Friday, May 8, 2009

Let the party begin!

So, at long last we get back to business for the professional photos. None of us can seem to pay attention at the same time for a photo.

Me, Princess, and Prince Charming-see what's up with his looks today?

Mr. and Mrs. Princess

Again with the wacky looks

This one you can just barely see the gold locket that is dangling with the ribbon. It was a locket my Mom had with photos of herself and my father when they were in high school.

OK, enough drama, let's have some fun!

We had to do things very much out of order due to the time constraints of the photographer. We ended up just going with it and it turned out fine in the end. Frankly, at this point I was so exhausted and relieved that I do not have a clue what order things really happened, so you'll just get it in this order. HA!

The couple's first dance was very nice, although I still have no clue what the darn song was. They liked it so that's all that mattered. In this one you will see the confetti is stuck in their hair. We did the confetti toss during their first dance, since they didn't really "leave" and after the experiment we found the darn confetti doesn't really toss. More like drops like a rock. Yeah, the ecofriendly confetti made of corn, not for tossing folks. We ended up ganging up on them and dumping the little bundles on their heads! On a positive note, it rained the next morning and the confetti disappeared-NO CONFETTI CLEANUP! But if you want a confetti toss, it doesn't fly so don't say I didn't warn ya.

I think they are in love.....

Next came the Father/Daughter dance. Now, without going into all the massive drama, I will just say that Prince Charming is technically her stepfather. Her real father was deliberately not invited or included in this happy day by Princess's choice. Instead she chose Prince Charming to walk her down the aisle, give her away, and dance the special dance. He has been a MAJOR influence in her life since she was 5 years old and was very honored and touched to be given this luxury. They both got a bit choked up a few times while dancing to "You are gonna miss this" by Trace Adkins. Cowboy music ya know? If you haven't heard this song and you have kids, you simply must. Trust me.

This was one of those moments when they just had to stop and have a bit of a hug. She was crying, he was crying........still makes me cry. A major milestone here folks, you really have to know the whole story, but this is major.........

Yes I have photos where they really do appear to be dancing, but these are so much more reflective of the moment.

Then came the dance I got to share with Mr. Princess. I was so touched when he chose the song and didn't tell me what it was. We danced to "I told you so" with Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis. Weird huh? Well, from the first time he and Princess had a minor misunderstanding, or she did one of her many wacky things she always does, he would give me this look and say, "What the heck did I fall in love with her for, and what am I going to do with her?" My response has always been, "I told you so!" which is literally the truth. When they first became serious I told him she was a hand full and he would wonder again and again what in the world he is doing with this wild child. See, he is very serious, methodical, deeply emotional, loves to make everyone happy. Princess, is classic ADD/ADHD, wild, reckless, emotional roller coaster, quick tempered, impulsive, loyal, and fierce. True opposites indeed. So, our dance song was simply perfect!

I should also note that the second prior to this dance, my Prince came running to whisper, "Hey Mom, better speed this up, our cake is sliding before my eyes!" YIKES!

Next, came the mother/daughter dance. May not happen in other circles, but that's the way we roll around here. Now, since Princess does really have ADD and daily does some seriously crazy things, a real Mom has to find a way to cope. Sorry but true. So, many years ago they came out with these silly shirts that say" they say I have ADD, OH LOOK a chicken...." The first time I saw that I laughed for three days. From then on, every time she said or did some bizarre thing, Prince Charming, myself, and a few select friends who knew would simply say "Oh look a chicken" and laugh. Now, she had no idea why, and given the ADD would quickly forget. Over time we let Prince in on it (even though he too has ADD), so the chicken legion grew. About a year ago, she finally was in a calmer moment, but still did some typical weirdness and the chicken jokes started. She by now was old enough, or I had had enough to drink I decided to tell her what the heck we were talking about all these years. She was mad for about two seconds, then over time would do it herself whenever she would just lose it. So again, she told me we had to dance, but didn't tell me what. Can you guess?

Meet my wacky family and the CHICKEN DANCE!

Yes, I have just shown a picture of myself looking like a total idiot. Thanks.

If you have never had the pleasure of a chicken dance, lets just say it is REALLY hard with just three people.

That's much better. I should also tell you I am doing this in bare feet cause I hate shoes! Splinters galore, but it was worth it!

OK, so now we have to cut the sliding cake or risk a major collapse like the night before. So here we go.

Here are those initials Prince painted for me. Guess what Princess's initials are now?

ADD!!!!!!!!!! Charma baby, pure charma!

See Prince in the background laughing? He knows what is coming. Mr. Princess, you won't believe what you are in for...

Oh, look she is going to be nice....


She even tried to make up and lick it off, he wasn't having any part of it though!

Isn't that sweet, they kissed and made up already?

Now, run Mom!

Off to put the cake back in the freezer.....good grief!

Meanwhile enjoy the Prince and Princess, I'll be right back.
For 15 years you could let these two get closer than 3 feet away from each other without blood involved. Wow, my kids clean up purdy good don't they? And guess what, they didn't even fight and don't tell them but I think they might even be friends. Shh, it will be our secret OK?
Good thing she didn't hear him whisper to Mr. Princess that if he doesn't take damn good care of her and treat her right he WILL be sorry...and trust me, this guy isn't kidding around!

