Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Rest of The Night

Summing up the rest of our wedding night is overdue but figured I should get this out of the way before I bother posting about anything else!

After the speeches were given by our wedding party and parents it was our turn to say thank you to everyone. Unlike my father, I did NOT come prepared, assuming that I would remember everyone that needed to be thanked. I did not take into consideration what my emotional state would be in. I honestly never expected I would be a crier and yet the water works didn't really stop once I walked down the aisle.

So at this point I attempt to tell everyone how we would never have been able to put on our wedding, being so DIY intensive, with out the help of some many friends and family. At the point that I mention the help of my aunts in the kitchen to prepare the appetizers earlier during the day I lose it and end up rapping it up that I'm just so grateful. I really hope that I didn't miss anyone and that they all realize how important they are to us.

{Here I am attempting to hold it together}

My Mr stepped in and said thank you to a few that I missed, my work being one of them as my employers stepped up a lot by providing the media truck among other things.

After our thank yous it was caking cutting time and guess what I forgot to put on my list to bring?! A cake knife! Didn't even occur to me until we were standing in front of the cake! So we improvised and grabbed a dinner knife. Luckily the cake was only serving the head table as we provided mini cakes for each table.
{Three types of cake were brought to each table: vanilla, chocolate and carrot}
{See you can't even tell that it was a dinner knife!}

After cake was cut I joined my father on the dance floor for our Father Daughter dance. I had decided on Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapmen, which I explained in this previous post, which I thought was very appropriate based on my childhood fascination of pretending to be Disney princesses but try as I might to get my father to pay attention to the lyrics he was just so preoccupied with everything else. Oh well I thought it was touching...
Next up was my Mr and his mother. As his musical tastes don't really provide a huge selection for mother/son dances we gave his mother the responsibility of picking a song. She chose "I hope you dance" by Lee Ann Womack.

I personally think the song choice is funny, only because my Mr is not a country music fan and when I chose Sugarland for our first dance he commented "At least it will be the ONLY country song I'll ever have to dance to" Bah-ha-ha If you could have seen his face when I explained Lee Ann Womack is also a country singer...priceless...

The rest of the night went much like ever wedding reception. We were extremely lucky to have clear skies for the entire wedding and the mosquitoes didn't bother us much until the end of the night but we had bug spray and Off! lanterns helping with the fight.

Although our first three dances (we opted NOT to have a dance with the wedding party...I pick the traditions I think are important and completely ignore the rest) were held in the hall we took the dancing outside for the rest of the night.

{Here I am getting a dance in with one of my grandmothers}

Shortly after this dance I took off with my Mr to our camper to change into my 'going away dress' that my mother-in-law made for me (which I now wear to the office every once in a while) and came back to dance and visit.

{Unfortunately I didn't get any professional pictures taken while in this dress but I think this picture sums up what I did the rest of the night}

Dancing went on through the rest of the night.

Before we could call it a night my Mr and his groomsmen had to have their photo shoot around the campfire with their Manowar shirts and swords...boys will be boys...

We ended up packing it in around 2pm and left the majority of the stuff for clean up the next morning. All in all I think it all turned out great and our guests enjoyed their selves...I hope!

Were there things I would do differently? Absolutely and I will tell you about those soon but I still had a wonderful time and my Mr says it was the best day of his life so I guess that is what really matters.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One Year...where has the time gone

Yesterday we celebrated our one year anniversary. It feels like we JUST said our vows and at the same time like we've been married for years.

I had great plans to update this blog with all the behind scenes of our wedding planning shortly after our honeymoon and then life got in the way. I would still like to do that, just a matter of motivation at this point. During my wedding writing block I've been blogging about everything else on my other blog which had originally started as a 'mother-to-be' one but almost as soon as that started it was put on hold when life slammed me in the face with a one in ten experience that no one wants, a miscarriage.

