Hi there! I'm Caitlin (aka Gidgett), and I'm finally getting married on March 13, 2010. Although I figured on becoming a crazy cat lady, I met Patrick when I was seventeen. We started dating when we were nineteen, and just a short year later we found ourselves engaged! Not wanting to end up in the "marry in haste, repent at leisure" category, we decided to wait until at least one of us was out of college. It's been a long (nearly three years' long!) engagement, but I can't wait until I finally get to marry my Captain Marvel!
I'm a super geeky Southern girl who's completely ecstatic to marry her equally geeky Southern boy. I'm a bouncy, overly energetic lover of rainboots, British pop music, and cartoons who was lucky enough to find just the right guy. Our old fashioned church wedding for 150 guests is going to be stuffed full of non-traditional retro Alice in Wonderland inspired nerdy goodness. We can't wait to FINALLY start our lives together after waiting for so long!
March 13, 2006: Started dating
March 13, 2007: Our first anniversary
April 20, 2007: Patrick proposed!
March 13, 2008: Our second anniversary *sigh*
March 13, 2009: Our third anniversary *double sigh*
March 13, 2010: We will FINALLY be married on our fourth anniversary!
Caitlin the Bride!
(This is me in Epcot in the summer of 2009)
I'm twenty-two (and a half) but I get regularly mistaken for someone much younger...mostly because I'm still under five feet tall! This December I'm finally graduating from Lipscomb University with a BA in theater and English. I've been in theater since I was three years old, and I'm planning on either teaching high school theater or working in costuming. On the other hand, if P and I decide to move to my adopted hometown of Orlando, I want to audition for Disney entertainment. I've been a Disney World cast member for three and a half years now: I work in Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Great Movie Ride, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, the Pixar Block Party Bash, the High School Musical 3 Pep Rally, and Fantasmic!.
In other news, I am a huge fan of British pop music (especially the Pipettes and Kate Nash), I sew a lot of my own clothes, I can make grown men cry when I play Dance Dance Revolution, I've written a novel, I can recite the first chapter of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from memory, I bake voraciously, and I'm a big fan of yoga.
Patrick the Groom!
(taken during the spring of 2009, when we were doing improv with friends in the park...hence the paper crown)
Patrick is twenty-three, a full head taller than me, and has recently shaved his head (which he loves, but I'm...adjusting to). He's a physics major/computer science minor at Middle Tennessee State University, but he's currently taking a break for a year to work full time at Target as an electronics department sales associate so that he can save up money for the two of us. He wants to work in video games. Or be on Mythbusters. He'll take either one.
Patrick loves video games, pretty much any video game...he and his guy friends have something called "the ManCouncil" that typically involves Halo and pizza with three different meats on it. He dabbles in martial arts on occasion and plays a mean game of ultimate frisbee. I taught him to cook after we started dating, and now he loves it! If Alton Brown suggests it, Patrick follows it. He also plays drums every so often.
(Patrick and I on Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride in Magic Kingdom in August 2009. It was his first time in Disney World!)
So that's us! We're not a perfect couple, but we've been together for three and a half years now, and we can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together.
(that was a sappy ending. Let me try again.)
I'm overemotional and occasionally hyperactive; he's super logical and keeps a level head. I'm sassy and girly; he's nerdy and has a goofy laugh. I love Disney a little too much; he plays video games way too often. We've gone through fights over silly things, stress over our family relationships, fancy dates once a month, three-day anime conventions, emergency room visits, losses of jobs and cars, internships thirteen hours apart, and way too many minutes on our phones. And we are totally happy anyways!
(Taken in the summer of 2006, when we were counselors at summer camp!)
I didn't date at all in high school- I mean, I was semi-interested in a couple of guys, and a couple of guys were semi-interested in me, but it was all very meh. Patrick dated a bit in high school, but not very seriously.
We met at a Halloween party in 2004, when I was seventeen and he was eighteen. I was riding on the hayride (dressed as a psychotic cheerleader) and he decided to jump on while we passed by (dressed as a vampire). I screamed bloody murder...and that's how we met.
We ended up at the same college our freshman year, and we started hanging out. Unfortunately, I went off to Disney World for an internship during my second semester, so our friendship had to continue via text, phone call, and the internet. On March 13, 2006, he finally told me he liked me, and that was that!
I got home in May, and we spent the longest first date ever together! He also kissed me for the first time that day...and it was my first kiss ever!
He asked my parents (and my little sister) for permission to marry me, and they gave it (reluctantly on my father's part, but that's because I'm the firstborn). Then P took my two best friends with him to pick out the perfect engagement ring. And although he's not very good keeping secrets, he was determined to make my proposal as secretive as possible. he told me that proposing and giving an engagement ring is the greatest gift a guy can give to the girl he loves, and wanted to make it as special as it could be. I knew he was going to propose, but I didn't know when. I thought it would be Valentine's Day (which was also my 20th birthday), but no proposal. I thought it would be our one-year anniversary, but still no proposal. I just kept waiting.
