This has been a LONG time coming. I warn you, this post is long. REALLY long. Like, go get yourself a cup of coffee or a mimosa kind of long. There are about 200 photos in this post, and about 600 in the slideshow. Oh, and 91 in the photo booth photos. Crazy, right? What can I say, a girl loves her photos!

All of these photos were taken by the fabulous Verve Studio. I love love love my wedding photos – brides, hire someone you trust. I promise, you want to love your photos too! For any wedding guests, the photos will be on Facebook next week so you can tag yourselves then. I have additional detail shots that I took myself, only because there just wasn’t enough time on our wedding day! I will post those a little later, particularly the stationery, because a lot of people have asked me how I did the invitations.

In the meantime… on with the photos, right?!

This blog is not just about my business, or about photography. This is also a bit of a personal journal. So with that in mind, I wanted to write this post with memories from my wedding day. Everyone tells you the day goes so fast and HOLY MOLY it does, so I actually started writing memories down in my journal while sitting on a balcony in Rome, on our honeymoon. I wanted to remember every single detail.

Friday, September 9, 2011 – Rehearsal day!

Umm I really didn’t expect this day to be so crazy. It’s just a rehearsal right? Where I find out where I need to stand, it can’t be THAT hard. Well, the rehearsal itself wasn’t hard at all, but the day was CRAZY. Tom was running around picking up relatives and friends from the airport and had recruited his friends to help, and I started the day off right – massage. Aww yeah. I was frazzled, trying to make sure that I didn’t forget anything that needed to be taken from our home to the hotel for the wedding. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if we had to go home to get something, but it wasn’t exactly close. And we had to figure out how to get Frankie to doggie daycare.

Another storm in itself – she was missing one of the required vaccinations. I’m freaking out, trying to figure out other alternatives. I was finally down to the option of a vet tech STAYING IN OUR HOME to take care of her, when Shylo said that they would take care of everything for us. That’s right, Shylo, the country club for dogs. Yes, you read that correctly. A doggie country club. A doggie retreat. A doggie vacation, whatever you want to call it. I was desperate and out of options, because we hadn’t taken care of this already, and I must have sounded insane to the woman on the phone. She took care of everything, and they picked Frankie up in the morning. Crisis one, averted. We packed up TWO CARS full of stuff for the wedding and started the drive to Hudson Gardens for the rehearsal. I REALLY wanted to check in to the hotel before the rehearsal but we just didn’t have time. We got to the rehearsal and I remember feeling so happy with all of my close friends and family together. Until then, they had all been separate – different states, different stages of life, and just from different areas of our lives entirely. And now they were all together, and my heart smiled.

I think that Julie was probably about ready to strangle everyone by the time the rehearsal was in full swing. Everyone was talking, everyone had ideas about the way things SHOULD go, and everyone wanted to voice those opinions. Who would have thought we would be so close to so many awesomely smart individuals? ;) She handled it like a pro and we got through the rehearsal. It was hot and I wanted to get all prettied up for the rehearsal dinner, so we headed back to the hotel. This should be an easy task, right? Check in, get to our room and take a shower, get ready! I had a special dress that my mom and aunt had worked REALLY hard on and I was SO excited to wear it. Seems simple enough. We got to the hotel and it was a ZOO. Pure craziness, all in a very small lobby. They had 6 weddings there that weekend, and EVERYONE was checking in at the same time – yikes! I hadn’t thought of that and was getting a little worried about being to dinner on time. It was funny to run into a ton of family in the lobby too, and try to figure out the names. For some reason, Tom’s family likes to use the same name over and over again, which becomes an issue when there are three rooms under the same name reserved!

Whew. We got checked in, got to our room, and I was trying to get ready but my phone would NOT STOP RINGING. Finally it got to the point where I turned it down completely. I had a lot to do and it wasn’t going to get done if I was on my phone, sorry people. I slipped into my dress and Tom and Kaden got all handsomed up in their suits, and we headed to Maggiano’s. I’m going to hate to admit this, but I will – I barely ate anything. I had barely eaten for about a week because of stress, and here I was at one of my favorite restaurants with all of this most fabulous awesome food and I think I ate three mushrooms. They were GOOD mushrooms, but still, I wish I had eaten more! There just wasn’t time, or room in my stomach! The rehearsal dinner was interesting. I thought that it would be more relaxed than the wedding, a time that we could sit and chill out before the big day. It wasn’t really like that though. We were trying to get to each table to say hi to everyone, and trying to make sure everyone was taken care of, and just running around like crazy. So much for relaxing, right? I met a lot of Tom’s family for the first time, and it was fun to make Tom blush while talking with them! Hey, we’re a sarcastic bunch with a dry sense of humor – and I fit right in!

