To My Husband

One year ago today...

I put on a white dress, walked down the aisle, and we said "I Do."

What a day it was... This year has been so wonderful, and I am blessed to be able to call you my husband.

Here's to us on our very first wedding anniversary, and a toast to many more happy years together. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us.

Thank you for everything you are, and everything you do for me and for us.

I love you, I love you, I love you!

Laudacious Wedding Recaps- Dancin' the Night Away

My family isn't very shy when it comes to dancing, but we wanted to pack the dance floor at our reception. We carefully chose our "must play" list for the D.J. I think we did a retty good job of finding music to please everyone and makke guests of all ages get on up on the dance flo'. See for yourselves... Aunt and nephew shake it to some Love Shack.
Godmother and Great Aunt dance to some Sinatra...Flower girl and her younger sister take a twirl or two to the Spice Girls. (In all honesty I have no idea what song they were dancing to, but I like to imagine a little Wannabe, no?)

Things got a little crazy when my MOH and some guests decided to turn the reception into Animal House and bust out the 'gator. I had no idea this even happened- this is why you hire photographers for weddings. Worth every penny for these money shots, am I right?

A little worm action...

Took a minute to post with my besties from high school. You're all fabulous!

Oh, and of course we had a little Livin' on a Prayer. Can't you tell?
We carefully chose the last song of the night based on votes cast on our wedding website. Don't Stop Believing by Journey was the winner. J was all about it.

Our guests didn't want to go home though and we all cheered for "one more song! one more song!" and D.J. Dale obliged. Here we are gettin' low for some Blister in the Sun. Why not?

And that, my friends, is all she wrote. I will be finishing up the wedding recaps next week with a grand finale and some miscellaneous details from the wedding day- reception decor, DIY projects, etc. If you're lucky, I'll include some shots from our honeymoon to Negril too. It's almost our first anniversary, and I made a promise to myself that the wedding recaps would be done by this time! Until then...

Related Posts:
Glam - Part 2
Dress Me Up!
Pre-ceremony pics
Moments before the ceremony
Saying "I Do"
Reception- Part 1
Reception-Part 2
The Toss

Laudacious Wedding Recaps- The Toss

We debated oer having a bouquet/garter toss at our wedding. Many of our friends are married and we only had a handful of single guys and gals there for the big day, but as a two time bouquet catcher myself (thank you very much) who am I to deny another their moment?

We began with a little theme music a la Sex and the City theme which faded into "Maneater" by Nelly Furtado. You know the one:

Everybody look at me, me
I walk in the door you start screaming
Come on everybody what you here for?
Move your body around like a nympho
Everybody get your necks to crack around
All you crazy people come on jump around
I want to see you all on your knees, knees
You either want to be with me, or be me!

Maneater, make you work hard

Make you spend hard
Make you want all, of her love...

I turned around to scan the crowd and see if my girls were ready and to call out any chickens hiding in their seats.

Everyone present? Check. Bridesmaids rowdy? Check. Being the smart a-- that I am, I figured my friends would expect a fakeout on the first countdown, so I decided to do some reverse psychology and toss that thing into the air on the first try.

One-two-three! And away it goes...

The rowdiest bridesmaid of them all caught it. It was the first bouquet she ever caught, and I was happy that it was mine!

Next up. Time for my groom to remove the garter. A little 007 theme music comes on (he is a HUGE James Bond fan), and he worked his way under all that tulle to reveal the surprise I had for him... Minds out of the gutter people- this was a classy affair! I'm talking about the garter. One thing J and I will never agree on is our our taste in football. He was born and raised in Cleveland and is a die hard Browns fan, while I hail from the city of the 6 time Superbowl champs. Go Stillers! I decided to marry the longstanding rivals this day and had a little Browns/Steelers toss garter made. Here it is along with my keepsake garter.

Time for the guys to line up. Not quite as many but just enough. J is an old country soul at heart, so he chose "I've Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" for the garter toss. Might seem like an odd choice, but the lyrics are actually rather appropriate:

I've got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
As I go riding merrily along
And they sing, oh, ain't you glad you're single?
And that song ain't so very far from wrong

J gave it a quick toss over his shoulder to his cousin, Matt. Rowdy bridesmaid, Matt, J and I posed for a quick picture and that was it! We opted not to do the whole every-inch-up-the-leg-is-another-year-of-good-luck bit because I've seen that go horribly wrong at other weddings. Enough said.

Up next- Dancin' the night away.

