Friday, October 31, 2008

Wedding: Slideshow

To finish up the recap, I have a wedding slideshow for you of all my favorite shots from our photographer and friends. I think it does well at telling the story of our day. Photos always seem to look so nice in that large, black-framed format. Click here to see the slideshow.

And happy Halloween! Rob and I are dressing as park rangers for our friend's rehearsal dinner tonight.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wedding: Cool down

Our caterer served chilled bottles of limonata to the guests as the evening wound down (Thank you Susan!). We weren't around for this part, of course. It seems nice though. I like the cozy atmosphere in the photo of people getting ready to head home.

I'm going to be gone tomorrow for a friend's wedding. There will be an awesome slideshow of all my favorite wedding photos here for you on Friday.

And look for the exciting honeymoon recap to begin on Monday. Learn what I did when I forgot to bring any sort of pants with me for the day after the wedding...

Wedding: The Exit

I'm a firm believer in the grand finale! Always best to end a wedding with a bang. Our guests were lined up outside armed with ribbon wands and plenty of birdseed (seriously, plenty. I was shedding birdseed for days).

We ran the gauntlet armed with our overnight bags to our adorably decorated little Honda. And drove off into the sunset!

Wedding: Second Act

On to the second act of the show! This was the sing-along portion and a little more relaxed.

We started with a version of Ring of Fire by our motley "band." We had two guitars, one uke, one bass, one singer, a tambourine, a trumpet and a recruited friend on a shaking bean! Not the best cover of the song ever...but a lot of fun!

After that, we did the bouquet toss and garter toss up on stage. Tip: give your MC a list of all the singles in the crowd so you can name check each one for catching duties. Worked like a charm!

Our friends from Colorado were next with a show-stopping comic song they wrote about us called Dirty Girl & Fancy Boy. What a hit! We had octogenarian relatives singing along to the lines "Emily got diiirty" (she goes camping!) and "Rob got faaancy" (he goes antiquing!). If you want to hear it, email me for a link.

Next, our friend Peter brought up the "band" for a version of the Beatles's Ob La De with custom lyrics about us. Everyone sang along to the chorus "Emily and Rob, they belong, yeah!" Very sweet.

For the finale, we had some family don cowboy hats and bandannas to sing Happy Trails. My nephew changed into an adorable cowboy and horse costume and galloped around like mad. My siblings started passing out the ribbon wands and birdseed tossers and everyone went outside for the big exit...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wedding: Dresses

Per request from Lena in Norway, here are a few more photos of my dresses in action.

The first and best dress was my great grandmothers. It's made of three pieces of handmade Point d'Alencon lace from France. Can you believe that the whole skirt with train is one seamless piece?!

I think you can see the overall detail best in that shot of my sister buttoning it up (here's a close up). I had the linen lace cleaned and had a new silk slip made for it, but otherwise it was untouched from last being worn in 1944 by my great aunt.

My second dress, seen below, was purchased for $60 from eBay a few weeks before the wedding. It's the J.Crew Sophia Dress. Not too thrilling, but comfortable and well made in a nice fabric and trim.

Wedding: Cake

 cheesecakes from Carnegie Deli in New York. These were so tasty. We stacked and decorated them ourselves.

My sister made the bird cake toppers and bought the vintage cake knife and server ('s actually a fish knife). The caterer had more cheesecakes behind the scenes to cut up and serve with a berry sauce and fresh fruit on the side.

Tomorrow: the last day of the wedding recap. Including, the second act of the show, our big exit and the final photos!

Wedding: The Show

Ah, the show....Up till now, the wedding had been your garden variety awesomeness. The show took it to the next level. Not because we're all so talented (ha! that's a good one) but because it was so charming.

Rob and I were more nervous about the show than about actually getting married! We opened with our performance of I Can't Give you Anything but Love, which generously received a standing ovation from our friends and family.

From there, my uncle performed A Trumpeter's Lullaby. Jean and I were next with our Sisters act. And with it, the second "Wedding Miracle" of the weekend. With only one little rehearsal, we managed to pull this dance off with panache!

Our pianist and his wife performed Only Hope after us and then my tap-dancing, baton-twirling aunt brought the first act to a triumphant close with her performance of GI Blues. Another standing ovation for her!

Time to celebrate surviving the first act with an intermission break for cheesecake and coffee...

PS: Doesn't Rob make a handsome musician?

Wedding: Dinner

We're almost done with the wedding wrap up! If you have any specific questions about the event, feel free to send me an email.

Once the cocktail hour ended, I ran upstairs to change into my second dress while everyone was invited to be seated. The tables were set with the salads and glasses of champagne for the toasts. Those plates were cleared after the toasts and the caterer brought out the family style dishes.

