Monthly Archives: January 2011

Love in Lowell: Fun in the Sun

With the wedding day festivities behind us, Mr. Library and I woke up in better moods and ready to finish off the wedding weekend with a relaxing luncheon at Mr. Sox’s parents’ house.  After a continental breakfast (which was actually pretty good) and a little sadness because we missed the opportunity to go out to breakfast with the newly-minted Soxes, we packed up our belongings and hit the road… all three miles of it.  Yeah, we were that close to their house.

By the time we arrived, people had already settled into their munchies and were sprawled out across the deck and inside the living room.  There was quite a spread of food, and the newlyweds were busy greeting everyone.  If any brides out there are thinking about having a “day after” event, I highly recommend it for no other purpose than being able to speak to people and really enjoy their company.  Wedding days are crazy, and the day after allows you to soak in more of the attention and love.

I still had my helpful bridesmaid hat on, so I ran around doing whatever the bride needed, like getting pins to make sure her bra didn’t creep out of her dress.  We mingled with other wedding party members and caught up on all of the scandalous tales from the night before.  Apparently, Brother Sox kissed a 20-year-old woman?  And then promptly forgot her name.  Oh yeah, and he had brought a date to the wedding, though I think they were just friends.  Ahhh, Brother Sox.

People went swimming, lounged in Adirondack chairs, and enjoyed the warm weather.  By the time I decided to get into my bathing suit, everyone was leaving and it was getting cold.  Oh well.  With a few remaining people, Mrs. and Mr. Sox headed back into the house to open some wedding gifts.  I was a little eager yet nervous for them to open the one Mr. Library and I had purchased.  You see, we had already given them their main gift, a super sweet ice cream-making ball, when they came to our wedding, but on our honeymoon, we saw something else that we thought they should have.  I’ll be honest, Mr. Library found them and told me it was a good idea.  I was hesitant.  I was already “that bridesmaid” who had done the panty line during the shower.  Did I want to be “that bridesmaid” who brought the risque wedding gift too?  But then it hit me.  Mrs. Sox brought me to a pole dancing class.  Yep, we were giving this gift!

What was it?  We got them two kitchen aprons from Italy, one with the body of the Venus and the other with the body of the David.  Oh yeah, we went there.  We Libraries are nothing but classy!  I think Mrs. Sox was a little mortified to open the gift in front of some parental figures in the room, but Mr. Sox got a kick out of them.  And for the record, I’m pretty sure Mommy Sox will never look at me the same way again.  Ever.

Once a few gifts were opened and *cough* enjoyed, we cleaned up the food and beverages and decided it was time to say our goodbyes.  The newlyweds would be heading off to Mexico in the morning, and Mrs. Sox still needed to go shopping for some last minute supplies.  Sunscreen, anyone?  It was sad to go, but we knew they would have a blast.  We thanked everyone for having us, packed up our car, and drove the 3.5 hours home, exhausted, happy, and a little sunburned.  The Sox wedding had been a major success, and I had managed not to mess up her wedding.  It was win-win all around.

Almost Six Months Later Update:

Mrs. Sox and Mr. Sox have recently moved into their own apartment and love it!  I wish we were able to see them more, but when we move to Massachusetts in the somewhat near future, we will be able to a whole lot more!  Happy almost six month anniversary, Soxes!

The Love in Lowell Series:

The Bachelorette Party

Mr. Library and I Arrive

The Wedding Elves Rescue Dessert

The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Night Before

Getting Our Hairs Did

Playing Dress-Up

The First Look

Show Time!

Just Dance!

A Grand Farewell

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Love in Lowell: A Grand Farewell

Mrs. and Mr. Sox decided to have a grand exit from their reception, as they needed to leave the convention center to walk across the driveway to the hotel.  Sparklers became the go-to exit accessory, and as everyone filed out, different relatives handed them out to all participants.  I think they ran out at one point, because Mr. Library and I had to mooch some off from someone who had taken a fistful.

After the first dance and the exit, however, there was more of an exit to worry about.  It was time for Al to leave, to drive to the hotel by the airport and go back to the west coast for the rest of the year.  I wouldn’t see her again for an entire year.  One of my best friends was leaving, and there was a hole in my heart because of it.

