Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our Wedding, Kalamazoo, MI

We got married at my family church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Warning! This is a mush-of-a-novel of memories from our wedding five years ago.) The church was across the street from the reception site and just blocks from the hotel. Our guests could walk through Bronson Park to get to all of the activities. We had a gorgeous, blue sky wedding day. We flew Stewart in, our priest from Christ Church Georgetown, who even spoke about Kalamazoo in one of his sermons. Our friends from LA to North Carolina all commented on how charming my hometown was for a party. Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo and it is a fantastic spot to get married in the summer.

St. Luke's will forever remind me of my step-father David who passed away in 1998.

Eric got ready down in the adult forum room on 7-7-07.

Deb Slager
Jean wore a beautiful, light pink gown. We gave our mother's small bouquets vs. corsages. Momma thinks corsages are for old folks. I think the small nosegays were sweet without looking too old lady. 

My joy-filled, amazing, musically gifted and beautiful Momma wore a green knee length dress with matching Croc's. She did wear silver pumps for the wedding. This is one of my all time favorite shots of her holding my bouquet. I love you more than life itself dear mother of mine!

Eric's fabulous sister was a bridesmaid. I love this shot of them before the wedding. 

My girls got ready in the nursery next door to me and my sweet mom, who were sanctioned off in the library. I remember so vividly putting on my dress and Mom bursting into tears. I knew it was going to happen and this lady is not a crier in general. It was wonderful having that quiet moment together. Somehow my makeup made it through the tears. E's crew looked pretty relaxed as well. We didn't see each other before the wedding which was something Eric insisted on. 

Fleming and I were getting ready for photos. This is the only shot of the back of my dress. Thank you McCall! I wore Chantilly lace, Vera Wang open toed pumps that matched my dress exactly. My cousin Tayloe added a sixpence to my shoe and I still have the shoes with the little sixpence. 

My dress was a gift from my godmother Mary T. We found it in Virginia at Priscilla of Boston. She is like a second mother to me and it was wonderful having her join me for the hunt for the dress and fittings. Her generosity of spirit and kindness knows no bounds!  I love YOU so much and love that you and E are such good pals too T. Elise just wore my Vera Wang veil as her "something borrowed" or "something old". I gave it to her when she was first engaged nearly two years ago and love how she wore it.

Deb Slager
I adore this photo. My bridesmaid's wore dresses by Simple Silhouettes in white raw silk with a hint of green piping. They choose what dress out of a bunch of different options that suited their style. Marge met me at Hitched in Georgetown to try on her dress which had two pieces. I asked them to wear whatever strands of pearls that spoke to their taste. Tayloe wore flapper style pearls, where McCall donned her signature Barbara Bushies!!! I was an awful bride and made them wear matching shoes! Mary sent me her pair to keep, as we wear the same size. I seriously still look at this shot and think they look timeless and classic. Nette was pregnant with Bailey and you can barely tell with her cute, vavavavoom dress!  I know the rule is that no one but the bride should wear white. However, I read, in my beloved Martha Stewart Weddings mag once, that the bridal party used to wear white to ward off and confuse any bad spirits. The idea that if all were in white the bad spirits wouldn't know who the bride was. It stuck and I knew way before I meet E. that I wanted my girls to wear white. There wasn't a bad spirit to be found that day. My girls surrounded me with so much love and tenderness. 

They carried light pink peonies with the smallest hint of green. I love pink and green but didn't want to go overboard preppy.

The flowers at the church were two simple white and green topiaries. They had white roses, white hydrangea, white Gerbera daisies and yes, even white carnations! They matched the flower wreaths on the church doors. 

Deb Slager
Deb Slager
My memories of Dad walking me down the aisle are precious. He held on to me so tightly I wasn't sure if he was going to let go. It was hot, HOT in the church. No air conditioning, which I did not know until I walked down the aisle that afternoon at 3:07 pm. Maybe he was holding on tight so I wouldn't go down in the heat. Some of the funniest photos from the church are of Mom and Mac walking down the aisle with the wedding bitch caught snarling in the background. I'm referring to the lady who used to run the weddings at St. Luke's, aka WB. She was so bossy. She had the worst timing. She was telling everyone what to do, which I get, but was so rude about it. She barked an order to Mac and he said, "Not until you say please and thank you!!!" Our photographer caught Mom laughing (out loud) walking down the aisle, while Mac is rolling his eyes. God love you little Macker.