For dinner, we had poached salmon with a dijon caper sauce, butternut squash ravioli with sage, grilled vegetables and rolls. Here are two tips: 1) don't forget to ask your caterer if the food will be hot or cold. The veggies and salmon were both unexpectedly cold...still delicious. 2) family style service is awesome, but ask your caterer to get the lightest serving dishes they can. Our platters and bowls were heavy which made it a bit of a challenge to pass. Overall though, the dinner was very tasty and our caterer was super professional.

Once the dinner plates were cleared, our groomsman friend serving as "MC" asked everyone to grab a drink and get ready for the show to start...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wedding: Ringbearers

Rob's nephews were our ringbearers for the wedding - we didn't have flower girls. Aren't they smooth in their matching bowties and converse sneakers? Like miniature waiters!

I think this photo was taken upstairs when they were relaxing with the babysitter we hired at the last minute. My mom put together backpacks full of activities and snacks for them during dinner.

Wedding: Mantlepiece

We used the mantelpiece at the club to display a few framed photos. I grabbed six pictures of Rob and me as kids and put them in a hodgepodge of frames I had at home. My mom brought some framed photos of my dress being worn by my great grandmother, great aunt and grandmother. My mom was the flowergirl in the great aunt's wedding. It was just another fun little thing for people to see while mingling.

Wedding: Polaroids

I think our cocktail hour was one of the most fun parts of our wedding! By virtue of rushing through the portrait session after the ceremony (wasn't that concerned about the portraits), Rob and I got to spend a lot of time mingling with guests. And I had time to show off the antique dress before changing for dinner. The club had a nice design with window seats and wicker chairs that made it easy to hang out outside of sitting at your assigned table.

For appetizers, we had passed trays of seared ahi tuna, stuffed mushrooms and bison skewers. The bison was a real hit! And the champagne was certainly flowing.

While all this was happening, we tasked a good friend with taking polaroids of the guests. We bought the film at Walgreen's the day before and borrowed Paul's camera. She was a champ about getting everyone to put on hats and silly mustaches for the shots! You can see all the polaroid photos here.

Wedding: Guest Book

Our Blurb guest book idea didn't work out (the print quality was funky) but I'm glad because our last minute postcard idea was a lot more fun!

Two weeks before the wedding, I bought postcards online of the places we were going on our honeymoon and my mom sent me some vintage ones. We put out pens by the entrance and had people write their wishes on the postcards instead of signing a guest book. The map of our honeymoon went in a vintage suitcase along with the finished postcards.

Oh, and that sign is made from leftover sheets of letterpressed curtain cards from the wedding invitation. I also used those for our table numbers.

I want figure out a way to bind the postcards into a small book. Any ideas?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wedding: The Room

And to further set the scene - here's the room where we had our reception as seen from the stage. The bar is on the left along with views of the bay. That big square table is for the wedding party. The cake and some framed photos are back in the lounge area by the fireplace. And the entrance, gift table, escort cards and "guest book" area are over in the back right corner. On the right wall are French doors that open to the garden.

Wedding: The Tables

Back to the wedding wrap-up! I just received our photos from Paul today and am starting to sort through everything. I love this shot he got of our favors on the tables.

Happy Birthday to Me!

It is my birthday today! My first ever as a "Mrs." with a new last name. So, to celebrate my first birthday, we invited friends to a local park to celebrate in kiddo style on Sunday. A very casual and easy event:

Food: Pigs in a blanket we made that morning (yum!), snack packs of chips, crudites, peanut m&m's, candy corn, organic soda and a delicious mint chip ice cream cake.

Decorations: Orange tablecloths, Halloween napkins, rubber rats, skeleton parachuters.

Activities: DIY balloon animals were a brilliant call by Margaret. We had a great time inventing descriptions to match our creations. I think we could have second careers if the new depression ends our dot com jobs! Of course, the Seward Street Slides were the main attraction. These super steep cement slides are a few stories tall and full of peril. Armed with a slip of cardboard and/or wax paper, we generated quite a bit of road rash!

We made balloon animals and slid the afternoon away. What a fun way to ring in a new age and a new name!

PS: Angella found a great video of the whole slide process. You get a good sense of just how steep and fast they really are!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wedding Day! My Gift to Rob

{Click to get a closer look - apologies for the reflection in the photo} Here's the gift I gave to Rob on our wedding day. I made this little collage from leftover wedding invitations on a quiet weekend after watching too much Michel Gondry. The scene on the left is the San Francisco skyline and a taxi. On the right is our apartment building and tandem bike.

I had it framed at the little shop down the street and kept it a secret wrapped in brown paper until our wedding day. Rob liked it so much that he hung it on the front door of the club for all our guests to see. We still need to find the right place to hang it in the house.

