Monday, October 31, 2011


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photo Summary of our Wedding

OK, so I know I've utterly failed as a blogger lately.  What can I say?  It's been busy.

So as repentance and because recap time is drawing near, I give you our photographer's recap of our wedding.

Enjoy.  I swear I will return soon with the good stuff.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hey Mr. DJ

Music is most definitely the area in which we procrastinated most.  And by "we," I mean Daniel.  This was his big job, and though I offered to take more of a leading role after what happened with his mom, he wanted to do it himself.

And so it was that we were still working on it on the drive up to Tiburon the day before the wedding.

But we got it done, and it actually worked out quite well.

We didn't want to waste money on a DJ and knew we couldn't afford a band, so we decided to do the music ourselves, iPod-style.  This was one of the easiest ways to save money, and I definitely think it was worth it.

To put our dancing music together, we basically went through my iTunes and threw songs that we liked and would be good for dancing into a folder.  We consulted a few friends as well and added their contributions, and we bought a few songs that we knew we wanted.  After all of that, we had seven hours of dancing music.

We only had two-and-a-half hours of dancing time to fill, so the hard part became narrowing down the list.  Some songs were easy to throw out, mostly the ones that I had put in because I think they're funny and not because they are good for dancing.  Or listening to.  Especially for people who don't get the joke (for instance, Skullcrusher Mountain).

However, once we got down to four hours, it became harder to get rid of songs.  We tried to keep the ones that we both really liked or were good for dancing or one of us REALLY wanted to keep.  Still, we had to let go of some gems, like Once upon a Dream (what can I say, I'm Disney-obsessed), Do You Believe in Magic?, and Thriller (that was a tough one for me, especially since my dad promised to dance to it).

We tried to group songs into categories like fun songs, slow songs, contemporary songs (of which there were, like, three), older songs, and songs beloved by all.  We distributed as evenly as we could, taking into account lulls for cake cutting and serving dessert and such.

Finally, after many sacrifices and much redistributing, we got our list down to the bare minimum and in a good order.

And despite the fact that Daniel hadn't even started on the list until six days before the wedding, the music actually worked out really well.  Lots of people told us that they liked our list, and there was literally no time when the dance floor was empty.  I know because I danced to every single song we played.

I know it can be tough to think of songs sometimes, so I've posted our list below for your stealing pleasure.  This is the list we had before the night started mind you, and not all of these songs got played due to circumstances beyond our control.  But that's a story for another time.

Our Dancing Playlist:

At Last by Etta James (our first dance)
I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
Twist and Shout by The Beatles
Hava Nagila (aka The Hora for us gentile folk)
Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Proud Mary by Tina Turner
Don't Stop Believing by Journey
When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole
Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle (father/daughter dance)
Y.M.C.A. by The Village People (I had to fight for this one.  It was awesome.)
Just Like Heaven by The Cure
Mambo #5 by Lou Bega
You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
I Can't Help Myself by Four Tops
A Whole New World from Aladdin (I had to)
Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra
California Gurls by Katy Perry
Say "Shava Shava" from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Bollywood song, will explain later)
Livin' La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
I Melt with You by Modern English
Anyone Else but You by The Moldy Peaches (very glad I fought for this one)
Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte
Macarena by Los Del Rio (Shut up!  Everyone danced to it!)
I Love Rock and Roll by AC DC
Pon de Replay by Rihanna
I'm a Soul Man by James Brown
Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley
I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger
Cha Cha Slide by Mr. C (had to fight for this too, and it was awesome as expected)
Lady Marmalade from Moulin Rouge
Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down) by Chumbawamba
My Girl by The Temptations
Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (while people left...or were supposed to)

As you can probably tell, I did a lot more fighting for my songs, songs that some might consider lame...because THEY are lame...*sticks tongue out*, than Daniel did, but I'm really glad we had some of those classic group dancing songs (like YMCA) because a ton of people danced to them.  AND a ton of older people danced to them.  I'm glad they were able to have fun too.

