April 30, 2011: Our Wedding Day

The wedding was over 2 months ago (crazy!), but I wanted to give a final recap and tell the story of how the day evolved into our wedding day…

From the beginning we wanted our wedding to be simple, elegant and fun. We wanted it to feel like an elegant party we would have thrown in our backyard, had it been big enough to accommodate everyone. With such a great church and venue within blocks of our house, it almost was like hosting a party in our backyard!

We also knew we wanted to add lots of personal touches and I really wanted to make a lot of things myself. We were blessed to have the help of family and friends to help with all our DIY projects. Our DIY projects included, the invitations, programs, menus, favors, luminarias, ribbon wands, guestbook and the welcome bags. All our projects turned out just the way I hoped, we really were so lucky that our family pitched in to help.

I woke up early Saturday morning, just couldn’t sleep. After a bagel and a shower, it was time to get pretty. I had both a hair stylist and makeup artist come to the hotel to make everyone beautiful. Dave was having his own adventure that morning, a minor parking incident, I think he was a little nervous. I had some nerves too, it was a big day after all, but somehow I knew it would all fall into place. I enjoyed spending the morning with my bridal party as we all got ready.  Dave made it safely to his parent’s house to get ready with his guys. Eventually the morning came and went. The limo got us both to the church and the show was ready to begin!

We were married at the Catholic Church in our neighborhood (2 blocks from our house). The church has a simple beauty inside and represented “us” since in some way its part of our everyday lives (we walk our dog by the church and hear the bells ring every day).

The priest that married us was the same priest that married Dave’s parents some 30+ years ago. It worked out perfectly that Easter was the week before because the altar of the church was still decorated with various pots of lovely spring flowers. We had hydrangeas in colors of blue, purple and white hang from the pews, which were later brought to the reception.

Aisle decorations

The music selection was really important to us as we wanted something beautiful, but not too traditional. Our moms were seated to Ave Maria and my bridesmaid walked down to Simple Gifts. My dad and I walked down the aisle to an orchestra piece from the movie Love Actually, the Glasgow theme. It was lovely to hear the beginning of the song play, but as I made my way down the aisle, the music faded, I was too focused on Dave.

Here comes the bride!

I do wish we had the ceremony on video, it would be nice to watch it again in a few years. Saying our vows to each other was a wonderful memory, a happy moment in my life, declaring our love and commitment to each other in front of our family and friends. Without a video, I do think of that moment fondly, I can vividly picture the moment in my mind. Its hard to picture anyone around us because I just remember our eyes locked on each other, it felt like we were alone saying our vows to each other. And we kissed right after, I think our priest could sense we wanted to seal our vows with a kiss. The homily had a theme of love, working hard to make our marriage work and a nod to us as the ‘other’ royal wedding. And we stayed true to royal wedding form and kissed again at the end, pulling off the double kiss! The song at the end was special to Dave and I, the E.T. flying theme from the movie, something only Dave and I understand, but it was fun to hear our lovely song played as we left the church as husband and wife!

We're Married!

After the ceremony there were a lot of pictures to take. We took pictures with family outside of the church (it was such a gorgeous day!) and then went to a couple different spots with our wedding party to take pictures. There was a time gap between events, but somehow the time seemed to fly by.

Another one of my favorite moments was arriving at the Art Museum and seeing how all the pieces came together for the reception. It really was perfect! From the luminarias to the cake, everything all set out together looked amazing! And just looking around and knowing that my family helped with all the personal touches, really made me feel so thankful. Everything really did come from the heart! I’m excited to see how our ‘guestbook turns out. Instead of a traditional guestbook, my mom put together some fabric squares in our wedding colors, which she will sew together to make a quilt. Guests signed their names or left us well wishes on the squares. It will be a fun thing to display in our house and remind us of our day!

Place Cards


The cocktail hour was outside on the patio of the Art Museum. The weather couldn’t have been better, we really wanted to be outside and were so glad it worked out. The appetizers, the little that I had, were amazing. Dave and I both wish the cocktail hour could have lasted another hour. It was great to mingle, say hi to everyone and just enjoy the evening.

Cocktail Hour on the patio

Once everyone was inside, we did introductions and had a ceremonial opening of the champagne. As part of a new tradition in my family, at special events we serve champagne in a jeroboam. Once the champagne was popped, all eyes were on us for our first dance. There were speeches and dances with our parents. We enjoyed some of the food and went around to say hi to our guests. We were successful in our effort to say HI to all our guests. We cut the cake (the only bite we had) and then the dancing began.

The Art Museum all lit up!

Love our luminarias!

