Friday Five

George and Edna

Life seems to have a way of delivering a swift kick in the pants, sometimes.

My mechanic failed to call me, again, and wouldn’t pick up his phone last night when I tried to call him. I called my dad to complain and about ten seconds into my rant, he interrupted. “Erin, I’m in the car with your grandmother,” he let me know. “She’s been having some pain and we’re headed to the hospital.” Having some pain was actually a conservative observation, it turns out. The cancer that she beat last year has possibly returned, and there’s a mass growing in her abdomen. I spent the day with her and…I’m struggling, to be honest. She’s a really great person, and seeing someone you love, in pain, is awful. So today, my five things will relate to my grandparents- they’re pretty awesome, as grandparents go.

Edna and George

1. My grandma was a nurse. She went to nursing school very shortly after she met my grandfather, and when he used to come visit her at nursing school, she would sneak him into her room. They’re pretty adorable like that.

2. My grandfather was quite the stud when he was younger- he used to be mistaken for a Kennedy on the regular!

3. My grandma is a prize winning quilter- her work is gorgeous. She usually sells or donates her work, but when I was about twelve, I told her that I was expecting one of her quilts as a wedding gift {it seems a bit presumptuous, in hindsight}. Well, when we got married last year, grandma was still battling cancer and wasn’t well enough to attend. We opened our wedding gifts, and I cried when I found one of her gorgeous quilts among our other gifts- it is so very treasured.

4. When we were little, my family would drive from Pennsylvania to visit my grandparents. Every night my grandpa would read us our bedtime stories, and in the morning he would microwave stale donuts for breakfast. To this day, I love a day old glazed donut that’s been reheated.

5. My grandma was a renowned gin drinker back in the day, with her lady friends. I started drinking gin because I thought that she was pretty cool. Now, my favorite cocktail is a gin martini, shaken with a squeeze of lemon- just like Edna.

Polar Vortex Crepes

I don’t mind the polar vortex, really. I have my down coat, my shearling boots, and wool mittens. {I don’t love having to shovel the driveway in the sub zero temperatures, but that’s another issue entirely…} Today was actually a lovely, if frigid, blessing of a day. Evan and I slept in, and woke up to Howie’s tiny snores. We had a lazy morning, making coffee and reading, and when Shannon came home we made crepes.

Crepes seem fancy, but really are super easy. The batter comes together in a few seconds, and you get the hang of swirling the pan after one or two. I love a savory crepe, with ham, Gruyere and spinach, but I think it’s more common to serve them with a sweeter filling. We used bananas, strawberries and Nutella, and it was the perfect indulgence on this snow day.

banana nutella crepes

Crepes

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, water and vanilla, and whisk until smooth- there may be a few tiny lumps, but it should be mostly smooth. Whisk in the butter and set aside.

Heat a six inch (or so) nonstick skillet over medium heat. When its hot, brush with butter, and get ready to swirl. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter on the bottom of the pan, and quickly rotate your wrist, swirling the pan to coat the bottom. Try for an even coat, but don’t worry- mine are never even. Also, remember that the first crepe is always a test crepe, so be prepared to eat that one.

I like to let my crepes brown a little bit on the bottom, which is also usually when the top is completely dry. Using a silicon spatula, loosen the edge and carefully flip your crepe. After about 45 seconds, carefully remove from the skillet and let cool on a plate. Keep working, one at a time, and stacking as they finish. Crepes can actually be made well ahead of time, and filled just before eating.

Today, we spread a stripe of nutella down the center of each crepe, and heaped on bananas and strawberries. After we rolled them up, we sprinkled with powdered sugar and took a photo for posterity’s sake. Enjoy!

