here today. Without you, this day would not be possible.
Lauren and Dan also wish to remember those absent from us this day. Though they are absent physically, we invoke, through our thought and prayers, their loving presence. We pray that God might multiply beyond measure the blessings from these loved ones to this loving couple, and any children who might one day be a part of this union. Now, from our hearts, we ourselves visualize and sanctify all the blessings we would bestow on Lauren and Dan in their lives as a couple and a family. And in our sincere desire to bless, we in turn, are blessed also.
Priest: Blessed Be.
The Hands Ceremony
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized. God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another.
The couple has decided to say their own vows,
The Ring Ceremony:
And so we come, Lauren and Dan, to the blessing and presentation of rings by which you will symbolize and bind your love.
The circle has long been a symbol of spirit and the power of God. Without beginning or end, and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of the eternal quality of God and of unending strength. Let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love and unending faithfulness.
Your wedding rings are most special because they say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are. Your rings carry a potent double message: We are individuals and yet we belong; we are not alone. As you wear them through time, they will reflect, not only who you are, but also the union you are making; the fact that throughout the rest of your lives each of you will be imprinted by the other, yet as yourself remains.
Rings are handed to the priest and he continues,
God, the Father, bless these rings X X X and the two who exchange them. Fill them with your Holy Presence. Keep them safe in the circle of Your protection and love.
The ring is handed to the bride,
Lauren, place this ring on Dan’s finger and repeat after me:
Dan, with this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.
The ring is handed to the bridegroom,
Dan, place the ring on Lauren’s finger and repeat after me:
Lauren, with this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.
Wear these rings as the enclosing bond of reverence and trust, and fulfill the circle of love that now makes you one.
Reading: Pablo Neruda's "Sonnet XVII"
To the assembly and the couple,
Lauren and Dan, in the presence of God, your family and friends today, you have spoken the words and performed the rites which unite your lives. It is my greatest joy and privilege as a priest in Christ’s one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and my legal right as a minister authorized to do by this commonwealth to declare you husband and wife.
Dan, you may now kiss your bride.
To the Assembly and the couple:
Lauren and Dan, the two of you are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever you go, may you always return to one another in your togetherness. May you two find in each other the love for which all men and women long. May you grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home that you establish be such a place of sanctuary that all who visit will find there a friend.
Bow your head and pray for God’s Blessing:
And now, Lauren and Dan, may the Lord God bless you and keep you forevermore, May God be with you and bless you, May you see your children’s children, May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings, May you know nothing but happiness;
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields.
May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.
And when eternity beckons,
at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you
with the arms that have nurtured you
the whole length of your joy-filled days.
The priest says to the assembly,
Well, this is the end, or more truthfully, the beginning! And so, Ladies and Gentleman, it is my highest honor and privilege, to present to all of you, for the very first time publicly as husband and wife, Lauren and Dan!
I'm an English teacher, so I guess it was inevitable that I would have a slew of favorite passages, poems, and quotations from some obscure sources. We are planning to incorporate a lot of these in our ceremony and even in our decor (they'll be another entry about this, I'm sure).
Although it may change, here are our three readings as of now:
Pablo Neruda's "Sonnet XVII"
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Excerpt from Plato's Symposium
Our original nature was by no means the same as it is now. There was a kind composed of both sexes and sharing equally in male and female. The form of each person was round all over; each had four arms, and legs to
match these, and two faces perfectly alike. The creature walked upright, and whenever it started running fast, it went like our acrobats, whirling over and over with legs stuck out straight, swiftly round and round.
Now they were so lofty in their notions that they even conspired against the gods. Thereat Zeus and the other gods were perplexed; for they felt they could not slay them, nor could they endure such sinful rioting. Then Zeus said "Methinks I can contrive that men shall give over their iniquity through a lessening of their strength." So saying, he sliced each human being in two. Now when our first form had been cut in two, each half in longing for his fellow would come to it again; and then would they fling their arms about each other and in mutual embraces yearn to be grafted together. Thus anciently is mutual love ingrained in mankind.
Well, when one happens on his own particular half, the two of them are wondrously thrilled with affection and intimacy and love, and are hardly to be induced to leave each others side for a single moment. These are they who continue together throughout life. No one could imagine this to be the mere amorous connection: obviously the soul of each is wishing for something else that it cannot express. Suppose that Hephaestus should ask "Do you desire to be joined in the closest possible union, that so long as you live, the pair of you, being as one, may share a single life?" Each would unreservedly deem that he had been offered just what he was yearning for all the time.
e.e. cummings' "i carry your heart with me"
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Now this next passage I LOVE, but FI thinks it's depressing! I asked my parents to back me up, and my father said it's more appropriate for a 35th anniversary - not the day we marry. So I guess it won't be our reading, although it's still lovely.
Excerpt from Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that's what love is. Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just ‘being in love’ which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those who truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find out that they are one tree and not two.
