Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Wedding Day: Huntsville

(Again, pictures are yet to come, but if you want some of the other details from our Alabama wedding celebration - here they are!)

May 24th, 2015

I awoke bright and early to be picked up by Carina, Morgan, and Rachel. We headed over to the salon to have our hair and makeup done. Carina and Rachel went first and Morgan and I went and grabbed some breakfast for everyone. We made it back just in time for Morgan to be up next. The three of them were finished just in time for my Mom to arrive and the two of us stayed while we finished up. Ashley (on hair) and Leslie (on makeup) did a fantastic job and were very flexible with the different requests we had. Our videographer, Seth Adgate, arrived just in time to take a few shots at the end of our makeup and then we headed back to the house!

At the house we had a few more things to take care of, so we went about those things until our photographer, Abraham and Susan Rowe arrived. We had some lunch as they took pictures of our wedding clothes and accessories and then we quickly got changed and headed out with them.

We headed to an area of Huntsville known as Three Caves. It's exactly as it sounds, an indention into the ground where there are three massives man made cave entrances into the ground. It's quite spectacular just to look at. We weren't allowed to go in, but we climbed around the openings and took photos there. Such a cool place. Wonderful cool breeze coming from within the caves. 

Following our pictures there, we hurried over to the venue, Annabella at Cedar Glen and touched up a few things we needed to while we waited for guests to arrive for the ceremony. And then everyone was there and we started! 

Because we chose to have no wedding party our procession was quite short. It was just Dick and Theola (Brandon's grandparents), Virginia, Paul, and Carina (my grandparents and sister), Shauna Duane, and Brandon, and me, Mom, and Dad. So, four clumps. The first three walked to Trois Gymnopedies #1 by Eric Satie, and then we came down to Holocene by Bon Iver. Felicity String Quartet played during the ceremony and they did a lovely job. I wish I'd been able to listen to more of their playing! 

(Layer Bows - Gymnopedie No. 1 (E. Satie) String Quartet)

(Holocene - Vitamin String Quartet)

Carina and my Grandma Virginia (Gini) did a fantastic job officiating. Many nice things were said, our parents lit family candles, Morgan and Kyle performed Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sherran (Kyle on guitar, Morgan singing), we exchanged some simple vows, rings, lit our unity candles, and signed our wedding document. It was lovely. Not too long, and quite personal. During the unity candle and wedding document the string quartet played Coalwood from October Sky and I think that was probably one of the only moments when I specifically noticed the music. And then we were headed back down the aisle to Flight to Neverland from Hook (John Williams). I'm not sure the music turned out exactly as I'd anticipated, but it was good.

(October Sky Soundtrack 01 Coalwood)

(Hook soundtrack - Flight to Neverland)

Following the ceremony we did pictures for a little while, both family and personal (and had a snack!). As we did that, our guests were free to socialize, play yard games, or do some of the other activities we had, such as more Wed Libs and signing the wedding document. We wanted everyone to have something to do if they wanted something to do. During this time, the DJ (Steve!) from Metropolitan took over and here we heard our music. Music we listen to and love so much. It was kind of fun to be taking pictures and just hear song after song that we enjoyed played for everyone to hear.

Around 5:45 in the evening we'd finished photos and were ready to proceed. So we came back out and led everyone to the ringing of a bell by my nieces Sylvia and Vivian out to the donut truck Bigfoot's Little Donuts. There we did two things with the delicious little Boston creme donuts. First we did the traditional drink pose with two donuts (where you link arms), and then we ate one simultaneously. Lots of fun. :) And SO delicious. Dinner then started and everyone went in and picked from the excellent selection Ashley had concocted for us. As we ate dinner, I felt a few rain drops here and there. We finished eating and walked around and talked to everyone at their tables (we had time for that this time!). Just as we'd finished making a round, the venue announced that we were expecting rain in 15 minutes and advised everyone to make their way to the gazebos and find a seat there.

See as how this took everyone away from the yard games, we decided to go ahead and proceed with the first dances and get the dancing underway (all happening under the gazebo). This led to one of the coolest moments of the night. As Brandon and I were waiting in the center of the center gazebo (there were three, all open air), the wall of rain just came and as music started to play we were just surrounded by the rain. Give me chills thinking about it. We did a combination of Night Club Two Step and West Coast Swing Dance. And it was perfect. We'd wanted to practice a little and work on dancing with my skirt, but we never found time or energy to practice, so I ad-libbed and tied my skirt up on one side and it didn't get in the way at all.

From there we proceeded to the folk dances! We did a total of four folk dances, three at the beginning, and one at the end. All of the dances we did come from the Serbia/Macedonia/Greece area, and they're all simple circle dances with repeating steps. I'd though of doing other dances, but when push came to shove, I knew we'd have very little time to practice and I wanted my family to be comfortable. And actually, it was the presence of my childhood friend Thomas Call that really smoothed the folk dancing out. With my long dress, no one could see what my feet were doing, so Thomas jumped in to all the dances and helped everyone out. Following our first dance, we did the Lesno Oro with my and Brandon's parents, then Syrtos with the additional inclusion of all our siblings/siblings-in-law, and finally Cocek with everyone who wanted to jump in.

And then the more traditional reception music kicked in and everyone who hadn't already jumped in joined us! The dancing went on for a long time. We alternated to between jumping up and down, doing cool stuff, west coast swing, and line dances. At some point we realized that we were past the time for speeches and people were slowly drifting off, so we did our handful of speeches (Kyle, Grant, Zach, Dad) and then did a flower petal throw (rather than a flower petal send off). This was fun, but the flower petals on the wet concrete ended up being VERY slippery. We had a few minor slips, and then one scary slip before they were cleared off (thank you, Karen!) and we could resume normal dancing.

We ended the dancing with Shto Mi E Milo - a dance and song I love. It was sweet and simple and memorable. And then the party broke and dispersed as we cleaned and gathered things up. And right on time we left and headed back to the hotel room to wash all the makeup and hairspray off and go to bed. Sleep - so welcome.

It was a fantastic day and night. The rain - where it could have been problematic was fantastic. It corralled everyone into the cozy area of the gazebo and kept everyone together and dancing. The only negative side effect it had was that people were less inclined to move over to the photobooth, so we didn't get very many photobooth photos. But I'm pretty ok with that, even though it would have been fun to have. We had enough other good stuff going on. :) 

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