Gloves in Love: A Winter Wedding Budget

Ugl, wedding budgets. We pulled our wedding budget out of thin air- mostly, our parents each offered an amount of support they were comfortable with, and we did some figuring and figured out how much we were comfortable adding to that, and settled at about $15,000. We aimed to stay near that number, but weren’t glued to it, so we knew we had some wiggle room. We also knew that we could get more wedding for that price than usual, since we were getting married in January in the Midwest- not exactly high season. We set a mission statement: a formal, Catholic wedding, jam packed with loves ones, sharing a ridiculous amount of joy. Thanks to some serious negotiating on Evan’s part, some deal watching on my part, and more than a few times of talking ourselves down (no, seriously, we did not need a $200 cake topper) we not only came in on budget, but we even had a little left over!

Gloves Columbus Winter Wedding St Joseph Cathedral

  • Number of Guests: ~ 110
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Date: January 5, 2013
  • Type: Cathedral wedding, semi-formal urban evening reception with family style dinner

Gloves Winter Wedding Columbus Ohio Statehouse

Attire $1185

  • Dress, Wendy’s Bridal $885
  • Alterations, Zip Alterations $150
  • I believe this included bringing the dress in and adding some darts, and steaming the entire thing and my veil…as well as some much needed moral support and kind advice in a stressful time 🙂
  • Shoes, DSW $30
  • Veil, megsveils on Etsy $50 (this was actually two veils, a blusher and cathedral length)
  • Jewelry, $50
  • Tux, Mens Wearhouse: free since everyone else got theirs there
  • Tie clip and cuff links, $20

Wedding Party Gifts $265

  • Tie Clips and Cuff links, $100
  • Ladies Gifts, $90 (Anthro mugs and sparkly Target earrings)
  • Parents, $75 (double frame with invitation and promise of a wedding print)

Gloves Winter Wedding Columbus Ohio MakeupArtistryByMeg

Makeup, Makeup Artistry by Meg $160

This included my makeup application, with airbrushed makeup and false eyelashes. It seems like a lot of money, yes, but my makeup was amazing and it lasted all day and looks great in the photos, and I would gladly shell it out again.

Hair, Wedding Hair of Ohio $460

This included a trial run, and day of hair for me, my five bridesmaids and my mom. They came to my house and did a mix of updos and loose curls on a group of ladies with A LOT of hair.

Winter Wedding Columbus Ohio

Photographer, Barefeet Studios $1950

This included two shooters for 10 hours, plus our engagement session and the rights to all of our photos. I’ll definitely discuss them more in my reviews, but Lauren and Andy went so incredibly above and beyond what was called for- we had so many conversations, and met with them at least a half a dozen times before the wedding, and I’m certain they were at our wedding for at least 12 hours. The rate we paid was incredibly conservative compared to the service we received, and maybe because they’d only officially shot one wedding when we booked them. I’m sure their rates have gone up, but only in the most deserving capacity.

Paper Products, $200

We did our invitations through Vista Print, using Groupons, so the groupon prices are included here and accounted for the save the dates, invitations, rsvp cards and enclosures. We also bought cardstock to mount the invites, different envelopes, and so. much. postage.

Gloves Wedding, Columbus Ohio

Church, St Joseph Cathedral $650

This is the parishioners’ rate, and included the use of the church for the rehearsal and the wedding, the cantor, the priest, and the organist. The going rate is above $1000, I believe. I have a lot to say about our wedding at this church, so please check the reviews, if you’re interested!

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Flowers, Sams Club $550

This included two bridal bouquets, six bridesmaid’s bouquets, 8 boutonnieres, 6 corsages, 2 boxes of rose petals, 1 toss bouquet and 2 sets of clippers. I combined the two bridal bouquets into one glorious one, and I’m not sure what anyone did with the rose petals or extra corsages. We didn’t use flowers for any decoration, so this was a great deal for us.

Gloves Winter Wedding Columbus Ohio Rings

Rings, Andrews Jeweler $890

This included my white gold band with tiny diamonds going about halfway around ($500) and Evan’s rather wide tungsten band.

Gloves Winter Wedding Columbus Ohio Statehouse

Photo Permit, Ohio Statehouse $40

Winter in Columbus results in not many choices regarding where to take formal photos. The Statehouse is gorgeous and proved to be a great location, but the official policy required that we pay for a permit to take photos there. Um, no…no one ever asked for our permit. I guess better safe than sorry?

