Tag Archives: Greg L. Strom

Volumes of Love: Vendor Recommendations

It has come down to it, dear readers.  We are nearing the end of my ramblings about the Library wedding!  SAD!  But don’t worry… this blog isn’t going anywhere.  It will be alive and well as I continue to think about, dream about, and help plan weddings.

Speaking of helping to plan weddings, I would like to give my totally honest reviews of our vendors from our wedding.  Sometimes I feel like the responses on websites like WeddingWire are a little suspicious because they contact the reviewed vendor to ask if it’s okay to post it.  Who is going to say okay when the review isn’t flattering?  That’s pretty much common sense, people!  I, however, am not going to run this by them… just by you!

Wedding Dress: The Running of the Brides, Boston, Massachusetts

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

I cannot tell you how much fun I had getting my dress.  I never planned on buying my dress that day, and while it did create a little drama within my family, I wouldn’t change the fact that I got it at such a cool event.  Because of the conditions of the warehouse where the event was held, the bottom of my dress was dirty when I purchased it, but after sending it to a certified dry cleaner, it was better than new.  I didn’t need any alterations besides some bead reinforcement and the addition of a bustle, so I scored on the price of this dress.

If you plan on attending, make sure to plan for the following:

  • Bring lots of friends and wear coordinated outfits to help find each other.
  • There is no such thing as organization, so know what shape of dress you would like and your approximate size going in.
  • Be open to different options.
  • Be open to stripping in front of other people… and some of them will be men!
  • Bring water and snacks, and don’t be afraid to throw some elbows!
  • Don’t forget the camera!

Wedding Dress Total (with alterations and dry cleaning):  $254 + $8 + $85 = $347

Bridesmaids’ Dresses, Flower Girl’s Dress, Veil, and Bride’s Shoes:  David’s Bridal, Portland, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

I loved my girls’ dresses and still do.  I went into planning knowing that I wanted a tea length dress in a cobalt blue, and while I didn’t think this was it the first time around, it grew on me.  The price was also far more reasonable than the Alfred Angelo counterparts I had my eyes on.  The cotton was light enough for July and the cut was flattering on all of my girls’ body types.  The addition of Sister Library’s dress created a wonderful way to set her apart without changing colors.

My veil was full price, and while the price still seems a bit high, I loved the piece itself.  Mr. Library also loved it and remarked how much he liked the tiny pearls scattered throughout it (he noticed it!).  My shoes, while lovely and on sale, were PAINFUL.  I lasted through pre-ceremony pictures, the ceremony, and the receiving line, but after that, I was on the flip flip train.  I can remember thinking during the ceremony that it felt like my toes were becoming painfully numb.  Not good.  I probably should have broken them in a lot more, but still.  I shouldn’t be in searing pain.

Working with David’s Bridal was pretty easy.  They were pleasant, while there was the problem with not being notified of the discontinuation of Sister Library’s dress, they remedied the situation quickly.  The manager, Megan, is wonderful and extremely cooperative.  The dresses came in early and were of pretty nice quality.  I would definitely use them again.

Total for Bride’s veil and shoes:  $79 + $30 = $109

Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Attire:  Mens Wearhouse, South Portland, Maine

RECOMMENDWhile the suits were great and they looked nice, trying to figure out how to get each groomsman’s payment in was a little bit of a headache.  You cannot pay over the phone if the amount is more than $20, and not all of their locations accept payments.  The bride is also the only person (read:  the ABSOLUTELY singular person) who can change anything on the order.  Mr. Library couldn’t even have called in to ask about anything if he had wanted to!

No one had any problems with ill-fitting pants or jackets, and the prices were pretty reasonable, so in the end, it was a good decision to go with this company.  But please be aware of what you are signing up for!