We had a blast dancing, our DJ played all our requests. It was great to see everyone hit the dance floor (although not to O.M.G. – a dance floor killer). Another one of my favorite moments of the day was the last couple dance songs. Everyone danced around us for Journey, Don’t Stop Believin’, but everyone wanted one more song. So the last song of the night was Daft Punk, One More Time. It was a great ending!

What an amazing day!

Now, this is the part of the story where I should say that we rode off into the sunset, but the night does not end just yet. Somehow we missed the hotel shuttle at the end of the night. Luckily, we scored a ride, although it involved 6 people squeezing into a mid-size sedan. I never thought I would leave my wedding sitting on Dave’s lap in the back of a car, but life is full of surprises. In the end, it was the best ride ever, we were had the radio blasting and were car dancing, it was great! We made it back to the hotel and hit up my Dad’s room to continue the fun! Somehow we had a ton of people stuffed into that room, but of course, were a little too loud for the neighbors. We ended up at the bar with a few other brides and their guests. Again, this might be a good time to ride off into the sunset, but after last call, we ended up in my friends hotel room and were dancing ’till the world ends’, literally.

We did eventually ride off into the sunset. After a “polish brunch” the next day and saying goodbye to family, we made our way to Cape May to relax for a few days, it was lovely!

To celebrate such an occasion with all our family and friends was an amazing experience. We were so glad to be able to share our day with those that traveled near and far.The day was exactly how we had imagined and we loved every minute of it. And finally, we are so thankful for all the help and support from our family, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off such an amazing day without them.

To April 30th!

Love, J&D


I do exist!

I’m alive blog world. Wow, where has the time gone, I’ve been away too long. What can I say, I’ve been busy, no really, I have been! There’s been lots of family time, friends to visit, wedding stuff to do, oh and a marathon to train for. Oh and tons of vegetables to eat (my CSA is awesome). The end is in sight, at least for the marathon (and the tons of veggies), less than 2 weeks away. Note to new marathoners, don’t train back to back, it sucks you of all your time! Running a marathon so close to Thanksgiving is one way NOT to feel guilty about all the calories I’m going to have, I’m a sucker for all the sides, they get me every Thanksgiving.
And the wedding! It’s coming along. Boy, there sure are a lot of decisions to make and lots of details. But I am enjoying the all the build-up, we are less than 6 months away.
Ok, just wanted to give a quick update. I’ll be back to catch you up on my happenings with a bunch of pics.

Friends in low places

I must say, I’m a lucky girl with great friends! Last night, I enjoyed dinner and a movie at the draft house with my friend Kate and then tonight, hanging out with my old roomies for dinner and random fun.


So glad it’s Wednesday! This week is moving a little too slow, thank goodness there are only 2 working days left!

Catching Up

Well, now that my marathon training is done and over with, I feel like I can catch up on stuff that has been put off for a while. I’ve caught up on most of my photo uploading to my Flickr, but I still have quite a ‘to do’ list to work on.

I came across this lovely thought. Getting older I have felt like this more, although, sad but true, with friends that live in the same metro area as me (there are brake lights every where you go in the area, it stinks!). I do have great friends and think of you guys often even if I don’t get to see you all the time! Catching up is a top priority!

P.S. Nope, didn’t wake up early to run, but I’m feeling like tomorrow could be the day!

Weekend @ Home

I was able to enjoy a weekend at home, with no real plans, no place to go, it was amazing! I got some sun at the pool and my butt kicked in a workout bootcamp. The best part of the weekend was being able to spend time with old and new friends. And lucky for me, next weekend I get to hang out with some more old friends.

I bought a tomato plant and a basil plant and planted them in pots in the backyard today. All I need is a dairy cow grazing in the backyard (and a cheese maker) and then I can enjoy some tomato, mozzarella, and basil salads. Hopefully the plants will grow and the squirrels won’t eat all my tomatoes!

This week will be tough at work because I’m just counting down the days till I’m on my way to CA. I’m so excited to see my mom and Jim, go camping with Dave’s family, and most of all see Daisy. She is the best dog in the world!

Delayed TN Weekend Update

Ok, so I was back from TN/DE on Monday, but I haven’t had a chance to give an update until now. It was a great weekend! First, it was great to celebrate with Amy and Greer. They are a great couple and I hope they enjoy a lifetime of happiness together. Second, it was great to hang out with some fellow hokies. Jess. Sara. Mark and Natalie. Nate and Bri. I hope we all make it down for a football game this year and hang out again soon.

