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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wedding Recap 3: THE RECEPTION!

The wedding reception was one of the best parts of the night, but I'll be brief, because I think it requires photos and I don't have my professional ones yet. Also, we had an open bar and everyone was pretty sloshed by the end, so not many photos were taken by guests :o)

The grand entrance led us right into our first dance, which was to Come Rain or Come Shine by Ray Charles. Josh and I debated and debated what to have for our first dance (I wanted Songbird by Eva Cassidy, he wanted Patience by Guns N Roses, which is, admittedly, one of "our songs" lol), but as soon as we heard Ray, whom we both LOVE, and this song, we knew it was the one.

The dance was nice because it was one of the only chances I had to just. be. with Josh. We talked about how wonderful the wedding was. How beautiful I looked. How handsome he looked. How he worried about stepping on my dress. How we couldn't BELIEVE we were married and how giddy we felt. How hungry he was and how thirsty I was. How much we loved each other.

Then, I did a welcome speech (I cried. Again.) and told everyone how much we love them and to THANK THEM for waiting until 8:30 to eat dinner... then... we feasted!

Our menu was a spinach salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts, strawberries and white balsamic vinaigrette for a starter, followed by an intermezzo of sorbet with a cranberry coulis, then the Angus steak with a Bearnaise sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus. No, we didn't offer options (beyond the vegetarian option), because we love steak, and nobody had an issue with it. In fact, the groomsmen asked if they could take other people's leftovers home! :o)

Then it was time for DANCING. I danced to "Wild World" by Cat Stevens with my dad, then Josh danced to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong with his mom. Then... we all danced. And danced. And danced.

Then, suddenly, it was time for speeches. My dad started it off with a welcome speech and said, "Jenna's always been my little girl, coming with me to all the sports events, football, basketball, soccer... and since she's met you, Josh, she has blossomed. We are so happy to have you join our family. And everyone here, we are all family now, and I'm so happy that we are". Plus a million other things that made us cry.

 Jeremy followed and he was the perfect one to do so, because he is so random and funny. He talked about how much he liked me, how I knew about sports and how hard I work. Then he talked about how much he loves us and hopes that God will bless us in our marriage.

My sister went next and made us all cry again. This is her speech, as I remember it.

"Having known Jenna all her life, I consider myself a Jenna expert. We spent a lot of time together growing up, playing Barbies, hunting for rocks in the yard, going on family reunions together. So when I was first thinking of my speech, I thought of making a 'Guide to Living with Jenna' for Josh. It would have things like, Always have at least two inspirational sports movies in the house. If she's grumpy, give her French fries. But then I realized that Josh is a Jenna expert, too. He doesn't need to have a list, because he already knows how to make her happy."

Oh. My. God. I cried SO HARD. It was a wonderful speech. She's getting married next year, and the whole time I was thinking, "How can I top this!?" lol

Thomas followed and again, was the perfect one to follow it up and close it out because he is our best friend and is also super hilarious. He talked about how we never fight, so if our only fights are over forgetting an item at the grocery store, we'll be okay. He also took credit for the entire wedding because he introduced us.  :o) And said that wherever we are, he'll be there in the guest room with his dog. :o)

All of this was followed by more dancing, cutting the cake (which was SO DELICIOUS!), and then doing my bouquet presentation to my parents, who celebrated their 30th anniversary this summer, and whose wedding I blatantly stole (toasting glasses, my mom's veil, their cake cutters...). Then we played their first dance song "Always on my Mind" by Willie Nelson. :o)

Followed by MORE DANCING and more drinking.

Then, at the end of the night, we all made our way out to our rooms (to change for the pool or go out to the clubs, etc.), and Josh and I were the last ones to leave. I remember looking around at the room... feeling like I could burst with happiness, and feeling SO ready to start married life together (and get out of my super tight dress!).

It was the perfect, perfect day.

Photos soon :o)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

I'm taking a break from Wedding Recaps to post about my plans today!

I LOVE the Fourth of July. It's one of my favorite holidays. Every year, my parents' have this big barbecue with family and friends before the fireworks show, which are usually RIGHT by their house. Like, maybe two blocks away. So the view is fantastic. We eat my dad's famous chicken and watermelon (two of my favorite foods) and chips and salsa. Then we play charades and hang out with the dogs. Then, we eat ice cream and watch the fireworks.

Plus, it's summer, my favorite season, and I'm always off of work, and this year I'm taking the next day off, too, to have a nice 4 day weekend! GET ME SOME.