Total for Groom’s Tux:  Free with 5 other rentals

Ties for the Guys:  Cyberoptix.com

HIGHLY RECOMMENDThese ties were amazing!  Not only were they hit with the guys, but people commented on how great they looked in the wedding as well.  We got standard width, standard cloth ties for $30.  While it was a bit of a splurge for all of the guys, we decided it was completely worth it and went for it.  The service was accommodating, prompt, and informative.  I would buy ties or scarves from this website any week.

Total cost of Groom’s tie and gifts:  $150

Ceremony Site:  The Artist’s Covered Bridge, Newry, Maine (run through town office)

CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!I love our ceremony site for so many reasons.  It was gorgeous, it was unique, it was accessible, and it was free!  This ceremony site made our wedding stand out among others, something that was important to me when planning my wedding.  I wanted to be different from my cousins, and this helped us achieve that stance.  While the slits in the floor caused issues with wearing high heels, we overcame that obstacle and had a lovely ceremony.  The lighting was fantastic for photography.  While this is a public site and there is no controlling those who wish to visit the bridge while you are there, many people who were swimming were more than willing to move their cars and stay off of the bridge while we celebrated.

The town also put us in touch with Olson’s Tent Rental, a local company who rented, set up, and took down the chairs.  They were very much on top of their record keeping and called me in January to make sure their 2010 book was correct.  They were pleasant and very reasonably priced.

Total cost of ceremony:  $150 for 115 chairs with set up and take down

Reception: Sunday River Grand Summit Resort, Newry, Maine

CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!I cannot imagine working with better people.  Mr. Library and I were sold on Sunday River because of their affordable prices, their flexibility, and their availability in the summer.  Thanks to the fact that they are a ski resort, they had lower prices than a lot of other businesses who rely on weddings to bring in revenue during wedding season.  All of the personnel we worked with were courteous, welcoming, and positive.  Mr. Library and I loved Jessica, the long-term wedding coordinator at the resort, and had full faith in her abilities.  She was organized and would respond to emails in a couple of hours.  The same goes for Meredith, the day-of coordinator.  We were sad to hear that they had moved to different states, but we fully enjoyed our time with them.  The food was great, the staff knew who we were and kept asking what else they could get us, and everything was fixed immediately if need be.

Total cost of reception and catering$4970

Photographer:  G. L. Strom Photography, Portland, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMENDGreg was a stroke of luck.  When attending a bridal expo in January 2009, we bumped into him.  It turned out that he and Mr. Library had been in a play together through community theatre and hit it off.  We really liked his portfolio and booked him.  During our wedding, he was great.  He showed up when we asked and left at the end of the night.  There were never any hour restrictions or more money to have him stay longer.  He stayed through it all.  While I do wish that certain photos had come out a little differently, I love the ones that he captured, and boy, did he capture a lot!  Greg shot 1400 pictures at our wedding and gave them all to us on a CD with the rights to them.  We did have some communication problems, but I am willing to overlook the couple of times I couldn’t get ahold of him for the times he really pulled through.  We had our complete wedding photos a week after we returned from our honeymoon!

Total for photography for 12 hours:  $1500

Videographer:  Fat Sheamus Productions, Scarborough, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Shea and his wife were fantastic.  I found Shea after having our friend back out of being able to capture our wedding, and I had a very tight budget.  I went onto Craigslist and found an ad.  I contacted Shea, asked about availability and pricing, and away we went.  We were supposed to meet in person, but due to a timing goof on my part, we never did.  I ended up booking him from what I saw online and prayed for the best.  That’s what we got.  I love our video and will show it to anyone who will sit still.  His prices have gone up since I booked him, but they are still very reasonable in the video production world.

Total for videography for the ceremony only:  $265

DJ:  Long Island Larry, Biddeford, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMENDLarry kept people on the dance floor as long as there were warm bodies present.  While some of our family members were older and weren’t as inclined to boogey, he made sure that the music was exactly what we wanted and generationally appealing.  As you can tell from the photos, he did a wonderful job.  He was organized, and though we had issues in the middle of planning with his email address working, he made up for it during the stressful stretch before the wedding.  He had lists of songs ready for when we couldn’t think of any good ones and helped us create an organized timeline for the day.  He was also ready to do music for our ceremony if need be.

