Category Archives: In-Laws

Wedding Recaps: Unforgettable


One sort of ingenius idea that we had (not that I’m bragging or anything…) was to have one big combined dance for our parents dances. Instead of just me and my dad, then Shaun and his mom, we decided to have three couples out on the dance floor at once – me and Shaun, mom and dad, and my new in-laws. After about a minute, our DJ called for us to switch partners, so I got to dance with dad, Shaun got to dance with his mom, etc. We switched up a couple of different times, and it made for some really fun photos. The song that we all danced to was “Unforgettable” by Nat Cole (re-recorded after his death by his daughter Natalie Cole, so the version we used included both of their voices).

Unforgettable, that’s what you are
Unforgettable, though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more

Unforgettable, in every way
And forevermore, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too


Wedding Recaps: Kiss! Kiss!


It’s been a little while since I posted my last wedding recap. But now that I have my computer back and I have access to our wedding photos again, they can resume!

You know when you go to a wedding and everyone clinks their glasses a million times to get the bride and groom to kiss? Well, we don’t completely hate the tradition, but we wanted to have some fun with it as well. So every time that the crowd started clinking their glasses, we chose a couple at “random” to kiss as well. Our photographer managed to catch pictures of all of the lucky (or unlucky!) couples we chose, and it’s definitely one of my favorite pages in our wedding album. Here are a few of our favorite photos:

The first “victims.” Except not really…they volunteered!

Shaun’s friends Tyler and Melissa – we’re going to their wedding next weekend 🙂

And my friends Sam and Eric, who got married last weekend! They played the same game during their dinner…and took revenge on us.

My little brother and his girlfriend…they were so embarrassed. Teehee.

Shaun’s aunt and uncle really got into it…

And us…of course 🙂

Wedding Recaps: The Ceremony


The ceremony itself was relatively short and sweet, but very meaningful. Since the wedding, we’ve received many compliments on our ceremony and officiant, which is really special to me because…well…that’s what the whole day is really about, right? We were also lucky enough to have a few of Shaun’s family members film our ceremony, so in a few months we should receive the DVD and be able to relive the moment again. I can’t wait! But in the mean time, here’s how the ceremony went down:

My dad handed me off to Shaun, saying “Here you go!” (a la Howard and Bernadette’s dad on Big Bang Theory)

We declared our intention to get married, then each of our godmothers read a passage to us:

This Marriage

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.

May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.

May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.

I am out of words that can describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

Ephesians 5: 21-33

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

We said our vows:

“I take you to be my partner from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is to come.
And I promise to honor, respect, cherish, and be faithful to you throughout our journey.
Because you are my friend. My loyal and respectful partner.
My one true love.
This is my solemn vow.”

We exchanged rings…


…and locked our love letters into the wine box. All of that in less than 30 minutes!

All photos by Tricia DeWar Photography.

Wedding Recaps: The Aisle


I’d have to say that hands down, one of the most emotional parts of the day was just before the ceremony. Shaun and I had just gotten back from taken pictures at the apple orchard, and were hiding inside the air conditioned chapel with our family and bridal party. The entire month of July was the hottest month on record, and the week that we got married was no exception – it was over 100 degrees every day the week of our wedding! That is, except for the day of. The heat broke, and it was around 85 all day – considerably cooler, but still hot. So we drank water, started to get nervous, and spent our last few “single” moments surrounded by the people we love most. Just before it was time for them to go, my mom gave me a hug and told me how much she loved me and how proud of me she was…needless to say, there were substantial waterworks from both of us. It was a beautiful moment, and one that I’ll never forget.

And then before we knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle.

Shaun’s mom and my mom, carrying our love letters for the Wine Box Ceremony

Shaun and his dad (can you tell he’s nervous?)

Eli and Christy, friends from college

Shaun’s brother Michael, my cousin Sara

My brother Matt, Shaun’s sister Rebecca

Shaun’s best man (and best friend) Mike, my maid of honor (and sister) Amie

Shaun and the minister, just before…

Let’s get married!

All photos courtesy of Tricia DeWar Photography.

Wedding Recaps: We Are Family


If I had to describe the essence of our wedding day in just a few words, I’d definitely say that our big day was all about family. Blood family, adopted family, friends who are close enough to be family…we were truly surrounded by everyone who was most important to us, and it was a bit overwhelming at times to feel so much love directed at us. Overwhelming, but wonderful. One of the first things we did after our first look was take family portraits with our parents and siblings, and it was a very special part of the day for both Shaun and me.