Deb Slager
This is, hands down, my favorite photo from the whole wedding.

Deb Slager

We were pretty stoked all day long! I changed from my Lace wedding shoes to my Cinderella heels for dancing.

I've written about this before but we loved our cake so much that we cut it TWICE!!!

I loved the way the centerpieces turned out. Sofia did the flowers and added limes and apples to the vases with stephanotis. I'm bummed that you can see the bottom of the oasis and florist tape in this shot. I'm a freak when it comes to the finest details. Of course I was oblivious on my wedding day, but looking back now, that shouldn't have been showing. Think about when your guests sit down vs. when they are standing when you are setting up. They should have tucked a few extra lemon leaves to hide that little dish and tape. I think the overall effect was stunning. We had some high and some low flower arrangements. This was the highest. The lowest had a pom pom "ball" of white carnations and hydrangeas and one lime cymbidium orchid placed as if it was a butterfly visiting the table. I wish we had a photo of these. They were so cool and unique at the time.

Our dear Gilles and Virginie came all the way from Paris. So did Jibz! We had green pintuck linens on the cocktail tables and pink peonies floating. Our guest book was really a journal. We use it on our anniversary dates and vacations now. Last year we brought it to Asbury Park and re-read all the wonderful notes people wrote us. We also have notes from our honeymoon adventures on Mackinac Island.

Mac's godparents and my Dad. See this same group from Mac's wedding a few weeks ago here.

Best Man Scott met E in the sandbox when they were little. Shaq was preggers with GB at the time and couldn't travel. We missed you Shaq!

Best Man Todd now lives on the East coast so we get to see him more than twice a year! Yea.

Made-of-Honor Mary and Todd, with Harry in the background.  Caption Contest? 

Uncle Robert gave the blessing and Dad gave a funny toast.

I love Harriet and my expression listening to Dad. He is seriously one of the funniest people I know.

It is hard to believe some of our guests are no longer with us. We love and miss you Uncle Sam!

This is my brother-in-law John on the dance floor at the wedding. We miss you too John. Damn cancer! Patti used this photo of John during his memorial. This was pure John! I love it so much.

Uncle Frank and Aunt Sherry came all the way from McLean, Virginia. 

Aunt Susan and Lucy came from Brooklyn.

Cousin Tayloe brought the Florida sunshine with her!

I was a flower girl for Sue and Bob's wedding I'm guessing 30-35 years ago! They also flew up from Florida.

Uncle Frank is also Kim's godfather.

This picture cracks me up. I couldn't stop smiling! 

We were giddy happy.

Michael and Matron-of-Honor Annette, with my sweet god daughter Bailey in her belly!

My brother-in-law and other friends took photos at the wedding as well as our own photographer. We had tons of candids that I adore. There are so many shots and so many more. This is already getting terribly long obnoxious so I'll try to keep my comments at bay. I found fun photos of Shannon and Dan's wedding. So, you are next sister, on the wedding flashback edition of SHF!

Geoff and Kelley

Greg, "the other white guy" in the wedding and his wife Deb.

Scott and Marge, who because of their proximity to SHF, could have a whole tab on this site. 

Mary, Shannon and Eamonn

Haygood, about to create the signature drink of the night.

Raspberry Stoli and Tonic's with splash of Cranberry. Haygood-tini anyone?

I remember Mary saying to me as we were leaving, "No way! It just started."

It was the most fun weekend. I did take time to sit still and watch our friends, and listen to our guests while we were eating dinner. The noise. The energy. The love was palpable in the room. It was pure magic and we loved every minute of it. We then poured ourselves into our Checker Cab...

...and were serenaded off by the lovely sound of kazoo's.


Maggie said...

Such a lovely recap! Your dress is just stunning, Nelle - one of my all-time favorite types of necklines. Gorgeous!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

So pretty! You just glow in every photo!


girltuesday said...

you have the best smile, nelle! loved the wedding recap—the joy is apparent and abundant!

Farm Wedding Venues said...

gorgeous pics :)
Thank you for sharing your very unforgettable event in your life. I was really entertain watching the pics.
Congratulations and best wishes!!

Worthington said...

What an awesome wedding! So classic and special. I love your photo of your Uncle Dan too - neat that the photo from your day was used at his Memorial. You'll always have good memories like that. I love your taste!

Nelle Somerville said...

Thanks so much everyone! It was so much fun going back to revisit after all these years. You all rock!!!