Total for DJ:  $615 (thanks to a discount for booking early!)

Baker:  Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott, Portland, Maine

CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!
To say that Jessica’s cakes were delicious would be an understatement.  They were amazing!  I am counting down the months until we get to order our free one-year-anniversary cake!  Working with Jessica was easy for the most part, though I had trouble getting in touch with her during the last week, which caused some stress.  I wouldn’t have any qualms about wholeheartedly recommending her to anyone, though.  She was creative, willing to be as flexible as we wanted, and funny.  She even delivered!  The portions were huge and her prices were very well priced.  We were sold from bite number one.

Total for wedding cake, Groom’s cake, and birthday cupcakes:  $328 + $65 + $14 = $407

Florist:  Pooh Corner Farmhouse and Florist, West Bethel, Maine

SERIOUSLY CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!Carole is a miracle worker.  I love our flowers, and Carole made it happen.  When we began working with her, I had no idea what I wanted except that I had my heart set on peonies during a season when they just aren’t really available.  Somehow Carole found enough just for our wedding and made me a bouquet with my favorite dark pink peonies.  I cannot thank her enough for her patience and dedication when I kept changing my mind on what we needed.  Carole is simply amazing!

Total cost for florals:  FREE thanks to Mr. Library’s Aunt M (though I think it would have cost somewhere around $1100)

Accessories: Garter from The Green Hanger Shop.com, Laurens, SC

CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH!Judy was fantastic to work with, and I honestly believe that it was a true blessing to have a chance meeting online.  Thanks to my over-exuberance when it comes to weddings, she offered me a fantastic deal when I didn’t win her contest.  I jumped at the chance and created my own garter set.  It was simple, yet elegant, and Judy was a joy to work with.  She worked very hard on it, and I could tell it was created by a woman who loves what she does.

Total for all of bride’s accessories (including jewelry but not rings):  $80

TOTAL FOR ALL WEDDING (WITH MISCELLANEOUS ADDED IN):   ~ $9500

ORIGINAL BUDGET:  $11,000

So there you have it, our big vendors.  We had such a great time with everyone we worked with, and there were very few hang-ups with the process.  If you would like more information on any of them, please contact me through the comments.  I would be happy to elaborate more!

With just one last Library wedding post to go, I leave you with our nearly completed list:

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!

You have a little something on your face…

Dancing in tune

Catch!

There’s so much to love about the reception.

The photo booth genius

We could have danced all night!

We can sleep when we’re older!

One last summer fling

The married bachelor and his party

Mrs. Library X 2

If we could go back in time…

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Volumes of Love: I Want to Dance with Somebody

I know my friends and my immediate family.  We love to dance.  If there is music and space, we will create a dance party… including in the supermarket.  So when it was finally time to dance, we let loose!

My youngest cousin C was mesmerized by my dress, so we had a twirling contest.  She loved it!

Our guests, young and old, really came alive and danced for a good portion of the evening.  We had asked the DJ to play generation neutral songs so that everyone could enjoy them, and I think he did a pretty good job with that.  There were, of course, times where I wished that he would just play another slow song so I could dance with Mr. Library, FIL Library, or BIL Library, but that didn’t happen.  C’est la vie.

