Monday, September 27, 2010

Wedding Post #5- the Reception!

If you are anything like me, you may be thinking, oh gracious, when will this wedding series be over?! And wanting to tell me to please stop blogging about the past and move on to current endeavors. Well, my friends, this is it...the last of the wedding posts.

So what's a wedding without a great party?! Richard and I knew we wanted just three things...good food, good band, and lots of dancing! We decided on the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg because of its incredible food, the close proximity to the church, and because it's just so darn pretty. And Wanda, the catering manager, was absolutely wonderful! This is the front of the Piedmont Club, the reception was held in the ballroom in the back.

Piedmont Club

We wanted the menu to consist of some of our favorite southern foods- shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, ham and cheddar biscuits, calabash chicken (what's a wedding without fried chicken?), carved pork tenderloin, baked brie, fruit and fondue, and marinated vegetables. I do wish we'd be able to enjoy more of it!

buffet...unfortunately don't have too many food pictures

When we came in, our sweet contact at the Piedmont Club was attending to other things and was missing in action! Granted, we were about an hour later than we'd intended. I would definitely advise any brides-to-be to hire a day-of coordinator. I panicked a bit when we walked in and couldn't get the band's attention to be announced. Fortunately a good samaritan intervened, and it all worked out.

the long walk excited!

Richard and I love to shag (dance), so we chose "With this Ring" for our first dance. The weekend before we wedding, we had the best time "rehearsing" using my ipod on the living room hardwood floors of our new Maryland house after we'd moved furniture all day. I'm sure our neighbors looking through our bay windows must have thought we were crazy!

After we finished, my father was nowhere to be found. I stood on the dance floor by myself while he ate and hung out with his brothers on the terrace. Richard and his mom stepped in to dance to "The Way You Look Tonight", and finally my dad was located to dance with me to "Sugar Pie Honey Bun," one of his favorites.

shagging our first dance

mother-son dance
asking my dad where he was!

Darla Bernath of Creative Confections in Spartanburg did our cake, and it was incredible! For some reason I had a tough time with the design of the cake, and the fleur de lis on it were not added until the Thursday before the wedding. The inside flavors were easy though- three layers of vanilla, then chocolate, then vanilla, with layers of buttercream frosting in between. And chocolate ganache around the outside, with fresh raspberry filling in two of the four layers. Cannot wait for the anniversary cake!

We actually had the cake runner made, and I looked high and low for the fabric on the banding. I loved how it turned out! (But I did not want flower petals on the table...that was creative license on the part of our cake designer and florist).

beautiful, tasty cake

we didn't know where to cut at first!

We decided to cut the cake early in the evening so we could spend a decent amount of time on the dance floor. Our band was Anita, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wedding band! They are named for the lead singer, Anita, who is super fun and gets the whole crowd involved. We LOVED them! And there was LOTS of dancing!

Anita with Mrs. Nancy

some of my favorite girls getting down

being sung to by the ladies of Kappa Alpha Theta

Richard commandeered the mike to announce group pictures (another time when a day-of coordinator would have come in handy!)

slow dancing- so incredibly happy (I changed earrings when I took off my veil to ones purchased from same designer who did my bridesmaid's earrings- loved them!)

We stuck with the traditions of the bouquet toss and the garter toss. Suzanne, my MOH and sister-in-law, caught the veil, and Richard's friend Kelly caught the garter! After the bouquet and garter toss, we had hot pizza served on silver platters from one of our favorite Spartanburg pizza places, Venus Pie. Yum!

a Clemson toss garter of course!

And then...more dancing! When I think about our reception, I just repeatedly think about how much fun it was! I didn't want it to end and tried not to look at Richard's watch so as to not accept the fact that time was quickly passing by. We all just laughed and laughed and sang along to the sounds of Anita. I still wish that I could go back to those few hours of pure bliss!

conga line

Don't Stop Believin'

We were so sad when it was time to leave, yet excited about the honeymoon and a week in Anguilla. Our guests picked up their Krispy Kreme doughnuts at the door (complete with an adorable Beth and Richard label designed by Miss Drew France),

and lined up to see us off. We were supposed to have orange rose petals tossed in homage to Clemson, but somehow ended up with pink. Not a big deal though! They matched. :) The perfect end to a most perfect wedding day.

in our get-away car, rounding the corner to the Inn on Main

Heading to the Charlotte Ritz Carlton, then on the Anguilla!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wedding Post #4- Getting Ready and the Ceremony

Getting Ready
I love the getting ready time before weddings. All of your best friends together, chatting with anticipation, enjoying the last few minutes of calm before everyone has to be on best behavior and interact with all the other guests. It's a little different when you are the bride! I just wanted to get the show on the road and see my sweet groom.

