Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All My Love, All My Life: Post-Dinner Partyin', Yo!

So in case you're not up to date with all my whining about the weather on our wedding day, here's the backstory: The weather forecast went from 80 degrees, sunny and zero percent chance of rain at eight days out to showers and 70% chance of rain the day before.  Oh, crap.

Because of this, we realized that the chances of us hosting our after-party bonfire were pretty much slim-to-none.  So, 'F%*k it,' we said, 'We'll have the damn bonfire the night before and if by some miracle, the rain holds out, we'll do it all over again the next night.'

For the record, it did rain (hard) the following night so I'm mighty thankful we got to do our campfire the night before the wedding (although the thought of having four boxes of leftover Hershey's chocolate bars did make me briefly consider canning the whole event.  But only for a second.)

So at the rehearsal dinner, we spread the word that there would be a bonfire at our bed and breakfast afterwards and everyone should come hang out, drink beers, make s'mores and get a little dirty.

Honestly, this was one of my favorite parts of the entire wedding weekend.  Even though I had to set it all up in the dark (since it was relatively spontaneous) everything worked out just fine.  What surprised me the most was how many of our peeps showed up! I think there were over 50 people there at one point or another...

This is about one-third of the group.  Note the copious amount of hoodie sweatshirts present.  Be still, my country-lovin', cowboy-boot wearin', ever-camping heart :)

This photo above is me with my two best friends from high school.  I love it for the hoodie sweatshirts and the nostalgia behind the fact that it's a total throwback to when we actually were in high school and partied in corn fields and tents.  We literally have like, 8 versions of this photo throughout the years, including that same vintage sweatshirt MOH Pip is wearing. 

There may or may not have been some sneak attack "Icings" as well... (Sidenote: Did anyone else feel reeeeally, really old when the kids these days started "Icing" people and you didn't know what that meant? I did...Siiiiigh, five years out and I still totally miss college.)

Anywhoo, for the record, this was not my idea and I did not participate in the "Icing" of Mr Trail Mix (although I did cackle like a mad scientist on E when it happened!)

Why yes, hiding a Smirnoff in order to "Ice" the groom was my intended secondary use of the OOT bags!

Mr Trail Mix innocently wonders what glorious gift could be inside such a beautifully decorated bag...

Doh!! We all know what this means.  Bottoms up, Mr TM!

And in spite of having just stuffed our faces and drank the bar dry at our rehearsal dinner, the s'mores were still a huge hit!

Mmmmm, what's better than marshmallows, melty chocolate and graham crackers?

Add some beer, old friends and bonfire to those s'mores and you've got the recipe for my favorite kind of night...

Just a subtle (real subtle, Trail Mix) reminder that this was my LAST NIGHT OF ONLY WEARING MY ENGAGEMENT RING! 

Even though I had planned on going to bed by midnight, I was having way too much fun to leave the party and we ended up staying out until after 2:00 am! Since I go to bed by 9:30 most nights (school nights, at least.  Seriously, I'm not exaggerating, ask my friends) this was quite an impressive showing on my part.  And while I was worried that I'd be a bit tired and dragging the next day, you'd be amazed at what wedding-day adrenaline can do for a girl (that and Diet Coke. Must. have. diet. coke!)

My last night as an unmarried lady finished off with a few degenerate rounds of the game Categories, some squeals and hugs from friends and a bit of drunken snuggling with Mr Trail Mix.  Yes, we were total rule-breaking rebels and stayed in the same room the night before the wedding (we live together, the jig is up, people!) I loved waking up next to him the next morning and being able to smile through my mild hangover and say "Today, I'm marrying YOU." 

So, you've finally made it through Day One of our wedding weekend extravaganza, sit tight and stay tuned because that was just the opener, the best is yet to come!

Catch up, if ya want...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good Wife, Bad Friend (Or Vice Versa)

Ugggggh, you guys. I just left a message for a friend who shared some exciting news (she's moving in with her boyfriend) via email while I was on my honeymoon.  You know, the honeymoon that I took back in June.  And it's now the middle of August and I just called her.

I know for some of you this may not be a huge deal (hey, at least I did finally call, right?) but for me, it's a Biggie, Biggie, Biggie (Can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me. An I just love yo' flashy ways, I guess that's why they broke and yo' so paid...Sorry, sometimes early 90's rap just speaks to me. Anyone? Anyone?)

Anyways, my girlfriends are my life support, my allies, my therapists, my sounding boards and I pride myself on being a very, very good friend.

With my high school friends at our wedding...We couldn't quite get it together to smile for the photographer but I love this picture even more the way it is...

