Monday, June 30, 2008

The first glance

The beginning
Getting ready

The plan was that Calvin would come up to the bridal suite at 12:45, where we would have 15 minutes or so to be alone together (and check each other out in our wedding finest.)

Truth be told, I was running a little bit late. About 2 minutes late, which isn't too bad for a bride on her wedding day.

Calvin, on the other hand, was running much further behind.

On the phone, trying to figure out what was going on.

Tip: If you're planning on having the guys wear self-tie bow-ties, it's a really good idea to have some pre-tied ones for backup, even if the groom can perfectly tie a bow-tie on a normal day at home.

Once Calvin assured me that he would be there in 5-10 minutes, I double-checked that everything was in order.

Turns out my youngest brother was in one of the bathrooms finishing getting dressed.

I told him that he looked absolutely fabulous

and then sent him on his way.

Not long after, there was a knock on the door.

Calvin was extraordinarily relieved to see me. (I'd never seen him so stressed out in my life. I thought I was supposed to be the one who was crazed, but that day, I was as cool as a cucumber.) Our time together went something like this:


Shut the door.


Begin exchanging gifts.

Calvin loved the scrapbook I made.


The only time I cried the whole day was reading the letter Calvin wrote me.

Time to go!


Wait for the valet.

One last kiss.

To the church! (in our '02 VW Passat Wagon.)

All pictures copyright of the amazing Ken Blaze.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting ready

After the hair and makeup, we were slightly behind schedule upon return to the hotel. My fabulous youngest brother had gotten myself and the other ladies sandwiches, and my mom and a dear friend (from Germany!) were waiting for us in the bridal suite. My original thought had been to eat lunch together, but people grabbed their lunch to go, and my mom went to make sure that my she and my dad would also have something to eat.

So I got a chance to eat, and Ken took some pictures.

Yes, that is me, eating a sandwich.

Tip: Hanging your dress in the window is often the only place in the room that will enable you to keep the train from dragging. It's why everyone has the dress in the window shot.

The goods: my purse, the shoes, jewelry and the perfume Calvin gave me at Christmas.

And then it was time to get dressed:

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to get the dress off the hanger.

Tip: Spanx rock. Hard. And if you are planning on having this part of the day documented on film, I recommend being totally comfortable walking around in your undergarments.

Ken had told me that sometimes it takes brides all of 2 minutes to get dress, and other times it takes an hour.

Me? I was of the 2 minute variety.


Pull up...


Tape... (yes, I did use fashion tape to make sure my dress wouldn't fall down)

And I'm dressed

My mom helped with my great-great-aunt's necklace. (Note the hair beginning to fall out. This is MY fault, in that I couldn't wait until after the wedding to chop my hair, and was insistent that I get a french twist.)

Putting in the matching earrings that we got converted to work for pierced ears.

Putting on the shoes. My mom helped me get in and out of my shoes for every dress fitting.

All set and ready to go, with a little bit of time to chat.

Saying good-bye to my mom

Checking myself out one last time before meeting Calvin...

All pictures are copyright of Ken Blaze.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The beginning...

The night before the wedding, I stayed in the bridal suite (which the fabulous hotel coordinator, Marisa Gindi, upgraded me to.) Not wanting to spend the night totally by myself, I asked my youngest brother if he wanted to crash on the pullout sofa.

Tip: if you are looking for a place to get ready in downtown Cleveland, I highly recommend the bridal suites at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. The suite was easily bigger than our 750 sq. ft. apartment, and the bathroom? Let's just say that you could very easily have a dance party for 20 in it. It was amazing.

The day began at the very pleasant hour of around 7:30am. Hair and makeup wasn't scheduled until 10:45, so I took my time getting ready and enjoyed a bit of room service breakfast.

Tip: If you are staying at a hotel the night before the wedding, order room service for breakfast.

My brother headed out around 9 or so to meet the guys for breakfast and I just relished in the fact that I was getting married. Being someone who needs her space, it was really good to have the morning to myself.

At 10:15, I called my bridesmaids, and asked if they could join my in the bridal suite, so that we would be ready to go at 10:30 for our appointments.
Tip: It's a good idea to double check verbally that everyone knows when things are happening.

The appointments were at Studio Palmieri, conveniently located just a few blocks from the hotel. When we arrived at 10:40, our amazing photographer, Ken Blaze, was waiting for us.

Entering the salon. I chose to wear one of my favorite shirts, which I've borrowed from my mom (and which she wore to her rehearsal dinner nearly 27 years ago.) Along with my favorite jeans. And these:

My favorite Birkentocks were a necessity.

Waiting for our appointments

The ladies were called for their appointments first

Best friend (and maid of honor!)

Brother's fiancee

Calvin's sister

And then it was my turn. The look I was going for was a french twist...

Which meant that my fine hair was teased. Really teased.

So I was reading Marie Claire magazine, and happened upon these pictures of Tina Fey- which turned out to be pretty much exactly what I wanted to do with my hair. I pointed out the picture to Dena, and she was able to do exactly what I wanted.


And then it was time for makeup- not only does Dena do amazing hair, but she does absolutely fabulous makeup.

Tip: If you have a favorite lip gloss or lipstick, use it on your wedding day

One last coat of hairspray...

A final check of the hair...

Taking care of the bill...

And we were good to go.

All photographs are copyrighted by Ken Blaze

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wedding recap...

is about to commence. Yes, dear readers, the technological issues have been resolved, and it is now time for full recap of the day.*

But you need to answer a question. What do you want to hear about first?

Getting ready:

Checking each other out for the first time:

The ceremony:

The details:

Reception silliness:


All the secret surprises I'd been unable to blog about before the wedding:

(I'll be sure to cover everything, but I want to know what you are most eager to hear about.)

*Please note- all pictures are copyrighted by the amazing Ken Blaze.