Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pilgrimage Festival

Tim has really gotten into the music festival scene and found an awesome one just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.  The headliners included: 

Justin Timberlake
Better Than Ezra
Eddie Vedder
The Avett Brothers
Walk the Moon
Fitz and the Tantrums
Ryan Adams
...and many others!

So Meredith, Timothy and I drove down to enjoy a weekend of festivities!  We got in Friday night and drove through the bright lights of downtown Nashville, which seems like a really FUN city.  We grabbed a bite to eat and then headed back to the hotel.

Saturday we got up to be at the festival at 10:00am.  We were wondering around checking things out when I recognized an idol of mine: Kevin Griffin, lead singer of Better Than Ezra!!!  He was talking with a worker on a golf cart when I said, "Kevin?"  He turned and said hello and I told him what a big fan I am and that Tim got me tickets to the BTE show in Dayton, OH for my wedding gift.  He said that was wonderful and engaged in more conversation with us.  My heart was racing a MILE A MINUTE and Tim snapped a picture of Kevin and I.  He was such a nice guy!  And later I realized that he is one of the main organizers of the festival.  It took me about 2 hours to calm down after that encounter!

Needless to say we had an AMAZING day and the festival was set up so well.  It was a big open field with a shady grove to chill, an art barn, and lots of good beer.  This was also Meredith's first music festival and she was very psyched to see Fitz and the Tantrums (who were awesome).  

We of course saw my favorite band, Better Than Ezra, and a guy from their staff proposed to his girlfriend onstage!  It was really sweet.  The guitarist also throws a lot of picks into the crowd, and I got one that fell to the ground.  Shortly after, Tim caught one in the air!  Totally lucky!  But another big fan next to us was so bummed he didn't get the pick, and since we already had one, Tim gave his to the guy.  He was pumped.  

We think Ryan Adams was in a bad mood at this festival.  I've seen him play a much better set before and he did not fully engage with the crowd.  He didn't even play a full set!  We tried to cheer him back to the stage because he had 10 minutes left, but he was done!  What a primadonna!   But all the other sets were so much fun and we all had an amazing time together.  
Thanks Tim for finding this festival and making it happen!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Our Beautiful Wedding Day

Today is the BIG day!!!!!  All the days of planning and prepping were meant for this day and we were going to have the BEST time!  Our big day took place at The Transept across from Washington Park in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati.  It is a beautiful refurbished church with a bridal suite in the old bell tower, which is where we got ready with hair and make-up.  Tim and crew managed to get the beautiful giant backdrop to The Transept, which turned out to be a critical piece because it poured ALL DAY, so we could barely go outside to get some photos.  Tim's backdrop had beautiful greenery on it and provided so much color to our wedding.

Anyway, my mom and bridesmaids got to The Transept at 10:30am for hair and make-up.  We had such a relaxing morning with mimosas and lunch provided by Funky's catering.  Lyndsey and Kelly added beauty and style to the day and the staff at The Transept took care of everything.  I had no stress, only joy joy joy!

The photographer, Steph Keller, and videographer, Brady Wurtz, showed up to start documenting the day.  Tim and the groomsmen finally made it to the venue and it was time for the First Look.  Originally we wanted to do this outside in Washington Park, but the weather was not cooperating, so we stayed on the balcony of The Transept with my bridesmaids and mom peeking around the corner.

Tim turned around and gave a big smile.  I had no idea what he would think of my dress, as it took me quite a few trips to multiple boutiques to find one I thought was fitting.  Wedding dresses are not what you expect them to be since you've never worn one before.  It's difficult to know your style and what you feel comfortable in, but I felt beautiful in this dress and Tim was very complimentary of it.

After the First Look we toured around our venue finding great places to snap some photos.  We had so much fun posing for all the pictures, and we gave each other lots of kisses!

Tim and I were able to take some sweet pictures together, then we met our wedding party in the downstairs bar to get some fun shots while 80's music played in the background!

Some family and friends, who we asked to come early, started showing up in the downstairs bar.  It was so wonderful to just casually mingle with everyone before the ceremony with such a joyous reason to be together.  We really wanted to spend as much time together through the day as possible!

After some fun photo shots throughout the venue, we got some family and wedding party photos in front of Tim's beautiful backdrop.  I had asked my dearest friends to come early and receive a bracelet of friendship so we could all be connected on that day.  I also had a special job for them during the ceremony.  Michael and Lily also had the special job as ring bearer and flower girl!

Guests started to arrive, so the wedding party had to make their way back to the balcony of The Transept.  We could get a sneak peek of guests starting to take their seats.  A teacher who works with my mom and her husband played beautiful music on their violins before the ceremony began.  Throughout this entire day I felt at peace and completely happy.  This truly was the best day filled with love, support, and happiness.

It was time for the ceremony to begin.  Staff at The Transept told us exactly where to go and what to do.  I had prepped so much for all of this and everything was going off without a hitch!  Even if there was a mishap, it definitely did not matter.  All that mattered is that Tim and I were going to share ourselves with all those we love and make the commitment of our lives together!