Al said goodbye to the happy couple and walked out to her car with me and Mr. Library.  We all hugged, and while we meant for it to be a dry goodbye, I burst into tears at the same time as Al.  It sucks being that far apart from one of your best friends.  It SUCKS.  I tried to maintain composure throughout the rest of the night, but I ended up standing with my face hidden in Mr. Library’s shirt for five minutes just to get my crying out as Al drove away.

I collected myself and walked over to the crowd that had gathered for the newlyweds’ exit.  Mr. Library brought out our Flip camera to document, and he ended up catching an exchange with one of our fellow wedding-goers.  The wedding guest was clearly drunk and asked Mr. Library who he was.  Mr. Library explained that he was one of the bridesmaid’s husbands, but I guess that wasn’t good enough for the guy because he then proclaimed that he was just going to punch him in the face.  He even asked his friend if he knew Mr. Library and if he thought he deserved to be punched in the face.  Classy, unknown wedding guest.  Truly classy.  With the mood I was in, if he had even touched my husband, I would have gone ballistic.  Thankfully, drunk man moved on and left us alone.

Finally, the sparklers were lit and the newlyweds appeared.  We cheered and smiled and tried to keep Mrs. Sox’s hair from catching on fire from the sparklers.  We helped the newlyweds get their suitcases to their hotel room and waited at their door to make sure that they got them.  With some hugs goodnight and some more well wishes, Mr. Library and I headed off to our own room… only to end up arguing over something dumb.  I think it lasted for around fifteen minutes, long enough for me to climb into bed, curl up against him, and fall asleep.  No sleep and a highly emotional state did not make for a pleasant wife.  Sorry, Mr. Library…

The Love in Lowell Series:

The Bachelorette Party

Mr. Library and I Arrive

The Wedding Elves Rescue Dessert

The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Night Before

Getting Our Hairs Did

Playing Dress-Up

The First Look

Show Time!

Just Dance!

Love in Lowell: Dance in Your Pants

Once we arrived at the Devens Convention Center, the bridal party was whisked away from the rest of the crowd and ushered into the behind the scenes hallway.  I grabbed a quick kiss from Mr. Library and told him to have fun with Al during the cocktail hour.  Apparently they named themselves the “Awkward Duo” and kept making jokes about how awkward they really were, even when they ended losing each other halfway through the hour.

“Backstage,” the bridal party was allowed to check into our rooms (where chaos about booking mix-ups ensued) and snack on the hors d’eouvres that had been put out for us.  I have never been so happy to see fruit and cheese (besides, of course, at my own wedding).  Word of warning, all of you people getting married:  even if you think you are full of nerves, EAT SOMETHING!  You will need the strength and energy!

Mrs. Sox and Mr. Sox took some quick family photos on the beautiful staircase before we finally lined up for the grand entrance.  We all paired up with our walking partners from the church and were encouraged to do something crazy on the way in.  Those around us kept talking about dance moves, of which I have none, so my partner and I were clueless until about 45 seconds before we left the doors.  And then… pure brilliance!  We ended up doing the “catch and reel in” fish dance, and according to some of the people around Mr. Library, it looked as if we had rehearsed it!  Nice!  (I also almost thought the DJ had announced the wrong name because he used my married name…  oops…)

The rest of the bridal party made their entrances, and finally the newlyweds were announced.  They went immediately into their first dance, which was so adorable and sweet.  It was clear just how happy and in love they were.  We were seated, drinks were served, and the toasts began.

The toasts were adorable.  Well, honestly, I don’t remember the best man’s speech very well because (I know this is awful, but it’s the truth) I thought he was kind of snotty and blocked his actions out for most of the wedding.  Sistah Sox’s speech, however, was amazing.  She began by telling the story about how she would have a test for all of Mrs. Sox’s boyfriends, part of which included a question about enjoying Apple Jacks even though they taste nothing like apples.  Mr. Sox clearly passed the test and became known as Sistah Sox’s FBIL – Future Brother-in-Law.  Now, keep in mind that this was when they first began dating and marriage wasn’t really a topic of conversation.  She went on to say how she was so excited to have Mr. Sox officially be part of the family, how much she loves Mrs. Sox, and all of the wonderful mushy things people want to hear in speeches honoring them.

