Our professional pictures have finally arrived, which means I can officially start with Cala-Married: The Squid Wedding Recaps! (Thank you to the very punny Mrs. Pyramid for the witty recap title.) To kick it all off, I’m going to start with a story about our small wedding miracle: free chandeliers. The timeline is a little wonky as it brings us from the beginning of the weekend to the middle of the reception and skips a whole lot of stuff in between, but I think it’s a fitting start and sets the somebody-pinch-me-already feeling that I had for our entire wedding weekend.
The day before our wedding (a Thursday), Mr. S and I spent the morning packing up what felt like everything we owned in our studio apartment. There were the bridal party and parent gifts to take to the rehearsal dinner that evening, wedding day attire and accessories, anything we would need for our mini-moon to Tulum, and of course, Chunk’s endless list of necessities for his one week stay at my parents’ in NJ. Chunk’s pile was by far the biggest of the bunch.
MOH Dr. K met up with us at our apartment and the three of us hitched an Uber XL to the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. She kept saying, “I can’t believe it’s here! I’m here for your wedding!”
MOH Dr. K’s Facebook status while en route to NYC.
The excitement level in the car was high with me updating MOH Dr. K on all the wedding happenings of the last few weeks. As we were pulling up to the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott, my cell phone rang. It was the Liberty Warehouse. The laughing and joking in the car suddenly came to a screeching halt.
“Squid, it’s Jeff from the Liberty Warehouse. We have an interesting opportunity for you.”
After everything with reBar, I’ve maintained a certain level of skepticism when it came to our wedding vendors (completely unnecessary because they were all amazing), so I was holding my breath as Jeff continued. “Our event last night put up eleven chandeliers over the dance floor and the lighting vendor isn’t coming to break them down until Saturday. It’s a $5,000 set up that you can use for free if you’d like to use them. Otherwise, we’ll take them all down and put them in our storage closet. I e-mailed you the pictures. Take a look, call me back, and let me know what you’d like to do.” Enclosed in his email were the following photos:
A normal bride’s immediate response would have probably been something like, “WHAT?!? OHHHH EMMM GEEEE. YEESSSSSSS!!!” But no, not me. My first reaction was, “…but what about my globe lights?”
My vision. / Image via Universal Light and Sound
Whimsical globe lights strung above our dance floor were what I had imagined from the very beginning, and now at the 11th hour I was being asked to make a rash decision on my carefully curated vision. Of course the chandeliers were gorgeous, but I worried that they were too fancy for our reception. But wait, was I seriously going to pass up on free chandeliers?? Free is my favorite word. I’ll take anything that’s free. My inner TJ Maxxinista couldn’t come to terms with my inner control freak so I asked Mr. S what he thought. He conveniently copped out with the standard groom response, “It’s up to you.” This was not a decision I could make on my own, so the next person I asked was someone who always gives her opinion, solicited or not: my mom.
Me: I just sent you pictures of chandeliers at LW. We can use them for free. Should we?
Mom (not even a second later): Yes!
One simple word, but I knew between the lines of that text message she was also saying, “Don’t be an idiot!!!” Her quick, unwavering response was the wake-up call I needed. Who contemplates whether or not they want free chandeliers?? EVERYBODY wants free chandeliers!
Momma didn’t raise no fool, so I called Jeff and told him we’d like to use the chandeliers. But! I still wanted to make use of the globe lights that we had already paid for. He replied that it was no problem to string the globe lights above the lounge areas and tables. This made me feel much better and I silently said to myself, “Don’t worry globe lights, I won’t abandon you!” I called our day of coordinator to let her know of the change in plans and she liaised with our lighting vendor to bring an extra dimmer (since the globe lights would now cover two areas instead of one).
Before joining cocktail hour, Mr. S and I stopped in to see our reception room. Up until that point, I didn’t know what to expect and was slightly nervous at what I would find. Would everything we had planned for the past fourteen months (flowers, candles, vintage furniture, etc.) look just like I had pictured in my mind? And would it all be cohesive with the last minute chandeliers that I had so hastily agreed to? Oh my goodness…YES.
Can you imagine if I said no to this?!? / Photo credit: Clean Plate Pictures
If you can’t tell from my body language, I am squealing, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?” just like those David Tutera brides. / Photo credit: BM A, who acted as security for our reception area (guests were trying to sneak in to peek, too!)
Mr. S and I took the opportunity to practice our first dance moves in the empty reception room. Am I admiring my new husband or the chandeliers? I’ll never tell. / Photo credit: Clean Plate Pictures
During cocktail hour, Jeff found me in the crowd. I thanked him profusely for everything he had done for us and told him how much we loved the chandeliers. I think Jeff had a bit of a soft spot for us since he knew our situation with reBar and with a big hug he said, “You were meant to be here.”
So that’s how our wedding started off with a little wedding miracle—free chandeliers that even in my wildest dreams I never allowed myself to consider. For all my obsessive planning over the course of our engagement, there were a few other impromptu events that added to the evening’s magic and are now some of my most favorite wedding memories, but we’ll save those stories for another day.