Jun 26, 2010
Our wedding day was so wonderful. I wish I could freeze the whole day and go re-live it again whenever I'm having a rough day. There were so many aspects that turned out better than I expected, and I had the biggest smile plastered on my face the entire day. So many say that the day is a roller coaster of emotions, but for me, I really just felt so happy all day long. Of course there were some tears, many laughs, and so many moments that I'll never forget, but overall, just insanely happy. There was a moment when I looked at my DH Frank during the reception and just thought, "Wow. We're married. I am so lucky to have this amazing person in my life as my partner." I was just so proud! I really felt as though I was able to enjoy the day and take it all in, as so many of you lovely marrieds have advised. :)
6.26.10- Getting Ready:
My 4 bridesmaids stayed with me the night before the wedding at the hotel, which was so great. I had a great time hanging out with them, doing pedicures, ironing dresses, and eating pizza (yes- I ate pizza the night before my wedding- and drank beer and had a little ice cream...LOL). The boys and my MIL were at the bar on Friday night too...haha, whatev, they all made it to where they were supposed to be on Saturday on time, so no complaints there. We woke up on Saturday morning around 7:30, and my matron of honor Ashley promptly tackled me on the bed and squealed "You're getting married!". I won't forget that moment! We all chatted for a bit and then went down to get breakfast. My stomach wasn't too crazy, and I was able to eat a decent amount, so that was good. Hair and make-up girls came around 9:30 and got to work- they were amazing! The hair ladies worked very quickly, but the make-up definitely took longer than I thought it would. She literally was packing up as we were leaving the hotel at 1:30 to go to the park- so for you unmarrieds, make sure you give yourself enough time if you only have one MUA- unless ours was just slow! :) Although, it was all worth it! I know the girls enjoyed getting their make-up done and they looked flawless. My hair and make-up were exactly as I wanted them to be, and I actually liked my wedding day make-up better than my trial (which was with a different artist, so lucky that it worked out this way!)
I started to get a little worried about the time and a little stressed because DH was going to be in charge of supervising the chair set-up and needed to check into our hotel room- both of which he needed some direction on, so I sent a BM to take care of that, and then it was time to go get ready at the park. My mom rented this historic little house in the park for me to get ready in, so we packed up the dress, the BMs got into their beautiful dresses, and off we went!
We arrived at the park house where we met my mother, MIL, photographer and the groomsmen. The chairs were being set up, so it was time to get into the dress. As soon as I was in it, one of my BMs (Caitlin) started to cry, but otherwise, no tears...yet, LOL. The flowers were delivered and although I thought I wouldn't care one way or the other what the flowers looked like...they turned out so beautiful- couldn't of been happier with those! We took the detail pics of the rings/shoes, accessories inside the park house and then it was off to our first look!
The park house we rented
Three out of four of my BMs: Val, Caitlin, and Maid of Honor, Emily. I don't have a pic of all four together yet and I'm dyyyyyyyying for one!
We did a first look and I was so glad we did. It was so nice to have that moment together, and I definitely got a little misty; it was just so special! We were able to get a ton of pics of our wedding party and enjoy being all together. It was super hot- I think 96 in St. Louis that day, but our photog assured us she can airbrush the sweat out! :) We took tons of pics and then went back to the park house to 1) sit in the AC and 2) hide while the guests arrived.
Walking to the first look
We started right on time. Most of the guests sat on the shaded side of the aisle, lol. Did I mention it was 96 degrees outside?? We had bottled water and fans for them, but it was still HOT. The music started and it was just beautiful. I walked down the aisle with my mom and dad and saw my almost husband and just was so excited. A little misty again, but still ok....for now. I hugged my parents and took Frank's hands. We began the ceremony and my bridesmaid read the first reading, which was so lovely. She didn't sob, which surprised me- I was so impressed! We exchanged rings, said our vows confidently with smiles on our faces the whole time. At one point, Frank had a gnat in his eyelash and I couldn't help laughing. Then, we did our sand ceremony (got a lot of sand on the table...oops) while my gorgeous friend Jacqui sang and my step brother played the keyboard- he played "The Gambler" by Fun and it was so beautiful. After that, my friend Laura read "The Art of Marriage" and lost it. Eveyone was crying then, including me. But, after those tears were over, we were husband and wife and were the happiest people in the world!!
