Friday, August 31, 2012

We start Today: We Rehearse!

The morning of our rehearsal my Mother, bridesmaids, our singer/good friend J and I, all went to get our nails done!
Our rehearsal was at noon so we had to get there right when they opened at 9am! Bridesmaid J had been in contact with the owner of Lacquered Up in Claremont to make the arrangements. He was so nice and brought in two more ladies to accommodate our large group. We lounged in their very comfortable chairs and drank champagne as we got our nails done.
A portrait of me and some of my bridesmaids
Bridesmaid S and Singer J hamming it up for the camera

The morning flew by and before I knew it we had to leave and go to the rehearsal! 

Mr. Castle and I arrived at the rehearsal early to bring all our "stuff." The staff at the Padua Hills Theater made everything so easy for us. I gave them everything, escort cards, place cards, guest book, card box, flower poms, programs, decorations, etc. I'm sure I am forgetting something...but my point is, I gave them everything with instructions on where they go/what they were for and they took care of setting them all up for our wedding the next day. After I handed over those things I didn't have to worry about a thing!

The rehearsal was a breeze. Our processional started with our Grandmothers ushered in by my brothers and Mr. Castles Nephew. Mr. Castles parents came next followed by my Mother escorted by my youngest brother. Next our officiant led Mr. Castle and three of his groomsmen in. His other two groomsmen were playing guitar for our vocalist, singer J. After they played my processional music they joined the other groomsmen behind Mr. Castle.
Mr. Castles talented groomsmen who accompanied singer J 
Since two of our groomsmen were also our musicians my bridesmaids walked in unescorted. After the bridesmaids my adorable ring bears came down the aisle. Next it was my turn to practice my walk with my Dad!
Our "tough" ring bearers. Their t-shirts said, "Ring Security."  I have a better picture of their shirts coming up next at our rehearsal luncheon! 
Me and Dad! And my awesome bouquet made by MOH N
Our Bridal Party all lined up getting instructions
"Shall we pretend to be married and walk down the aisle?"

We ran through everything about three times and when they asked if  I wanted to run through it once more I immediately said, "No! We're good!" With performers making up most of our bridal party I knew we all didn't need to run through it again. Plus I was ready to eat! Next up, our rehearsal luncheon!

Was your rehearsal a breeze? How many time did you "rehearse" everything?
All Photos are personal
Miss a recap!? Check it out below!

We start at the end with a surprise wedding video!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Start Today: I Open At The Close

The title of this post is for my fellow Harry Potter fans out there :)

Instead of starting at the very beginning, I'm going to start at the very end of our reception. Like Mrs. Turkey, Mrs. Coyote and Mrs. Doe, I wanted to start with a little teaser video. BUT I want to tell the story of how we came to see this video for the first time.

So fast forward. It's the very end of our reception. Our last song has ended and we're hugging our closest friends around us. I'm thinking, "I am so ready to change out of my dress..." I was also thinking I was probably going to have to help encourage people that it was time to go home...our friends weren't budging off that dance floor! During my thoughts and hugs goodbye, I suddenly hear my own voice. I look up and see myself reciting a line of my vows... I had this moment of confusion/terror thinking, "What the heck is happening!?"

Then it hit me. Our videographers surprised us with a freaking same day edit highlight video!

It was the absolute perfect way to end our wedding and it's the perfect "preview" of our wedding day! I do have a longer highlight video that shows more of our day but I'm going to save that one for later :) Our videographers, Brian and Ryan, from Blend Media Solutions were so amazing. If you are a Southern California Bride I can not recommend them enough. They were such a pleasure to work with AND they gave us such an amazing surprise at the end of our night!

Video by the amazing Blend Media Solutions
Jeff + Sharon 4.28.12 (same day edit) from Blend Media Solutions on Vimeo.

Hope you enjoyed the teaser! Ready for more?? Next up I will start at the very beginning, our rehearsal!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We Start Today: The Castle Wedding

Well hive I am happy to say I am officially ready to start wedding recaps. I am so excited to share with you all how our wedding vision became a reality. I was very proud of all the details and work we put into making our day so special. The feelings of that day flood back to me as I write these recaps and it fills me with so much joy.

Mr. Castle and I got married on our 5 year anniversary. It is so awesome and amazing to see how far we've come. It all started with a love story; a musical in which we played a young couple embarking on an exciting a new journey in their lives. It's funny how things come full circle.

We went from this....
Personal Photo
...to this.
Photos by Palos Studio
From this, to this.
(Right photo by Palos Studio)

I mentioned in my wedding day post how the lyrics from a song in that show took on a whole new meaning for me. Apparently Mr. Castle felt the same way because he used a line from that song in his wedding vows! Great minds think a like I guess. :)

"What a journey, what a ride.
What a trip to take together.
We can make life anything we say.
We start today."
Photo by Palos Studio

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the Castle recaps!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kids: Cuteness and Carnage

For the most part our wedding went pretty smoothly. There were only two things that were weighing on my mind days and even weeks after the wedding. One of those things I'll tell you about when the time comes in recaps. The other I'll be talking about today. I decided I wanted to get this off my chest before I start my official recaps. I swear this is the last post before I start them!