Uncle Joe was our officiant and he was the best person for the job.  He knows Tim and I well from the tailgating parties and he is a family man.  He is well-spoken and genuine and I couldn't imagine anyone else marrying us!

The ceremony began with Joe explaining some background on Tim and I as individuals, as we wanted all of our guests to get to know who we are.  Then Tim and I expressed why we love one another.  I started tearing up when talking about Tim's goodness and integrity.  I truly think he is the best person in this world and it made me emotional to tell him so.  Tim spoke of my sweetness and kindness and lust for fun and adventure.

Joe continued to share the adventures Tim and I have had together and promised that we would have many more.  Then Gregory, the Best Man, gave his humorous and heartfelt speech.  Erin went next as Matron of Honor.  She shared the depth of our friendship and that she was willing to turn the reins over to Tim, as she could see our happiness together.

Then Tim and I spoke our vows to each other and exchanged rings.
We lit the unity candle together (which I made myself back in Tahoe).  Our moms then gave us good wishes on our journey ahead.

Joe declared us married, we kissed, and our friends who had that special job attempted to fulfil it by popping the confetti poppers.  After a short struggle, they finally went off.


Steph encouraged us to get outside to snap some after ceremony photos, even though it was still raining!  I'm so glad we did, the photos turned out great and it was a moment for Tim and I to be together as Mr. and Mrs.

When we came back inside, it was time to mingle with the cocktail hour!  We really wanted to spend as much time with our guests as possible.  A Crown and ginger was handed to me along with some delicious hor'dourves.  I barely got through the entry way catching up with folks before being told it was time to make our entrances to the reception!

DJ Tiz rocked out "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock and the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked out two by two to start the fun.  Meredith and Matt were the life of the party with their energy and beer drinking horn.  Shelley and Eric did some spins.  Erin rocked some electric blue sunglasses provided by Gregory.  And Tim and I did what we do best: dips and spins!

We danced for a hot minute and then sat down at our tables.  The awesome Transept staff kept the Crown and gingers coming and we had soooooo much fun at our table.  A waitress asked if I needed anything, and I said, "How about some more of these amazing cornbread croutons?"  I was half joking, but she came back with a whole bowl that we passed around.  I even tossed one directly into Matt's mouth and we all cheered.  I have never had SO MUCH FUN!

I finished my entire meal, which surprised me because I always hear about how brides and grooms rarely have time to eat.  I think the sacrifice was that we didn't get to talk with our guests at each table, but the day was just going by perfectly and did not feel rushed at all; I was really able to enjoy each and every moment!

It was time for Tim and I to say our "thank yous" to our guests.  Tim spoke very meaningfully, of course, and expressed how important it was to us that everyone could make it.  He spoke to our beautiful centerpieces with the quotes that he sent to me when our relationship was new.  Then he handed the mic to me and I gushed about just how beautiful this wedding day really turned out to be, thanks to everyone's love and support.  People started clanking their glasses to indicate it was time for Tim and I to problem!  Between kisses, I also spoke to the Outdoor Adventure Club cards that were at everyone's place and then introduced our slideshow.  There was a little hiccup with the music, but like I said, the only thing that mattered was that we were all together.

The Transept staff then cleared away some tables to make room for the dancefloor.  (They ended up having to clear out two more tables in the end because our amazing guests really got up and moving during the reception!)

It was time for first dances.  My dad and I and Tim and his Grandma Peg started off dancing to Dave Clark 5's "Because."  Then Tim and Maribeth and my mom and I danced to Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is."  Tim and I danced to Alexander's "A Million Years."  We added lots of dips and spins and just sort of wung it, smiling the entire time.

We had a little surprise for our guests, which was probably not really a surprise for those who know me best.  We had karaoke at our wedding!  Tim and I started things off with "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.  Tim must really love me because if he had the choice, he would have preferred to NOT sing in front of everyone!  But because he loves me, he did, and nailed it!  Our friends came to the dancefloor to cheer us on, which prompted me to tell Tim we were doing the lift!  It was impromptu and took us two tries, but we pulled off the famous lift!  

The dance floor is now open!

DJ Tiz killed it with Michael Jackson mash-ups and NEVER letting a song end; rather, he just mixed right into the next song.  It was impossible to leave the dance floor!  Everyone was having a BLAST and I couldn't believe all of my forever friends from all corners of this country were in one place to love and support Tim and I.  It was the best day ever.

Fred and Mike used a belt to start limbo on the floor.  Todd Dale and Molly Heidrich captured some moments on the GoPro, we started a conga line that went through the whole venue, and Christie was busting out some serious moves.  The Amyot clan karaoked "Country Roads" and the Freed cousins sang "If You Wanna Be My Lover." 

My dress was starting to get a little uncomfortable (I couldn't digest all that food I ate!), and the bustle wasn't staying up, so I had to make the decision to change into my sparkle after-wedding dress so that I could keep on dancing! 

DJ Tiz played until midnight.  He played Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" as the last song and our friends made a tunnel for Tim and I to walk through.  I started to cry almost uncontrollably, I was so so happy.  What an incredible, beautiful, love-filled day.  I am so glad we decided to go big with our wedding; it was a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.