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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our little secret...

Philip and I had our wedding on September 24, 2011.  However, we had a tiny little secret.  We actually got legally married on September 24, 2010.  
Yes, I know.  You're shocked.  We only told our close relatives.  We didn't want to take away from the wedding ceremony.

You see, in Colorado, to get married, you go to the administration building (not even the courthouse!) and tell them your name, social security number, address, etc., and then you sign at the bottom of the page.  And presto!  You're married!

I'm serious.  It took about 5 minutes for us to get legally married.  (sadly, divorce in Colorado is also super easy)

Anywho, we didn't want to make a big deal out of it because we were still not really considering ourselves as truly married.  I still went by my maiden name and Philip didn't wear a wedding band.  We weren't going to be really married until 365 days later at our actual ceremony.  :)

However, we did go out and have a nice dinner to celebrate (it didn't seem right to treat it as a completely normal day!).  

Here we are after returning home from getting (legally) hitched and having a very tasty Italian dinner (Venice Ristorante in Denver -- super delicious!).

Why did we do it?  The usual -- money.  I wouldn't have to pay for my insurance through my company (Philip's was cheaper).  And, it meant we got back a bunch of money on our taxes instead of owing (and we needed that money for wedding and honeymoon plans!).  

Do I regret it?  Nope.  Not even a little.  Looking back, I can say that our legal marriage went off without a hitch -- something I cannot say about our actual wedding ceremony!  Ha!  The money we gained from it helped us have a great honeymoon (and less stressing!).  And, it was nice to have a kind of intimate day to legally bind ourselves. 

Should you get legally married before your actual wedding?  That's entirely up to you.  I had a good experience with it.  However, I know some people have had bad experiences.  And some people will judge you for it.  I think it's an entirely personal decision to be decided by you and your partner alone! 

Now Philip and I have THREE anniversaries: Dating, Legal Marriage, and Wedding!  My sister even teased me the day of the wedding saying that she wasn't sure if she should get me a wedding card or an anniversary card!  Smartass!  :P

Vendor Review:

We used for the bridesmaid dresses and the MOB dress.  They are definitely the cheapest place out there for non-knockoff dresses!  It was easy to order the dresses, too.  They were a little late in getting the dresses to us.  Honestly, I think they had the dresses already in the shop and forgot about them.  So, I would say, if it's getting close to the date you were promised, give them a call to find out when exactly you'll be receiving them.

Other than that, everything went peachy.  They communicated well.  They had a deal going on where I got free shipping (not sure what the deals are for now -- definitely check it out though!) and that made a big difference in price!  

I would still recommend that you go to a store to try dresses on before ordering a dress that you *think* will work for you.  You might be surprised when that dress actually comes in the mail!  We were fortunate, and the BM dresses and the MOB dresses were beautiful on their intended persons. 

Just look how pretty they are.  :)  So, yes, I do recommend using  They get 4.5 stars out of 5 from me. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tips for Rockin' an iPod Reception: Part I

As I said before, Philip and I chose to use iTunes and a Bose SoundDock 10 (for iPod) for music at our reception.  I couldn't be happier with the results.  We got to pick all of the music ahead of time.  And, while it took some time to make the playlists, at least we knew that we would like all of the songs!  

I read some horror stories online about brides who regretted their decision to forgo a DJ, so I was a little worried about it.  However, we didn't have any technical difficulties.  And, the music seemed to be well received.  As a reminder, here are the playlists we used (it was created with lots of love [and time and energy!] by me):

Cocktail Hour:
The only problem I had with this playlist is that there's some not so nice language in Fett's Vette.  I chose the song because Philip is such a big Star Wars fan, but I didn't consider that there would be children (and others who might not appreciate a well placed F-bomb!) present.  I am not sure if anyone noticed or not, but it might be something for other brides to consider when putting together their playlists!  

Everything else about this playlist went swimmingly.  In fact, I still listen to this playlist all the time.  I love all of these songs!  ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vendor Review:

I mentioned before that I bought our paper lanterns from  They were the cheapest place that I could find.  They have excellent prices!  

When the lanterns arrived, they looked great.  They were packed well and all of them seemed to be in good condition. 

When it finally came time to set them up in the tent, I was not disappointed.  The paper lanterns went together well and stayed put.  I was pleased with the colors as well.  

And, despite the crazy humidity (and rain), the paper lanterns held up well.  We actually broke them down and reused them at the Indiana reception (they were a little stretched out from the humidity, but they still worked well).  

Oh, and I received the order within a few days of ordering.  So, I was pleased with everything about this company!  I'm fairly certain that the coupon code I used is expired, but you can usually find one on their Facebook page.  And, right now they have a deal going on:  $10 off $100 order.  