For the past five years that Mr Trail Mix and I have been together, spending time with my friends has been a major priority. When we started dating for serious, I forced myself not to be one of those girls who can never do anything without her boyfriend.  And because of this, I've often received compliments from my friends on what a good job I've done of making sure to be a presence in their lives. And I'm like, yeah, I know it because it's been a conscious decision that at times, is frickin' hard as hell!

So, yes, making sure that my friends know I am around to hang out and watch Sex and the City has been at the top of my list for a while now.  I've put serious time, effort and work into my friendships and have enjoyed reaping the benefits of such strong relationships. Basically, my friends kick ass and I'm so damn lucky to be a part of their lives.

But now that I'm married, something's changed.  It's hard to put my finger on how, exactly, or what's not the same but all I know is things feel different.

Now, when I leave my husband for a movie night with the girls, there's some serious internal turmoil going on.  It's one thing to go out with your friends when you're dating someone but now that I'm a wife? It feels, somehow, not right. I feel guilty, like I'm not making my relationship with my husband the number one priority (even though God knows we spend an inordinate amount of time together.) And guilt is a strong emotion.

But on the other hand, I resent these feelings.  I don't want to assume "wife" as my primary identity because I like the "friend" identity as well.  And I've done my share of eye-rolling when a friend becomes immersed with her new boy-toy and drops off the face of the earth.  Right now, I think some of my friends are rolling their eyes at me and wondering if I'll ever respond to an email again.

This is a new feeling for me.  Never before has it bothered me to leave my man for some quality time with friends. In fact, I used to welcomed the chance for a few hours apart when we lived in a studio together (one room, people. You try living with someone in ONE. ROOM. for two years...)

I'm a strong, independent feminist who, all of a sudden, can't bear to leave her husband for even a few hours. Major ew, right? At least, that's how I feel...

I love you all to pieces, dear heart bridesmaids!

In essence, it boils down to this: I love my husband. I love my girlfriends.  But balancing the time spent with everyone has me still struggling to find a happy medium between the two.

I'm not sure what I'm hoping to accomplish by writing about this. Perhaps that some of my friends who read my blog will accept my open apology for having fallen off the face of the earth? Maybe some of you have experienced the same feelings and can offer up some insight or advice?

What's your take on this conundrum? Do you put your husband first no matter what? Do you feel guilty when you spend time with your friends? What have you done to balance the the conflicting pull between "wife" and "friend"?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Wedding Dilemma of Another Sort

OK, friends, I need your help with this one.  First of all,quick rundown of the situation.  Mr Trail Mix and I are attending a wedding in September on Cape Cod and the reception is going to be in a tent.  Since I was on such a dress-buying binge before my own wedding this past June, I made myself promise not to buy a new dress for the rest of the year (I have quite the dress collection, I totally admit.)

Shoes, however, are a whooooole 'nother ballgame.  Yesterday, I went to consign some clothing (which is a great way to streamline your closet and make a few bucks! Peeps in the Northeast, check out Second Time Around, which has branches all over New England, New York and DC, it's my favorite!)

Anyways, while I was dropping of my clothes, I noticed a certain pair of shoes.  They happened to be wedges, which would be perfect for an outdoor wedding.  Oh yeah, and they were Jimmy Choo (I'm a label-whore, I totally admit it!)

So there they were, this beautiful pair of wedge Jimmys that happened to be in my size and that happened to be on sale...You know where this story is going.  Of course, I bought the dang shoes...

Squeeeeeeal!!! Aren't they divine?

So so so SO pretty, right? And since it was a consignment shop, this was technically recycling.  So (through my twisted logic) by purchasing them, not only was I improving my wardrobe but helping the environment.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Alright, so you're probably wondering what my freakin' question is by now, right? 

Here's the deal: I was planning on wearing them with a dark blue dress.  Perfect for a fall wedding, doncha think? But this morning (after I bought them and they're non-returnable) I realized with a sinking heart that back in July the bride had told me that the wedding colors are...Yup, you guessed it, navy and orange. Oh, crap.

So here's my conundrum: Is it weird to wear an outfit that coordinates with the wedding colors? 

I swear it was completely unintentional, I just got so excited by the idea of this beautiful pair of shoes that were miraculously in my size for such a good price! My dress is more of a royal blue, not navy, but still...Ergh.

Weigh in on this one, folks, what do you think? Will anyone notice? Will anyone (like the bride) care? Should I swap the dress for another? I'm reluctant to do this because I haven't worn the dress yet either. Tell me your opinion before I commit some major wedding faux pas! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All My Love, All My Life: Rehearsal's Done, Let's Feast!

