I truly loved our ceremony (despite being a bit fuzzy about it). Officiant Em did an amazing job of taking all the aspects we wanted, creating a template, and letting us add/change/adjust things as we saw fit. The whole thing was really so very personal for us, but something our guests really seemed to enjoy and relate to, as well. (Admission: we also totally used the book The Wedding Ceremony Planner for much of the layout and actual phrasing—I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to somewhat develop their own ceremony like we did!) Anyway, for these reasons, I’ve decided to go ahead and share the entire thing with you. (I also know that I, personally, found written-out ceremonies here on the ‘bee to be an incredible help when trying to create our own.) So get ready…it’s a doozy of a post! (On the plus side, there’s tons of pictures. Woot!)
Officiant Em:Welcome everyone! Please be seated. On behalf of Stephanie and Scot, thank you for joining us on this beautiful afternoon. We have been invited here today to share with Stephanie and Scot a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, they have become more than a couple – they have become each other’s other half, they have become soul mates. They have been strengthened by their ever growing love and understanding of each other. They have learned that they can depend on each other and on the power of their love, and that through each other, they are becoming better people. As they stand before us and unite in marriage, they are declaring to each other and to all of us present that they will be by each other’s side, no matter what life brings their way, from this day forward.
(Side note: As I mentioned in an earlier post, our wedding day was sunny as frick. If you haven’t noticed, Foxy and I are pretty fair-skinned. And despite asking Officiant Em at the last minute to bring her sunscreen so I could use it on our wedding day (since I forgot mine), I forgot to put it on. Just…keep that in mind.)
Okay, hive! I’m about to unveil one of my favorite DIY projects to date. I can’t actually take the credit for imagining this idea up myself, but I can’t for the life of me remember where I’ve seen this before, aside from the fact that I know it was in an issue of either Brides or The Knot. ANYWAY, before I reveal it to the blogosphere, there’s something I need to do, because our guests might better appreciate it if they see it for the first time on the big day. So”¦
Whew! Okay, now that THAT’S all taken care of, let’s get back to the big reveal. (Man, I feel like I’m building this up way too much and you guys are all gonna be disappointed when you see it, but I’m proud of it, so whatevs. Sorry if this ends up being tragically anti-climactic!)
Anyway, due to budget restraints, there won’t be any linen or cloth dinner napkins of any sort at the Armadillo wedding (we’re going with paper, y’all!). When budgeting for different aspects of the reception, I just couldn’t justify spending 75 cents to a dollar per napkin on something that 250 people will literally just use to remove the nasty remnants of dinner from their hands and mouths. If I had a couple of extra hundred dollars to spend, sure, cloth napkins might have made an appearance”¦but that’s just now how things are gonna play out. That being said, I still wanted a way to distinguish the “place settings” at each table and to bring in a contrasting color to break up the green tablecloths we’ll be buying (yay!) And what better way to do that than with placemats, yes? (Just agree with me here, mmkay?)
My first paper placemat crush came from Cake Vintage, which sells pads of 50 placemats in really cool, vintage-inspired designs. See for yourself!
FH and I have been together for over seven years and have spent a ton of time with each other’s families. In a rare occurrence in this universe, we actually adore each other’s families. I’ve been tagging along for his family’s annual trip to Cancun the past four years (which is actually coming up again soon—yay!!), and he’s been at my family’s annual Christmas party for the past six years. Not to mention the countless trips we take out to Wisconsin to visit his parents and all the time we spend with my parents who only live an hour from us. So when we finally got engaged we knew that the families just HAD to meet. And we wanted them to get to know each other before the wedding.
I believe very strongly that a wedding isn’t just about making a commitment in front of our friends and family, but it is about celebrating where we came from and where we’re going. Thus, I’d like to have old family pictures around the venue to show pictures of our families, baby pictures, etc.
This is the perfect indoor/outdoor venue for us. It is located on a small island called…wait for it…Davis Island. There is a channel separating Davis Island and downtown Tampa, and the Garden Club is located right on the water. It has beautiful mature oak trees, a huge covered patio, and stunning views of the Tampa skyline.
Oh yeaaah. Check it out folks.
Nighttime view of downtown Tampa from the Garden Club:
When we awoke on Friday, it was time to get down to business. And by get down to business, I mean get manicures and pedicures. All of the bridesmaids and I had bought a Groupon for mani/pedis at a spa in downtown Houston. But when I called a week before to schedule an appointment for all of us, it turned out that the spa only has two nail technicians. So it would’ve taken hours for 11 of us to get our nails did. (At that point, it was the bridesmaids, my cousin, two friends from out of town, and me. We were rollin’ with a pretty big crew.) I solved the issue by finding another spa that could accommodate our large group.
We ended up going to Urban Oasis Day Spa, a sleek, fancy-pants spa in Midtown. I was a bad blogger and didn’t take any photos (really, it’s hard to with wet nails!), but here’s a photo of the “luxury pedicure lounge”:
I love me some mani/pedis, but I very rarely splurge on them. So this was my first shellac experience. Girls, shellac polish is amazing. My manicure lasted three weeks (it survived our outdoorsy honeymoon!), and the pedicure is still going strong one month later. I’m going to try to talk Mr. W into working a monthly shellac pedicure into our joint budget now that we’ve combined finances.