Monday, February 18, 2008

Things leading up to the Big Day!

There was so much to do for the wedding. We actually bought our rings a lot earlier so that was out of the way and then I started looking for my wedding dress in December 2001. I took a friend, Mandy, with me to look for the perfect dress. I had a little portfolio of dresses that I had in mind along with the bridesmaid dresses too. We went to a little bridal shop in Groton, NY and started looking. I tried on about four dresses which were all too small so you couldn't get the full picture and a lot of them were white, and since I was pale, the white dresses washed me out even more. We pulled a cream colored one off the rack and I tried it on. This one was also too small but once I had it on, Mandy started crying and saying that this was the one for me. I looked in the mirror and started crying too. This was the dress that I was going to wear on my wedding day. It was perfect!! It was off white/cream, had some embroidery detail on the corset style bodice (vines and flowers), some bead work, the dress was sleeveless (with two straps that came over the shoulders), a little bit of a bell for the dress, and the train was lace with the same design as the bodice and was about three feet long. There was also a shawl to go around the shoulders which also had the same flower design. It was the dress of my dreams. We started looking at head pieces to match it and the first one we took off the rack was a perfect match. It was a circle headpiece made of flowers and beads (like the dress) and had the veil hanging off of the back of it. It was perfect!! Now that we found the dress, there was more to do.

I was showing the lady at the dress shop some of the pictures of the dresses that I liked for the bridesmaids. There was one that I really liked and showed that to her. She surprised me by saying that she had that exact dress in the store. I looked at the dress and it was perfect. It was nice and simple like my wedding dress. The top of the dress was silk and had over the shoulder straps like mine and the bottom was a non-wrinkle material so the girls didn't have to worry about their dress being wrinkled. There was no design or anything on the dresses except for a little clip in the back that had 4 roses on it with a little train falling from it. My maid of honor wore a butter yellow dress and the other bridesmaids were in a pastel blue. They were beautiful!! The only dresses I had left to find were my Mom's dress and a dress for the flower girl. Yes, I said that I had to find my Mom's dress. I was afraid of what she would pick for herself (yes she knows it and sorry Mom). I found one for almost $100 and it was perfect for her. Now the only one left was the flower girl. My younger sisters fiance had a daughter and with his permission and the permission of her mother, I asked for her to be my flower girl. They both said yes but the only problem was they couldn't afford a dress. I couldn't really afford another dress either so I looked at department stores and other places. I kept finding either ones that I didn't like or ones that were too expensive. I went to Old Navy for something one day and what do you know? I found the perfect little thing for her to wear. It matched my dress too. It was cream and there was a little top that had spaghetti straps and buttoned in the back. There was a little skirt that matched it. Both the top and the skirt had some embroidery on it for decoration and it was perfect! This little flower girl dress cost me a whole $10!!!! It was also something that she could wear again and again.

The guys tuxes were really not hard to find. We just needed to find vests that would match the color of the girls dresses and we did. We got the Ring Bearer tux free with the rental of all the other tuxes. Isn't it funny how the bride is allowed to see the tuxes but the groom is not allowed to see the dress? It's so fun to keep the guy in suspense!!

Things were moving absolutely smoothly. Here are the people who were in our wedding: Bride and Groom; Patricia (me) and Nathanial, Maid of Honor and Best Man; Rebekah (best friend) and Shane (Nate's brother), Bridesmaids; Barbara (my older sister), Katherine (my younger sister), and Elizabeth (best friend), Groomsmen; Larry (cousin), Greg (Nate's friend from school), and Joe (Nate's friend from school); and Flower Girl and Ring Bearer; Christine (my sister's fiancee's daughter) and Cole (Larry's son). My Mom and Nate's Mom; Joan and Gina lit the Unity candles and my brother and Nate's father; Harlan and Dale, walked them down the isle. My brother played another role in walking me down the isle since our Dad was not around. That was the line-up and it was a perfect one! I don't think that I would have chose anyone different.

I was planning the whole wedding (with Nate's input here and there). We chose the church that I frequented with my Aunt since I was little. Even though I was not an active member of the church, the pastor agreed to let us have the wedding there. It was also the church in which my Grandma got married to my step-Grandpa in the early 90's. Pastor Dave had us go through some pre-marital counseling. It was part ofthe cost of having the wedding there and something that he always had people do before he married them. We were supposed to have 6 sessions with him and after the 3rd one he said that he trusted in our marriage and we did not have to go back for the other three. Boy was that a good feeling!!

The church was set, now we had to find some place to have the reception. We didn't want anything too fancy or too expensive. We went to the Dryden VFW which was right up the road to see if they had July 27 open and they did. That was set, the reception would be at the VFW! We found the DJ by a recommendation from someone we asked. The person we asked was busy that day so they told us about a DJ in Ithaca and that he wasn't that expensive. We met with him and that was set. We just had to tell him what songs we wanted, the names of the bridal party, and were and when it was going to be. There was a lady we knew who owned a bakery and we got them to do the cake for us (for a discounted price). Now we had to find a photographer. I though about it and knew that Nate's Uncle Duane takes some good pictures. We asked him to do the pictures and he agreed. It was his wedding gift to us so the pictures were free!!!! We met with a florist to do the flowers and for the little amount of flowers that we wanted, the price was ridiculous. I was not much of a crafter but I decided that I would go to a craft store and do the flowers myself. I got all the stuff to do my bouquet (two of them so I could toss one and keep my original one), the flowers for the girls, and some arrangements for the pews in the church, the ones to decorate the cake, and some for the tables at the reception. Instead of paying a florist over $700 for all of this, I paid about $150 for everything that I did myself.

Our table decorations were nothing big. We covered the tables with table cloths. Some tables were pale blue and some were light yellow. There were just candle holders with ribbons attached and a long white candle in the holder. We had a string of white flowers going across the head table with two oil lamps (instead of candles). We decorated everything the night before after the rehearsal. That is also where we had our rehearsal dinner which was pizza and wings!! It was a fun night.

At the rehearsal, there were a people there who were not in the wedding but we told people that they could come if they wanted to. There were also other family members there who had to learn what songs to put on when because we were not having the traditional organ music because I can't stand the sound of an organ. We were all laughing and fooling around, while getting other stuff done, and it was a great time. When Nate and I got up to the altar, the pastor jokingly told me that I still had time to back out of the wedding if I wanted to. We all laughed and I told him that I was sure I wanted to go ahead with it the next day. After the rehearsal was done, we headed to the VFW to decorate and eat our pizza and wings. It's so fun doing stuff yourself and not having to pay someone to do it. Plus it's an experience that you don't forget!

When we were all done with the decorations, Nate and the guys went out and I went back home. Nate stayed somewhere else that night and I think a couple of the girls stayed with me at the trailer. The day before the wedding was done and the next day I would be married with a different last name!

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