Reception Venue, Dock 580 $6120

This included 5 hours of time in the two story venue, 2 bartenders, appetizer stations stations (antipasti and bruschetta), delicious Italian meal served family style, and all of the cleanup post-reception. It also included a tasting and several meetings with our coordinator. At the reception, I think this included everything we could need: linens, chiavari chairs, glassware for wine and beer, cake cutting and plating, the cake stand. The only things we brought in were decorations, dessert and booze.

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Reception Décor, $200

We had about 400 candles at the reception and maybe fifteen strands of tulle twinkle lights. The taller pillar candles were a gift, with the vases, and the smaller candles and glass votives were purchased from candles.com, or similar. We bought the lights after Christmas, on a discount, and tulle from JoAnns. We used lace table runners, which my mom made and gifted us, and wine bottles for table numbers (I counted those in the alcohol section, since we also used them as table wine). The only other décor we really used was signage and photos, which were in spray painted dollar store frames.

DJ, Encore Entertainment $550

This included 5 hours of DJ services, timeline creation, a few pre-wedding meetings and playlist compilation…maybe some simple lighting?

Booze, $975

Oh, booze. We collected from a variety of sources. Our wine came from a distributor (30 bottles of red, 30 bottles of white, and 12 magnums of champagne), our beer came from another distributor (10 cases) and our booze came from duty free, since my sister lives in Niagara Falls (6 bottles of Crown and 6 bottles of Tanqueray). We had 5 hours of drinking with about 110 people, and we had plenty left over. We’re still working on the wine, champagne and liquor, over a year later.

Gloves Winter Wedding Columbus Ohio Scrumptious Crumb Cake

Cake, Scrumptious Crumbs $375

This included two tastings, a three tiered cake with basic flavors, and an anniversary cake so we wouldn’t have to save the top layer- I thought that was a nice touch!

Topper, CherryonToppers on Etsy $40

This cake topper was the perfect simple and modern topper. We had considered an elaborate topper made to look like us (with Evan as a firefighter, etc for over $200) and then we went the opposite direction and were thinking about scrapping a topper altogether, and then we found this one.

Hotel, The Lofts at Crown Plaza $120

This hotel was the site of our wedding block, and our rate paid for a ridiculously luxurious corner suite with Jacuzzi tub, along with a thoughtful placement of rose petals and champagne. More in the reviews, but we got much more than what we paid for!

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Things we didn’t pay for:

  • Favors: my sister and sister-in-law and I made pizzelles, and used bags and labels I already owned
  • Transportation: My sister and brother-in-law kindly drove us, and it was so fun!
  • Church Decoration: We got married in the 12 days of Christmas, so all the decorations were still up
  • Day of Coordinator: We have a friend who is breaking into the wedding industry, and offered to coordinate our wedding for the experience. They did amazing, and I’m not just saying that- wait til you read our review!
  • Pie Bar: I still have mixed feelings on asking people to bring dessert to my wedding, but the people that volunteered seemed happy to do it, and the par bar was such a success! I kind of wish we would have scrapped the cake, entirely!

Total $14,730

So, we came in $270 below our budget. Let’s be honest- I’m sure that is accounted for somewhere, in all of the ‘other’ things that you buy as you go along. I’m still pretty pleased that we stayed in, or around, our budget. I think that getting married in the winter enabled us to get a much better bang for our buck- I bet if we had the same wedding in June, it would easily have run us $5000 more, and we wouldn’t necessarily have had access to all of the amazing vendors that we were able to work with. I also know, though, that we also saved a lot of money and headache by being thoughtful about where we were spending money, and rational about where spending was just ‘because it’s a wedding’ and not because it really added anything to the party (for us, one example would be decorating with flowers, which we didn’t think were necessary, and using candles instead, which added to the ambiance). Everyone warned me that, as the wedding got closer, I would start to get looser with the budget and just spend money to answer questions. They were right, but since we were a little more thoughtful up front, that didn’t really mess with our budget too much.

