The final days are upon us and I think back now to how it seems that just a week ago we were counting down the triple digits. Now we are just mere days away from our big moment!! In some ways, I am just ready to just do it. After all the planning and preparation, I am ready for the reward. In other ways, I am a bit sad that it the big event is almost over. Of course, knowing that it is the first day of the rest of our lives together makes things exciting.
Finalizing The Details
There have really been very few little details that have to be finalized in this last week. I worked so hard to make sure that everything was completed well ahead of time to make sure as little stress as possible this week. Now, I am a bit at a loss for things to do.
I should tell you that it is not just our wedding that we have going now. When we started our initial planning process, we were considering have a double wedding with my little sister.
She and her husband had to rush a bit with their wedding plans because he is in the Air Force and was getting ready to deploy. So, I had thought it would be a great opportunity to have a renewal for her with all of her friends and family from home.
Instead, she surprised us by letting us know that she was pregnant with their first child! A little girl who will be born at the end of June. Since all of our family will be in town for our big event, we decided to extend the fun and have her baby shower the day after the wedding!
So now, I have what seems like double in-laws, friends and family who will be coming in to attend the events and double the parties to plan!! It really has been a lot of fun though and I will tell you about both as I go along.
The Day Before The Wedding
I figure the best way to do this is to walk you through our wedding schedule. On Friday morning, I will be taking my sister, my daughter and my stepdaughter to get manicures and pedicures and of course, lunch! Afterwards, we will meet at the Community Center to decorate for the reception and then later that evening we will gather everyone up to go to the Church for a quick rehearsal.
Our florist, Ken Cope, of the Corsage Shop, will already have the Church decorated with the candles that I have rented from him that he has decorated with our feathers. Yet another perk of not having live flowers…you can set them up ahead of time!
Mom was gracious enough, or perhaps crazy enough, to offer her house for our rehearsal dinner. She is preparing lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, bread, salad and some desserts as a quick and easy meal. With it being at her house I figured we would all be able to spend more time sitting around talking and hanging out after the meal then we would if we were at a restaurant. Plus, it will be a great deal cheaper.
Morning Preparations For The Big Day
On Saturday, Craig and I will be cooking a big breakfast for his family at our house. Later for lunch, we will be ordering some pizzas as we celebrate his sister Carri's birthday. Yes, we are marrying on her birthday! I figure that this could really work in my favor, as I can remind him of her birthday each year and she in turn can remind him of our anniversary.
After that, we are off to get ready! My bridesmaid Jennifer has always been great with hair and makeup. So, she will be lining us all up to make us beautiful. The Church has a great women lounge and restroom facility that will give us plenty of room for getting ready. So, all of our hair, makeup and dressing can be done right there which will save us from having to worry about weather, wind and wrinkles.
We ordered all of our groomsmen monogrammed money clips and I ordered cute pizza cutters and skeleton key bottle openers for my bridesmaids. With the exception of our daughters. For them, we ordered beautiful bracelets from Things Remembered.
The wedding is at 6 o'clock in the evening and guest will be greeted ahead of time by prerecorded music from Corrine Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. Programs will be handed out at the door that list the order of the ceremony, the names of our wedding party, an invitation to the reception, a thank you from me and Craig and a quote from George Eliot.
When the big moment arrives, the lights will dim slightly and Jason Von Lurry, a friend and amazing electric violinist from Memphis, Tennessee, will begin playing "Variations of A Lullaby". An unusual piece for a wedding yes, but beautiful none the less and just what I had hoped for to set the mood.
As he plays, our "flower girl" Kiley, Craig's beautiful 6-year-old niece, will enter in her blue gown. She'll be wearing her venetian mask and carrying a shattered glass teardrop that glows blue like a lantern. As she walks down the aisle, the pew candles will light.
We are doing this by using remote control candles. Behind her will be our children. Brittany and Micah will go to the front and light the real candelabras there and then down the sides of the Church to light the candles in each of the stained glass windows before returning to the back of the church.
After completed, Jason will begin Craig's song choice of the evening, "Iris" by the GooGoo Dolls. I really loved the song and was happy that he had chosen something he liked. However, I was concerned that it would not flow with the rest of the live music that we would be playing during the ceremony.
