Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Part 8: Aaaand We're Married!

Part 1: Tryin' to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can't Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene
Part 6: Moments Before
Part 7: The Gettin' Hitched Part



Mr. Lollipop and I discussed our ceremony at our First Anniversary dinner. We both agreed that it is one of the most intense experiences either of us has had. This was probably due to the fact that we had prepared for the ceremony for months during premarital counseling and the fact that it was *our* ceremony. I like to think that maybe our guests felt the same way. We didn't hear a peep from anyone in the pews the whole time, nothing from the dozens of young children who attended. Maybe it really was a *holy* experience.


We were allowed to have chairs placed for us at the front of the church for use during the reading portion of the ceremony. I highly recommend doing this if your ceremony is going to last longer than 20 minutes. My dress was heavy and I appreciated the break.


This is a shot of my bridesmaids during the ceremony holding their bouquets. All of them were assembled by my awesome cousin Aileen (she's the one in the extreme foreground) and each has a baby artichoke in the center. We saved crazy $$$ by doing our own flowers. I'll give more details about this in a later post.


This is my bouquet. It is made of almost 100% flowers from Whole Foods and more baby artichokes. (Again, thanks Aileen!) I was a little nervous about making my own bouquet, but I think it turned out well and it was fun to carry it around for a day.


This is the picture of me that is currently sitting on Mr. Lollipop's desk.


This is my cousin Maureen doing a reading written by my cousin Mark. Mark is in the Air Force. We chose our wedding date based on his leave date, but the military canceled his days off months before our wedding. So, instead he wrote something original to read at the ceremony.

I'd skimmed the reading just to give Mark the 'OK' as to its quality, but the meaning and care really hit me once I heard Maureen reading it out loud. I started tearing up. Luckily, Mr. Lollipop always carries a handkerchief. I blew my nose and then crammed it back into his pocket, if full view of all of our guests. They had a good chuckle.


A year ago, our friend Keith was finishing up seminary and couldn't perform the whole ceremony himself, so we had him do the homily. He was great.


Okay, so we made it through the first part of the ceremony. We used traditional vows from the Book of Common Prayer. Now, it was time for the vows. Mr. Lollipop did his first, and then I as I started to say "In the Name of God, I, [Ms. Lollipop], take you, [Mr. Lollipop], to be my *husband*..." And I totally choked up on 'husband'...I'd honestly never used that word for Mr. Lollipop before, but I was able to choke out the rest of my vow. Luckily, Aileen was on point and ran up to give me a tissue. Really, I'd never imagined that I would cry at my own wedding ceremony, but, wow, thank God for waterproof mascara.

Now, a year later I'm wondering what happened to that tissue. I can't remember what I did with it and it isn't in any of our photos. I really hope I didn't hand anyone my snotty Kleenex.


So, I managed to get it together after that and we moved on to the exchange of rings.


Okay, so we made it through the important stuff and now it's time for the blessing. The Book of Common prayer has a choice of two blessings. Mr. Lollipop let me pick, so I went with the one with the line 'Defend them from every enemy...' mostly because that sounds awesome. I don't think we have any enemies, but just in case...you know...

Also, I would like to point out that my Maid of Honor fluffed out my train every time I moved so that it didn't get bunched up and trip me. This was one of the best pieces of advice we got from our photographer all day.


Yay! We're husband and wife!


...And we kiss as my grandparents' plastic Virgin Mary looks on! It's okay, Mary, we're married now!


I gave a big hug to the Maid of Honor.


Mr. Lollipop shook the Best Man's hand.


Mission accomplished! Woo!

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

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posted by Alison 9/10/2008 09:06:00 AM : (0) comments : splink


Monday, September 01, 2008

Part 7: The Gettin' Hitched Part

Part 1: Tryin' to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can't Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene
Part 6: Moments Before



Yay! They finally let us inside!


Okay. We're walking up the aisle...I'm kind of surprised at this point. I'd been waiting for our wedding for so long that it was kind of hard to believe that it was actually happening.


Mr. Lollipop sees me for the first time.


The boys all lined up in the front.


My dad and I arrived at the front. I've never had this many people look at me at one time before.


At this point my parents offered me in marriage. I'm glad that my parents got their own speaking part, but this is the one part of the ceremony I wish we'd done a little differently. I really wanted my in-laws to offer Mr. Lollipop, too, but I got a straight 'no' from our pastor and I didn't feel like fighting about it.

Eh. I'll admit that it's small in the scope of potential problems. I actually hadn't thought about it for months until I sat down to write this recap. *shrug* I still really like our pastor.


The Pastor asks if there are any objections.


I looked over my shoulder to see if there were any takers. I think our guests took my expression as the stink-eye. Luckily, my family finds this kind of thing to be funny and everyone laughed.


My mom laughed, too.


We passed the test (Yay! We're not related or already married to other people!) and my dad stepped aside.


Mr. Lollipop takes his place at my side.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

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posted by Alison 9/01/2008 11:26:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Monday, May 26, 2008

Part 6 - Moments Before

Part 1: Tryin' to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can't Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene

As a teenager I'd hadn't thought much about what my wedding would be like, but I was pretty sure that I'd be calm and certain before I walked down that aisle. Everything would feel right. A decade later on my wedding day, with all of my anxiety left months in the past, I felt exactly that way in the moments leading up to the ceremony.



Our friends did a fantastic job of making sure that we didn't see each other before the ceremony started. One of our photographers snapped these pictures of Mr. Lollipop before he was hustled out of the way so that I could leave the Rectory and make my way over to the church.



We went with an asymmetrical Dahlia for his boutonniere. As his wife, I am biased, but I think he is exteremly adorable in this picture.



