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!

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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

Love in Lowell: Ready the Dresses

By the time we got back to Miss Sox’s abode, it was time for some lunch.  Mr. Library had been wonderful and put the food out for us to help with timing.  He was also given my camera at this point because, for the rest of the day, I had a lovely job to do.  We all made sandwiches or grabbed yogurts and chilled out for a little bit.  Well, Miss Sox didn’t chill out because she still had her letter to finish, but the rest of us took a minute to take it all in.

During this time, the videographer (a family friend) showed up and began taking some of the “getting ready” clips.  I am almost positive that he got an amazing one of me staring at my boobs and trying to fix them in my shirt.  Maybe that will make the bloopers reel…  The photographer showed up shortly thereafter, and Miss Sox was whisked away to get her makeup professionally done.  The rest of us decided it was a good idea to start the makeup process and rushed upstairs to commandeer the available mirrors.

Remember how I said I wanted to be a super helpful bridesmaid?  Well, I think I definitely pulled my own weight when it came to the makeup situation.  I had done my own makeup for my wedding after going through some training with a MAC cosmetics consultant in the mall, so I figured I could definitely do my own for this wedding.  Somehow word got around and other bridesmaids wanted me to do their makeup too!  Obviously I was flattered that they trusted me so much, but I was nervous.  It’s one thing when you make yourself look ridiculous, but it’s a completely different story when you make not one but two other people look a mess.  Thankfully, Kater and Dory came out liking their looks and looking (in my opinion) gorgeous.  I wouldn’t have let them walk out the door otherwise.

After makeup came dresses.  It took some waiting to get mine, and I lost my temper a little with Mr. Library for not moving our suitcases out of the room earlier in the day.  The room we had slept in had been converted into an ironing room for Miss Sox’s gown, and there was no way to get any of our belongings.  After my stress peaked and then dropped, I took a deep breath and apologized to my husband.  There was no real reason to get upset, and the situation was totally out of our hands at this point.  Lesson learned:  Mr. Library is not a mind reader.

Finally, I snagged my bridesmaids dress, slipped it on, and intercepted Miss Sox’s phone just in time to answer a call from the florist.  She was going to be late due to traffic, but she would be there soon.  Kater and I ran out the door the minute she arrived to help bring in the flowers.

At this point, Miss Sox was already upstairs with Sistah Sox and Mommy Sox getting into her wedding dress.  I was lucky enough to weasel my way into the room somehow (I think I was asked to bring some sort of chair in?) and got to see some of her bridal portraits being taken.  She looked stunning and incredibly happy.  I began to cry almost immediately.

Marisa S Cohen Photography

After her photos were taken, it was time to get some last-minute group shots before climbing into the limo to go to the first look location.  We got the always popular shoe shots…

grabbed our bouquets as Miss Sox took a few more pictures with family…

and just as Miss Sox was almost finished, I felt a tap on my shoulder.  Dory had somehow gotten a rip in her dress.  Was there any way I could fix it?  Thankfully, I had put a sewing kit in the “day of” bag I had prepared and there was thread that matched our dresses exactly.  Al caught it on camera, but no one else knew about our little sewing adventure…

With everyone’s dresses holes-free and the bride excited and ready to go, we headed out the door to our waiting chariot.  It would turn out to be a blessing that we packed some much hairspray…

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

 

Love in Lowell: She’s Getting Married Today

When you wake up on your own wedding day, it’s a little surreal.  It seems like an ordinary day.  The weather is, well, the weather (whatever that may be), the clock runs at just the same speed.  But there is something different about it.  There’s an electricity in the air.  There is the sense of waiting and excitement.  There’s love and nervousness and a sense of waiting.

When you wake up in the morning on someone else’s wedding day, the feelings of nervousness, excitement, love, joy, waiting, and electricity are still there, but they are different.  I found myself trying to make every one of those feelings something positive, and if I found something that needed to be fixed, the bride was not to know about it.  This was Miss Sox’s wedding day, and gosh darn it, I was going to do my best to make it run as smoothly and perfectly as it could be.

What made me take this on?  Well, firstly my love for Miss Sox and Mr. Sox.  Secondly, she had done the same for me at my wedding.  And thirdly, if I didn’t feel that way, why on earth was I a bridesmaid?

The shower was the first thing on everyone’s mind.  Having hair that simply will not curl if it has been washed on the day of, I decided to skip my hair and take a super quick body shower.  Mr. Library decided to wait until all of the girls were out of the house getting their hair done.  What can I say?  I married a smarty.  Sistah Sox and Mommy Sox had run out to get bagels and coffee for everyone, which was greatly appreciated and scarfed down before we jumped into two cars to head to the hair salon.  Miss Sox had been gracious enough to schedule us all hair appointments, and since the price was reasonable, I decided to treat myself to a lovely updo for the occasion.

