August was WEDDING month! All things wedding. I lived, breathed, and dreamed wedding. Last minute decisions, final prep work, and the getting fancy and showing up stuff too. Since I loved every moment, I won’t categorize everything, I will just break it down Seinfeld episode style.
::4 weeks before the wedding::
First weekend in August, we met with our officiant, the amazing Reverend Bonnie (www.ringinlove.com). She talked to us about how we met, what we value in each other and in our relationship, what is important to us in a marriage, and how we would like our ceremony structured. She is an interfaith gay-friendly minister and master public speaker. Finding an ordained person who is cool with marrying two chicks and not referencing anything holy during the ceremony would have been beyond tricky… but Rev Bonnie made it effortless. Instead of being in the presence of God, she referenced everything as being in the presence of love. One and the same, I think even folks of faith would agree. It was perfect. And us.
Then G and I took Wednesday off from work to run a bunch of wedding errands. Unfortunately, not all things can happen on Saturdays and Sundays, so a day off is inevitable to get some weekday prep completed. We showered and left from the gym to get to the Montgomery County Courthouse in Rockville, MD to get our wedding license. Since we beat some of the traffic getting up there we had a breakfast date before heading over. We were some of the first couples in line that morning so the wait was minimal. I loved seeing a few of the couples so secretly blissful in their just-been-married-by-a-random-judge-on-a-wednesday-morning glow. It was truly so sweet. And simple. I love simple. But I also wanted my friends and family to be present, so a courthouse wedding wasn’t in the cards for us. And then it was our turn! Not even a second glance or awkward stare, two cute girlies getting a license together? NBD. I love Maryland.
Then we headed over to Nordies to get G’s dress hemmed. But we discovered that it had some runs in the fabric from where it was heavily hanging on the hanger for so long. I personally think they hung it improperly, but it really didn’t matter at that point, we just needed a new one! They promised to rush-ship us another in the same color and we could get it hemmed in time.
Levi got his final haircut before the wedding. He was such a good sport we got him a squeaky pig to play with and it was the best $6 I’ve ever spent.
::3 weeks before the wedding::
G and I had been working on making paper flower arrangements here and there for the centerpieces once the arch was complete but now into August we just wanted it to be totally done. So in a weekend and a few long weekday evenings, we sat dutifully at the craft table with America’s Got Talent (and all of its various reruns) playing on the iPad and traced, cut, and glued flowers, filled vases with floral foam and styled the flowers in each centerpiece. We had a mix of tall and short centerpieces, so some of the tall ones doubled as table markers as well:
While I was arranging and completing flowers, G was hard at work putting our music selection together. It was a lot more complicated then you might think. We had a band, who knew a lot of songs, but ones that were important to us we either had to ask them to learn or play DJ-style. The easy part was picking off of the band’s song list what we wanted and didn’t want to hear during the reception/dancing portion. The hard part was picking and putting together DJ-style playlist for the band’s breaks and including any songs that we wanted to have that they didn’t know. Picking from a list, I am good at. Picking a single song that is the most special ever and best possible for walking down the aisle out of every song ever created in the history of music? Paralyzing. Thanks to G, she was able to zero in on a few top selections she would be happy with, and I helped her narrow it down from there.
If you are interested, our music selections were:
Processional (all wedding party + both brides): A Thousands Years – Christina Perri
Recessional: I’m a Believer – The Monkees
Entrance to reception (Bridesmaids + Brides): Best Day of Your Life – Katie Herzig
First Dance: All Night Long – All Night Long – Alexandra Burke (The Coverband)
Last Dance: Save the Last Dance for Me – Michael Buble
::2 weeks before the wedding::
After thinking haphazardly that our guests could just sort themselves out at the reception to find seats to eat some food, we thought better of it once we asked ourselves questions like “what if couples or families get separated because seats are not available together due to the way people have just sat where ever?” and “organized chaos is better than chaotic chaos, right?” So we took our guest list and broke everyone out into groups of 8 so that couples and families could sit together, with some people that they knew but also near some people that they did not know to facilitate introductions and make it a party atmosphere.
G and I also started implementing our decorations that needed some work, like the signs… a sign for the favors, a sign for the flip flops, signs for the table numbers, a sign for the guest book, a sign for the fans available at the ceremony (thank god for the fans… G is still laughing at me for being a total geisha and fanning myself dramatically all evening long- it was just too humid!!)
We also got to speak to our amazing photographers, Carolyn Scott and Geoff Brown of Carolyn Scott Photography (www.carolynscottphotography.com) to plan our wedding day with them. If you remember the engagement pictures they took of us in February: I am still swooning. I think the photographer should be one of the TOP wedding priorities in terms of quality and budget. I would sacrifice a lot other to have a phenomenal photographer. All the money and time and energy spent planning the rest of the wedding? Totally a waste if you don’t remember it. Photography is your insurance policy that you will never forget the amazing moments. A good photographer will capture what happened and who was there and what it looked like. But a GREAT photographer will give you pictures that remind you of how you FELT. Bring tears to your eyes as you remember that trip down the aisle or how her arms felt wrapped around you during your first dance. And of course, Carolyn and Geoff are the cutest, sweetest, most talented people I know. They not only took pictures, but kept us on time to every moment of our event, and also made us feel totally at ease the whole time. It was like having a wedding planner/photographer/therapist all in one.
::1 week before the wedding::
We had bridesmaids gifts monogrammed, the traditional bridal party gift. But, instead of it being something they would never use, we got them all faded washed out super soft sweatshirts! I organized the order the week before and designed the monogram with Regina of http://www.ittakesastitch.com and came up with this. We also got them individual gifts that were unique to them to thank them for everything they’ve done. There is nothing that we could ever give them that would properly thank them for their love and support and organization and just general GENIUS.
Our maids of honor helped us organize so many things including but not limited to the schedule, guest invites and RSVPs to other wedding related events such as the rehearsal dinner and post-wedding brunch for out of towners. So, all we had to do was take our headcount and call in to confirm how many. Our other two bridesmaids planned food for the wedding day and helped us think of everything we would need to take with us to the venue the morning of to set up and decorate. And they were all there to help us every step of the way.
Last up, creating the windows that held our menu, timeline of events, bridal party information, and Instagram/FB media information. Before you get too impressed with our creative freehand talent, I’ll disclose that G found this amazing idea on pinterest and it worked like a charm! We’re keeping these windows to use for future events they worked out so well. Bistro Chalk Markers are the way to go for both chalkboard surfaces as well as glass.
The actual wedding? Stay tuned. This post is already waaay too long! ~KayShay