Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ceremony Pictures (take 1)

I've gotten photos back from two guests so here are the ceremony pictures from them. Reception pictures will be in a separate post.

This is the ceremony location at Sundy House. See the floating flowers in the water? I wasn't expecting those!
My mom went up the aisle escorted by our friend , Neal.Dave's parents coming up the aisle.The ceremony took place outdoors. The weather was perfect.Our friend Anjanette gave a Buddhist reading:

In the future, happy occasions will come as surely as the morning.

Difficult times will come as surely as the night.

To say the words love and compassion is easy.

But to accept that love and compassion are built

upon patience and perseverance is not easy.

First kiss.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Long Version of Wedding

Now here's the longer version:

That morning, we woke up, had smoothies, and drove to the spa. We had a couples' massage which I highly recommend to any wedding-day bride. We were completely relaxed and smelled of oils. Then Dave left and I got my hair and makeup done. I had just a rough idea how I wanted my hair and let the hairdresser do as she liked. I told her I wanted it partly up, but enough to cover my tattoo (you can see it in one picture here, but that's fine) and I didn't want to touch it all night and it had to stay put. She said no problem and went to work affixing my tiara and veil (not shown). I forgot my veil at home and had to have my dad (who was at my house) drive it to me. I said, out loud, "if that's the worst thing that happens all day, no biggie." Did I curse myself? for) Perhaps. So my hair was done, veil in place, tiara in place - yes, I went with the tiara instead of hair pins as the hair dresser said the tiara would look more timeless (what I asked herand she'd poof my hair behind it so it would downplay the tiara's size. She also said hairpins look like prom accessories and she didn'tl ike it, so okay. My mom got her hair and makeup done (she hasn't worn makeup in 20 years) and it looked great. My friend Will even said "your mom's a very attractive woman!" I told the makeup artist I wanted to look like a picture I'd brought in. The picture had a bride with a very clean fresh looking face. She had makeup on, but it looked natural and flawless on her, not attention-drawing. I said "I don't want any one feature as the focus, but the whole face as the focus." And she pretty much did that. The pictures you see here are from 10pm, 11 hours after my hair and makeup got done, so forgive my very red eyes (long day of having contacts in) and anything else that being tired did to my look.

After leaving the spa, mom and I went to Taco Bell for some quick take out and back to my place to use the bathroom, get my dress and such, and head out. We ran a few minutes late. Almost home, I realized Dave had my car keys, and thus my house keys. I called his cell (thank the gods for cell phones!) and he was almost to Sundy House. I said I'd call a locksmith and don't worry about it, but tell the photographer and site I was running late. I went to my neighbor's house (veil on, tiara on, hair and makeup done, in jeans) and they felt so bad for me. I used their phone books and called 4 locksmiths. Each promised 30 minutes. Whoever got there first got my business. One arrived in 30 minutes and broke my deadbolt off. I was paying him as the second locksmith arrived. Now I'm 50 minutes behind schedule, mind you, and my nerves are shot. The second locksmith won't take "go away" for an answer and demands I pay him the service call. I refuse as he hasn't provided a service. He is insistant to the point of coming into my home. I remind him he's tresspassing and to get the hell out. I go Bridezilla on him - but he seriously was a major jerk about the whole thing. I tell him to bill me. He has my address, just go away, I don't have time for this, I'm on my way to my wedding. Remember, I'm in a veil!!! So he refuses. I quickly gather my things and bolt out the door, leaving only the bottom knob locked and a whole in the deadbolt, not secure, but what choice do I have? I tell my mom to keep her car moving so the jerk doesn't block her in. He threatens to call the police. I tell him go ahead. After all, I won't be there when they arrive. His supervisor calls my cell phone so many times I turn it off. Ridiculous. I'm completely tense and near tears over that jerk and his aggressive behavior. I pull it together though. I tell my mom that I'm trying to be cool about the whole thing but this seriously sucks. I do realize that nothing can start without me, so I have a little solace in that whole mess. But I do need a new massage after all that.

