Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Wedding: Ceremony Details & Reception Party!

After all my wonderful and fun morning wedding prep, it was time to get this show on the road! 

Our photographer, Brittni, set up a "first look" for Max and I before the ceremony since we were taking some photos of us and our wedding party before the ceremony to leave for more party time. For those of you who do not know what this is, for many modern couples who already live together (and let's be honest 70% of engaged couples do), we tend to care less about the "seeing the bride before the ceremony" bad luck since, well, chances are that is bound to have already happened but we try to keep a little mystery.

I came through the barn to see my future husband standing with his back turned waiting for me.

Here is his first look at his beautiful bride on our wedding day. Such a priceless moment.

Now we really couldn't wait to get started!

Before the ceremony we took our wedding party photos because let's be honest, we'd rather have our guests enjoying themselves after the ceremony with cocktails than starring at us.

Deepher unicorn horns anyone?

A shot of my 'maids and our TOMS shoes. Six children got new shoes because of our wedding. Yay, for green weddings and great causes.

Look at all those crazy cats! Jazz hands!

Max and I of course had our own photo shoot as well.

This one was our fav. See more of this later...

Love the look of my bouquet here. Such a great shot.

The Ceremony

With the 100% chance of rain we were given, yes that really does happen apparently, we moved our ceremony indoors of the barn with the gorgeously lit bubble lights. Max waits patiently for me to come down the aisle with my dad, Mike.

Such a calm look came over his face when he first sees me.

Since we had to improvise things, our wedding party came upstairs from the basement of the barn. Fun fact: A live horse lives down there. The maids and I went down for a "horse shot" during the reception.

The fun little quote about brides and grooms "When everyone's staring at her, she'll be staring at you." Here's looking at you Max. *wink

Our ceremony was read by James Baer of Simplicity in Weddings out of Appleton. He did a wonderful job and we couldn't have been happier with how wonderful, professional and genuine he was on making our day so special.

Max's sister, Molly, read a prayer for us to start. Well at least she tried to.

Our lovely niece/flower girl , Claire, decided mom needed to be by her side instead. Completely overshadowing the reading. Oh well. I already predicted she would steal the show anyways.

Max and I chose to do a "burning bowl ceremony" instead of a unity candle that many people are accustomed to. In this ceremony,  participates write their biggest flaws and secrets. They vow to do their best to not bring those things into the marriage and/or will work hard to improve upon them. Neither of us actually saw the other's slip of paper but the active thought of it we thought was wonderful. You constantly have to change to become the best version of yourself for your spouse and family.

My sister, Kari, read a poem about love for us. This time no interruptions.

Then came the vows and the rings.

Both of us teared up looking at each other but neither of us actually cried.

"You may kiss the bride."

"May I present, Mr. & Mrs. Max and Maureen Anderson."

The Reception: The Details and DIY

Max and I had a sweetheart table instead of a head table with our wedding party. Instead, our friends could sit with their significant others and we could have all eyes on us the entire day. It was also nice we could whisper to each other the entire time and freely talk about our thoughts of the whole day. We got to eat our entire meal (including all three cake flavors) and really just soaked in the day.

The table numbers were a hand-me-down from my matron of honor's wedding last year. I swapped out the numbers with burlap adhered to cream card stock and wrote on them with a fabric pen from a different project. These also housed menus for hors d'oeuvres, dinner and drinks.

Since the original plan of our wedding was supposed to be an outdoor ceremony, we were going to also have a bond fire for guests to make s'mores. From Goodwill, I found Target marshmallow roasting forks for $0.25 a piece. With the cost of the chocolate and marshmallow and graham crackers, each favor was less than $0.50. I even found dry erase activity boards for the kids also for $0.25. Although we didn't have the bond fire, our caterer set up Sterno cans for our guests to roast their marshmallows. 

To line the aisles, we wrapped burlap and satin around Mason jars. We used twine to tie the to the chairs. When the ceremony was finished, they were re-purposed around the room at tables for extra decor. Tables were also decorated with taller vases decorated the same.

Our custom artist cake by Tamara The Cake Guru from Oshkosh was well worth the money. Each layer of the three-tiered cake was different. Each layer incorporated a different element of our day. The topper was a clearance find at Michael's for $2.00.

We ended up having three long angled tables that faced our sweetheart table in the corner of the room. We alternating 14 navy and plum satin table runners around the room found on for a total of $42 including shipping.

In lieu of a large digital photo slideshow, we used the twine from the flowers and some clothes pins to string up three "clotheslines" of our lives. One for Max, one for me and one of our lives together including the photo below on the weekend we moved into this house and started this blog!

I used a white mailbox and a sample pot of paint to put a matching chevron pattern for our card box. That still might end up in front of our house... TBD...

