Monday, August 22, 2011

Explanations and Weddings Part 6

Previously: Explanations and Weddings Part 5
Explanations and Weddings Part 4
Explanations and Weddings Part 3
Explanations and Weddings Part 2
Explanations and Weddings Part 1

So, it was time to party! Immediately afterwards, we had a cocktail hour for our guests and signed our license, making it officially official.

Officially official.

Then, while our guests mingled and the tables were set up, we headed upstairs for some bowling!

Yes, that's right. I said bowling. This is one of the main reasons we chose the space. We were going back and forth about it, and then Durwin said, "BUT if we do it there, then there can be BOWLING after the ceremoney!" and so it was sold. We had to do some serious finagling with the alley, since they are not usually open on Sundays, but it was so worth it.

The light up there was gorgeous! And gorgeously captured by Janet Guertin, one of my awesome ladies who takes amazing photographs.

This also happened:

Click to enlarge and see the excellent acting skills of our party.

The photographers put us in some strange positions. But I guess that's just what you do? I think this one was actually suggested by the guy who was running the place. We liked it because the ladies got to rule. The guys liked it because they got to practice their pouting.

We headed back down after that and had our entrance, waving our yay flags the whole time. Which I forgot to mention! We didn't want to have rice or whatever to throw, and we didn't know what to do for favors (most people throw them out, I think) so we decided to create "yay flags" that people could use throughout the night to wave.

We set them out in a bowl by the entrance before the ceremony and included a line in the program about what they were for. They turned out great! People waved them like crazy when we were exiting down the aisle and at various periods throughout the night. They ended up in people's hats, pockets, and stuck in the cake.

I made them in red, gold, and tan. I followed this tutorial to get the general idea of how to make them, but forewent the sewing. They were printed out on heavy paper that I bought from a craft supply store (the tutorial recommended construction paper, but the color fades so quickly that I went ahead and used better paper), 3/16" dowel rods and lots of hot glue. There were "YAY" "WOOT" and "HOORAY" flags to choose from. I made about a hundred for the wedding, and they were one of everyone's favorite elements!

My beautiful cousin Katie, showing her YAY! (Also, she's only 16. Back off.)

There were toasts.

Hilarious and touching, from Dave Guertin and TJ Rutherford.)

There. Was. CAKE.

Instead of just ONE cake, we had a cake on every table. My aunt, who is amazing, made all the cakes you see here and more. Including a regular-sized wedding cake! It was a great icebreaker for all the guests, and I saw people venturing to other tables to barter/beg/steal a piece of theirs. Bringing people together over the power of delicious cake. Mmmm. (And if you're ever in Indianapolis, go check out Roll With It Bakery for some of her treats. You will not be disappointed.)

The tables looked like this:

See those napkins? My mom and I went to a bridal show (shudder) and saw how they had beautiful napkins arranged on the table for some color. They were also about two dollars apiece to rent. We thought, hey! We can make those for less than that, and then keep them. Between the two of us we cut and hemmed 150 cloth napkins from about 10 different patterns. They turned out great, but they were so time-consuming. I would suggest not doing this unless you really, really like to sew and have helpers. Which, I did, so it worked out. My plan is to make a quilt from the napkins. We also made the candle holders from drinking glasses from IKEA (I think they are these), vellum, and the leaf hole punch we used on the invites. I think the total cost (not including labor or the cake) of each centerpiece was about $10. Not too bad!

We also made table numbers using stand-up frames from IKEA and they looked like this:

Cutie pants.

There was dancing!

About a year and a half before the wedding, we went to an old time barn dance and had a blast. Our favorite (and easiest to follow!) was one called "Lucky Seven," which is a pretty simple circle dance that allows you to dance with pretty much everyone in the room. We thought it would be a great icebreaker and allow us to dance with many people at once. We were a little worried that no one would try it, but a huge group of people did!

We had our first dance, and then opened it up to the DJ and let the party go. This was the only part that I was a little disappointed with. We had been culling music for the reception for the better part of a year and were going to do an iPod wedding, but then thought it might be a good idea to have someone to make announcements, and make sure the music didn't stop. The DJ ignored much of what we wanted, and just played what he felt like (I should have known he was trouble when he offered to bring props for the Locomotion, after I specifically said I didn't want any line dances...). It was very frustrating, but people still had a great time and danced their butts off. So, it didn't matter in the end, and no one noticed except for me!

We cut the cake...

Which had this on top:

Made by The Small Object. I highly recommend her, she was an absolute dream to work with and we were able to customize everything about it. It sits on our bookcase now and it makes me smile every time I see it.