Being married for a year now we've experienced a lot:
  • Had an extremely close friendship end based on our lives moving in different directions
  • Dealt with the stresses of trying to conceive, loss and the aftermath
  • Buying a larger and newer home
  • Entering into the home rental arena as we chose to keep our other house
  • Struggled with a wonderful 20lb weight gain, only to find out recently that was helped along by the fact that my body doesn't want to acknowledge the insulin it makes. Still working on letting go of my much loved carbs.
  • Waiting for my first nephew to arrive
  • Helping to plan my future SIL's wedding
  • Finishing year one of my CMA designation
  • And although we've lived together since 2008, still learning to adjust to each others annoying habits and practicing compromise so we don't resort to violence.
All and all I think its been a very "productive" first year.

One of the things I have yet to do, though, is legally change my name (everywhere). I've said it many times to people and will now vent here, I do not think men realize how easy they have it when they get married. Taking your husbands name after marriage is A LOT OF WORK. Currently vital statistics knows I've married and because my driver's license happened to come up for renewal right after our marriage I managed to remember to have my marriage license with me so that one is updated but because our provincial and federal governments lack an effective and secure way to communicate with each other I personal have to notify every department individually which means they still think I'm single. Why did I think I should take a new name!? I like my last name...oh well I'll get around to it, for no other reason then I told our financial advisor I had changed my last name and now I'm a little concerned how that will affect my income taxes when I get around to filing them. I suppose this is a whole post on its own so I'll get into this on a future entry.

Another responsible thing couples (or even individuals) should do is draw up their wills...I know morbid but necessary. Tomorrow we are FINALLY sitting down with our lawyer to create ours. We've been dragging our feet. Mainly because we DO plan to have children and will have to change it once that happens but since difficulties have been put in our path, a year has past with no baby and no will which leaves us vulnerable if one or both of us has something terrible happen to us. No will means that the government gets involved with settling the estate even though it should be clear that everything should go to the spouse. Our biggest challenge was deciding what do we'll do with our estate if we both pass away and DON'T have children to pass it to.

How did your first year of marriage go? Did you do all of responsible things or are you like me who's been putting it off, hoping that they will be magically completed by their selves?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dinner & Speeches

After our first dance was over dinner was served family style by a group of Girl Guides.
I am a leader for a Sparks unit and made a donation to a Guide unit within our district that was fundraising for a trip to Churchill Manitoba. Their leader organized approximately 10 girls to come out and serve the platters to each table and clear dishes afterwards.

{We attached menus to the red wine at each table...Originally I planned to have a menu laying on each plate but I miscalculated the amount of paper I needed and in the end I think that would have been over kill.}

My BIL D also acted as the MC for the rest of the evening and started the speeches as we were finishing up our meal.

First to get up was my Mr's brother & best man....

He had prepared a PowerPoint presentation to go along with his speech, which was a bit of a gong show to set up and his fiancee definitely loves him as she missed eating most of her supper since he had neglected to grab the laptop & projector prior to the reception so they had to sneak out and then set it all up. In the end it all worked out and my Mr was thrilled.

In hindsight I would suggest NOT starting speeches as the servers are clearing tables as it got a little noisy with the change in tempo and took awhile for things to quiet down, when the guests realized that speeches were happening. I'm not sure how many people actually heard his speech but my Mr did so I think that is what is the most important.

After the best man speech, the parents of the groom got up to give their welcome...

My FIL didn't speak during their Thank yous and welcome, but perhaps that is because he decided to do an impromptu Thank You speech after their reading during the ceremony. I'm chalking it up to the fact that he was nervous or perhaps oblivious that you don't actually get to say unscripted speeches during a scripted ceremony, especially when you have the opportunity two hours later...but those are my in-laws for you....gotta love them.

After they sat down all three of my bridesmaids took turns giving a speech, something that truly humbled me. The fact that they all didn't have too but chose to was very touching. And they all gave unique and heartfelt speeches.

First came my sister, MOH M....

...then BM K....

and lastly MOH K.