We ate, we laughed and enjoyed our family and friends, and went back to the hotel. Tom wanted to hang out with his friends for awhile, but by the time we got back everyone was EXHAUSTED and no one really wanted to do much of anything except sleep. We went back to the room and passed out, completely worn out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 – Wedding Day!

You’re not supposed to spend the night before the wedding together, right? Eh, whatever. You’ll find a recurring theme throughout most of our wedding planning and this post – the things that people say you’re SUPPOSED to do, or you SHOULD do, are often the things that we decided just weren’t important to us. We really wanted to have an awesome day with our friends and family, and if that meant forgoing a certain ritual, okie dokie. Wedding cake? Nope. Head table? Nope. I really believe that when you are putting together a day that is meant to celebrate you and your spouse, that both of you should make decisions based on YOU, not on what other people say you’re supposed to do. Right? Right. Moving on…

We woke up and I remember looking at Tom and just feeling my heart fill with love. And Kaden got into bed with us and oh MAN I thought I would explode from happiness. Unfortunately, I figured I probably couldn’t stay in bed all day. The guests probably wouldn’t have wanted to hear that the wedding was cancelled because my heart was filled with happiness to the point that I had to stay in bed. They had come from all over the country, I don’t think that would have gone over very well. So we got up, showered, and gathered the things we needed. I tried REALLY hard to keep our room clean, even with the two cars’ worth of stuff that was in there. Well, we had given some to Julie at the rehearsal. But with gowns and dresses and makeup and shoes and tuxes and clothes and girly things and special hangers and everything else that was stuffed in there, clean was not very attainable. Oh well. Tom gathered everything that he and Kaden needed and they went down to the guys’ room to hang out. I would say they went to get ready but I think we all know that there’s no way the guys were getting ready at 10am like the girls were. They have it so easy, right ladies? I had a VERY short moment of peace before everyone started pouring in.

It was just as the room was getting full that I remembered that I had forgotten something. Bad timing, right? Oh well, it can wait… unfortunately no. I had forgotten Tom’s wedding gift. It was so large that I hid it in his dad’s office, and I was supposed to grab it when we left home on Friday, and I left it in the office. I was near tears and trying not to cry, making phone call after phone call to figure out who could stop by and pick it up for me. Marty had said that he would figure it out, and call Martin… and in the end, I don’t know who brought it to the hotel, all I know is that it got there. As more friends filtered in, I realized we forgot two things – music, and champagne. Brides, take note, you will want these things! We managed, thank you to the music on my cell phone!

It’s funny… for all of the things that I’m SO PICKY about, I just let it go that morning. I am definitely a perfectionist in certain aspects. I knew that perfection wasn’t going to happen, life was going to happen. Things were going to break, something was going to fall, and with this many people together for the event, shit was gonna happen. Pardon the expression. I don’t know if it’s because I had been shooting weddings all summer or just a little bit of maturity, but I just wanted to be surrounded by the people I loved, marry the man of my dreams, and have a big huge celebration. If things happened, they happened. We hired the people to take care of it, and we didn’t have to worry about it!

The gorgeous Ms. Stephanie did my makeup, and the fabulous Ms. Karla did my hair.

We decided to get Kaden a special token for the wedding, a family medalion. There are three circles intertwined with each other, one for each of us, all connected now as a family.

Tom bought me a beautiful jewelry box that he had engraved with our wedding “tour” information. Inside was a beautiful letter and a key, the key to his heart. I was bawling like a baby, darn him! ;)

I have so many “favorites” and this is definitely one of them. Puddle is one of Tom’s best friends, I call it a Bromance. ;) I love this photo of him and Kaden… he’s not really a kid kinda guy, but he adores Kaden, and the feeling is mutual!

Someone told me that this photo looks like a Godfather type picture… I love it!