Things that stand out about the minutes right before the wedding:

  • Suzanne doing my makeup, her makeup, her mom's makeup and trying to figure out how to get her mom's dress steamed
  • Sarah being so attentive and helpful and making sure I had every I needed- everyone was wonderful, but Sarah was already dressed and ready and was so focused on making sure I was taken care of
  • watching the little ones sing "Ring Around the Rosie," and chatting it up with Ella
  • preparing to walk outside to take pictures and seeing the look of displeasure on Lindsey, our photographer's, face when she discovered it was raining! Thankfully it stopped quickly.
  • exchanging gifts and Suzanne reading me a beautiful poem that Richard had written

The Ceremony
Richard and I really wanted our ceremony to be a worshipful experience that was glorifying to God and meaningful to us. The plan all along was to use both his pastor from First Baptist, Dr. Wilton, my pastor from Arcadia, Joey Burnett. Dr. Wilton did our marriage counseling, but about six weeks before the ceremony informed us that he could not do our wedding (his son and daughter-in-law were expecting twins, due right around our wedding). Slight time of panic! But thankfully, Joey was an absolute pro, stepped right in to do the whole ceremony, and we had the blessing of Rev. Steve Skinner, Richard's music minister, to speak and sing at the beginning.

Richard assembled the group of musicians and handpicked their selections, which they performed beautifully. It was an amazing, special time.

Things I remember from the before and during the ceremony:
  • walking into the sanctuary when Min and Vin, dear Walter Reed friends from DC, were rehearsing "Shine on Us," seeing my grandfather and just losing it- one of the most emotional moments of the day- still makes me cry!
  • seeing my dad for the first time and realizing he was more nervous than I was!
  • watching the bridesmaids go down the aisle and thinking, "this is it!"
  • the sweet moment when Suzanne took my hand before she went down and said "I love you"

  • praying the little ones would go down- two out of three made it! :)

  • my dad going down the aisle holding my arm with both of his, not sure if he really wanted to let go
  • Richard smiling bigger than I had ever seen

  • continually chatting with Richard throughout the whole ceremony
  • getting chills when Vin sang "The Lord's Prayer"
  • using Joey's script to make sure I didn't forget any part of the vows!

  • the perfect kiss!
  • and hooray, WE'RE MARRIED!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wedding Post #3- the details

So as our two month wedding anniversary is now quickly approaching, I determined this week was THE week to finish up the wedding posts! We did receive the CDs from our photographers, Sposa Bella, so these images are theirs. I love all the little details that add personality to each wedding, so here are some of ours...

The Flowers
Greg Foster in Spartanburg did our flowers, and he did a fabulous job! Greg is a true artist, so I often felt like my specific requests were lost in his view of the overall picture he wanted to create. But I had garden roses, or cabbage roses, in the bouquets, and hydrangeas, which was most important!

Bridesmaids' bouquets...didn't anticipate the dark pink roses, but they definitely added a pop of color!

My bouquet- exactly what I wanted. Note the pink cabbage roses...I saw these at a wedding show in Asheville and fell in love with them once I realized peonies would be out of season.

Though Greg was unsure about wreathes in the hot July sun, I love having something on the church doors to announce "There's a wedding here today!". I thought these were beautiful, though I wish they'd had a little more color.

