newlywed photo booth

In case you missed it, I'm sharing a little bit about our wedding here on the blog! First, read about our planning and wedding details here and then read about the important part, the ceremony, here. You can also check out our little day-of wedding celebration here.

We threw a little newlywed celebration last month and set up our own photo booth to capture some smiles. We used dslrBooth software, my Macbook, Canon Rebel XS and lots of borrowed items to carve out a little corner at the party. Good thing too- we don't have any other photos from the evening!

Chris and I were really happy to have the chance to celebrate our marriage with a few more people after our small ceremony. We were so touched to see so many happy faces and to feel the love. It was a perfect way to round out the wedding and newlywed festivities.

our wedding, the celebration

In case you missed it, I'm sharing a little bit about our wedding here on the blog! First, read about our planning and wedding details here and then read about the important part, the ceremony, here.

We had lunch at Creo', a nearby restaurant. It didn't have any particular special meaning to us, but it was fancy enough and had a menu with options to please everyone and so seemed like a great place to host our wedding lunch. They were absolutely fantastic in making our meal special and memorable and we were thrilled with how they handled our mini event.

By the time we joined our families there, they had set up a few more decorations and flowers. My sister picked up our wedding cake for us from Crisan, a bakery in our neighborhood. We thought we ordered a small, simple chocolate cake but we ended up having a gigantic, white-frosted cake! We don't know how that happened. We always love picking up treats from Crisan and the cake was delicious, with enough for everyone to take some home. (We saved our leftover piece to eat on my birthday, which was just a few days later.)

My mom wow'ed us with incredible, hand-painted wedding cake toppers. They may be the most adorable cake toppers I've ever seen. We brought them with us on our honeymoon :) She painted them to look exactly like us, miniature C&C. The cardigan! The pearls! The tie and my fascinator!

We toasted with champagne and then had a lovely, relaxed lunch with everyone. I hear stories about how couples rarely even get to eat the meal that they have planned for months because they are so busy running around at the reception. If you value food like I do, listen up: have a reception of 11 people and I guarantee you will have a chance to eat. I probably ate a bit too much, if you really want to know.

It was a really nice, easy way to celebrate our wedding. In fact, it was even nicer than I had imagined. We had a casually-paced, laid back but fancy lunch. We all left feeling well-fed and happy. The fact that we didn't have to worry about much was great, but sometimes it actually made me feel like like a phony bride! Isn't that twisted? There were plenty of last-minute tasks and a few worries, but because I wasn't pulling my hair out and cramming in DIY projects, I felt like I was missing out! I can see now, though, that I didn't miss a thing.

I think a few people were surprised when they heard about our wedding and especially about our relaxed fancy lunch afterwards. They might have expected that we would rent out a Vermont B&B or marry on a mountaintop with luxurious white tents set up for everyone to sleep in. Instead, we chose a small wedding in our city with a lunch at a nice restaurant. Reason 1, it was late November. Outdoor weddings and mountaintops were not really in the picture and our preference was to be married now rather than wait to be married until those options became available to us. Reason 2, we wanted it to be easy and comfortable for us and for our families. Once we decided we would have our wedding locally, we knew we wanted to wed right here in Albany. It was a great day and we are so thrilled to be husband and wife, although those titles will take some getting used to.

Right after lunch, we packed our bags and drove up to Burlington for our honeymoon :) Thanks for indulging these wedding posts. If you like, you can read about the planning here and the ceremony here. That concludes the wedding posts, but I have much to say on many more topics so please do ask if there is something we should chat about more. (Ex: wearing nontraditional dresses and not feeling like a princess in them but feeling really lovely and pretty, why small weddings are awesome, how to suppress DIY urges in the name of sanity, making sure to have a beer in your hand when you tell people about your short engagement so they stop wondering if they spot a baby bump, why you should wear that crazy hairpiece on your wedding day, how to defend your long-term committed relationship from those who think it must be broken because you aren't married yet, etc. Like I said, I have lots on my mind.)

Photos, again, by Heidi Benjamin.

our wedding, the important part

In case you missed it, I'm sharing a little bit about our wedding here on the blog! First, read about our planning and wedding details here.

Onto the important part. When Chris and I decided to get married, we really prioritized the actual wedding ceremony. Because that's when the good stuff happens, right? The promises, the commitment, the husband and wife (or husband and husband, wife and wife) part, the rings... it's all there. We worked with our amazing officiant Alina to design a sincere, meaningful ceremony.

Chris & I walked up the aisle together as long-time partners and companions and supporters. My sister read us a piece by the Dalai Lama and we had another reading from a letter by Vincent Van Gogh. We chose not to write our own vows, but instead chose vows and readings that really resonated with us but that had, in one way or another, stood the tests of time even though they weren't ultra-traditional. We asked our families to make their own vows to us in support of our marriage. We were pronounced husband and wife. Husband and wife! Eek! We gave out lots of hugs and there were tears, of course, and giggling and laughing.

We were married at the Albany Quaker House. One of us- we can't remember who- suggested it because all summer long we had been picking up our CSA vegetable shares there. We brought in a few things the night before to decorate the meeting room- vases and jars with beautiful flowers, jars with tea lights, a banner & a wonderful wedding wreath my mom made for us.

