Our Wedding Day!

It finally arrived. After so much planning, a bit of stress and fun and tons of memories, May 20th, 2005 was here.

Melissa woke up that morning when her hair stylist called to say she was on her way. It was 8:00am. She quickly got out of bed and ran to the bathroom. "Today, the day I marry my best friend, it is really here", she thought. She had planned on waking around 6:30-7:00 am but she didn't set an alarm, thinking she'd automatically wake up early due to all the excitement. Instead she slept like a rock and couldn't believe the time. She hopped into her car and drove to 7-11 to get her morning cup of coffee.

By the time she got back to the hotel, the hairstylist was there and things were getting started.

Meanwhile Sean was just waking, after a late night hanging with his family. Around 10am, he called Melissa. They talked for a few minutes, sharing in the excitement they felt and what was to come for them in just a few short hours. Melissa thought it was silly that they wouldn't be able to see each other all day, but Sean really wanted the more tradition scenario where he would first see her walking down the aisle.

After they chatted, Melissa got back to her schedule or hair then make-up. Things went so quickly that it was almost 2pm and she had not eaten anything for lunch. While Melissa's sister-in-law ran to Subway, Melissa relaxed and surfed the internet, trying to bring some sort of normalcy to her day.

People were coming to visit her in the Bridal Suite of the Mariott and everyone was a buzz with excitement. It was hard for her to remain calm, but she did. A few people commented on how she didn't look the least bit nervous or frenzied. She was in such a state of peacefulness. The day she had imagined for so long, to the man she had wanted to call "husband" for years, was finally here and nothing was going to stop it from happening.

Around 4pm the photographer arrrived. Melissa was just getting into her dress, with the help of her mom, two sisters and friend Sara. (more to come)

Wedding Review

I don't even know where to begin. It was the best day of my life. Seriously, I know people say that all the time, but it was indeed the best day.

Mother Nature: A

Even though I couldn't have my wedding outside, it could have been a LOT worse. It was an overcast day, with rain expected, but the rain held out. The cold did not. I think the high was around 52 during the day, and with a 7pm ceremony, we knew it would just be too cold for everyone, so the BCE decided to have the ceremony inside. When I started to walk down the aisle, Sean told me that the sun came out. He thought it was the coolest thing. The sun had been missing all day long, until that moment.

DAY-OF VENDORS:

Florist - James Cress Florist: A

http://www.cressflorist.com/

Mr. Cress ROCKS my socks! He was so wonderful. All my flowers were perfect. I had a mix of daisy's and yellow roses in my bo-k and I can not say enough about how perfect it was. And it held up really well. My girl's bo-k's were daisy and mini green hydrangea. Simply breathtaking and exactly what I had envisioned. He wrapped the stems with silk ribbon and the colors were so perfect. I was really unsure about how the ribbon would look and I had originall wanted the stems to show, but Mr. Cress assured me that it would match and look beautiful. And he was so right!! I loved them.

The only really thing that upset me at first was the arbor at the ceremony. I really wanted a lot of green ivy and very little flowery-ness. I didn't notice it during the ceremony, because all I could think about was the fact that my future-husband was standing there waiting for me. But later on, when I really took it all in, I noticed that the arbor had these huge yellow/green flower clusters. Specifically something I did NOT want. But, it actually worked out nicely. Since the ceremony was originally going to be outside, I had not prepared any indoor decorations, so I think if it had been all green, it would have looked lost and/or, just really bare. So, with it being inside, this really gave a little something more to the ceremony area. Here is the arbor behind our sweetheart table, during the reception.

Limo - Mark of Elegance: A+

The limos looked great. They arrived on time to both pick the boys up, and to pick the girls up. They gave us a complimentary town-car for the ride back from the hall to the hotel, after the wedding. I originally thought that we were supposed to get a limo, so I was a little upset about that, when we left the hall. But I reread the contract later, and it did not specify limo. It simply said "complimentary ride back from Beach Club", so I can't complain about that. It was my own forgetfulness :)

Photography - ADA Studios: A+

http://www.adastudioinc.com/index.htm

My photographer, Eddie was a pisser. I'm really shy and don't care for having my picture taken, but he really mellowed me out and got me in the mood for pictures! I actually had FUN! It was amazing. I had asked him if he really had to take pictures of ME. He said he had never had a bride ask that before, but normally, I would be the one he'd photograph a lot, but he promised to make it painless. And he did. He arrived at the hotel right on time, and got tons of pics with me and my mom, plus my girls and all my family. Then he left me and went to the see DH, where he got tons of pics of him with his family and his guys. I was really worried about not having time for enough pictures because we were having the ceremony and reception at the same place, which allowed for only 1 hour of photo-taking, after ceremony, and during the cocktail hour. He assured me that we'd have enough time and that we'd have over 400 proofs to pick from.

