Friday, January 31, 2014

The Wedding - Part 2 (The Ceremony and Reception)

(Didn't catch part 1? See it here!)

First released photo from our photographer...
I promise, I really am dying of a migraine here!
Folks, when we left off, I was out on the porch with a terrific migraine. I had a puke bucket besides me and everything. Yet despite that, we made plans to go ahead with the ceremony... just slightly abbreviated.

The program Hannah designed for us.
We moved the hymns to before and after the ceremony, so I wouldn't have to deal with the stimulation. That was kind of sad because I really love hymns, but there was no way I could have managed to get through all of them - even though "How Firm a Foundation" "Be Thou My Vision" and "Take My Life and Let it Be" are some of my very favorites.

Nathan escorts his mother in, to the tune of "Children of
the Heavenly Father."

Nathan's sister and her husband enter (and yes, baby is in there too!)
The Wedding Party made their walk down the aisle to the music from the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth." You may recognize it from another wedding - that of Meg March in the Winona Ryder version of "Little Women."

Anticipation growing...

All six groomsmen are there!

All six bridesmaids are there! (and trying not to cry)

The doors are dramatically closed...

The music changes... "Stars and Butterflies" from Pride and Prejudice begins...

Entrance of the Bride!

No words needed.

It was very important to me to have both of my parents escort me down the aisle. From being my advocate after I lost my hearing at age four, to taking on extra work to take care of me when my health problems struck in my 20's, my mother has gone far beyond the call of duty. I wouldn't be who I am today without both of my parents being exceptionally nuturing, supportive and protective, and for me, I wanted both of them to be with me, ushering me into this new phase of my life. 

(This is not in any way to disparage any brides who choose a more traditional route... my choice was not at all normal and hey, I like being unique. My mother would have been fine either way, although she was very honored that I asked her.)

It turned out to be even more of a blessing than expected... I was so weak and nauseous, I don't think I could have gotten down the aisle without the support of both parents!

Yes, my dress does actually have a long and lovely train, but with my headache it was too much to bother with, so we just left the bustle up the whole time. There are two other times this year when I'll be able to wear the dress again, and we'll get the whole train then!

"Who gives this woman to be married?"

"Take care of my baby girl!!!" (no, he didn't actually say it... verbally...)

Chairs to accommodate the bride, although our pastor claims they were
to make it easier on his "elderly" body. 

What symbol of our love and devotion do we have?

Rings of course!

I thank everyone.
I knew that I might not make it to the reception, and I wanted to make sure I had a chance to properly thank everyone, so after the rings were exchanged and our vows made, I was helped over to the mike where I made a short speech (I told you I love speeches!). It was the one time that I got to look out and really see everyone who was there, which was very special for me.

"You may kiss the bride!"

And yes, one of my friends videoed the kiss...

And those of you with sharp ears might be able to identify our recessional... yes, it is "He's a Pirate" from "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Mini Cupcakes! There was also a Gluten Free table which people were strictly warned about...

Time to party! Nathan and I worked with my doctor for over an hour to try to get me up to going into the room. In the end, however, I was just too nauseous to make it in. However, during this time, my doctor reached a major breakthrough in understanding how my headaches work and why they aren't typical migraines - a scenario that would never have occurred under normal office visit circumstances.

We told everyone to go on without us, and they did! Our best man and maid of honor made speeches, they played the slideshow and our soundtrack, and all of our guests were given the opportunity to record video messages for us. We had TONS of them, that we can now rewatch for the rest of our lives! Highlights included my bridesmaids singing "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" which I have always thought should be sung at my wedding, my former musical directors serenading us with "Sunrise Sunset", greetings from the kids I used to nanny, and one of our guests reciting the "Don't Blink" speech from Doctor Who. (There was also the oompa loompa song, but we're not going to talk about that.)

In addition to Hannah, Vicki and Amanda, three of my other girlfriends joined in to set up the reception hall, and they did a marvelous job!

The centerpieces were the result of a lot of helping hands, and my grandfather putting his woodsmen skills to good use foraging through the forest to find the perfect branches!

The butter was a rose!
Forum monikers, L-R, Doctor Bowman, Carpe Guitterm, Princess at Heart,
Lady Victoria Sehnrab, Froggy, Lady Rose, Liz, and - okay David's not on
the forum, but his younger sisters are!

Who would have dreamed when I started the forum so many years ago that so many of it's members would come from across the nation to attend my wedding? And many more of them were there in spirit - what a blessing!

Nathan thanks everyone for coming.
At last Nathan and I had to conceed that I was not going to be able to handle the noise and lights in the reception, so Nathan went and said thank you and goodbye to everyone, and my family came out to wish me goodbye. Then I pulled on my cape (we were now wearing our matching "Fanboy" and "Fangirl" t-shirts, engagement presents courtesy of Matt) and my groom whisked me away... finally puke in our toilet as soon as we got to our apartment.

What a wedding day! Thankfully I started feeling better soon after that, and the honeymoon was quite a bit smoother than the wedding! But that's for the next post! (Well, after the Lego!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Wedding - Part 1 (Preparation)

Well friends, I've been married for 13 days, and since that is our lucky number (I know, right?), I figured it was high time to get the first of the wedding posts up. There are going to be 3.5 of them for starters, with more to come when I get the official photos from the photographer. 