By the end I was crying. I love these girls and am so happy they were and are part of my life.

(I regret not grabbing their written speeches after they were done and shoving them into my purse so that I could read them again when I wasn't so emotional and could actually register everything. Perhaps they are reading this and would be so kind as to email them to me...)

After their speeches were over my parents took their turn to say 'Welcome to the Family' and their thank yous.

This being my parents' second daughter's wedding, my father came prepared and actually wrote out his Thank yous so he wouldn't forget.

All and all I was really happy to hear everyone have a chance to speak.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Social: Setting up the Mix Table

Flashback to our social...I actually thought I had written about what I did for our drink mix table but looking through my posts I've been proven wrong! Considering I actually put a lot of work into what we provided I figure I'll share it with you now, rather then just answering the question in the comment section.

First off, I'm a gin drinker and one of the biggest let downs at a social is when I walk up to the bar and find out that they serve gin (Yahhhhh), which I proceed to buy, but then walk over to the mix table only to see my options are Coke, 7up, Ginger Ale or Orange Juice. Take from me, gin does NOT go well with any of these options. If you are only planning to supply the above mentioned mixes then please don't supply gin! You are only teasing people. I much rather order vodka to begin with if I knew I would be drinking gin straight.

So after that little rant let me share with you what I included at our drink mix table....

The hall we used, Bronx Park Community Centre, includes a drink fountain containing Ginger Ale, 7up, Coke & Diet Coke. For an additional charge they replace the canisters if they run out so you don't have to worry about not having enough of the basic mixes. (And as a bonus, they never actually charged me for the additional Coke and Ginger Ale that was used).

Additional I went to Costco and bought 4 - 4L jugs of Cranberry Juice, 4 - 2L Clamatoe Juices, 6 - 2L Tonic Waters (these were from Superstore actually) & 2 boxes of 4 - 2L Orange Juices. The nice thing about Costco is you can return what ever you don't use so if you are unsure of how much to buy just pick up a few extras to be safe and bring them back the next day!

If you are like me and think the little extras are what makes an event special and memorable you may want to add the following items to your table: a platter of celery sticks, lemon & lime wedges (I cut all of these pretty small...see picture below)  and cherries with tongs so people aren't sticking their dirty fingers in them!, as well as Tabasco & Worcestershire sauce. I went to a social where they also provided the ceasar salt to rim the glasses but since your alcohol is already in the glass by the time you make it to the mix table it isn't really easy to get that salt on there so I decided to skip that ingredient.

At the time of our social they didn't provide ice so that is what the white bowls are on the table. Since then they now include ice, as my SIL has booked her social with them next May (stay tune for my planning of that one!).

Basically for less then $200 extra you can make your mix table a little more diversified which you will make the drinking A LOT more enjoyable for your attendees and perhaps they will buy more!

Is there anything you included on your table that I forgot?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Learning To Dance

Before I continue on with the recap of our wedding...I know I'm taking for EVER...I figured I'd interrupt it with more details of how my Mr and I learnt our Two Step, as the question came up because of the last post.

When my Mr agreed to take dance lessons I made a few calls to studios and was also recommended one studio by a couple that took lessons for an anniversary. The first studios I called were the well known ones, one being Arthur, but apparently their reception system isn't that great and did not receive calls back.

The one we were recommended was Shirley's Dance Studio, the studio is on Tache in the basement of a bowling alley and the website is nothing flashy, so if I had judged a book by its cover in this instance I would have missed out big time!

Shirley is one of the nicest women you will ever meet and she is passionate about dance. She personally teaches the private lessons for wedding couples and is dedicated to making sure you are comfortable on the dance floor. The private lessons will run you $200 for 6-8 classes where she will spend the time to make sure the dance is choreographed to the song of your choosing, but here's the bonus...we started roughly 2 months before the wedding and we needed a lot of help at the beginning. After the first month we had already used 8 lessons but felt that it we were really getting the hang of things and wanted to continue. When we asked her how much more we owed her since we would need at least 6 more lessons she said NOTHING. We ended up taking about 15 classes with her, one hour long each, and only paid $200.