Our wedding coordinator, a.k.a. Our Lady of Awesomeness, a.k.a. Emily, helped welcome people to the church. I'll be writing more about her later.



Most people arrived early. We placed mutual friends on Mr. Lollipop's side to even out the large difference in family size. Still, our wedding turned out to be the largest gathering of my Mother in Law's family ever.



I couldn't walk around without a crew of bridesmaids to help carry my giant dress. It was like being queen for a day, but not in any way I expected. I was very glad that I had a second, lighter dress to change into so that I didn't need any bathroom helpers.



There were a few stragglers running into the church at the last minute. This is a picture of me laughing at them and yelling 'You're late!' at them as they scurried into the sanctuary.



I was acting like a big goof-ball while waiting outside of the church and waved like a monkey at all of the passing cars. I couldn't help myself; I was so frickin' happy that I was finally getting married after waiting so long and spending so much time working for this one day. My Dad knows me well enough to but up with my antics.



All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

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posted by Alison 5/26/2008 02:42:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Part 5 - Setting the Scene

Part 1: Tryin' to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can't Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham



For some reason, finding a ceremony spot turned out to be the toughest part of planning our wedding. Having a Sunday wedding automatically ruled out most of the places of worship in the area and our reception site, the zoo, didn't allow ceremonies on the premises. I found a lovely spot due to a stroke of luck, but a week later they called to tell me that they had accidentally double booked us and we would have to find somewhere else. Aaaaa!

At wits end, I checked the map for the closest Episcopal church to the Pittsburgh Zoo, and prepared myself for some serious groveling to try and find somewhere where we could get married, even if it was on the front lawn. I called to make sure that someone would be there who would talk to me and then I went in person because I thought it would be harder to say 'no' to my face. I ended up meeting with the Rector of St Andrew's, Bruce, and he listened and was helpful. It was the complete opposite of all of the other churches I had called; all were too eager to get off of the phone with me. He looked in the church's date book, saw that September 2nd was clear and booked us with no haggling over deposit checks, no stern warnings about what we could bring or when we had to get out. It was perfect, and the church itself was beautiful outside...


and inside...

The 100 year old building was made of stone and built in the Gothic Revival style. It's only a small donation for non-members to get married there and free for members. I'm really glad that I found it and we liked our experience so much that we became members even though it is a 20 minute drive out of our way. It's definitely the place I would recommend to couples looking to get married somewhere beautiful and not go into debt.

We also found a few other ways to save a little money on our wedding day. My uncle was helpful enough to loan us his Jaguar to drive us to the reception. It sure beat paying for a limo.

We thought that the church was already beautiful, so we kept the decorations to a minimum. We had bunches of koi nobori (carp windsocks) at the doorway for color.

We also decided to keep it simple with the pew decorations and used simple metal lanterns on ribbons. My brother later changed the ribbons and used them for his wedding two months ago.

We placed a plastic Virgin Mary on the altar. It belonged to my Mother's parents and stood on their hallway steps for years and served as a little memorial to them during the ceremony.


The church also came equipped with and organ and a fantastic organ player, Peter Luley. It was nice to have traditional music with our traditional church, though we were Wagner-free, and therefore wedding march-free. I walked down the aisle to Mouret's Rondeau, aka the theme to Masterpiece Theater.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

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posted by Alison 5/21/2008 01:37:00 PM : (0) comments : splink


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Lollipops Get Hitched: Part 4 - The Philosophy of the Ham

Part 1: Tryin' to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can't Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!



After looking at hundreds of sets of wedding photos, it is clear that there are many styles of posed photos. There the formal family shots, of course, with family and bridal party members arranged in rows. There are ones that look like fashion photo spreads with dynamic colors and camera angles. Others emphasize the romantic, featuring a staged kiss or a couple embracing. Finally there are the hammy pictures, the silly ones that will make you roll your eyes or giggle depnding on your mindset. I suppose everyone has some combination of these types in their photo album, varying by personality. In my mind's eye I pictured having lots of fashion photography style pictures with Mr. Lollipop and myself looking fierce, but in the end our true personalities won out and we ended up with dozens of photos of us being wacky/weird/ourselves. It took very little to drag the rest of the bridal party down with us.

However, this didn't start with me. When I met Mr. Lollipop at 18 I was a serious, studious teenager who rarely smiled and certainly never made faces or horsed around. After we started dating he encouraged me to smile more and more.

Eventually, a few years later we both moved to Japan and lived in neighboring cities. He would always escort me in the evenings from Seto back to Nagoya and keep me company on the train. Most of the time we would be in a car by ourselves. It would be pitch black outside and brightly lit inside the car so the opposite windows carried our reflections like mirrors. Mr. Lollipop used to make faces in them at me, and eventually he goaded me into making them back, and soon we were having facial contortion contests. All of my silly facial habits can be traced back to those train rides.

So, during our pre-ceremony pictures we were in separate places, but we each individually decided to ham it up with other bridal party members. If you're inclined to be a little bit silly, I highly recommend it before the ceremony. I would have been a lot more nervous and snippy if I had to squash the impulse. Instead, we had some good laughs and the final moments were happy and relaxed ones. Photographic evidence can be found below.

Mr. Lollipop makes the Best Man uncomfortable:



Ham-tasticness runs in Mr. Lollipop's family.


Some of my ladies were more game than others.

Oh no she di'nt!


Oh yes she did.


Penguin is not the only Bee who likes boobs.


I forget the sentiment that were supposed to be displaying here. It was probably something like 'Hell, no!'


My cousin and I pointed at the plastic Virgin Mary on the altar. It once belonged to our grandparents.

...aaand some normal pictures to balance it out:








All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

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posted by Alison 2/27/2008 10:55:00 AM : (0) comments : splink



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