Thursday, January 28, 2010

drinking hour

(I promise this picture makes sense, it's on the door to the bridal hideaway!)

Immediately following our ceremony, B and I ran back to the bridal hidey-hole for a few glorious minutes of alone time. When we opened the doors we were greeted by two large glasses of water, two cocktails and a dozen little appetizers. We drank and laughed and ate some food, which was DELICIOUS. Ten minutes later, a soft knock reminded us that we should probably get back to the party. We did some super fast posed family portraits and then got busy talking to everyone!

Obviously, B and I were not really together all that much during cocktail hour. We were running around hugging and exclaiming and laughing and having a great time. Occasionally, we would wink at each other across the room. I am so glad we had those quiet minutes after the ceremony to just chill before the party started. Honestly, if I didn't have the pictures to prove it happened, I wouldn't even remember the hour between ceremony and dinner, it was such a whirlwind time!

Also, since we are talking about a cocktail hour here, I should probably tell you about our cocktails. Unfortunately, I don't have any amazing pictures of the drinks or signs. Just imagine these signs in pretty grey frames (I took them out after the wedding 'cause I reused the frames), and imagine these drinks in mason jars, stemless wine glasses, martini glasses and 40oz beer bottles :)

(snapshot by me)

(snapshot by me)

I sampled all of the cocktails and they were all perfection. Apparently a little too perfect, because we ran out of vodka and gin at some point, and our caterer had to make a booze run in the middle of the party.

Just goes to show that those ridiculous lists that say you need x amount of vodka, and so many bottles of wine are (sometimes) WRONG. I say stock up on what you like, and if it's free, people will drink it (and they will like it, damnit.)

All photos in this post (unless otherwise noted): Hazelnut Photography

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the ceremony helicopter

When we last left off, our officiant had just asked us to begin to pledge our vows, as a large and loud distraction appeared in the sky. What was looming above us?

A helicopter.

Yes, a really loud, low flying, obnoxious helicopter. Really, I shouldn't have been surprised, this is Los Angeles, after all.

We paused for a moment to let the helicopter move on (luckily, it didn't seem to be circling the neighborhood, which can sometimes go on for HOURS here!) and a few guests made silly paparazzi jokes!

After the helicopter was out of earshot, Deidra again asked us to start our vows. She handed the vow book to B, passed him the microphone, and told him to begin.

Unfortunately, seconds after he started reading... it returned! This time, even louder and lower flying than before.

Please watch this hilarious 30 second video if you would like to see exactly what happened! This video begins just as B is about to start reading his vows. You will also get to see exactly how often I do giggle. (Spoiler alert: pretty much non-stop.)

Finally, the helicopter left (for good this time!) and we were both able to recite our vows without too much distraction.

Here are our vows, just as we read them:

Today, a day of joyous celebration
Before God and those closest to our hearts
I, Sprinkle, take you, Sprinkle, to be my partner for life
To grow together and share everything
As lovers, friends, equals, and kindred spirits
To build a marriage, family, and home
With thoughtfulness, compassion, patience, and understanding
To honor our commitment to one another until our last days
And forever bind our souls beyond this mortal plane
I vow to love, trust, and respect you
And to care for you, no matter what may come
Through all trials and tribulations
And through all triumphs and victories
I vow to encourage your creativity and let mine be inspired by yours
To support your successes and include you in mine
With these vows, we become one
And live together with laughter and music in the air
You are my whole world and you have all of me

C then handed us the rings, and we managed to get those on each other's fingers fairly smoothly. I totally fumbled my way through this part, since I got confused and couldn't remember which of his hands to put the ring on.

We said this out loud as we put the rings on:

B, with this ring I give you my heart. Let it be a token of the love that we share, and my commitment to you.

After we exchanged rings, our dear friend Annette came up to do the final reading. We basically gave her free reign to read whatever she wanted, and we think her selection was perfect.

This is what she read:

Blessing of the Hands

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”

At this point, our ceremony was almost over. There was only one major thing left to do...

All photos in this post: Hazelnut Photography

Sunday, January 24, 2010

ceremony pt.II

Our officiant, Deidre, opened our ceremony by welcoming all of our guests, and thanking them for being there. She paid special attention to those friends and family members who traveled from outside of Los Angeles. She went on to a special thank you to our parents, and then she spoke a few words about embracing the love of the family and friends who were there for us.

After the opening welcome, Deidre introduced the concept of the White Knot, and spent a minute or so talking about what it meant to her, and how important it was to us. You can read more about the White Knot Foundation here and here.

The ceremony itself began with a short blessing, spoken by Deidre:

"In the presence of God and in the quiet of this very special moment, we pause to shower our blessings over this marriage.
May Megan Marie and B feel fortunate to have found one and other, in friendship and in love.
May their mutual devotion and trust bring them peace and contentment, and may that trust grow deeper with the passing years.
May their differences inspire them to work together, and may they always appreciate and rejoice in all that they share.
In gentleness let them be tender with each other's dreams, and healing of each others wounds.
Let goodness flower forgiveness, and be the fruit of their married life, Amen."

After the first blessing, Deidre talked about how B and I met, and she told a short version of our engagement story! She also talked about how our wedding was the four year anniversary of our first date. :)

Deidre then began our first reading. It was a passage from Captain Corelli's Mandolin, by Louis de Bernières:

"Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two."