There was a lot of singing, shouting, and ridiculous dance moves going on, and I am so glad that our photographer captured our friends having a good time.  People slowly began to call it a night (call it a downfall to having older crowds attend a wedding), so Mr. Library and I got pulled from the dance floor every couple of songs to say goodbye and thank you to people.  Most of the time it wasn’t an issue, but when Mr. Library’s grandmother took nearly 15 minutes with her silent goodbye and she didn’t even say anything to me, I was a little angry.  I had other guests and a party to be at.  And I was nearly missing this:

Yep, that’s my grandmother leading the conga line!  She danced so much during our wedding, she could barely move the next couple of days.  She didn’t regret it one bit, though.  Neither did anyone else who joined in for the amazing, room-wrapping line…

Mr. Library and I finally made our way into the conga line just in time to get some pictures and partake in the fun.  Once the line broke up, my grandmother went to sit down, and Cousin J decided it was a good judgement call to go… well… you be the judge of what is going on here…

(If you guessed lap dance, you would be 100% correct.)

People continued to have a wonderful time, which was what was most important to us.  My grandmother stole Sister Library’s boyfriend and told her to “eat her heart out” as she dragged him to the floor…

we danced and sang along to “Shout”…

our props from the photo booth made their way onto the dance floor…

and the guys simply busted a move.

It makes me so happy to be able to look back on our photos and see how much fun everyone was having.  When it’s your wedding day, everything seems to blur.  You think you’re taking it in, or at least trying to, but everything just flies.  If you are on the fence about budget, trust me.  Photography is worth its weight in gold.

As the evening began to wind down, our wedding coordinator approached Dad Library and told him that while they had originally said we could break everything down in the morning, we actually needed to get everything out tonight.  They had a dance competition going on first thing in the morning, so the staff was putting everything together as soon as our guests were gone.  Bummer.  Ever the loving father, Dad Library kept this from me and Mr. Library, rallied Mom Library and my aunts, and broke everything down for us.  They didn’t want us to leave the party, so they did the work instead.  Seriously, how lucky can a couple get to have these people as family?

The night ended with some circle dances with Mr. Library and I in the middle to the tune of “Final Countdown” by Europe, and while it made me a little sad to see so few people left, those who made it to the end made it worth it.  Clearly, we were surrounded by love and happiness in every sense of the word.

Our party ended around 11:15, which may seem early to some, but we were spent.  Getting married takes a lot of energy!  We said goodbye and thank you to our families as they crept off to their own rooms, and we scooted upstairs to change my stuff from the bridal suite into our honeymoon suite.  After a quick change into my rehearsal dinner dress, we headed over to…

the groom squad’s (small) after party.

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!

You have a little something on your face…

Dancing in tune

Catch!

There’s so much to love about the reception.

The photo booth genius

Volumes of Love: Cheesing It Up

While the dance party started in the other room, our photo booth started to become a central location to have some laughs.  They followed the directions on the sign and had at it.  But don’t let me do the talking.  The photos can speak for themselves…

Mr. Sox certainly knew his way around the photo booth!

A loved the props.  She wore the purple sunglasses for the rest of the night.

And my absolute favorite…
This makes me laugh every time!

For the amount of money we spent on this (probably around $30), we got tons of laughs and amazing photos.  People didn’t get to print theirs out, but there are other times they can get them!  If you are considering doing a DIY photo booth, do it.  You save money and it is SO FUN!

And finally, WE DANCE!

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!

You have a little something on your face…

Dancing in tune

Catch!

There’s so much to love about the reception.

 

Volumes of Love: Receiving the Details

While we’re on the topic of sentimentality, let’s back up a little and focus in on some of the details I poured my heart, hands, and soul into for the reception.  There were quite a few, and I really feel like our guests noticed and appreciated them.

I do have a confession to make, though.  I am totally disappointed in how under photographed our reception decor was by our photographer.  I spent years on these projects – YEARS! – and I do not feel like they got their fifteen minutes of fame in the eye of the camera.  That being whined, here we go…

As guests entered the ballroom, they were greeted by our escort card table filled with birds.  We also trimmed the table with a string of photos from both of our lives.

All of the tables were named after covered bridges in the states where Mr. Library and I have lived:  Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.  Poor Rhode Island only had one!