As salads were set in front of guests, a groomsman requested a dance song that must be a tradition for weddings within their group of friends and asked the bride and groom to dance with him and his fiancee.  Mr. Library chose to act on this opportunity and left his table to ask me to dance with him as well.  This was probably one of my favorite moments of the reception, just dancing with my new husband and watching my friends enjoy their new union.

Dinner was served, and people began to mingle a bit more.  Mrs. and Mr. Sox sat at their own table with Sistah Sox and the snotty Best Man.  The other groomsmen and bridesmaids had their own tables off to the sides.  Each table, including the guests’ tables, had a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine.  I really liked this attention to detail on their part for the guests’ enjoyment.  It did, however, bring up a funny “did that really just happen?” wedding moment.  A family member decided to waltz up to the bridesmaid table and demand that we give her our bottle of white wine.  When we said no (because we had just been seated and people at our table legitimately wanted to drink it), the woman told us that we were being “selfish and weren’t drinking it fast enough” and stomped off to complain to one of the newlyweds’ fathers.  Kater decided that this episode meant we needed to all have white wine in our glasses, whether we chose to drink it or not.  Ha!  Take that!

The parent dances followed dinner, each one sweet and very well danced.  I’m not sure why people decide to take dance lessons for weddings, but these people certainly didn’t need them.  It’s more about the feeling of love and joy than it is about the accuracy of steps.  Once both dances were finished, the craziness began.  To say that this crowd was ready to party was an understatement.  It took about two minutes for almost everyone to get up and on the dance floor.  From that moment on, there was rarely an open spot available.

Somewhere in between, the wedding cake was cut, served, and devoured (yum!), and Mrs. Sox asked me to help her with her dress change.  Yes, she was a two dress bride, and it was a super smart move.  The first wedding dress was heavy, and there was no way she would be able to dance with it on all night.  The second dress was light and definitely dance-proof.  A lot of people noticed when she reappeared in another dress, but others didn’t notice until the next day when they were flipping through pictures.  Either way, she was lighter, happier, and ready to party!

The rest of the evening was filled with dancing, the photo booth, singing, and more dancing.  We all joined in on “The Wild Rover” twice, which apparently is a wedding tradition in Mr. Sox’s family.  If you aren’t familiar with the song, check out the video below.  The dance is quite simple; everyone stands in a large circle with their arms on everyone else’s shoulders, stomping or clapping during the three prominent beats during the chorus.  I picked it up pretty quickly the first time around.

Right around 11:30, the final dance for the couple was played, and I wished I had thought of it.  They danced to “Cover You” from Rent, surrounded by their friends and family, totally wrapped up in the moment and their love. It was the perfect ending to the perfect dance party.

With just the exit left, we quickly cleaned up and went outside to wish the newlyweds a happy life together… only it wouldn’t be only happy tears for me.

Love in Lowell Series:

The Bachelorette Party

Mr. Library and I Arrive

The Wedding Elves Rescue Dessert

The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Night Before

Getting Our Hairs Did

Playing Dress-Up

The First Look

Show Time!

We Interupt This Wedding Recap…

To announce some amazingly awesome news!  I am a Maid of Honor!  Ahhh!  Yes, I know that I am married and thus my title should be “matron” instead of maid, but that word is reserved for old cat-crazy spinsters who shoots small children with water pistols when they don’t return their library books on time in my mind.  I am not any of those things (though I might like to spray students with water every once in a while).

If you want to read the whole event, you can stop by my newlywed blog here.  I’ll just give you the short version for now.  On Saturday night, I was in the middle of throwing Mr. Library a 25th birthday party for us and six of our friends and family.  While filling the ice cream maker ball with ice for the third time, C (remember C as one of my bridesmaids?) followed me into the kitchen and started chatting.  Right in the middle of it all, she snuck the question in there.  “I was wondering if you would like to be my matron of honor?”  Um, YES!  I began jumping up and down and hugged her, even though she’s not much of a hug person.  I am incredibly honored to be chosen for this role and cannot wait to start planning!  Why hello there, bridal shower and bachelorette party!  I swear she is more excited than this to get married!  Let the wedding planning continue!

Love in Lowell: Show Time!

The hour was finally upon us.  It was time for Miss Sox to become Mrs. Sox and marry the man she loved to dearly.  When we got into the limo after the picture session, we realized that we had a lot of little fixes to make since the wind had done its best to mess up our hair and dresses.  Thank goodness for the huge bottles of hairspray we were all toting around!

