We’re the Wallabies, and this is our story, of how we went from this:
Our first “date”—Mardi Gras in New Orleans / Personal photo
OK, first, did anyone watch the Oscars last night? Jessica Chastain looked fierce. She made me wish I had worn my hair down at our wedding. Also, who swooned over Jennifer Lawrence’s big beautiful Dior gown? At one point we paused the Oscars to do a double-take—her dress took up three chairs when she was seated!
Although I could go on all day about last night’s best dressed (and the downfall of my Oscars bracket—there were a couple big surprises!), I popped in today to share my final recap. I started my recaps with our teaser by A Sweet Film, and now we finally have our full 18-minute wedding video.
On my laptop’s hard drive resides a very special spreadsheet, aptly named “Best Wedding Playlist Ever.xls.” Ok, the file name might be a bit presumptuous, but Mr. Wallaby took our playlist-creating task very seriously.
We love music. I wouldn’t say that we listen to the hippest, most underground/indie music out there. But we both listen to a lot of music from a fairly wide variety of genres, and we love to have impromptu dance-offs in the kitchen while dinner’s cooking, in the car on long road trips, or anywhere we just are in the mood to dance. My favorite music is folksy music from the 70s (Van Morrison, Neil Young) and 80s rock (I would be so.happy. if the cast of Rock of Ages could’ve performed at our wedding). I also have never gotten over 90s pop and rap. My iPod is full of Biz Markie, Britney, Shaggy, and Will Smith.
And we’ve been to a lot of weddings already in the last year, so we’ve grown a little tired of some of the standard wedding tunes (see “Do Not Play List” below). I do think it’s important to play some classic songs everyone’s heard of, but I do not want to hear “We Are Family” ever again, for the rest of my life. Some of you will probably think we’re crazy or obnoxious for our extensive playlists. But we put a lot of thought into which songs would appeal to our guests, our DJ was cool with it, and it worked out—our dance floor was packed all night.
Without further ado, the Wallaby Playlist (songs in no particular order):
Miss Lemur recently mentioned how confusing it is to navigate the world of registries—how do you choose among 50 different toasters? If you haven’t lived on your own for long, how do you know what you’re going to need in the future? What stuff is worth it, and what isn’t? Now that I qualify as an Old Married Woman (hah! we just celebrated our three month anniversary), I thought I’d share with you our actual registry list: our favorite items, what we’ve regretted, and stuff we’ve purchased or wanted since. This is a monster of a post, so bear with me.
And please, puh-lease keep in mind: every single household is unique. My BFF is Mexican and uses her tortilla press allllll the time, but I would probably never take one of those things out of the box. We are tea drinkers, so a coffee maker didn’t make the registry cut. You get the idea.
Anyways, here’s our top eight favorite things we registered for:
Being a sugar fiend, I love to bake anything and everything. But I am only a few years out of college and haven’t invested in a whole lot of bakeware. I’ve been loving the two cookie sheets, loaf pans, oven mitts, steel cooling racks, and covered muffin pans we received as wedding gifts. These get a lot of mileage in my kitchen. It’s easy to get carried away in the baking department, though, so be wary of gadgets and specialty pans that you may never use. It’s easy to buy a new novelty-shaped cake pan down the road.
Nordic Ware Covered Aluminum Muffin Pan / Image via Williams-Sonoma
2) High-quality pots and pans
Maybe it’s because I work in the private sector and we hardly get any paid holidays off (so jealous of my teacher friends!!), but I love to celebrate holidays. Even if it’s just a sweet text message, or an attempt to replicate a project on Pinterest, or a sarcastic e-card, I love days that are a little out of the ordinary. And y’all know by now that I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth—so I fully support any celebration that involves sweets (especially chocolate).
Image via Someecards
I made homemade valentines when I was a kid, and my dad would always give me a valentine and a heart-shaped box full of chocolates. When I went off to college, I realized how much I missed that little ritual—especially the years when I didn’t have boyfriends. Valentine’s Day became a day that I celebrated with my single ladies—and we may or may not have watched Sex and the City marathons and gorged on ice cream. Don’t tell them I told you that.
Even when I did happen to be dating someone in February, I never made a big deal about the holiday. I just didn’t see what all the hype was about. I was like:
Mr. W and I didn’t become roommates until we got married. He obediently paid his own mortgage, utility bills, and car payments, and ate canned vegetables for dinner. I paid my own rent and utility bills, tried not to shell out too much money each week on gourmet groceries and eating out, and did my best to avoid Sephora. Sigh. We knew it would be an, ahem, transition to get used to each other’s spending habits, but at the same time it felt too weird taking turns paying for dinner once we were married. Or splitting the mortgage payment. So we paid a trip to our neighborhood Chase to straighten things out.
Photo via FinishRich
Single Mr. W had a checking and savings account at Chase, a Chase Sapphire credit card, and a Macy’s card. I had a checking account, savings account, and several CDs at Bank of America, a United Explorer credit card, and a Banana Republic card. Here’s how things went down.