We practiced processing and recessing, signed our ketubah, said a few prayers and finally, the rehearsal was over, which meant only only one thing: It was time for the rehearsal dinner!

I didn't talk much about the rehearsal dinner during the planning process for a few reasons.  Mostly because it was FMIL Trail Mix  who handled everything and other than choosing an invitation card as part of our invite suite, I didn't have to do a damn thing. Which, for my over-saturated, much-addled bride-brain, was pretty much the best thing ever.  

I don't know if you remember our engagement party (refresh your memory here) but it was so awesome that I knew the rehearsal dinner was in good, good hands.  In short, when the Trail Mix in-laws throw a party, they throw a party! Much thanks to the both of them for an incredible pre-wedding shindig!

Because about three-quarters of our guests were from out-of-town, many flying in from Miami (Mr TM's family is from there), my Trail Mix in-laws were adamant about inviting all OOT guests to the dinner as thank-you gesture for coming so far to celebrate our wedding.  

I'll admit, when I first heard our rehearsal dinner was going to be pushing 120 guests, I was a bit concerned.  I worried it would be stressful trying to run around and connect with so many people and that it would take away from the actual wedding the next day.

But all my worries were for naught. Honestly, I'm so thankful we did end up going this route because on the day of the wedding, we barely had a second to spare and actually didn't get a chance to get to every table as planned (One of my major regrets. Again, I blame the rain and the fact that our caterer couldn't get her grill to light. Major distraction.) Plus, it took absolutely nothing away from the wedding and if anything, only served to heighten anticipation for the following day's big events!

After the rehearsal finished, we stopped at The Shaker Meadow Inn (where we were staying) to pick up a few friends who had arrived later and headed off to the Cranwell Inn and Resort, a beautifully restored mansion-turned-resort located in Lenox, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires.

So fresh and so clean! Friends heading to the dinner... Doesn't this photo look like a Polo ad or something?

Now, let's talk about the food we served.  Although the Cranwell is a beautiful venue (it's very popular for weddings!) FMIL Trail Mix wanted to keep things simple, yet tasty.  We had a lovely cocktail hour out on the porch of the main building, overlooking the surrounding Berkshire mountains.  We drank champagne, ate some passed hors d'oeuvres (man, I have typed that word at least 100 times since I started blogging and I STILL can't figure out how to spell it.  Those tricky French.) mingled with guests and took advantage of the lovely scenery and weather for photos...

MIL Trail Mix with some of her family

But on to the main event. The menu MIL Trail Mix picked (with absolutely, positively zero lobbying or persuasive flattery from either of us *note the use of sarcasm) yielded photos like this:

Oh yes, we went for the New England summer feast, complete with steak, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, roasted baby red potatoes, salad, apple pie and...

Whole, steamed lobsters.  Dear lord in heaven, it was amazing.

I could eat lobster every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.  I mean, for crying out loud, you dip it in melted butter.  In my world, everything's better with butter :)

Mr Trail Mix's doofy face here is directly proportional to his excitement over the lobster (his fave dish.) 

I barely ate the entire weekend but I sure as sh*t devoured one of those bad boys (and managed to spill butter all over my dress.  Ah, well, was probably only going to wear it once anyways but that is a typical Trail Mix move, for sure...)


Here I am, clearly in heaven, blissed out on butter and owning that stylish bib.

And I gotta give props to my man Louie here (center, father of Groomsman Sean) who proved himself to be the stuff of legends by eating three (yes, you read that right, three) whole lobsters.  And a piece of steak.  Well played, Louie, well played indeed.

FMIL Trail Mix reported that the staff at the Cranwell were wonderful to work with.  They handled all the decor aspects of the dinner, including hanging these colorful paper lanterns from the ceiling...

And coordinating with the florist on these beautiful centerpieces (which we re-purposed for the post-wedding brunch on Sunday morning, since it was also at the Cranwell.)

Didn't the florist do an incredible job with these flowers? I was totally blown away by them!

After we had eaten to our hearts content, stomachs swollen and melted butter dripping down our faces, my in-laws gave a beautiful speech, welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending our wedding weekend.  They also said some wonderful things about me.  And I cried. No surprise there.

We enjoyed spending time with our families and friends.  Here's a shot of  myself, Trail Mix mom and her cousin, who is like her sister and like my second mom.  Aunt J hosted my shower and opened our ceremony with a reading.  Therefore, she deserves some face time in this post. Thanks for everything, J!