Mom drives like...well, like I do...to get there, which is well over her comfort level. Mom's one of those people who does just under the speed limit. I don't comment until we've arrived. She says "yeah, that is probably the fastest I've ever driven" which makes me laugh a little. I don't consider 75-80 mph to be that fast.

We get there in great time and everyone's up in the hotel room getting dressed. Why everyone's not already dressed I don't know, but they've been there and hour. I shoo everyone out so I can get dressed. I have 10 minutes to get pictures done before the ceremony. Then the site coordinator says "we have you scheduled to start at 5:00" I say it's for 4:30, but he says they have it differently. I have Eric (my best friend and that day's servant for me - poor Eric, I owe him one!) get with the photographer, Dave, and the officiant. All say 5:00 is fine. Great! So I'm not that late after all. We get the family shots done and most of the posed pictures out of the way. Dave sees me in my dress for the first time and he loves it. He really really loved my hair though. Everyone showed up on time (to my knowledge - at least on time for a 5:00 start) and had pre-ceremony drinks of mojito, red sangria, white sangria, and lemonade. We saw our group congregated in a gazebo while we were taking pictures. It was lots of fun to see them in anticipation and all dressed up. Eric brought me a mojito - he's the best!

The wedding started on time, I think (I didn't have a watch) but they told us to come and we did so it seemed fine. The processional was timed to music which went fine until Dave's part where he went a full stanza early. He said the site coordinator cued him too soon. No one noticed though as no one knew what the timing should have been. I got choked up as we started down the aisle and just after arriving I lost it for a second. I had those deep hiccupping sobs, but just 2-3 of them. Then I pulled it together. Reverend Rodriguez asked if I needed a minute but I didn't. Dave kept asking if I was okay and I kept nodding but I was still close to tears. When it came time for vows, I said to him "I have to speak now?" which was tough, but I did and didn't cry. When he got to be I did a little fake to the side like I was going to make a run for it. Everyone laughed. It wasn't planned, just something spontaneous that hit me. I didn't even think on it or I probably wouldn't have done it. Our friend Anj gave a reading and she was all choked up which we found to be very sweet. The ceremony was great. Really really great. I wish I hadn't cried, but you can't help what you feel.

We had a cocktail hour, which we caught about half of as we were doing more pictures. The hors d'ouervres were fantastic (tempura shrimp, vegetable spring rolls, and bacon wrapped scallops) and I wish I'd gotten to have more than one of anything. We were announced as was the bridal party. The DJ, who also MC'd the evening, Gary, announced Eric as the best man and maid of honor, which cracked me up.

The dinner was exactly as it was in the tasting, very good. The cake was so yummy but they only cut up the bottom layer and gave us the top, so no one got to try the mojito cake, but we'll have people over this week to eat it with us as we're not saving it for our anniversary. The site didn't feed DJ Gary in a timely manner, which we were miffed about, but he said it was fine and they were boxing it up for him. We wanted to make sure our vendors were taken care of but he said it was fine.

We asked Gary to play mostly jazz, blues, R&B, and funk. We gave him only the first dance song, no playlist. He picked excellent tracks and it was just what I wanted. Some people danced, but no one was forced to. During the first dance, Dave and I were just kind of talking and swaying. It was wierd having a crowd and all that attention just on us.

Things that went wrong:
I forgot to take my engagement ring off before the ceremony so I did it as discretely as possible during the reading and switched it to my right hand. I also forgot something borrowed. I just forgot. I had something new: the dress, something old: an anklet, and something blue: a blue topaz (Dave's birthstone) bracelet that Dave gave me for my most recent birthday. I also took the marriage license out of the box of stuff for Dave to bring to the site (mostly favors and table cards, that kind of thing) because I saw all my folders of vendor contracts and said "he won't need that" but the license was set against them to keep it flat. It is on our DVD player in the bedroom. Oops! I didn't realize until the photographer asked for it as the officiant wanted to sign it. I said "it was in the box, so the site has it". The site coordinator said "it wasn't inthat box" and I remembered removing all the contracts. Doh! So technically, we're not married yet as it's the day after and the paperwork is unsigned. Sigh. We'll get it done right away though. Tomorrow. The date will still be the 28th, I asked.