So that’s that. I’ll post reviews of our vendors next. If you have any questions, though, ask away! I’m an open book at this point 🙂

Scandinavian Almond Cake

Scandinavian Almond Cake When I started a new job this fall, my new boss insisted on having a gathering of sorts, to introduce me to the building {she’s so incredibly thoughtful!}. She brought this ridiculous Scandinavian almond cake- it’s dense and moist, like a poundcake, and not too sweet. I begged her for the recipe and have made it probably a dozen or so times in the two months I’ve had it. I think part of the reason I like it is because it’s an adult take on dessert; it’s simple and straightforward, and not covered in buttercream, or cream cheese, sprinkles. Almond bread feels like what grown folks are supposed to eat for dessert.AlmondCake Scandanavian Almond Cake

  • 2 tbsp almond slices
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray pan with Baker’s Joy (best so it doesn’t stick!).   Sprinkle almonds.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in sugar.
  4. Add melted butter, stirring to combine.
  5. Pour batter over almonds.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes.  Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Friday Five

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1. Current events. It actually disgusts me that a Canadian teenager being an asshat is being discussed when people should really be so much more engrossed in the likes of Ukraine, or India, or Syria, or Russia. I actually cried this morning when I read about the latest bombings in Cairo. On the other hand, maybe Justin Beiber’s antics are a coping mechanism so people don’t have to constantly face how much humanity can suck sometimes.

2. On a much, much lighter note- Starburst minis. I usually ridicule mini candies, because really- who is in such a rush to get to their kit-kat that they don’t have time to unwrap it? Also, these large bags of unwrapped sweets pretty much ensure that you will eat what amounts to about four candy bars in one sitting. Welp, call me converted, because my bag of mini starburst is nearly the only thing that’s gotten me through this week…even if I do toss all of the pink ones.

3. Also getting me through this week is my Simplified Planner from Emily Ley. I am absolutely an online person, and I utilize my Google calendar, along with a variety of note taking and check list apps, to the fullest extent. I really value this binder, though- every day has a page, with a line for each hour. Seeing my actual obligations for every hour helps to keep me accountable for how I choose to spend my time. I also like the box for dinner- it lets me think ahead, or look back to what we’ve had, for inspiration. I often use the to-do list as a to-get list, after I’ve decided what we’re eating that night. All I’m saying is, in a world where it’s easy to succumb to a culture of business, this planner helps to keep me organized and on track.

4. Notecards {see above}. It might surprise you, as it does many, the amount of notecards I own…and this is just my at-work stash. I really like to correspond, and I sent at least one note every week. This week, my notecard went to my grandparents- George and Edna were on my mind, and I thought they might like to know about it. Full disclosure, it was donut related memory. Isn’t it always?

5. Italian. Pretty much, Italian food is the only thing I can think about when the weather gets this cold…red sauce over noodles, with some roasted veggies and maybe some sausage, dusted with shredded parm. Red wine? Yes, please. Add some ciabatta on the side with olive oil for dipping, and we’re best friends. Bet you can guess what’s on the menu for this weekend 🙂

Guilty Pleasure: Funfetti Cake with Chocolate Silk Frosting

On Friday, I mentioned my insatiable craving for yellow cake with chocolate frosting. When I floated that idea past Evan, though, he was less into it than I anticipated. For some reason, he suggested a strawberry cake instead. Well, sorry boo- strawberries aren’t in season, so probs not. We compromised on a Funfetti cake, which everyone loves, with my beloved chocolate frosting.

I started making a grocery list  and he was completely mystified: “Um, what’s with all of the ingredients?” Apparently, cake baking in our house generally involves a box of Pillsbury Super Moist. 🙂 This time, though, I baked from scratch, even going so far as to measure my ingredients on a scale instead of relying on volume measurements. What can I say- it was pretty much the only thing I accomplished on Saturday.

This recipe comes from Sweetapolita, and it was pretty good. The only trouble I had was that, like several of the comments on the original recipe, many of my sprinkles sank to the bottom of the pans, resulting in a kind of gooey, sticky mess. The cake tasted great, but it was a tiny hassle to get them out of the pans.