Other ones that we liked.may incoporate:
Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters"
Marriage is in many ways a simplification of life, and it naturally combines the strengths and wills of two young people so that, together, they seem to reach farther into the future than they did before. Above all, marriage is a new task and a new seriousness, - a new demand on the strength and generosity of each partner, and a great new danger for both.
The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of their solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side by side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.
That is why this too must be the criterion for rejection or choice: whether you are willing to stand guard over someone else's solitude, and whether you are able to set this same person at the gate of your own depths, which he learns of only through what steps forth, in holiday clothing, out of the great darkness.
Life is self-transformation, and human relationships, which are an extract of life, are the most changeable of all, they rise and fall from minute to minute, and lovers are those for whom no moment is like any another. People between whom nothing habitual ever takes place, nothing that has already existed, but just what is new, unexpected, unprecedented. There are such connections, which must be a very great, an almost unbearable happiness, but they can occur only between very rich beings, between those who have become, each for his own sake, rich, calm, and concentrated; only if two worlds are wide and deep and individual can they be combined....
...For the more we are, the richer everything we experience is. And those who want to have a deep love in their lives must collect and save for it, and gather honey.
Excerpt from Khalil Gibran's "What of Marriage? from The Prophet
THEN Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage master?
And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Excerpt from Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside
you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
Excerpt from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's The Gift From the Sea
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, mot in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
Excerpt from Madeleine L'Engle's The Irrational Season
In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.
The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
the sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!
Excerpt from Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road" from Leaves of Grass
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself. will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Dorothy Colgan's "Fidelity"
Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks,
a man's heart and a woman's,
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
(Another) Excerpt from Plato's Symposium
"There is none so base but that Love may breathe into him the spirit of a hero. Love alone makes men ready to die for another's sake; and not men only, but women. And to prove this we need but to look at Alectis, the daughter of Pelias, who, for her husband's sake was willing to die, so greatly her love exceeded that of his father and mother. Which deed the gods themselves did so approve that they suffered her soul to be released from Hades, a thing granted most rarely. Therefore I say that, of all the gods, Love is the eldest and the most to be honoured, and he that in life and in death helps men most to the possession of virtue and happiness."
Excerpt from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself"
Shoulder your duds, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth,
Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go.
If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip,
And in due time you shall repay the same service to me;
For after we start we never lie by again.
Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.
I have great hope that we shall love each other all of our lives as much as if we had never married at all.
If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to live without you.
To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.
For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
There are millions of people in the this world, and the spirits will see that most of them, you never have to meet. But there are one or two that you are tied to, and the spirits will cross you back and forth, threading so many knots until they catch and you finally get it right.
Paraphrase of Plato's Symposium excerpt
According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.
...Look at you
Truer than the body you inhabit
Fixed at the center of my mind...
...And that evening,
I looked at my love, and who he is
touched me in the core of my heart...
Excerpt from Sharon Olds' "Fish Oil"
I had not known that one
could approve of someone entirely -- one could
wake to the pungent day, one could awake
from the dream of judgment
(If you couldn't tell, I was reading a book of Sharon Olds' poetry when I began my research. She has a particularly sexy poem entitled "The Shyness" in her collection The Unswept Room which, I must admit, isn't necessarily appropriate for a public wedding but is certainly romantically beautiful. The same could be said for "The Wedding Vow" and "Psalm.")
So that's it for right now. However, I'll be adding more periodically, so if you're looking for something, come back and check! Also, if you have any suggestions, please leave them! I love reading new things!
We will have a harpist/vocalist - Our relatively large bridal party will come down to Audrey Hepburn's "Moon River" and then change to a slow version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" a la Ingrid Michaelson when my father and I are about to walk.
The Recessional (Leaving the ceremony as husband and wife!):
This one is all up to Dan! I think he chose something classical and traditional... ?
We loved this song, but rather than squeeze it into the processional, we made it the soundtrack for our video highlight: Joshua Radin's "They Bring Me to You"
Dan is not a big country fan (that's me), so I was incredibly surprised and pleased that, upon hearing "Then" by Brad Paisley, he was sold on that as our song.
My dad always used to sing Al Martino's "Daddy's Little Girl" to me as a baby, so that's definitely the sentimental choice and the one I think we're going to go with.
I also really love Tim McGraw's "My Little Girl," by Tim McGraw - maybe we'll have to make the DJ play that later <3
Had to veto FMIL's idea of "Danny Boy" (FI's name is Dan). Even though it's a beautiful song, it's still the story of a dead soldier... UPDATE: They chose "Song for My Son" by Mikki Viereck
In lieu of bouquet and garter tosses we're doing an anniversary dance. The first song is Adele's version of "Make You Feel My Love," and then we're seguing into Cole Porter's "Night and Day," which was the wedding song for the longest married couple, Dan's grandparents.