OK, I'm back. The cake is safe for now!

Now, let's see the bouquet toss. Since it was a very small gathering, the potential catchers were limited.

See my friend Lisa back there in the far left? She was MADE to participate, but notice how she didn't move a muscle. Smart chick isn't she?

Yes, Heather caught it! Best friends!

Now for the garter.


Wait, check out my shoes Mr. Princess!

So, this toss again had a limited choice of participants. Of course Prince, Heather's boyfriend, and ironically Jenny who is Mr. Princess's mom to be in October were in on the act. Now, anyone who knows my son will tell you no one stood a chance in this, not even for a second. I think we even warned Jenny, but she said she would win cause she's a tough chick. Really she is, but we all knew what was going to happen.

On your marks, get set, GO!

Told you Jenny didn't stand a chance. I think she believed he would be nice since she's a girl and all. Nope, not Prince, this is serious business.

The champion!!!!

Should I tell you now his wedding is set for July 2010 and guess who is doing the darn flowers? No rest for the wicked!

Here is one of the pro pix, your classic ring shot.

I'll just cut to the chase. This was the toast speech by the groomsman. He had us all in tears with funny stories of he and Mr. Princess in high school and his joy of seeing the couple together at last.

I don't think toast meant chug it Princess......teehee

After much eating, and drinking, and more drinking

we broke out the presents.

They were given terrific gifts for their new home, and so much cash I was humbled. The cash was so needed by this new couple and had them both in shock.

After the gifts, they snuck off for some quiet time, and Prince Charming and I got to sneak a dance of our own.

Notice the clothes are MUCH more my style by this time!

We eventually fired up the fire pit and got to sit, relax, and chat. I had bought some glow in the dark bracelets the kids liked. Since many of the guests had left by now, our poor caged herd got to roam free, which of course meant Calloway got outside as usual and wanted to be in the fun.

So Mr. Princess decorated her with necklaces too!

And here is what she really looked like.....

The alter looked lovely after dark, and the couple relit the candle one last time before the night was over.

The last dance of the happy day!

OK, off to home for the happy couple. Lucky for them they live across the street from Mom!
(just pretend it's still dark and humor me OK?)

Wait, first they had to pose in front of Prince's new car. Both of them are glad he has the payments for this baby and not them.

OK, this is Mr. and Mrs. Princess's truck.
See, they still can't get a picture looking the same direction!

OK, come on Mr. Princess, take your bride home!

Home sweet home at last! Trust me, we don't want to see what happened next.....

Next time, we will get a peek at the honeymoon, well at least the sight seeing portion of the trip!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

With this ring

At last we get to the whole point of this madness, the ceremony!

I wanted to start with a overview shot (sorta) of the beginning of the ceremony. If you are wondering what in the world is up with the empty chairs in the front row, let's just say it's a REALLY long story we don't want to bore you with the "drama" of it all. So instead, let's say it looks like Prince Charming and the Prince don't get along and needed some separation....NOT what happened, but can't trash the new in-laws this early deal..... As to the empty seat on the right, that is where Princess INSISTED we place the memory frame with photos of my parents, my brother, and Mr. Princess's sister. She wanted them up front and center so it would be like they were still part of the ceremony. Nice gesture and theory, however reality was if one of us even caught a glimpse of it we started bawling like a baby. Not really what you want in the midst of the happy occasion.

Oh, and yes, despite what all the wedding sites will tell you no one died here from sitting in chairs that didn't match. And yes, we carried them up to the deck for the reception too. Look a bit weird, yah but we frankly don't care.

Finally, the ceremony begins with some lengthy explaining of why we are here, the various symbols the couple have chosen to include in the ceremony, etc. See, we didn't have programs for this casual affair either. Did anyone care, maybe, but when Mom is chief cook-bottle washer-hostess-baker-planner-set up committee-floral designer-matron of honor-and who knows what else-programs were pretty low on my totem pole of must have items.

This seems to best capture the likely moment that this young couple finally realized the gravity of this whole situation. The moment when you suddenly think, wow, my life is no longer just about me.....

The Princess takes a look, and she knows it is exactly what she wants.

Notice Mr. Princess is still not quite sure..........

But then he takes her hands and gave her a wink. Pretty sure we all let out a sigh of relief at this point.......

This hasn't got a thing to do with the story, just like the view thru her veil.

Not sure what in the world was happening here, but the look on her face makes me laugh.

So, in addition to the usual exchange of rings and vows, they chose to include two other forms of expression of their love. First was the Covenant of Salt. Personally I had no idea what in the world this was until she explained her father had done this at his wedding (no, not ours) and she liked it. In a nutshell for clueless ones like me, in the remote past salt was a precious commodity that was only available to the well to do etc. So, as a symbol of love, the couple would each take a few grains of salt from a common dish to share with each other as a token of love, wealth, and happiness. I found a beautiful crystal butterfly dish at a local thrift store (50 cents), filled it with salt, and placed it upon a lovely handkerchief sent to Princess by Lynn at The Vintage Nest.