So what did we do while in TN? We got in Friday morning and met Jess at the airport. We headed downtown to check out the sites. We ate at Jack’s BBQ for lunch. We walked around downtown, checking out some western wear stores, gift shops, and the area by the river/stadium. We went to Robert’s on Broadway and had TN’s finest beer (Miller High Life, Pabst, and Busch were the happy hour specials) while enjoying some music. We attempted to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame, but it was a bit expensive for 3 people that aren’t that interested in country music. So we went to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame instead. Then I read online about this taping they were doing close by for a PBS show, ‘Legends and Lyrics’, so we went to check it out. There were about 5 different artists that would be performing. We were going to be part of the audience you would see on the show. It was a pretty cool experience, they recorded us clapping (light, medium, and this is the best artist ever) and laughing, in case they needed to edit and fill in some of the clapping during the actual taping. We were only able to see two artists, but they were both amazing! I can’t recall the woman that sang, but the other artist was Rob Blackledge. He was great! It might not air till November, so hopefully I’ll even remember to check it out then. We left that, got ready and went to the rehearsal dinner at Amy and Greer’s house. Their house is awesome, huge backyard, so we enjoyed some more BBQ outside.

The wedding on Saturday was great. It rained in the morning, but cleared and wasn’t as humid by the afternoon. At the reception, there was good food and lots of wine. We had a shuttle back to the hotel, so everyone could enjoy themselves. They played the chicken dance, the hokey pokey, and the cha cha slide, I was in wedding reception heaven! It was around 8 when things winded down and we went back to the hotel. Across the street from the hotel was a restaurant and everyone was meeting there to continue the fun. We were told by the restaurant manager that as a group we all enjoyed a few too many drinks and they cut everyone off and asked us to leave. I guess someone puked in the bathroom, but we still maintain, it wasn’t anyone in our party. Sara, Jess, Dave and I had a fun walk about a quarter mile away to the Chili’s to try and continue the fun there. Jess fell down the hill and got grass stains on her jeans, it was classic. When we got to Chili’s, I was being funny and ordered our drinks and food in Spanish (we were having margaritas and a quesadilla, it only made sense!). The other restaurant had called before we got there to warn them about our group and the manager came by and said he wouldn’t be able to serve us drinks. Ahh, if only it wasn’t broken Spanish I had used to order (making me probably sound more drunk than I really was), we might not have been cut off. So we walked back to the hotel (and yes, Jess fell going up the hill this time) and called it a night.

Sunday we hung out with Sara and checked out her new digs. She has a dog named Charlotte, who can jump very high. Charlotte also loves to play frisbee and can run very fast! Then it was off to the airport to head home. Our flight was delayed and we hopped on another flight to try and get home earlier than we would have on the delayed flight. In the end, it was about the same, and it was late. I was pretty grumpy when I found the shampoo leaked in my bag and knew it was time to just hit the hay. I took the train in the morning back to DC with many far away commuters.

It’s been a pretty normal week, just counting down till the weekend. This is my first weekend in a while with NOTHING planned and I’m very excited about it!

Tennessee Bound!

ok, so it’s been awhile since i’ve posted. sorry! i’ve been swamped at work and feeling rather frustrated at work as well. dave and i came up with a great analogy, i’m the star player stuck on the worst team in the league. hopefully it will all work out and eventually i can get traded, i just have to make it through the season. ahh corporate america, got to love it!

so i didn’t have pink eye. just a case of puffy eyes due to allergies. in the past, i never would go to the doctor. for some reason this year i’ve freaked out over possible health issues, making an appointment at the first sign of a problem and then by the time i get to the doctors everything back to normal. i think i need to not freak out or maybe its all in my mind, knowing i’m going to the doctor makes me better.

the past few weekends have been busy. we went to wedding #1 of the year. dave’s co-worker was getting married on her families horse farm in south jersey. it was awesome! it rained during the day, so everything was in this huge tent (part of the farm) and they laid sod down and brought in trees and lights. it was like we were in an awesome city park at night. the food was amazing, as well as the tasty margaritas they were serving during the cocktail hour.  the setting of a farm was also really cool. we had a great time. we also went to a grad party last weekend and a get together in philly. it was very hot and humid this past weekend!

this weekend we are heading down to nashville, tn for wedding #2. my friend amy from college is getting married. i’m very excited, especially to hang out with the old ise engineer crew. i had many good times with them in college. easter. beer olympics. football games. flag day celebrations. it’s great that flag day falls on a saturday this year and we can have an awesome flag day celebration in fancy clothes. i’m also excited because i get to take the train tonight up to wilmington, i do enjoy the train, all aboard! i will be missing an awesome celebration over on the west coast though. my sister tammy is graduating from uw. and it is father’s day/dad’s b-day as well. i wish i could be there to celebrate, but i will be thinking of everyone on sunday!