Saturday, April 9, 2011

Six Months

It didn't occur to me until late yesterday that today would mark six months since our wedding. I instantly got excited about the fact, and memories of the day flooded my thoughts. The easiest way to share those thoughts, emotions and memories with you? Pics. It's taken me long enough, right?

Please just remember that these are owned by a) Sarah Beck, our friggin' incredible (and fairly priced!) photographer and b) me. So hands off. That being said... For those of you who weren't there or for those of you who'd like to relive it, got an hour? Here we no particular order, here are some favorite memories...

I completely forgot, until the news that night, that the photogs at Dave's work were busy with weddings that day...

 The feeling of accomplishment and relief that everything had gone well, all of our planning went great, and that we were finally ready to start our lives together. Legally.

 Doesn't every bride and groom air guitar at their wedding?
 Entrance music for the reception? Austin Powers.
Speaking of "reception", ours was at Beardslee Castle. So much history, so much spirit (literally). How could you not celebrate a day of life-long love here?

My father-daughter dance was actually a grandfather-brothers-stepfather-mother-daughter dance. Not all at once. Here's my oldest brother, Bill. I'll always remember how emotional he was that day. What a sweetheart.

Bill also performed a reading at the wedding. Talk about emotional! So glad he did it, and so glad to have him as a special part of the day.
This is Bill's fun, gorgeous family. Yep, that tall stud on the right's my nephew...and that little girl's a bit of a mini-me. Ah, I love family.

I was as nervous about the "father-daughter" dance and the second "surprise" I had for Dave as I was for the ceremony itself. I'm actually getting bustled here.

We put a lot of personal details into our day - such as our donation to the ACS to remember those who couldn't be with us - specifically, my dad.

Fire? What fire? I've got free champagne. (So glad Dave will always have my back, even when I'm distracted and unable to help.)

All three charms I handmade. We needed our loved ones to be remembered in our own, quiet way. Dave's grandmother adorned his bout.

Everyone's surprisingly calm. What's there to worry about, anyway?

Some of our close friends cut loose big-time at our reception -- which we LOVED. It was a joyous, unforgettable time (reminded me a bit of their wedding!). Not like a lot of weddings, though -- possibly thanks to our small guest list (only truly close friends and family). Here's our friend, Christine (or Christina, depends on the day, hee hee) doing her best John Travolta.

 Chuck, Professional Party Starter
 So much love surrounding us that day. Look at all the lovebirds!
Sweetest. Cupcakes. Ever. Deliciousness. Plus, the 2nd surprise - a homemade apple pie (made by my mom). Dave's not a big cake eater, so we cut and shared this instead.

Another silent show of respect and love to Dad - a burning candle (homemade square beeswax, very masculine and plain, like, I didn't make it, but I searched high and low for it) in his Remington Arms candle holder (he worked there) on an antique stand that my uncle gave to my mother. Surrounded by his kids...

The speeches. Perfect, concise, funny but respectful. Here's Dan, Dave's brother and best man. I had a maid and matron of honor - my best friend, Beth, and my sister/best friend, Mary.

I started my "father-daughter" with Grandpa. He's my hero, and acted in place of a father throughout my childhood.

Dancing soul mates. Dave's proud to break out his Arrested Development chicken impersonation. We <3 Safety Dance.
Will always remember the sweet tears of Dave's parents, and the mother-son dance to Cyndi Lauper.

 One reason he doesn't break out the dance moves very all....You keep trying, buddy.

The look Dave gave me down the aisle. Nervous, but confident and happy. It helped me reach the end without losing it.

Dave picking up the slack upon hearing about the guest list catching fire. Let's see, who was at the Classic Hollywood table? (Oh, and the kind folks at Beardslee framed the singed list and gave it to us with a sweet note. It's hanging in our dining room.)

I'm part of their family now!
 What an eclectic mix of awesome guests we had.
 Our iiiiinnnnccrrreeedible DJ, Bill T, checking in. Such a personalized playlist!
And his fun dollar-drink game. Tee hee. People knew they were in for some fun times.

My dress. How much work we ladies put into it...and the perfect veil...and everything. I felt that Grandma was with me throughout the day...along with a few long-dead actresses.

The Dungeon. AKA After-party. AKA Our favorite pub (in Beardslee's basement). If you come visit, we'll go!