(Note: It was so incredibly hard for me to find a "perfect" reading. I really wanted to use a passage from one of my favorite books, but I couldn't find anything appropriate. After what felt like endless hours spent googling and searching, I stumbled upon this thread, which really helped me out!)

Then came the only part of the ceremony I was nervous about. See, way back in May of '09, when we first met with our officiant, she had us do a little "marriage activity," if you will. She had us sit apart from each other, with a pen and paper, and write down the things we loved about each other the most. I thought it was a little silly, but I obeyed. B spent MUCH more time on his, but he is just like that! After ten minutes or so, Deidre came back in the room, collected the papers, and explained we wouldn't need them until later. Later, as in, the ceremony. That kind of later. By this point I had already forgotten what I had written and I was a little freaked out, but B loved the idea.

So back to the ceremony...

...Deidre took out her notebook and said that she wanted to read a few words that we wrote about each other months ago, that had been kept a secret until this moment.

B got really excited!

While I got a bit shy...

And Deidre read:

"This is what B wrote about Megan Marie-

There are many things I love about Megan but there are a few
I can place at the top of the list.
I love her smile. I used to only have photos of her when we were a state apart but now I get to see her smile every day while I'm trying to make her laugh.

I love how energetic she is, even though it has forced me to be less lazy!
We always have new adventures to pursue.

I could say the same about her creativity, which always leads us to new projects.
She is the most affectionate person I know and she never fails to make me feel loved.
She gets me more than anyone else ever has or could, and maybe I get her, which is why we fit so well and make each other even better people.
At the very least Megan inspires me to be my best.

It was so nice to hear all of these things for the first time. I had begged B several times over the last few months to tell me what he wrote down, but he never budged. Now I am glad that he didn't, since this was such a special moment for us!

Then Deidre moved on to what I wrote down:

"And this is what Megan Marie wrote about B-

I love the way B always can make me laugh!
I love his scratchy beard.

(pause for waves of audience laughter and see my reaction in the photos below!)

I love his love and fairness toward any living creature big or small.
I love the way he can calm me down or bring me up depending on what I need at the time.
I love his extreme desire to be the best man he can possibly be, and I love the way that B treats me as an equal partner in every way."

This is my hysterical laughter at the mention of a scratchy beard...

Moments after Deidre finished reading our secret notes about each other, something appeared in the sky. Just as she spoke the words "I will now ask you to pledge your vows to each other..." everyone looked up over our heads.
What are we looking at in this picture??
What could possibly be up in the sky, over our ceremony site, preventing us from saying our vows??
Any guesses?!

All photos in this post: Hazelnut Photography

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the ceremony (getting situated)

This is what our ceremony area looked like before people started to sit down:

Some benches and chairs, a couple of tables up front, our musician hanging out in the corner, all calm and peaceful like.

This is what our ceremony area looked like after our coordinator had everyone find a seat:

It looks so small to me now! It is hard for me to believe there are about 100 people crammed in there. At the time, the size of the crowd seemed huge and overwhelming, but looking back it is small and intimate and perfect.

Just minutes before this, the venue was buzzing with noise, chatter, music, cooking. I was hidden away in the back room when suddenly everything was still, and someone was telling me IT'S TIME! GET IN LINE! At this point I wasn't exactly ready. I didn't realize it was already 6:15, which was go-time. (I found out later it was actually only 6:05, but for some reason we got started 10 minutes early? I still don't know why!)

My mom was trying to put on her earrings, my stylist was still attaching my veil, and then poof, someone hands me a bouquet and I hear the song cue and its go time, people!

While I had a 30 second panic and snapped into place, the following happened:

Our officiant walked out and took her spot in front of the vertical garden.

The music started.

(OK, I am blatantly stealing this idea from my Bee friends... But when, and if, you choose to listen to these embedded songs from our ceremony, please imagine them being played by an awesome solo guitar player. If you want. Or just rock out to some of our favorite bands, that's cool too.)

Right, soooo the music started, and then...

B walked out and took his spot in front of said vertical garden!

C walked out and took her spot as well.

While G waited patiently.

Until it was her time in the spotlight , too.

Z waited quietly for his turn.

And did a superb job of walking down the aisle all by himself!

All the while, B was watching for yours truly to emerge from beyond the dark curtain!

And then, wonder of wonders, the songs changed. To my all time favorite song ever written, EVER. I had no choice but to walk out to this song, it called to me.

And so I appear!

At the last second, our flower girly got nervous, so we held hands and she walked down the aisle with me and my mom :)

To say I walked fast would be an understatement! Our musician didn't even have time to play the whole song. Sorry, guests, I wish you could have heard that Kinks song the way it was meant to be heard. I am just a naturally fast walker, and having everyone standing up and watching made me walk even faster than normal. I totally forgot about the "all guests will stand up when the bride comes out" part until it happened.

The approach.

The hugs.

Then I took my spot in front of the vertical garden, and handed off my bouquet.

I resisted the urge to give B a quick kiss, and we grabbed each others' hands (and held on for the entire ceremony, except when we were holding microphones!)

And this is what our ceremony area looked like during the (you guessed it!) ceremony :)

All photos in this post: Hazelnut Photography