Otherwise, it was so great to be with our closest family and friends. Everyone who was invited came, which is unheard of, even our friends who live in Norway. Our friends are a fantastic group of people and we don't forget how lucky we are to have them. They really made the day spectacular for us. Honestly, even though I had to deal with the jerky locksmith, got locked out of my house, and forgot the marriage license, it was terrific. I could have done without the whole locksmith bit, but that wasn't really wedding-related. The wedding was simply perfect. All the little personal touches we did (origami swans we folded ourselves and attached to river rocks to display on the tables, fresh orchids on the cake, the trivia on the back of the table cards) made it fun for our guests. Everyone had a good time, I think. We did, and that's important. It was really, truly a wonderful event and a shining memory.

Stay tuned for pictures as I get them.

One of my friends took some video footage and she said she's going to dub the wedding video in the style of the hilarious Japanese game show MXC. I'm so excited. I can picture planning an anniversary party with an MXC wedding video screening!

Quick Recap of Wedding

The wedding itself was fan-freaking-tastic! Honestly, everything was wonderful. It was a perfect event. The ceremony was beautiful, the weather was good (if a little chilly later in the evening), it didn't rain, the flowers were great, everybody was on time, the setting was magical, the photographer was professional, the officiant was easy to work with, the DJ played a perfect mix of his own choosing, the bartender was efficient, the food was perfect, everything was just...I can't begin to gush enough. It was the wedding I dreamed of from the time we started planning the wedding. I had a great time and I honestly think everyone who attended did also. I can't wait for some pictures to start coming in. Lots of friends brought cameras so I'm eagerly awaiting some digitals to share with you here. We will have the professional shots back in a month.

That's your very quick recap.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Favors, Table cards, Place cards

This post contains spoilers but since the wedding is tomorrow, I don't think anyone will mind. Yes, the wedding is tomorrow. Am I a wreck? Absolutely! My nerves were like Superman's until about 2 weeks before the wedding then I had nerves of Jello. Every project started failing at the last minute and I felt pressed for time. Dave was worrying about money (because this wedding more than doubled our originally set budget) and things were very intense at the house from all the frayed nerves.

These are the favors. I bought take out boxes from the craft store and decorated them with a strip of vellum paper in a floral pattern from the craft store which wraps around the side and back of the box (you can kind of see it on the right of the box) and a sticker that has our orchid from the invitation (clip art) and a thank you note with the guest's name which I made on the computer and printed on sticker paper. Inside are: a CD that we burned and created a cover sticker for that contains songs dedicated to us by our guests which is in a glassine envelope, a box of incense in Green Tea scent that we liked from a trip we took years ago, a set of chopsticks in a cloth bag for each person, and some fortune cookies custom printed with the message "May the love you have shared with us this day be yours. Dave & Autumn" which I wrote. We did taste test the cookies and they're delicious. We ordered enough extra so every guest will get several in their favor box plus one will be served with each slice of cake. Did I mention the cake will be vanilla rum on one layer and mojito on the other? Can't wait! I think the favors turned out great. As of right now, the name stickers aren't on them because I got my nails done and am literally unable to separate the sticker from the backing so Dave will be sticking them on. For ease of transportation, the take out boxes stack, so they'll need to be assembled at the Sundy House instead of before arrival. Dave or my Dad or Charlie will take care of that.