So, Jason stepped in and removed the lyrics and is instead using the instrumental version and he is playing the vocal part on his violin. It is beautiful! During that time, Craig will enter from the front of the Church with the Minister and his groomsmen will escort in our mom's and grandmothers and then my bridesmaids will enter carrying their venetian mask.
Now, cue the moment I have waited a life time for! I used to teach children's theatre here in Caruthersville and was privileged to meet some very talented kids along the way. One is the daughter of my close friend and bridesmaid Amanda. Her dad is a talented musician and singer himself and he will be playing the piano as Alaina sings Rascal Flatt's "God Bless the Broken Road" and I enter on the arm of my Dad.
I was concerned at the length of the song and did not want any awkward moments of waiting. So, I have decided to let her begin singing and then have the doors opened on the chorus for my entry. As I get to the end of the aisle, I have small peacock feather bouquets to present to each of our moms and grandmothers. I believe that this should cover the length of the song, putting me back in place just in time to be given away.
The ceremony will be like almost all weddings. Instead of a unity candle, we will be doing the blending of sand ceremony. We will each have a small bottle of sand (that is me, Craig and our children) that is in the color that we each selected. As the Minister reads about the blending of our family, Jason will softly play, "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera, a favorite of mine. We will each pour our sand into one single container. As we leave the ceremony, we will exit to Nickelback's "Never Gonna Be Alone".
A Night Of Dining, Dancing & Cake
After the ceremony, we will snap a few pictures and then move to the local Community Center. Walking up to the ceremony, the path will be lit with blue Moroccan style lanterns. These were my first wedding purchase!! Our entrance song is different, we are using "Por Ti Volare", which is a beautiful opera song, BUT we are using the version from the movie, Stepbrothers as it is a favorite of our kids and something that they will recognize and enjoy.
The hall will be done in low lighting and lots of blue accent lighting. Each table will have the Eiffel tower vase in various heights with the peacock feather and glittered sprig arrangement with a blue up light placed in them. On our table, we are going to use a long and low arrangement with our monogram in it, blue up lighting and of course, a couple of peacocks!
Over our dance floor, we will have small round glass globes of blue hanging at different levels. My good friend Cameron, will be our DJ. He always does a great job and was kind enough to do this for us. The cake table will hold our wedding cupcake tree and instead of a groom's cake, we will be doing a kid's cake. This is a surprise for the kids. A three layer cake, with each layer decorated with a miniature version of them and the things that they love. I am really excited about it!
For food, we are doing simple finger foods. Chicken salad on croissant, ham and swiss on rolls, a dip, some pinwheels and things like that. We are also doing a white chocolate fountain with a fruit tray, pretzels and Micah and Brittany's favorite…Cookie Dough Balls! On another table, we are doing a cheese fountain, lol, another tribute to the kid's love of Will Ferrell movies. There will be chips and veggies sitting around it.
It is Craig sister Carri's birthday, so we plan to play a special song for her. We also have a couple of songs that are special to the kids that will be played. Micah is a fan of Corrine Bailey Rae and so we will be playing, "our song" for she and I to dance to, "Put your records on". Craig and Brittany have always considered "Sweet Child O Mine" their song, but he wanted something to slow dance to. So, Alaina (the one who is singing me down the aisle) has put together a slower rendition of the song that she will be singing for them.
After the toasts are given, I will be doing the Thank You to everyone as Craig hates public speaking. After, I have a special surprise that no one else knows about. Originally, I wanted to have Adam Sandler's "Grow Old With You" played. I had asked my brother-in-law, Aaron to consider playing something special for my sister on his guitar.
I found out that he knows how to play that song. So, he will be singing and playing it for her and all of us. We are not doing the traditional garter toss and bouquet toss, I have always hated the way it singles the lonely crowd out. So for the rest of the evening, there will be cupcakes, dancing, fun and a great start to a new life.
The Day After
Well, there it all is, the chance of rain is up to 60% and I am a little nervous about it. But otherwise, I am so ready to go! The following day will be filled with taking everything down at the reception site and putting everything up at the shower site. Then afterwards, we are off to Sandal's in Montego Bay Jamaica! Hopefully everything will go as planned, but I will report back to you later and let you know if any little snags occurred and how I could have avoided them When I next speak with you I will be Mrs. Craig Williams!!!
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Peacock feather photo provided by deepapraveen via flickr.