The Wedding

“I’ll never be a bride again…now I’m just someone’s wife.” -Monica Geller-Bing

Actually, I’m okay with that.  It’s over now and I’m glad.

The week of the wedding I was feeling pretty good.  Nothing left to do but let everything happen.  Then the day before the wedding I got my nails done and I HATED them.  And I got shellac nail polish so there was no time to change them because I had to get going for the rehearsal.  I had a major breakdown because obviously nails are the most important part of the day.  Honestly though I’m okay with how upset I was as I was imagining all of my photos with this expensive dress and then some trashy nails.  It all turned out okay because you can’t really see them in any of my photos.

On to the dress rehearsal where everyone was on time and I really appreciated that.  It’s hard to get a big group together but we all made it.  We ran through the rehearsal a few times so everyone was sure of where to be, then it was on to dinner.  We went to Santorini in Greektown in Detroit and it was perfect.  I couldn’t believe it.  They had our reservation AND the food was good!? I couldn’t believe that finally everything was working out.  Secretly to myself I had believed that since everything had been so hard leading up to the wedding that the actual wedding was going to run perfectly.  Things were looking up!  We had a great time and I got excited for how much more fun we were going to have at the wedding.

We go home, I lay down, and BOOM.  Total anxiety hit me.  I don’t know why but I just started experiencing anxiety last year and it’s really fucking awful.  It makes me physically ill and I can’t sleep.  I got about one hour of sleep total before it was time to go get my hair and makeup done.

My bridesmaids, my mom and I all met up at Dean Sadler’s Hair & Makeup Studio where I’ve been getting my hair done for several years.  All of the bridesmaids looked AMAZING.  Rachelle had been having some trouble with her tattoo cover up and he helped her put it on.  In the photos it looks like she never had a tattoo.

After that we all met up in my hotel room to get our dresses on and do photos with my photographer, Jeffrey Lewis Bennett.  Just as I was supposed to start taking photos of my mom zipping me into my dress, my mom yelled out that her hem on her dress had ripped.  Thankfully her mom had dropped off an emergency kit which included safety pins so Laura helped her pin it back up.  My mom stressing out did not help my anxiety very much.

I get into my dress, we take some photos, then Jeffrey leaves to go do photos with the guys.  Judging from the photos of empty alcohol bottles it looks like the guys were having a lot more fun than we were.  Kaydence, my 1 year old flower girl, grabbed someone’s coffee off of one of the tables and dumped it all down the front of her white dress.  Kara, her mom, sprung up and ran her into the bathroom and was somehow able to get it all out.

Everyone tells you the wedding flies by…well GUESS WHAT? The actual time BEFORE the wedding DRAGS ON FOREVER.  Our wedding was at 5pm and it felt like it was never going to get there.  I just wanted to get that part underway so I could start to relax.  Once it was getting close I had to call Joey to see if our officiant had made contact with him because we had to fill out our marriage license beforehand.  Nope, she decided to get there half an hour later than she was supposed to.  Finally she came up and had me fill it out, and then my coordinator came to grab us and I decided to go to the bathroom before leaving.  If you’re wearing a ball gown, you will need someone’s help.  There is no getting around it.  My mom helped me and as I leaned over I felt the back of my dress snap.  The top clasp flew off.

If you’re wondering what I was doing moments before the wedding, three people were attempting to safety pin my dress.  It wasn’t working so I just said screw it and let’s go.  The rest of the day my dress was a little loose in the chest but no wardrobe malfunctions occurred.

Finally it was time to walk down the aisle.  As I was walking up the stairs onto the riser I almost fell because my stupid seamstress didn’t want to take any length off of the dress and it was too long.  I tripped over it all night. Anyway I made it up there, we said our vows, we kissed, and we were married.  THAT part went by in a flash.  Both of our vows were very customized to our relationship and it was really awesome saying and hearing them.  (By the way, people who said to us that one or the others were better…that’s not cool and you totally missed the point.)

