Saturday, January 28, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: Doing the 'Do

After decorating the reception, I rushed back to the hotel to get my hair done.

I am very lucky to have an aunt who is a hair dresser.  My life has been filled with high-class haircuts done about as cheaply as SuperCuts.  In fact, I've hardly ever had another person touch my hair, leaving me nervous about surrendering its care to anyone I don't know.  Given that, there was never any question about who I wanted to do my hair for my wedding, and my aunt very graciously took time out of her San Francisco vacation to do it for free.

Since she lives in Long Beach (nearly 400 miles from our venue), we didn't get to do a hair trial beforehand.  I was kind of nervous about that, but we emailed extensively, so she knew what I was looking for.  I spent hours scouring the internet for the perfect pictures, and came up with this:

This was pretty much exactly what I wanted.  Structured yet loose.  Curly but flowing.  Half up, half down.  Elegant with a splash of freedom.  And the orchids made it perfect.

But as with any anal bride, there were some things I had to change.  The pieces in the front wouldn't work for me, so I would curl them instead.  And my hair is significantly longer than hers, so I needed some extra curl on the "down" half.  And so the internet provided me with further inspiration:

You get the idea:  top half like Picture #1, bottom half curly and wavy.

My hair was supposed to take about an hour.  It took almost two.  I have a lot of hair.

When we started, I was still feeling pretty anxious about getting everything done in time (which as it turned out was totally justified, but we'll get there later).  As I sat in my parents' hotel room, my aunt curling my hair, me trying desperately to hydrate myself before I got stuck in my dress, I was definitely on edge.  I think everyone else in the room was trying to calm me down, but I was too up in my head to notice.

Unless otherwise noted, the photos are courtesy of Stephen Cheng Photography.

 My Aunt, My Hair, and My Hydration Attempt

 They actually had to tell me to smile.  Remind me that I need to go into therapy now that I have time.

My Uncle Capturing the Moment

After looking at load after load of wedding porn on various blogs, I was expecting to have this time to talk with my bridesmaids, but the layout of my parents' room didn't really allow us to get ready together.  I was a little sad about that, but I did get to spend some time with my parents at least.

 Groomslady Getting Ready

 Bridesmaids Getting Ready

 My Bro Getting Shaved by His Girlfriend :)

 My Concerned Family Wondering What the Heck Is Wrong with Me

The photographer and I got acquainted too.  He actually did more to calm me down than anyone else, something I was definitely grateful for.

While I was getting my hair done, everyone else was busy too.  Besides getting ready themselves, our Flower Goddess Julia was fixing our dying arrangements (my parents actually had to go find a florist to get her more hydrangea to replace the ones we accidentally froze), my dad lead the charge on breaking up rose heads for the aisle petals, someone had the good sense to go get us some lunch, and people intermittently tried to talk to me (i.e. make me relax).

 Julia Saving the Flowers

 My Finished Bouquet :D

My MOH Had All the Best Pictures

My Dad and Uncle Breaking up Flowers

Even the Photographer Helped!  So Nice!
I was busy too.  While waiting for my hair to be finished, I went over a bunch of plans with everyone present.  About an hour before we were supposed to be at our make-up appointment, I got a less-than-unexpected and highly worrisome call from Sephora.  I had called earlier in the week to go over details, and they had gotten confused and thought all of us were getting our make-up done separately starting an hour before we planned to get there.  I quickly grabbed back my phone (which I had entrusted to my MOH, trying to avoid this sort of crap), screamed them into submission, told them I didn't care if they had other appointments because I had confirmed our noon appointment and it was my wedding day damnit!, and told them they were going to make it work!  When I hung up, everyone in the room was starting at me.

I'm usually a pretty passive, kind, quiet person, and my friends and family had never seen me act like that before.  Now, this wasn't entirely because of the wedding.  I have my way with billing departments more often than I care to think about, but they had never seen it and left the experience torn between admiration and fear.  My mom has been telling me I should be a CEO since August 14th, and I'm pretty sure this is the phone call that gave her the idea.

Anyway, everyone got a kick out of it.

