Monday, August 30, 2010

Wedding day recap: do these guys know how to party or what?

After the toasting and special dances were finished, Tom the DJ opened up the floor for party time! I actually didn't get to dancing for a while once things got started -- I was greeting and hugging guests on the side of the room I hadn't gotten to yet -- but I was happy to hear that Tom was reading the crowd just fine and kicked off with some oldies that the boogie-ready parentals would want to dance to.

Susan and Uncle Steve, cutting a rug

(Non-Uncle) Steve and Susan, not dancing but
looking quite the handsome couple for the camera

me and Jon dancing to one of the only slow songs I
remember hearing, Ray Charles' Georgia on my Mind

Soon enough one of my bridesmaids decided I'd had plenty of time for talking and I needed to be on the dance floor, so off I went to party it up with all of our friends. This is where the evening gets hazy (even though I only drank a couple glasses of Champagne then stuck with Cheerwine for the rest of the reception); I can hardly remember what songs the DJ played! The reception is pretty much a blur. There was definitely some Journey, a little 99 Luftballons , a touch of Motown Philly, toss in a bit of Backstreet Boys... generally lots of '80s/'90s/early aughts goodness. All the makings of a raging dance party! (At least for my friends.) Jesse, Whitney and third-shooter Keaton did an amazing job of capturing the spirit of the party:

everybody cut footloose

Uncle Tom, portraying the post-motorcycle accident
Leader of the Pack (it's something of a family tradition)

me and my siblings, rocking out to Journey

Ridiculous fun, no? These are such epically kickass photos. True classics, all of them.

Hard to believe it's possible, but I have just a few more photos from the reception to show y'all! Stay tuned...

*all photos courtesy of Our Labor of Love

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wedding day recap: cake, toasts & dances

After bidding our taxi-riding friend farewell in the driveway, we headed down the alley to the back door and inside to our little private space behind the curtain. All of our guests had been ushered into the main event space (the cocktail hour had used the entry hallway as well) to await our arrival...

When most everyone was inside, we left our table for two behind the curtain and stepped into the entry hallway, where the jazz quartet was breaking down their equipment. We thanked the musicians for playing the cocktail hour and got a few congratulatory hugs, and then took our place a little bit back from the doorway, waiting for Tom the DJ to give us a cue. We didn't have any music picked out for this, so I'm not really sure what he played (or if there was a song) and frankly, I haven't the foggiest how he introduced us! Kathleen and Jon Ross? That sounds about right. At any rate, we made our grand entrance into a room full of smiling, clapping friends and family, another exhilarating, indescribable moment in a day with dozens of them:

what am I doing with my arm here? oh goodness...

there, that's better.

That last photo gives you a pretty good sense of the room. The tables and food stations were in the outer thirds of the room, outside those sheer drapes, and the middle third was for dancing, wedding cake and a big double bar.

Speaking of cake, not long after we ate (which was immediately, at the instruction of Amanda, our coordinator) it was time to cut the cakes. We had requested a Wynton Marsalis-Bobby McFerrin collaboration as musical accompaniment for these moments, but neglected to ever send it to the DJ... oops! When she gave me the five-minutes-til-cake-time warning Amanda asked after this. I told her the DJ didn't have the tune since we'd never sent it, so he could just play whatever. He ended up choosing Candy Girl by the Archies, which Jon and I had picked apart in our grad-school pop music seminar one day. Good call, Tom!

The main wedding cake was red velvet iced in buttercream on the outside with cream-cheese icing between the layers (NOM); the groom's cake, which was only vaguely shaped like Idaho, was German chocolate cake. Both were delicious! The lovely cake topper was made by the ├╝ber talented Ashley Meaders of Flashdance fame.

Next up, toasts! The following picture pretty well summarizes our reactions to all of them:

Jon's brother Matthew kicked things off. He's working to become a TV writer and he's hilarious, so he knocked it out of the park and set the bar high.

I'm pretty sure that, in the above photo, he's just referenced the
first time he came to my apartment, saw all my Waffle House
memorabilia and wondered if I was a nutbar.

Next up was my big sister Emily, who totally outdid herself with a weddingy riff on The Night Before Christmas. It rhymed and everything! Holy crap!