Here is one of my ridiculous admissions for the day:  I really really really wanted to be in the bride’s car on the way to the hair salon.  Sure, I would have gotten there and been with Miss Sox eventually, but I wanted to be there for everything. I didn’t want to miss parts because I was in another car.  I suppose it goes back to my “absent bridesmaid” guilt for living so far away.  I didn’t want to miss anything else.  I ended up firmly stating that I was riding in Miss Sox’s car, and everything worked out fine.  But I knew I just needed to be in that car.

Once we arrived at the hair salon, we were greeted by the head stylist.  Miss Sox was placed in the chair first, all of the girls oohing and aahing over her and asking questions about the wedding.  We set down all of our stuff in the upstairs area and then settled in.  I, of course, took photos of the whole event.  Pro photographer?  Pffff.  Didn’t need it!

Eventually the other car full of bridesmaids showed up and joined in on the celebration.Miss Sox had decided to do an updo with side braids leading into the back.  It took an awful lot of curling and hairspray, but it was a work of art when it was finished.Miss Sox then moved into a side seat and let the rest of us get underway.  I had no idea what I wanted, but with only two stylists for the seven of us, I had plenty of time to think about it… though I still through up my hands and told the stylist to do whatever she wanted.  I did, however, warn her that my hair was super heavy and didn’t curl well.  She failed to listen.  Later in the evening, my hair failed to stay in place.  See the common word here?Dory and Sistah Sox hopped into the chairs and got some amazingly comical hairstyles while the whole look came together.  We told Sistah Sox she should just leave it, but I think she had other plans.With the sun and humidity on full blast outside, the salon had their A/C cranked up to work against it.  Some of us got a little chilly, so the head stylist offered Bridesmaid Trouble a wrap.  Plus it had pockets that acted like mittens!

Eventually, with her hair finally set, it was time to put Miss Sox’s veil on.  I was instructed to get a shot of it, and boy, do I love this photo.

Veil in place, Miss Sox went back to her side seat to let the rest of us finish.  Her phone decided it was time to alert her to fact that her wedding cake hadn’t been picked up.  It should have been picked up around an hour and a half before then, and when no one came to claim it, the baker got worried.  It turns out that the cousin who was supposed to pick up the cake was actually standing in the shop waiting to be helped when the phone call was made.  Miss Sox remained calm through it all, and the cake ended up where it needed to be.See that paper on her lap?  Yep, that is the letter she wrote for Mr. Sox.  They had decided to do a first look, and while it seems like it is frowned upon to write your own vows in a Catholic ceremony (if I’m wrong, someone can surely correct me), they decided to use the first look as an opportunity to write a letter instead.  I loved the idea and wish I had come up with it myself!

With only one bridesmaid left in the chair, our car decided to head back to Miss Sox’s house to grab lunch, finish her letter, and start the getting ready process.  It was almost time to change from fancy hairdos to fancy ladies!

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

Love in Lowell: Sleepover Time!

Sadly, I have no pictures documenting this.  I think it was because we were all so tired and ready to just chill out before the final push.  While weddings are incredibly fun, the night before can be a stressful event where you really begin to see (A) how much crazy is capable of coming out of your friends and relatives and (B) how well your planning has come together.  Miss Sox had a few more tasks to get done for the next day, but all in all, her planning seemed to have been a success.  She deserved a night with her ladies just soaking it all in.

I think Mr. Library felt the same, and while he was certainly encouraged to be a part of the party, he chose to huddle into a corner chair and let us girls giggle and paint our toenails.  As a person who has had her share of being left out, I wanted him to feel like he was welcomed, and I guess he did, but he just didn’t want to intrude on something that seemed to be a very female custom.  Sometimes I really don’t give him enough credit for how deeply he considers situations.

We popped in some of the billions of wedding movies Miss Sox and I had acquired, and we decided to try starting with the FRIENDS episode where Monica and Chandler get married.  The DVD player didn’t think this was a good idea, freezing every few scenes.  Giving up, we turned on something else and promptly forgot about watching it.

Sistah Sox and Mommy Sox brought out their gifts to Miss Sox before we all went to bed.  They had put their heads together (and virtually consulted with me a little) and come up with a “Wedding Day Survival Kit” and a “Honeymoon Survival Kit.”  Both were done in the utmost taste (no X rated unmentionables in that honeymoon container!), and Miss Sox seemed to really enjoy them.  It was great to see her mom really come around and be excited for her.  It wasn’t always the easiest road during wedding planning, and now it finally felt like her pieces were coming together.