As you can probably tell from my title, I would like to take a moment and talk about kids. There was never a question of whether we would invite kids to our wedding. I come from a large family, there are a lot of kids and they were all coming. I do not regret this decision at all. I was happy to have a kid friendly wedding. I made kid bags, which were very highly received, and I came away with amazing photos like these.
Photography by Palos Studio
My ring bearers were angels. They sat in the bridal room for two hours before the wedding and never made a peep! They were amazing. They walked down the aisle like pros and genuinely were so happy to be included. I couldn't get over how well behaved they were.

But with the good comes the bad.

I'm writing this post as my last vent about this situation. I knew that by inviting children to our wedding there was a chance of something happening, a photo bomb, a scream during our ceremony, or running around during our first dance. I was prepared, and some of those things did happen. I have had many friends ask me, "Who were the kids running around during the ceremony and reception?" Luckily I was blissfully unaware at the time, but I know my family well enough to know exactly which kids my friends were referring to.

Which brings me to the point of my tale.

Remember those flower Poms I slaved over? The ones that I made myself that took me weeks to complete? Here's how beautiful they looked before anyone arrived.
Just the way I had envisioned it...
A close up... look how pretty.

Well, before the ceremony started it seems one of my younger cousins thought this was something he could take and play with. He started a trend and four other cousins did the same thing. For some reason it never crossed their parents' minds that perhaps the Bride intended for those to stay on the chairs for her walk down the aisle... I guess to them it seemed perfectly fine. And I know their parents knew this was happening because there are pictures :(  I did notice it as I made my way down the aisle and my thought was, "Really?" And then I moved on.

I didn't think about them again until after the wedding when we were all gathering for a group photo. I saw the kids had taken ALL the flower Poms off the chairs and had now started to rip them apart. Now I know the Poms had already (sort of) served their purpose, but I was very proud of my poms and had been planning on passing them along to another bride. Now I was watching half of them get ripped apart.

Bridesmaid C saw the horror on my face and ran over to the parent and told her that was not OK and the kids had to put them back. I was glad that C had my back and tried to make it better but the damage was already done. The older of our two ring bearers knew I was upset and found a pom that hadn't been destroyed. He thoughtfully presented it to me hoping it would make me feel better. And it did. Like I said, he's and amazing kid. MIL Castle was able to save the other three out of ten Poms that were not destroyed. She was pretty upset for me because she knew how much work I had put into making them.

It did not ruin our day in the least. I let it go immediately and had an amazing day, but it was on my mind weeks after the wedding. Even when we got back from our honeymoon I found myself getting really angry about it. I'm usually pretty laid back about things and let them go, but this was really sticking with me. I guess the bottom line is, I was mad that no adult in their family, namely their parents, told the kids what they were doing was not OK. I mean, who goes to a wedding and assumes they can take down any of the decorations?!? I thought maybe I was over reacting until I spoke to my Dad about it. He was pretty angry and said something along the lines of, "And they wonder why people don't invite their kids to events..."

I love my family. They are far from perfect, but I still love them. At this point I'm pretty much over it, I would never bring it up to them because at the end of the day it's not worth it. I'm just going to advise any of my cousins or siblings getting married in the future to maybe think about which kids they want to include on their big day. :)

My awesome friends J and lady Di  decided to take pictures with the destroyed pom balls at the end of the night. These girls actually helped me make two of them so they knew how much work they took! I find these pictures hilarious and they definitely made me feel a little better.
Guest Photo/The Carnage
Guest Photo/They are hiding the worst side of the destruction. 

Any one else have a similar situation happen at their wedding? I'd love to commiserate! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My DIY Coffee Filter Bouquet