Well, I picked up my proofs the other day, and he was right! Over 400+ beautiful pictures. They are perfect and better than I imagined. Plus, instead of getting a stack of 400 pics, they put them all in this awesome proof book!!! I love it!! It's really handy, and there's no way to lose a picture here or there.

Eddie also brought an assistant, who really put everything together. She made sure everything looked good, and rounded up family when the time came. She was great! I highly recommend getting an assistant, along with the regular photographer. I wasn't sure at first, but it was probably one of the best decisions I had made.

DJ - IV Generation: A+

OMG! I totally didn't want some boisterious loud-mouth DJ pulling pepople onto the dance floor, or making the whole thing about him. And IV came through. They did the music for the ceremony, cocktail hour and the reception and they were a HUGE hit. The ceremony music was perfect. The cocktail hour music was there, but not overpowering. It was nice! And the reception....

Oh boy! It seemed as though the dance floor was constantly packed with people. Even when people were eating, there were other people up and dancing. It was non-stop. I had a great deal of special requests and must-play songs, and they really got to most of them. I know you can only plan so much music in such a short period of time, and I must have given them something like 30 songs to play, and they mixed it all up perfectly. The slow songs, blended with the fast and they did our dedications and kept everyone up and dancing.We also had them bring in the party-favors toward the end of the night, and everyone had a blast with them. We got nothing but compliments on the song selections and the overall atmosphere of the wedding.

Oh, and we had a DJ and MC, which was nice. I thought I was only going to have one, but there were two and they worked great together. They listened to us and made us SOOOO happy!

Video - Gemini Video: A+

It was like they weren't even there. No, IN YOUR FACE with the camera business. I don't even recall really seeing them or being aware that they were around. This is exactly what we wanted. The only time we even spoke to the camera guy, was right after my husband dropped me while trying to dip me and the guy asked if we wanted that in the video and we both exclaimed: YES! :D

We got the final video in March 2006 and it was beyond our expectations. They really put together a lovely montage and watching it was like reliving the entire day. I am so happy and thrilled that we decided to go with a videographer. It was well worth it!

Makeup - Jacqueline Nicole: A+

http://www.prettyme.com/

What a sweetheart!!! I loved my trial and I knew the day-of was going to be perfect. She arrived on time, with all her gear. She started me right away. I had gotten the airbrush foundation, and she also airbrushed my tattoo on my arm. Everything was perfect. At the last minute, my mom wanted Jackie to do her eye makeup and she said no problem. She did a wonderful amazing job! I'm not a big fan of makeup, but she made it light and perfect for me.

Hair - Lisa: A+

Lisa is my regular stylist and I knew I had to have her to my hair because she always does something fun and different. I never even had a trial. I left it all up to her on the day. She was scheduled to be at the hotel by 930am, and she called me at 830am to confirm. hehehe good thing she did because she woke me up!! :D She got to the hotel at 9 and started right away on my girls. She had 5 girls to do, and she rocked them all out. Everyone had a style that was different, yet flattering on them. And they all complimented the other. No one really had any idea of what they wanted, so she just rocked out and made us all beautiful.

Officiant - Frank LaPenna: A+

I called about 4 days before the wedding to confirm with him, but he had our wedding down as cancelled since he couldn't get in touch with us (wrong phone number). When I called, he felt so bad that he had me down as cancelled, but he said not to worry. I emailed him our ceremony, and we went over everything on the phone. He helped me hash out some things I was unsure about and gave us some suggestions for the ring blessing and some romantic vows. He was so wonderful. On the day, he was really funny and made me feel really calm. When he did the ceremony, it was like he knew us. And he knew our family. He felt welcoming and he made our ceremony so personal. He was the best!!!