Once we left the limo, Miss Sox said to make her entrance and the rest of us scooted into the church to get out of the way.  First, we were told to go downstairs into the waiting room.  Okay, great.  And then we were scolded for going downstairs because the waiting room hadn’t existed since the 1980s.  Oh.  Okay.  Just put me where you want me.  They finally lined us up on the side of the main entryway to the aisle.  We were all excited and giggly and pumped for what was about to happen.  Miss Sox had made her way out of the car and was waiting behind the scenes too.  We were ready.

And then someone’s phone rang.  It was the ring bearer’s parents; they were stuck in the same 495 traffic that had plagued people the day before, except this time it was worse.  Other wedding guests were stuck in the same situation.  What did Miss Sox want to do, the groomsmen asked.  She had no choice.  The church’s schedule was tight, and there was no room for starting the ceremony late.  The show had to go on, and that was that.  I think it saddened most of us to know that there had already been so many speed bumps thanks to the traffic jam, but the ceremony would be beautiful either way.

Ringbearer-less, the processional began.  The parents and grandparents walked and were seated.  The groomsmen took their spots.  The two bridesmaids before me started to float down the aisle.  Before I left the starting gate, Miss Sox told me to “have fun and wave to people.”  Um… okay!  I can wave at the two people I know in this huge church!  Hey there, Al and Mr. Library!  Love you both!

Sadly, Mr. Library took the “no photos” policy set forth by the church very seriously and took NO photos of the ceremony.  I don’t blame him, though.  I knew I married a rule follower.

As I walked, I had so much going through my head and yet nothing at all.  I remembered to smile.  I didn’t fall on my face.  I remembered that I had to bow before I took my place in the pew.  I had even remembered to put my wedding hanky in my dress so that I could blow my nose for the waterworks I knew would be coming.  This was Miss Sox’s wedding and I was IN it!  So THIS is what it feels like to be a bridesmaid!

The rest of the bridesmaids made their entrances before it was Miss Sox’s and Daddy Sox’s turn.  She probably made it a total of ten feet before I started crying.  The look on Mr. Sox’s face did it to me.  He began tearing up again, even though he had seen her twenty minutes before.  This was the day she became his wife.  This was the day they promised forever.  He just couldn’t wait.  They both couldn’t wait.

The ceremony itself has since blurred in my memory.  I remember the homily given by the priest was heart-felt and loving, and I can remember wishing that our priest had said something along those lines as well.  There was a lot of kneeling, and we all had to look at bridesmaid/SIL Dory to get the timing right, as she was the only practicing Catholic in the bunch.  When it was her turn to get up to say the prayers of the faithful, I gave her my hanky since she was bawling just as much as I was.  Hold it together, Dory!  You have to read now!

The ceremony came to a close with the final proclamation that Mr. Sox and Miss Sox were now married!  HOORAY!  I’m not sure what they did, but they certainly did not “walk” back down the aisle.  Flying is more like it!  The rest of us joined up with our groomsmen matches and followed them out.  We said congratulations to them with multiple hugs in the receiving line and then were ushered out the door by all of the waiting family members and friends waiting to soak in the newlywed love and excitement.  I hung around with some of the bridesmaids before Al and Mr. Library came out of the church.  There was quite a crowd of people waiting for the newlyweds to celebrate with them!

At some point, someone had given out pink party-blowers (yes, that is their technical name) to blow when the newlyweds emerged from the church.  I had to make sure my was working.

Mr. Library still thinks this is an awesome picture of me.  Well, at least he’s married to me.

Finally, after tons of hugs and kisses, the new Mr. and Mrs. Sox emerged from the church,greeted the crowd and gave a quick thank you hug to the priest, and then were ushered into the limo to go to the reception.The bridal party jumped in behind them and then we took off!  Mr. Library and Al caravan-ed their way there so they wouldn’t get lost.  I knew I wouldn’t get lost being with the bridal party!  The car was packed with so much energy and champagne.  We all got out glasses and toasted to the newlyweds.  I handed out granola bars I had packed to those who were hungry, and then we rode.  Somehow, Mrs. Sox got her Spanx tummy panel off without undoing her dress or flashing anyone, which still impresses me today.  My groomsman partner Dan sat next to me and struck up a conversation.  We ended up chatting about Europe, and when I enthusiastically told him I had just gotten back from Ireland and Italy, he asked why I had gone on the trip.