After many attempts, I also made the table cards from leftover paper from the invitations. I had to cut them down a bit to fit the frames. This is after the first frames were too small and had to be exchanged. The place cards match the table cards although this is the third revision of the design as my printer decided it doesn't like printing certain things. However, it printed these just fine. It's meant to be, whatever it is. They're fine, but not my original thought. Of course no one knows how I "meant" for them to be, so no matter. The tables are named for the 5 elements in feng shui: metal, fire, water, earth, and wood. I picked a color for each element (though not necessarily in keeping with feng shui, but more for the layman to recognize - would you know that black was for water? Probably you'd think blue, so I used blue) and downloaded fonts for each one. Metal was a little tough so I used a variation by using the font that the heavy metal band Iron Maiden uses. It's cute and untraditional. The guests will have a laugh, I hope. I sat some of my heavy metal fans at that table too. The name cards, shown here in front of the framed table cards, have the guests' first names only as it's not so so formal of an event and are written in the matching font and color. It's simple and I think elegant without being overboard. Honestly, looking at this, I think my original idea was overboard. I should keep clean lines and such and this is actually better. Thank you, printer, for crapping out my original idea and working fine on this one. On the back of each card is some trivia. The first 11 questions are about Dave and I and the last 9 are about our guests. I figure it'll give them something to do while waiting for food to be served. It was astruggle to find frames that stood vertically, were the right size for the table cards, and were clear on both sides. These fit the bill and I found a coupon in a bridal magazine for 25% off my order, so that helped. I didn't decorate them as I figure I can use these again at home since they're flat black. That's why I didn't get the silver ones, although they looked quite sharp.

So, what's left? Just putting the stickers on the boxes. The rest is done. Can you believe it? I can hardly believe it. My anxiety level is at about a 9 out of 10. For three days I've had this off and on feeling of having a mouthful of oatmeal in the back of my throat. It's disgusting and makes me want to cough. It's simply a stress reaction, but it's never happened before so it's wierding me out.

Tomorrow's itinerary:
9am wake up (like I'll sleep!), shower, make breakfast smoothies, rinse blender out, feed cats
10am couples' massage at the spa - looking forward to that!
11am hair and makeup
1pm drive through some quick lunch, pick up dress and essentials from home
2pm leave for site
3pm arrive at site, get dressed
330pm pictures
430pm ceremony
500pm reception
930pm bid everyone farewell, rest

Any takers on when those heels will be coming off? I doubt they'll make it until 930.

It's a good feeling to know that everything is taken care of. The caterer is taking care of the food and drinks (although they called me today and said they couldn't find a liquor I requested - which was unacceptable - and I had to go buy it myself). The site is taking care of setup. The florist is taking care of covering the hideous Warhol paintings and setting up centerpieces. Everything we wanted to add has been done. Everything's arrived and is packed up to go in a big box. All the crafting is finished. I excused myself from finishing the guestbook/scrapbook in time and said I have permission to work on it after the wedding. So what if it's not done in time? No need to stress over that. Instead, I made cards, similar to the table cards, and wrote on the front "My favorite part of today was..." and I'd like them to write inside. I think that'll make an awesome keepsake for me. It'll go in the scrapbook when I am ready to get back to it.

Wish me well. Send out thought of "don't throw up!" And at 5pm look at your clock and think that I'm having my first dance as a married woman and send me a little smile.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Shumma frooma humuna

As my Sims used to say (from the Playstation version) "shumma frooma humuna!" when they were frustrated. Last night I remade the seating cards in a much simpler form. I had to go to two stores to get the cards themselves as the ones I had were too big and the ones I wanted were sold out at the first store. Mind you, this is 8:30pm after working all day. The cards printed fine and are done. Why my printer didn't like the other ones, I don't know. Maybe it has to do with changing the files from large to small and inserting the jpg's into doc's. I'll have to look into it another time. But they're done being made and printed. Yay! They need to be separated (all together in big sheets) and folded, no biggie. I can do that while I watch TV tonight.

I know, you don't hear the frustrating part yet. I'm getting there. I remade and printed (printed fine also) the table cards. They look fine. Not like I wanted them, but fine. And since no one but me knows how I wanted them, no one but me will care. I printed a little bit of trivia on the back so people have something to talk about and think about while waiting for the food to be served. I thought that would be kinda fun. I hope so, anyway. So they're all set, using leftover paper from the invitations because the kit I bought was for more people that I'm inviting so it was cheap and I like that.

