wedding ceremony

Just Married! by Vanessa Larkey

Just one of the many incredible photo booth pics courtesy of Tim Wadleigh 

Just one of the many incredible photo booth pics courtesy of Tim Wadleigh 

We did it! 

After a year and a half engagement, we are finally husband and wife. We spent the last week basking in our newlywedom (not a real word but I'm using it anyway). Over the past few days people have said to us, "Does it feel any different? You two already lived together." 

To be perfectly honest, it does feel different. It feels more permanent. More secure. Like we really are family.

So! Enough with that gushy stuff. How'd the big day go? A recap is below. 

7:30 a.m. 

There was no need for me to be up that early... it just happened. Well, my nerves made it happen. I made coffee and attempted to eat something. The attempt proved futile. I promised myself I would eat later (no one wants to be white girl wasted at their own wedding) and started cleaning the house.

Our ceremony wasn't until 5 p.m., which meant I had ALL DAY to dwell on whether I would trip while walking down the aisle. Luckily, the cleaning helped ease my mind, and before I knew it my ride (my sister and her boyfriend) arrived to take me to Fantasy Farm. It was about 10:15 a.m. The plan was to decorate the venue and get ready. In what felt like the blink of an eye, the hair and makeup process started and we were off. 

I'll touch on this in another post wedding blog entry, but my bridesmaids were instrumental in making sure everything on the day of ran smoothly. Each was in charge of a wedding element (putting out the grandparent wedding photos, watching the envelope box) and they all did a fantastic job. I didn't have to think about anything - it was all taken care of. All I had to think about was not falling during my aisle walk. Great. 

Peter and I took our photos before the ceremony (something I would recommend) which ate up a couple of hours. Tim, our photographer, did a great job of making us feel at ease. It definitely helped that he is an old colleague from my days at MTV Canada. Tim suggested we take 15 minutes with one another before the ceremony to decompress and bask in the day. It was great advice. We held each other and really took it in - we were getting married in LESS THAN AN HOUR. 

The time between my embrace with Peter to the actual ceremony is a blur. I vaguely recall talking to the officiant, Rita Harrison, who explained the ceremony process once more. I remember consciously avoiding my Dad - he also gets nervous and watching him deal with nerves makes me MORE anxious. I recall our wedding venue consultant, Brian, suggesting we start the ceremony a tad early as all of our guests had arrived. 

Before I knew it I was linking arms with my parents and holding back tears while my friend, Vanessa Wynn-Williams, serenaded the crowd with her rendition of "Sea of Love". Out of all the experiences of that night, I found walking down the aisle to be the most surreal. I've watched a lot of brides walk the walk, but never really thought that one day that would be me. I looked around the room and realized that everyone that we love was there, ready to watch us make the biggest commitment of our lives. It was absolutely overwhelming. 

Our ceremony was beautiful. Rita did a fabulous job, and our family and friends who performed readings knocked 'em out of the park. We said our "I dos" and signed the paperwork. I've touched on my bad penmanship before, but my signature on our wedding license really takes the cake. My hands were shaking, and I could barely hold the pen. My apologies to the bureaucrat who has to authentic that. 

After the ceremony Peter and I quickly embraced and a wave of euphoria took over. It was done! We did it! We walked around the room, greeting our guests. I couldn't stop smiling - I must've looked like a deranged Cheshire cat. We took a few more family photos and dinner started.

Instead of the standard glass clink to get us to kiss, we had a wheel (pictures coming). Guests were encouraged to tempt fate and give the ol' wheel a spin. Sometimes it would land on kiss and we would happily oblige. Other times it landed on "Story" and the poor soul who spun was required to tell a story about the bride and groom. There was also a toast and dance option. I loved having the wheel - it was an interactive and fun way to incorporate our guests into the dinner portion of the night. And for those Bunz members out there - stay tuned, because we are ready to trade that puppy. 

At 8 p.m. I was pretty proud of myself. I managed to hold back my tears and keep my makeup intact. All of that went out the window during my Dad's speech. Just logistically speaking, he had his entire 15 minute long toast MEMORIZED. Do you know how long that that would take?!? That in itself was impressive. 

His words are what really struck me, though. He weaved a tale of the life lessons that I had taught him over the years. What really unleashed the water works was when he apologized for not allowing me to spend the night at the hotel during prom. He said that he realized at that point he had to stop being my father and start to become my friend. Cue the tears! 

After my Dad's emotional rollercoaster of a speech, it was time for Peter and I to say our thanks. Sucker punched by my emotions, I started to go off script. I thought I did a great job, until immediately after our first dance. I realized that I forgot to thank someone who has been a key figure in my childhood, and an instrumental part of my life over the past 20 years - I forgot to thank my best friend and bridesmaid, Carly.

In going off script, I skipped the paragraph I had written about her, and my heart sank. I asked the DJ to cut the music and went back on the mic to make an impromptu toast. Missing that paragraph during our thank-you's will go down as one of my biggest mistakes of not just the wedding, but my life. Carly, you are an incredible friend and did so much to help make sure our wedding day was absolutely perfect. AND you did it with two young children! You're an incredible human being, and I love you so much.

Carly, being the awesome friend that she is, said she understood my awful gaff and encouraged me to go back out onto the dance floor and enjoy the night. I did, and we had an amazing time dancing until the wee hours of the morning. 

It's been a week since the big day and I'm in our basement, sitting beside my new husband. Life is pretty great - we both feel pretty lucky. What's left to do blog wise? Reveal my final budget, of course. I'll also share some wedding day tips, and what I've learned throughout this entire process. But those things can wait... I'm just enjoying sitting beside my husband and just....being. 


Staying Organized to Fend Off Wedding Anxiety by Vanessa Larkey

"The big day is so soon! Really excited to celebrate!" 

This past week I've received some variation of that text. A part of me is like, "Yay! I'm so happy that people are eager to attend our wedding!" 

The other part of me is silently gagging, worried that the day will be an utter disaster and no one will have a good time. Really, truth me told, I should just be concerned whether Peter and I are enjoying ourselves.  It's our day, right? Well, try telling that to the part of my brain riddled with anxiety. I hate disappointing people, and the thought that even one of our wedding guests will consider the day a 'meh' on the fun scale rips me up inside. 

To help calm my nerves, I turned to what we use in TV to help keep us organized and calm - a production call sheet. What is this mysterious thing? It's a list of who needs to be where and when, how to contact crew members, and other important details for the production. A wedding is essentially a big production, so I copied an old call sheet for the big day. 

I also made a multiple contact lists. The first contact list has the name and numbers of the bridal party, and, our immediate family. The second contact list has all of our vendors/MC/anyone else who is part of the ceremony. Both lists include everyone's 'call time' aka the time they are needed, and the location. The plan is to email everyone the contact list & call sheet a few days before the wedding and have physical copies at the venue. 

I've also asked my MC to be the designated 'go to' person the day of the wedding. Vendors will check in with him, and he'll help coordinate where they need to go to get set up etc. This was advice multiple 'marrieds' gave to us. It makes sense; the bride and groom really don't want to be putting out fires the day of their wedding. 

What else have I done to help calm my nerves? Well, I've cut out my second coffee of the day and have started eating kimchi on the reg. Apparently the spicy Korean dish is one of the top 10 foods that help with anxiety. Has it worked? I think it's too early to tell, but my what it has done is forced me to take out our green bin more frequently. Kimchi has a very distinct smell that, unlike a fine wine, does not get better with age.