Wedding Day! Ceremony Details

I was so happy with the way the ceremony went! Our friend, Ken, was the officiant. My mom wrote the introduction about the importance of trust in a marriage and how we have trusted each other over the years. Here's an excerpt:
Trust seems to be key to maintaining long term relationships. Trust that the relationship can survive the inevitable bumps that living together creates, trust that the partner truly has faith that these collisions are only minor scrapes and that in times of real trouble the other person will be there to love and share. Trust that each will create opportunities for the other to soar towards their personal goals in both shared and individual activities. Trust that there will be times of great joy.


They have shared the excitement and challenges of traveling in remote locations as well as the daily pleasures of sharing meals and long walks. All of this has prepared them for their union. Now they will, in this gathering, commit to supporting each other through unforeseen experiences in the years ahead.
My friend, Sarah, read Pablo Neruda's Sonnet LXIX next. Then, we had Ken read short letters that Rob and I had written to each other. This was such a touching part! And I think where I had to share my handkerchief with Rob. Poor guy was so nervous and sentimental during the ceremony.

After the letters, our pianist's wife - a very talented singer - sang The Very Thought of You. An unexpected and lovely song. And while it was sung, I finally had a chance to look around at the sunny day and our happy guests.

Next up, the "I Do's" and the ring exchange. I'm not a big fan of a bride and groom reciting vows whispered into their ears by officiants at weddings, it seems somewhat forced. Instead, we memorized the short line "This ring is a token of my love. I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am." I accidentally put Rob's ring on the wrong hand. Ken gave a little blessing at the end and we sealed it with a kiss!

On Monday, all sorts of details about the reception and show...

Wedding Day! Ceremony

Our amazing pianist friend is also a very talented photographer. Somehow, in between playing for hours, he also managed to get some great photos of the event!

Wedding Day! Walking Out

This is a photo from one of our guests. I like the "forward momentum" and the happy looks on everyone's faces.

Wedding Day! Getting Ready

Okay, let's get this recap started! I slept like a rock on Friday night after all the rehearsal festivities. After a shower, I sat in the living room writing thank you notes while waiting to be picked up. Margaret and Nicole came over before 10 armed with pastries from Tartine. We drove across town to the hair salon.

Warning: hitch approaching. I had a plan with the hairdresser that I was going to let my curly hair dry naturally and she would pin it up. But when I got there she instantly started combing product through the curls and blowdrying. If you have curly hair, y
ou know that it doesn't like to be "fussed with." I finally spoke up at the end and made her fix it a bit...but I still thought it looked kind of dumb. I was tempted to shower at home and start over, but decided to just go with it.

We drove over the bridge (a gorgeous day with no rain in sight!) and to the club to get ready. The dressing rooms upstairs are particularly nice with views of the entire bay. I did my own make-up and also helped everyone else get ready. Jordan lent us her steamer, which was so handy. My sister's boyfriend brought us cheese, cookies and mimosas.

Rob sent over a gift from his dressing room: a note about starting our marriage like we started dating, with a long island iced tea (mixed by a nervous groomsman) and a copy of Princess Diaries. I sent Rob a present I had made a few months ago: a collage of our life in the city made out of extra scraps of our wedding invitations. He loved it and hung it on the front door of the club for everyone to see! (I'll share a photo in a separate post)

Finally, it was time to get into the dress. I'd only tried it on once in its finished state and no one else had seen me in it before. It was an exciting moment! And with the dress and the make-up, my hair didn't seem too bad anymore. And I think it came out well in the photos, so not much of a hitch after all.

We took some portraits before and lots of happy relatives and friends were escorted "backstage" to say hi to me before the wedding. Our pianist friend was belting out classics downstairs the whole time. It was a little tough being sequestered from all the action (thank heavens I decided to get a day-of-coordinator to keep everything straight downstairs!) but I was cool as a cucumber.

We had set the start time for 2:30, thinking we'd actually get going at 3:00. But everyone arrived early and we got started right at the posted time. We all lined up and walked out. I waiting in the wings with my parents (one on each arm) for the music to start. At the last minute, my mom gave me a kiss, leaving a red kiss mark on my cheek for the ceremony. I didn't mind a bit!

Next, the ceremony...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What to Wear: Fall Basics

Dressing in "outdoorsy mode" from a rotating selection of 10 pieces for the last month has put me in a bit of a fashion funk back at home. Combine that with the recession, which is boosting my very cheap, anti-spend-on-anything-including-clothes side, and I'm feeling a little shabby for fall.

I saw a woman in my neighborhood wearing something along these lines and knew that I would have to do at least some stocking up:

Blouse - I've been pining for the perfect white shirt for a while now. This woman had an oversized version belted.
Jeans - I only buy about one pair a year, it's time for a refresh.
Coat - I probably have too many coats...but I could use a versatile blazer.
Earrings - Add a pop of color.
Boots - I love the look of these almost flat, wedge boots from BCBG. But I think they're too wide for my twiggy calves and I'd prefer a zipper. The hunt continues!
Bag - I love my inexpensive yellow purse.
Sunglasses - Aviators always help me feel tough.

