Tales from the Honeymoon (of the G-rated kind)

I’ll try to keep this brief, but you all know that brevity is not one of my best qualities. Stephen and I went to Chattanooga, TN, one of my favorite cities, for our honeymoon. Stephen had never been there, and I was excited for him to experience it. We left from Carahills on Saturday and headed to Nashville, where we would spend the first night at The Embassy Suites, but first we stopped in Jackson to eat dinner, since both of us had eaten very little at the wedding. We had a yummy dinner at TGI Friday’s, even though it was pouring rain outside, but the winds of misfortune were blowing our way. As we were leaving, Stephen couldn’t find the keys. We went back to our table to make sure they hadn’t fallen out there, then we traced our steps all around the restaurant before going to the car. I was hoping hoping hoping that they wouldn’t be where I thought they were, but sure enough, we got to the car and there they were: on the front seat. We were locked out. On our wedding day, on our way to the honeymoon, in the rain. Lovely. I of course handled the situation in a completely appropriate pathetic fashion. I cried. I had a spare key, but it was in our townhome. Fortunately, I had the keys to the townhome with me, so if we could just find a way to get home, we could get the spare and be on our way. Of course, everyone we tried to call had been at the wedding, and they either had their phones off or on silent. Next step: call AAA. I have had to use my membership a few times, and they’ve never been all that speedy in responding, so I was not very hopeful. Sure enough, the man informed me it would be an hour to an hour and a half before a locksmith could come. This did not make me happy, so I cried some more. Finally, Paul, Stephen’s friend and co-worker got Stephen’s message and came to our rescue. He took us to our place, where the spare key was right where I thought it was (amazingly enough), and we were then on our way. We toyed briefly with the idea of just staying in Jackson for the night, but decided to go on to Nashville, and I’m glad we did. The Embassy Suites was really nice, our room was dark and quiet, and they had an amazing complimentary breakfast buffet in the morning.

I wish I could say that was the last of our misfortune, but there were a few more surprises in store. I wanted to get Stephen a present for our wedding, and while at Hallmark I saw this:

My mom had gotten us one called “Together” for an engagement present, and I thought this one was so sweet. I gave it to Stephen on our wedding night, he opened it, and then looked at me, puzzled. What he opened was this:

Yes, that’s right. I got the wrong box! What’s most annoying about this is that an employee handed me this box after I showed her the one I wanted. I couldn’t believe it. I was upset for a minute, but it was so funny we couldn’t help but laugh about it.

On Sunday we got to the Marriott after enjoying a delicious seafood lunch at Easy Seafood Co., and we headed up to our room. Excitedly, I opened the door, and then said, “This is not going to work.” They gave us a room with 2 beds! So we hauled all our stuff back down to the lobby, and we got a new room with no trouble.

Thus concludes this week’s edition “Honeymoon Misfortunes.” More on our trip later.

Where to Begin?

There’s so much to cover that I think it will take me several entries, so bear with me. Read or don’t read. Whatever suits you. But before I begin I must put in a plug for a fabulous little EP just released by Andrew Osenga, an independent artist who’s been playing with Caedmon’s Call. It’s really a wonderful acoustic album, and he has it available as a free download on his website. You can download Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1 by going here. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Now, the wedding. It was lovely, everything I imagined it would be. The flowers were perfect, the cakes were perfect, my dress was perfect. In case you didn’t look at the photo album, here are a few images:
groom's cake

cake

bouquets 2

me outside 2

We arrived at 11 a.m. at Carahills for pictures. Stephen and I decided to see each other before the ceremony because we had limited time for pictures after the ceremony, and friends who have done a similar thing have said they were glad they did it that way, and I’m glad too. The staff had everyone leave the main room except for the photographer and videographer, and then my dad escorted me down the staircase (I was glad for this because it allowed me to practice, since the stairs were kind of steep). Then they led Stephen up the back way to the bride’s room, played “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones, and he walked down the stairs to me. When I saw him, my heart just fluttered, and I was so happy. I cried, and we hugged and kissed, and it was a really special moment. Then the craziness ensued, as everyone was ushered back in and the real picture-taking began. We only had until about 12:30 or so to get all the pictures taken, so it was a rather rushed and somewhat chaotic process.

I was heartbroken later when I realized that I did not get pictures with my grandparents, nor did Stephen with his grandmother. That is something we can never get back, and it really devastates me. They are in the picture of our extended families, but that’s not quite the same. One thing I wish the photographer would have done is to bring the list of shots I wanted that I gave him when we met up in May to talk things over. I thought that if I gave him a list, he would at least have it with him. He kept asking me what shots I wanted to get, and I was trying to remember things, but how could I remember everything? (And yet how could I forget my grandparents??) That’s the one dark spot on the day for me, and I wish it could be different.