On the other side of the entrance was our smorgasbord of signs and “activities.”  First, we featured our guestbook options:

Our traditional guestbook took awhile for me to put together.  I put all of the photo corners in by hand because Mom Library insisted that not everyone will want to stick their thumbprints on canvas.  To my frustration, my mother was incorrect.  Only three people signed our guestbook, which was designed for 100.  Three.  THREE!  Oh well.  Now it will make a nice photo album for the photo booth pictures.

Our thumbprint tree was a hit!  People loved it, including the resort staff, and nearly everyone signed it.  I chose to use three different green ink pads to give people choice, and I am so glad they used all of them.  It now hangs on our living room wall to remind us of everyone who took part in our lovefest.

Farther down the table was our White Knot project.  I had received some flack from some family members right before the wedding about this as they believed “a wedding isn’t a place to make a statement,” but I ignored them.  This wedding was about Mr. Library, me, our family and friends, and many in attendance are not allowed to marry their partners.  If there was ever a time to make a statement, it is now!  I was touched and thrilled with how many people came up to me and told me how much it meant to them.  People were wearing white ribbons everywhere!  

You’ll also notice our photo family tree in the picture above.  In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t thrown my hands up as quickly as I did on it the night before, but people seemed to look past my inability to make the frames straight and were excited to see the collection of family photos we had put together.

Each photo was labeled with who the people were, their marriage date if known, and how they were related to me or Mr. Library.

Once guests found their tables, they were greeted with our centerpieces and table markers.  As mentioned before, I had named the tables according to covered bridges found in the three states we had lived in (though not together).  The centerpieces themselves finally came together and looked wonderful lit up!

The table markers featured my own photography on the front and some information about the bridge on the back.  The head table was named after the bridge Mr. Library and I had just gotten married on, my parents sat at “Pop’s Bridge”, etc.  We tried to pick appropriate and cute names for each family who attended.

Guests also had a menu made out of green card stock and the handmade napkin poofs I spent hours making on New Year’s Day.  I loved the color it brought to the tables, and I think our guests loved that they were like extra favors.

See how many people turned them into fashion accessories?!  LOVE IT!

Speaking of favors, we had delicious favors that never seemed to have photographed.  By anyone.  Probably because they were gone so quickly!  You can sort of see them in the table photo above if you really look for them.  Mom Library’s cousin K has made all of the favors for our extended family members’ weddings since my cousin K got married in 2001.  She specializes in molded chocolates, so Mr. Library and I had her make chocolate covered pretzel rods for our favors.  We love them, and our guests seemed to enjoy them as well.  Mmmm nothing like a sweet and salty snack to remind you of a fabulous day!

Outside of the ballroom was our photo booth setup.  It worked out pretty well for as low-maintenance as it was.  Dad Library and our wedding coordinator put the finishing touches on it in the morning, and once people realized it was open, they took full advantage of it and the props.

Obviously, my family members are very shy, introverted people.

Next up:  people break in the photo booth and the dance floor starts rocking!

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!

You have a little something on your face…

Dancing in tune

Catch!

Volumes of Love: CATCH!

Traditions in weddings are often disputed.  Sure, some traditions can seem out of date or a little cheesy, but I didn’t really care.  I wanted to keep most of them because they were fun and made for some excellent pictures.

Case in point?  The bouquet and garter tosses.  Some people want to ditch them because they think people are uncomfortable with the tradition, but I love them.  Our wedding featured them, and the hilarity that ensued did not disappoint.

First, the DJ called Mr. Library to the floor to remove my garter.  The problem was, I only caught on to this fact about two minutes before when I realized that I didn’t actually have my tossing garter on.  I had my own garter on, but the one meant for tossing was in the day-of bag.  Oops.  I got Miss Sox and Bridesmaid Al’s attention, and they helped me through it on just in time.

I kindly tried to sneak Mr. Library some hand gestures to show him discretely which leg it was on, but we failed in the secretive communication department.

It was then my turn to toss my bouquet.  I have always loved the photos that come out of an event like this, so I made sure I gave a good toss.

