Sunday, August 30, 2009

10 - The Luckiest - Ben Folds

If you haven't heard this song, please listen NOW. Here.

I'll just write exactly what we put in the liner notes to this, our final song, in the wedding album:

We would have danced to this one if it didn't make us cry so much. Enjoy.

The Wedding Day - Part IV - The Dancing & Finale

After Jesse and his mother danced, DJ JJ kicked off the PARTY with some 50s and 60s music - which we had requested, along with some salsas and meringues to make it a latin-infused night. The first people out on the dance floor? The bridesmaids, of course! But it only took about .5 seconds until family and friends joined right in.

Some of my favourite moments on the dance floor:

Claudio being the first guest to dominate the dancing!

After the bouquet was thrown to my choice song of "Just a Girl" by No Doubt, all the ladies and I started skanking - as you can see by this picture of Erica (doing a talented job of skanking and not spilling her vodka soda!)

Tony requesting "Cotton Eyed Joe" --- I then saw Jenna, who was seated, jump up at the FIRST note of the song and pulling her boyfriend Keller to his feet as well, exclaiming "I LOVE THIS SONG!"

My college besties Dawn, Marion, and Katy constantly making circles around me on the dancefloor. I love those girls.

Getting to schimmy down a dance line with my grandmother.

Jesse falling to the ground during the hushed part of "Shout!"

Seeing my best friend Rick to the side and demanding he dance because he wasn't allowed to refuse the bride! And, wouldn't you know it, he stayed on the dance floor the rest of the night!

EVERYBODY shaking their hips to the latin music. There was not a lot of sitting going on at the reception, and that's all I wanted!

Celeste & Galea getting down to Michael Jackson as a circle formed around them, then me egging Justin Smith to get in on it, as he pulled out a solo dance number, and then Augie & Justin Pierre recreating the knife fight scene from the "Beat It" video in said dance circle. It was wild, and hilarious.

Enjoy the photos - all by Channing Johnson, of course!

As I'm sure you've noticed, in some of the pictures everybody's dressed up like it's mardi gras! Well, that's all my mother's doing - in latin weddings there is usually a final "hurrah" at the end of the reception. It's called a "murga" and EVERYBODY has to dance, wear some form of hat/mask/beads. My Panamanian family passed out all the masks, and then all of a sudden tons of balloons were floating around. Jesse and I had bought special masks before the wedding, and you can see us putting them on here.

Emily pointed out how very Eyes Wide Shut this picture is. Creepy. But wasn't at the time!

My grandmother, the best.

After the murga ended, it was time to go home - and there was a collective sigh of disappointment. We said bye to family and friends, and some continued to have some fun in different parts of the hotel. I'm told that includes the lake, as well. All in all, Jesse slept very easily that night, completely happy. And married.

[Earlier: Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Day - Part I, Part II, Part III]

Saturday, August 29, 2009

09 - Earth Angel - Death Cab for Cutie

Jesse and I chose this as "our song" to dance to at the wedding - well, it was Jesse's idea and I agreed. It's really romantic, and it went really well with our theme of 50s and 60s music, too. With a twist. And the week before the wedding, literally ten days before, the following comic was published, which Erica brought to my attention --

Click to englarge! Via Dinosaur Comics.

Hahahaha! I had completely forgotten about any Back to the Future references of the song, but I think we all know that any film references at my wedding are a-ok. And this comic is HILARIOUS. Those coincidences just keep coming!

Listen to Death Cab's rendition of "Earth Angel" on my tumblr. It's pretty rad.

Turn and face the strange.

I'd been thinking about it for a while, but I decided yesterday to just call up my stylist and see if she was available after work. She was! And she got to gleefully cut off most of my hair! Evidence of my hair previous to yesterday -

My hair the last time I visited Shine in June! Yes, my stylist's name is Shine. And my hair was halfway down my back when I went in yesterday.


I haven't had my hair short since high school, when I thought Gwyneth Paltrow was bomb and I got her haircut from Sliding Doors. About ten or eleven years ago. Since then it's been long, long, long. When I went in, I basically just said I wanted a bob with some sass to it. Little bit of an angle. But long enough so you don't have to shave anything on the nape of my neck. She was a bit hesitant when she started cutting - she was like, "Now, I'm going to be cutting a lot of length, so don't be alarmed." No worries, I said. Chop it off! Get rid of it! I'm sick of it! Voila!