A last very important element we surely didn't plan on but helped tremendously was the heaters our venue installed. With the rain, it was quite chilly inside the barn. We really were happy to have these bad boys.

The Reception: Dinner, Speeches and DANCING!

Before dinner began and we sat down to really start things, Max and I decided to cut our beautiful cake and get the ball rolling. Many people usually miss the cake cutting and we thought this would be a great idea to do it before hand. A few people apparently still missed the show but we enjoyed every bite.

And no, we didn't shove cake into each other's face.

Before speeches could even start, the clinking of the glasses began so of course, we happily obliged.

I think Max was even happier than I was.

Max's mom, Ellen, led us with a welcome and stories about her lovely son.

My dad, Mike, welcomed Max into the family.

Max's brother, Mitch, jumped in and made sure I knew what I was getting myself into by marrying Max. Good work Mitch.

My matron of honor, Kate, sang us a personalized song set to the tune of the Little Mermaid's "Part of This World". You want talent? She's got plenty.

Max's best man, Tom, told us how Max almost sunk his dad's boat in high school. The cat is out of the bag now, Mark.

After dinner had started, Max's grandfather, Tom, jumped up and told us a speech about how at his wedding 25 years ago (weird coincidence, on my birthday), a certain someone jumped up during his ceremony to protest (Max), so it was only fitting that Claire jumped up during ours.

After dinner, we kicked off dancing with our first dance to The Fray "Look After You". Everything about the song has always represented how Max's and my relationship has always been more about showing love than always saying the words (even though we say it as well, don't worry).

Although I am not a fan of country music, I chose Heartland "I Loved Her First" as my father/daughter dance because I loved the way it made me think about my dad. 

My dad held it together for most of the song joking about the day until he finally cried at the end of the song. My mom said she started to cry as well. After the dance, one of my bridesmaids, Brittney, came up to my dad crying telling him she danced with her dad to the same song. It was a very emotional moment. I'm crying now writing this.

Max and Ellen danced to The Beatles "In My Life". The song reminds Max of his mom. They were a little less emotional than my dad and I.

Being both giant beer nerds, Max and I felt it was only appropriate we had our HofbrÀuhaus German liter beer mugs to cheers our guests. I DYIed chalkboard mugs for our wedding party which became quite the source of entertainment for them writing messages on them for the evening. Seriously, our friends are messed up and I love it.

Random mug shots. Get it "mug" shots...

"Like A Boss" - Scott Duescher

Photo by Grace Johnson

"I Like Big Butts And I Cannot Lie..." - Tom Werner

Photo by Barbara Riley

"This has been roofied." - Grace Johnson via Josh Van Valin

Photo by Grace Johnson

Mr. Fix-It-Mark dancing with his favorite grand-daughter. He can't wait for more.

Max had a little too much fun going after my Green Bay Packer garter.

But definitely not more fun that our groomsman, Dustyn, who wore it around his head the rest of the night and plans on making it a permanent display in his "Packer Room" at his house. Glad a true fan got it.

Little scrapping was done with the bouquet toss since bridesmaid, Grace, didn't even spill her beer. I was thoroughly impressed and proud.

Livin' On A Prayer.

Tom, the best man, calling someone onto the dance floor.

Max's Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity brothers showing him some brotherly love with a giant group bear hug.

The "other" Andersons' cutting a rug and weaving it on the dance floor. These two seriously have some moves. Hard to live up to their legacy.

The future Mr. & Mrs. Anderson???

My sorority sisters also didn't disappoint by doing our traditional toast.

Look how I am holding my beer mug while I dance. Skills.

Kate, matron of honor, showing her awesome "Sprinkler". Be careful, she'll show ya the "Shopping Cart" as well.

Did I mention she wears long underwear under her dress and is "Sexy and She Knows It"? Yup. That happened.

Dustyn also showed us his skills with a solo to "The Safety Dance". Not many people got it so I tried to help him a little.

If you can beat my sweet robot dance here. I'd like to see it. Just sayin'.

My parents busting a move on the floor. God, I love them!

The last song of the night was Billy Joel "Piano Man". Max's fraternity always played this song as a "time to leave the party" song and they always gathered in a circle and sang. We started dancing together and every guest left joined in a giant circle around us and sang. It was by far the best moment of the night.

While the rest of our friends hopped on the party bus for more debauchery, apparently karaoke was involved, Max and I retreated to reflect on our day. Well and you know...jk, well not really.

Thanks so much for sharing our special day. 

With Love,

The Andersons

*All photography by Brittni Weston of All Business Photography & DJ
*All videos by Thomas Werner (aka Best Man) edited by myself
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