Fact: I made back $865.40 from reselling decor from our wedding. Whattt?!!
Hive, I’ve never sold anything on the internet in my life—I’ve bought a few things on eBay and Craigslist in the past, but that’s about it. So consider this the low-down for online selling newbies like me. Feel free to steal these tips. You’re welcome.
Unleash your inner photographer.
The most ad-worthy photos are pro pics from your wedding, where the items are in use. If you don’t have any pro pics of an item, try to take your own photos of it in good lighting. Imagine yourself in the buyer’s shoes, browsing through ads on eBay or another website—you’re much more likely to spring for something that looks appealing than something advertised in a photo with a heap of dirty laundry in the background, right?
To give you an example—I resold the vintage card box that I scored for our postcard guestbook. I didn’t have any pro pics of the box, so I photographed it on a plain white sheet to try to minimize the background noise and make the box look appealing. Nothing fancy, just an iPhone photo, but I was careful about where I staged the photo. Aaaaand—sold, in a matter of days.
Price the items reasonably.
I hate talking about money. I detest it. I don’t like thinking about money, talking about it, or listening to other people talk about it. But the average American wedding has a pretty hefty price tag, and if you’re planning an event for a lot of people, chances are, you’re very conscious of your budget. I know I was—from day one of wedding planning, I was very anxious about setting a budget and sticking to it. I worried, “am I paying too much for these burlap runners? Is my DJ more expensive than average?” So, to help out brides in the planning process, here is the Wallaby budget breakdown.
Original budget: $20,000
ATTIRE TOTAL: $2350
How we saved: My Badgley Mischka shoes were originally $200, but I bought a once-worn pair off eBay for $70. The best bargain in this category, though, was Mr. W’s free tux rental, which was part of a deal from Men’s Wearhouse—the five groomsmen rented tuxes, and Mr. W got a free rental.
All good things must come to an end. Mr. Wallaby and I wanted to go out with a bang…but not before one last dance. (We’re big dancing people. But y’all probably know that by now. ) One of the evenings before the wedding, while we were sitting around talking wedding deets with my parents, we realized we hadn’t picked a last-dance song. Several weddings we attended last year ended with everyone belting out “Don’t Stop Believin’”—so Journey was off the table. We tried to brainstorm other anthems that could spur a flash karaoke—but “Call Me Maybe” or “Livin’ on a Prayer” didn’t seem totally apropos.
As if like magic, a song popped up on shuffle, and all four of us instantly agreed that it was the perfect last-dance song. OK, it’s extremely obvious from the song name. Michael Buble, anyone?
Oh, I know that the music’s fine
Like sparkling wine go and have your fun
Laugh and sing but while we’re apart
Don’t give your heart to anyone
And don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arms you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me
Cheesy, yes. But all weddings need a little cheese.
I’m all out of pretty profesh wedding photos to share. I mean, I have a whole lot more photos of our ceremony, and about 80 photos of my girls buttoning me into my dress, but I’m pretty sure you’re all sick of us by now. The truth is, our photography package only included six hours of coverage. Mr. Wallaby and I were both smitten with Mustard Seed Photography, but we could only afford the most basic photography package, which was for six hours of coverage with one shooter.
Honestly? I’m 100% OK with that. I l-o-v-e every single photo from our wedding. Kat and Loren did an amazing job of capturing the emotions and ambiance and details of the day. It would be nice to have photographic evidence that our friends are BAMFs on the dance floor. I would love an artsy shot of us running out through the tunnel of sparklers at the end of the night. But we just couldn’t shell out any more Gs.
Maybe people loosened up once the cameras and flashes had vanished. I personally always hide behind Mr. W so my ridiculous dance face (slash duck face) isn’t captured on film. Soo embarrassing. At any rate, we still have some guest photos of the dance party. (Can I call it the after party? OKthanks.) And our videographers stuck around for some of the dancing, so we have some gems. Some of the footage is def NSFW. And some is so embarrassing that I won’t be a jerk and post it online. But here’s a little scene of Mr. W and me dancing to a popular Persian song. Feel free to laugh and mock me—I’m still figuring out the Persian dancing thing.
Everyone seemed so relaxed and comfortable—Maid of Honor N changed into a pair of cowboy boots:
I can’t write a post about ice cream and cake without thinking about this old Baskin Robbins commercial:
The video’s caption on YouTube declares “best 16 seconds of my life… ^_^”
…That’s about right. Kind of embarrassing (but really, no shame): whenever we go out for dessert, or even if we’re just pulling a pint of ice cream out of our freezer, Mr. W and I chant, “Ice cream and cake and cake! Ice cream and cake and cake!” Yeah, we’re four-year-olds like that…
Anyway, to refresh you on the dessert sitch: Mr. W and I do not like wedding cakes. We love pretty much anything full of butter and coated in sugar, but there’s something a little…dull about wedding cakes. I think it’s the fondant frosting. And also how many are baked a few days in advance—they always taste so dry. So instead, I thought it would be fun to have a pie competition: to ask all of our local guests to bring homemade pies to the wedding, and we would award ribbons for best pies. Yum, right?! But I realized that many of our local guests are Persians who weren’t brought up baking classic American pies, so asking guests to bake pies would be an imposition.