On April 19, 2007, I was working on the world’s worst production of Into the Woods. I signed on to be the assistant director, since the director was an old family friend, but I quickly added choreographer, last-minute costume maker, makeup artist, cast member wrangler, and actress to my list of titles. It was the last night of the show, and after the curtain call the whole cast went out into the lobby to greet people as they left. P came storming over with a massive bouquet of roses. I was ecstatic. I started to tell him how I excited I was that he got me flowers for being in a show, but he started talking out first.
“Okay,” he blurted out. “The red roses are for true love, and the white roses are for pure love, and twenty-four roses is how many hours I think of you, and red and white together mean unity.”
It wasn’t until he said “unity” that I realized he was proposing. Two thoughts popped into my mind- one, that I promised P that I would let him get the whole question out before saying yes, and two, that that I was wearing a purple satin prom dress from Goodwill, a curled powdered wig, and Marie Antoinette-style makeup (since I was playing Lucinda, one of the ugly stepsisters). P got down on one knee, pulled a black velvet box out of his blazer pocket, and proposed. And I said yes.
It turns out that not only were my parents and his whole family there, but also two of my best friends. The only person who wasn’t there was my little sister, because it was the opening night of her school’s production of Brigadoon…and everyone forgot to tell her I was getting engaged. She was just as surprised as I was!
P and I knew from the start that there was no way we could get married until at least one of us was out of school. We also knew that we wanted to get married on March 13, our anniversary. So we set the day for March 13, 2010…about three years after we got engaged. It was a long wait, but we were (mostly) ready for it.
Now it's less than a year till the wedding, and we are so incredibly excited!
We took our engagement pictures in April of 2009 (our two-year engagement anniversary!) on the set of Barefoot in the Park. My university's theater department put on the show during the spring, and since I'm a theater major, I helped with construction. I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT! Seriously, I wanted to take it home. The sky blue walls, the snow-covered skylight suspended above the stage floor, the whole newlywed vibe...I just loved it.
What really clinched it was the addition of the retro appliances. We made an arrangement with the Tennessee Reperatory Theater to borrow a vintage oven, refrigerator, and sink. I was on the team that helped load them into the trunk to take them to our theater. They were ferociously heavy and really dirty from being stored in the Rep's warehouse, but they were authentic 1950s appliances...perfect for an aspiring faux-'50s housewife. I asked our technical director for permission to borrow the set, and he granted it.
The dress was actually my high school graduation dress! Sure, it's not new for the occasion, but on such short notice it worked in a pinch. And P, being the wonderful man he is, agreed to wear a pink shirt.
There aren't many pictures because we didn't have much time...the final performance was that night, and within ten hours of our photographs the set didn't exist anymore!
The e-pic session also taught us that Patrick needs to learn how to make proper faces! We're going to see if we can take some more pictures, hopefully in Dragon Park downtown, so he can practice.
I knew from the start that Alice in Wonderland was going to make a big impact on our wedding. Originally the colors were going to be pale blue and black- perfect for a classy, glamorous wedding. But the idea evolved...and evolved...and evolved.
The first thing I realized was that while many brides have lovely black-and-bright-color weddings, it didn't suit me. The elegant black slowly faded away to be replaced by sunshiny yellow. Now there were yellow roses (my grandfather's favorite flower) and daisies, and the whole mood of the wedding changed from a glamorous event to a hyper-happy party!
Fabric slowly wormed its way in as well. I have an almost unhealthy addiction to cloth. I started adding in two of my favorite fabrics: gingham and eyelet. Now there were bows everywhere (I also have a brilliant love affair with bows, btw) and ribbons and all sorts of charmingly mismatched patterns.
I still felt like something was missing. And then I realized it...the retro element!
I started getting into retro stuff a couple of years ago. I discovered a band called the Pipettes, and FELL IN LOVE WITH THEM. Seriously. Girl crush. Right there. Once I started getting into music influenced by the '50s and early '60s, I started falling in love with clothes influenced by the time period. After that, it was only a matter of time.
Granted, the retro flair on the wedding is still subtle, but it's there. It's mostly in, well, the music and clothes. But it's a special touch that I'm simply in love with. It also tied it in surprisingly well with Alice in Wonderland. You see, Disneyland opened in 1955, and when it opened, women wore their pretty full-skirted frocks and pearls and gloves and heels (which sunk into the still-soft asphalt on opening day!). I really want to evoke that feeling.
I still felt like something was missing, something that would finalize the vision that I had, the whimsical party I wanted to throw to celebrate FINALLY marrying the guy I've totally been in love with for the past three and a half
years. And on Christmas, I found it in the form of a present. It was a storybook version of Alice illustrated by Mary Blair.
