Posts Tagged ‘wedding planning’

First Dance

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

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


Recap – Preparing for the party

October 10, 2012 Leave a comment

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 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!

What’s in a name?

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I’m not so sure I’ve always felt this way…

Today I got a wedding present at work…New business cards bearing my new name.

It’s not official yet. It takes a few weeks in Virginia to even be able to request a copy of your marriage license. But it might take me two weeks to get used to the new name.

As you can tell by what I named my blog, I’m pretty partial to my maiden name. I love my Mc. It’s hard to imagine not having a last name with two capital letters.

There plenty of feminist debate out there surrounding why a woman shouldn’t change her name. But I’ve never cared about all that.

I just simply love the name my parents gave me. It has a certain ring to it. It speaks to my culture – both religion and heritage. And it just plain sounds nice!

I tried to convince Charles to add the Mc to his last name…he didn’t really go for it.

But I’ve figured out how to keep it for myself.

Luckily (based on what I’ve read so far) in Virginia, a person can have two middle names if they so wish. Why wouldn’t I just drop my middle name and take my maiden as my middle? Like so many Catholic girls, my name growing up was not just Mary. So many close family called me Mary Frances, and although I hated it as a child, I grew to really love it. I can’t get rid of my Frances

But I also feel the need to keep my Mc.

So instead of changing my identity at all, I’ll simply be tacking Charles’ last name on to the end of my full given name. That’s the way relationships are anyway, right? I didn’t change or give up any part of myself to be with him or marry him, but instead, he’s become a part of me.

So when asked for a middle initial, it will be Mc.

Like many things in life, I’ve gotten my way in the end. Once I can finally change it legally, I’ll have succeeded in becoming Mary Mc Lastname. Now to re-learn how to make a cursive H so I can sign it…

Miss Mary is a Mrs!

June 4, 2012 4 comments

Yes folks. Part of the reason for my absenteeism over the last couple of months has been that I just couldn’t bare to blog without sharing the exciting news that Charles and I decided to get married early.

We found out earlier this year that Charles would have to move out of his house earlier than we planned. It didn’t make any sense for him to rent another place for the summer, but at the same time, we’d planned all along to get married before he moved into my (now our!) house.

I asked him what he thought of getting married early, and he gave the perfect response.

“Whatever will make you happy.”

In February, we finished meeting with the priest to complete the church-related marriage prep. As we wrapped up and the priest checked his notes, he commented on how long our engagement seemed and to let him know if we wanted to get married any earlier.

Little did he know we’d take him up on this offer!

So with about 30 of our very closest friends and family in the pews, we married on Memorial day at my local church with the priest who did our marriage prep.

In many ways, it was a relief!

I didn’t have to worry about being the center of 500 people’s attention during the ceremony.

We didn’t have to worry about vendors showing up for the huge party afterward.

We made it to our honeymoon suite by 5 p.m. and weren’t nearly as tired as we’d have been had we had a giant party afterward. We were able to enjoy a quiet dinner together and reflect on our day instead of just passing out from exhaustion.

We were able to talk to and thank each and every one of the 30ish guests who shared in that day with us.

And perhaps most of all, instead of feeling a little disappointed that the fun is all over, we still have a huge party in September to look forward to! And I get to wear my dress twice!

I will never know how people manage to elope without telling anyone. It was SO hard not to mention my wedding on Facebook or blog about my feelings in those last few days leading up to it.

But I couldn’t be more sure that the early wedding was the right decision for both of us.

Charles apologized to me on Friday. He said if he’d known marriage would make him this happy, we’d have done it years ago!

Categories: Wedding Tags: , ,

Less than 200 sleeps

March 1, 2012 1 comment

Well, not counting naps. My naps are very important!

But in less than 200 days (197 or 198 depending on which countdown you use) Charles and I will be getting married. YAY!

But honestly, I think we’ll be ready way ahead of that date. In the last month or so we’ve planned so much more.

We’ve finished meeting with my local priest (we still have to plan the actual ceremony at the church we’ll get married at). We ordered rentals, set our catering menu (if you want it, we’ll most likely have it), ordered flowers (and saved a woman from a burning house), found a sound guy for the band and DJ, booked a photographer, registered, blocked hotel rooms, found bridesmaid dresses…Can you see why I haven’t found time to blog?!

Hopefully now that almost everything is done I can get back to filling you guys in on everything.

Categories: Wedding Tags: ,

248 Days…And still discovering things to do

January 10, 2012 1 comment

Yesterday was clearly the most productive day I’ve had in ages, and most of it had to do with wedding planning.

Since Charles is now fully invested in a new business venture, his schedule couldn’t be more flexible. And I had a day off, so on a whim we decided to go look at hotels for our guests to stay at for the wedding.