I think my dad spoke next, but I'm not entirely certain. He gave a toast that my late Grandpa Fred (mama's daddy) had brought back from his years in the Navy. It's a family tradition that someone give this toast at big occasions. Dad told the story of how Grandpa found the toast and read from a copy one of mom's cousins had done in calligraphy for us.

Last but never least, my big brother Matt wrapped things up with a short and sweet toast to me and Jon. I love this picture, because it sort of looks like he's singing to us:

After the toasts, we went straight into the formal dances everyone usually does. First up, Jon and I danced to Blossom Dearie's rendition of 'Deed I do:

Next, my dad and I showed off our sweet (and hard-earned) dance moves to Frank Sinatra's version of The Way You Look Tonight. (Same as Bill and Chelsea Clinton, I read! But we did it first. HA.)

And, last up before the dance party really kicked off, Jon and his mom Susan took a spin around the floor to the Beatles' In My Life.

Susan is one happy mama, isn't she? I love these shots.

Next up, things get all wild and hairy on the dance floor...

*all photos courtesy of Our Labor of Love

15 minutes of wedding-blog fame: Bride Buzz

I had an email yesterday from Kate Templin, one of the founders of the blog Bride Buzz and a newlywed herself, wanting some details on our wedding so she could put up a post about our big day starring the inimitable photography of Our Labor of Love. Of course, I happily obliged. Click on the picture below to see the Bride Buzz feature, and check out the rest of the site while you're at it.

Thanks for all the internet love, y'all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

15 minutes of wedding-blog fame: Ashley Baber Weddings

My oh-so-excellent wedding coordinator Ashley Baber tipped me off that she'd be featuring our wedding on her blog today. Huzzah! There were so many lovely photos that she had to break it up into two installments. Those of you who have been following my recaps here will get a little sneak peak of what's coming (i.e. the reception) in Ashley's second post. If you haven't already had your fill of our wedding photos, head on over to Ashley's blog and check us out!

If you happen to be in need of a top-notch wedding coordinator, look no further than Ashley Baber Weddings. Read more about my wonderful experience working with Ashley and her associate Amanda here!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wedding day recap: a cocktail hour of photo fun!

About 15 minutes after pulling out of the church parking lot, the minibus turned into the Puritan Mill development. Amanda, our super awesome coordinator, was waiting at the gate to greet us. The bus stopped so Jesse, Jon and I could hop off, then pulled around to drop the wedding party at the main entrance to the reception so they could enjoy the cocktail hour.

Whitney appeared about a minute later, and then the five of us (photogs, coordinator, me and Jon) took an alley to the back door of our venue. Inside, behind a curtain that hid the area from our guests, there was a table set for two with some hors d'oeuvres, water and, of course, champagne. Amanda popped it open and poured us each a glass (such service!), and we sat down for a moment while Jesse made a pit stop and Whitney went to fiddle with the Smilebooth. Jon and I had a few nibbles and practiced some turns as the jazz quartet played on the other side of the curtain to make sure we could dance in our wedding garb without damaging ourselves or my dress.

After about five minutes and a couple glasses of water, we headed back outside with Jesse & Whitney. We started off in the alleyway (the first two pictures below) and basically worked our way across the property taking photos. My favorite backdrop has got to be what looks to be a wall of kudzu -- actually a fence and a hill blanketed by the leafy vines. People who have seen our photos have been surprised to learn that we didn't go anywhere off-site for these pictures... just to the parking lot behind the building next door!

my skirt really liked to pick up odds and ends
(like these twigs) over the course of the evening

actually playing paper scissors rock (yes, that's what I call it)

After the kudzu portion of the photo session, we stopped in a rusty old loading dock and in front of what I assume used to be a warehouse. I love these photos too. (Of course. I pretty much say that about all of them.)

Amanda came out at some point, or maybe she texted Whitney, to say that we needed to be back inside to make our big entrance into the reception in about five minutes, so we wrapped things up with a few more shots and headed back.

As we were about to cross the driveway back to the main building, a taxi was pulling up to the exit. The rear window rolled down and out popped our friend David, who was on his way to the airport to catch the last flight back to New York that night. We ran over to hug him and thank him for coming, and either Jesse or Whitney snapped this photo of us. Later, Jon and I kept talking about what perfect timing that was, and how glad we were to have been with our photographers then to capture the moment!

Next up, we'll get the party started with some dancing, cake and toasts!

*all photos courtesy of
Our Labor of Love