Mary Blair was a prominent Disney concept artist in the '40s and '50s. She was one of the artists Walt sent to South America, she created beautiful work for Song of the South, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and Peter Pan (as well as some early early early images for Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast!), and she completely designed the whole look for it's a small world. Her illustrations completely summed up the look and feel I was going for: nostalgic, sweet, full of whimsy, and super playful. Add Alice in Wonderland, the '50s (Alice premiered in 1951), and a blue-and-yellow color scheme, and there you have it!
So I finally settled on what I was looking for, and created this inspiration board to sum it up!
Our venue started off super easy...and then, like most easy things, became impossible.
Patrick and I decided right from the start to get married in our home church. It wasn't necessarily because we felt we had to get married in a church. In fact, we started exploring other venues for a while.
We knew it would be impossible to get married outside. #1, the wedding is in March. Nashville in March is either sunny and gorgeous or rainy and freezing. There's a 90% chance that an outdoor wedding would be moved indoors. Besides, I am Allergy Girl and he is Dehydration Boy, so even the weather was good, we would be very uncomfortable. Therefore, an indoor venue it is!
We looked into some local venues, but nothing seemed to suit us, our number of guests, or our (rather small) budget. With our list growing smaller and smaller, we turned to the most obvious location: our home church.
Family of God at Woodmont Hills a Church of Christ (affectionately referred to as FOGAWHACOC) has been Patrick's home church since his middle school days and mine for the past four years. We have a loving church family there and many memories- after all, we met at a youth group Halloween party. Even better, the Great Hall (the main sanctuary) is spacious, can easily be rearranged, has a great sound and light system, and has a blue-and-white color scheme. Even MORE better, it's free! All we had to do was reserve the dates.
Our plan was to use the Great Hall for the ceremony and the reception, and just flip it between. I'd seen it done a bazillion times on wedding shows, and I have a whole posse of strong-guy friends in the theater department who are used to fast set changes and were willing to lend a hand.
The only catch? More than a year and a half into the engagement, when plans were definitely underway, we were informed that we weren't allowed to change the space the night before church.
I was crushed. We were back at square one!
We thought about everything. Change the location? Change the date? Have the ceremony at church and the reception somewhere else? Elope?
My dad stepped in and mentioned that he could get us the Vanderbilt ballroom, since he works there. (At Vanderbilt, not at the ballroom.) Only people with Vanderbilt connections can get it, and it has to be during a school holiday. Luckily for us, March 13 fell on Vandy's spring break! I checked it out online, talked it over with Patrick, and we decided to go for it, even though it wasn't our first choice.
Did this seem to easy? It was.
My father, in an attempt to cut budget costs, only reserved 1/3 of the ballroom, as it can be divided into sections. Sure, that cut costs, but it also meant that we could only have a maximum of 136 people and no dance floor. To add another third of the ballroom translated as more than two and half times the original cost- a definite no go!
While my hopes and dreams lying shattered on the floor, Patrick saved the day. Seeing me distraught over our total lack of venue, he went back to square one and talked to the church. They were able to reach an agreement- we can use the church and flip it, but we would have to pay a fee to have it cleaned and make sure it's set up to proper church specifications before Sunday morning services. Done and done!
So now we're back where we started, and terribly relieved about it. Not only is our venue finally taken care of, but we're getting married in a place we know and love!
With three years to plan this wedding, I had more than enough time to search for dresses. I found my top two fairly quickly, and fell deeply and madly in love with them.
(This is Kirstie Kelly's Snow White; I can't find a picture of my other dream dress- Justina McCaffrey's Theodora.)
Unfortunately, both of these beauties are completely out of my price range. So I continued to peruse (and use my lack of a dress as a marvelous excuse to buy more wedding magazines.)
I made out a list of shops to check, but refrained from actually trying anything on until March 2009, right before I left for my summer internship in Disney World. I headed out to Arzelle's in the West End area of Nashville. I tried on four or five dresses:
I didn't really want to jump into purchasing a dress, so I decided to wait until I got home from Orlando to order my gown. At the end of August, me and MOH Kat and B*M Emma headed out Bridal Warehouse to try on some more dresses.
I tried on several other dresses, including a couple that looked like the dress I figured I would end up with- A-line, no train, lace overlay, empire waist. They all just looked...meh. Nothing terribly exciting.
But I ended up finding my dream dress anyway! And since it was under $700 and a discontinued sample, I snatched it up right away. So here it is, my wedding gown:
It's Impression 2822 in ivory. It has pickups, which I lurrrrv but figured I could never pull off, and it has beading and no lace, even though I swore I would have lace and no beading. Oh, well. I love it!
I took the dress in for alterations in January. I have to admit that I was a bit doubtful about how much I still like it. I think it's mostly because my face looks bloated and shiny. Hopefully exercise, a lot of water, and a better camera will fix that!