Me and my parents
Mr. & Mrs.!
After the ceremony, we did family photos and went back to the micro brew (after enjoying a few bottles of champagne out of paper dixie cups...LOL) where we had our rehearsal dinner for a drink and some candid photos. It was so fun to relax and soak up the congratulations for about an hour. We ended up getting to the reception right as it started at 6 pm, but weren't scheduled to be introduced into the reception until 6:30, so we had a beer in the parking lot (CLASSY). our photog asked if we'd want to start a little early and we decided to do so in order to feed the older ones earlier and have more time for dancing!!!
We were introduced, cut the cake (yum! No smashing...haha) and did speeches. My sister (MOH Emily) had a silly and sweet speech, my Matron of Honor Ashley- a touching and slightly emotional speech (and the lovely quote she recited appears in the card- which will go in my shadow box for sure...I love haing that in print), and the best man gave a heartfelt and perfect toast. I grabbed the mic (since we had time) and thanked everyone for coming from near and far, and for enduring the heat. One of our groomsmen made an impromptu speech about how he thought Frank would be the old man with cats, and thanked me for saving him...LOL. We then ate (food was delicious) and got around to about half of the tables before it was time for our first dance. My DH picked our 1st dance song and I had no idea what it was going to be. He chose 18th Floor Balcony by Blue October, which is a beautiful song and actually one that I had put on a CD for him long ago. We enjoyed our first dance as husband and wife, and then danced with my dad/his mom to Learning to Fly by Tom Petty. After that, we finished greeting the tables (so glad we did this instead of a receiving line- people may have passed out from the heat) and than had a dance party!!! I felt like I had the perfect balance of dancing and talking to people- it was so wonderful to see everyone! My favorite dancing moments were when my grandparents (who used to ballroom dance) took the floor and everyone circled around them and cheered them on, and when our DJ played "Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" by Flight of the Conchords....and all our friends knew the words...LOL. We also played some Glee, Rick Astley, and old 90's dance music. My dancer friends put on a choreographed dance which I joined and then we danced the night away. When Shout was playing and the floor was packed, I stood to the side and watched all of these people that I love so much having a great time, and it made me so happy. I will never forget that moment either. The dance floor was packed all night, and it seemed everyone had a great time. Afterwards we went back to the hotel did our thing before we promptly passed out! Here's a few reception pics!
We got iced...LOL
Dancing and singing- what else is new? :)
I quickly just want to reiterate how wonderful our wedding party was. The bridesmaids, groomsmen, readers, singer, & ushers....could not have been more fabulous. No drama, and they were so good about helping when needed and being there for us- not just on our wedding day, but as long as we've known them. Frank and I feel so lucky to have such amazing friends and we absolutely could not have had a wedding without each of them by our sides. Our families were amazing too-the day could not have been as gorgeous without their help- they worked so hard and are so supportive of us. We are very blessed and thankful.
I loved every second of my wedding day and can't wait to see pro pics & video! i also can't wait to see re-caps from the other 6/26 brides! If you read this long, thanks for reading! :)
I arrived in St. Louis one week prior, and actually had finished most of my DIYs before I left (so I didn't have to take all of the supplies with me...LOL), so the week of was spent mostly visiting with family and doing last minute things like seating, etc. My DH (!) came down on the Wednesday before, so we were able to spend a few nights together before the wedding, which was nice and totally relaxing. I didn't stress AT ALL until the day before the wedding and I started to think of everything that could go wrong, but I didn't have a crazy freak out or bridezilla moment, so that was good.