Reception - Beach Club Estate: A

http://beachclubestate.com/

I'll start with the Rehearsal the night before. When I arrived, the BCE had put up a tent over the cocktail hour area. I was royally peeved. I told Anthony that I didn't want a tent and that I wanted an outside cocktail hour, not a tented cocktail hour. Plus the tent was almost black. He assured me that he would have it cleaned by the next day and that it would look lovely. I questioned him as to why there was a tent, when nowhere in my contract or talks with them, it said there was a possibility of a tent. Plus I had been there a few days earlier and there was NO TENT!

He then explained that they were having a large affair on saturday night and since there was a chance of rain, they put the tent up. I told him that my affair came first, and even though it was small (90 people) I should still take priority. If I wanted a damn tent, I would have asked for a tent. He told me that he could have it taken down, but he really didn't want to. Being the nice person I am, I said whatever, leave the tent, just make sure it's clean and that there are some decorations for it, because I hadn't planned on HAVING A TENT AT MY WEDDING!!!

The next day, when I arrived the tent was cleaned up and white. It also had some decorations, with lights going up the poles and centerpieces on the outside tables. I felt a little better about that, but I was still annoyed about the entire thing.

When I got to the BCE, they had set up the ceremony inside because it was a cold day. I really wish I would have planned for an indoor ceremony, but I didn't, so I think, in my pictures, it looks really bare and not very welcoming. Plus, the aisle runner, didn't go down until right before I walked down the aisle, so all my pics of the girls coming down the aisle, look funny because it's just bare wood they are walking on (outside there is this cool blue cobblestone walkway, which I thought would look great in pics, so it never occured to me, that it wouldn't be like that, so I didn't prepare for an alternative. I should have!!!)

The ceremony was set up nicely. They had a table for the sand ceremony, and there was plenty of room for everyone. Not until after the photos were back from the photographer did I realize that I didn't really like the ceremony setup. I mean, it was nice, don't get me wrong. It was inside, and I think that was partly why I was so upset with how it looked. I always envisioned being outside and having nature as the backdrop, but instead there were walls and a dance floor and just not what I really wanted. It was still wonderful though.

We missed the cocktail hour, but I have seen some pics and it looked pretty damn amazing. People told us that it was the best wedding food they ever had.

They set up all my extra tables exactly like I asked:

The cake was almost identical to the pic I gave. The pic I gave had little dots all over it, but on my cake, they had them in lines going up and across the cake. Overall, that's minor. The cake tasted delicious and they served us some giant pieces!!! :9

The buffet. OMG! the food and the displays and the food! There was SOOOO much food, it was crazy. They walked us quickly through it, before any of the guests and they gave us these gigantic servings. It was unbelievable. They also gave us the leftovers to take home, which we froze along with the top of the cake.

The Bridal Attendant and Banquet Manager were wonderful. They asked us questions, when necessary, but for the most part, they handled it all. The BA ran around all over the place for me. At one point, I found her cleaning off my train with sletzer and a towel. I was like "get up off the floor, and stop cleaning me" hehehehe I just didn't care if there was a stain, and she was all over me and my stuff. She made sure we always had drinks and food. tons of food! I loved her! She made the day so much easier.

2 minutes before the ceremony, my youngest bell ringer broke her bell into 1000 pieces and the BA and I were scrounging through the centerpieces in the bar area, so my bell ringer would have something to hold while she walked down the aisle. I felt so bad about the CP's but the BA was telling me not to worry about it, that it was no big deal. She also set me up with my own private smoking area while I waited for the ceremony to begin. She even lite my cigarettes for me. She took care of my purse and all my personal belongings.

The Banquet Manager was impeccable. She really handled everything perfectly. Plus, since I was so upset about the tent, Anthony made sure that I got some extras, like a full viennese and a full sundae bar, which we did not pay for. It was over the TOP! I couldn't have been happier, knowing how much they really wanted my day to be perfect for us. And it was perfect!! I know there are always some things that go wrong, but for the most part, they were so minor and little, no one but me and Sean noticed. And when it all was said and done, we totally didn't even care.