Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wedding Week: Our Wedding Part 1

Settle in folks, it's going to be a long one. Need time to grab a beverage? I'll wait...


Let's get to it!

As I'm sure most of you know wedding planning is not fun. Yes, I got to be all creative and "express" myself through the wedding and whatnot. But I generally found it utterly exhausting. In the beginning it was especially unpleasant. I will say the hardest part about planning our wedding was finding the venue. We didn't really start out with a budget, it's something that happened organically. I knew what we couldn't afford for sure so that helped to narrow it down. But for me it was all about the perfect location and I knew I could fit the budget around whatever this perfect place would charge.

The biggest issue with the venue was that I had to have a place where:

-Both the ceremony and reception had to be outside
-There had to be an inside option in case of rain
-They had to let me decorate myself without restriction
-We had to have Italian food for the reception

Doesn't sound too crazy right? Apparently it was. Most places do not have space to hold both the ceremony and reception outdoors. Those that did didn't have a rain option just in case. Those that had rain options could provide a tent, for a mere $5k. Venues that had a garden setting had strict restrictions on what you could and couldn't do. Like nothing strung from the trees, nothing in the ground, no candles unless suspended in water...Some places did not allow you to decorate yourself, you had to pay them to do it. Others had a limited menu and both us being vegetarian this was unacceptable. After several months of searching it was looking quite grim. It almost seemed as though some venues didn't even WANT my money!

Then we found the Aldredge House...From the moment we walked in we knew it was the one.

It is a beautiful historic mansion on a tree lined street full of equally stunning turn of the century homes. And it only got better from there. Megan, the Aldredge House coordinator was a dream. I threw all of my hopes and dreams at her and she happily obliged them all. She even answered ALL of my emails throughout the year, even when I asked her if it was possible to have the napkins folded a certain way (just a passing thought!). I wanted specific foods for the reception, they made it, I wanted the tables set a certain way, they allowed us to do it, I wanted to serve gelato, they brought in Paciugo, my favorite gelato store in a little cart with 4 flavors of my choosing. Amazing! And all for a reasonable price! I was in love!

I spent the morning getting ready with my one and only bridesmaid. My best friend Kirsten. We wanted to keep the wedding small and simple.

I had a pretty calm day before the wedding. Woke up, had breakfast, lazed around, then started getting ready around noon. It was perfect!

When Heidi, my florist from Lilac & Co. brought me my bouquet it took my breath away!

I wanted a layered bouquet and it turned out so lovely! I couldn't have imagined anything more beautiful.

Did I mention I like purple? It was one of the main colors at the wedding along with sapphire and raspberry. I loved my purple shoes. And I wear them all the time now!

While we were upstairs getting ready my "decor team" was downstairs setting up. At one point I looked outside and saw some of my loved ones carrying a table and it melted my heart!

I know this is controversial but Scott and I did a first look before the ceremony. I have no regrets. Even though I model and dance I am sort of a private person. My performer self is separate from my real self. The thought of locking eyes with Scott for the first time in front of everyone as I was walking down the aisle did not sound appealing to me. So we met for the first time in private and it was lovely.

And since we met beforehand we had the luxury of taking all our formal pictures before. We had a short wedding and wanted to spend as much time with our guests as possible. I won't bore you with the family pictures but we did have fun taking pictures with the bridal party!

Then it was onto the ceremony!

We wrote the entire ceremony ourselves, including our own vows. I won't post every word, here are a few readings and our vows.

Mark Twain once said that "a marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each to perform it. It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, and a new fragrance to the flowers, and new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life."

Scott and Brandi have chosen passages to be read, as inspiration for their love on this day.

The first is from "the Prophet" by Khalil Gibran
Love one another
But make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea
Between the shores of your souls
Fill each other’s cup
But drink not from the same cup
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
But let each one of you be alone
Even as the strings of the lute are alone
Though they quiver with the same music
Give your hearts
But not into each other’s keeping
For only the hand of life
Can contain your hearts
And stand together
Yet not too near together
For the pillars of the temple stand apart
And the oak tree and the cypress
Grow not in each other’s shadow.

The second is from STILL LIFE WITH WOODPECKER by Tom Robbins

"Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free."

Scott: I hope I can always make you happy for my happiness depends on it

Brandi: I hope I can always give you strength for we are stronger together

Scott: I hope we always see each other as we are

Brandi: and I hope we always love what we see

Officiant: What do you give to each other?

Scott: I give you serenity when you need peace.

Brandi: I give you passion when you need spirit

Officiant: What do you ask of each other?

Scott: I ask that you always stay close to me, both physically and emotionally.

Brandi: I ask that you always kill spiders for me, both literally and figuratively.

Officiant: May I have the rings please? Scott, please repeat after me: I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.

Scott: I give you this ring as a daily reminder of my love for you.

Officiant: Brandi, please repeat after me: I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.

Brandi: I give you this ring as a daily reminder of my love for you.

And then we were married!!!!


If you're still here, thanks for reading through such a long post! stay tuned for part 2!


supermandy said...

It was such a beautiful wedding (and reception.) Thanks for letting my family be a part of it. We love you two!

Anonymous said...

Brandi ... what a beautiful wedding it was. you looked so beautiful... that dress.... those shoes .... a dream.
I also had one bride maid, a small wedding ... and very intimate.
I love your vows .. and love that poetry form Khalil Gibran ... how beautiful and true. I wish you both many many years of happiness together. You both look adorable!


my favorite and my best said...

congratulations you supergorgeous girl!!!

shari @ little blue deer said...

Super hip wedding, girl! Love the Tom Robbins quote, I used a Woody Allen quote on our wedding invitations, "Eternity is really long, especially near the end." I got some crap for not being all super sweet and romantic, but whatevs. You guys look so chic, love the offbeat look and lack of tuxedos! Gorgeous wedding!