Friday, December 23, 2011

The Wedding Party

A result of our long friendship before we ever started dating, Ryan and I have a lot of mutual friends. For some reason, most of them are guys. This posed an interesting problem for picking our wedding party. Most of our friends get to stand on his side of the church, and he wanted to include a lot of them. I have 2 sisters, a future sister in law, and a few close girl friends that I wanted to be my maids, so I drew the line at 7. If I hadn't, we'd probably have 15 groomsmen, I'd be scrambling around asking people I barely know to be my bridesmaids, and they'd be hanging out into the aisles of the church during the ceremony. As it is, we'll fill up the stage and he can use everyone I wouldn't let him include as an usher so they still get to be a part of our day.

Once I picked my girls, I started thinking of ways to formally ask them (most of them knew they'd be in my wedding already) to be my bridesmaids. I like to be crafty, so I decided to make cards and write notes inside them all telling them exactly why I wanted them to be in my wedding. Some of the notes were long and mushy, some were short and sweet, but they were all heartfelt. For the actual cards, I saw a little doodle of a bride and her bridesmaids (on Etsy, I think) and decided to modify it for myself. I bought some blank cards and envelopes and drew a bride with a maid on either side of her on the front of the cards, I wrote my notes inside, and then colored one maid on each card to look like the recipient. I liked this, but they were still kind of lacking in color, so I found some paper with wedding doodles on it (cakes, champagne glasses, hearts, etc.) that were kind of in the same simple style as my bride drawing. I lined the envelopes with this paper, and the result was pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. 

Ryan and his mom came up with the idea of giving the guys he wanted to be his groomsmen a bottle of whiskey, but customizing the labels with wedding stuff. We found a website that let you type in your own text, and it would put it on a Jack Daniel's label. We played around with it some, got a rough idea, and decided he could tweak the wording later. However, between our initial discovery of the site and the next time he tried to use it, Jack Daniel's apparently sent them a cease and desist order, so he had to go with our rough draft wording, that we had thankfully already saved, just in case. He just had the label printed on wallet sized photo paper and glued them to the bottles, and I think they turned out very nicely.

The Venue

Now that you know the story, we can start planning! My sister made an observation when I first got engaged: when people hear the news their first question is one of two things. If the person is female, first question is "Can I see the ring?" If the person is male, the first question is "Have you set a date?" This probably says something profound about the difference between guys and gals. Girls like sparkly things and boys like to know when they'll have to show up for things. Who knows? Anyway, to answer all of the men, we started trying to set a date. After discussing all potential scheduling conflicts, we decided sometime toward the middle or end of May would be our best option. Since we met in college and Ryan proposed in the chapel on campus, he really liked the idea of getting married there. I made a call and discovered that the only open time was from 8-2 on May 12th. Graduation for half of our wedding party is at 10 on May 12th. Nope, not gonna work. We discussed some other options, but I really wanted the place we get married to mean something to at least one of us, so the ceremony is going to be at my home church. This left us free to pick just about any date we wanted, so we opted for the next weekend, May 19th.

The next big decision was where to have the reception. We could do it at the church, but most receptions at Baptist churches are really just glorified receiving lines. Not that there's anything wrong with that at all, but it's not really want we wanted. Having the reception at the church is probably more what my family would expect, but his family, not being Baptist, would have other expectations, and this day should be about both of us. We were tossing around ideas for places on the Coast, when I remembered that there's a building next to the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs that has a big room with full wall murals painted by Walter Anderson himself. How perfect! Minimal decoration required (or allowed), unique, dance floor and bar friendly, pretty inexpensive. We called and it was open for our date! Venues: done.

This is the room where our reception will be.
An idea of what it looks like with tables set up.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Story

Hey guess what...I'm engaged! I figured I'd start posting about the wedding planning process, but I'm over a month in and haven't even told you the engagement story yet, so first things first.

The fiance and I met at school, and even though we graduated in April, we still have a lot of friends that are still there, so we visit a lot. On the weekend in question, we were going up for the MSU vs Bama game, so he picked me up after work and we headed north.

When we got to Starkville, Ryan said we had to make a stop on campus because he told his sister that she could borrow his camera for Bulldog Bash. For those of you who don't know what that is, basically they close all the roads in the Cotton District of Starkville, set up a stage in the middle of the street, and it's a huge concert with people and vendors and all kinds of things that are damaging to cameras everywhere. Ryan is very protective of his camera, and I knew his sister was planning on being right in the thick of things, as close to the stage as she could get, so this whole borrowing the camera idea seemed a little odd, but I wasn't going to question it. We met her in the Union, handed over the camera, then he suggested we walk around for a while before meeting up with our friends. We hadn't been on campus in a while, so this sounded like a plan to me.

We set out and I pointed us toward the Drill Field, in the middle of campus. He seemed reluctant to go that way, which was a little odd, but I pressed on. We ran into a friend and stopped to talk but I did most of the talking and Ryan was preoccupied with his phone. He eventually told the guy (who is actually going to be one of the groomsmen in our wedding) we'd catch up with him later and pointed me in another direction. He steered me toward the chapel, getting antsier by the minute. When he opened the door, I saw a guy playing the piano at the front, so I figured we'd just turn around and continue our walk elsewhere so as to not disturb him, but Ryan led me right down to the front, grinning at me the whole way, got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked me to marry him. And then I saw a big flash. Turns out the camera at the concert story was a cover for getting the camera to her so she could capture our big moment and the preoccupation with the phone was his sister telling him she had gotten someone to agree to play the piano for the whole thing. And now the moment you've all been waiting for...the pictures!

"Will you marry me?"


The ring!