For the frosting, I used a recipe that I’ve used from years…I have no idea where it came from, but it involves technique similar to Swiss Buttercream. If you read the instructions, it can sound intimidating, but don’t let them scare you- it’s really so, so easy. Promise.

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Sweetapolita’s Funfetti Layer Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites (175 g), at room temperature
  • 1 whole egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) almond extract
  • 2-3/4 cups (315 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1-1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (19.5 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup Rainbow Jimmies (or a few generous handfuls)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease, line with parchment, butter and flour two round 8-inch pans.
  2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla and the almond extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium for 20 seconds after each addition. Gently stir in the rainbow jimmies, until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh the batter in the pans to ensure 2 even layers.
  7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals.
  8. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.

Erin’s Chocolate Silk Frosting

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 10 ounces semi sweet chocolate, melted but not hot
  1. In a ceramic bowl set over simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the sugar; the mixture will turn pale yellow and get foamy. Be sure to whisk the entire time the bowl is over the heat, in order to avoid scrambling the eggs. This mixture will be done after about six minutes, or when the sugar is no longer granular when rubbed between your fingers.
  2. Transfer the eggs and sugar to a stand mixer and beat at high speed until a firm meringue forms. This should take about five minutes, or until it can hold stiff peaks.
  3. Slowly add the butter cubes, one stick at a time. Let the mixture come back together before adding the next increment.
  4. The frosting likely looks curdled at this point, and that’s fine. Beat on medium speed for another seven or eight minutes, or until the frosting seems to come together.
  5. Scrape the melted chocolate and add the almond extract, and beat for another two or three minutes.
  6. Spread about a quarter of the frosting on top of one cooled cake layer. Top with another layer, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Decorate as desired, and serve with a smile 🙂

Friday Five

Howard Winston III

Here’s what’s on my mind this week:

– yellow cake. This yellow cake, specifically. I’ve had such a craving lately. Our anniversary cake was incredibly disappointing and, even though I don’t even like cake, I’m irrationally obsessed with having a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Guess what’s on the agenda for tomorrow afternoon… 🙂

– the Skimm. What is it? theSkimm is a newsletter that arrives in my inbox daily with a summary of all the major news events I should be aware of. If you know me, you know that I’m usually really on top of current events, and take in news from a variety of sources. I like theSkimm, though, because I feel like it gives me a pass on checking all my sites when I don’t have time. It takes five minutes for me to read in the morning {usually when I’m on the bus, or waiting in line for coffee} and is written in my language- laymen’s terms with a healthy dose of sarcasm. It’s not dumbed-down, though- just short pieces of news, fair-and-balanced, and easy to get.

– My Publisher. Evan and I were married at the beginning of the year last year, which is super convenient for goal setting and reviewing and all that. One of my goals for our first year of marriage {and calendar year 2013} was to create a yearbook of all the photos we took this year of our mostly non-photo-worthy lives. Mostly, I wanted to have everything organized and in one place without printing a bunch of photos and filing them in albums or a box. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So last week I collected all of my memory cards, and downloaded all the photos from our phones, organized them by month, and used My Publisher’s convenient software to create our very first yearbook. It’s not necessarily a work of art, but it’s 100 pages of photos from this year, and it was so much fun to go through it once it arrived 5-8 business days after ordering. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with our final product.

– Kate Spade. I was on the KS website last year and, for no apparent reason, ordered what turned out to be a canvas baby bag. Really, it’s just a glorified and oversized tote. It was so big that, when I first got it, I used it as an overnight bag. Well, no surprise, after using it a few times as a weekender, it turned into my every day bag…it’s usually pretty empty, but I like having the option to toss my 17 inch laptop in there, if I need to {or groceries, or a couple of library books, or whatever}. As I was lugging an alarming amount of crap around in it today, it just really struck me how well it’s treated me. Despite my pretty abuse bag behavior, it shows little to no signs of serious wear- no tearing, fading, loose stitches…nothing. So, thanks Kate Spade- it’s like you get me 🙂

– Howie {see above}. But then, Howie is pretty much always on my mind. Who could blame me?