The funny thing about that is… well… the toss wasn’t exactly “good.”  Sure, it got where it was going, but I released a little too high up in the arc, the bouquet hit the ballroom ceiling (according to Mom Library), and promptly fell to the floor with a thud.  My friends then looked at each other going, “Do you want it?  No?  Well I don’t want to pick it up… Come on, just take it… Anyone?  Crickets?”  Even though Miss Sox was clearly the next to get married, Friend A sucked it up and picked up the bouquet.  Way to take one for the team, A!

Mr. Library then had his turn at tossing.  As you will notice, the guys didn’t back away quite as fast.  They waited until the last possible second and left Mr. Sox in the lurch!

Their faces all seem to suggest the same message:  “Hahaha sucker!”

Being a good sport, Mr. Sox made the best of an awkward situation with Friend A (don’t you wish you picked it up now, Mrs. Sox?).  A pointed to the spot on her leg where it would be acceptable to place the garter, and once there, Mr. Sox made a run for it.

With all of our formalities done, it was time to party the night away!

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!

You have a little something on your face…

Dancing in tune

 

 

 

Volumes of Love: Just Dance!

Ohhhh dance parties.  How I love you.  A lot.

My family loves a good dance party.  With so many female cousins, there is bound to be a quality conga line and/or running man in there somewhere.  I was eager to start the real dance party, but we had a few formal dances to get through first.

First up, our first dance, naturally.  Mr. Library has always remembered the first dance he danced with me to during high school (how does he remember this but can’t remember to put the plastic wrap away?!), so that song has been “our” song from day 1.  It was only natural to use it as our first dance song, no matter how cheesy and outdated it seemed a couple days before.

Dance lessons were never really an idea that occurred to us.  We didn’t have the time or the money or the care.  Were people attending our wedding to see us emulate “Dancing with the Stars”?  Nope.  We did our best sway and spin and simply enjoyed each other.

Three-quarters of the way through the song, we had our DJ invite our wedding party to join us on the floor.  Everyone in our party had brought a date except for Bridesmaid Al and Best Man K, so we put them together.  They were very good sports about it.

After our song was done, Dad Library joined me on the floor for our Father-Daughter dance.  Dad Library took it upon himself to choose the song, and he wanted to keep it a secret.  In the end, he ended up picking the song I really wanted to dance with him to anyway without even a hint from me!  It’s like he’s my dad or something…

He had chosen this song because of its meaning.  He had fallen for the message, which is exactly what I had done.  When a family friend mentioned it to him, he was hooked.  Dad Library even went out of his way to buy me the CD with our song on it so I could listen to it whenever I wanted and think of him.  I’m still tearing up thinking about it now.

I have only seen my dad cry a few times in life.  He’s a sensitive guy on the inside, but he often doesn’t let himself cry in public.  He had begun to breakdown when he gave me away during the ceremony, and he started to lose it again while we danced.  We talked about other topics so that we both wouldn’t start blubbering.  We talked about how everyone around us looked like paparazzi.  We talked about how to properly execute a spin (and did so a few times).  We talked about how fast the day was going and how much we were enjoying it.

When our dance had ended, it was Mr. Library and MIL Library’s turn.

MIL Library had chosen the song, which was very sweet and upbeat, much like her relationship with Mr. Library.  Much to her relative dismay, though, she forgot just how long the song is and decided halfway through to just “rock out.”

They rocked out a few times before the end of the song, which made almost everyone laugh, including me.  I found it endearing and completely hilarious!

Yeah, I have an ugly laugh face.  Oh well.

Next up was our final formal dance.  We wanted to honor those who had come before us, and we decided to do so with an Anniversary Dance.  We wanted to make it known that everyone who celebrated an anniversary could join in, especially since a number of our guests were LGBT, but I don’t remember whether the DJ made that known or not.  As the years started to go up, people began to leave the dance floor.  The final couple was Mr. Library’s Aunt S and Uncle T who have been married for an incredible 48 years.