Up close with our rings!

Durwin's ring comes from this seller on Etsy and the ring is gorgeous, but I had some communication troubles with him. I love the fingerprint idea, though. It's a great piece.

We danced until they basically shut us down. At the end of the night, Durwin's brother gave us the funniest wedding gift ever.

We had to wear them immediately.

Probably the most popular thing we did was the movie posters. Since the theater was an actual working theater at one time, there were huge movie poster frames outside the entrance. We had to do something awesome, of course. So, Durwin decided to surprise me with something epic. (I asked if he wanted me to do it and got a "NO, GO 'WAY" in response. So I let him take charge, and I was so happy I did.)

Here is the epicness!

I could cry, it's so awesome.

And in it's natural habitat:

People FREAKED OUT. It was fantastic. It was really the cherry on top of the whole thing! (Other than, you know, ending up married and whatever.)

Just a perfect day, tape to tape. And thus concludes this wedding series! Now let's get back to real life, shall we?

Vendors and Suppliers:
Venue and Catering: Fountain Square Theater (in-house catering)
Photographer: Let's Do Shotz Photography (with additional amazing photos by Janet Guertin)
Dress: Vera Wang, purchased at BleuBelle Bridal in Savannah, GA (sample sale, y'all!)
Jacket: Custom by Wai Ching (If you live in or near to the pacific northwest, GO TO THERE.)
Headpiece: Heknowsmyname on Etsy
Rings: Chris Parry on Etsy, Tiffany & Co. (my band), Diva Diamonds (for my ring, via Amazon)
Makeup: MAC, done by my friend Joy Katkic
Hair: Done by Cary Neeley of Mary & Friends
Shoes: Originally these completely beautiful ones, but then random last-minute silver sandals from Baker's (oh well...)
Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Various. I let them buy their own, because they are grown-ass women that already know how to purchase a dress themselves that looks good. I recommend you do this.
Cakes: Marie Moody of Roll With It Bakery
Topper: The Small Object
Flowers: Bought wholesale and done by my step-sister-in-law Erica Bournstein
Invitations: Designed by us, printed by

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Explanations and Weddings Part 5

Previously: Explanations and Weddings Part 4
Explanations and Weddings Part 3
Explanations and Weddings Part 2
Explanations and Weddings Part 1

We headed to the theater and split up to wait for the ceremony to begin. They had a great waiting space there for the bride (and one for the guys, too, I am assuming!) and so I waited and tried very hard not to throw up.

I was very nervous!

The kids got their last minute briefing:

We decided not to have one flower girl, or one ring bearer, as to not hurt anyone's feelings (left to right: Rosie, Mya, George, and Sage). Instead, we played a song and had them all dance up the aisle before the ceremony. They were a little nervous, so they mostly marched up stone-faced, but it was still cute.

Oh, and the FLOWERS. Erica, who is Mya and Sage's mom, is a florist and offered to put the flowers together. I told her a vague idea of what I wanted ("Color! Awesome! Things!") and she took my terrible instructions and delivered fantastic results.

Monkey tails! Totally beautiful flowers! Love them.

TJ, my Lady of Awesome, keeping our rings safe on her thumb and pinky.

Then, before I knew it, it was TIME.

Durwin coming down the red carpet, with me getting ready in the back!

The ceremony was a little bit of a blur to me. I was so focused on not totally crying that it went by so quickly. And I didn't even notice that the mic we had paid extra for was never hooked up! So probably no one heard us. It didn't matter, though. We heard everything and that's what counts!

Things we did:

Unity Candle Ceremony: You know, like you do. We just did a quick one with two white candles. We found an awesome candle holder that we still use at home.
Filipino Wedding Traditions: We wanted to include these as a nod to Durwin's heritage. We did the exchange of arras, which are 13 gold coins passed from Durwin to me. We used this to symbolize the commitment of both of us to contribute to our new family and a promise to provide for one another. We also did a veiling ceremony, where a veil was placed over both of us to symbolize us being "clothed as one."

Ring Blessing: Instead of having just two of our bridal party members be in charge of the rings, we had them start at the end and be passed down the line, as each person touched them and gave them their blessing. It was a great way to have everyone put a little energy into them.

We each chose a reading and surprised the other. I had my good friend and Mayor of Dance Beth Post read "I Like You" by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. It's a very sweet little book, with great illustrations. I suggest you buy it for someone you like. The part that really got me was:

On the 4th of July I like you because it's the 4th of July
On the fifth of July, I like you too
If you and I had some drums and some horns and some horses
If we had some hats and some flags and some fire engines
We could be a HOLIDAY

We could be a CELEBRATION

We could be a WHOLE PARADE

See what I mean?

