Friday, February 25, 2011

The Fairy Tale

Let's see. After a hectic month and having to completely re-plan the entire reception from scratch when the person in charge of service for the original reception backed out literally 13 days ahead of the wedding (which was going to be at the Carpinteria Lions Lodge), we managed to make it down the aisle! Rather than Italian food at the Lodge, we had shrimp and other yummier food at Harbor Restaurant in Santa Barbara. Cody and I had our first really nice date there, on my 27th birthday, so it was nice going back. The management and service was WONDERFUL. We had the Harbor Room, and they were very attentive.

Let me backtrack to the lead-up.

It was a lot of financial wrangling to even have a wedding with all else that happened last year (remember the house from hell and car breaking down a few times, and hospitalization and surgery, etc., etc., etc.?), but we somehow managed. We really started working on plans like crazy and in earnest in September or so. We started first with making the invitations.

Oh, the invitations! What was I thinking? We ordered the supplies for them, and tried printing the cardstock at home. Each page could have two invitation faces on them, and then I was going to cut those suckers out by hand. We got about halfway finished with the printing, and then the printer started acting up. So I went down to Kinko's at about midnight to have them printed there. They looked so much better I don't know why we didn't do that from the beginning. I cut them out, went home, and went to bed.

The next day I went to the gorgeous historic Santa Barbara Courthouse to take care of paying for the Mural Room, only to find out I had been told the wrong time we could have the room. Cue panic. Oh well. I reprinted as many invitations as I could with the number of sheets left, printed some cards with the change or time, and decided that would be that.

Then I cut the silver glitter sheets that would go behind the faces and on the sapphire sparkly paper. Glued the silver to the sapphire, glued the faces to the silver, and then, in a bit of added insanity, glues three crystals to each invitation. That's what the dark dots are on this picture my grandparents took:

I used my birth last name as a way to honor my dad.

Anyway, I put the correction cards in the envelopes with invitations I couldn't correct, added address labels, return address labels, stamps, and got these:

Pardon the mess on the floor.

It took me three solid days to make these damn things! I jokingly posted on Facebook that everyone had better light candles and make shrines to the invitations, and a few people obliged! I was thrilled.

In the rest of the time through the middle of November, I made the bouquets, the veil, the flower girls' and bridesmaid's dresses, boutonnières, seating cards, etc.. The plan was even to make the food, but have someone else serve.

I ordered the crystals for my gown, and they hadn't arrived 14 days before the wedding, so my mother-in-law took me to Los Angeles to a store there that had the Swarovski crystals I wanted in the quantity I needed (6,000). Wouldn't you know it, when we got back, in the mail was the ones I had ordered in early October! So I started my gown that night. Yes, 14 days in advance.

The next day we got the call that Jessica was backing out of serving for the wedding. Monday, after a night of freaking and two all-nighters working on my gown, I called Harbor and they had the room available for the wedding, and the deposit would go toward the food. So Cody went down on Tuesday to check it out, and put down the deposit.

So once again the invitations were wrong. Through Facebook and our wedding webpage we managed to make sure every single person knew.

The remainder of the days I worked like hell on my and Charlotte's gowns. I sewed 5,000 crystals to my gown, and about 600 onto hers.

Two days before, I made the top layer of our wedding cake (fruitcake!), and the day before I made the middle layers (gingerbread with cream cheese filling for the middle, and chocolate with raspberry preserves for the bottom). Yes, I made the cake myself. From scratch.

My bridesmaid and her daughters, two of my flower girls, arrived that afternoon. Eric and his girlfriend, Tracy, arrived from Canada and came over to our house for Charlotte's birthday. Simple party, red velvet cheesecake, a birthday song, some snuggling, not a big first birthday bash. Just some family, friends, and a sleepless night!

Cody was kicked out of the house, of course. His mom stayed at our house.

Next morning I slept in a bit and was woken up with coffee and toast. We rushed to pack the cars up with centerpieces, cake, etc.. Mom-in-law took my mom to get some shoes and to grab me some nylons, and we hurried as fast as we could to the restaurant to drop everything off.