What must-haves are on your shopping list?

Ladies Activity Club: Boot Camp

Apologies for being slow this morning, we're going to take a quick break from the wedding recap news today. See, I've lost all motor control after last night's LAC boot camp activity.

Stephanie hosted us at Kezar Stadium last night for an intense "Cardio and Core" workout with her friend who is a trainer (I'll be glad to pass on his contact info if anyone's interested). We did push ups, jumping jacks, lunges, oh - so many lunges, squats, crunches, mountain climbers, arm spins, planks and jogging.

As you can see from these photos...we're serious athletes. I felt amazing after the workout! But this morning I've lost my ability to do simple things, like walk downstairs or raise my arms above my shoulders.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pre-Wedding: Rehearsal Dinner

There were a few points during the wedding weekend that had me exclaiming "it's a wedding miracle!" The rehearsal dinner was certainly the first!

I booked this local pizza joint at the last minute after only eating there once and never seeing the private room. We had been told up until a few weeks before the wedding that we could order in food to the club. And when that changed suddenly, I made a quick decision.

It turned out to be perfect! A cozy little room upstairs warmed up all 35 of us from the rain outside. And the pizza (a different set of toppings for each table) proved to be a great conversation starter and excuse to mingle. Who doesn't like pizza and salad?

And the very best part of all is that it cost half what I was planning, even with having an "open bar" for drinks. And the restaurant gave us a free bottle of wine to take home as a thanks. Hooray!

Pre-Wedding: Rehearsal

We very much required a rehearsal the evening before the wedding. All of our AV equipment had to be tested and the musical acts (some who had never before all played together) needed to give it a go.

So it was a very happy scene when I arrived at 4:00 in the rain to find all our great family and friends bustling about the club and instruments warming up. Just like something out of an old musical! In between hugs and greetings, I spent some time transferring the "binder" to Jill (a friend who was amazing as our day-of-coordinator).

The ceremony rehearsal was held inside by the fireplace due to the weather. There was a real danger that the out-of-season rain wouldn't stop for the wedding the next day, so we needed to be prepared. Plan B involved pushing back the tables, making most guests stand and lighting lots of candles. The trial hand-off went smoothly and my tissue paper bouquet held up just fine.

A little more music rehearsal and then off to dinner down the steep and curvy Sausalito hills!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pre-Wedding: Friday Flower Arranging

First thing Friday morning, my mom, sister and Margaret arrived to go to the flower market. Browsing the stalls, we bought gorgeous butter yellow roses, white dahlias, white lisianthus, two kinds of eucalyptus pods, green "berries," yellow and brown solidago, and chocolate cosmos. I lost track, but I think we spent about $400 on all the flowers.

At the club, we quickly unpacked the vases and got to work filling them with water and floral foam. We were a little behind schedule and quickly formed an assembly line with mom and Margaret stripping leaves and cutting stems, Jean and Nicole creating the filler foundation and me putting on the finishing touches.

The finished product came out so well! The excitement started to build once we had all the flowers put away in the fridge.

Leaving a big mess for Rob to pick up when he came over with the AV equipment, we went to lunch at Fish in Sausalito to refresh after our marathon session. And then to the nail salon. It could have been a stressful moment (they were understaffed and we were behind schedule) but I was preternaturally calm and relaxed. They did an amazing job on my nails and I had the pleasure of seeing my mom have her first ever mani-pedi.

Unexpectedly, it started to rain while we left the salon to join friends and family at the rehearsal. Tomorrow...details about the rehearsal and dinner!

PS: I debated skipping all this "reality" from before the event and going straight to all the glam results...but it wouldn't be the honest story of the wedding. We worked hard for our success!

Pre-Wedding: Thursday with Friends

Okay, let's get this wrap-up started! I had a packed evening the Thursday night before the wedding. It was so great to have this time to spend with friends before the madness.

First, a group of us met in the neighborhood park to practice our songs for the wedding reception. We were outdoors to accommodate the trumpet Trent added to the group without killing our neighbors. It was a short but much needed practice. With a gaggle of semi-proficient players and my sister chipping in on tambourine, we must have been quite the sight:

After the music practice, I returned home to dress up for the Kill Bill Bridal Shower. I wore all white with an embroidered t-shirt that said "The Bride." Margaret was in all black as Copperhead. Nicole wore a kimono to be O-Ren Ishii and Jean donned an eye-patch! Throw in a couple fake samurai swords and...well, no one seemed to get the movie reference, but we still had a blast! A giant sushi and sake dinner followed by peach bellinis at a local club.