Now, I have better photos of this taking place, but this is my favorite. See I used coarse salt in the dish, and intead of taking a speck of salt, they licked the tip of their fingers and whatever stuck is what they gave the other. I could see the large amount of salt they were exchanging and just knew they were going to be sorry.....................

Yep, for the next two hours no matter what they ate or drank they tasted salt!

Then came the unity candle where you light separate tapers to then use to light a single larger flame. Well, outdoor weddings and candles frankly don't mix. I had great plans for a hurricane vase to shelter the flames, but it didn't happen. Lucky I instead included two long reach lighters in my prep boxes that were placed on the table.

They did each get these to light, but would not stay lit to then do the larger candle. They used the lighters, same idea and it worked like a charm. Of course Princess had to explain how to use the child proof lighter to her Mr. first..............

Now, if anyone is planning a wedding, let me share this. We spent days, weeks, months searching stores, internet etc for candle sets they liked. While we found several, the prices were simply ridiculous for three darn candles. Finally about two weeks before the wedding we went to Michaels where Princess saw this large candle on clearance. She liked the color and the vanilla scent it had. We tried to find matching tapers, not happening. So, at JoAnne's we found these pearl tapers also on clearance. I added some scrap ribbon left from other projects in the wedding, stuck it to the candle with several small rhinestone brads thru the ribbon, and poof, a custom unity candle. Price for everything candle related=$5. The holders we found on clearance for like $5 as well. Trust me, you will not find a set of unity candles anywhere for this price that you like. It literally took me longer to find the ribbon scraps than it did to assemble the project. Another small note, the tapers did not want to stay upright in the holders in any way. I had some floral clay on hand and we just stuck a couple globs of it in the holder and the pushed the candles into the clay. Worked like a charm. I imagine you could to the same with any slightly sticky substance you have around the house in a pinch. For about two second I even contemplated using playdough.......then I remembered Princess is 19 and we didn't have any, darn it! Another thing I learned in this wild experience-stay away from any aisle, website, or any other such thing labelled wedding! You can find the same darn roll of tulle in the fabric section instead of the wedding aisle for 1/2 the price. Same goes for candles, ribbon, silk flowers, photo books, pens, you name it. Some genious figured out if they slap the word wedding on the label they could jack up the price for the sappy idiots planning their ideal weddings. Just flat nonsense folks. So, unless you have an unlimited budget for a wedding, do yourself a favor and stay away. Look at magazines etc for inspiration but do not cross that imaginary line in the store with the aisle marker that says wedding. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you!

As you can see, Gidget was getting a little bored with this whole wedding nonsense. It was her nap time don't you know? Gotta love her necklace though don't you? Clever Princess bought this stretchy bracelet a few years back for a bling collar for the spoiled dog, yeah we know it isn't exactly safe as a collar, seriously, how much danger can a dog get into when all she does is ask to be held?

Wow, who would have guessed that clearance and sale silk flowers could look this good in photos too?

OK, Gidget we'll hurry this up a bit. On to the rings!

With this ring, I thee wed......

The pastor had us place the rings on his bible for him to bless prior to them each taking the correct rings to place on their fingers.

We were doing just fine until Princess started reciting her vows and her voice cracked. I started to cry, she started to cry, Mr. Princess started to cry, Mr. Princess's mom started to cry....well, you get the picture.

Lucky Mom had tucked a clean tissue in my bouquet just in case. Even luckier was that my friend had tucked one in hers which she sacrificed to me..........

Ok, enough bawling already, you may kiss the bride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I now present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Princess!

At this point the wedding party retreated back into my humble, messy abode for a quick rest. The guests proceeded to begin the mass move of chairs and began to enjoy a refreshing cold drink.
The happy wedded couple were also in dire need of a drink after the salt ordeal as well.

I think this shot of Princess shows exactly how every bride feels when the long awaited moment is finally over and your new life begins.

I was secretly wishing for a nap at this point myself! But nope, come on kiddo, we gotta make this day legal!
Off to sign the marriage certificate!

Now, a good wedding planner would have remembered that since we asked for shots of the signing, you might want to have a pretty pen to use. Not Mom, never once crossed my mind or one of my endless lists of things we needed. Oh well, the pastor's pen worked just fine.

Mr. Princess took his turn. True confessions now. See the large candle? See the large cracks? Yup, that's why it was on clearance, and why dumb old me thought who cares it is the back and no one will see. Little did I know the photographer would stand behind the arch for photos. Oh well, notice too the ribbon is crooked in the back.......hell. Second confession, see the nice ring on Mr. Princess? A loner from the jewelry store. The bought rings prior to the last never-did-happen wedding, but two weeks before the wedding, they both went and bought new rings. His is titanium and had to be ordered in his size since they can't size them. They gave him the show model with a metal ring sizer in it to wear. Mighty nice folks at Jarod's I might add. Yep, just like the commercial, sigh, he went to Jarod's..........awww......

OK, Mr. Princess, she is all yours. Treat her with love, kindness, and respect or else!

Now, let's get this party started people, put on your dancing shoes!