We looked at a couple of reception venues, but pretty much knew we’d have our wedding reception at the Country Club not far from my parents’ house. A family friend’s daughter had her wedding reception there a few years earlier and it was perfect – beautiful views, a good space layout, and not far from the church. It just worked.
Here was the only hiccup – the Country Club was under construction and scheduled for reopening on July 17, 2008. You know, 2 days before the wedding. This caused my mom many sleepless nights, but I for some reason was not the least bit worried. I knew it would all work out – whether it was tented on the golf course (with lots of air conditioners brought in) or in the space we had reserved. The construction finished ahead of schedule (how often does that happen?!), and we were the first wedding in the beautifully renovated space. Not too shabby.
The club handled everything – dinner (I’m told everything was delicious – I have no recollection), setup, breakdown, bar tending… The catering coordinator did a fabulous job and between her and a family friend who was helping with the day-of wedding planning, everything went smoothly.
We danced our first dance (the Foxtrot – and we had so much fun taking dance lessons together) to “our song” – Tim McGraw’s “My Best Friend”.
Then Daddy and I brought on the waterworks to Heartland’s “I Loved Her First”. We did our best to stick to non-country after that, but we still got a few line dances in for these Colorado kids:
And a Lambda Chi shout out in Kenny Chesney’s “Keg in the Closet” for the Lamp Chops (and future Chop?) at the reception.
(All photos taken by Dave and Lynn Townsend of David Lynn Photography.)
We knew from the start that we’d have a Catholic wedding – we just weren’t sure at which church. I found a church while at school in Boulder that I always thought I’d be married at, and called them first – I hadn’t attended my family church in years at this point except on holidays. Because it’s beautiful – which so few modern Catholic churches are – they were booked solid and had strict rules. As a super conservative Catholic church –
Natural Family Planning how to have a baby ASAP classes, uncomfortable commentary during masses about social-political issues, etc – I was a little worried it would be a little much for Mr. B.
So, with my College Church not happening, we turned to my Parents’ parish in Denver – where I
went to school spent 10 years of my life in the Principal’s office – that is far from beautiful, but also has a wonderful (and far from strict traditional) Priest. Mr. B was not raised Catholic and our fabulous Priest welcomed him with open arms, joked with us, and stressed that he was just glad we’d chosen to be married in the Church. Our marriage prep classes were fantastic – no rhythm method here. We talked about finances, communication, the struggle of combining families, and how to keep faith (and magic) in your marriage.
We booked the Church first. We knew we wanted a July wedding, and I voted for the 4th or 5th. But Mr. B had other ideas. Something along the lines of, “Em, I want our Anniversary to be a special day to us, not to America.”
So we elected for the 19th, and got everything setup. In order to ensure we would receive our cool Catholic priest and not the dull Deacon, we opted for a full Mass – which garnered a few groans from friends and family expecting a long drawn out ordeal. My favorite part about wedding planning was all of the unsolicited opinions, did I mention that? Like, people you’ve never met before tell you what they think you should do. Not my thing.
I knew all along green would be the main color of the wedding – it’s both Mr. B and my favorite color, universally flattering, and works well with flowers. And to pop against the green, bright pink flowers. So green and pink – it had the potential to look like Lily Pulitzer threw up on our wedding, but I think the more subdued green helped us avoid that disaster.
I found our photographers when looking at the wedding photos of a friend who got married just days after B proposed. They were gorgeous photos, so we called up Dave and Lynn and met with them. They were a cute couple with fabulous energy, a great eye for photos and enthusiasm galore. They basically make the Denver Catholic wedding circuit, so we knew everyone in the photos they showed us – it was like homecoming week in Dave and Lynn’s living room. We said we would meet with three vendors for each need before making a decision, but we walked out of our meeting with them and said “They’re exactly what we want!”. Every picture in this series is by Dave and Lynn.
On a road trip to IKEA with my mom and aunt, I was flipping through a bridal magazine when I saw a green “pleated” cake. I loved it. I loved the simple lines, I loved that the details were so subtle, I loved everything about it and wanted THAT cake. I found the picture of the cake before I found my dress, and when I picked the dress I did, I knew the cake would work perfectly. So we called a local baker, she said she could recreate the cake in the picture without a problem – and in buttercream so people didn’t have to eat sticky, icky fondant – and she did.