My hair feels great. Literally, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm stoked for le new deux. What do you think?!

Friday, August 28, 2009

08 - My Only Sunshine - Pete Seeger

Jesse chose this has the song he would dance to his mother with at the reception. He remembers his mother singing this song to him a lot growing up; when he told his mother that, she was a little emotional about it, because she had no idea he would remember - he was so young! They led a lovely dance to it. You can here the version they played here.

And, also, I'd just like to remark here, that I now have two more people I can call "Mom" and "Dad" and I love that fact, and them. Jesse's mother Sandi is truly generous and loving, and I'm so happy that we are now family. Everyone always asks about the "in laws" and there's that negative societal myth of the newly entwined bride and mother-in-law. Well, part of the reason it's so great to be married to Jesse is that now Sandi is like a mom, and his father Dan is like a dad. I couldn't be happier!

The Wedding Day Part III - The Reception

Where was I? Heading to the reception!

Jesse and I drank champagne and had a good time to ourselves in the ten minute drive to the reception venue, the Sturbridge Host. Our venue that weekend included another little event: a Harley Davidson convention. Yes, there was leather and motorcycles everywhere you looked! No bother, though, it just added a little hard-edged ambiance to the weekend.

When we arrived at the decidely raucous and busy hotel, we waited for the rest of the wedding party to take photos while the guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. And so we posed for the portraits with family and bridesmaids and groomsmen. Our photographer, Channing Johnson, really captured some great moments throughout the day and I couldn't recommend him enough! We've seen all the photos by now, but we are awaiting some high-res digital copies to share. So, these photos are (still) all from his preview.

I love this photo of the girls and I as we're getting ready to seriously pose. In order from L-R: Kelly, me, Amber, Erica, Jiscilla, Christy. Seriously, these are the five people in the world who I have the best time with (besides my husband!). As you can see, Amber was being a wise-cracker! (Is that the phrase? Ha.)

The boys had their own sneaker shot. Jesse, as a groomsmen's gift, had his friends at Nike make six pairs of custom purple/black/white sneakers - and the date "08.08.09" is etched on the side, as well. They quickly changed after the ceremony from their dress shoes to the sneakers!

Also, I don't think there will be another instance of men dressed in purple looking so badass. Right?

Afterwards, the lovely reception coordinator Lise guided our party to a private cocktail room for some drinks before being introduced into the ballroom. We all got to snack and relax a bit after the whirlwind of events, and gather ourselves for what lay ahead.

We then were lined up outside the ballroom with both of our parents leading the procession. Our DJ, the AMAZING JJ Surma introduced us while the Foo Fighters song "Everlong" played. Then, Jesse and I were introduced and it was kind of emotional to waltz in with my new husband and hear the clapping and hooting and hollering. Then, Jesse and I began our first dance - to Death Cab for Cutie's rendition of "Earth Angel." (Don't worry, it's on the wedding album, I'll post it soon!)

Then we sat down for a scrumptious dinner - it was incredibly delicious. Do people care about the food? I know I don't particularly, because if I read something, I'm not effin' eating it, am I? So, I'll skip to the next part: the speeches!

One of Jesse's Best Men, Brian Diaz, gave a heartfelt speech about Jesse. At the ceremony he had been tearing up, too. Those dudes have been friends for a while in the music industry. It's also nice to see a cynic who hates purple be so happy for his best friend! Then, my co-Maid of Honor Erica made nearly everyone cry with her nostalgiac speech about witnessing our reltionship's first days - replete with a quoted e-mail from me!

And then my father gave a speech about me and Jesse, and I got teary for that one too! How could I not? Oof, I will not even attempt to re-hash it here, suffice to say I loved it.

After the speeches, we continued eating until the cake-cutting. My mother's best friend, Nilda, made us a lovely vanilla and red velvet cake with buttercream frosting. She's a professional baker, and it was her wedding gift to us! I was adamant about having real frosting instead of that fondant stuff - I just learned that while it's edible, you're not supposed to eat the fondant. You simply lift it off the cake and eat the cake. WHAT? That makes no sense. Cake without frosting makes no sense, and thus, our delicious, delectable, and entirely edible cake --

Yes, I forbade any cake-to-face smashing.

Now, after dinner and cake, it was time for the "special dances." My father and I danced to The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" and Jesse and his mother danced to Pete Seeger's "My Only Sunshine." It was two lovely, serene moments before the dance party really started...