Even if it was the 999th of July

Even if it was August

Even if it was way down at the bottom of November

Even if it was no place particular in January

I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me...
Durwin had our friend James come up and read what was probably the best reading ever. I was literally in tears over what he had chosen. If you know me, you know that I have memorized nearly the entirety of the Simpsons (at least seasons 1-10) and have a deep abiding love for it. So, he chose the best lines from the show about love and marriage. It was AMAZING. As follows:

Excerpts from the Book of Homer on Matrimony and Love:

Now what is a wedding? Well, Webster's dictionary describes a wedding as: the process of removing weeds from one's garden.

You know something, folks, as ridiculous as this sounds, I would rather feel the sweet breath of my beautiful wife on the back of my neck as I sleep, than stuff dollar bills into some stranger's G-string.

Love isn't hopeless. Look, maybe I'm no expert on the subject, but there was one time I got it right.

For you see, marriage is a lot like an orange. First, you have the skin... then the sweet, sweet innards...mmmm...innards...

From now on I'll never leave the room without saying how much I love you and... this takes a long time. Maybe a pat on your butt will do...that's it.

I've got a problem. Once you stop this car, I'm going to hug you, and kiss you, and then I'll never be able to let you go... And I never have.

And a bonus reading from the Book of Ralph:
I choo choo choose you.
And that is why we got married. Pretty much.

We exchanged our vows, which we wrote ourselves. Then, our officiant called it, we kissed, and that was it! We were MARRIED!

And how did we feel about that?

Woot indeed!

Next, we PARTY!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Expanations and Weddings (Part 4)

Previously: Expanations and Weddings (Part 3)
Expanations and Weddings (Part 2)
Expanations and Weddings (Part 1)

The big day arrived on Sunday. My girls and I headed over to Mary & Friends, a fantastic area salon where our officiant, Cary Neeley, cuts amazing hair. He cut my hair since high school and still does practically every woman in my family. He is amazing! I highly recommend him to do your hair and then marry you off.

They bought me food but I didn't really eat anything all day. The mimosas, though, they really helped out with the jitters!

While we were getting beautified, the men were off getting dressed and Beth, our Mayor of Dancing (her official title) gave haircuts to those who needed them.

The men were doing odd things with their shoes, mostly.

After we were all beautified, we headed back to my mom's to get dressed. I came downstairs and was very happy to be ready to go!

The pink background is the color of her dining room walls. Isn't that awesome?

It was about 900 degrees that day, so the precious little red jacket I had made to match my shoes didn't get worn at all. But, my feet were all swollen from the heat so the shoes didn't fit, so it didn't matter anyway!

(It was an awesome jacket.)

We then headed to the Indianapolis Art Museum to take photos. We considered this venue at first, but it was very much out of our budget. What I wanted the most was to capture the grounds in the fall, in the cool setting, so we got to do that for free!

We decided to do a "first look" photo since we were going to see each other before the wedding. When it was party time, we didn't want to be caught up in a million photos that would delay the dancing, so we got most of them out of the way before hand. Durwin and the men got there before we did, so I had to hide behind some bushes so he wouldn't see me before it was time. People kept walking by me hiding like a bridal ninja, and they wished me a confused "congratulations" before walking off. I liked to be the bride ninja.

The photographers positioned Durwin in front of the famous LOVE sculpture and I snuck up behind him. When we saw me for the first time, it was like magic.

It was definitely a very emotional moment as we realized that this was the day we would really be starting our lives together as a family. I'm actually really glad we got to capture and savor this moment. I didn't know it would be so great!

After I didn't have to hide in shrubbery anymore, we took some photos inside...

And we took some outside...

This has to be my favorite picture EVER.

I love our bridal party. They are really our closest friends, and such fun and creative people. It was the greatest to be surrounded by them that weekend. And I love that Joy chose to rock a tux. She looked hot! (I don't think I could have convinced my friend Evan to don a bridesmaids dress, though.)

Finally, it was time to head to the theater. I was getting more nervous by the minute. We piled back into the van and headed off to get married!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Expanations and Weddings (Part 3)

Previously: Explanations and Weddings (Part 2)
Explanations and Weddings (Part 1)

Fast forwarding to the actual weekend of the wedding!

The Friday before the wedding, we had our rehearsal and dinner. It was a little silly.

(The whole party, including our wonderful cat herder, I mean planner.)

We had the dinner at a great deli across from the theater that has sadly closed down since then. It was a great place to have it, casual and funky, not too expensive and accommodating to our large group. Man, I wish they were still around! It was a great low-key way to start off the weekend in earnest with our friends.

