Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's a Love Story, Baby Just Say "Yes" (A Little Bit of Real-Life)

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, this weekend was my friend and co-worker Kate's wedding. It's something that she has been looking forward to for a little over a year, planning and ironing out details. I haven't been involved in very many weddings (I haven't actually gone to very many weddings... thank you, friends of mine who haven't gotten married yet!), so this was extra-special and fun for me to watch the process from engagement to altar. Kate was a very DIY bride (she made her own bridesmaid dresses, her hairpiece, signs, centerpieces, etc.), and so I enjoyed being able to watch her put together all the details that made her day so special.

So, enjoy the journey from engagement to wedding below the cut. :)

Last Halloween, Kate and Kris threw a pumpkin-carving party at their house. It was an awesome and fun experience, even though carving intricate pumpkins took... well, a long time for some of us (see: me). After finally finishing my Angry Birds pumpkin and waiting for the last few people to finish up and light their pumpkins, we placed each pumpkin on a long table and turned down the lights.

(Pretty cool, no?)

One of Kris' friends "noticed" (I say that because it was obviously part of the plan to point it out) something, however. "Hey, there's a pumpkin in the back that's not lit!" We all looked around and, sure enough, one pumpkin in the back wasn't lit. So Kris lit it and turned it around. Everyone craned their necks (including Kate) and saw...

We all simultaneously gasped, as Kate was looking around to determine whose pumpkin it was. As it turns out, a crafty Kris threw the entire pumpkin-carving party and told a few people about his plan to propose. Down on one knee, he asked Kate to marry him (and she, of course, said yes!) with a lot of laughter, applause, and even some tears. :')

(Even Luna and Sadie wanted to get in on the action!)

From there on out, it was a wedding-planning bonanza of fun! Kate, Heather, Ashley and I worked together when Kate was engaged, though Ashley left us recently for another job. As the weeks and months dragged on, Kate began deciding on a venue and chose her wedding dress. She ended up making a lot of things by hand, and was fortunate enough to know so many people who helped her out (a friend did her invitations for free, her old country club catered the wedding, and her cousin was the photographer, Heather made the cake, etc.). 

Somehow, a year managed to fly by. November 3rd had finally arrived and it was Kate's wedding day! :)

The day of the ceremony, I drove down to Melbourne, Florida with my friends Ashley and Matt. It was great because originally I had planned to drive by myself, but carpooling with two friends turned out to be a much better option. Kate's wedding was near the water, but not on the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor ceremony, and there really couldn't have been a better time!

(Me and Ashley)

(The lovely arch and ceremony site!)

Everyone chose a seat (there were no separate bride or groom sides), and settled in for the ceremony. Kate chose to dress the groomsmen in suspenders, which looked super nice. Her wedding was more on the casual side, but it was still classy. One of the things Kate knew for certain was that one of her colors would be red. Red is, after all, her favorite! My crafty friend was able to make her own bridesmaid dresses -- convertible dresses -- that flattered each of her four bridesmaids wonderfully!

(Beautiful bridesmaids and dapper groomsmen!)

Kate had the most adorable little children in her wedding, too. Like Justice, who carried this sign down the aisle:

And then, darling Kate walked down the aisle to "Portuguese Love Theme" from Love, Actually. And that was the first time I started to tear up during the ceremony. Trust me when I say that this wasn't the last time.

(Ain't she gorgeous?)

(So perfect and happy.)

The ceremony itself was beautiful and moving, as well. There was a brief message by one of Kate's old youth ministers about marriage that was very touching. He talked about two lives being joined together, and two families becoming one as well. Kate and Kris had a sand ceremony, where Kate's mother and Kris' step-mother poured colored sand into a picture frame. Then, Kate and Kris did the same.

I love the symbolism of the sand ceremonies and unity candles in weddings. It's a wonderful way to visually signify the importance of two people (and two families) becoming one. Then, the bride and groom each hugged members of their current and new families. I think this was the third time I cried at the wedding, the second being during the minister's message.