[Earlier: Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Day - Part I, Part II]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I know I have to post about the reception, the aftermath, and the honeymoon - but catching up is hard to do! So here's a quick one to tide you over. In case you were wondering, here were some inspirations -

I'm sure this was a surprise to no one... I don't care how trite it's become, but I still adore her. My grandmother had a collection of golden era celebrity biographies that lined her shelves - I read most of them - but Audrey was always my favourite over Grace, Katharine, Marilyn...perhaps only tied with Bette.

I saw the dress online last year, and it was the only one I'd seen that I really liked. (Remember my tirade on the overabundance of strapless dresses?!) So Kells tracked it down for me so I could try it on and I was right from the get-go: it was the one! It's by Kitty Chen Couture. I loved the details, the empire waist, the cap sleeves (how very Austen, too) and I truly fell in love with it when I saw the back - it seemed glamourous and just a touch modern.

However, I was really not feeling the hairdo of the model in those pictures - my hair would not hold for hours in the August heat just loosely gathered. I needed it out of my face - and so I turned to the 60s and modern interpretations.

Originally, I wanted all violets - until I learned that violets aren't very sturdy, and they don't grow in August. Bah! So, I went with my make-up artist Kristy's suggestion: dahlias! I really knew nothing about flowers before planning a wedding, now I can at least recognize the pretty ones!

Also, to anyone planning a wedding, a HIGHLY recommend the following book by Mindy Weiss - I picked it up because she was Gwen Stefani's wedding planner, but it really contains the answer to any question you might have. As someone who had only been to four weddings, was never in a wedding party, and without many close married friends, it really helped!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I could only prepare so much before leaving for the Honeymoon - sorry the past few days slacked off! I'll be back continuing to post about the wedding...the wedding album...the honeymoon SOON!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

07 - God Only Knows - The Beach Boys

My father and I chose this as our father/daughter dance song at the reception. There were a few reasons. Firstly, my dad is the reason I listen to and love "oldies" as I called them growing up. We made some really long trips across the country with our family when we moved every two years, and oldies were usually on the station. Until I got some musical tastes of my own, but that's another story.

Secondly, my father and I share a great affinity for movies. Any kind of movies, he's always been my movie-going buddy and he's the guy who introduced me to Hitchcock in middle school and told me his stories about working on a Francis Ford Coppola film. (Again, that's another story!) We both loved the movie Love, Actually, no matter how corny, it was dear to our hearts from the moment we saw it. That Colin Firth storyline is basically the story of my parents, by the way. Have I told that story yet? I will...another time. In the ending montage to the film, "God Only Knows" plays as everyone is reuniting and hugging at the airport. It's a sweet scene, and it's exactly what I imagined feeling as I danced with my father.

He, and my mother, definitely made me into the woman I am today and I can't thank them enough. God only knows what I'd be without him...


The Wedding Day - Part II - The Ceremony

My father and I entered the church after everyone else. We had an eccentric driver from the rental company; he insisted on being next to us every step of the way. When my father and I were in a private room, waiting to walk down the aisle, the driver tried helping me with my veil, and then helped all the groomsmen and bridesmaids walk down the aisle. He was a laugh riot. I told my dad as we were waiting for the bridesmaids to walk down the aisle --

"We have a very involved driver..."

"He should be, from what I'm paying him."

Ha. So. All the bridesmaids were down and the kindly driver closes the church doors so that my father and I could get in place. Dad held my hand, looking stunning in his military uniform, as the driver made sure my train cascaded just right. Then we heard the processional and the driver opened the doors.

I don't know why right there I was overwhelmed. Okay, maybe I do know why. Here I was standing at the entrance of the rest of my life - looking at all the most important people in my life until then, and my life from then. I could feel my dad shake, and I shook too. I tried so hard not to cry - not now, not now. It was, obviously, incredibly hard.

Jesse's face appeared to me and my dad's grip got tighter - he then lifted my veil, kissed me on the cheek, and brought Jesse's hand to mine. I wanted to chase after him and hug my father again.

But I was happy.

As Father Bob began the Liturgy of the Word ceremony (Jesse is not Catholic, thus we did not do a full mass), my hand was clammy and held onto Jesse's hand until my knuckles were white. I almost couldn't believe that is was happening - that all of our planning for the last year and a half was coming to fruition and in mere minutes he would be my husband. I would be called a wife.