My adorable brother, (he will hate that I used that word) looking awesome! Our wedding day was his birthday!

Is it possible to love a kid even MORE because he’s looking so awesome in his tux?!

My wedding gift to Tom was all six Star Wars posters. When I mentioned this to Matt, he said “you mean all three and the others…” I knew Tom would think the same thing. But hey, all six came together so that’s what he got! ;)

After the flurry and craziness of getting ready… it was time to go. Tom and I opted to do our first look downtown, so Tom rode with the second photographer while the rest of us piled into the limo.

When we arrived downtown the first words out of Kaden’s mouth were “I have to go to the bathroom.” *sigh* All of the sudden, several of the guys had to go. Coincidence? I think they just wanted to get away from the craziness for a little bit. They took Kaden to find a restroom while Tom and I had our first look. Tom stood with his back to me, and I walked up to him. I’ve seen this moment so many times, but have never been the bride… I know this is stupid and silly, but I was SO nervous. I knew he was going to marry me, it wasn’t nerves about the day not happening or anything like that, but I wanted him to be blown away. I wanted him to look at me and have his heart skip a beat because he was so excited to marry me. And I was so nervous walking up behind him.

I’m so, SO glad that we decided to do a first look before the wedding. It was truly some of the only time that we had together, just US, to talk and laugh together and just take a few minutes to breathe!

Tom had chosen a specific pair of shoes that he knew I loved, and wanted to make sure that I saw them! I was kind of impressed and surprised that he had remembered black socks, it’s kind of an ongoing joke. I’ve never asked him, but I bet that they were the pair he kept in his car for gigs. ;)

Usually I wouldn’t use this term to describe either one of us, we’re not very fashionable people. But dayum, we look FIERCE!

How hot is this awesome group of people?

My gorgeous shoes! That I barely wore… I ended up wearing white, rhinestone flip flops for most of the day. I can appreciate and love gorgeous shoes, but when I’m on my feet, walking, running and dancing all day, I’m going to be comfy!

Absolutely beautiful!

This hand signal is going to drive me batty one day, mark my words.

The wedding party was let loose to relax for a few while we had some more alone time for portraits.

We didn’t have a lot of time to take photos downtown, we had to get to Hudson Gardens. I think though, after the time that we did have, everyone was happy to get back into the limo and get some cold drinks. I have an unusually high tolerance for photo taking and can go on for hours – but I think that everyone else was about spent by then. We got situated, this time Tom with us, and laughed and talked for the ride to the garden. Adam and Kaden were closest to the cooler so they were passing out drinks, and I think that Kaden had ENTIRELY too much Sprite. I was closest to the radio controls so I was at the mercy of everyone’s requests. “No not that song, go to this station, turn it up, oh it wasn’t that song…” not the easiest job in the world. But we found “Play That Funky Music” and just as we were pulling into the garden, we ALL sang the last chorus to the song, it was SO much fun! We were getting some funny looks as we piled out still singing. Getting in and out of the limo with my gown was quite the spectacle, maybe that’s what the funny looks were about. I’m not… modest. At all. I had like four layers on under my gown, so when I needed help out of the limo and the easiest thing to do was to lift it up entirely, I did it. Tom was looking both ways to make sure no one was watching, oh well. ;) We walked into the reception tent and it were met with more craziness. There were staff members everywhere! My mom was there, with my aunt, trying to set up flowers and get things all ready. This is one thing that I look back on when it comes to my wedding day that I really wished we could have done differently… my mother was my florist. She is an amazing florist and really, I probably wouldn’t have trusted anyone else. We hired coordinators to help when she got to the wedding, so that it wouldn’t fall on her, but I wish that we would have hired someone to get her TO the wedding site so that she could have been with me at the hotel. Selfish? Yes. But I would have loved to have her there with us. She probably preferred the flowers to the craziness in the hotel room though.