The alterations include a sweetheat neckline, moving the straps to off-the-shoulder, and a thirteen-point French bustle.
There were a lot of dress elements that I loved that didn't make it into my gown- lace, organza/tulle, a blue sash, buttons. At first I was a bit disappointed, and then I realized that I could simply bring all of those elements into a pretty going away dress. I've decided to change right before we cut the cake, so I'll have a little bit of time to show it off before we leave.
I rescued a vintage 1956 pattern from the theater department, then zealously watched sales at JoAnn's before pouncing on 4 yards of embroidered organza. I also bought materials to make a bright blue petticoat.
I've known for a while that I wanted to have my hair in a halfback style, preferably with long loose curls. My hair grows super fast, so it should be at a decently long length for the wedding. The same person has cut my hair for five years, and Brooke says that if she can't do my hair for the wedding, I'm fired. Needless to say, she's doing my hair.
My veil is ivory and fingertip-length with beading along the edges. It's absolutely gorgeous! I just don't have a picture handy...
When I change into my '50s party dress, I'm going to wear a wide white headband with a bow.
I'm drawing on my twenty years of theater experience to do my own makeup. I have a similar facial structure, coloring, and style as my favorite singer, Kate Nash, so I've been looking at her videos and promotional pictures to get a good idea.
I really want a smooth base, a defined eye, and a bit of color in the lips. I picked up two different colors to try- a pinkish coral stain, and a red color.
I'm going to wear one pair of shoes for the whole wedding- Christina from Dyeables. Like the name says, I'm going to dye them blue and sew little cameo buttons onto the knots of the bows.
I ordered them on Ebay for $68 with free shipping- a lot cheaper than the $75-$90 price tag I saw on most websites. I wasn't sure if the size 6 1/2 would fit, so I just crossed my fingers and waited for them to arrive. And it turns out...they fit! They're really comfortable and easy to wear, despite the 3" heel height.
I've never been one for jewelry...it's a miracle I remember to wear my engagement ring every day! But P loves me in earrings, and my gown is just screaming for a necklace. My choice? Borrowing pearls from my grandmother. I might add a blue cameo or a locket to it, just to keep it interesting. And I'll probably wear a pair of tiny pearl studs.
And as one final touch, I have every intention of rocking out gloves with my reception dress. You can't get much more retro than that!
I'm sewing a bunch of new dresses for myself! Some of them are for parties, and some of them are just to have new clothes as a newly married lady.
McCall's 5578 for wedding shower:
McCall's 5580 for bachelorette party (nearly finished):
Butterick 5135 to wear while getting ready:
I met Kat in 2005, when I was a senior and had just moved to Nashville. She brought me to her church's Halloween Hoedown that year, and introduced me to P. We bonded over our mutual love of theater, and when I introduced her to anime it was a total done deal. Later we were college roommates for a few years (when we became known as a single unit referred to as "KitKat"). We're total BFFs. For shiz.
Kat and I have stuck together for a super long time, through awesome times and rough times. In fact, we went through a phase where we were rather cool to each other. I tried to move on, but my true feelings were revealed when I blurted out to P that I didn't want a new best friend, I just wanted Kat. Thankfully, Kat and I didn't break up (for serious, that's what it felt like) and our friendship is even stronger. She's a super-supportive and helpful MOH, and I can't imagine anyone else taking her place.
She was the first person I told about my crush on P. The first words out of her mouth were "You'll have cute babies! Don't tell Rose." Why did she say that? Keep reading!
I took Rose and her brother on a whirlwind VIP tour through Disney World this summer. Since she's a rabid Pirates of the Caribbean fan, we rode it multiple times that day (I think three, although my personal record is five). These be our
pirate faces, argh.
Rose was the very first person I met when I moved to Nashville- she was in my audition group for the fall play. We would hang out every morning before school in front of the theater announcement board. We have at least half a dozen movie marathons a year; they always involve copious amounts of popcorn and Dr. Pepper. I swear that gal is 90% DP. And she has excellent taste in movies- our last marathon included Treasure Planet, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, and Iron Giant. And Twilight, but only because we felt like watching a comedy, and I hadn't seen it before. We counted how many times Bella bites/licks her lips. The answer? Thirty-three.
Rose knew P since they were little. In fact, when they were in high school, they dated. That's right. My fiance and my bestie are exes! And he broke up with her in the WORST WAY IMAGINABLE. Luckily, Kat broke the news that I was crushing on P, Rose was 100% for it, and P was relieved that the hard feelings were over. And now Rose delights in informing people that she's in her ex-boyfriend's wedding.
This was taken last spring. Emma borrowed one of my favorite stories ("Utensile Strength" by Patricia Wrede- it's a fairy tale about the Frying Pan of Doom) and wrote it into a script. We all went to Centennial Park and acted it out. I
played Princess Annalisa the scullery maid, and she was the narrator. (P was King Mendanbar).