Jesse's mother, Sandi, read an excerpt from the Bible, as did my Uncle Arthur for the second reading. Father Bob gave a solemn homily to the gospel, and then Jesse and I read the traditional vows to each other and put on each other's wedding bands. And, the kiss. It was lovely. More lovely? Jesse reaching in for a quick second one - does that happen often in a Catholic ceremony?

Soon after, Father Bob pronounced us Husband & Wife and we walked down the aisle to claps and cheers. I can't remember a time when I was more happy. I was married. I am married. I will be married for the rest of my life.

The driver was ready for our receiving line, even though we had practiced it the day before. I got to see everyone that witnessed our marriage and I seriously felt the most love ever from the moment I kissed Jesse through the weekend. I was overwhelmed by everyone's sheer joy - the happiness they expressed for us, and the hugs that let me know of their love.

My ecstasy lasted through some more photographs by Channing with family outside of the church, and the driver popping some champagne for Jesse and I. We climbed into the Rolls Royce and got our first moment alone as a married couple. We laughed, we kissed, we breathed - finally.

And we got ready for the party!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

06 - Everlong - Foo Fighters

The wedding party walked into this classic (yes, to me, total classic) at the reception - or at least to the beginning intro. When Jesse walked in, our superb DJ JJ Surma blasted out the crescendo and, much like the song, it was epic. Regardless what it's really about, we just love the music and those lines are true - If everything could ever feel this real forever / If anything could ever be this good again - rather, we know it will feel this real, it will always be this good. We kind of promised that to each other and ourselves. There will be trials and tribulations, but I know we're in this thing forever.

If you've never heard this song, I might cry. If you need to hear it or be reminded of how hard it rules - check my tumblr!

The Wedding Day - Part I

I slept really well the night before my wedding day. Exhaustion came with rushing to Massachusetts and gathering and dancing. It felt nice to drift off - my parents let me sleep in their master bedroom that night.

I woke up refreshed. I had to run a sort of errand - the day before, my manicure wasn't up to par. There were little bubbles everywhere in my nails and I was annoyed because the bubbles might show up in close-ups of, you know, my hands which held my wedding rings. Any other day and my nails wouldn't matter and I wouldn't have cared. So, I went back to the salon and got them re-done. They came out great, and I made friends with a ten-year-old whose mother brought her in while she was getting a pedicure. She was getting a pretty sweet blue-with-graphics manicure and I complimented her. We then started chatting while our nails dried, and it was very much like that elevator scene in 13 Going on 30 -- no matter if you don't get the reference, but if you do - POINTS.

Then I went home to pick up things for my hair appointment and found my dad watching Pulp Fiction in the living room while Nilda, the cake-baker was frosting the cake in our kitchen and all the Panamanians were doing their nails. I had enough time to grab some food and watch the scene where they revive Uma with an adrenaline shot. "I'm curious about that, myself." - things I watched on my wedding day.

I then met up with my bridesmaids for a lunch in Worcester; I found a place online near the hair salon and we got into the parking lot and it was closed. Awesome. So then my valiant Maid of Honor came through with some place a couple blocks away called "Evo" which was pretty modern & classy for Worcester. Oh, and delicious.

Amber and I before hair & make-up, eating at EVO. (Courtesy of Jiscilla!)

After eating, we were on a mission! We went to my hair stylist's salon, where he was at first taken aback by all the purple outfits my bridesmaids coordinated (they're so great). But then he got to work, first with Kelly. Mark is kind of an outrageous stylist, and he did a great job keeping us unstressed and laughing hysterically.

Oh, and this jerk behind me in this Jiscilla paparazzi shot totally made fun of the purple too. Dude, you're sitting outside a grocery store yelling comments - why are you so angry about the purple?!

Anyway, Kells, Christy, and I were done with our hairs and headed to my house to complete the process, and meet up with Kristy, le make-up artiste! We got home and Kristy got to work on my face!

Our photographer Channing Johnson showed up as we started getting ready, and really captured how everything was going. He hasn't published all the pictures yet, but he blogged a great preview.

My mother and me.

Coming down the stairs, past all my family photos.

Putting on my veil for the first time, Kells standing by.

We went to the backyard and took some photos, and then we were ready to head to the church. The bridesmaids went ahead and then my father and I rode there together in a Rolls Royce (thanks, Dad!!). It was stylin'.

The boys were getting ready themselves...

Then it was time to get married...