I can't WAIT.

Happy Fourth of July! :o)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wedding Recap 2: The Wedding Ceremony!

I'm a worrier by nature. I want everything to go perfectly, so I plan plan plan all the time. I spent a TON of time planning this wedding... even though we had a wedding planner (who was AMAZING), there were still. so. many. details to deal with... liiiiiike programs (building/printing), our vow choices, our ceremony procedure, our favor (little jam jars), the labels for the favors, the seating chart, the seating cards, fans for the ceremony, the centerpieces, the bouquets, the jewelry, the accessories, the "Thank You" sign, the ring box, the flower girl stuff....

Plus a lot more.

So I was worried something would go wrong. I even gave myself a little pep talk on the day of the wedding. I told myself, "You've spent a LOT of time planning this, but if something goes wrong, DO NOT PANIC. You are still marrying Josh, which is the whole reason you are here. If you marry him, today is perfect."

I was ready for any contingency. I was ready for disaster.

But our wedding, June 8, 2013, was the most perfect day of my life. Nothing went wrong. Everything was perfect. If something started to head toward disaster (two bridesmaid dresses didn't fit, my hair was falling flat due to the heat, the HEAT got crazy), something switched and God smiled on us or something, because it all got resolved (no issues with the dresses, my hair looked loose and romantic, a lovely breeze blew through).

I woke up and spent time with my immediate family before heading off to get my makeup done by the BEST makeup artist I've ever seen... I looked awesome. My mom even said I looked like a Disney princess. I think I looked more a like a Disney villain (but a really pretty one, if that makes sense! lol), but to be Disney anything is pretty awesome. Josh's aunt did my hair. Then, with all of my girls nearby, I stepped into my dress and got ready with my sister and my mom lacing me up. (Jess pulled SO hard that I had to hold onto Val's hands for support... but I looked great! Thanks, Jess!)

We took a million photos. We had our first look. We laughed as the flower girls wouldn't smile. We did the Dinosaur running photo. We hung out with our bridal party and talked about life before this moment, before the wedding. It was perfect.

Then, all of the sudden, it was 6:25 and almost time to get started. As I walked out to line up with my girls, my dad looked at me, teared up, and told me how beautiful I was. That got me crying immediately. Plus, all of my bridesmaids were already crying. I hugged each of them and told them that they were my best friends and that I was so happy they were there with me. We were all choked up.

The music started. "Marry Me" by Train played and my cousin walked out, followed by Blairre, Val, Dani and my sister, all carrying their lavender bunches. Then Camren and the twins walked down.

Then the music changed. Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles came on and my dad and I started our walk. I was trying desperately not to a) fall b) rip my dress c) sob uncontrollably.

But as soon as we turned the corner, my eyes locked on Josh and I couldn't look away. My tears dried up immediately. I was there to marry him. As long as he was there, at the end, waiting for me, everything was perfect.

The wedding went so fast. Kaitlyn read a beautiful poem. We said our vows. I cried (again). My bridesmaids all cried (I could hear them all sniffling behind me!). I could FEEL the love around us, people beaming us their good thoughts and happiness. It was the most amazing, warm, comfortable feeling I've ever had.

Then we exchanged rings. We said "I do". We were pronounced man and wife and Josh kissed me. Then, the music started. Burning Love, by Elvis, and as we walked down, I felt exactly what I had wanted to feel when I picked that song for our recessional. Incredible happiness, so much love for Josh, and a readiness to have FUN for the rest of the night. On the way out, I high-fived my mom in what was I think everyone's favorite moment of the wedding lol :o)

A few more photos followed and then... it was party time. :o)

More on that later!

Here are some unprofessional pics from family and friends... I'll post the professional ones soon!











Tuesday, July 2, 2013

WEDDING RECAP 1: Rehearsal Dinner

We headed over to Phoenix on Thursday morning, early, after dropping the dogs off at the doggy day care where they would be living it up in fancy "apartments" with air conditioning, rugs and their own little dog run. Our dogs are spoiled :o)

But it was hard leaving Shadow, knowing it would be SO LONG before we saw him again... almost two weeks! Yikes. He was very concerned about us leaving, but as soon as his friends showed up (my mama's two standard poodles and Jessica's pitbull Lula), he was much happier... though he did bark at us when we left like, "Hey, you forgot me!"

Then, we packed up my parents' car and we were off!