Finally, my hair was done, and it was time to run to Sephora because we were totally going to be late to the make-up appointment I had just insisted had to be done on time.

I was in such a rush that I didn't think to get pictures of my finished hair.  Fortunately, I can cobble together an image from the other pictures we got that day.

It wasn't exactly the way I pictured it.  It was better.  My aunt did an amazing job, and I am so grateful that she took an entire day away from her planned vacation to make my hair awesome!

How was your wedding morning?  Was it the way you pictured?  Did anything unexpected happen while you were getting ready?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: So It Begins

Finally, real recaps begin!  That only took five months.  Yeah, sorry about that, but now you finally experience all the pretty pictures and awesomeness that was our wedding!

The night before we got married was the first night in months that I got a good night's sleep, and I am so grateful the sleeping gods finally decided to be kind to me!  I still didn't get eight hours, but I got close which was a blessing.

And just as exciting, when I woke up, the Worst Headache I Have Ever Had in My Life was FINALLY gone!  I took an Excedrin later just in case, but my wedding day was totally headache-free.  Thank Goodness.

Daniel and I got ready quickly, had to call the front desk when our breakfast didn't show up on time, ate really quickly when it finally showed up, and were out the door by 8am with all the stuff we would need for the day.

As nice as it would have been to relax the morning of our wedding, it just wasn't in the cards for us.  We were up bright and early prettying up the reception.  We couldn't put everything up in the morning, but we did need to get a few things done.

Photo by Laura

Getting the escort cards up was the most important thing we needed to get done, but getting them to stay was no easy task.  It was foggy, cold, and windy in the morning (typical August day in the Bay Area), and we were afraid the wind would knock the cards off the window.  We ended up taping the string to the wall, so it wouldn't move as much, and I found out later someone threw a blanket over the whole thing, so the wind wouldn't touch it.  Yay nice people!

We put up some tulle and lights as well and left detailed instructions for the people who would be doing the rest of the set up later that were only partially ignored.  Then, I was off to start the long process of prettying myself up for the day ahead.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Final Countdown: Friday Night, or the Not Rehearsal Dinner

We did not have a traditional rehearsal dinner in any sense of the word.  We wanted to get together with people the day before but could not afford to make a big thing out of it, so we ended up throwing out some appetizers and wine at one of the hotels people were staying at and called it a day.

We seriously owe Daniel's dad and his girlfriend for getting everything ready for us because there was NO WAY we would have had time to do it ourselves.  We barely had time to get the drinks.

But I'm really glad we did this.  The wedding went by so fast, it was nice to have extra time to just hang out with the people we love but do not see very often.  We both talked to people that night that we never even saw during the wedding which was good.  Plus, it gave people time to mingle and make friends with each other before the wedding (and ask me about what was going on with Daniel's mom, so they weren't asking during the wedding).  We were really impressed by how well everyone got on with each other.

I don't have a lot of pictures from the not rehearsal dinner--no one was really thinking about it at that point--but I think this one of me and my dad really says it all:

Me and My Dad

Once I was on the point of collapse from being so exhausted, we FINALLY had a little downtime in our room.  The best thing about the hotel we chose to stay in was the large jacuzzi tub, and we sunk into it for the 45 minutes of free time we had before we had to finish the dancing playlist and go to bed.

The next day, the wedding was ON!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Final Countdown: Friday Day, or the Rehearsal

When we woke for the final time Friday morning, things were looking much better than they had a 4am.  It was a bright, clear day, not too hot, but not cool either.

For a moment, we were afraid our plans had all gone to Hell.  We intended to drive up to Marin early in the morning and get settled in our hotel rooms a few hours before we had to meet at the rehearsal.  Then we remembered that we might not be able to check in early.  Woops.  Fortunately, the hotels were accommodating and let us check in by noon.  That meant we didn't have to leave as early as we had planned which meant that Daniel and I got a few hours of sleep before we had to pack up the cars.
Finally, we were on our way up to Marin, and Daniel and I had an hour-and-a-half to finalize our wedding playlist.  Needless to say, that didn't happen, but we did at least get close.