Afterwards, we took a few photos with our fantastic photographer Heidi. We wanted to have something to look at to remember how we looked, how we smiled and how we were on our wedding day. We wanted to have keepsakes that we can look back on in twenty, thirty, forty years and say, "Look at those crazy kids." We were glad not to look at most photos until we were back from our honeymoon, though, so we could really lock in what had just happened without being distracted by what it looked like. We wanted most to remember what it felt like. (For those wondering, it felt magical, lovey dovey, normal, crazy, exciting, huge, comfortable, happy and, when we were taking photos outside, very very cold.)

It was a very special day. But something I loved about our wedding day was how normal it seemed, even though we knew it was in fact, a crazy and bold thing we had signed up for. But on our wedding day, we did so many normal things. I did yoga. We ironed and steamed our outfits while still in our pajamas. I tried doing yoga in my wedding dress but found that it was, in fact, a bit restrictive.We had family over for breakfast. We brushed our teeth. We drove ourselves to the ceremony and tuned the radio. We ate lunch at a restaurant. We drove home to change and collect our things for the honeymoon. We took a road trip. We listened to podcasts. We did all of these normal things on a very out-of-the-normal day.

We made a promise to each other to be legally bound through marriage, to stick together no matter what, to work it out, to join that "vital social institution" so eloquently defined and defended for all loving couples in Goodridge v Massachussetts. We gave it an incredible amount of thought and consideration before deciding to marry. We waited until it felt absolutely right for us. And then we went for it!

I have just another small batch of photos to share, from our lunch celebration. Thanks for indulging me these wedding posts :) You can read about our short engagement and some of our wedding details here and see our wedding announcement here. (Update: Read about our lunch celebration here and our newlywed party photobooth.)

Photos by Heidi Benjamin.

our wedding, planning & details

Happy New Year! In case you missed it, I'm sharing a little bit about our wedding here on the blog! 

On November 24, 2012 Chris & I were married in a simple, sweet ceremony with our close family in attendance. It was very us and very lovely.

We had a seven-year courtship and a three-month engagement. We've known for awhile that we wanted a smaller wedding and a shorter engagement, so when Chris popped the question we decided it would be nice to marry by year-end. So we did! We set the date for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, because what nicer holiday to couple up with than one that is all about gratitude and family and good food?

There are a thousand different, beautiful ways to get married. I was just reading about a wonderful church wedding with 200 guests that came after a four-year engagement! So while we chose one path because it felt the most true for us, we understand that it is just one of many paths a couple could take.

One of the blessings of a short engagement, however, is that there isn't time to obsess about the details. If it couldn't get done in a few months, then it wasn't getting done. So we were able to toss aside a lot of things that didn't matter to us and focus in on only the things we really wanted. Decisions were generally made rather quickly and without too much fuss, when possible. Sometimes it felt like a time crunch but most times it felt wonderfully freeing.

We decided that we were going to look sharp as hell on our wedding day. I ordered my sparkly dress from BHLDN and found my wedding cardigan, coat, pumps and incredible feathery fascinator during trips to the mall with my mom and sister. Those ladies were invaluable as I hunted for my wedding outfit and great reassurances when I asked if I would still look like a bride if I wore a short dress with a cardigan. Chris' mom did the minor alterations on my dress during a weekend visit up north. I wore strands of family pearls and my favorite pearl drop earrings. I studied YouTube makeup tutorials regularly and practiced my cat-eye eyeliner application with intense commitment. (If anyone ever wants to talk about wedding dresses, ordering one online, skipping the traditional gown and doing your own makeup... let me know. I've got lots to say on these topics.)

Chris bought himself an incredible suit when we were in NYC for the wine and food festival and matched it with a great vest and a new shirt, tie and red socks. He looked so handsome and dashing that I could hardly take my eyes off him. I think we looked like really awesome versions of ourselves, which is just how we hoped to look. Not like other people, not like a fairytale, but like us.

We bought our flowers from the grocery store the day before the wedding and they were breathtakingly gorgeous. Chris' mom and grandma put together a stunning bouquet and boutonniere from them while my sister made up the other vases and jars of flowers for the ceremony aisle and altar. I loved our flowers so much that we brought them with us on our honeymoon! Eucalyptus! Hydrangea! Wheat!

Our shorter engagement was supported by most everyone, though met with a few raised eyebrows from time to time. We knew it was a timeframe that worked for us and got us to our end goal: getting married. It was a really busy time to plan a wedding in, with hectic work schedules and the holidays, but it allowed us to have a bit of perspective about wedding planning and to strip the process down to the basics of what we really wanted. Given the time, I would have drowned myself in DIY details until my stress level burst through the roof. We knew we wanted to avoid that, and we did. We chose a few things to DIY (invitations, flowers, decorations), a few things to buy or pay someone else to worry about (outfits, photographer, lunch) and ignored everything else.

I'll share a few more photos of our wedding next week!

(Photos by Heidi Benjamin)

Update: Read about our ceremony here and our lunch celebration here, plus our newlywed party photobooth.