By this time Kaden had just about had it with trying to behave… so Tom took him aside and talked with him for a little bit. He just wanted to get to the party, and didn’t understand why he had to keep his jacket on. Tom smoothed things over and Kaden came back all smiles. Another favorite photo…

We wandered around Hudson Gardens, I was trying to make sure that everyone else was taken care of. I remember asking one of the coordinators if she needed anything and she looked at me like I was crazy. Several of the guys’ shoes broke, the soles came off…. wh-wh-what?! Julie was there with superglue, duct tape and a glue gun to fix it. I remember wandering around, kind of in a daze. Everyone was pulling at me, asking me questions, and as soon as Julie saw that she would intervene and take care of things. I have the white gown on, that means they ask me, right? I remember just wanting water – I was SO thirsty. I wandered into the kitchen and at first one of the staff looked at me and started to say I shouldn’t be there, until they realized I was the bride and they immediately brought me in and asked what I needed. I ended up leaving with several bottles to save!

Family started to arrive for family photos, so I was trying to gather everyone that we needed for the photos. Another thing I’m SO glad we did – family photos BEFORE the ceremony. Oh man… such a time saver and stress saver! And at this point in the post, I have to share some of the family photos or the mothers will be VERY upset with me.

I made a mistake with the timing for some of the family, so we were frantically trying to round everyone up. In the end though, it worked out and we got photos of EVERYONE! Quickly too, hopefully it wasn’t too painful. Family photos at weddings are never really fun, they’re fairly stressful, and ours was no exception. But they’re important to have. How often do you have THIS many family members together? Different states, different life stages… it’s rare that everyone gets together at the same time.

Once the family photos were done we had more time to wander throughout the gardens for more photos. By this time my flip-flops were starting to kill my feet, rubbing on the top, so our awesome pedicab guy offered to take us down close to the ceremony site for photos, Kaden thought that was pretty cool! I was amazed at the strength in that man’s LEGS!

It’s funny how these memories come back when looking at the photos… the day was such a blur, but I remember little things. After taking photos but before the ceremony, I went back up to the tent to find the ribbon for the ring blessing. I could not find that darn thing ANYWHERE. I wasn’t upset though, I remember just kind of wandering around, looking under tablecloths. I’m sure that I looked pretty ridiculous – a bride in the reception tent, while EVERYONE else is down at the ceremony site, including my groom. Julie was down at the ceremony site already with everyone else, but Ann was at the reception tent and spotted me. She stopped me, worried that something was wrong. I explained that I was looking for something and she said “Well, they can’t start without you, let’s find it!” Hearing her say that makes me laugh even as I type that out. I’m sure I just smiled and kept looking. We found the ribbon, and she lead me outside to the pedicab that was waiting for me.

Greg pedaled me down to the ceremony site, but came around the back way so that the guests didn’t see me. There was a special clearing behind the ceremony site that was hidden from guests, and when I got there, everyone was already there. We were all just hanging out in this beautiful setting, all dressed up and looking awesome, like it was completely normal. Sure, I get into a gown to sit in a garden everyday, don’t you? ;) Julie had set up chairs for us, and there was some fruit and cheese waiting for us too. I think that was the first time I ate that day, those strawberries tasted so good, I swear they were special strawberries. Wedding strawberries, right?

Another favorite.. Tom’s parents have been married for almost 40 years.

And then, it was time. Wait, I have to turn on our wedding songs as I’m writing this to really give myself a reason to cry as I go through these ceremony photos. And for anyone who knows me… you know I’m completely serious when I say that.

Everyone started leaving our little setting, two by two. When it was time for Braden to go, someone told him to walk faster. You would have thought they told him that Lightning McQueen was really fake and not a real racecar, he was SO upset! Bridgett tried to help, but it didn’t work, Braden was having NONE of that! Finally dad stepped in to help!

Our flower girl was Tom’s cousin, she was gorgeous!

I remember walking down the aisle, with my dad and Kaden, again, in a blur. I was SO happy, and yet I felt like everything was just whizzing by me. As fast as everything was going, that walk was SO long and slow! We didn’t do the regular march, right left, right left, we just walked. But it was so long, I remember just wanting to get to the front with my guys! I did hear the music though, and it made me think of the reason that I chose the song that I did. I walked down the aisle to “What a Wonderful World” – a song that I remember my grandfather loving. He passed away in 1998, and I miss him a lot, especially now that I have a son. Hearing the song made me smile and think of him as I was nearing my waiting groom.

My stepfather Tom performed the ceremony, and it was wonderfully perfect.