“Oh, for my honeymoon!” I responded overly enthusiastically (since I was still, in my mind, on my honeymoon… it’s not over until you say it’s over!).

“Oh.  You’re married?  Huh.  Nice.”  I’m pretty sure those were the words of realization that there wouldn’t be any flirting with his bridesmaid partner.  Sorry Dan!  This lady is taken.

After about 20 minutes in the car, we made it to the reception location.  We all got out (some more gracefully than me)…And then it was off to the party!

The Love in Lowell Series:

The Bachelorette Party

Mr. Library and I Arrive

The Wedding Elves Rescue Dessert

The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Night Before

Getting Our Hairs Did

Playing Dress-Up

The First Look

Love in Lowell: Look at You!

(Bonus points if you can name that movie!)

One of the special moments in Miss Sox’s wedding was the first look.  I had heard of so many other brides who had done them, and with their growing popularity, they almost seem like they are becoming the norm, but I had never actually experienced one.  This was a first in more ways than one.

After we were all piled into the limo at Miss Sox’s abode, the driver took us to where Mr. and Miss Sox first met:  UMass Lowell.  The section of campus they had selected for the first look was gorgeous, the sun shining off from the water, the green open space, the old-school architecture of the surrounding buildings.  This place was built for pictures.

The boys had arrived earlier with their own photographer, Corey, in tow.  Corey is an up-and-coming photographer who I am sad to not have known before my own wedding.  We would have hired him on the spot!  His photos of the guys are swoon-worthy (and I’m not just talking about the gentlemen in them!).  Corey helped the guys get into place once the rest of us bridesmaids trekked up the hill in our heels to let people know we were here.  It was show time!

While we waited for the main photographer to get the bride ready, boutonnieres were handed out and we ladies were asked to put them on our partners.  Due to recent experience, I was a pro and ended up putting them on three different groomsmen.  This task was made more difficult, however, but one common element:  the wind.  The wind was insane! The flowing straps on the back of my dress that I loved so much became projectiles that continually slapped me in the face with every turn.  Our perfect hair became a little less perfect (but everyone loves that wind-blown look, right?).

Now, you would think that since this was the first look and we did all of the bridal party photos here, this post would be loaded with photographic goodness.  Sadly, it’s not.  Why?  Because it’s not my place to dig through Mrs. Sox’s whole online collection of wedding photos and out them.  I’m guilty of it in some of the previous posts, but I think it’s up to her whether she wants them on here or not.  But I can tell you one thing; she looks gorgeous, Mr. Sox was crying before she even got to him, and the bridal party wasn’t anything to sneeze at (except for my photo with Mrs. Sox where it looks like I am an ogre and have to pee.  Seriously.  It’s that bad.).  Actually, I guess that was three or four facts, but you get the idea.  Anywho, back to the story.

Miss Sox was told to walk up behind Mr. Sox for their first look.  The members of the bridal party stood on either side of them for the initial “look,” and then the two lovebirds went to a separate, more private area for to read their letters to each other.  The looks on their faces when they couldn’t see each other were priceless.  Mr. Sox was clearly little-boy-on-Christmas-morning excited and trying to hold back tears, and Miss Sox seemed to have to hold herself back from running towards him.  Ahhh love.  After some kisses, hugs, and a whole lot of “wow,” they made their way away from the bridal party to be alone together.

When they first saw each other, there were two things I wanted to do:  1.  join in on the hug, and 2.  kiss Mr. Library.  I remember the feeling of elation when you first look at your spouse-to-be, and I wanted to relive it all again.  Of course, I wouldn’t have made or kept very many friends if I had done either of those, but the feelings were there.

After their private letter reading, the rest of the group joined in for parents, sibling, and bridal party photos.  Looking back on those photos, they came out amazing for how fast everything went.  Miss Sox knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to tell people (in a very nice way!).  We were running a little behind, so when the gentlemen finished their poses, they left to greet guests at the church.  We ladies stayed behind to finish our photos, and then hoped back into the limo to make our way to the main event.  We were going to the chapel and she was going to get married!

The Love in Lowell Series:

The Bachelorette Party

Mr. Library and I Arrive

The Wedding Elves Rescue Dessert

The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Night Before

Getting Our Hairs Did