The only thing I would have done differently with our playlist is cut some of the longer songs.  "The Macarena" is a prime example of a song that was fun but did not need to be six minutes long.  This would have allowed us to keep more songs that we wanted but had to cut without sacrificing the long songs entirely.  Alas, we ran out of time.

Overall, this was one of the things that turned out well with limited effort.

How did you pick your music?  If you did a iPod wedding, did it work out for you?  Would you dance to the Macarena or YMCA?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cards of Doom

Of all the things that I really should have spent less time on, our escort and place cards top the list.  These babies gave me nothing but trouble.

I knew for a long time that I wanted to use the clothes line approach to escort cards.  You know, this guy:

Photo by Laura

It's practically a wedding cliche here in blogworld, but no one at the wedding had ever seen one before.  That part worked out pretty well.

Then there were the cards themselves.  It took me a long time to decide how to do them.  You see, early on, I had this idea that we could use the backs of the cards for people to write us a note.  I hate traditional guest books.  They're like middle school yearbooks; no one knows what to say besides, "Congratulations!  May you have many happy years together" (and HAGS).  I knew I wanted our guests to be able to write something thoughtful and to have a prompt in case they couldn't think of something to say.  We wrote questions for them to answer and slapped them on the backs of the place cards so that they could write in their seats, giving them time to think.  We told them they could write whatever they wanted, but the questions ensured we wouldn't just be getting, "Congratulations" over and over again.

I also thought early on that it would be fun to do a Danicole quiz and have a prize for whoever could answer all of our trivia questions correctly.  It would give people something to do while they were at the tables and might even spark conversations between people who didn't know each other.  So why not do that on the backs of the escort cards?  I thought this would be a great way to save time and money.

Then there was the tricky part:  picking out escort/place cards.  I put WAY too much thought into this.  The trouble was, they had to be big enough for people to write on them but small enough to not dominate the place settings.  We had to be able to put them in a scrapbook afterward, and of course, we didn't want to spend a lot of money or time on them.  We ended up going with a design we had rejected for our invites and printing them on postcards from  Cheap, easy, all we had to do was print everyone's names and table numbers on them.  What could go wrong?

Our Danicole Quiz

Our Guest Book Cards

So, when I ordered these cards, there were two things I did not take into account and should have:  size and glossiness.  You see, it had never occurred to me that they would be too small for printers to print on.  I also did not realize that since I was ordering postcards, the fronts would be glossy, and that would be hard to print on too.  But when I started looking for someone to print our guests' names on them, all of the printers I found were quick to point out these problems to me.  No one would touch them.  One person even told me I might want to scrap them and start anew.

This was 2-3 weeks before the wedding.  I was so scared I wouldn't be able to get them done.  Finally, I gave up, went to Staples, bought labels, and was about to just print all of the names out on them when I realized Staples did printing.  I was already there.  I figured I'd ask them if they could print on the cards.

And finally, someone said, "yes."  I owe Estella, the printing person I talked to, quite a bit for working with me to not only print them but to edit my word documents so that they would print in the right place.  Relieved, I went home to make 170 precisely-spaced word documents.

So, the week of the wedding rolled around, and I still hadn't had the cards printed.  I knew I was pushing it, but because of our coordinator issues, we hadn't been able to finalize the seating charts yet.  Finally, the Monday before, I took them to Staples to be printed.

I had hoped to speak with Estella again, but she wasn't there, and the replacement person was not as helpful.  She did not seem to know what she was doing.  I wrote out instructions and made her put them with my cards.  When I said I needed them the next day, she practically laughed at me.  I said Estella said it wouldn't be a problem.  She said they needed more time.  We agreed on Wednesday night as a pick up time which left about 36 hours before I had to leave for Tiburon.  No time for screw ups.  Then, we had a minor crisis when half of the files on my flash drive seemed to disappear, but after 15 highly tense minutes, I figured out what had happened and left my babies with the printer.  To say I was apprehensive would be a major understatement.  Better to say I was convinced they would be done wrong.  Alas, at that point, I had no choice.

