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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When Bookworms Wed

When Alida told us back in January that she
and her boyfriend Josh were engaged,
and getting married in June . . . my mind kicked into gear:
how to take a fairly standard New Jersey style wedding
and make it special for these two young people?

Their major requests were pretty simple -- great food and a big dance floor.
Easy.  A good catering hall with an excellent kitchen and a savvy manager handles that.

But what about something different for the table centerpieces at the reception?

 Josh and Alida are both bibliophiles; they'd have their noses in books even if they weren't in graduate school.
So, my first thought was to use antique philosophy books and old books with romantic titles in the table centerpieces. 

But the thought of finding at least 3 dozen vintage books that weren't too icky to put on the tables was, well, daunting.
I looked around the house; we have zillions of books of our own, including some vintage, but not enough perfect ones.

If you can't find them, you make them.

Daughter Anne, the maid of honor and an artist, pulled 36 hardcover books at random off our shelves,
removed the original dust jackets, and substituted beautiful paper covers in fresh, clean bridal white.
Cheating here -- this is in our dining room, taken 3 days after the wedding, not at the reception.

The flowers are not only wilted, they've been abused.  We took them out to dump the water as we were leaving the reception, and just sort of shoved them back in afterward.  Not a careful procedure!
Anne wanted to write funny, pun-y titles on the book spines, but I decided that we were dealing
with siblings here, and you never know quite where that will take you.  They stayed blank.
Now I'm kind of sorry she didn't do it, but then I would have wanted to save the book covers, too.

The table numbers on the satin ribbon bookmarks?  Cheating again for the camera.
Anne made them, but we didn't get them to the catering hall in time to use them.  Bummer.
The books and flowers stood on a square of mirror, in the center of each big round table.
Tablecloths and napkins were ivory damask, nice and heavy and brand new.
I hope someone else got pictures of the tables, because I did not!

Scattered on each table, frosted white votive holders with long-burn candles (unscented) inside.
I have 83 of these votives (one broke).  What am I bid?   :-)
They do look very bride-y, and give a softer glow than clear glass.

But even I don't need 7 dozen votive holders.

Perfect centerpieces?  No.  I had asked the caterer's florist, who did the table flowers, to use a lower container, and use trailing greens, so the flowers ended up higher than I had wished.  But that's a small thing, and they were beautiful and looked as if they'd been gathered from someone's garden -- roses in creams and pinks, with pink Peruvian lilies and delicate ferns.  All good. 

Now someone come and force me to toss all the flowers in That Old House!  -- Cass

Our obligatory wedding pic of the day:
Josh and Alida, in the garden at Zeris Inn in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wedding Flowers!

Okay, there is just so much I want to share with you
about our daughter's wedding this past Saturday,
that I'm breaking it down into categories.

Today it's flowers.

Now please keep in mind that I didn't take any pictures on Saturday, and these flower pics
were taken today, Tuesday, so the flowers are looking a little -- shall we say -- peaky?

The bridesmaids wore navy blue chiffon, and carried bouquets of cream and pink flowers.  

The stems were wrapped in navy ribbon.
The flowers in action, at the church.
That's Anne on the left, then friends Alyssa and Christa, and the groom's sister Elizabeth on the right.
Alida's bridesmaids.

Daughter Anne, the Maid of Honor, unwrapped her flowers
and got them right into a rose bowl when she got home on Saturday.
 Wise child -- they held up pretty well,
and made a perfect centerpiece for our bagel and pastry buffet table on Sunday morning.

Alida carried a traditional cascade bouquet of roses, small calla lilies and stephanotis.
It's looking a little sad today . . . I did not have refrigerator room for it, and really don't know what to do with it!
 All whites and creams and greens; it was lovely.
The stephanotis for the Josh's boutonniere came from the same bunch used in Alida's bouquet.
Our florist Charlie is a true romantic!
He made spectacular arrangements for the church.
They have all 3 ended up at our house!  Two medium arrangements:
 Yes, these are medium.  By the way, that's the cake topper on the shelf above; 
it's a wooden cutout Alida got on Etsy and painted creamy white.
And this is the large one -- a massive burst of blooms that was in front of the altar.  
 I asked for something over-the-top and gorgeous, and he delivered!
I only wish I could preserve it.

After I'd ordered the wedding flowers from Charlie, I told him that we were having an After Party at the house on Saturday evening, and an all-day Open House on Sunday.  "I want two arrangements for the buffet tables.  Tall and sort of spiky and not similar to the wedding flowers.  Something different."

Here's what we got -- and remember they are 4 days old!
 The Stock is getting quite brown; I will remove it and a few other bits tomorrow.
View of the backs of the arrangements.
 Love the spiky 'dos.

 These were exactly what I wanted -- sort of modern, kind of funky and fun.

Can you believe those spiky purple flowers on top are related to garlic?

Now these two fun arrangements found themselves jazzing up each end of the dining room table at our post-wedding parties;
our Saturday buffet table was outdoors in an ice-filled chiller table to keep cool, and our Sunday buffet
was in the sunroom on the round oak table, and the round rose bowl with Anne's bouquet
fit it so beautifully that we used that.  But the dining room looked great with these, and they amused people.  

I love a good florist.

Well there are still the wedding centerpieces to show and explain, but I'll leave that for another post.
I made a vow to work very hard at doing nothing today, so I'm off to finish that particular chore.  ;-P

Join me? -- Cass

Link Party!