I actually did a little wedding planning on the way over to the resort, checking in on our final payments to the resort and our photographer, and confirming my dress appointment for that day. We headed straight to the courthouse and picked up a marriage license, which I was SUPER nervous about... I don't know why, but I was really worried they wouldn't give it to us because of a waiting period (which I KNOW they don't have, because I looked it up online, but I'm a worrier by nature) or a blood test or whatever. But no matter! We got in and got out and then got me to my dress appointment :o)

We finally made it to the resort at 4 or so, dress in tow, tuxes in tow, and checked into our room. My room was right outside of the Alameda court where we were getting married, so I could make a quick entrance, so it was super super super exciting seeing the Alameda where we would be saying "I do"!

Thursday night, we relaxed with our friends and then spent a lot of time with family, who came in from the four corners of the country to visit with us. I felt so, so blessed to have such great people in our lives, there to watch us tie the knot.

It was a long day, but we still managed to stay out until midnight, hanging out by the pool with our friends. I wouldn't have it any other way :o)

Friday was a busy day, too, but in a GREAT way. Josh and I had breakfast together (I love room service!) and then I headed off to the spa to have my facial, exfoliation, hydration, mud wrap and hand treatment done. I might have fallen asleep for part of it, so the time went by REALLY fast but I was totally ready for the rest of the day, which was spent out by the pool (again), spending time with MORE family and MORE friends who had come in! (Also, I spent a lot of time trying to avoid tan lines... the sun is STRONG in Arizona and I burn easily!)

That night, we met up to rehearse for our wedding :o)


Josh with his groomsmen/best friends/cousins :o)

Then we headed to our favorite place in Arizona... Oregano's Pizza! SO DELICIOUS!






We feasted on pizza and Sprinkles cupcakes, then watched a slideshow of our lives, and gave out our presents to our groomsmen/bridesmaids. It was a lovely night with everyone we love.

Up next: The wedding ceremony!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Back (promise)

So it's been a wonderful, wild ride, but I am officially back with a new name and a new husband and I LOVE being married. :o)

I'm going to start doing little recaps of the wedding weekend, the honeymoon, and life as a married woman pretty soon but for now, I'll leave you with this because it was the best day of my life:



Awesome wedding, awesome dad, awesome dress, awesome veil (from my mom, circa 1983!).

Love.

Monday, June 10, 2013

OVER!

So the wedding is officially OVER and it was incredibly.

We are off today to our honeymoon, the wonderful New York City!

Here's our plan:

Monday evening: relax and then head to the Man of Steel movie premiere! WOO!

Tuesday: the media museum in Queens and then seeing the Mets play the Cards! Go Cardinals!

Wednesday: off to Staten Island to visit my family and Nucci's South (my cousin's restaurant).

Thursday: CHICAGO on Broadway!

Friday: Dinner at Balthazar and SHOPPING for a fancy purse for me. SO EXCITED.

Mixed in the middle will be plenty of New York pizza, Italian ices, pretzels from carts, Central Park, Museum Mile, a piano bar in Chelsea, a jazz bar in Brooklyn, running on the Upper West Side and eating bagels with cream cheese and lox.

I can't WAIT.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Final Wedding Update

As you read this, I'll be at the resort, still glowing from the aftermath of my spa treatments from this morning (massage, facial, hand treatment, exfoliation, hydrating mud wrap, and foot massage) and getting ready to rehearse the plans for the BIG DAY... tomorrow!

I just can't believe it's here. The big day. Our wedding day. I've lost weight, Josh has lost weight, we've spent time tanning (I even got a spray tan... I'll update on that later!). We whitened our teeth. We saved SO MUCH MONEY. We bought vases and invitations and presents and rehearsal dinner outfits. We bought a dress, a tux, shoes, jewelry, WEDDING RINGS. We have spent the last year getting ready to be married and tomorrow... it happens.

Sometimes people say they aren't ready. Sometimes people rushed into it and need more time. Sometimes, couples have NO IDEA what they are getting into or what kind of relationship they will have when they come out the other end.

I do. I know exactly who I am marrying and exactly what will happen. Tomorrow, I will walk down the aisle and keep my eyes on my best friend. I will say "I do" with a full, happy heart and I will probably cry, but only because I am so happy and I never knew I could find someone who makes me feel like that. I will dance and dance and dance with my favorite people around me on what will be the best day of my life so far. I will kiss my husband, my life partner, the future father of my children, my partner in crime and in life.

I will get married, and I am SO so ready to be his wife.