Emma is my Voice of Reason. I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. She tells the truth, whether you like it or not. We met at the same Halloween party where I met P. She was undercover. And when I say undercover, I mean that she walked around with a blanket over her head. See why we had to be friends?
Emma has known P for longer than I have; her older brother is one of P's best friends. She's been a wonderful sounding board for wedding ideas through the past three years of planning, and she makes sure that I keep my head on straight. She's also been my accountability partner, which I really appreciate.
Rebecca is P's younger sister, and she started out hating me. She referred to me as "the chipmunk" and thought I was just a silly little girl. Honestly, I think it stemmed mostly from the fact that P and I were very serious, very quickly, and she and her brother have always been close. When she figured out that P and I actually love each other and that I wasn't out to steal P from his family, she was cool with me.
We're pretty awesome pals now. We listen to all sorts of cool music together and go on cool adventures. And she's pretty excited that I'm marrying her brother.
There is no better way to sum up my relationship with my sister. This was taken in 2006, in Disney World, in the Narnia photo op. Only the Gidgett sisters would arrive in Narnia and get their tongues stuck to the lamppost.
Lindz and I squabble like all sisters do, but we're still closer than most. We can quote whole scenes of Disney movies and anime episodes together, we both sew the most kick-awesome cosplays and costumes you ever did see, and we've been in theater since we were wee tots. She's a freshman in college now- which makes me feel old- but she'll always be my hyper baby sister.
(Why is it no one else's clothes aren't as fascinating as the bride's? Oh, well.)
I'm not picky at all about what the guys wear. In fact, I'm letting Patrick take care of that. He seems to know what he wants clothing-wise, and he knows the colors I want. Basically, he'll head up the guys' journey to find clothing, make sure I like it, and then proceed! I love a man who takes charge.
As for my ladies (I have one maid of honor and four bridesmaids), I'm not picky there, either. We went to Bridal Warehouse, where they all picked out Alfred Angelo dresses in blue jay.
MOH Kat (Alfred Angelo 7044):
Rose (Alfred Angelo 6308; she's getting it altered to knee-length):
Emma (Alfred Angelo 6132):
FSIL Rebecca (Alfred Angelo 7073):
Sis Lindsay (Alfred Angelo 7063):
The flower girl's attire was a complete no-brainer. My sister and I are going to team up to make a beautiful Alice in Wonderland dress for her.
(The perfect gift? A blonde doll in a matching outfit. Perfect!)
(Well, it's what I would want if I was a five-year-old flower girl...)
Patrick started looking for rings around December of 2006. I gave him two rules:
#1: I wanted a white gold band.
#2: It must sparkle. And when I say sparkle, I mean SPARKLE.
After that, it was pretty much his game.
He ended up taking two of my best friends with him- MOH Kat and B*maid Rose. Rose goes to school about an hour or two away, and Kat was my roommate at the time. Kat told me that Rose was in town and they were going to see a movie. I kept dropping subtle hints about how YOU SHOULD TAKE ME TOO, but they didn't. Turns out they went to help P pick out the ring. It didn't take them long to find the absolute perfect ring. Patrick wasn't sure about it- especially about the price- but they insisted it was the one. And Patrick ended up getting a discount, so it all worked out in the end.
He showed it to my parents prior to proposing (he had already gotten permission from them to ask me to marry him) and my dad said, "Huh. It's better than the one I gave her mom." (And he was right).
It's a small but perfect ring- white gold with a super sparkly half-carat diamond in the middle. An acquaintance of mine wrinkled her nose at it and said, "Oh, it's so plain." But I disagree. It is not plain, it is simple. And with my little bitty chubby hands, it's just right.
Now, when it came to the wedding band...that's a whole 'nother story.
I was in a production of Beau Jest at my university. (I played Miriam...it was great!). Me and my friend Erin were in the dressing room getting ready for the final performance. My little sister (who was a dresser for the show) opened the door and found an envelope addressed to me and Patrick and a box. Needless to say, everything stopped while I read the note.
(And in case you can't read it...)
"Caitlyn & Pat,
"I have heard so much about the relationship you two share and the endless love between you. I know times can be hard for a beginning set, with the responsibilities that a husband and wife have. I heard that you were looking for a wedding band and when Caitlyn describe the ones she liked [sic] my heart swelled. I offer you this with nothing expected. If it is not what you are looking for then I will find someone else to bless with it. But if you do find it favorable, then I beg that you use it. To the two of you, who I love, please accept this humble gift that is given from love for love. God has a blessed life planned for you both. May He continue to shower you in multitudes. God Bless and don't consider the cost, consider the price that Christ paid. Love and Grace to you."
And it is signed only with a heart.