We used the cake knife and cake server that B’s Grandparents used at their wedding. They were unable to travel for our wedding, and we thought this would be a fun way to have a piece of their history with us. This photo of the servers -reflecting the cake – is one of my favorite photos of the day for that reason.
Again, easy does it in the Emily and Caroline wedding planning saga. We went to a bridal show – I hated the bridal shows – but we were six months from the wedding and I’d put off flowers and the DJ, so we went to find those two things. We walked in and met Chris – he had the most beautiful bouquet on display, was a riot, and very opinionated about flowers, what makes a hideous bouquet, and the scale of bouquets to the girl that is carrying them. It was love at first snark. We met with him a few weeks later, he had great ideas for a “grandmother’s flower garden” theme for the bouquets, and we told him to go for it. He also had opinions about my hair (up), shoes (pointy and high), nail color (neutral pink), and the amount of alcohol needed for the open bar (“Both of you are Irish, you can’t have too much alcohol.”). LOVED him.
Each hand tied bouquet had the same flowers – I was adamant about not having a white bridal bouquet so I opted for a slightly larger version of the bridesmaids’ bouquets.
We decided we’d use color to distinguish between the meal choices – so everyone got their own place card. In keeping with the pleated theme, we layered three rectangles to make the cards. My mom, sister and I cut hundreds of ivory rectangles and hundreds of rectangles in green, pink and brown. Green was for beef, pink was for chicken, and brown was for fish.
After Mr. B proposed in May 2007, we spent the summer booking things – the church, the reception hall, photography – you know, the actual on the books stuff – more on that later this week. Because it’s both Mr. B and my favorite color, I knew all along that green was going to be our main wedding color, with bright pink flowers to make the color pop in the middle of July. But beyond a color scheme, we didn’t think too much about the details – including attire – until September. We wanted the name of the game to be easy – no muss, no fuss, no drama.
I went to three bridal boutiques. At the second dress shop – a little boutique in Fort Collins – I tried on a dress with a pleated bodice and loved it, but didn’t love the plain and beaded skirt and the way it all worked together. It was the first contender until I walked into the third boutique, one in Denver.
My mom and aunt came with me that day, and I tried on dozens of dresses. They were all beautiful, but when I tried on the gown with pleats from top to bottom – the second to last gown I tried on, but the first one I picked up – I knew it was THE dress. Amazing, everyone had been right.
And we can’t forget the shoes:
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses
With my dress squared away, it was time for the Bridesmaids. I loved the green color that Ann Taylor had introduced in their new wedding line, and I loved that it was easy – we didn’t have to gather the girls together to go pick out dresses. My mom and I decided on the color, took my sister Kate and in-town-Bridesmaid Emily to the mall to make sure the dresses looked good on, and left it up to my sissy to pick the style of dress she wanted to wear (the power of the Maid of Honor!).
Didn’t Kate pick a flattering dress? It’s the Christine Double V from Ann Taylor and they still sell it. I’ve thought about buying myself one. I loved that the neckline contrasted my strapless dress.
It was so simple – I sent every bridesmaid the link, everyone went to their local Ann Taylor to try on the style, sent me their size, and I ordered in bulk to get a 25% discount. Couldn’t have been easier.
We ended up ordering the Flower Girl dresses from Ann Taylor, too. Simple Ivory dresses with the Meadow Green sash tied around the waist and we were done.
I voted for the boys to wear suits, but Mr. B said he was getting married in a tux. So getting married in a tux he was. We went into Mens Wearhouse together – since he wasn’t allowed to know anything about my dress – so that I could hand over the swatches and he could choose the style. The MW guy matched the dresses perfectly to the boys’ vests and ties, and set everything up.
I cannot believe that we’ve been married for half a year – it honestly feels like yesterday. I love you, Mr. B. Thanks for helping me ride the roller coaster that has been this last six months with grace, humor and humility.
Wedding photos by our fabulous and fun photographers DavidLynn Photography
I’ve been “tagged” again by D’s made up tag game. I’ve always wondered who started these things, and now I’m thinking about starting my own. Like, “Hey, G&D, you’re house is so cute inside, we want to see the exterior, too”. I’ll lose sleep over the power that making up tags could give me. But back on track, D’s tag was a plea for wedding photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have full resolution digital images yet, so I snagged these thumbnails which blow-up to really horrible quality. Now, I’m cognizant of fine lines, and I know there’s one with weddings, too – how many pictures are too many? Here are thirteen – no commentary, so just zip on through.