Monday, April 9, 2012

Wedding: Ceremony and Reception

The bridesmaids, my parents, the planner and I paraded down to the Wharf Room where the ceremony was to be held.

A couple last minute guests slipped in, the wedding party lined up, and I stood around the corner to stay out of Rob's view when the doors opened. As my dad was walking my mom in, I was alone with the coat check girls (who I don't think spoke English, as when I asked if they could see the lip gloss I tucked into my dress they said "yes, yes, very good"...) My heart was racing. This was it.

My dad came back and took my arm. The staff straightened out the train on my dress, and I heard "Here comes the bride" begin to play. The doors opened up, and I could see nothing but the smiling faces of family and friends. I looked up front to Rob, and saw him smiling. Nervous, but happy. 

I felt surprisingly calm as we approached the front. I could hear my dad start to choke up. I knew if he started to cry, I would too. The moment passed, and all I felt was such joy. We got up to the front of the room, where my dad kissed me and sat down. Rob and I couldn't start looking at each other. The JP quietly leaned over to Rob, asking him "Doesn't she look beautiful?" Thank you JP for the nudge!

I can barely remember the words that were said. Both Rob's sisters (my current sister-in-laws) did a wonderful job with the readings. Leanne read "i carry your heart with me(i carry in)" by ee cummings and  Jen read a Sankrit reading that Rob picked. 

I was so grateful when I was able to hold Rob's hand. I know there's no other way it could be done, but it was so nice to be going through this together! He stumbled a bit over the vows (they were long, and I was a bit relieved that I got to hear them twice!) and I had trouble slipping on the ring, but these things just made me smile even more. Then the JP pronounced us husband and wife and declared "you may now kiss!" Katie, my Maid of Honor, reminded me to take my bouquet, then Rob and I headed back down the aisle as husband and wife.

We then headed outside, where the wedding party braved the cold for some pictures!

Everyone went off the the cocktail hour while Rob and I finished photos up. We were then escorted to a small room that was filled with beers, sodas, wine, and champagne. The wedding planner bustled my dress and replaced my veil with a tulle flower comb, then Rob and I had a quick wedding toast. We started practicing our first dance, and we quickly discovered that something was off. My dress was a bit too long. Luckily, Carla had been at the dress fittings and was able to come downstairs and fixed the problem. She totally saved the day!!

Next, the guests were escorted back to the Wharf Room, which was now ready for dining. Once they were sat, the bridal party gathered outside to prepare for our entrances. The band leader introduced herself, and quickly went over everyone's names. We all had a laugh as she almost introduced "Erin and Peter O'Malley."

Each couple of the wedding party made their entrance with "Dirty Water" playing in the background. Rob and I entered and hit the dance floor for our first dance. Our song was Calico Skies by Paul McCartney.

It's a short song, but to our surprise, the band cut out the second verse. Only made a difference because Rob and I had a cue in that verse to head toward the center of the floor for the big finale. As I noticed the continuous repeating of the final words, I realized they'd cut their version, and quickly told Rob to get ready. The dip may have actually happened after the final notes, but I doubt the guests noticed.

We then headed to our seats, and it was time for the speeches. My Dad got up and talked about involving the crowd, and I have to admit that I got a little nervous for that one. He ended up leading the group in his version of Bingo with lyrics like "There was a father who had a girl and Margo was her name-o, M-A-R-G-O." He also lead everyone in a special rendition of the "Popeye" theme song, featuring "Paul the ex-sailor man." All in all, he rocked it!!

Next was Katie, who gave a cute and sweet speech that only a childhood friend could have given. It was perfect! Rob Roberts also knocked it out of the park with a funny and kind speech. We totally lucked out with some really talented loved ones!

We sad down for salad and dinner, then it was time for cake cutting and parent dances! The cake cutting was the only time I had a taste of the cake, because I was busy dancing and chatting during dessert.

Next my father and I danced to "You are the Sunshine of My Life." It was nice and peppy, which I am grateful for. I may have cried if we'd done a more emotional song.

Rob and his mom danced to Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I hadn't heard the song before Rob picked it, but the lyrics are really sweet and totally fit the occasion.
After most of the formalities were over, it was time to do some dancing! The band was fantastic! I hadn't heard them live before the evening, and I am so happy that they were even better than I had hoped!

Sweet Caroline was a favorite, shortly after all the Delta Delta Delta ladies started singing "I am a T." Everyone else, probably thought we were crazy. It's become quite the tradition at Tri Delta weddings.

Dancing with Spectators
It was so much fun being a bride. Everyone wants to talk to you, and I couldn't get close to the bar without some staff member bringing me a drink. A prize should also go to my friend Abby, who had a glass of champagne for me almost every time I turned around.

Soon it was time for the anniversary dance, which I opted to do rather than a bouquet toss. I personally always hated being dragged up with all the single ladies, and with only a few single friend (erm or friends period), I thought giving my flowers to the couple married the longest was the way to go.

All married couples were brought to the dance floor, and periodically the band would tell couples married less than X amount of time to leave the dance floor. The couple married the longest was the one remaining! My husband and I were quickly kicked off when the band declared, everyone married less than 10 hours to sit down. 

At this point, I realized my mom's pin was still on the bouquet. I quickly made Rob take it off and return it safely to my mom! 

The last couple were some family friends' of the Smiths. They have been married 50 years! The wife seemed so touched when I gave her my bouquet. I felt so great about my decision.

My cousin Dana told me the night before that she had been practicing for the bouquet toss, so I pulled her aside and Katie, my MOH, was nice enough to donate her flowers to the cause. 

Everything just flew by. There was more dancing, more drinking, and good times with family and friends! Such a wonderful time! I managed to get a glimpse at the favors, and I think they came out well! I think some people must have really liked them and taken a couple extra, as neither Rob, my parents nor I got one!

As I heard "Stand By Me" start to play, and I knew the night was coming to an end. Rob and I hit the dance floor for our final dance of the evening. When the wedding ended, we headed up to my parents' room to retrieve my things before going to our hotel room. 

I am disappointed that I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone before they left. I just hope that everyone, especially my bridesmaids and parents, know how much I appreciate them being a part of the big day! The BEST part of the day was having so many loved ones all in one place. It was truly a gift!

Can't believe the day has already come, and Rob and I have been married for 2 weeks! Time certainly flies, but I am so grateful that this is just the start of a wonderful life with a fantastic man!

(The fantastic photography is thanks to Meghan, Carla, and Cheryl!)

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