I was supposed to sing. I have a special song for each of my guys, one for Kaden and one for Tom. And I was supposed to sing Tom’s song to him at the wedding, and I just couldn’t. I had spent so many months preparing for this, memorizing things to say, making sure that I wouldn’t mess up the notes or the lyrics… and I just couldn’t. I was so overcome with emotion, I was pretty proud that I didn’t do the ugly cry during the ceremony. There was no way I was going to be able to hold it together to sing to Tom at that moment. Puddle sang one of our wedding songs, and because of something that had happened with the music that was supposed to accompany him, he sang it acapella and did an amazing job.

We had decided to write our own vows. Tom’s vows blew me away. He had them written out and the paper has since disappeared, I have looked EVERYWHERE for it. He did such a great job on his vows, and about a week before the wedding, I was a little concerned. I knew that he hadn’t written them yet, and he’s not really the best at writing heartfelt things out. Most guys aren’t. He has a special way of trying to “compliment” me though, and I had visions of being called a dog on my wedding day. But everything that he said was heartfelt and beautiful, no jokes, no unintentional remarks. He worked hard on them and they were absolutely beautiful. When he was done it was my turn, and I think that everything that he said blew me away and surprised me so much that I couldn’t remember ANYTHING. I had worked for MONTHS on my vows. I had a huge long list of things that I wanted to include, funny little things that were inside jokes between Tom and I. I wanted to tease him about flipping a coin, and mermaids. The emotion of the moment, coupled with his amazing vows, left me completely speechless, and I had no idea what to say. Eventually Tom said “Just say you love me” and man – I know he was trying to help but that made me cry more! While laughing, of course.

We chose to have both of our moms read from 1 Corinthians.

And vows to Kaden, and the presentation of his medalion. From what I heard, this time is what REALLY caused tears in the audience.

Both of us are kind of non-traditional when it comes to certain wedding things. There are unity candles, pouring sand together, planting trees together… lots of different traditions that people use in their weddings as symbolism. We couldn’t find anything that we REALLY wanted to do, until I came across ring blessing. The rings were put onto a ribbon and passed to our parents and grandparents for a prayer and blessing on them.

I’ve said it before with other weddings… and it held true to my own. This is one of my favorite photos – right after the kiss, the photo that everyone wants, right? But this is just after. That moment afterwards when it’s just the bride and the groom… and in our instance, it was Tommy, me, and Kaden, and no one else in that moment.

Some quick private moments before the rush of people… another favorite moment.

While the guests were ushered back up to the courtyard for cocktail hour, we had the golden hour for portraits! We didn’t have to do family pictures, those were done – YAY! We had some time to just reflect, and take five minutes and have that “whew, we’re married!” moment! The caterer hiked down to us with our special champagne flutes and appetizers. And yes, the color looks strange in one of them right? Tom had Fat Tire in his glass!

And THEN, because portraits and first look and families were all done, we actually got to be a PART of cocktail hour! Again, I think this was the second and final time I ate that day – I love finger foods!

Our wedding had a music and concert theme throughout everything. The invitations were concert posters. The RSVP cards had song requests. The escort cards were concert tickets. The table names were some of our favorite bands, on records. The rehearsal dinner was the “pre-party” to the wedding. We really wanted to incorporate music, so all of the details were music centered. I wanted to do a CD for a favor, but time just didn’t cooperate, so we ended up doing wine. Which turned out to be a HUGE hit!

Julie moved us around to the back of the tent, as the guests were ushered into the tent and to their seats. We wanted to do something fun and different with our introductions, and so we set up introductions for each member of the wedding party, based on the Dating Game intros. Remember that old cheesey game show? DJ West and Chris were MORE than happy to work with us on it, and they read each introduction for the couple before they walked in. All of the introductions had little jokes or fun things about each person, so most of them walked in laughing – perfect!

Except Adam of course, who looks like he’s delivering a Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

Once the wedding party had been introduced, three of Tom’s friends grabbed their trumpets. When Tom had mentioned a trumpet fanfare to me about a year before the wedding, he thought that I would immediately say no, and didn’t expect me to be so excited. They lined up and played a fanfare for our entrance – Tommy, Kaden and Me. A trumpet fanfare, fit for royalty, right?!

We went straight into our first dance as man and wife. Confession time: I don’t remember our first dance song. I just looked it up and know it now, but I didn’t remember it before that. It’s a song that we love, but there was a moment that happened a little later in the evening during a song, and that song stands out to me even more than our first dance.

