Seriously, I do.
And I also loved our toasts!
From the bridesmaids, I chose my friend Katie to deliver the toast. We’ve been friends since Mr. Sperry’s Latin class in high school, and she’s gotten to know Charles better than most of my friends over the last few years.
I knew she wouldn’t disappoint in providing a comical, but also touching, toast to us as a couple:
I’m so happy to see all of you here, especially as Charles threatened to make me help him drink any leftover booze – my liver thanks you all!
When Mary asked me to speak at her wedding, I was happy to agree. After all, I speak for a living, how hard could it be, right?
Then she told me over 300 people were coming.
I have to admit, I freaked out a little.
But when I sat down to plan out this speech, it got a lot easier.
Because it’s SO easy to tell you how wonderful Mary is, and how kind Charles is, and what an incredible couple they are.
I met Mary when I was in 7th grade, on a trip to Philly with a group that was against the use of drugs and alcohol. You can see how well that worked out for us!
But before you all start thinking, “Awww, how sweet, they’ve been friends for 20 years.” – I’ve gotta burst your bubble.
Mary hated me for two YEARS before we finally became friends – but friends we are now, for…ALMOST 20 years.
Which is a darn good thing, cause we’ve needed each other! From college stress to boy drama to family heartbreaks, we’ve been there for each other every single step along the way.
She has ALWAYS been the person I call first, whether something is horribly wrong OR totally right.
We’ve flown kites at the White House, gone midnight swimming, and she’s even gotten me quilting.
Mary is amazing – she’s the type of person that could give you good advice with her head in a bucket – she doesn’t even have to see where she’s going to give you the right guidance in life.
Now, Charles, I’ve met more recently – but from the moment I met him, there was no doubt in my mind that he and Mary would end up in this tent someday. He is easily most generous human being I’ve ever met.
For those of you who don’t know him that well, here’s proof. He helped me move recently…..UN….ASKED!
A few years after I met him, I was stranded with my roommate Jess in DC at midnight because the Metro had stopped running.
That’s the kind of guy Charles is. So that’s why I’m so thrilled they’ve gotten married. I can’t imagine a more loving pair.
So I have one more story to share – some of you might know, I’ve always called Mary, “MaryM” – and she’s always called me “KtF”. It’s the same way we tease each other about our friendship bringing the Catholics and the Jews closer together. But now that she’s married, she’s not MaryM anymore! She’s MaryMH!
When I was trying to wrap my head around this change, I kept testing whether I could start calling her MaryMH. I was repeating it over and over again, MaryMH, MaryMH, MaryMH – Marry a Mensch. Marry a Mensch. Marry a MENSCH??
At this point, I was laughing so hard, I started crying…in Yiddish, a Mensch is the ultimate good guy, the type of guy you want to bring home to your mother.
Mary’s new name defines Mary’s new life. Because Mary DEFINITELY married a mensch.
In honor of that realization, I’d like to close like this:
A Jew and a Catholic walk into a bar. The bartender looks at the Jew and says, what’ll ya have? She asks for her drink, he gets it, and looks at the Catholic and repeats, what’ll ya have? She looks him right in the eye and says, “YOU.”
So I’d like all of you to grab the glass nearest you (hopefully it’s YOURS), and raise it in a toast! To Mary and Charles and a life together filled with happiness! Mazel Tov!
We love you KtF!
Ok everyone. I admit it. We cheated.
We went three months after the actual wedding without dancing and considered saving our “first dance” for the reception…but I gave in and finally asked Charles to dance with me at a wedding in August. It just seemed wrong to not dance with my own husband!
Choosing a song for our “first dance” (or third if we want to be honest) was probably one of the hardest things we did. I had a full list of possible songs in mind…all of which were struck down by Charles as being too “top 40″ or too overused.
He would hear random songs when we were in the car together and suggest them…but I didn’t really want to open our reception with Flock of Seagulls or anything similar.
It probably wasn’t until maybe two weeks before the wedding that we finally decided on a song (with lots of help from our best man, Gavin).
He suggested Ben Harper’s Beloved One, and as soon as I heard the lyrics, I knew it was just perfect for us:
We have both been here before
Knockin’ upon love’s door
Begging for someone to let us in
Knowing this we can agree to keep each other company
Never to go down that road again
My beloved one
My beloved one
Your eyes shine through me
You are so divine to me
Your heart has a home in mine
We won’t have to say a word
With a touch all shall be heard
When I search my heart it’s you I find
My beloved one
My beloved one
My beloved one
You were meant for me
I believe you were sent to me
From a dream straight into my arms
Hold your body close to me
You mean most to me
We will keep each other safe from harm
My beloved one
My beloved one
My beloved one
My beloved one
Heel and hell and toe and toe. Arm in arm and on we go, all for Maire’s wedding!
As soon as we were engaged I knew I wanted to find some way to involve my nieces and nephews in the wedding, especially since Charles claims it was partly Joseph’s doing that he proposed (Joseph held Charles at gun point and asked when he was going to marry me…granted, it was a nerf gun).
Enter the kid parade.
We decided it would be more fun for all the kids if we also asked our guests to bring their kids. In total, I think there were at least 25 kids running around the yard throughout the night.
To help them gather together and get to know each other…and to help start the party…we asked for all the kids who wanted to participate to gather at the very beginning of the reception. My brother’s oldest son (the one with the nerf gun) led the kids to the back yard where the bridal party met them.