Well, I opened the box.
And inside was a wedding band. A beautiful white gold half-eternity band.
We still have no clue who gave it to us, but it's a much nicer ring than we can afford, and it's a huge chunk of our budget that we can put somewhere else (probably photography).
It's a terribly fuzzy picture, but that's my engagement ring next to my wedding band.
Is this the greatest story or what?!
The original plan was to use kits of eyelet-patterned printable invitations from Martha Stewart and then personalize them.
Alas, this is what happens during a three-year engagement: things get discontinued! So P and I trolled several stores and dozens of websites for new invitations. We found a Gartners Studios for Brides set at Michaels, and bought four kits' worth. It turned out to be the perfect timing. When we went back to purchase them, they were marked down from $39.99 for thirty to $29.99. I also had a 50% off coupon, so I paid only $15 for one of the kits! It might not be 100% original, but it's inexpensive, pretty, and easy to personalize.
The kits come with pocketfolds, invitation cards, repsonse cards, envelopes for aforementioned cards, printable address labels, and ribbons. Everything but the stamps, pretty much!
We downloaded a free font called CAC Pinafore and came up with this:
We spent a rainy afternoon printing and assembling:
And sent out these the next week!
I found stamps with the king and queen of hearts on them- the perfect touch for an Alice wedding!
We wanted something unusual for our guestbook, so I took inspiration from a Christmas present my mother gave me. It's a copy of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Mary Blair, one of the greatest Disney concept artists from the '40s and '50s. It's retro and Alice all at once!
I'm going to buy scrapbooking pens and put them in one of my Alice mugs for guests to sign. The pages have super-wide margins, so there's plenty of space to write.
As a nod to our mutual enjoyment of theater (I'm in show #31 right now; he dabbled in theater in high school and sees all my shows!), we're styling our programs to look like playbills. It's also a reference to the fact that he proposed after one of my performances.
As a reference I'm using my playbill from the Little Mermaid on Broadway, but tweaking it. You know...starring CAITLIN as the bride and PATRICK as the groom, produced by the parents, directed by the officiant, etc. It's terribly geeky.
I plan on doing these myself, printing them via computer and tying them together with thin ribbon. It may not be as fancy as Gocco'ing them, but I'm fairly decent with Photoshop.
As much as I love love love flowers, I'm wary of carrying real ones. I'm allergic to pretty much everything (no, really, I am) and the last thing I want to to do is sneeze my way down the aisle. So I'm going the silk route. I submitted a request for an inspiration board at Afloral.com, and they sent this my way:
I can't get over how pretty the combination of blue and yellow is! The only thing I'm not sure about are the blue roses. They just scream FAKE FLOWERS! Yet I find them pretty. It's quite a conundrum.
When Patrick and I went to Michaels to get our invitations, I perused the flower sections. The one in 100 Oaks was dismal, but the store in Bellevue had a great selection! Patrick helped me pick flowers out (and when I say "help," I mean "followed me around while reading a book on Disney Imagineering and saying yes or no to the combinations I held up). At the end of the day I came up with this:
It's a bit too big, so I'm going to try again and remove some of the width. The leftover flowers will make up the toss bouquet.
While I planned on wrapping the stems in blue velvet ribbon, it was all for naught. I couldn't find a ribbon that was wide enough and malleable enough. So instead, I picked up a spool of light blue striped satin ribbon. I'm also going to drape a strand of vintage pearls around the bouquet stems.
I have been thinking about having the bridesmaids carry lanterns with white candles inside, just for something different and pretty. I want to pick a different wide ribbon for each girl (I have five 'maids) and embroider her first initial on the end of the ribbon. These lanterns from Ikea are GORGEOUS! I can't decide between silver and white, though.
I'm going to make the guys' boutonnieres myself, probably with daisies. If I can, I'd like to put buttons on them too. P's will probably have a rose, just so it's even more obvious who the groom is.
I'm also going to make corsages for the moms and grandmothers- daisies for the moms and roses for the grandmothers.
I have...well, it's more of a wooden bucket than a basket for the flower girl, but I'm going to paint one of the bands sky blue and add daisies to the handle. She'll scatter yellow rose petals (real ones!).
I'm still debating on the ringbearer pillow. I think I want to make it round, and out of white eyelet fabric. And probably a blue ribbon and a daisy. Because I roll like that.
My plan for the centerpieces is to buy blue, white, and yellow wholesale flowers the before the wedding and put them in charmingly mismatched teapots. They'll be a little more full than this one, but you get the idea.
A lot of my Alice inspiration is coming to fruition through the decor. But hopefully it'll be subtle and pretty, not "Oh...I thought this was a wedding, not a six-year-old's birthday party."
Instead of pew cones or pomanders on the aisles, I want to make blue gingham and eyelet bows and pin them to the chairs, along with wide swags of eyelet (rather than tulle). And not one of the big ruffly multi-layer bows. Just an old-school big bow.