While we had planned to go right into our huge dance party, there was a touching request on behalf of two of our wedding guests.  You see, July 17 wasn’t only our wedding date, it was theirs too.  They had come to our wedding on their own fifth anniversary.  My Aunt C requested their first dance song and the DJ invited them to the floor to have their dance again.

With our formal dances out of the way, it was time for the dance party and the hilarity of bouquet and garter tosses!

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!

You have a little something on your face…

Volumes of Love: Let Us Eat Cake!

Oh cake.  Mr. Library and I had been dreaming about our cake for nearly a year.  When we went to our first tasting at Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott, we fell in love with the amazing flavors, textures, and the personality of baker Jessica.  She was sweet, real, and an alum of my undergrad university!  Perfect!  Plus, she delivered, which was one of our key concerns.  Since the price was right, we were thrilled to book her.

Beyond the delicious flavors, Jessica was great to work with because of her creativity.  You see, I wanted to surprise Mr. Library a few times during our wedding day, and cake time was one of them.  Somewhere along the planning line, I got the idea to order Mr. Library a special groom’s cake, something that typically isn’t done here in New England.  I bounced the idea off from Jessica, and we came up with the perfect cake:  an A1 cake!  No, the flavor wasn’t A1, but it was shaped like a bottle!  Mr. Library has a serious thing for A1 (it was the first thing in our fridge when we moved into our apartment and he eats it on everything, including salad and soup!), so what better way to incorporate his obsessions into the wedding?

Once the speeches were done and we had a minute, I asked Mr. Library to follow me over to the cake table for a surprise.  When he saw it, his face lit up.  It was perfect!  I was thrilled, and everyone else at the wedding seemed to enjoy it too!  The photographer, however, didn’t notice that it was there until he began showing me the photos in our album.  Hmmmm…

After dinner was done, we went right into the cake cutting.  Why make people wait any longer for this deliciousness?  We decided on four different flavors:  red velvet with raspberry and buttercream, strawberry cake with lemon buttercream, and chocolate cake with German chocolate filling in our wedding cake, and lemon cake with raspberry filling in the groom’s cake.

Wedding cake cutting is intimidating; no joke.  Our wedding coordinator tried to help up figure out how to cut the cake.  Why doesn’t anyone tell you to practice this before the wedding?

We gave it a shot, and when all else failed, I was a total lady and used my fingers.  It was our wedding, right?

The ever important question then became feeding each other.  If you have followed this blog or know us in real life, you know for a fact that Mr. Library and I are nothing if not classy, mature, and sophisticated.  Still, we thought it would be okay if we just once put down our guards and fed each other cake without forks.  And smooshing cake in Mr. Library’s face?  Oh, that never crossed my mind at all!  But maybe it was a good idea we went at the same time just to be on the safe side…

This was about when Mr. Library began to realize that I was trying to take the cake out of his mouth and that I was trying really hard to eat all of it off from his fingers in my mouth.  But why ever would I want to do that?

Yeah, we became another couple who smooshed the cake.  Do I regret it?  Oh heck no.  Sure, it wasn’t the most formal thing to do, but it was US.  Our guests know and love us for being goofy with each other, and at that moment, it was about us and not so much them.  So, to all of you brides out there worrying about what your guests will think if you attack your partner with cake, stop worrying.  Just do what you want to do.  Seriously.  It was FUN!

Now that we were slightly covered in frosting and red velvet, we kissed, took in the moment, and then my new husband did the most gentlemanly thing he could do:  he cleaned me up!

Now that our cake was being whisked into the kitchen for cutting, it was time to begin the formal dances.  I really wanted to just dance already, and I think Mr. Library felt the same, but since we didn’t do our first formal dance yet, we were forced to do awkward ones until the DJ put on our song.  Here’s to awkward dancing and all the fun that was to come!

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!