Friday we went to Sam's club and bought all of the beer, soda, water, and food for the cocktail hour (cheese cubes, fruit trays, pita crackers and cheese spread). We then headed over to the reception hall to decorate. I am so thankful we were able to get in the day before to do this; kudos to you brides who have to set up the morning of- I was lucky to be able to totally relax while getting ready on Saturday knowing the hall was taken care of! Plus, I got to see how crafty my machinist dad was- he was rockstar at putting together centerpieces! I got a lot of satisfaction to see how good the hall looked- although it would have been so easy to just pay someone else to do it, I was happy to put the blood sweat and tears in to make it my own! We left there and went to the hotel and then rehearsal at the park. We were done with the rehearsal in about 25 minutes (despite a gang of ducks and geese stalking around the gazebo...LOL), and the electricity box we were supposed to use was locked, so I was a little worried about that and couldn't remember if I put on our contract if we needed electricity or not, but decided to go enjoy dinner and then worry about it later... We had our rehearsal dinner at Square One Brewery about a block from the park. Our menu included microbrews, pot roast, shirmp pasta, fish & chips, and polenta and beer cheese soup- DELICIOUS! Everyone was commenting on how good the food was, and the beer was apletny too. :) Frank and I gave a small thank you speech to everyone, and I couldn't help by choking up a little when I was talking about how all of the absolute most important people were in the room- I just was overwhelmed at how much love there is between our friends and families for Frank and I- needless to say, the feelings are mutual! :) Then we gave t-shirts to our wedding party, ushers, and our reader. The shirts are from my high school, and the mascot is a midget, so people thought they were hilarious. I get asked all the time to get people shirts, so I finally did it as a little wedding thank you! Then, Frank's groomsmen got him framed/signed photos of Lambeau Field and Miller Park (can you tell he's a cheesehead???), which I know he loved SO much. My dad ordered a round for the whole group, and we stayed until around 8:30 or so, talking and hanging out on the balcony. I loved every minute of our rehearsal!
We went back to the hotel, and all of my bridesmaids stayed in the room with me, which I was so happy about. More on how awesome they are later. Two of the girls grabbed Ted Drew's (an awesome custard place in St. Louis) and the rest of us ordered a pizza (ok...the beer was very strong!). Yes, I know what you're thinking, I ate pizza, ice cream, and drank beer the night before my wedding...I may be a bride, but I'm still me, LOL :) We gave ourselves pedicures in the bathtub, ironed dresses, and chatted until crawling into bed around 11:30. Frank, my DH, had to stop by the room to grab his tux so we said our goodbyes and went our seperate ways for the evening!
I am foregoing having a wedding band, but I did get one for my FI :)
I ordered from eweddingbands.com and they were excellent in terms of price, selection, customer service, and quick shipping! I'll write a reveiw for them soon. Until then...admire their handywork.
FI's ring is a 4mm Palladium band:
And here's a few with my ring:
I got "I love ewe! 6.26.10" engraved on the inside...we have this dorky thing where we like sheep...and we've said this forever, so it was only appropriate that it was inscribed on his ring! :)
Friday, June 25, 2010
Square One Brewery, St. Louis, MO
This ADORABLE brewery is steps away from the park where we're getting married and features delicious food and more importantly, amazing microbrews!!! :)
resses that didn't make the cut!
Mori Lee (don't know the style) Maggie Sottero- Addie Lynn
*Please note I have a couple of Chicago vendors, but the majority are located in STL*
Ceremony Location: Lafayette Park, St. Louis, MO
Officiant: Lamira Martin, Your Ceremony, Your Way
Reception Venue: St. Louis Carpenter's District Council
Photographer: Heather Gregory, Shutter Happy Studios
Videographer: Mike Neerhof
Caterer: Catering by Georgianna
DJ: Tom Rotter, Block Rockin' Beats
Cake: Nathan Harris (my stepbrother!)
Dress: Purchased from Kasia's Bridal, Chicago; Casablanca 1827
BM Dresses: J. Crew
Groom's Attire and GM Tuxes: Men's Warehouse
Flowers: La' Rosa's Flowers
Engagement Ring: Christopher Duquet Fine Jewlery Design