I can't promise that she won't increase the price but I definitely recommend that this is a woman that cares more about the experience then charging for every minute she's with you. My Mr was extremely self conscious about dancing in public and Shirley spent a lot of time making him comfortable.

We opted to learn the basics of the dance rather then choreographing special moves at different times in the song because she felt my Mr would be more comfortable picking the changes in the dance as we were moving rather then stressing that he forgot to turn me at a specific time. It worked really well for us.

Now I just need to get him to agree to dance more often!!

So if you are considering taking lessons in Winnipeg I STRONGLY encourage you to call her up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our first dance

We chose to start our reception with our first dance. Mainly so that it was fresh in our minds and my Mr didn't have to stress about it during dinner and speeches, as we had snuck in some practice during our photo session.

As I think I've mentioned before, my Mr and I took dance lessons for two months prior to our wedding, to learn how to two step as our first dance would be to "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland. There was a minor melt down at the end of the first month where my Mr decided that he would never get it and wanted to quit but he stuck with it and I think we pulled it off, especially when we started all I wanted to do was lead and he didn't feel comfortable stopping me!

One of our guests was kind enough to take video and share it with me so I've uploaded it to to share with you. Enjoy!

Our First Dance from Carmen Kaethler on Vimeo.

If you either can't watch it or don't want to right now here are a few shots our photography got of us while we spun around the floor.

I am so happy we decided to take lessons, rather then just play it safe and sway back and forth. It was one of my favorite memories of the night and it made our mothers and grandmothers day! We received a lot of compliments and even some good natured teasing at the fact that my Mr counted out loud as we danced...Quick, Quick, Slow, Slow! But I needed him to do that as I was extremely concerned about tripping on my turned out to be too short to pull up with the wrist brace but slightly too long that my heals caught a bit of the hem during turns. All in all I think it turned out great.

Did you decided to take dance lessons or do something different for you first dance?

{Photos By Darren Hull Studios}

Monday, September 12, 2011

Entertaining our guests

While we were off taking photos around the park our guests had two hours to waste before dinner. As the venue was 40 minutes from Winnipeg, where most of our guests were from, I didn't expect them to drive home between ceremony and reception which meant that I needed to occupy their time so that they weren't bored.

We opened the bar at 4:30, immediately after the ceremony was over, and had the appetizers we made on Thursday put out buffet style by our servers (the Girl Guides). Of course I've had no luck documenting the appetizer portion of my wedding as no one seems to have taken pictures of them during cocktails. I don't even know how the presentation of them ended up looking! People told me they really enjoyed everything and it was gone quickly, which is good!

But I would have really liked to see what it looked like! Hopefully a pictures will surface one day...

Along with the appetizers & cocktails, our DJ moved his system from the ceremony location back to the reception venue to start the background music.

We got lucky with our venue, in that it was a beautiful campground and park so our guests were able to stroll their paths, walk across the bridge and if that wasn't enough I also set up a photo booth area for people to pose for their own pictures.

Originally I thought to do a DIY automated photo booth but trying to figure out what camera to use, how to have people remotely click, etc gave me a headache! I decided to ask one of my many amazing friends to man the booth during cocktails and take the pictures manually. I later posted them on our flickr account for people to download.

Here a few of the shots he took...

Lastly we set up lawn games, borrowed from our parents, for people to play. This wasn't just used during cocktails but after dinner and speeches. If you have the space at your wedding I strongly recommend it. Not everyone enjoys dancing all night and it is a fun way to occupy the kids that come.

{One of the many signs I made for the day, its actual printed to look like a chalk board via Mrs Bunting's DIY Faux Chalkboard on Weddingbee - Photo by Darren Hull Studio}

{My aunt playing lawn golf - photo by Darren Hull Studios}