Glove in Love: A Crazy in Love Dance Party

WARNING: this post is full of photos of people you don’t know, having a great time. My feelings won’t be hurt if you skip this one 🙂

After the bouquet toss, our wedding guests flooded the dance floor for the rest of the evening. I know that some brides struggle to make a dance party happen, and I think that we were just fortunate to have worked up a situation that was begging for a party. First, we had a playlist that was slowly compiled over a few months by many people- we put a google doc together and gave anyone access that wanted to add things, which we finally pared down in our final meeting with our DJ. Evan added some polka music, which is a tradition in his family, and our DJ thought we were joking. When it was played, though, so many of the “adults” hopped onto the dance floor. Evan and I split up and used the polka to bring other friends onto the floor, and by the time it was over, nearly every person was dancing. Odd, yes, but also hilariously winning.

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Second, our wedding was set on a Saturday, in the evening. Like many weddings, we had a somewhat formal vibe going, so everyone was already dressed up and feeling fun. And, I mean…we’d been serving alcohol for a few hours, at that point.

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I also think that the physical setting was conducive to everyone dancing- everyone who was on the first floor, which is where you needed to be if you wanted to access the bar, was pretty well in the middle of the party. The first floor was pretty cozy, so even if you weren’t necessarily dancing, you were still mere feet from the dancers…who were likely to pull you in at any time. And, it was dark. I don’t know if I’d ever really noticed it before I went to a few summer weddings, but it’s so much easier to dance in the dark! There were a few spot lights at the bar, but other than that we used candles and twinkle lights on the first floor, to keep everything feeling romantic and cozy.

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The biggest explanation for our packed dance floor, though, is that we have a friend group that is really inclined to enjoy themselves. I think you can set the scene all you want, and ply people with as much booze as possible but, at the end of the day, if people want to dance, they will and if they don’t…well, then, asking people to do something they don’t want to do isn’t going to result in a good time, either yours or theirs. So, you know…keep your expectations realistic, and in line with the crowd of people who will be at your wedding 🙂

That said, our reception was overflowing with bliss- I could not have possibly hoped for anything else. Take a look:

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When it came time for a final dance, Evan and I had left things up in the air with the DJ; I thought I would want a quiet slow dance and, if no one else was dancing but Evan and me, I wouldn’t be upset. Our DJ thought we would want a great party song to really close out the evening strong. When the time came, though, and the DJ asked what I wanted to do…he had totally called it, and I asked him to keep the party going. At that point, I knew I definitely wanted to participate in the after party, so we nixed the slow song. I cannot recall for the life of me what he played (probably something clichéd, by Journey or similar) but a circle formed. I usually hate the dance circle- for some reason, it gives me incredible anxiety when they happen- so Evan pulled me into the center, where we swayed around while our friends and family surrounded us, presumably serenading us drunkenly and off key, with something like “Don’t Stop Believing”. Normally, completely odd, but perfect in that moment 🙂

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And that, hive, was our reception. I’ll finish off my recapping with a post on the after party…and briefly touch on the afterparty. But for the record- it’s been suggested that your wedding will be exactly what it needs to be, and that many weddings have surprises that are perfect, even if unexpected. I know that I’ve shared a number of happy, if unanticipated, things that happened on our wedding day- what were your happy surprises?