Saturday, my girls and I went to get our nails done. It was a welcome treat. I chose blue (for my something blue!).

(Clockwise from upper left: Joy Katkic, me, Janet Guertin, Katie Grantham,
TJ Rutherford, and Chava Light)

It was unexpectedly hot, reaching 90 degrees the day of the wedding. I had no flip flops, so I ended up buying the same silver shoes as Joy at the mall so I didn't ruin my pedicure. And it was a good thing, because the next day, my wonderful wedding shoes were too tight and so I ended up wearing the impulse silver sandals for the wedding!

(My toes matched Katie's!)

Saturday night, we started out with a dinner at Buca Di Beppo's (great for huge groups like ours) and then we went duckpin bowling at the restored 1950s alley in the basement of the theater (that theater has TWO duckpin alleys!).

Hot color combo! Drool.

There may have been moustaches. For the ladies.

(Pink ones!)

They may have all ended up on Durwin's head in a moustache mohawk.

(Yeah they did.)

After the bowling, the dudes and ladies split up and went our separate ways. We went back to my mom's house and I was surprised by my wonderful bridesmaid Janet with Team Guin t-shirts!

They each have the girl's color made of yarn and knitting needles, and
they say "Team Guin." She is so very talented and sweet!

My mom and TJ made a tower of cupcakes with this fantastic skeleton bride and groom on the top. So badass.


They threw me a surprise lingerie shower. I was definitely surprised, it was so unexpected, but really wonderful! We chatted and laughed for a while, and then I went to fold the escort cards and try to get some sleep before the big day.

(Oh, the men played board games and charades. Because they are secretly 12 years old. Nothing that couldn't have a photo on the internet, but I don't have any!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Expanations and Weddings (Part 2)

Previously: Explanations and Wedding (Part 1)

Once we decided on the date, we had to choose a venue, and FAST. We knew that our date would fill up very quickly, and so we had to select one over the winter holidays. We chose Indianapolis as our location, because most of my family and a lot of our friends are there. It seemed relatively central to most people we knew. And there are some great places in this city to throw a shindig!

After looking at a few places, we decided on the Fountain Square Theater, a beautiful renovated 1920's theater that is now rented out for special events. I actually used to go there in high school and college to their Swing Dance Nights. I have many fond memories of that theater and eating sour cream fries at Peppy's afterward (not as much recommended). It was funky and fun, just what we wanted. And, being a renovated theater, we got to do this:

This was the theater marquee on the day of our wedding. It was so awesome to drive up and see it!

Our invitations were the next big hurdle to accomplish (of course, I bought a dress, chose bridesmaids, flowers, and all that other wedding stuff, but you came here to see the art!). I have to say it was the only thing we butted heads over throughout the wedding planning. We're both pretty particular, and we both had a set idea of our ideal. We eventually reached a compromise, and the set ended up looking fantastic.

The colors we decided on were red, deep purple, gold, and orange. Fall is our favorite time of year, and so we wanted lovely autumn colors on everything. (One bridal store I went into asked my colors as I tried on dresses, and then when I listed them, the woman turned to my mom and said "Well, looks like somebody hasn't decided yet!" Looks more like somebody didn't make a sale that day!) Everything, from the invitations to the flowers to the dresses, was an explosion of color.

For the invites, we wanted a long format, and so we designed them to fit in #10 envelopes, which we bought in our colors, and addressed with silver or gold pens. Paper Source was my best friend during this time, and later, Arvey Paper in Indianapolis. We used Overnight Prints for the printing and they were great.

We did a vellum overlay on top of the postcard with the design, and this is what we came up with:

(Click to embiggen)

I love how Durwin made a monkey look so graceful! Because in real life, I am not.

So, this is what you would see when you opened up your envelope:
(Click to embiggen)

We had orange bands on the real invites, with the leaf punch, but I think we ran out by the end.

The set:

(Click to embiggen)

There's a reply card (purple), a map to the theater and hotel information (red) and the invite itself. The most fun was the song request line we included on the reply card. Not everyone did it, but we got some really fun (and hilarious) song requests, which we tried to include in the playlist (which the DJ pretty much ignored, but that's for another day). We printed the invitation wording on laser-jet vellum and put it together with a silver grommet (if you do not have a crop-a-dile, or whatever those things are called, please go buy yourself one if you plan on doing anything of this quantity. 150 invites later and my hands would have been dead without it!). The leaf punch was an accident at first, but we liked how it looked, so we kept it.

And the invite itself up close:

(Click to embiggen)

I love how they turned out.