Our DJ suggested "Grow Old with You" from The Wedding Singer - we love it!
- Etta James - "At Last" (I know it's cliche, but I love this song)
- anything Michael Jackson - especially "PYT" and "Thriller"
- anything Lady Gaga - especially "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance"
- anything Madonna - especially "Like a Prayer" and "Material Girl"
- Britney Spears - "Circus" or "Womanizer" or really anything good to dance to ;)
- Black Eye Peas - "I Gotta Feeling"
- Daft Punk "One More Time" (song with Jenn!)
- Cole Porter "Night and Day" (FI's grandparents' song)
- Chicago "Colour My World" (FI's parents' song)
- Harry Kalas - "High Hopes" (last song - it's a tradition at Phillies games to leave to this song :)
- Carrie Underwood - "Mama's Song"
- "Danny Boy"
Whenever I see my long PW name on a post and realize that it's a toughie to abbreviate or nickname for other Pdubbers, I wonder what people must think. Actually, I'm sure that most of you don't really think about it at all, but if you do, here's the skinny:
I debated the name for a little before deciding to go with it. I mean, I knew all along that "from cold to fire" is absolutely fitting, but a little of me was concerned that to anyone except a fellow literary nerd, it may sound a bit,
well, melodramatic. Trust me, it's not. "From cold to fire" is my favorite part of my favorite line from one of my favorite poets: Pablo Neruda. For those who don't know, Neruda is the poetry world's Barry White. He just oozes romance and passion
and sex, and this particular poem is entitled "Sonnet LXVI" or "I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You."
At this point, you're probably thinking that this is some ode to my fiance, and being as this is a wedding website, that is in part true. I never wanted a relationship, nevertheless to get married, so I have essentially gone from cold to fire in regards to romance.
But "from cold to fire" is also the best phrase that I can think of to define how I approach my life. I tend to become fascinated by some issue or concern or idea or endeavor, and I throw myself wholeheartedly into it. In some cases, I have been strongly on "Team Black" only to unexpectedly switch to "Team White" without a moment's time spent on the grey bridge in between. I go from cold to fire about goals, about politics, about relationships with everyone around me. Sometimes I think that I am Passionate and Alive. Sometimes I worry that I am Distracted and Spread Too Thin. There is SO MUCH that I care SO INTENSELY about that I'm not sure my life will fit it all in.
(Either way, the only fair thing to do is post the poem, since there is nothing more frustrating than people who reference something only to leave it hanging out there with no further mention.)
(I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You)
I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.
I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.
In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
And so there you have it. The reason behind my name. And a good half an hour of procrastination on accomplishing real work ;)
I'll be watching for your letters...
Now that the wedding is over, and now that we're trying to sell our condo and therefore need to clear everything out, it's time to sell some wedding supplies!
Here's what is left!
****GLASS BOWL VASES***
These were initially to be used as luminaries to light the walkway outside of my venue; however, when the weather turned to rain, the venue and florist quickly turned them into beautiful decor along the aisle. The shape makes them very safe - the train of my gown even knocked over two, and there was no problem! :)
There are 20 total. This is what each looks like individually:
The openings measure 3.5" and the widest portion is 15" around
After the wedding I cleaned each glass bowl:
I simply added pink gravel and a small candle to each. I'm only selling the glass bowls; however, I have a handful of candles and a large bag of the gravel that I would just throw in for free if asked.
(20) bowls total; each bowl was originally $2.50. Asking $1.50 each + shipping! All 20 for $22 + shipping!
****TEARS FOF JOY (all materials!)***
I ordered a packet of 100 #3 glassine envelopes for my tears of joy, but they didn't arrive until two days before my wedding, and I was just too exhausted to make them. Now I'm left with all the materials: the envelopes, three travel sized packets of tissues, and ivory colored labels to print on and seal the packet.
(Photos coming soon)
The envelopes alone were $10, but I'll mail all of the materials for $10. (Shipping should not be expensive as all materials are small and lightweight.)
****RED BILL LEVKOFF BRIDESMAID DRESSES***
i wore this Bill Levkoff dress once as a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding and then had it professionally dry cleaned. It is in excellent condition - there are absolutely no stains, tears, or other damage.
It is red with a champagne sash. I purchased it in a size 12 and had to have it taken in a bit; however, the alterations were made in such a way that they can be taken out again.
I paid $210 for the dress; I also have matching champagne elbow length gloves in excellent condition (I barely wore them), regularly $35.
Here is a link to the dress on Bill Levkoff's site.
This is the dress in my possession:
If you think this dress could work for your wedding, make me an offer :)
On 1/28/11 at 2:47pm I received the best email ever - I was chosen to be a member of the pink heart team! I love to help out, so please don't hesitate to send a private message, find me on the boards, comment, toast, or shout loudly from your homes if there is anything I can do to help make your wedding even an iota better!