Charles distributed noise makers and ribbon wands and musical instruments and several members of the band led them with music.
The only major things to go wrong at the party happened during the parade (Leo was scared by the drums and Joseph forgot the parade route) but we all went with it and had a great time anyway.
It was so much fun! And such a fantastic way to start a party.
Yay! Last night (a couple weeks ahead of schedule) we got to go through our album of pictures online.
It totally brings back some of the sweet sweet memories that were starting to feel like they were so long ago.
We absolutely LOVE them. Besides remembering what we were doing that day, it also reminds us of so many of the loved ones that shared the day with us.
Our photographers (mattstantonart.com) were FANTASTIC. No only do they capture some beautiful images, but they’re awesome people themselves. They never asked us to do any of the trendy poses that we just aren’t really into doing, and they never tried to rush us through the not-so-fun posed shots either. But they had beautiful images in mind as soon as they saw the location. And in taking us away from the party for a few minutes to go romping through the hay fields, they also helped Charles and I have some quiet “alone” time (well, we were nearly alone) away from all the bustle and noise.
Having such laid back and fun people follow us around all day made the day even more special!
So how does one throw the biggest party Siler has ever seen?
Thankfully, I took the week off the party to prepare. And was it ever a busy week! The only thing that kept me sane was breaking my t0-do list up by day and recopying the list each morning so it looked more and more manageable as the days went on.
The first rentals to arrive were the toilets. Those that follow the Gypsy wedding shows may know that several of the episodes were filmed not too far from the McCarthy Farm. (Who knew?? This show had me second guessing a few people I grew up with. I thought they were just rednecks…maybe not!)
Because of this, I referred to these as our gypsy toilets for the rest of the week (given that Gypsies don’t put bathrooms inside their houses). And by wedding time, they were starting to appear more like bathrooms and less like Johnny Blues. We covered the logo on the front of this one with a wreath, added some nice paper hand towels and candles, and my bridesmaid Lauren even had the awesome idea to hang pictures inside to make them appear more festive (though several guests complained about having Charles stare at them while they went about their business).
A day or two later, the tent arrived. My brother’s family wasn’t home when set up began, so when they got home it looked like the circus had arrived!
Watching the workers drive all those stakes into the ground (they were four or five feet long!) really made me appreciate the fact that I work at a desk…and that I was being paid to take a two-week break from that job!
Right before the wedding, we had a different sort of job to get done.
Sure a reception on a farm sounds like a fun idea..to everyone but the resident chicken.
We weren’t too worried about the chicken bothering guests, but moreso about the guests bothering the chicken. To make sure she still had feathers left on her when the party was over, the kids were rounded up (Lauren included) and asked to catch the chicken and put her in her house (where the chicken house is…I still don’t know).
And in the weeks leading up to the party, Charles had taken several loads (several or many??) of liquor and other supplies out to the farm. My brother was kind enough to let us store stuff in their basement.
But how would we get those cases and cases (seriously…if you were there…did you see how many cases?) of booze from the basement (which opens into the back yard) into the bar in the front yard?
Well, why else would you own a tractor?
There was certainly more work in that last week than we expected, but in the end, I think we all thought it was worth it.
Huge kudos to my brother, his wife, and their six kids for completely turning their house (and lives) upside down for me and my day! I couldn’t have done it without them!
But I came down to earth just to sing this tune, cause hey! It’s my birthday!
Or something like that…
Since we celebrated our wedding for four months, it only makes sense that my birthday gets at least a month, right?
My birth-month began at Nationals Park with the Nats clinching the NL East. YAY!
On the second day, our good friend’s mom had us over for a fabulous fall dinner. Apple crisp. Yum!
On the third day, the Nats closed the season leading the entire league.
And yesterday, one of my super-fun cousins had twins!
I can’t wait to see what’s in store tonight…
I have to be honest with myself. I’m pretty sure I’ve stayed away from blogging for so long because I knew that the moment I started posting recaps would be the moment that I was admitting my wedding celebration was over.
But I’ve already cleaned any wedding apps off of Facebook, deleted my wedding boards on Pinterest, and pretty much stalked the profiles of every one of our wedding attendees to make sure I haven’t missed seeing any photos they’ve posted (and believe me, that took some time!)
And since no new photos have been posted for a while…I guess it’s time to look back!
Honestly, after planning our wedding the way we did, I don’t know why anyone in their right mind chooses to have their wedding and reception on the same day!
We were so calm on both mornings. I can’t imagine having tried to go to the church before the reception and still staying that calm.
We got to spend even more time with our bridal party members and closest family members by having two events.
Best of all, I got to wear my dress TWICE! (For the record, I had a dress to change in to when I got uncomfortable…I never got uncomfortable. I didn’t take my wedding dress off until I got tired of kicking the bustle out of the way because the cheapie ribbons they charge you way too much money for wouldn’t stay attached).
Overall, it was just a wonderful excuse for us to be reminded of how blissfully happy we were on May 28…and to share it with about 300 of our closest friends and family members!
Our day wasn’t perfect, there were a few bumps in the road leading up to the reception (replacement bartenders called in, tent rentals being super late, scared kids in the kid parade, I botched the dip at the end of our first dance and Charles nearly dropped me…). But we were already married. What was the worst that could happen if everything didn’t go right?
And several “mistakes” made for lovely photos, and even better memories that we’ll never forget!