So the problem is this: I went to the craft store yesterday to return the card box (I decided I just didn't need it), the foam (original idea was to have the seating cards "blooming" out of teapots but it isn't going to happen) and the origami paper (too expensive). No problem with the return except it took a long time. The only things I didn't return off that receipt were the river rocks (which might still go back) and the picture frames (to hold the table cards). So once everything's done and I'm happy with my revised plan - not thrilled mind you because I didn't want to revise the plan at all - but satisfied, making peace with what's possible, I open one of the frames and put the table card inside, but the card is much too big. I can't cut it down 1) because it's too much work and 2) because I'll lose the trivia off the back. So I have to go back to the store to return the frames now too. Plus I have to buy new frames. /sigh.

I'm getting quite frustrated when every project seems to be nearly done and then messed up right at the end. It makes the work that went into it seem pointless and that's the part that feels like a waste of time. With only 11 days to go, I don't feel that I have any time to waste.

So what can I do?

I made a list of everything left to do and I'm crossing them off one by one. The crossing off part is enjoyable. I've also taken things off my plate. For instance, I decided it wasn't worth it to mess with my printer and those old seating cards anymore and no one would mind the new ones, although they're ivory and the table cards are white. So to heck with it and it's done. I'm also going to forgive myself for not finishing the scrapbook before the wedding. As long as it's done by our anniversary, I'll have accomplished the finishing of it. Plus, there will no doubt be photos from the wedding that I'll want in there, so I should wait and not try to rush it. Creativity can't be rushed well anyway. There are pages in there now that I rushed and I don't like so to have it all the way I want I'll redo those couple of pages and just not worry about it. No one's judging me by my scrapbook. And if they are, I don't need their opinions. That's been a hard realization, but to put it so simply like that puts it in perspective for me. There's no need to break my mind in worry over petty things, so the list gets shorter as I go.

Still left to do:
Call the Reverend and ask if he got/approves of the vows. He hasn't responded.
Measure table cards.
Return too small frames.
Buy table card frames that are large enough to fit.
Return teapots.
Design CD cover stickers
Burn CD copies.
Put stickers on CDs and bag CDs.
Mom has to buy shoes.
Make tons of paper cranes.
Affix cranes to seating cards/table cards/river rocks.
Get final copies of contracts & check prices from florist and site.
Pay pay pay pay pay.
Pick something nice, but casual, to wear to the rehearsal.
Make a nail appointment for the day before the wedding.
Get as much of the Friday before the wedding off as possible.
Remind all my friends to bring their cameras to the wedding.

Somewhere in there should be a bubble bath. Maybe this weekend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cake and Dinners

We had the cake tasting. OMG so yummy! It'll be a 2-tier square cake (which is cake for 50) with the bottom layer in vanilla rum and the top layer either also in vanilla rum or in mojito, depending on the price. The mojito was an acquired taste - it tastes very much like the drink by the same name, with the same mild bite in the throat after swallowing, but was so much fun, so different than every other cake. The icing will be buttercream, which we both like, in white, looking very smooth, with a leaftip piping of purple along the bottom. It'll be decorated by our florist, Ben, with orchids to match our colors.

The rehearsal dinner is scheduled. My boss lives in the area near where the wedding will be and since Dave's mom hadn't gotten back to me with a place yet - she works two jobs and was finishing a side project so I'm sure she was swamped with stuff to do - I booked it at the place my boss suggested, Old Calypso. It's on the water and she raved about the food. The first place I'd had in mind - remember that I don't live around there and have never been to any of these restraunts - was 32 East and my boss said "they're too expensive! And the food isn't even that great." So okay. I just hope everyone (me too) can get off work in time to make it to the rehearsal by 5.