You know what gets me every single time at weddings? The toasts. I mean, of course, the ceremony will turn me into a stage-three blubberer, but the toasts also bring out the waterworks. It’s so sweet to hear stories about the bride and groom, to hear words of love and approval from their closest friends and family, and of course to hear the juicy embarrassing stories. Love ’em.
After our Grand Entrance and first dance, we mingled with our guests for the first time all day. (Remember, after the ceremony we took photos with the wedding party and snuck off to eat some dinner ourselves—so we hadn’t interacted with the guests at all yet.) We stopped at each table, snapping photos, cracking jokes, showing off our fancy duds, and soaking up all of the love and excitement and energy in the air. Even though we spent positively ages working on the guest list, and then addressing the invitations and escort cards, and I knew from the RSVPs who all was coming, I couldn’t believe that all of these people had traveled here to celebrate our wedding. It’s an indescribable feeling, to be surrounded by every single person you and your partner love. It made every dollar and every hour of planning worth it 10 times over.
As dinner was winding down, and we had greeted every table, it was time to get back to the scheduled programming. And little Flower Girl C was all, “You guyyyys. What’s happening now?”
There is so much advice out there about planning a wedding. Checklists, planning websites, binders, TV shows…And so many magazines and blogs put pressure on women to be perfect blushing brides. Many girls I know have successfully lost weight before their weddings. I’ve even seen a couple Groupons for “bridal bootcamp.” But what about after the wedding? All of a sudden, there’s no pressure to fit into a little white dress, to have dazzling white teeth for photos or to stop biting your nails.
So here’s my deep, dark, reluctant confession: since our wedding, I’ve kind of let myself go. I used to go to a boot camp with a couple friends three times a week, I went for jogs periodically with Mr. W, I stayed active in whatever way I could. I stayed fit. I didn’t lose much weight before our wedding (except for eight pounds I lost the week of the wedding from stress…and subsequently gained back on our honeymoon and over the holidays ). But I stayed really healthy, because I did care about looking good. Call me superficial, but I wanted to look good for the relatives I haven’t seen in 10 years, and for Mr. W’s family members who I’ve never met before. I wanted to look hawt in all of our wedding photos, and feel great on our big day.
Yet ever since we got back from Australia, I haven’t summoned the motivation to work out. Since my old apartment had a small fitness room, I did join a gym when I moved in with Mr. W the week of the wedding. But I’ve only been there twice. Twice in two months. When Mr. W heads out for a game of basketball at the gym, I always have an excuse. Thank you cards. Skype catch-up sessions with my BFFs from Seattle. Housework. Blogging for Weddingbee .
And my eating habits have changed too. Even though I saw Mr. W pretty much every single day, I would first go home to my apartment every day to change and unwind for a bit. I would occasionally snack on some fat-free popcorn or eat a bowl of cereal if I was starving after work, but I didn’t snack that much. Mr. W, on the other hand, is a chronic snacker. As soon as he gets home from work, he has a bag of chips in his hand. He plays a ton of basketball, his job is fairly active, and his 6’2″ frame can handle it. But now that we’re roomies, it’s been a novelty coming home to him. After a long day at work, I love to cozy up with him on the couch while eating a snack and watching reruns of Friends and Modern Family. I love that time of the day. But I’m suddenly evolving into a couch potato for the first time in my life, and honestly, I’m not that happy with my body. I also feel lower on energy—probably from eating snacks, and from not getting the endorphin release of a good workout.
Cocktail hour was officially over, and there was a salad at every place setting awaiting our guests.
I love cocktail hours at weddings. It’s always nice to have a drink or two and catch up with friends and family I haven’t seen awhile (especially when we’re assigned to different tables at dinner). We planned this action-packed, detail-studded cocktail hour for our guests—and we missed it. Since the hair and make-up stylists were running really late, we didn’t have time to take wedding party photos before the ceremony. So we wound up taking a ton of photos during cocktail hour. Then we took a few more photos with just the two of us. And then we snuck away to eat some dinner, so we could join our guests during dinner. Well, Mr. W scarfed down a whole lot of BBQ and mashed potatoes, and I nibbled on a piece of cornbread. More on that in a minute.
From the other side of the property where we were posing for photos, I could see that everyone was mingling and getting their drink on. The DJ was spinning tunes from times past (Louis, Aretha, Billie, Otis—okay, okay, and Michael Buble) and sparks were flying.
Teri had set out chairs in little clusters for guests to lounge on while they chatted and waited for dinner. (Told you guys—she thought of everything!!)