They turned out beautiful.  They were the perfect decoration for the tent.  :)  So, I give 5 out of 5 stars.  I would definitely recommend them to anyone in the market for paper lanterns!  Oh, and they also sell fans, parasols, placecard holders, and health balls/massage tools.  Give them a try!  :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Indiana Reception

Since the wedding was in Pennsylvania, most of my family couldn't make it.  So, we also did a reception in Indiana.  I don't think I posted this on my blog, but this is the invitation that was sent out for that:

Well, not exactly.  I obviously blacked out some information so that you can't go stalk my parents!  :)

The reception went really well.  It was calm, which was exactly what we wanted.  My dad roasted a hog and we had salads and sides and such.  And my mom ordered some sheet cakes from a local bakery.  Everything was delicious.  And we got to see a lot of my family and friends from Indiana (and Philip got to meet most of them for the first time!).  There weren't really set times, so people just came and went throughout the day.  It was nice that way because we could spend a little time with people before they'd leave and then new people would come in and we'd spend time with them before they left.  And so on. 

I don't have a whole lot of photos from that day.  I think we mostly forgot about photography and just had fun.  But, here are some photos that we did manage to snag.

Mom set up some of the pics that she had taken of the ceremony and reception and displayed them here.  There are also some leftover vanilla favors up there.  And our photo frame card box.  :)
This cake was far less expensive than the wedding cake, but somehow they were able to decorate it better -- smooth, not half-assed, doesn't look like it was done in 5 minutes before the delivery... I'm not even a big fan of frosting flowers, but the cake is pretty.  :)
This one makes me laugh because it could have been awkward.  Philip and I are sitting at a table with my high school sweetheart's parents and grandparents.  ;)
It was an absolutely beautiful fall day.  :)
Yeah, great photo right?!  I mostly just wanted to show what I was wearing that day!
My dad and his brother playing horseshoes.  :)
Technically, this was after the reception had ended, but Philip is just too cute for me not to post this.  ;)

Those paper lanterns and string lights (along with the rest of the decor) got used again at the Indiana reception.  We wanted it to look as close to the Pennsylvania reception as possible.  Mom and Dad even bought a tent (they'll get plenty of use out of it for future parties!). 

And, there you have it.  There wasn't any drama.  It wasn't formal (or even semi-formal).  It wasn't over the top.  But, it was wonderful.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Things I Wouldn't Change...

If I had to do this whole thing over again, there are some things that I would definitely keep the same.  Most importantly, my spectacular groom (of course!).  But, about the less important things:  

1.  I would definitely use a friend as the celebrant/officiant.  Jon was absolutely perfect.  Yeah, there were a few misses in the ceremony, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  It meant so much more to us to have a good friend of ours "marry" us. 

2.  I would definitely have both parents walk me down the aisle.  It meant so much to me to have both of my parents beside me as I walked down the aisle.  It was beautiful and I loved it.  

3.  I would definitely do an iPod reception.  I know a lot of people would disagree with me, but our music went flawlessly.  We got to choose all of the music for our reception and it flowed exactly as I had hoped it would.  I'm glad we spent the money on a Bose Sounddock instead of on a DJ!

4.  I would definitely do a tent reception.  Our tent was absolutely beautiful.  With it all decorated, it was just perfect.  Of course, it definitely helped that the weather was pretty good.  

5.  I would definitely still write our own ceremony.  With using a friend for our officiant, we were able to do a ceremony exactly as we wanted.  It was lovingly written exactly for us.  And, I still think it was absolutely perfect.  

6.  I would keep the same attire for everyone.  I was really happy with how everyone looked.  I especially loved my dress, but I also loved the BM dresses, the groom (and groomsmen's) attire.

7.  I would definitely go with Baby's Breath.  I was a little worried about how the Baby's Breath would look in the end, but I was really pleased.  It was beautiful, unique, and really did go with the whole feel of our wedding.

8.  I would still have our dog Jack be a part of our wedding.  I know a lot of people think I'm crazy and I know that some people have had problems with animals being involved, but I absolutely loved having him there that day.  He was a peach and didn't cause any problems.  In fact, one of my favorite memories of the ceremony is when a baby started getting fussy and Jack gave a little "huff" (like a bark under his breath) as if to tell the baby to be quiet.  It was so stinkin' cute!

9.  I would still do vanilla favors.  They were a little bit of work (and a lot of time spent waiting), but they were so beautiful.  And I loved them!  They were absolutely worth it.

There are other things that I would and wouldn't have changed, but I think these are the big ones... and the ones that people asked about the most.  
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