When I walked in Event Rentals the Wednesday before the wedding to rent a last-minute cake stand, I noticed the trees below as I was walking out the door. Greg had mentioned using trees before, and I asked the Event Rentals folks if those were the ones he planned to use. Much to my dismay, I had learned that they had not yet been reserved! Greg has a great relationship with the rental company, and generally just kind of picks and chooses what he needs right before the event. I of course freaked out slightly, but we got the trees reserved, and they turned out to be gorgeous with all the greenery and lights!

church altar with the trees on left and right sides

Programs and Guest Book
Our dear friend Amanda was a lifesaver in laying out and designing our programs. I waited a bit late to start the programs, so she was wonderful to find a printer to do what we wanted in plenty of time to get them back and tie the ribbons! Ribbons that I had kind of forgot we needed...that sweet Amanda remembered and we had shipped overnight. Thank goodness for online ribbon sites! The ribbon was cheaper than the shipping!

We went with my monogram on the front (I know many people do their married monogram, but when the program is distributed, the couple is not married yet! An old, traditional rule I stuck to.), with half of the programs tied in pink ribbon and the other half tied in green.

I put the guest book together at Kodak Gallery , and I used the poem that Richard had written as his proposal as the text and guide for the pictures. It now sits on our coffee table, and I love that it has fun pictures from the time of our dating and engagement and well wishes from our wedding guests!

The Clothes
I originally had the idea of using pale pink bridesmaids dresses and lots of ivory flowers with gold accents, but my florist thought that for July, bright colors would make more of a statement. And green is a little easier to wear anyway! So we decided to go with green bridesmaids dresses and pink flowers...and thus begin a several month-long search for the perfect bridesmaid dress. Only to conclude- it doesn't exist! But I loved ours from Simple Silhouettes, ordered from the Bella Bridesmaid in Greenville.

They were a little pricey, but once Suzanne, my maid of honor, and I found them after trying on at least a 100, we were just happy to have one we could agree on!

They all had to be altered to get rid of excess fabric in the tummy...the one downfall to the dress!

The guys wardrobing presented a different challenge. We knew we wanted fun cummerbunds and bow ties that Richard could give as the groomsmen gift but didn't love the Vineyard Vine offerings. So we went with R. Hanauer, a company out of Rock Hill that does beautiful woven bow ties. We were initially told they had run out of the paisley fabric we picked, Chip at Smith and James in Greer thankfully convinced them to do a custom order!

Our adorable little flower girl dresses were found at the Gymboree outlet by my bridesmaid and good friend Jessica Coleman, who's daughter Ella was one of our flower girls. I ordered extra bridesmaid dress fabric and replaced the light green band on the bottom of the dress with a matching one, added a satin ribbon bow, and had the chest area monogrammed in pink. They turned out to be just perfect!
Darcy in her cute little dress

Amanda, who did our programs, and Darcy's mom, made the precious seersucker jon jon that ring bearer Jackson wore. It got shipped back and forth to Minnesota, where Jackson and mom Kim live, to ensure perfect fit. I had it monogrammed in bright blue, and Kim found all the sweet accessories to go along with it.

Kim getting Jackson ready

And last but not dress! I found my dress after much searching at Poinsett Bride in Greenville, where the fabulous Paula and Vicki took great care of not only me, but my mom and Mrs. Webb as well! I would HIGHLY recommend them!

I went over Thanksgiving weekend with my mom and Meghanne, as Poinsett Bride was having a sample sale. Once I tried on the dress, I knew it was a definite contender...and then after trying on several others, I knew I had found the one! It was a Priscilla of Boston, and was included in the sale (praise the Lord...I wouldn't have been able to get it otherwise!). It combined so many elements I'd loved in other dresses- a small amount of beaded detail, banding through the mid-sections, silk satin fabric, a V-back, ball gown skirt and best of all....POCKETS! I loved it and sometimes wish I could just wear it around the house.

the back

the front

And my accessories all had meaning one way or another- the shoes were bought during a snowy weekend in January with Kim when all wedding planning efforts were thwarted by the weather, the garter was my great-grandmother's (and I pinned my grandmother's KD pin to it...a huge Panhellenic violation considering I'm a Theta but hopefully we can let that slide), and the earrings were bought at Poinsett Bride the day of my portrait. And the bracelet I just found in my jewelry box, having previously worn it to a debutante ball that Jeff was escorting in. And it ended up being just what I needed!

shoes were Van Eli (one of Richard's mom's favorite lines!) and were super comfortable

Final thoughts on the ceremony, reception and honeymoon to come soon!