Upon arrival, we quickly threw all of our stuff into our rooms and booked it to the rehearsal.

Finally, we had our whole wedding party together for the first time.  Thankfully, the park was deserted, so we could set up the sound system and run the whole rehearsal just as we would the day of.

This was the first time I felt happy since I left Catalina.  I must have really needed to get out of the house, but as the sun shone down and we were with the people we cared about most, some of the stress finally slipped away.  We still had a lot to do and very little time to do it in, but at least we were outside on the grass instead of cooped up making signs or printing cards.

A big thanks to my MOH's boyfriend, Yatin, who took all of these photos!

Me.  Happy.  Finally.

Walking to the Ceremony Site with My Flower Girl, My Bridal Shower Bouquet, and a Last, Desperate Attempt at Tanning My Shoulders

Since this was the first time we had had all of the wedding party members in one place, we had a lot to go over.  We started with the ceremony itself.

 Setting up the Sound System

 Showing the Flower Girl How to Walk down the Aisle (We ended up having her start at the bottom of the stairs.  Little legs can only do so much)

Practicing Walking down the Aisle with My Parents (like how I look like I'm about to bolt?)

Everyone Together

The rehearsal went much more smoothly than I had expected.  Everyone got their cues to go up and read passages quickly, and there was very little stumbling over words.  Win.

Then there was the planning for the next day.  That was less smooth, but in the end, we had a plan, and I think everyone knew what it was.  We all got where we needed to go anyway.

Finally, we an hour or so of "down time" before it was time for the pre-wedding get together.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Final Countdown: Friday Morning

The day before the wedding did not begin well.  On Thursday night, I had tried and failed to get to bed early, and unbidden, I lay awake wondering when Daniel was going to get home.

The first time Daniel had mentioned doing his bachelor party two nights before the wedding, I said, "NO!"  I believe my actual words were, "I will kill you!"

I know that sounds really bitchy, but my reasons ended up being perfectly valid, so I don't feel that bad about it.

Daniel never comes home from these sorts of things when he says he's going to.  This bothers me normally, but not terribly.  Most of the time it doesn't matter that much with the only consequence being that I should not have waited up for him.  However, having the groom stay out super late, drunk, two nights before the wedding I knew would be a problem for us.  We had to get up early on Friday and had A LOT of stuff to do that day, and I could not have him being too tired to hold up his responsibilities.

However, when he started talking about not having a bachelor party at all, I told him to do it on Thursday.  He wanted his friends to be there, and many would not arrive until then.  How could I refuse?  But I made him, as well as several groomsmen, promise to be home by midnight.

I never expected them to actually be back by midnight, but I had hoped they would respect me enough to have him back by 1am at the latest.  I pleaded with the best man to make sure he got home early and had the wives of one of the other groomsmen make her husband promise to have him home by midnight.

So when Daniel sauntered in at 2:30am, I was furious.  Now, keep in mind that I was utterly sleep-deprived already at this point, looking at the prospect of a nearly sleepless night, with so much to do the next day it made me want to cry, and I still had the Worst Headache I Have Ever Had in My Life.

Daniel was so drunk he had no idea what time it was or what was going on, and the best man had left before midnight, so all of my anger landed on the remaining groomsman.  That night, I hated him with a passionate fury.  I even texted his wife at 4am, telling her that I planned to kill her husband on the morrow.

For hours, I tried to sleep in spite of my anger, but I couldn't, so eventually, I got up and started packing the things I hadn't gotten to the night before.  I figured if I was going to lose sleep, I might as well be productive, so I might possibly have some rest tomorrow.  It did eventually calm me down, but before that was when Daniel got angry with me.  I basically threw a fit when he tried to get me to come to bed, and of course after that, he couldn't sleep either.  Both of us basically stayed up all night.  Finally, an hour or two before dawn, I went back to bed, and we both got to sleep.

I know I did not act honorably and that if I could have kept my anger in check, we would have been OK, but then, knowing that I would react this way is exactly why I didn't want him to have the party that night in the first place.  The whole thing could have been avoided if they had just brought him back when they said they would.

Classy Wedding by the Sea