Gloves in Love: Tossing Some Flowers

After the dance, hive, things start getting a little hazy. Why yes, it certainly could be the gin-and-cider I’d been sipping all evening, but I think it had a fair amount to do with the fact that, after dinner, the entire evening was just the most ridiculous party! Since all of the fun is jumbled together in my head, I have a hard time suggesting what order things happened in. I do know a few things for certain, though- I tossed my bouquet, and every single person I saw was having a great time. (Aside: I know that gin isn’t the most popular liquor for people of a certain age, but I really do encourage all of you lovely ladies to try it with cider- it’s delicious! Plus, my grandma has been known to consume some gin, and I always strive to be Edna-chic in my booze consumption 🙂 )

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First up, my bouquet.  In the planning stages, I was vehemently opposed to a garter toss, and not really that into a bouquet toss, either. Evan could get behind nixing the garter toss, but he still tried to talk me into tossing my bouquet. His argument was, it’s a wedding, and you’d never chuck flowers at your friends otherwise so…why not? And then I went to a few weddings and actually participated in the toss and realized- it all depends on how its done. One wedding was terrifying, and all. single. girls. were called to the dance floor and it felt accusatory and mildly stressful, but another wedding was a hilarious and giggly time. So I started to think of how to achieve the second atmosphere.

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What we settled on was this: after everyone had been drinking and dancing a bit, the DJ announced the toss. Rather than having all single ladies come to the floor, though, we asked all of the lovely women in my life to join me on the dance floor- sort of a ladies only dance. We played ‘What a Man’ to set the scene and after a tiny bit of dancing with my friends, moms, sisters, etc, I sashayed my way up to the front and tossed my flowers backwards. And…it was awesome. I mean, for me, anyway, and no one would ever really tell the bride that they didn’t like the wedding 🙂

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Unbeknownst to me, there was a plot to get Heather to catch the bouquet- and she swatted it away. I only realized this when I saw my photos!

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Gloves in Love: We Dance!

After everyone had had their fill of wedding pie, our DJ kindly invited everyone downstairs to watch our first dance. Right, downstairs. The picture below explains a few things: first, you can see that Colin, our best man, had taken my seat next to Evan…because they’re adorable, and they wanted to catch up. Second, the pie line. Oh yes, Mister DJ, there is always a line for pie. And third, you can see the railing that outlined a floor cut out. Our venue is part of an old hardware factory, and the layout is completely unconventional, and the building that we were in had some space limitations. So, our dinner was on the second floor, and dancing and the bar were on the first floor. For people that weren’t really into dancing, it was nice that the cut-out was there. Every time I looked up from the dance floor, there were people crowded around watching, so it really felt like everyone was included in the fun, even if they weren’t necessarily dancing!

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Right, so…anyone that was interested in seeing the first dances came downstairs, or found a place around the open space upstairs. Evan had chosen ‘Stand By Me’ as our first dance. This is our favorite version:

But that one is not particularly dance/wedding appropriate, so we used this one instead:

Here’s the thing, hive- our first dance was not at all a romantic moment with just the two of us staring into each other’s eyes. Instead, it was totally awkward! I mean, how could it not be? Everyone that we knew and loved was intently watching the two of us dance. We took a few lessons, since our song had a particular tempo that doesn’t really lend itself to swaying, but it still wasn’t like we were giving a dazzling performance.

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Either way, it happened, and it was lovely, and there were some spins.

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As our dance ended (mercifully, after about a minute and a half, as requested) my dad came to take Evan’s place. My dad and I danced to Tiny Dancer, by Elton John. That was the song that was playing in the delivery room when I was born, and my dad always used to serenade me when it came on 🙂

Notice anything different in the photo below?

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Yep, my veil is back. When I had my last fitting, my seamstress asked about my hair plans. I told her that I was wearing a veil for the ceremony (actually, two veils- my cathedral length, and then a blusher) and switching to a hairpiece at the reception. She suggested that I put my shorter piece back on for my dance with my dad- she said it was her favorite photo of her daughter and her husband, and so classic, and who knows what else. I didn’t really think much of it, but my mom latched onto the idea. So, one of my best friends hastily tucked it back into my hair before my dad dance. Hive, I have no idea what it was about the veil, but when I turned back to my dad, he started tearing up! Then the song started, and it was waterworks everywhere. So, no idea what that was all about (maybe I would understand if I were a parent?) but now it’s one of my dad’s favorite wedding photos. There you go.

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So those were our dances. ThenEvan danced with his mom…

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And, with that, we invited everyone to join us on the dance floor and got the party started!