Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wedding Music

We have a lot of Irish Musicians in our families and friends. With an irish church and an Irish vneue, we obviously wanted some traditional irish music.

I asked 2 vocalists, but what are the odds, both had family weddings that day. So my mom suggested Katie Cooper. She sings at irish events, and it so good. She is also a friend of Joe's brother, who is not only an irish musician, but he teaches the Tin Whistle.

Joe's brother plays in an Irish Session at The Plank in Lakewood. An Irish Session is like a jam session. Anyone trained in any irish instrument can come and play along. Our vocalist goes, and sometimes my nephew and his band go. Yes, my nephew wasn't even quite 13 at the time of the wedding, but he is in a band, and they have paying gigs. We asked my nephew to play violin at the ceremony, while everyone was being seated. My nephew's band The Roundabouts played cocktail hour. During cocktail hour, some of the other musicans at the wedding joined in and turned it into a session, including my parents friend Al O'Leary on the accordion, and both of Joe's brothers, on the tin whistles.

The only thing that I know of that went wrong on the wedding day, was our bagpiper. At the end of the ceremony, after being announced husband and wife, the doors opened, and nobody was there. What a bummer! My family has bag pipes at every wedding and every funeral. The church organist was on the ball, she she played a wedding march for us to walk out to. Turns out the bagpiper (who is a great friend of the family), got in some car trouble in the boonies on the way home from Toledo that day, and had no car and no phone reception.

When we announced our parents and Joe's grandpa, we played "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys. It was Joe's pick. He really wanted it when we walked in, but I'm a jerk and made a switch.

When the bridal party walked in, we played "The Ditty" by Paperboy. It has nothing to do with weddings or friends, but we loved it and thought it would pump everyone up.

We walked in to "Marry You" by Bruno Mars. I love how upbeat it is. And, well, it just fit.

Joe and I danced to Jason Mraz "I Won't Give Up". We never had a "song" and we had a hard time finding one that fit. Until one day I was driving and heard it come up on the radio. I remembered how beautiful I thought it was, and really listening to the lyrics, I thought it would be perfect. I made Joe listen to it at the bar one day, and he immediately agreed.


My dad and I danced to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland. That song never fails to make me ugly cry.


We had a few line dances, a few irish dances, and ended the party with "The Time (Dirty Bit)" by The Black Eyed Peas.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wedding bathroom emergency kit list!

I wanted to be sure everyone enjoyed themselves throughout the night. I didn't want anybody feeling less than fresh, breaking nails, or having bad breath, so I made emergency kits for the bathrooms!

women's room:

moist towelettes
toothbrush whisps
bobbi pins
hair rubber bands
safety pins
sewing kit
tooth floss/picks
hair combs
nail files
clear nail polish
mouthwash (with clear plastic shot glasses)
stain pen

men's room:

stain pen
mouthwash (with clear plastic shot glasses)
toothbrush whisps
tooth floss/picks

I also made one for the bridal party, with most of the same stuff, plus:

jewelry repair tools
body spray
shoe cushions for the ball of the foot

The baskets were a hit, people definitely used them throughout the night. And whatever was left? SCORE for me!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

more gifts!

and a few gifts for some others....

my groom got some new socks (how cute are these?!) to wear for the big day

and some WestPark/Cleveland cufflinks

socks are from somewhere in the UK and cufflinks are from China! I forget where. Just found them browsing the interwebs

mom and dad got some hankies
had these customized by https://www.etsy.com/shop/AVintageLook

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

bridal party gifts- DIY

For my bridal party, I wanted to give gifts that they could use on the wedding day, and after if they chose. I also wanted to make the gifts more personal, by doing them myself.

The girls got some new clutch purses (with their initials attached to the chain)

hangers, to keep their dresses beautiful while we got hair and makeup done

monogrammed shawls, in case it was a cold September day (luckily, it wasn't)

flip flops- for their dancing feet

and jewelry. I bought them all earrings, but made bracelets for the girls in the one-shoulder style dress, and necklaces for the strapless style dresses

and my nieces got some tumblers for their help with the bubbles and programs 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pre Cana- a Catholic Wedding

There was never any doubt I'd get married in a Catholic Church. I've even warned non-Catholic boys I've dated in the past. I grew up in a family where we attended mass every Sunday, and I went to Catholic Schools from Kindergarten through High School. I have a second cousin who was a Priest, an exboyfriend who is now a Priest (wonder why that one didn't work out? me neither), and I am (a currently non-practicing) Eucharistic Minister.

Plus, how could I pass up the chance to get married somewhere SO amazingly beautiful?!?