We had an open bar and apparently, our friends like to party because FIL Trail Mix reported that the bar tender actually ran out of alcohol by about 11:00 pm, with the exception of a few bottles of brown liquor (whiskey, I think?) Which is a perfect example of why I almost doubled our alcohol order for the actual wedding from the liquor store's suggested amounts; our friends likey the drinky. 

The rehearsal dinner was one of many high points of the weekend.  We opted to give our bridal party their gifts before the rehearsal and so other than shoving as much food as possible down my throat in between conversations, there were no responsibilities or things that had to be done.  All I did was show up and that was the best part of all!

It was a light-hearted event, full of amazing food and the perfect chance to spend time with some of our guests before the craziness of the actual wedding day set in.  

Up Next: Our post-rehearsal dinner festivities...What, you thought that was it for the pre-wedding day fun? As if!

Follow along as the Trail Mix wedding is recounted, in all it's rainy glory...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Two Months Gone...

Just a few musings on the day of our two-month wedding anniversary (which, technically, was yesterday but I got confused because I thought yesterday was Wednesday, when it was actually Thursday.  Things like paying attention to the day of the week get a little hazy when you're on summer vacation, forgive me... :) )

Anyways, first of all, whatthebejeejaholyheckin' whaaaaaaat? It's really been two whole months since our wedding? I think back to when I was two months out and feeling like the wedding was still forever away and now these past two months since have flown right by in the blink of an eye (and it ain't no lie, ...Heehee, I'm a poet and I know it.)

Craziness, right? But I have to say. I totally thought I would be really sad once the wedding was over and assumed I would have a mild case of post-wedding depression, because I'm an emotional basketcase and cry at those Mastercard "Priceless" commercials, so obviously one would think I'd be a complete mess when something as major as my wedding was over.  But...I'm not.  Which is a relief, because the last thing my friends need after listening to me obsess over planning the wedding for over a year would be to listen to me obsess about all the silly things that went wrong. Same thing goes for my mom (and cousin, and grandma and co-workers and...You get the point.)

But truthfully, I am still bitter about the weather.  Do you know that there have been exactly eight Saturdays since my wedding and the weather in my hometown has been freakin' gorgeous for every single one? I know because I've asked my mother about each and every one, refusing to believe that my wedding day will be the only rainy Saturday of the entire summer.  But that's what it's shaping up to look like...

And yes, I may have shed a tear or two when I saw this photo:

And no, I didn't cry because I was so happy for Chelsea (although there may have been a smidge of nostalgia) but mostly for that beautiful, sunset glow behind them, maker of the most beautiful. wedding photos. ever.  I love my pro pics to pieces (more on them below) but I had my heart set on a photo like the one above and now it shall never be.  Tear (cue sad violin music here...)

I mean, I did want my wedding to be memorable, which it certainly was.  And our guests certainly did drink and dance with a mild reckless abandon, thanks to the rain  (When your feet are sitting in two inches of mud, your hair's a  frizzy, pony-tailed mess and you're holding the blackened hem of your wet wedding dress up in one hand, there's not much else to do but chug a Jack and Coke and get your butt out on the dance floor.)

Also, you know what ended up being one of my absolute favorite things about the wedding? The music.  There are so many songs on my iPod now that instantly take me back to some wonderful moments with just the first few strains (it's pretty much impossible for me to hear "In My Life" without tearing up now.)

Plus, the band rocked it OUT.  We told them we loved The Beatles and they went to town, playing so many awesome songs that someone commented during "Obla Di, Obla Da" (life goes on!) to Mr TM what a great idea the Beatles cover band was.  Which is funny because they are not a Beatles' cover-band, just specialize in songs from the 60's and 70's.  It was super-duper good clean fun for all ages and I think the majority of folks enjoyed the musical selection...Whenever I think of our wedding, the soundtrack is one of the things that makes me smile.

And finally, I have our pro-pics but I'm holding out on you guys just a little while longer, for a few reasons, but mostly because I'm a big ol' selfish meanie-head and just not quite ready to share...I'll get over it soon but I just need a little more time pouring over them because honestly, I'm totally obsessed.

But just for fun and because you made it this far. I'll give you one little teensy sneak peak of The Kiss...

I loved this moment and I love this photo. Thank you, Kelly, for capturing it so beautifully.

June brides, how are you feeling? Recovered from your wedding yet? Basking in the glory of your pro pics? Anyone else still mulling over a few snags or mishaps?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All My Love, All My Life: We Rehearse

Oh yeah, you guys, you know what this means? I'm jumping on the recap train all the way down to China town.  It might take me a while to get through everything but I want to show you every nitty gritty detail of our wedding weekend (if you can stand it.  If not, just skim and ooh and ahh at the pics, it's cool, I get it.)