Related Posts:
Glam - Part 2
Dress Me Up!
Pre-ceremony pics
Moments before the ceremony
Saying "I Do"
Reception- Part 1
Reception-Part 2

Everybody look at me cause I'm sailin' on a boat!

A few weeks ago I told you all that I got the surprise of a lifetime when I learned that I had won the Bud Light Port Paradise Cruise Sweepstakes featuring a private concert with Dave Matthew Band. J and I packed our bags up and sailed away to the Bahamas last weekend to experience the trip of a lifetime.

After a free non-stop flight to Orlando, we hopped on a charter bus and were greeted with full coolers of ice cold Bud Light. I looked at J and he gave me a look that said "It's on!" There was such a fun vibe already and we hadn't even boarded yet. "Get your towels ready, it's about to go down!"

After going through security we hopped aboard the Monarch of the Seas where tables and tables of free Bud Light were up for grabs. I knew we were in for a wild weekend. "Take a
picture, trick! I'm on a boat, b!tch!"

We found our stateroom, explored the ship and headed up to the pool. Off the hook, I tell you. Everywhere we went, you'd hear "I'm on a boat!" which quickly became the Port Paradise cruise anthem. The crowd went wild when the DJ played it as we set sail for Nassau. (Click play on the video below to set the mood).

J and I downed some free beer and headed to the casino to wait for the lights to turn on once we were far enough off of the coast. Fast forward about an hour and the most God-awful-Dramamine-wasn't-working-whatsoever seasickness set in. Oh, was it horrid. Thought it was just me but J felt it too. It is not an experience I'd ever like to have again. I said some quick prayers that the sickness wouldn't last for I was on this boat for 4 days like it or not. We thought other people were feeling a little green too but after lots of free beer for all on board who could tell. As one guy (who nearly fell down the steps) put it best "Boat or Bud Light? I don't know?!" Unfortunately, J & I were down for the count, barely touched our dinners and couldn't enjoy the on board Halloween party. Lame, but necessary for as sick as we were. BLAH! The only highlight of the meal was when I discovered our table #. You true DMB fans will know how excited I was about this.

Saturday we watched the ship pull into Nassau and I saw the blue waters and got SO excited! After a pure hour of chaos trying to disembark 2,000 people we finally got off the boat and practically kissed the ground (no more seasickness for the next 7 hours!). We checked out some of the straw markets and went to a Fodor's recommended restaurant, Cafe Matisse. It was off the beaten path a little in Parliament Square. Great meal, gorgeous courtyard and perfect drinks.

After lunch we hopped a ferry to Paradise Island to check out Atlantis and the sprawling grounds. That place is unbelievable and still growing. I'd like to get back there someday when we had more time, but am glad I got to see it once.

Back on board that night, we ate dinner in the main dining room, played a little blackjack and 3 card poker, drank some mo' Bud Light and enjoyed the sail over to Cococay where we docked early Sunday A.M. Cococay is so remote that they had to tender us over, so hopped out of a hole in the side of our cruise liner and onto a little boat that took us ashore.We pulled up and I saw it. The stage.
Oh. Em. Gee. Dave Matthews is going to be playing on this stage and I am here to see it. And didn't pay anything to be here. Somebody pinch me for I must be dreaming. We enjoyed some time in the sun and the true fans quickly staked out their spots on the beach with the free Bud Light towels we were given.

J went to find me some lunch (a banana!) and just after he came back to our spot a yacht pulls up and DMB walks up the beach to head to the stage area. I freaked out, grabbed the camera and I'm nearly certain that I levitated over to where they were to get some pictures.

Unbelievable, people. Just unbelievable.

At noon all the Bud Light on the island was free. It was 90+ degrees. You can imagine what happened to people in that one hour before the band took the stage. Pandemonium. When DMB came out on stage, the quaint little coconut island quickly turned into the set of Girls Gone Wild and it was pretty much a wild show from that point on.
I will let the next few pics tell you how close we were and how awesome the show was:

For you DMB fans, the set list included some new, some old and all kinds of awesome:

Don't Drink the Water
Funny the Way It Is
So Damn LuckyWhy I Am
Shake Me Like A Monkey
Burning Down the House
Tripping Billies
Crash Into Me
Jimi Thing
Grey Street
You and Me

Ants Marching
And there you have it. The last night was great, but all else paled in comparison to the show that day. Still can't believe I was there to see DMB in the Bahamas and that the trip was free. We were able to relax and take a mental break in the Caribbean sun. The trip fell just three weeks before our first wedding anniversary- what timing! It was a quick trip but a lifelong memory for us. We are truly blessed. Hope you enjoyed!