The Church I grew up in is nice, and has just been re-opened after Bishop Lennon closed a bunch of churches (grrrr), but it wasn't what I had pictured. The Church Joe grew up in, well, they ran out of funding and ended up putting the Church in what was supposed to be the gym... not what I wanted. I wanted an old, stunning, gothic, Catholic Church. Two came to mind immediately: Saint Colman's and Saint Patrick's on bridge. 

The first Church we went to together after the engagement to scope out, was Saint Colman's. We had both grown up going there for mass every Saint Patrick's Day, so we thought it might be the perfect choice, with a lot of memories. When we got there that day, there were some Baptisms taking place during mass. That's fine. No biggie. Mass would just be a little longer. Well, who do I see: my ex (not the priest) baptizing his new step-son. Awkwarrrrrd! We spoke to the priest later about joining the parish and getting married there, and he just gave us some parishioner forms and said he could do it. Never talked about a date, or anything. We got a weird vibe and decided to check out St Pat's the next week.

Saint Pat's was a whole different feel. It was a smaller, more intimate, Church. Everyone seemed to know eachother, and it really felt like a community, not just a Church. At the sign of peace, everyone walked around shaking hands and hugging, and the Priest walked up and down the aisle shaking hands and giving kids high fives and hugs. We loved it. So we set up a meeting with Father Mark.

The only thing that had us feel weird about St Pat's was the Pre Cana. Pre Cana is usually a one day retreat that multiple couples go to, and at the end take a compatibility test. Well, not at St Pat's. Fr Mark created his own Marriage Readiness Program, which he has had approved by the Church, Doctors, Psychologists, and people. It consisted of PAGES of homeork for each session. Each session was an hour long, just Fr Mark, Joe and I. Talk about intense. We had 8 of those sessions. Plus a walk-through of the syllabus before we got started. So, really, like 9 meetings with just us 3. Each week, we dreaded it a little walking in. But when we were done, we always felt so good. It was a lot of work, it was kind of stressful, but it was so worth it. I think we covered so much more than any 1 day Pre Cana retreat ever could, and we really got to know eachother more. And the Priest got to know us more, which made the Ceremony even better. 

We are completely happy with our decision to Wed in a Catholic Church, that Church being St Pat's on Bridge, with Father Mark as our Priest, even with all 8+ of those up close and personal classes. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the wedding cake

I'll start my wedding posts with the cake, just to get it out of the way. Most people think I'm nuts, but I just don't care about cake. It's sometimes kinda tasty, but I've never met a cake I couldn't pass on. I just don't care about it. And Joe, my groom, cares about it even less. Personally, I would have preferred a 6 tiered pizza. But that's pretty strange, I know.

Since people care about cake, we didn't want to totally skimp on it. However, it was one item we just didn't want to spend a bunch of money on. I went to the bridal show at the West Side Irish American Club in Olmsted Township, Ohio (which is where the reception would be) and found Becker's Donuts and Bakery (for some reason, their website isn't working. weird). I liked Sue Becker who was at the bridal show, I liked the designs of the cakes she had with her, and people who tasted her cakes told me they were good. That was good enough for me! And she was familiar with our venue, which made it easy for everyone.

To save costs, we decided to do a very small, 2 tiered cake, with sheet cakes in the back. All the same, all from Becker's.  We chose a white cake with white buttercream frosting, and a chocolate mousse filling. From my experience as a banquet server, I've seen and have had to cut wedding cakes. You can't imagine what a pain in the butt they are. Seriously. Especially the round wedding cakes! So the sheet cakes could be cut and plated at the caterer's convenience, and ready to be served earlier. Keep that in mind, brides.

I knew I wouldn't have the time or energy to do too much DIY for the wedding. Plus, I didn't want the wedding to look cheap if i homemade a bunch of stuff. But I decided i needed to make my own cake topper. I made a bunch of white and off-white flowers from fabric, hot glued them onto a styrofoam ball that I cut into a half circle, and added pearls and bling to the flowers. I liked it a lot, so I decided to make the toss bouquet to match

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So, I've been gone.

So, I've been gone. My computer, Slaptop, committed suicide a few months ago. I was bummed. I loved that flamingo pink Dell, and all the pictures and documents saved on it. It was also pretty crucial to my wedding planning.

Speaking of the wedding, I haven't had much going on lately, besides that. So that's the other reason I have not been blogging. I figured when the wedding was over, I'd tell stories, share pictures, and maybe throw in some DIY projects I created for the big day!

Wedding is over. It was amazing. And with some of our target gift cards received, we have a new laptop. I'm baaaaaack!!!