I love, love, LOVE to dance with Tom. When he broke away from me pretty quickly after our dance, I was a little surprised. I turned around and saw Tom with his two best friends, Mike and Puddle, and they started singing to me. HOW FLIPPIN’ AWESOME IS THAT!?!?? They did a serenade for the bride, acapella. I had joked with Tom earlier, saying that he should serenade me at the wedding, and he said no. It was just a joking conversation, I never thought that anything would come of it. And he surprised me and serenaded me with his friends. *SWOON* I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos of the serenade, it makes me laughcry every time I see them. Yes, laughcry. That cry that happens because you’re so happy so it’s coupled with a smile and a laugh. I just created the word, watch, it will catch on.

After the serenade there were more happy tears, hugs, and then we kind of just wandered more. I wish that I had something more exciting to tell you, but at this point everyone else was eating, and we were talking with everyone. People kept telling me to eat, Tom kept putting food in front of me, but it just wasn’t possible. I wish there was a way to explain it… I was in a blur, everything was going on around me.

Ooh more details! A few months before the wedding I had talked with my friend Laura about doing guys’ cakes for each of my guys. We spent MONTHS going over what would look cool, what would be fun to do, and what they would like. When she delivered them, I was SO thrilled with the final product! Tom’s cake was a Lord of the Rings cake. I worked LONG AND HARD to find the CORRECT Elvish writing for that cake. Yes, I nerded out for love. Tom are you reading this?! I researched ELVISH SCRIPT FOR YOU! I can’t believe I even know what Elvish script is. You’re welcome. ;) Kaden’s cake was Optimus Prime in his truck form, for Transformers!

Making it official!

And the toasts… Ryan and Puddle both had toasts prepared, but what we weren’t prepared for, were all of the OTHERS that wanted to speak! Ryan and Puddle started it off, and I knew that Ryan would mention the fact that she can never run for president because of me. What can I say… I almost always have a camera, things need to be recorded for posterity!

We had so many people that wanted to share with us, bless us, and wish us well, it was a little overwhelming. And funny, and entertaining, and touching.

We chose to do one song for the parent dances, so that I could dance with my dad, and Tom with his mom. We had originally planned for each of us to dance with ALL of our parents, but we thought that might be overwhelming, and some of them didn’t want to be in the spotlight. It worked well this way though, we had time to laugh with one of the first people that ever knew us!

We decided to do something else that was a little different and fun. Leading up to the wedding, I kept teasing Kaden about dancing with me at the reception. He finally gave in and said that he would dance with me, but ONLY me. As it turned out, he was KING of the dancefloor that night, but we wanted to start off the dancing with something that was for all of us. We started with a family dance, and let Kaden choose the song. Part of me wants to say that his choice was ridiculous, but another part of me loved it, so we danced our Family Dance to “Eye of the Tiger.”

And that started the party!

At one point, a song from Happy Feet came on – also an Earth Wind and Fire Song – Boogie Wonderland. Kaden LOVES this song, and the dance floor cleared so that he could show off!

At one point Julie came over and told us that she had visited the other weddings going on at Hudson Gardens… and no one was dancing! I can’t imagine a party where no one is moving!

And this is why I can’t remember our first dance. “Bless the Broken Road” came on and Tom and I started dancing. For some reason, everyone else left the floor – or maybe that’s just how I remembered it. But I know that his friends were watching and taking photos, everyone was watching us. And while I knew this when it was happening, it didn’t matter. It was just us. I sang the entire song to him, because I couldn’t sing at the ceremony. I sang every verse, every word, and felt it. IT. The reality of what had just happened, what was currently happening. That we had committed our lives to each other, and that our family and friends were surrounding us to celebrate. I was half crying while singing, and we danced, with no one else around us. For that reason, every time I hear that song, my eyes get a little misty. For that reason, I don’t remember our first dance song. I remember that song and that memory is SO strong to me, cemented in my brain and in my heart.

A quick break in the sappy stuff for more hilarity… someone hurt Braden’s feelings again, I’m not sure what happened. But instead of pouting in a corner somewhere, he decided to lie down on the dance floor. Right in the middle, lying down, no shame. So Dana laid down with him. And I did. And Ryan did. And we ALL did, and we were all on the dancefloor, not dancing, but lying down! I thought the photographers had stepped out to get some gear, so I was SO thrilled to see these photos – hilarious!