Also, just for reference, the tagline "All My Love, All My Life" is Mr Trailmix's family saying.  It was started by his grandparents way back in the day and everyone in the family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) sign all their emails and birthday cards with it, it's engraved on our wedding bands and we incorporated the phrase into our home-made vows.  I love it to pieces and it's a perfect way to set the stage for our rainy, crazy, lovely weekend.

Ok, ready now? Here. We. GO!

First up, the rehearsal.  I feel like a lot of people say their rehearsal went so smoothly, finished up in 20 minutes, badda bing, badda boom, done. Ours? Not so much.

After some sweet manis/pedis with my mom and MOH, I got ready and headed over to the Tannery Pond about half an hour before the rehearsal was supposed to start to go over some things with our DOC.

But between appeals for pictures, the staggering amount of directions needed for the set-up of all my crafting efforts, lost bridesmaids and the weight of the next day on my mind, our rehearsal got started about 45 minutes late.  And in keeping with the spirit of the weekend, it was a little bit disorganized, a lot hilarious and filled with love.

We practiced the walk down the aisle as my friend Heather played the piano and when it was my turn, the second the first strain of The Beatles' "In My Life" started, tears instantly began flowing. What can I say? That song makes me cry in normal situations and this was definitely a not-normal, highly emotional time...Luckily, I got most of the tears out of the way during the rehearsal and managed to (mostly) hold it together for the actual ceremony...

I practiced circling Mr Trailmix, per Jewish tradition, although this would prove to be fruitless since we messed it up during the actual event the next day.  Ooops, shoulda paid closer attention during the rehearsal I guess, but I was so distracted by the handsome hunk I was circling...Ooooh la la!

Our brilliant Rabbi led us through the ceremony, minus the vows, which we had written and were saving as a surprise for one another.  I love all these photos because it shows what the venue looks like when it's sunny out, something we never got to see on the actual wedding day, thanks to the cruel and merciless weather gods of upstate New York.

Smooches? Yes please, and one more for good luck.We liked practicing this part...

And then we practiced walking out, smiling all the way, the reality of the situation finally sinking in.  I think we were both so excited to realize that our wedding day was really about to happen.

Here's where things get a little bit interesting because our rehearsal was no ordinary rehearsal.  We decided that in order to save time and stress during the day of the wedding, we would do the ketubah signing at this time (which I am so thankful we did! Adding this into the mix the day of the wedding would have been disastrous.)

The ketubah is our marriage contract (you can see the one I chose here) and signing it is the binding document in Jewish law.  Therefore, by signing our ketubah at the rehearsal, we were really technically already married before the wedding! The sun was streaming through the windows, our closest family and friends gathered around while the rabbi said a few prayers and both of our parents and brothers signed as witnesses.

I look upset in this one but really, I'm just hungry...Pretty standard, actually.

Just before it was our turn to sign, our Rabbi announced that traditionally, the bride and groom have a moment alone with each other, just to make sure they are both fully and truly prepared to, you know, actually sign and be like, married and all.  As soon as Mr TM and I were outside, I immediately burst into tears (surprised? If you are, then um, you don't know me very well) and I think my groom-to-be was a bit taken aback by the waterfall cascading down my face.  When he asked me what was wrong, I somehow managed to explain to him that I was crying because I was so happy. Because I was, I really was, so so happy.

And then we went back in, signed the ketubah and were officially (unofficially) married! I'll never forget the act of signing my name right there in the Tannery with everyone watching, the significance of the moment is forever imprinted on my heart.


And with our ketubah signed, the rehearsal officially concluded and we finally had time to snap a few photos before heading off to our rehearsal dinner...Check out our signs that Mom and Dad Trailmix made for us, love them! 

And finally, one parting shot with my beautiful bridesmaids in order to take advantage of the perfect weather and scenery (little did we know it would be the last sunshine we would see the whole weekend!)

Many thanks to my cousin Casey and bridesmaid Jo for these photos, the rehearsal was beautifully documented thanks to you both!

Our rehearsal was wonderful, in spite of some stressful moments, and the chance to have a part of our wedding ceremony be so intimate only made it more special.  In a whirlwind weekend chock full of people, those few minutes we spent doing the ketubah signing ceremony stand out as a moment of calm.

But now that the rehearsal was over, it was time to get on with the real business of the evening: FOOD! Wait until you see our rehearsal dinner, it was out of this world good...

When was your "moment of calm" during your wedding?