Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our Geeky Sci-fi Sunflower Wedding - Part 1

By Vicky Nardone

I've been reading about a lot of other people's weddings on their blogs recently so I decided I wanted to share the details from our wedding day with you.  I didn't start this blog until about 6 months after we got married, but there's no reason I can't go back, right?  I'm breaking this topic up over three posts - the engagement (events and prep leading up to the wedding), the ceremony and the reception.  I am definitely one of those girls who had been dreaming of their wedding day since she was a little girl and being a crafty person I knew I wanted to have a lot of diy items at my wedding.  When I was planning, I spent a lot of time at off beat bride which I highly recommend if you are planning on having a unique non-traditional wedding.  It is such a wonderful site full of inspiration.  That's where the title of this post came from - the weddings on there always have three word descriptors.

So lets start with the engagement.  For Christmas in 2011, Matt got me an overnight stay for the two of us at this really fancy local hotel/restaurant for Valentines Day weekend.  I had my suspicions that might be the weekend he planned to propose because we had been talking about getting engaged.  When the time came though, he really made a go of it.  Not only did we have a fabulous dinner and overnight at the hotel on Friday night but he took me to the Botanical Gardens for a light show and my favorite Italian restaurant on Saturday night and this other fabulous expensive dinner on Sunday night.  When he still hadn't proposed on Sunday night I was thinking - wow, this is the best Valentine's day ever - is he going to do this every year?  Well the reason he hadn't proposed is that we found out Sunday morning that my step grandmother had died and I was upset about that and he didn't want the proposal to be associated with anything sad.  We planned to go to Boston that week for the funeral so he asked if we could postpone our Valentine's Day celebration (Valentine's day was on Monday that year) for two weeks.  In the meantime, my best friend Katie called about a week after to tell me that she and her boyfriend had just gotten engaged!  Two weekends later on Sunday, he took me to my favorite Steak House, Black and Blue, for dinner (still no proposal!).  The week before, an issue had come up at work and I almost had to work Monday night, the night we planned for celebrating Valentine's day and he got sooo upset (that should have been my first clue).  Luckily it worked out and I didn't need to work on Monday.  When I got home from work Monday night there were candles everywhere and he had made me a picnic in our living room.

After dinner, I went upstairs to get his Valentine's day gift and he turned on a hidden camera he had stashed in the corner (he's such a film geek!) so he could record the proposal.  His Valentine's day gift to me was a video he'd made to document our relationship and at the end of it, he got down on one knee to propose.  Since he'd been secretly filming the proposal we added it to the end of the video he'd made and that was how we told all our family and friends.

Here's the proposal video:

After going to my friend Holly's wedding in Hawaii, I had always kind of wanted a destination wedding.  Unfortunately, with the people we wanted to include in our wedding party somewhere like Hawaii was not an option because we couldn't really afford to help everyone pay for a trip to Hawaii.  But, we settled on getting married near Matt's hometown in the Lake George area of New York which is awesome because his parents still live there and could help with planning and while it was a destination wedding, most of our friends and family could drive there.

We were lucky enough to have two different engagement photo shoots.  The first one was done by our wedding photographer in Saratoga Park, near where we were getting married.  This one was more formal. I even made Matt where a polo shirt!

The second shoot our friend Mel did in Glen Falls park in Buffalo.  It was more relaxed, we were ourselves and we just had a lot of fun!  You could tell the second set of photos was just more us.  In the one below, we're playing patty cake, barefoot in the middle of a stream.

My aunts and my cousins volunteered to give me a bridal shower and it was sooo nice!  One of my favorite touches was this cute poster that my aunt put together with the help of our moms.  They managed to find very similar pictures of the two of us growing up and put them next to each other on a posterboard.  It's a bit hard to see because it's hidden behind this lottery tree they gave out as a door prize.

Matt showed up near the end wearing his The "Broom" t-shirt that Mel had custom made for him the night before.  One of my flower girls, my little cousin Jilly thought that her mom had said that Matt was the broom and wanted to know if he was going to sweep up at the wedding.

Because Matt and I had a bit of a non traditional bridal party set up where some of his girl friends were on my side and some of my guy friends were on his side we did a combined bachelor/bachelorette.  Neither of us are big drinkers so we rented a limo, went up to Canada with a bunch of our friends for a great Italian dinner and some mini golf.  And then we took our limo to the local donut shop, Tim Hortons on the way home.  Do we know how to party or what?  This was not too long after Princess Kate and Prince Will's wedding and I loved all the funny hats people wore to theirs so we had a rule that everyone had to wear a hat.  The girls all ordered matching t-shirts and the guys made their own with funny slogans.  Matt's best man lives in California and couldn't be there for the bachelor party so his best girl friend, Mel was the best man stand in.  She had bridesmaid (because she was in my party) on one side of her shirt and "best man stand in" on the other.  Here's everyone in their hats and t-shirts.

Our rehearsal dinner was another really fun event.  Matt's parents hosted it at their house the night before the wedding and got a lot of really good Italian food.  They set up their backyard like our ceremony and we did a full run through.  One of my favorite parts of the evening was giving everyone the gifts we got them.  I made all the girls blankets and got them their own personalized tote bags with their first initial on them.  Matt picked out grilling kits for all the guys.  I also made them each a card with a picture of us with them on it.  For our parents we promised them each a nice photo book with all the wedding pictures and to take them out for a nice pasta dinner at our favorite pasta place in Saratoga, Wheatfields on the Monday after the wedding.

My mother in law, who's a bit craftsy herself, added all these special touches to the rehearsal dinner.  Some of my favorites were a sign that she made with our picture on it at the end of the driveway, these gorgeous yellow, black and white paper flowers for centerpieces that she gave me as a momento and I have in a vase in our kitchen and a cake with our picture on it.

My friend Lindsey's mom also made me this awesome bouquet for my rehearsal out of all the ribbons and bows on my gifts at the shower.
Anyway, I think we had as much fun in the planning of the wedding as we did at the wedding itself!  Check out Part 2 - The Cermony.