We did photos while everyone else had cocktail hour.  All good there.  Jeffrey is my shining star.  He never pissed me off once during our entire wedding experience.

We get announced, we cut the cake (delicious) then it’s time to eat.  As we started getting our plates I immediately got angry.   The portions were about half of the size that they were in our food tasting.  Also they looked NOTHING like they did before.  The mushrooms on the ravioli were half the size (though I heard it was delicious) and the eggplant was straight up completely different.  I took a quick look and immediately told Rachelle not to eat hers as she is vegan and I saw there was cheese on our eggplant dishes. It was made VERY clear on several occasions that there would be no cheese and this was to be a vegan meal.  There was no cheese on it in our tasting so I’m not sure what happened.  Rachelle flagged down the coordinator and told her that not only was there cheese on the eggplant but the entire dish was different.  She gave her some bullshit answer about how it was the same ingredients just “dressed up.”  Um, no.  I was there for the tasting girlfriend.  I hated the eggplant the day of the wedding but had loved it at the tasting.  So, I didn’t eat.  They did bring out new dishes without cheese and gave us a refund on all of the eggplants for the mistake.

Then it was time for the first dance.  Joey and I danced to I Wanna Grow Old With You by Adam Sandler from The Wedding Singer.  Instead of my DJ doing his job and making sure the version was good to go, he played a version with part of the movie in it so we had to wait until Billy Idol stops talking.  There is a photo where you can see in my face exactly when that is happening because I look SO pissed.  I noticed from the wedding that my face is very expressive.

My dad and I danced to Wonderwall by Oasis, Joey’s mom and Joey danced to Your Song by Elton John, then it was on to party time.  After I had carefully crafted our play list over many hours, my DJ decided he was only going to play SOME of our songs, and NONE of our slow songs.  He played 4 slow songs the entire night and none of them were any of the 6 I had given him.  Six, very important, personal songs to my relationship with Joey did not get played because he decided he was going to do whatever he wanted.  He has a MAJOR control issue.  I learned later that he had been an asshole to our best man as well. Cool.  I made his job so simple…he just didn’t want to be told what to do.  So, in the middle of the night, he played like 5 oldies songs in a row even though I had given him only 1 or 2 to play, and a bunch of people left.  UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH I’m still pissed about it.  I think he has a scathing email coming his way.

We did get a lot of compliments on the music and there were constantly people on the dance floor.  The song of the night was a song that my brother recorded as a joke but it’s the best dance song I have ever heard and everyone got really hyped when it was played.

There were some people who didn’t show up.  Two of them were due to health issues so obviously that’s completely acceptable…the others, I don’t know what the fuck happened but I’m not happy about it.

Overall, it was a good night.  The best man, maid of honor and my dad’s speech were really special and heartfelt.  A wedding really shows how much the people who matter the most in your life really love you.  Everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do and did it with a smile on their face.  It really makes you take a step back and go, wow, these people are really amazing and I love them and they love me.

It’s weird to say that I have a husband, but I’m happy to get to say that it’s Joey.

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Food Tasting

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I haven’t blogged in about a month because I have had to mentally push away the fact that the wedding is fast approaching in order to maintain my sanity.  My cat started having urinary issues and ultimately had to have emergency surgery.  Between cleaning up after all of his accidents, driving him over an hour away to have surgery that I wasn’t sure he would make it out of and then keeping him separated from my other cats for two weeks, and, oh yes, paying the $1300 bill, I was at a breaking point and just pretended that I didn’t have anything else to worry about.  The positive thing about being ahead of schedule with wedding planning was that I was able to take that time away without getting behind.

We had our food tasting at MGM and it could not have gone any better.  I have eaten at the restaurants in the casino but the event chefs are different so we were basically at their mercy.  If the food wasn’t good, we would be stuck with it.  Fortunately every single thing we ate was delicious. Great food is a must so I was very relieved.