How beautiful Sarah made me feel. Seriously, she's unbelievable. And how nervous my mother was when she showed up wearing Chucks - which didn't matter a bit in the long run (and I love that she wore them; we went to high school together and couldn't picture her wearing anything BUT). Part of me wishes I'd worn them, too.

 Our first dance was to the Beatles/John Lennon's "Real Love". Look up the lyrics. Now. Seriously.
Did I mention personalized details? We provided a Flipcam for folks to leave greetings on. Man, were they fun! Other stuff - a scrapbook showing Dave and I at stages throughout life (then together), M&Ms with our faces, a chocolate fountain with tons of fruit via my wonderful MIL, and personalized table names ("Classic Hollywood", "Mrs. Shake", "Beardslee Castle", "Ilion Little Theater", etc.) according to our interests.

My bouquet. Perfectly classic, old-fashioned and modern simultaneously. My something blue- the ribbon on my homemade charms.

 This motley crew. What better way to end the day? (Well, that and booze.)
The fact that this picture makes my fam look like the mafia. Love it.
 That we could laugh like it was any other day - which it kind of was. Plus a wedding.
 The girls helping each other. I couldn't have had cooler, more relaxed ladies in my par-tay.
Pics in the street in front of my parents' house. Luckily, no one had to head up Putts Hill that morning. It was a perfect autumn day.

Throwing on my rehearsal dinner dress and running over to my dad's headstone. I left him a calla lily that was still as fresh as new a week later. That tree has watched me grow.

 The wedding party, relaxed. Love them all.
 Still being a dork, making unelegant hand gestures while Dave puts the ring on.

Here are some of the perfect pictures of perfect loves, people who we can look to to model strong relationships upon (other than, of course, our parents):
 Alex and Abby
 Rob and Cara (now engaged!)
 Sara and Michael
Sharon and Ken
(So weird calling them that - Mr. and Mrs. Palmer; she played the organ at the ceremony, and is practically family. My brother and I took piano lessons from her for several years.)
 Paul and Ambi
 Holly and Bill (sweetest moment ever!)
 Debbie and John
 Danielle and Jon (now engaged! Something in the water...or Beardslee)

 I knew Mom was happy this day. Man, did that make me happy.
Have I mentioned how much I <3 Sarah, our photog? And have I mentioned how much I <3 this guy?

I do believe this was either "Let Me Clear My Throat" or "Don't Stop Believin'". Either way, how could you have a reception without them? Look at 'em. Always performing.
 Awesome. Moment. (Albeit staged.)
Thinking: "We're allowed to touch up here, right?" He seemed to need a hand-holding. We both did. Strange, we're not usual hand-holding types.
 Wedding day hugs are the BEST.

 Finally, no tears! Just happiness all around. I couldn't be luckier in-law.
Before the 1st surprise. Even after we were sitting in it, he couldn't quite understand. See, we'd planned quite meticulously whose car we'd be riding where. (No, we didn't do limos. We didn't do a videographer. We didn't do a lot of very expensive things. There was no need; it was perfect the way it was.)

My stepdad, Jerry, who didn't stop talking during our "father-daughter" time. He's always been a part of our family in different capacities, but when he finally became a part of our family, for-real, I gave him hell. Lots of teenage hell for several years. He's, luckily, since forgiven me, and has been a shot in the arm of strength, humor and calm for our family. He's given my mother a new life, and I'll always appreciate that. I love that he considers me one of his children and speaks of me proudly to people. There couldn't be a kinder man.

Our theater buddy, Jim, who also happens to be the father of my dear friend, Kelly. Strange how life revolves like that. Regardless, he helped make the day so memorable - in a great way!

My sister's husband, John, had a permasmile like this all day. He was an usher, but he's, simply put, a brother. I love my other brothers and would do anything for them, but he was the more "present" brother during my teen years and beyond. I love that guy as much as I love that girl, and that's saying a lot.

 Josh called. He insisted the party get started.
 The most jubilant emotions can be found while people jump.

Our final dance - "All You Need Is Love". Surrounded by every guest. The best moment of our lives.

 Always there to lean on, especially at a cemetery on your wedding day.

 ...or to get Uncle Bob (Dad's baby brother, who was very good to us kids growing up) shakin' his boo-tay. Yes, I just wrote that. Embarrassing side note: Mom was known to dance on our local version of American Bandstand. I guess the guys liked her because they could easily throw her around, being tiny.