And then, came the vows. (In which I bawled, again.) They weren't hand-written, but they also weren't traditional vows. But they were beautiful and heartfelt. And Kate, bless her, began to cry. I should have prefaced this entire entry by stating that Kate doesn't cry. My darling friend is sweet, but she's also... kind of a tomboy. She's self-proclaimed herself this way, and has only started to wear pink thanks to the urging of Heather recently. Kate cries when she's mad, but rarely just because she gets emotional.

But she began to cry and I kind of lost it, then. I'm not sure why -- I went to a friend's wedding four years ago who I was a lot closer to and had known much longer. But seeing Kate be so emotional and happy over this special day made me realize how lucky she was to have found Kris. They're perfect for each other, and he treats her so well. I just... I guess it's one of those rare moments where I wondered if I'd ever find the same thing.

Regardless, after the vows, the exchanging of rings occurred. And then, the pair became official husband and wife!

And then, it was reception time! Right next door to the ceremony site was a civic center where the cocktail hour and reception was held. It was beautiful -- the entire back wall of the room had windows that overlooked the water and a dock. Kate and Kris opted out of having assigned seating (just one less thing for Kate to have to worry about), mainly because they wanted their friends and family to sit with whoever they wanted. I liked that idea, and chose a table with Ashley, Matt, and Michael (Heather's boyfriend). Heather, Heath and Gina (bridesmaid and groomsmen) and Juliana (another bridesmaid) joined later on.

Kate made her own centerpieces, complete with LED lights at the bottom! Additionally, each table had mason jars with chalkboard stickers on them, and a chalk marker. So we definitely had fun writing our names and doodling on them! :)

Heather's cake was situated on a table by itself. But what I really loved was what Kate chose to do -- she placed framed photos on the table of her parents, grandparents, and Kris' family of their cake cuttings. The cake was perfect and came out so well for Heather's first attempt (well, fourth attempt) at a wedding cake. ;)

After cocktail hour (with lots of yummy cheese and crackers and meatballs!), everyone made their grand entrances into the reception and the real party began! Dinner was fantastic, and was catered by the place where Kate used to work. Vegetable lasagna, bread, salad, chicken Parmesan, and penne vodka were on the menu, and we were able to choose a bit of all three if we preferred (since it was buffet-style). 

Kate and Kris' first dance was to a country song, which means I didn't really know it. Nevertheless, it was an adorable dance. Then, it was time for the father/daughter dance. I initially thought that Kate would choose a song that would be sappy and cute (she had aimed to find a song that would make her dad cry), and then the first seconds of the song played... and we all cooed. She chose "You've Got a Friend in Me" and the pair did an adorably giddy dance to it. <3

(First dance!)

(Father/daughter dance. So cute!)

We enjoyed the rest of dinner with laughter and appearances from the bride and groom throughout the room. The pair purchased little bells to place on each table, so that whenever they were rung throughout the night, the couple had to kiss. Needless to say, we all rang the bells a LOT. The following are some adorable photos of me, Heather, Kate, and Ashley. You've been warned. ;)


When it came time to cut the cake, Kate hustled over to us and whisper-asked: "Okay, so should he eat it or wear it?" Obviously, Heather and I agreed that Kris should wear his cake. So the pair cut the cake together, and Kate didn't play nice. But... then again, Kris chose not to play nice either. While she smeared a bit on the side of his face, he took the whole plate and let her have it. (This is why I love them as a couple.)

Needless to say, Kate said she felt like she had cake up her nose the rest of the night. And still, in spite of the cake-shoving and the fights that they occasionally have, Kate and Kris love each other very much. And I was so glad to have shared in their special day together. <3


  1. So fun!!!! Ugh, makes me want to be in a loving relationship and get married! LOL Congratulations to the new beautiful couple!! May they share years and years and years of cake shoving, fights, and make ups ;)