Cody and Eric and Tracy were there, and I didn't want them to see me, so they were told to scram while I was taken further down the pier so he wouldn't see me. He thought we meant for him to leave! So only a the two moms were at the restaurant setting up while my bridesmaid took me to the courthouse to meet up with Carmen to start hair and makeup. Hectic.

Getting ready! Carmen, my wonderful makeup and hair lady, was married last summer at the Santa Barbara Courthouse too. I made her wedding gown too! Also all the bridesmaids' gowns!
My pretty Swarovski tiara, and my prettier daughter.
Hugging my girl.
Charlotte shoved her right hand down my corset wanting a snack.
"It puts the lotion on its skin..." Why on earth Derek had lotion, no one knows! (Ariel is on the left, then Cody, then Derek.)
My mom helping me get in my dress.
Getting zipped up.
Smoothing it all down.
I finally decided on which necklace to wear.
Talking with my mom.
We realized no one grabbed the glasses for the unity hourglass sand! Cody's groomswoman (she was in a tux, or else I'd have made her dress too) suggested using a couple of the cufflink boxes, so we did that.

Ariel saved the hourglass ceremony! She's pouring the sand into the boxes.
Derek figuring out how to put on a boutonnière.
The processional starting. My mom was rushing to her seat. We played Canon in D.
Derek was after Cody.

Bridesmaid, flowergirls, and I, were wondering when we were going to be called to go upstairs for the walk down the aisle. So we decided to go ahead and go see, and when I was on the stairs, the music was already going!! No one had told me!! We rushed up the stairs literally about two seconds before my bridesmaid was to go down the aisle.

My bridesmaid was after Derek, who was already going down the aisle when we arrived, but due to privacy concerns, there will be no pictures of her or her daughters publicly available. One of her daughters, who was supposed to go right before me, followed a couple steps behind her mom instead. She was adorable!

And then Ariel!
The other flower girl was next.

And finally me and my brother!
Cody watching me.
Hello! My auntie was caught dabbing her eyes.
Some detail of my gown.
Our friend Amanda officiated. It was very important to us to not have a stranger doing this important duty.
I love how my veil catches the sun.
My mom is center, my dad's youngest sister, my aunt Beth, is to her left, and her friend Sondra is to Beth's left.
Isn't the room gorgeous? That chandelier is one of three in the room, and is wrought iron. The murals were restored over the summer.
Derek gave a reading from the Massachusetts ruling supporting marriage equality and gay rights. This was also extremely important to us.
We were laughing because Amanda said, "Now, I ask that these friends and family stand...very good!" No one had sat down after I walked down the aisle. Every single person was still standing! The first part was scripted. It wasn't scripted for everyone to stay on their feet.Charlotte, being held by Cody's mom, slept through the entire ceremony! She was so fussy just minutes before it started since she missed her afternoon nap that I was worried about whether or not she'd be there at all, so we were glad she slept.
We were laughing because I vowed to make chili at least once a month. I jokingly told him a few months before that I would make this vow, and we had a good laugh about it, but I did it!
Cody putting my ring on me.
And signing the license.

You know how couples usually sign the license after the ceremony, so aren't married yet when walking back down the aisle? Or sign it first and are already married before starting? We didn't like either idea, so we signed it during the ceremony. None of our guests had ever seen that, and few were expecting it. But all liked it.
Me putting Cody's ring on him.
I kissed his palm. just a spur of the moment kiss. Everyone else thought it was sweet. I was thinking, "Warmth! A bit of warmth!" It was so incredibly cold!
My turn to sign!
My brother and my bridesmaid were our witnesses.
My handsome baby brother. He's only a few weeks younger than Cody. The two of them get along so very well!
I thought we had a picture of the sand ceremony, which happened right before the vows, but I can't find it if we do. Ariel was in charge of the sand and hourglass. We wanted each of our attendants to have an honor during the ceremony. We decided against "of honor" positions as they are all important to us.
Right after this, Amanda signed. I wish we had a picture of her signing.
And married!
We done got hitched!!
Hugging my brother.
This is the first time me, my brother, and my mom, had been together since my dad's memorial in November 2003.
I love this pic of us.
Awwww, forehead nuzzle!
Can you believe this is a courthouse?
L-R: my mom, me, Charlotte, Cody, his mom, his step-dad, his dad
Don't ask, no one knows!
Cody and Ariel are goofs.
So are Cody and Derek!
Some of me and Cody:

We were laughing because I had the boutonnière and he had my bouquet, so I called him my wife.
Sooooo mature!
Just us being silly.
This next picture is special. On Cody's and my first trip to the courthouse, on December 9, 2007, and took a picture exactly where we were standing in this picture. Look at how much we've changed in three years!

A private moment.
While we were having pictures taken, our guests headed to the restaurant. Unfortunately the rest of the evening was a bit disorganized because of the re-planning all being so last minute. The sound wasn't able to be set up how we wanted, and the restaurant didn't have permits for dancing, so there was no dancing at all. I regret that our guests were kept waiting about an hour and a half for us to get there to order their food. (Of course the bill was on us, but they still got to choose what to eat.) I didn't even think about having someone have everyone order. So, with the lack of dancing and the wait, I'm of the conviction that everyone thought the reception sucked, though at least the ceremony started exactly on time!

My mom made the centerpieces. The wreaths are all different, yet compliment each other. In the center of each is a small fishbowl with candleholders that match our glasses. We ordered the glasses and matching candleholders from a seller on etsy.
In place of a guestbook, we had guests decorate and/or sign glass Christmas balls with metallic paint and hang them on the tree. We'll decorate our tree with them each year and reminisce. So much nicer than typical guest books that people sign and then the book gets shoved in a drawer somewhere. In the basket to the left are bottles of vanilla extract we started brewing in 2008, and in the basket to the right are fruitcakes I made. These were our favors. The cookies on the platter my flower girls made and decorated the night before.
Our first dance was on the Santa Barbara pier by the Ty Warner Sea Center. Our song was the sound of the ocean.
*smooch* See how much silk duchesse satin catches light and glows from within?
One of my favorite photos.
Running away!
"Talk to the hand, Baby!"
A bit sensual.
Twirling to show off my skirt.
I was giddy to share a last name with my daughter and husband!
Our rings!
Ariel giving a speech. My bridesmaid also gave one, but that pic's not here.
Our cake! I make it! Thank goodness I know how to do supports for freakin' heave cakes.
Our dear friend Eric kindly did us the honor of MC'ing the ceremony! We had asked him a few weeks prior, but he didn't realize until the night before that we meant it! He's apparently afraid of public speaking, but you wouldn't ever have guessed. He did so well! We can't wait for him and Tracy to come back so we can take a road trip up the coast!
Toasting each other!
Our pretty hourglass.
This is why the shoulders of my dress as a bit long and droop at times. Since the fabric doesn't stretch at all, I had to make the shoulders a bit big so I could get my top down enough to still breastfeed Charlotte. Feeding her when she needs takes priority over perfectly fitting shoulders.
Ah! Cake-cutting time!
Should we use the puny little one?
Or the big one?
The innuendo in this pic was not intentional!
We used the sword to cut the cake.
I told him if he smashed cake in my face, I was divorcing him then and there! Thank goodness he didn't. At the end of the night, only the top tier, the fruitcake tier that we had immediately set aside, was left. Who says that a 14" tier and 10" tier is supposed to feed over 100 people with leftover cake to spare?! Our 55 guests (plus 7 crashers - we had more guests than yes-RSVPs!) and between us we ate ever single piece!
Holding Amanda's baby, Faerah. Charlotte had the exact same outfit when she was littler! I was going to say "when she was a baby," but she still is a baby! Faerie-Faerah was a perfect little guest!
Cody showing off his sword!
Oh no! Run, Ariel! the weight of marriage made him lose his mind!
The cufflinks I surprised Cody, Ariel, Derek, and my brother, with. Watch components with tiny rubies. (Hey, Fellas and Fella-ette, those red things are rubies!)
Charlotte at the end of the night in her new fluffy pink jacket.

Enjoy the pictures!