Printer Woes

My photo printer, which I love so very much, hates me. I spent about 4 hours designing the seating cards with photos behind them to match the table names and was about to print them out and create the table signs in a similar vein, when my printer started putting lines through all the pictures. They're quite noticible too, not something you could miss if you just glanced them. So all that work - although admittedly all the fonts I now have in my computer are lots of fun - for not much payout. I ran the cleaner on it bunches and realigned the print heads and all that noise. Despite that I talked nice to it and petted it, it still wants to die out on me. Now I'm going to have to redesign simpler cards and print them out - hopefully with little trouble. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

To Dos

Less than three weeks away, I'm now feeling the pressure. My to-do list is a page long. All little stuff, but stuff none the less. I got to do a good one and taste one of the cookies I ordered to make sure they're not stale. Check. I also designed the seating cards but my printer is not working properly. I'm not sure what's wrong with it, but the images have pale vertical lines through them, although I printed on highest quality with noise distortion quieting on, which I usually don't use, even for printing photos. I have a great photo printer and this is the first time I've had an issue with it. Tonight I'm too tired and grumpy to try and figure it out, so I'll leave it sit until tomorrow or the weekend. They're designed, and that was the major part of it. It took hours, literally, to find the fonts, install the fonts (I'd never done that before and now I think I'm going to be a font addict), to find the images, resize the images, fit the images into text boxes and get it all to line up just so on the specialty paper without actual measurements. Now I'm beat. My brain has shut down so much I'm not even sure reading would be relaxing. Maybe just watch a little TV and get some sleep early.

Tomorrow is the cake tasting. Finally. I have an idea of how I want the cake to look and it shouldn't be too much work, I don't think, compared to some things I've seen, so hopefully that should go smoothly tomorrow. I have to leave work early to get all the way to Delray in time for the tasting though, which is no good since I'm also leaving early on Friday for a final dress fitting. Not much I can do about it though. I don't set the hours to these places - and the tasting I had no choice in. I'd been asking about it since November and it was just scheduled today for tomorrow. Iguess its tomorrow or never. Sheesh. I'm glad I check my email frequently or I wouldn't have even known about it.

Off to bed with me. Much more to do tomorrow! I'm just going to keep chipping away at this list until it's gone. I did a big chunk today with the seating card designs, so I'm feeling good about that. Frustrated with my printer, but accomplished.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


My bridal shower was yesterday. I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll update this post later. It was a good time. Nice and mello. I was threatened with having to wear a toilet paper dress but it turns out it was a jest on me and there were no plans of TPing me. The theme was "family recipes" and everyone brought a dish to share with the recipe for it which I got to keep in a nice new recipe box. Very very cool.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I had a good haircut a few weeks ago from a guy named Vinnie and was hoping the same guy could do my hair for the wedding. I asked the salon (which is attached to the Retreat Spa where I'd scheduled a couples' massage for the day of the wedding) if that would be possible and they said they aren't open on Sundays. Drat. I wanted to cut down on driving and waiting time but keeping my services all in one place. I called Contour Day Spa and scheduled a couples' massage, hair, and makeup all in one place. Phew! I love checking off these details. Contour is generally expensive, but compared to the salon next to the wedding site and many other places I've looked into, it's very comparable. I'll get my nails done the day before. This is generally a no-no for me as I'm the first to chip my polish, but I'll have the place I like put gels on my nails and those should hold with no chipping for a week or so. I'm encouraging Dave to get a hot lather shave the day of the wedding. He never seems to be able to shave close enough and always have that kind of Barney Rubble shadow of stubble. Not that I mind, but for pictures it'd be nice if he was cleaner-shaven than his razor allows. If I'm having to pay for makeup that I could do myself just to make the pictures come out better, I think it's a trade off. Plus, I'd love to feel him that smooth. I wonder if it lasts longer than a regular shave?

My bridal shower is this coming weekend. I'm more psyched up for it than I had been previously. I appreciate the effort my mom and friends are putting into it and it should be a good time. I have no idea what to expect, so I'm going in blind, which is fine.

Eric just started planning our Jack and Jill style bachelor / bachelorette party at my favorite local bar, Sofa Kings. Should be a good time too. I like the ability to invite more people to that event and share some fun.