I'd like an aisle runner, but I'm not entirely sure. If I do it, I want to make it out of muslin (cheap and pretty!) and I want to paint a quote on it. There's a studio musical called Razia's Shadow that I love, and it has a beautiful quote: "Love was everywhere. You could taste it in the air. The couple was eager to trade vows, to float away and then settle down." It's long and will require a LOT of painting...but it's so pretty!
The front doors of the Great Hall are actually windowed garage doors. I want to put up screens so that I don't give away my entrance too soon. I also have permission to borrow a set of tall topiary trees from the theater department to flank the main doors. I'm going to add some white roses...and maybe dot them with red paint. You know...like "painting the roses red." But that may be too much...
I'm also totally in love with Chinese lanterns and rose balls. I want them. I want them everywhere. They'll probably be hung around the stage at the front of the church, though.
I would really love to do a photobooth...or in our case, a fauxto booth. My sister and I have both been heavily involved in costuming for a long time (yay scholarships!) and we have a huge collection of costume pieces and accessories. I hope we can put something fun together!
One of the super big key pieces of decorating is a vintage magazine ad from 1951 that my parents bought to decorate my room when I was only about five or six years old. It's an actual ad for...wait for it...Alice in Wonderland!
At the time I asked them why they didn't get me a Cinderella one. Now I treasure it. It's vintage and retro and Alice. Huzzah!
Our plan is to photoshop out the original text and make it into a wedding poster, using a similar font to put in new text. It might even end up on the front of our program.
Yummy yummy! I'm really looking forward to this part.
My friend Emma (slash DOC slash bridesmaid extraordinaire) has volunteered to make our cake. If this was anybody else, I would have politely said no. But this is Emma. Emma will complete her task or die trying. She's already baked cakes to test out different recipes. And I've tasted her cakes, and they are delicious!
So I'm trying to find a simple design, probably three tiers, that will be easy to recreate. That being said, I love cakes with an eyelet fondant pattern:
Gah. Gorgeous. But then again, as a lover all things yummy and baked, I'm not terribly fond of fondant. So if I can't have an eyelet cake, how about a frosted cake decorated with daisies?
I think that something like this really could work. At the same time, though, I love love love the idea of a small cake to cut, and then a myriad of differently flavored and frosted cupcakes:
But if my mother and Emma have their druthers, I will not have cupcakes. Oh, well. There's still time to talk them into it!
We're going to meet with Emma and hash out all the details soon. And we're going to eat cake. And Patrick will wear this shirt:
It's from one of his favorite webcomics, Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
Nerd wedding in action. 'Nuff said.
I'm not a fan of anything with a monogram, or anything I can't eat. So when Patrick I talked it over, we chatted about CDs and teacups and candy and all sorts of things. And then we hit upon it. The perfect favor for an Alice in Wonderland wedding...is tea.
But not any tea. Oh, no. This is genuine British tea. Tetley, to be exact. It's the most delicious tea I've ever drunk- and I've drunk quite a bit tea in my twenty-two years. I first experienced in 2008, when I went to Wales on a theater department mission trip.
That made me reminisce. Every day, after our performances in local schools were over, we would come back to the church and have teatime while we played a rousing game of Spoons or Headbandz. A crucial part of teatime...was Penguins.
What are Penguins, you ask? Not black and white birds. (Or the editor-in-chief of Weddingbee, although she might appreciate them.) They're chocolate cookies sandwiching a layer of chocolate and covered in another layer of chocolate. Absolutely delicious.
Now, you can eat these biscuits solo, or you can eat them as part of a Tim-Tam-Penguin-Slam. It's a simple process, really, that requires only a hot cup of tea and a Penguin.
Step #1: Unwrap your Penguin, pausing to enjoy the corny British joke on the wrapper.
Step #2: Bite off one corner of the Penguin, then the corner catty-corner to it. Your rectangular biscuit should now faintly resemble the great state of Tennessee.
Step #3: Dip one bitten end of the Penguin in your tea.
Step #4: Put your mouth on the other bitten end (the one not submerged in scalding tea) and SUCK THE TEA THROUGH THE BISCUIT AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. The second you can taste the tea, shove the whole biscuit in your mouth and smile.
Step #5: Sit back and enjoy the melting chocolate sensation.
This is actually from the Wales trip. See all the wrappers all over the table? And the paper towels? We were having a good time, all right.
(And we were also playing Headbandz. As you can tell by the...um, headbands.)
Seriously, nothing's better than a Tim-Tam-Penguin-Slam. And since both Penguins and Tetley are easy to find and fairly inexpensive at Publix, we thought they would make a great wedding favor. We're going to get some little paper boxes and pretty ribbon and set them at each table.