After visiting three hotels (and making blocks at each. Do you remember how many guests we’re inviting??), we met Mom for a late lunch at Castiglia’s. The owners would be catering our reception, and they just so happened to both be in the shop.

This led to a menu discussion.

We approached this thinking, “We’ll just see what they have available and go from there.”

Wrong! We sat down and they said, “What would you like? We can do anything!”

Payton LOVES the veal at Castiglia's!

After a two plus hour discussion, our menu was set. Sort of. We can still change our minds and know that even up until the week of, Victor may decide to add in something else. But we got the basics down and have a good mix of meat, seafood, and veggie dishes for our guests.

In the midst of that discussion, we realized some of the details we’d forgotten about.

First, car porters.

We have plenty of parking available for guests, but we hadn’t even thought about having people (and signs) on hand to direct people where to go. Since they’re parking in a 10 acre field, maybe we should give them a little help, no?

Second, clean up. We had thought of this earlier, but hadn’t discussed it in ages. My brother and mom are being kind enough to let us have the reception on their land. We certainly don’t want to leave them to have to clean up that night or the next day!

Third, speaking of clean up, trash cans. Oy. How can we forget about trashcans?

As much as the meeting was about food, I left it with a long list of other items to take care of.

On the way out of town, Charles figured we could use a drink (what a long day!) so we decided to check out a few rehearsal dinner options. Out of the four major bars downtown, two were closed. Well that narrowed it down!

We ended up going with the fourth option, the one that was at the bottom of my list because of what I figured the cost would be…and I was right!

But you know what, we only do this once. It’s by far the nicest venue of the four and our guests will enjoy the choice.

So much done in one day! But so much more to do!

Saying Yes to the Dress

December 13, 2011 4 comments

Honestly, I have not dreamed my entire life about going wedding dress shopping. I’m not exactly a frilly/blingy girl. I’ve never exactly been perfectly happy with my body, so dressing it, meh. Not the most exciting thing.

But going into it with an open mind, I have to admit that dress shopping wasn’t so bad, and was even a little fun.

I never imagined I’d find my dress the first time I went out, but the wedding dress seems to be a lot like the men I’ve dated. I might think I’ve found the one…until another one comes alone that flatters me just a little bit more. And when I REALLY found the one, I knew it. I tried to deny it and come up with excuses to not love it, but it was the one.

*Note: Because I know Charles reads the blog sometimes, the actual dress chosen will not be pictured. But I thought I’d share some of the fun we had along the way.

So, the things I learned…

1. If you can, find stores that carry dresses in your size or larger. I think this is what made me most comfortable because I didn’t have to worry about not knowing how things would look on me.

2. This is not the day to wear sexy underthings. You’ll hardly spend a second alone, so go with your Granniest of panties (or be totally safe and wear spanx. It’ll help the dresses slide on easier too)

3. Don’t waste your time hitting the pedestal if you know you hate the dress.

4. Don’t become too obsessed over tiny details. You might think you want lace (I did) and not end up liking it. You might really want sleeves (I did) and find something strapless that is much more flattering.

5. If you don’t see all the details you like, don’t be afraid to ask. Seamstresses can work some magic.

6. You do not HAVE to wear a bridal bra. You know those corsety things that suck in your stomach and push up your boobs? One consultant talked me into trying one on. I nearly chocked on my cleavage. I looked ridiculous. You CAN wear a normal strapless bra and a good seamstress will even sew it into your dress so you don’t have to worry about it falling down.

7. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If your sister-in-law picks a dress with a giant bustle, try it on for fun. If you shop with a totally non-frilly bridesmaid, make her wear the veil.

8. Don’t expect the day to be all about being a perfect lady. You haven’t experienced wedding dress shopping until you’ve adjusted all your underthings in front of another person, and until they request for you to spread your legs wider so they can shove tulle between your legs so you can see what it looks like not poofy.

9. Embrace the tulle. Even if you don’t want a poofy dress, you just have to experience what it feels like to be one of those gypsy brides.

10. Twirl. You’ll want to know how your dress will spin when you dance.

11. Speaking of dancing, consider the weight of your dress and how hot it gets under there. If I wore a gown for 5 minutes and broke a sweat, I might not want to wear it for 8 or 10 hours!

12. Take people with you whose opinions you really value. I took my Mom and sister-in-law on the first trip, but I didn’t get the excitement out of them I needed to seal the deal. I knew if it was right my BFF from high school would bounce up and down and clap her hands and say “EEEEEE!” So I took her with me on trip number two.

In the end, just be honest with you. I think you’ll love the dress that’s the most “you.” The dress I chose isn’t (in my opinion) necessarily the dress that looked the most amazing on me, but it is the one that is the most “me.” It’s the perfect balance of flattery, style, and simplicity.

And I can’t wait until I can wear it as Charles and I start our lives together!