Speaking of coming together, most of our eyelids were doing just that; it was time to hit the hay before Miss Sox’s big day!  Mr. Library and I got bumped out of the air conditioned room due to a surplus of bridesmaids and moved into Brother Sox’s bedroom.  My favorite comment from Miss Sox was to her mother when she appeared concerned about our sleeping arrangement:  “Don’t worry Mom.  They’re married.  They can sleep in the same bed.”

With that, it was the end of the rehearsal day and Miss Sox’s last day as a Miss.  Onto the marriage!

The Love in Lowell Series:

The Bachelorette Party

Mr. Library and I Arrive

The Wedding Elves Rescue Dessert

The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal Dinner

Love in Lowell: Dinner and a Game

With the religious portion of the rehearsal over (and the church never having burned down for any of the bridesmaids being there!), we all huddled back into Miss Sox’s car to head over to the rehearsal dinner location, an Irish bar in downtown Lowell.  Thank goodness I hadn’t taken my car because I never would have been able to navigate!  Or find parking for that matter.  For a Thursday night when college wasn’t in session, there was a serious parking problem.  No open spots were to be had.  There was also a fair share of crazy drivers, one of whom looked a lot like the priest and promptly cut off Mr. Sox.  Screaming and beeping out the window, we all burst into laughter when we realized it just may have been the priest!  It turns out that it wasn’t, but it made for a lot of comic relief as we drove in circles trying to find a place to park.

Finally, we landed in a parking lot a few blocks away and hoofed it.  There were a few times when Al and Mr. Library were asked to go back to the car to get forgotten gifts, but all in all, it wasn’t so bad.  We were led upstairs to the function room in the bar where the bartender was ready for us.  As an incredibly generous offer, it was an open bar!  Not one to drink a lot at all, I simply drank water and a Malibu Baybreeze.  Yum!

Dinner was served buffet style, and once Brother Sox decided to dig in, the line started.  There was Caesar salad, chicken tenders, chicken alfredo with broccoli, spanikoptia, and some other fried things in which I could not partake.  Al, Mr. Library and I loaded up our plates and found a table. 

Coolest photo ever!

Al had been assigned Sistah Sox’s camera for the night, and I love this one I got of her checking out her work. Once everyone had eaten (and Mr. Sox had solved the problem of the restaurant not supplying enough food), FFIL Sox got up to give a welcoming speech that made people laugh, cry, and smile… sometimes at the same time!It was adorable to hear how much he clearly loved his son and how much he loves and welcomes Miss Sox into his family.  He did a wonderful job highlighting some of the important guests in the room, like relatives and friends who had traveled far distances to attend, and really getting to the heart of the commitment Mr. and Miss Sox were about to make.  It made me wish we had asked someone to give a speech at our rehearsal dinner.After FFIL Sox ended his speech, dessert was brought out and a game began.  Miss Sox had come up with a “getting to know the couple” game that asked participants to look at how much they knew about the Soxes.  To tell you the truth, my knowledge felt inadequate.  Sure, I knew some of the answers from the bridal shower games, but I had no idea what dorm they met in!  The beauty of the game was that you could ask other people in the room, thus getting people to socialize.  Well done, Miss Sox… you must be a teacher or something!

Look at our desserts!  They look delicious (and they were!)  Hooray for iPhones and quick thinking wedding elves!

The game lasted for a while, ending with the couple sharing the answers.  Some that people came up with were hysterical.  It was a great way to get to know the other people in the wedding party.

Once the game was called to a close, it was Brother Sox’s favorite time of the night:  present time!  He had been talking about presents for weeks, and he just wanted to get his hands on his! 

They called each of their members up one by one, giving a little details as to how they met us and how we bonded.  It was personalized and adorable.  It was ultra adorable when it was the siblings’ turns to receive their thank yous.

Once everyone had received their gift bags, we opened them together.  I was floored with their generosity!  Miss Sox ended up gifting us…

flip flops!  My feet rejoiced!pasmina scarves/wraps.  I wear mine all the time to school now!And Coach wallets!  SHUT UP!  I was just laughing with Al about how much I needed a new wallet, and here it was.  And Coach no less!  I use this thing every day!  I love love love it!  Oh, and yes, it does match my pashmina!

As a way of acknowledging how much we loved our gifts, we posed with the bride to show them off.

And I posed with my husband to show how much I loved him.

With people rejoicing and pumped for the next day, it was time to go back to the Sox house to have a girls’ (plus Mr. Library) sleepover!

The Love in Lowell Series:

The Bachelorette Party

Mr. Library and I Arrive

The Wedding Elves Rescue Dessert

The Rehearsal