The flower girl was my cousin, Amelia Grace, and she was the flower girl at my brother’s wedding last June, and she did a good job even though she was only 2, so we figured she’d do a great job this year, being a year older. That proved not to be the case, as she just didn’t want to do it. At rehearsal she started to do it, but then she got upset, and the day of she was having none of it, so we didn’t technically have a flower girl, but given that she is 3 and I had no expectations, I wasn’t really upset about it. She looked super cute in the dress my aunt (her grandmother) made her, though.

amelia grace

After the pictures were finished, it seemed like an eternity before the ceremony started. I was so hyped up and ready to be married, and when it was just me left in the bridal room, I just kind of walked around in my gown, trying to relax. I could peek through the curtains down to the room below, so when the ceremony began, I watched a good bit of it. Here’s the music we had:

Prelude: “Knees to the Earth” (originally sung by Christy Knockels of Watermark, and sung by my friend Sarah that day)
Seating of Grandmothers and Mothers: Sarah sang “My Tribute” a capella, and it was really beautiful.
Wedding Party Processional: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. This is one of my favorite songs, and it was perfect for the atmosphere I wanted to create as the bridesmaids and groomsmen came in.
Bridal Processional: If you’ll remember, this is the one I agonized over until the week of the wedding, when I finally found something I knew was perfect. I walked down the staircase to a strings arrangement of Coldplay’s song “Clocks.” It’s done by a string quartet called the Vitamin String Quartet. They do string tributes to lots of different bands, and their version of “Clocks” is beautiful. I absolutely love it. (You can find them on Rhapsody and listen to the track for free.)
Recessional: “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder. I wanted something fun and bright and happy, and this is it. (Although to be honest, at that point I was so excited to be married that I wasn’t thinking much about the song at all. Hopefully everyone else enjoyed it.)

Something unique that Stephen and I did is a sand ceremony. It’s a twist on the unity candle ceremony, where we poured different colored sand into a single vase to create a lovely design and symbolize the joining of our lives together. I read about it in a book and thought it sounded perfect, and I’m so glad it worked out well. Here’s a picture of the sand on a table in the foyer after the ceremony:

sand table

If you watched the video clip I posted, you saw that after we “recessed” Stephen and I walked up the stairs and into the room up there. The staff had prepared this cute little table of food for us, and we had about 10 or 15 minutes all to ourselves, which allowed us to just be alone together and sample the food and relax before being announced into the reception. It was definitely a nice touch, even though we really didn’t eat a whole lot.

The reception is kind of a blur, but we did the cake-cutting, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, all the usuals. I tried to mingle and talk to people, but I felt like I was being pulled in 500 different directions. Before I knew it, it was time to change and get ready to leave. Since we left straight from Carahills, we didn’t want to leave in our wedding clothes. We changed and left as friends and family showered us with bubbles. It was fun. The whole day was fun, but over too fast.

Stay tuned for tales from the honeymoon.

Weekend Update

In case anyone’s bored, you can view pictures of my weekend here.  We had a yummy dinner at Outback on Friday, then we went to see The Guardian on Saturday.  We made a bet about who would die, and the loser had to buy the winner ice cream.  I won.  (To be honest, I was hoping I would lose so Stephen would let me pay for something for once, but no such luck.)  I don’t really think I’m giving anything away by saying someone dies; people always die in movies featuring risky careers. 

Saying goodbye to Stephen was not so great, but lucky for me he’s coming up here for my birthday weekend o’ fun.  I’m having people over for a Saved by the Bell marathon at my apartment on Friday (how cool is that?), then on Saturday Stephen is taking me to dinner at The Melting Pot
,which I love and never get to visit because it’s expensive.  If you’ve never had chocolate fondue and cheesecake, you are missing out.  We’re also planning to finish registering for gifts (yay!), and I will be glad when that’s over because it’s time consuming and slightly annoying and one more thing I can check off the list.  After we went to a wedding on Saturday evening, Stephen and I planned out the music for our wedding ceremony, and I’m totally excited about it.  There’s not a traditional bit in there, but I think it’s going to be lovely and unique, which is what I’m going for.  (I do have a hymn and some instrumental music in it, but there’s no “Wedding March” or “Canon in D” to be found.)  Only 229 more days!

P.S.  My paper presentation at the conference went really well.  The only comments I got were positive.  (I think it helped that the audience picked at the other woman’s argument quite a bit.)