Part 1 - Preparation

There will also be a post entitled "The Saga of the Wedding Gown" over at my sewing blog.

I'll hyperlink each of the titles above when I get them written and posted! 

(Thanks to Matthew Bowman, Amanda Dominick, Emily Grace and M.R. Graham for the photos!)

Meg and Vicki creating some special stuff... see honeymoon post for more!
So, Sunday, five days before the wedding, Nathan and I went to pick up my friends Vicki and Hannah from the airport. These amazing young ladies had generously come out early to provide any and all help I needed. They stayed at my house for three days and were amazing - they did everything from creating the wedding program, sewing my bridal cloak, finishing the centerpieces and helping with the seating chart, to cooking food and folding laundry. How we would have survived the Wedding Dress Saga (post to come soon!) without them, I simply don't know. They saw me at my very worst and still want to be friends with me... they are absolute angels! 

Vicki and Mary Rose doing more wedding stuff.

Me and Amanda, Sisters at Heart!

After the insanity of wedding dress madness on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was SO READY for a day just to enjoy people. Nathan and I went back to the airport to pick up my friends Amanda and Matt, and one of the groomsmen, Dan. We then took them out to the Original Pancake House for a fantastic brunch! SO fun!

Amanda, Me, Nathan, Dan and Matt.
Matt, who is also my big brother by mutual adoption, write an awesome post about his experiences coming up to the cold snowy north for the wedding. Check it out here!

The girls chill out in the back row

Then it was time for the rehearsal! It was a blast, and so fun to spend some time with all of the amazing people in our lives.
Wedding Party lines up!

Nathan and I practice walking up stairs

Nathan and I practice putting on rings

Abby (Bridesmaid and lifelong friend) and I listen to my Father-in-Law's welcome speech.

Then it was time to head over to Olive Garden for the Groom's Dinner. This is the very same restaurant where Nathan and I had our first date, January 17th, 2013. The food was great, and my father-in-law gave a hilarious and touching welcome speech.

Matt tells us to be cute, and snaps a picture!

I tell how Nathan and I met here a year ago.
I also gave a speech. I like giving speeches. I'm also going to write up a blog post about our whole courtship, because it was rather unusual... but for now I'm just getting all the wedding stuff up.

Meg modelling her fur cape!
I made necklaces and fur capes for all of my bridesmaids. You'll see the necklaces in the wedding photos, but this is the best one I have of the cape. All the girls loved them!

The Marchen Sisters - and Liz!
To explain the caption above... Meg, Amanda, myself, Vicki and Hannah became dear friends and virtual land sisters on Regina Doman's Fairy Tale Forum which I began and administered for five years. Although I'd met all of them in person before, this was the first time all five of us were in one location! Technically, Hannah (known as "Liz" on the forum) isn't one of the Marchen sisters, but rather a niece, so she always get's tagged "And Liz!" in photos. Thankfully she finds it hilarious...

Karina does my gorgeous make-up
The next day we girls all convened at Meg's house to get ready. However, as you'll notice in the photo above, I'm looking a bit pale and wan... unfortunately it was about this time that a migraine began kicking in for me. While everyone else did get ready, I spent two hours in a dark room, with my mother, sister, sister-in-law(to be) and fiance hovering over me, calling my doctor, and trying to make me better. 

I was finally able to go to the chapel, get my hair done, and get into my dress, but I was not getting better...

The Church is set up

The flowers are in!

Getting what photos we can...
I was able to do a 'first look' photoshoot with Nathan, and then we got a few with our whole wedding party, but at that point the noise and lights just got to me and I fled out to the portico, begging that I be allowed to escape with just Nathan to rest my head. We sat out there - yes in the January cold - until nearly the ceremony start time. During that time only my father and one personal attendant were allowed to disturb us, and the cold fresh air kept my nausea at bay, while the freezing temperatures numbed some of the pain.

Nathan stayed out with me the whole time, with his winter coat and my wedding cloak wrapped around us. He made up a story about me being a fairy tale princess and him being a dashing rogue to distract me from the pain while we waited.

Friends try not to worry about the missing bride...

Our photographer does wonders and gets what photos she can.

It was bad, folks. I knew I was going to marry Nathan, but I was beginning to think it might take place out on the porch with just our parents in attendance. My dad kept talking to me and working through what we could do to make it manageable, and we determined what ceremony details could be cut down. Then my doctor arrived and started some whirlwind supplement testing that calmed my body enough to get me into the chapel...

...which leads us on to PART 2. (coming soon!)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Live Like the 50's

It's not very often that I post the same entry to both of my blogs, but this article on the American Rockabilly community is fascinating from both a historical fashion and modern culture perspective, therefore I wanted to share it both here and on my sewing blog.

Photo by Jennifer Greenburg
I had no idea that this culture existed, much less in such complete form. Looking at these photos, it's hard to believe the photographer didn't hop in a TARDIS and travel back in time.

While a lot could be written about the health of such a way of living (good or bad), I personally want to applaud the mindset of caring for our personal goods and making them last as long and well as they can. That's the way all of our ancestors lived for thousands of years, and we would do well to return to some of those practices.