Today I'm bringing you a DIY tutorial from my amazing Matron of Honor! I thought it would be best to share this before I got into recaps. You see, at my bridal shower MOH N was hoping to make me a traditional ribbon bouquet to use for my rehearsal, but only one gift was wrapped with ribbon. The rest were cards or gift bags. My wonderful MOH decided that just wouldn't do! She took it upon herself to make me a bouquet for my rehearsal out of coffee filters. I loved it and I asked if she would share her tutorial with the hive! So here it is from MOH N!
The finished coffee filter bouquet!
First Gather your supplies!
-Coffee Filters
-Water
-Acrylic Paint (How ever many colors you want. I used orange and blue)
-Straws
-Green electrical or masking tape
-Blow Dryer (optional but it helps)
-Ribbon
-Pearl Pins
The supplies. (Minus the wooden dowels. Didn't end up needing those)
The first step is to put some paint in a bowl and add water.  
When you add the water you want to make it the consistency of milk.
Next you start dying the filters! You can soak up to 20 filters at a time. Just make sure the paint has soaked through to all the filters.
After you have throughly soaked the filters, wring them out in an extra bowl or over the sink. If the color has turned out darker than you had wanted you can rinse it out a bit under cold water. 
Next you want to separate all the filters and lay them out to air dry.
Once I had finished dyeing all the filters I used the blow dryer to speed up the drying process.
Once they have dried you cut a spiral into each filter.
     You can cut about three at a time.
After you cut your spiral you pull out a strip of your green tape. Beginning with the center of your spiral start sticking it to the tape. You need to bunch and fold the filter while sticking it to the tape. The bunching and folding help to make the flowers look a lot fuller. 
Sticking the filter onto the tape
Soon it will look like a flower!
Next take the beginning of the tape and attach it to the straw. You make the flower by rolling the tape onto the straw. You'll see in my pictures that I did not continue the tape down the straw. This was because I wanted to leave a little bit of the pink visible, but if you wanted to hide the straw color you could continue the tape further down.
Finished flower after rolling it onto the straw
After you've made all your flowers you can start arranging them. Once you've arranged them the way you like wrap a strip of tape around the straw bunch to hold them in place. Then you'll want to cut the straws at the bottom to make them flush with each other. After you've cut the bottom of the straws, add tape all the way down to give the bouquet some strength. 
Next you can add your decorative ribbon and pearl pins. 
I added two extra pins at the top to hold the ribbon in place.
 Adding more pins along the front 
The finished bouquet from the top
The bouquet in action at the rehearsal! 
Thanks MOH N for the great tutorial and for making me such a special bouquet for the rehearsal! 

What about you hive? Did you/will you have the traditional ribbon bouquet for your rehearsal or something different?
All photos are personal

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Let Me Entertain You

By the Wednesday of our wedding week I was pretty much finished with all my wedding projects. The labels were on, the programs were folded and everything was neatly organized and ready to be brought with us to the rehearsal on Friday. Unfortunately, even with all these things ready to go I was still stressed out of my mind because Mr. Castle was still working on two very large wedding projects.

Early on we had decided we wanted a slide show during our reception with pictures of us growing up leading into pictures of us together over the years. It's pretty common in our families to do them and I rather enjoy seeing them at weddings. I figured this would be an easy task but it turned into a huge mega project that resulted in Mr. Castle pulling an all nighter the night before our rehearsal to finish it. The process involved cleaning up old photos in photoshop, finding and timing out the perfect music, and finally arranging all the photos. It really turned out amazing. I bawled my eyes out the first time I saw it. He added the audio recording of his conversation with my parents asking their permission to marry me, and he included the song he wrote me when I moved to New York. It was really special and I can see why he was working up until the last minute to make it perfect. I'll spare making you watch the whole slide show but I'll show you some of my favorite photos.
Personal Photos Ahead
Mr. Castle starting young working on his singing career while I was working on being a princess.
Proof that we both were athletic at some point in our lives. That's a first place karate trophy in my hands!
A very young Mr. and Mrs. Castle at a theater festival. This was from our pre dating days.

The other project that kept him up all night was something we came up with to keep our guests entertained during dinner. We had a buffet dinner and thought it would be nice to have something for our guests to do while they waited for their table to be called up to the buffet. We decided on bride and groom trivia in the form of another slide show. Our inspiration came from the "first look" trivia that you see before the previews at a movie theater.
Guest Photo from our Wedding
Personal Photos of some of our trivia questions and answers!

A little taste of our trivia
The final part of this project was Mr. Castle's idea. I really didn't want to do it...but I sucked it up since he had been really great about letting me get my way in most of the planning. Mr. Castle thought it would be really cool to add some short videos of us around NYC during our "first look trivia." I was dreading filming them. I thought it would take up time that could have been spent finishing up other wedding projects. Mr. Castle had planned it out pretty well, and it didn't take as long as I had feared. The filming was even, dare I say it, fun!  We grabbed a friend and used my state of the art iPhone for filming. Then we downloaded a free app on my iPhone called film maker to make them look like old silent movies. I emailed them to Mr. C, he edited the footage together and interspersed them into our slide show. They turned out great! Want to see them? OK!

A ride on a vintage subway

Strolling through Central Park
This next one is my favorite...
All videos are personal

I'm glad both these projects were such a hit. The trivia ran on a 20 minute loop so if anyone missed any of the videos the first time around they had a second chance to catch it. So many people told us they loved the trivia and slide show. Mr. Castle did such an amazing job, even if he did stress me out and work on it until the last possible moment! It was worth it!

Did you have any huge projects that you worked on until the last minute? Any one else having a slide show or incorporating trivia into their wedding?