We're also going to make step-by-step photo instructions on how to properly participate in a Tim-Tam-Penguin-Slam. What? I'll have to eat Penguins? Well, that's a sacrifice I'll just have to make!
Music was one of the first things we worked on. I really wanted Patrick to have a lot of say in this aspect of the wedding, because it seemed...I don't know, manlier than asking him to pick out flowers or something. So we came up with most of our ideas two years ago. Now we're trying to make final decisions.
Pre ceremony playlist: the soundtrack to Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Prelude: "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach (this was my mother's processional when she got married)
Groom and Posse Entrance: We're still not sure about this. I've suggested Danny Elfman's theme from Spiderman, but he's also considered an orchestral arrangement of some his favorite video game music. I'm all for that!
Bridesmaids' Entrance: "Sakura Kiss for Strings" from Ouran High School Host Club (one of my favorite animes!)
MOH/Flower Girl/Bride's Entrance: "Sakura Kiss for Piano" from Ouran High School Host Club
Recessional: The theme from Fantasmic! (I work there...it seems appropriate!)
Cocktail Hour: a playlist of our favorite "couple" songs
Bridal Party Introduction: Another one we're not sure on...I do know that I'm a big fan of "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey!
Couple Introduction: Another one that we're waffling on.
First Dance: "Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas
Dinner: Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings CD (it's all nice orchestral versions of Disney love songs)
Bride's Re-entrance: "Mercy" by Duffy (when I come back in wearing my '50s dress!)
Dancing: a combination of swing music, swing-inspired music, and whatever fun dancey stuff we like! We're rather eclectic.
Garter Toss: "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan (He picked this one. I was so proud.)
Bouquet Toss: "Ladies' Choice" from Hairspray
Cake Cutting: "Nine in the Afternoon" by Panic! At the Disco
Last Dance: "Far Away" by Nickelback (The song we consider "our song" is by Nickelback, but we can't really dance to "Savin' Me", so we're liking this instead.)
Exit: "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash or "I Love You" by the Pipettes
Neither of us are really big on the whole "let's-rent-a-super-cool-car!" thing. I mean, if it was possible to rent an X-wing fighter or a My Little Pony, maybe we'll talk, but as long as we can get from the wedding to our hotel, we'll be happy.
So we'll probably just use my car.
This isn't my own personal car, but it's just like mine. I drive a 2006 cream-colored PT Cruiser. I only got my precious baby this summer, so it feels new. I like retro things, so here we are! Tada!
(By the way, he's named the Mach 5. As in Speed Racer's Mach 5.)
A lot of weddings have a cocktail hour between the ceremony and the reception. Because we're flipping the space, we have to have one. The only trick? Ours is an alcohol-free wedding.
Because my parents are chipping in a lot of money for the wedding, I really want to respect as many of their wants as possible. They haven't made many demands of us, but I knew going into it that they wouldn't want alcohol. And we're fine with that.
So how do you have a cocktail hour without cocktails? Why, you have a tea party instead!
Our church has plenty of hot water urns, so I figure we can set up a couple of them, along with three or four flavors of tea. Then we can set out trays of cookies. At the moment, they're going to be homemade cookies (I've been baking since the tender age of nine), but if I end up buying milanos and vienna fingers at Sam's Club, that's okay too.
It's a little unorothodox, but hey! It fits the theme and the guests will have something to do. Problem solved.
Everyone guess where I'm going for my honeymoon!
No, really, everyone guess. Because I don't have a clue!
Early on in the wedding planning, as I perused wedding magazines while Patrick played Halo 3, I stumbled into the honeymoon section in the back and was instantly overwhelmed. I'm already planning a wedding! I have to plan a vacation too?
I turned to Patrick and said, "Hey, since I'm planning the wedding, do you want to plan the honeymoon?"
I had expected some sort of protest, but he very gamely took on planning. Even when I told him I wanted him to take care of everything, that I didn't even want to know where we were going, he was still fine with it.
(Although I have hinted I like the idea of a cruise...)
I'm pretty excited about it. It's going to be fun to transition from the hustle and bustle of the wedding I've slaved over to the relaxing trip that Patrick has put together for us. And Kat's all excited about helping me pack, without letting me know what I'm packing for. We now have jokes about "Well, maybe you should take your PARKA!!"
And on a side note, a lot of people have asked if we're going to Disney World. Patrick's answer? He wants to take me somewhere that neither of us have been to, so that whenever we think of this location, we both think of our honeymoon. Sure, I love Disney and I get great discounts and they treat their honeymooners very, very nicely, but I know that place like the back of my hand. (No, seriously. Put me anywhere on property and I can find the nearest bathroom.) But I don't think I would be able to fully enjoy it as my honeymoon. I'm so glad he thought of that.
Love that man.
How about you? Are you planning the honeymoon alongside your husband-to-be, or handing him the reins?