Thursday, June 18, 2009

Details, Details . . . .

Wedding planners and coordinators and magazines (oh my!) say nowadays that details are the key to a good wedding. And when Super Tall Girl and I arrived at the church, we began setting up the little ceremony details we had prepared in advance. Programs:

Pinwheels (printed with the words of our vows). We put the paper pinwheels onto pencils that were themselves printed with whimsical axioms like, “Write Your Own Love Story,” and “A Whirlwind Romance.” And we put the finished products into recycled paper-ream box lids that we covered in fabric and filled with Spanish moss):

Vintage Hankies given by Mama, two Aunties, and Super Tall Girl:

A guestbook, nearly every page of which had a photograph of family members on their wedding day. And snapshot cards that told guests how to upload their photos on We also made little stand-up cards that explained all of the other little details and cards. Overkill? Probably. But they were pretty little overkills, no?

The fascinator in my hair I made from feathers and French netting:

And I made my necklace from coin pearls that looked like full moons. The pearls symbolized my twin brother, whose nickname was “Mr. Moon” when we were little. (Mine was “Little Miss Sunshine”).

The flowers in my bouquet, above, were lilies of the valley, which symbolize a return to happiness. They are sometimes also called Jacob's Ladder, and Jacob was my twin brother's name.

I made my veil from an embroidered piece of organza from the fabric store and a plastic comb. Several people asked if it was vintage. But it was just homemade. It probably cost $15. But it felt like it was worth a million, because the embroidery was of shamrocks to symbolize the day the Mister and I got engaged – St. Patrick’s Day:

I made tartan rosette pins for every woman member of my mother’s clan and the Mister’s clan. Momma Mac, my MIL, pinned her tartan on my dress to symbolize that I joined her clan during the ceremony:

Sure, the weddingers say that details are the key to a good wedding. And I'm so glad I made them, because adding symbolism to an already meaningful ritual adds depth. And (to be honest) making things just plain makes me happy.

But our details were merely the outward expression of the inner love the Mister and I felt for each other, our guests, and the joyful occasion of the day. The only real detail I needed that day was the man I married. So don't be pressured to DIY or include a details that aren't your style or speed.
You and YOUR mister: express yourselves. BE yourselves. The you-ness of it all is what you will cherish, and what your guests will remember. I promise.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The night before the wedding, I slept the happy, deep, undisturbed sleep of a girl who knows she’s marrying the right husband the next day. (It may also have been the happy, deep, undisturbed sleep of a girl whose multi-decibel-snoring-fiancĂ© is sleeping in another building. I’m just saying.) Anyhoo, I woke up bright-eyed and ready to grab brunch with a group of my favorite gals.

I don’t think I ate much – just moved my food around and thought about how this was IT. My wonderful friends fussed over me (and ordered me to eat more). It was deliciously lovely (and downright delicious).

I did my makeup at home myself, and I also had thought I’d do my own hair in my regular, everyday straight style. Like dis:

But when I went to the Enchantrix of Hair to get a cut two weeks before the wedding, I asked her to fix me up like she would on my wedding day. I liked it, but it seemed like a lot of work to make an appointment and get over to see her on wedding day. And I liked my regular do too. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Short story long, that day, the Mister picked me up from the appointment and made this incredibly contented aaaahhhhing sound when he saw my hair. Now this is a guy who probably wouldn’t notice if I shaved my head and painted my scalp purple. So if the hair trial produced that kind of reaction, you can bet your bottom dollar I was going to do it again. On the wedding day. Duh.
Here is the Enchantrix in action, whipping my babyfine hair into a wedding-worthy do:

Apparently this was a very wise choice, because on the wedding day, Pop told me FIVE BILLION TIMES that he LOOOOVED my hairdo. And he wasn’t alone. If I had the Enchantrix’s magical superpowers, I would fix my hair like this every day. But alas, I am a mere mortal.

After the hair spell, we went home to pick up the flowers that I put together the day before. Yep, I did my own flowers. Spent a total of $35 bucks on ‘em. That was for the mothers’ corsages, the tossing bouquet, a few extra flowers for my MOH, and the guys’ boutonnieres. All of which I made myself. My own flowers? Picked ‘em from my friend’s yard. Well, most of them, anyway. I confess to picking a few more from other people’s flower beds on the way home. It takes a village, you know. Here are the results:
MOH-Super Tall Girl's nosegay was a center of Bells of Ireland surrounded by lilies of the valley. My bouquet was all lilies of the valley. The bouts were a Scottish thistle (a nod to the Mister's and my heritage) paired with a succuluent bud from a plant called hens-and-chickens pulled from my friend's garden. Manly and green, and they happen to be Pop's favorite. The mamas each had a single flower to carry, tied with a slim black ribbon. Here's a closeup of my bouquet. It smelled MAHvelous.

And THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, was the State of My Wedding Morning. What happened next, you ask? You know the drill. Tune in next time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Before we got to the three major wedding snafus, we had to make it through the day BEFORE our big day. May 1. Also known as May Day. As in, “MAYDAY! MAYDAY!”

I spent the morning and afternoon with MOH Super Tall Girl eating crepes, drinking champagne, and having a pedicure. It was deeelightful. The Mister was at work. Rargh. But before we both knew it, it was time for the rehearsal, which our dear friend Elaine (of the super fab engagement pics) photographed as a gift to us.

The rehearsal involved two diametrically opposed experiences: (1) dealing with Crazy Church Lady, which produced facial expressions like this:

And (2) seeing friends and family, which produced facial expressions like this:

Seriously, it’s soooo not fair that my mother-in-law, Momma Mac, (pictured above) looks like my sister. My YOUNGER sister. And here are a few photos to show that she raised her boys right. The Mister and his younger brother met their grandmother with hugs and respect. I. Love. Momma. Mac.

The highlight of the rehearsal was learning that there is a secret button that the Church Lady presses to cue the organist to switch to a different song. A magical button! Right there in our church! How absolutely splendid!

Nearly as splendid was the story my Mantron of Honor told me about a couple who brought their VERY VOCAL PARROT to their wedding.

The next chapter was dinner. Wherein we stuffed our faces with delicious fried chicken and gave gifts to our wedding party. Our dads gave excellent toasts. Of which we have nary a photo because we were too busy wiping our eyes. But here is one pic of MOH Super Tall Girl and me, glad to be surrounded by the warmth of family love. (Which may have been exaggerated by the unseasonably warm weather, the radiators belching steam, and the inoperable windows.) But the chicken? DEELISH.

And last but not least was a trip to the site of our first kiss and proposal, where we met up with dear friends and raised a glass (or two). Said dear friends had already raised a glass (or three) before we even arrived. Which may be why their text messages referenced “drunking” rather than “drinking.” We danced. We sang at the top of our lungs.

We smooched our last single kiss. MWAH!

Exhausted, the Mister and I separated (home for me and our grumpy little dog, hotel for the Mister) to rest our tired smile muscles and to try to get some sleep.

Cue the announcer’s cliffhanger queries: Did they sleep? Did they get to the church on time? Did they murder the Church Lady? With a parrot?! Tune in to our next episode to find out!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We’re married! (Not just “weddinged,” thank goodness.) So that’s MRS. Jules to you.

I’ve heard that many friends have been checking here for recap posts, and I’m finally ready to give ‘em to you. A quick list of the highlights:

1. Pop’s fly was unzipped during the ceremony. Thank you, photoshop! (Seriously, though, only three people knew about it.)

2. The Mister ended up wearing his grandmother’s corsage. As his boutonniere. (But it looked awesome!)

3. The groom’s cake had the wrong Scottish motto on it. (Instead of “MARE,” meaning “sea,” it says, “MARF.” So our new motto is, “Per Marf Per Terras,” or “By Marf and By Land.” What the Marf?! This is seriously my favorite wedding snafu. It makes me laugh so hard that my sides hurt. Marf! HA! Love it.)
You know how people say that the wedding is supposed to be the best day of your life? And how I thought that was soooo stupid, because it’s just a big party with a poofy dress and a tall cake? Well, I didn’t take into account two major things.

First, and most importantly, the magnitude and meaning of the ritual of marriage was breathtakingly beautiful. The love we felt for each other filled up the church and spilled right out into the street. I’ve been high on it for an entire month. I didn’t know I could love my Mister any more than I already did. But the words we spoke to each other, the way we saw each other, and the very air around us that day multiplied my love exponentially. I. Was. Gobsmacked.

And second, the guests at the big party with a poofy dress and a tall cake? Our closest, most beloved friends and family. Feeling the warmth of their love all at once was like the first time I broke through the clouds in an airplane. Transformational. Awe-inspiring. Humbling. Glorious.

So the wedding may not turn out to be the very best day of my life. But you can bet it was the best day of my life so far. That’s why I have an open-mouthed-laugh-from-the-sheer-joy-of-it-all face. In nearly every single picture.

Special thanks to Todd Pellowe,, who took these amazing photos. He reached up into the night sky that was our wedding and captured shooting stars of emotion. More to come. I promise.