 ...or to share the final part of the "father-daughter" dance with. And, no offense to the guys, but she was the best dancer. Maybe I'm just used to shorter guys.

Mom, holding my charms. I love how you can see how tenderly and gently she's holding them with her time-worn hands. There's a lot of love in those hands, and for those people. (Her mom and first husband.)
 More dancing soul mates who had never met before.
 The job is done. Make 'er last.

This perfect shot was suggested when inspiration struck...our very own Chuck Carr. He's got a damn fine eye. (Wish my hair wasn't loose, but s'all good.)
 Cutting the pie.
My brother, sister and stepdad enjoying the first posed shots of the day. Nothing like standing in the middle of a street in a wedding dress. No, seriously, you should try it some time. Fun!!

Man, I worked hours on those darn things. Downloaded the perfect font (eventually), reworked it to the perfect design (eventually), had them printed and folded at Staples. And, yet, I highly advise that people looking to a) have complete design control and b) save a bundle, design your own stationery, programs, seating chart, table names/labels, etc. It's fun (in a sick way) and whenever I look at our invitation, I can say, "I did that! And Dave had approval of them!" There were definite DIY parts of the wedding. Oh! Maybe I should share those sometime, if anyone would be interested.

Some random, unrehearsed moments...

 A touching moment. Oh, wait. Wrong one.
 This one. That's better. We get along like peanut butter and jelly.
 In disarray. Love this picture - relaxed, fun. But, wait. Where is my sister's hand?! That can't be right.
My makeup artist! Couldn't have had a wedding without my brother, seriously. He made me look perfect. Huge task. Then, he helped out my ladies, which he didn't need to do. There's a big heart in there, even if his way of showing it is with impeccable sarcasm and brutal honesty. ;-)

Not one to be unpleasantly surprised by being forced to publicly dance in front of dozens of people, he threw ME a curveball...that could've gone badly! But was fun, instead.

We kept expecting him to do something naughty. Like swear. Or perhaps say "Mawwaige. Mawwaige is what bwings us...togethahhh." He behaved...although I was slightly disappointed that he didn't mix it up.
The scrapbook I decided to undertake shortly before the big day. Idle hands... It did actually help calm me, and I love the outcome. Better than the technical glitches of Powerpoint.
I wore flats. Took awhile to get champagne ones, though. Our colors were black and white...with a hint of champagne.
 Straightening up our act.

 See? So much love!

Very special church decor.
Our table frames.

 And, yet, I thought there'd be more tears that day.

Mom, showing her friend Joanne's hubby, Terry (whose birthday I share!) how to cut a rug. He taught me how to throw a ball and swing a bat, just like Dad would've wanted me to know. He was the first person called the day I was born, and I was honored that they could be here for the wedding.

 What a gentleman! My husband, drinking champagne, while Chuck lifts my train.
 One look I get regularly...especially whilst fixing a tie or what have you.
Another look I get regularly. "I try to be annoyed with you, but it doesn't last long." (I'm grateful for my goofy grin, it does wonders.)

 Fire? Eh, no big.

 Tom looks ready for a the parking lot.
 I knew Tonya could handle two men! (We're not traditional; we had 4 guys, 3 girls.)
 I <3 My Train. What other day can you get away with one?
Uncle Mark, schooling the crowd and making us laugh. Oh, he's the priest, BTW.

 Walking like Egyptians. This song holds so many memories for me as a child, we just had to dance to it. We had to teach it to my niece.

Drinking water - the bride way. "Don't spill, don't spill!" (Side note: I didn't pee until I was home and out of my dress, so never had to have the "3 ladies, 1 stall" scenario.)

What a wacky bunch!

So, there you have it. The day. The months since then have been up and down, but mostly quite good. No huge speed bumps, although I'm sure we'll inevitably hit some. I think that we're currently in a state of "realistic thinking" as far as marriage is concerned -- and we're happily not looking back.

You received "thank you" notes, but I'd like to, once again, thank all those who came to our wedding and who helped to make it so damn special. Seriously, Dave and I still pinch ourselves over how wonderful and perfect it was. And, now, for those friends who WEREN'T at the wedding, I thank you for spending the time to peruse through our day. You're officially a McCoy-Dellecese guest of honor.

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