Thursday, September 9, 2010

Details, details, details

Let's face it - weddings these days are a huge business! Details have become a focus and even a priority for some. Our wedding had a ton of details. The truth is, 3 years down the line and a bit more of a clear-head about things, most people had no idea what they were or meant. But we did. We put a lot of meaning into our wedding and in the end we wouldn't change much (Em says he wouldn't change anything. Did I mention how much I like that guy?).

Know what ended up being the most important detail of the day, and the one people talked about the most?

Our vows.

Really, isn't that how it should be?

The biggest and best detail of our wedding is the one I get to keep and cherish the most: my husband.


My flowers. At the middle were red/hot pink celosia (or cockscomb), grown in a neighbor's garden who I have known since I was 7 years old. The woman who grew them for me, Rosalee, is a wonderful gardener and an even more wonderful person with a heart about as pure as they come. The outside were Bells of Ireland, a flower my grandmother loved (who I was also named after), and a flower that reminds my mom of her mother, and me of both of them. Then there were three white roses. My mother carried white roses on her wedding day, so did my mother-in-law, so did I.

The blue brooch you see, my "something blue" came from a tiny little town where my husband and I stayed for two weeks when we first made our big move to be together. The town is about a big as a nickle, but the relationships and neighborly kindness there are amazing. When we struggled and struggled to find a place to hand cancel our wedding invitations I finally called that small town and the post master said "no problem!". We drove 5 hours, total that day, to mail our invitations. We stopped to get a thank you box of chocolates that the post master was embarrassed to accept, ate lunch at a place we knew we loved, and wandered about town. It was a beautiful day. As we wandered we stopped in a store and I saw this brooch. My husband bought it for me as a gift, and, well, that's where it ended up on our wedding day!


We were married under a tree in my grandfather's back yard. That tree has been around since I can remember - it's in a million sunset pictures and has weathered a ton of storms. There were leaves on our save the date cards, and our invites, a tree (and more leaves) on our programs (which were actually mini movie posters), and a tree stamped on some of our favors. Trees and leaves, all around. My husband crafted an amazing stand that looked like a tree for our cupcakes and cake. Our baker made all the cupcakes have wrappers that looked like bark and hand crafted sugar leaves in all sorts of fall colors.


What were the cupcakes? Mmm. My recipe! They were pumpkin spice cake with a cream cheese frosting. I make a variation of this cake every fall - it's the only thing I make every single year, actually, so it seemed only fitting for our wedding!We had boxes for extras and for people to take their dessert home - as I recall my sister in law wrote some threatening notes on her cupcake box, perchance anyone got any ideas. My dad loves yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and my friend Heather hates pumpkin (she's otherwise acceptable though, I promise) so together they got to split their very own, special ordered dozen yellow cake cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

first dance

We were very lucky to have some incredibly talented people involved in our wedding. My maid of honor has an incredible life portfolio of all things fine and lovely - from a mother who designed for top fashion houses, to a father who is an expert florist, to a husband who is a master of wine, to her own hard-won mastery of all things paper and design. She, along with my mother's dear friend (who I will tell you all about another day), who came all the way from Australia, help craft all the last minute details and made some of the most amazing things happen for us.

Cutting my veil!

Pat, from Australia, is an incredibly talented artist, and is the daughter of an Italian milliner. She grew up helping makes hats and veils, can sew in her sleep, and knows a thing or two about the proper way things should be done. When I showed up with a hair comb and a hunk of tulle Pat whipped it into a 96 inch long chapel length veil in about five minutes flat. Then, just minutes before we went to the reception my maid of honor and I cut it off. That's right, we cut my veil right down to a fingertip length. Two veils in one!


Pat and my maid of honor worked feverishly and in tandem. They did all the bridesmaids bouquets (you see them above), helped with all the flower decorations, did my bouquet, did the men's boutonnieres, my veil, the decorating, cleaned messes, cooked food, sewed holes and seams, polished jewelry, directed the other helpers (aka everyone else who busted their behinds as well, not excluding my very overworked mom!) when I could not, and so on. They were, in a word, amazing. Luckily my maid of honor's husband happens to be a very talented photographer as well - he managed to capture some of the most meaningful moments - both because he was there when others weren't and because he knew, and knows what mattered to us. We are so, so lucky to have those images.


My grandfather was our ring bearer. At 6'5" and 78 years old he wasn't quite the 'child' you might expect (well, except at heart) but we trusted him with our rings and we were sure we wanted him in our wedding somewhere. What's interesting is that I have always loved his hands. They were incredibley strong, and large, and yet he tried to do the tiniest little things with them - from ship models and electronics to carpentry. It's only fitting that his hands carried the symbol of our commitment in them.


We had so many favors it was a bit ridiculous. There were out of town boxes with all things local in them, CDs of music that served as a soundtrack to our story, movie poster programs, custom made votive candle escort cards, and a southern pecan toffee to celebrate my dad's side of the family. There were also salt water taffy's - my father in law's favorite candy - with as many thank you quotations as there were guest, no two alike. And if anyone wanted there were fans, parasols, flip flops, matches, coasters, branded boxes for the cupcakes...seriously, I got out of hand with the projects...


All in all it was a lot of fun. Details or not - and that matters. It matters that you have fun and that your guests do as well.


Is also doesn't hurt if people remember the reason you are there in the first place. To celebrate and renew the faith that is love. We go to weddings not just to celebrate but to renew, to remember, and to praise the positive in the human spirit - that above all love happens, it matters, it can transcend, and it can transform. While we cannot always be in the moment - as a bride, a groom, a parent, a friend, a participant, there will always be, like a kiss, one best wedding ever. That best wedding will be the one, not necessarily that binds you to your spouse, but that fills your spirit and marks you indelibly. So while the tradition, and sometimes the expenditure may seem, at time, superfluous, you never know if your wedding, your moment will be someone else's "best wedding ever" and how they will be changed by it, if it will renew their spirit, fill their soul when they were down, or change the way they think about things (like our vows seemed to do for many).

If you are getting married soon, best wishes - may you have the best wedding ever. If you are married I hope you had the best wedding ever, and if you haven't been to one, I hope you experience the best wedding ever soon! For me, it was in a courtyard, lights above twinkling and filled with dancing, for my husband it was in a yacht club. See - you never know!

Images courtesy of Melissa Grimes Guy and Andrew Petersen (black and white photos with {every}nothing wonderful watermark). For further contact information please contact me at everynothingwonderful [at] gmail [dot] com.


Lindsay Road said...

Nice wedding! I'm going to post about ours eventually, however, our photographer missed all of our details, and I'm still a bit peeved...

Tricia said...

Eeep! How frustrating! At least you are a great photographer in your own right and can take some detail shot after the fact. Not the same at all, I realize, but for the purposes of illustration... I have to say we had so many details I'm shocked so many were captured because really, there were almost too many. Someday I'll post some others. I'm so looking forward to seeing/hearing about your wedding!

Amy said...

Ooooh....wish I had seen that brooch for the cookies! I could have tried out more sparkle dust!!