Pick up time came on Wednesday.  I called to see if they were ready.  The response was highly worrisome.  Turns out, they had fucked up as expected.  I gave them a few hours to fix it and then went over there myself.  It wasn't as bad as it could have been.  They had managed to copy the design pretty effectively and were making replacements.  At first, I was overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible task of figuring out what exactly was wrong, but then I realized that for the most part, the fronts had been printed correctly, but they had switched the backs of the place cards and escort cards so that the former had the quiz and the latter had the questions.  Not a big deal.  Still, it took me hours to sort out which ones had been done like that and which had the wrong fronts or were missing.  In the end, we were able to get the fronts and backs to match, but it took hours.

This was three days before the wedding.  I so did not need this kind of trouble at that point.

In the end, everyone had a place card...

and an escort card...

and though it took way too fucking long to get them done, it looked like they were going to be OK.

I should have known better than to leave the unwanted cards (i.e. the fucked up ones) in the same box as the good ones when I dropped them off at Guayma's.  They were in totally separate piles, and I certainly thought it looked like the correct place cards were the ones that were supposed to be used.  There were so many more of them after all.  They were all together.  The unwanted ones were just a small pile in the corner.  Separated.  Pushed aside.  We had already put up the escort cards.  Surely, no one would mistake the bad ones for good.

Thankfully, I didn't realize that the venue had screwed up with the place cards until after the wedding when we were looking through the notes people had left us.  I think everyone got the right name and back at least, but the venue used some place cards with just people's names on them (correct) and some with the name and the name of the table (which I had just worked so hard to fix, damn them!).

I know it's not a big thing, but after all the work I put into these, especially right before the wedding when I had better things to do, I was pissed.  This is one of the Three Things That Went Wrong the day of the wedding that still makes me angry when I think about it.  I've tried to let it go, but...argh!

Nonetheless, I am glad we did the quiz and questions on the cards.  The quiz was fun, especially since no one got all five questions right, and we got some great responses for our guest book.  Way better than a regular guest book.  I just wish we had found an easier way to do them.

Was there something at your wedding that took wayyyyyy longer than it should have?  Major (or minor) fuck-ups that you can't let go of?  Care to try your hand at our quiz?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Seating Arrangements: Not So Hellish After All

Seating arrangements:  the planning moment that everyone dreads, always difficult, always looming, waiting to destroy your wedding at moment's lack of notice!  Doom!

Yeah, ours weren't that bad.  I know this is hard for a lot of people who have big families or family feuds, but the one person who could have made this difficult for us refused to come, so it worked out nicely for us.  One of the benefits of having a small wedding in which a lot of people know each other or at least know someone.

All of our tables had different sizes, so it was pretty easy to split people into my family, his paternal family, his maternal family, my friends, and his friends (yeah, my one family table was smaller than one of his family tables).  Sure, there were a few people who had to be stuck in strange places, but things worked out pretty well, and everyone had someone to talk to.  In fact, our tables even fostered a few new friendships.

The only real difficulty we had was getting things set when our coordinator could not figure out how to arrange our tables or how many guests could fit at each one.  We didn't have it set until a week before the wedding which caused problems with our place/escort cards, but the seating chart itself was blessedly simple.

As for the tables themselves, we knew we didn't want to do just numbers.  I mean, how boring is that?  I had seen some cool ideas like these:

Yay Nerd Table Numbers!
Confession:  I am intimately familiar with seven of these places.

And while I was definitely down for some fantasy-themed table names, I couldn't beat Daniel's name idea.  We had five tables, and we have lived five places together, so he thought we should use the five street names we had lived on as table numbers.

It was perfect.

I had my dearly helpful friend Laura who I totally owe after this wedding make us some table numbers for the escort cards with the street sign theme in mind:

I was pretty happy with them and thankful to have something be easy in the final weeks before the wedding.

Did you have trouble with seating arrangements?

Classy Wedding by the Sea