At A Stroll Thru Life, it's Tabletop Tuesday -- click here!

Oh my!  Can't have a post-wedding-week post without a pic of our bride, can we?
In the vintage Rolls Royce, having a bit of champagne with her brand new hubby before heading to the reception.
It's fun to be The Bride!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Party's Over; Real Life Begins Again

Yes, our daughter's wedding is now memories and pictures.

 Bedraggled centerpieces from the reception.   They were gorgeous on Saturday, by this morning -- having been "rearranged" by curious small children at the After Party -- they aren't at their best.
But oh, what lovely pink and cream roses!
You have to love life,
which in the course of 25 years can transform this:
into this:
The wedding, which occupied so many of our thoughts
and so much of our time for the past six months, is over.
Now, the marriage begins.
And that's the important part.

The ceremony was beautiful.
If you are on Facebook, you can go to our dog Dion's Facebook page (link on right of blog)
and see a short video shot by my dear friend Mardi, as Alida and her Daddy walked down the aisle.

The reception was pretty much exactly as we had hoped.
Fabulous food, great guests, loads of dancing and laughing and clinking of glasses.

And the bride danced with her father to that sweet old standard, Daddy's Little Girl.
Yeah, I cried.  But not as much as I thought!
Who wants to smear professionally applied makeup?

Oh my gosh, there are so many things I want to share, but the "kids" are here for breakfast, and in a couple of hours we'll take them to the airport to fly back to California.  They leave Los Angeles next Saturday for a 3-week honeymoon in China.  Howard and I drove to Canada for our honeymoon.  Times change!

So I'm just going to add a picture of Josh and his two dads, sharing cigars in the garden at the Inn.
Howard looks pretty pleased with himself, doesn't he?
And he sure does clean up nice.
Josh's Dad is a doctor with the Navy -- the fellas had medical permission to smoke.  :-)
The two dads, who cannot claim "I didn't inhale."
Eventually most of the gentlemen from the wedding drifted outside to join the Bad Boys Club
in the garden for a smoke, provided by the groom and the best man.

After the reception, about 65 guests drifted to That Old House for an After Party.
These pictures are from After that Party!
 I didn't get any pictures during the wedding, or during the After Party, or the Brunch the next day.
I did take this shot, but I took it this morning, before the rental tent and equipment is taken down and hauled away.
 That Old House loves a good party, and she asked to keep the tent, but we had to say, No.
 Party Aftermath.  Boxes to recycle.  Lawn games my sister brought for the little kids to play with.
 Yesterday, it was Brunch at home, with fresh New Jersey bagels, some egg casseroles, muffins,pastries, fruit, coffee, and juices, and enhancements for those juices for those who wanted a bit of the hair of the dog that had bitten them the night before.

When all quieted down in the afternoon, with the family -- both families! -- and bridesmaids
and some friends here, Alida and Josh opened some wedding gifts in the Parlor.

That Old House loves to gather people under her roof, in numbers, or one at a time.

Saturday morning, in the quiet Parlor . . . 

And that's it for now.  Time for me to grab some breakfast.
I know that the next couple of days will seem awfully quiet.

My thanks to all of you for your good wishes for Josh and Alida!
And also for your prayers for good weather -- it worked!  The day was gorgeous. -- Cass

Links today:

Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House... click here!
Susan's Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch ... click here!
Cielo's Show Off Your Cottage Monday at The House In The Roses ... click here!

 P.S.  Come eat leftovers!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

They're Wed

On Saturday, after 4 days of wet and dismal weather, the sun broke through in time to give us a wonderful gift -- a beautiful warm and sunny day for Alida and Josh's wedding.  Our daughter did not stop smiling the whole day.

A walk down the aisle with Daddy.
 A champagne toast and a kiss before climbing into the Rolls with her new husband.
Our youngest guest was just a few weeks old, but these big bruisers are twins Calvin and Luke, the bride's first-cousins-once-removed, who brought their parents all the way from Michigan for the occasion.  Dad Garrett was Master of Ceremonies, and he did a wonderful job!
Don't you love the tiny tuxedos?
At the reception, Alida and Josh are both still smiling!
What is more intriguing to little girls than a bride, a wedding cake, and an ice sculpture?
 And to bigger girls, the occasion was a chance to go all Royal Wedding with hats.
Don't these cousins look MAH-velous?
 Josh's Mom Billie and I break apart the Norwegian wedding cake, so the
new Mr & Mrs can serve it to their guests.
 And our husbands sneak off with the guys for cigars in the courtyard.
Don't Howard and Greg look sharp?  Greg is a Navy doctor.
There are loads more pictures to share!
Including some of That Old House, which hosted about 60 people after the reception,
both inside and out, under a big white tent.  I thank Mother Nature for gifting us a dry day!

And while the bride's eyes are a little bright in this picture taken by her Aunt Phyllis,
I think it's kind of cute of the new Mr & Mrs at their Sweetheart Table.
I put the Kransekake on a special cake plate; Howard bought it
for his Mom with paper route money, many years ago.

We had a blast yesterday, and on into today with brunch this morning
at That Old House for our travelers, and we're expecting our new family members
to join us soon for leftovers; there are plenty!  Yay!  No cooking for me for a couple of days.  -- Cass

P. S.  I'll do more complete posts -- today it's a fast one!
Thanks to Howard's sister Phyllis for most of these shots; Phyllis, you were the first to
send these . . . which is great, because I had forgotten my camera!!!