More dancing, and wackiness…

So… before the wedding, we were trying to choose songs for everything. And Tom, being a musician, has very strong opinions on this. His opinions are a little biased towards horn bands because he’s a brass player, but I like horn bands too, so okay. He wanted to play TOP songs though. What is TOP, you ask? I didn’t know before I started seeing Tom either. That’s the thing about TOP – they’re a good band, I like the music, but just not very well known. He wanted to play his favorite song by TOP, “Attitude Dance.” Sure honey, okay. I warned him, even though it’s a good song, if people don’t know it, a lot of times they won’t dance to it. He didn’t believe me, he just couldn’t imagine that people wouldn’t dance to such a stellar song. So fast forward to the reception, West played the song. The dance floor cleared, and Tom and Adam represented horn players everywhere by dancing to the not-as-well-known TOP. I think it was one of the few times Adam danced that night, even though he begged the DJ to play “Like a Virgin” and then didn’t dance to it when it was played!

I had realized at the reception that I didn’t have a picture of me with my maid of honor. Since she technically isn’t a sister by blood, she wasn’t in the family photos, but she probably should have been. She is, for all intensive purposes, my sister. We have known each other for *gulp* 18 years. Wow every time I say that I have to do the math. We met in middle school, and have been through some pretty crazy stuff together. I love her so much, she is my chosen family.

And then, it was time. I feel like I’ve said that a lot in this post, but that’s how weddings go – months and months and late nights preparing, and then, it’s time. Time to get to photos, time to get to the ceremony, time to dance, time to do this, time to do that… and then it’s over. It’s time to go. We had glow necklaces for our departure, and it turned out to be SO much fun. We had tossed around the idea of scrapping a formal departure, but looking at the photos, I’m so glad that we didn’t. It was one last hurrah, one last time to really yell and celebrate and be a little crazy for the evening.

Wow. This post took forever to write, but it was like reliving the day all over again. Former brides, take out your photos and look at them, go through your day again. It’s so much fun, and will touch your heart.

For any wedding guests that were with us on our day, thank you SO much for being there. We are so blessed to have amazing families, and we both collapsed into bed overwhelmed with the love that we felt that day. Not only from each other, but from everyone that shared the day with us. For anyone that was unable to come, we expect a big huge HUG when we see you next, we missed you!

From what we can tell and what we were told, everyone had fun. Our day was truly amazing. When we talked about our “vision” for our wedding – yes, I know it’s cheesey, but it helps you to decide on things so stay with me here – it was always focused on emotions and energy, rather than color schemes. Yes, we had colors, and yes, we had a theme, but we wanted people to have fun. We wanted a constant energy throughout everything so that people remembered our wedding as a beautiful, sincere and heartfelt ceremony, with an awesome celebration afterwards. I think that we achieved that goal. So many little details, so many little things to come together. We had amazing help with everything, and so many family members and friends that came together to help us, even with the little things. Things would come up that would be a slight heart attack – like getting the doughnuts – and people came forward to make it happen. (Thank you for that Dad and Leslie!)

I have more photos of food and stationery and rings and details and stuff like that… and I will post more later. There are almost 200 photos in this post, which makes it the longest I’ve ever done, so I better stop now. More to come, I promise!

Below, you’ll find links to credit everyone who was there to help make our day awesome. And more links, for slideshows!

To see the FULL Wedding Slideshow, click here. I warn you, it’s about 600 photos, so grab a cocktail and watch!

To see the Photo Booth photos, click here.

To see our Engagement album and guest book, click here.

Vendors that helped make our day awesome:

Julie McKenney, Bliss Elevated

Engagement Photos – Krystal Radlinski, Wedding Photos – Matt Radlinski & Second – the husband and wife team that make up Verve Studio

Pedicabs – flippin’ awesome, SO worth it! Colorado Rickshaw, Greg

Flowers, centerpieces, bouquets, decorator extraordinaire, and my mommy, Kathy Keown

Venue – Hudson Gardens

Catering and Setup (At Hudson Gardens the caterers do a LOT more than just food!) Greens Point Catering

DJ West and Chris Shirley – an AMAZING husband and wife team!

Thank you to everyone, we love you all!