Joey and I were able to invite a few guests to the tasting but had to give the number of people attending ahead of time to the coordinator so that they knew exactly how many plates to serve.  If you know me then you know that not one thing in my life ever goes exactly how it is supposed to and inevitably I get stressed out and start panicking.  In true Jessica Williams fashion, at the last minute there was a change up of people who would be attending so I was scrambling to find someone.  It ended up working out but the 24 hours up until then were not very enjoyable.

The chef came out in between each presentation and explained exactly what we were eating.  If you’ve ever watched Top Chef, it was exactly like that.  The chef that prepared our meals will be the same chef working our wedding so we were able to ask him questions and know exactly what we would be getting that night.

We started with the hors d’oeuvres.  We had selected six options ahead of time and after tasting had to choose four.  Something that we had to take into consideration is that people will not have plates for cocktail hour and therefore the items we chose had to be easy to eat without one.

Next we tasted the salad, and then the entrees.  They presented a plate to show us exactly how it would look the night of the wedding and then we all had smaller (but still large) portions.

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Lastly, we tasted the cakes.  We chose three combinations to taste and mixed and matched until we decided exactly what we wanted.

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I was absolutely stuffed by the end of it and I didn’t eat half of the food in front of me.  On the other hand there was not a single scrap left on any of Joey’s plates.

It was nice to get back to wedding planning with such a positive day.  Joey has already asked if we could have another tasting if we said we couldn’t decide.

2014

Are the holidays over yet?  I love Christmas but I haven’t had a normal work schedule in so long that I kinda forgot what it was like to work.  The weather here has been extreme so I’ve been spending most of my days sitting online on my couch and IT WAS SO BORING.

I noticed that a lot of my vendors shut down until after the new year so after the 1st, everyone kind of kicked into high gear.  Everyone, myself included, seems to have put everything off until now, and now that it is officially the year that we are getting married, it is CRUNCH TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our coordinator at MGM set up a call with us to go over a few things.  Normally I would hate that because I hate talking on the phone but there are just some things that you have to go over together that don’t translate as well through email.  My event designer/florist had told me to ask for a diagram of possible layouts for the ceremony and reception, which hadn’t even crossed my mind.  It was a great idea because you can see for yourself exactly how the room is going to be set up and change whatever you want before it’s too late.  The diagrams included seating arrangements for round tables, rectangular tables, and a mixture of both, and included different areas for the tables to be set up.  It’s weird to think that those diagrams are for our wedding!!

I have been going back and forth for months with the person in charge of drapery at MGM.  I had a quote that I was working off of for the drape, and then when I contacted him to get everything finalized, he said that they didn’t have enough of the same drape for what I wanted to do so they would have to rent additional drape for $4,000… and that doesn’t include the cost of labor.  I really wasn’t understanding why all of a sudden there was this crazy extra charge, so he gave me an alternative which was much more affordable. I told him I wanted to do that and to send me a quote.  Only at the end of our several conversations did he say “oh and if there is another event earlier that day you can’t have drape.”  Um, no.  I already had to concede the ceiling drape that I wanted because for our particular venue you have to pay for insurance, and the space would need tons of drapery and tons of laborers, so it would cost a fortune.  I was not about to lose this one too.  I emailed our coordinator my concerns and frustrations, which is when she suggested we speak on the phone…and she made it happ’n cap’n.  So now the drape situation has been resolved and I will actually be paying less than what I was originally quoted.  BRIDES:  if you aren’t happy with something, speak up.  And don’t wait a few days like I did stewing over it.

Joey is an extremely busy business owner, so I now schedule appointments with him (at his request) to go over wedding materials.  It’s the only way to get his full attention.  Our latest meeting was for our Save the Dates.  You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a modern design for them.  Every site I went to had the same boring designs.  Finally I found minted.com and used a couple of their designs, moving around the wording and changing the fonts to fit perfectly with our photo.  I am a perfectionist so I spent more than a couple of hours doing a few “mock ups.”  Also I felt important saying that I was doing “mock ups.”  Just a couple weeks until we receive them and then it’s time to start sending them out!

Coming up next………………………..BRIDAL GOWNS