All photos by Tricia DeWar Photography.

Weddings Through the Ages


It’s another DIY day! Today I’m going to share with you a project that will be displayed at our reception. And the best part of this project is all of the awesomely fun research and planning that went into making it possible.

After reevaluating exactly what our wedding meant to Shaun and I and what we wanted the day to be all about, we realized that more important than anything else is family. Shaun and I are both very close to our families, and are doing everything we can to celebrate our families (and their joining through us!) on the day of our wedding. This includes everything from having family members in our wedding party to having our family members fulfill special roles in the ceremony and reception. This project is another way that we chose to honor our families on our wedding day, and to literally put them on display for all to see!

A family wedding photo table!

Read the rest of this entry

A Big Purchase


Yesterday I posted that I was going dress shopping, potentially for the last time, with my mom and sister and Shaun’s mom and sister at Tina Marie’s in Algoma. Well, it was the last time.

Yesterday, we finally found and purchased my wedding dress, the most gorgeous of all of the gowns I’ve tried on. It’s perfect. And the funny thing is, the moment I tried it on…I knew.

The dress that I will be wearing down the aisle is not the dress I blogged about yesterday (click here to see what that dress looked like, now that it’s safe to show you)…the one that I thought could be the one. I was right in saying that I probably wouldn’t cry when I found the perfect dress. But I think my mom almost did! When I tried it on, though, “maybe” was not a word in my vocabulary. The dress fit me almost perfectly, and had all of the elements that I was looking for in my perfect wedding gown. I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping last night!

Since this is such a huge part of the wedding and my journey into married life, I’m not going to post pictures of the dress on here (not even a tiny peek!)

I will say this: the dress takes all of the things I’ve loved about past dresses and combines them into something even better. Many of the details are similar to the dress above, but the dress as a whole is very different…in the best way possible. It has romantic lace and beading, a train that’s to die for that I couldn’t stop marveling at, and a light fabric that will be much nicer in July weather than the satin of the dress that I posted about yesterday.

Oh yeah, and it’s strapless. Which surprised me as much as it probably surprises you to read that. But it’s perfect. Really. And I can’t wait to show you all in a year.

400 Days: An Update


According to The Knot, a website/magazine combo that provides wedding inspirations and tools for engaged couples (but who are we kidding, mostly brides), there are exactly 400 days until our wedding. That’s a long time. We’ll hit the one year mark in about a month…and even that seems like a long time. But we still have a lot to do, so in some ways I’m grateful for the time.


I’m still working on invitations…which we’re doing ourselves to save money. I think we’ll be successful on that front (as opposed to paying $500 or more on freaking paper), but it’s taking a long time. In addition to buying the pieces separately and putting them together ourselves, I’m also coloring all of the main inserts by hand. So far, I’m happy with the results, and I’ve gotten compliments from people who I showed them to. Even Shaun likes them. But I’m only “done” with 88. Once I finish the stack I’m working on now, I’ll be done with 120. That may sound like a lot. But compared to our guest list…it’s really not.

Which brings me to the guest list. Oh, the guest list. Ours is capped at 300, but we’re hoping to get it down to 250. Which sounds like a lot…and it is. But Shaun and I both have a lot of family. I have 12 first cousins on each side of my family…many of whom are married and have families of their own. Shaun has a similar amount, but we’re lucky that he’s one of the oldest of the kids. I’m very happy that we’ll have so many people there to support us on our special day, and it’s one of those times when a large family makes the occasion all the more special. But it’s still a lot of people…which means we have to choose our friends carefully.

Since relatives alone could easily max out our guest list, we’re not going to be able to invite as many of our friends as we would like. And that’s very hard on me. To the point where I’ve been ignoring the guest list for months because of it. Neither Shaun nor I like confrontations (who does?) and this seems to be a subject where we find ourselves at an impass. We are fortunate to have a lot of friends, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere.

Of course, there’s the standard rule that you should only invite people you’ve seen within the last year. But who defines the “standard?” Etiquette? Wedding experts? Tough love therapists whoa re much better at saying “no” than I am? The truth is, there are a lot of people who are very important in my life that I haven’t seen in the past year…or maybe won’t see a lot of in the upcoming year as I move back to Madison and start law school. Band friends. PRSSA friends. High school friends. There will be new friends to add into the mix too, for both me and Shaun. He’ll be moving to a new city and starting a new job and making new friends too. And on top of all that…who gets a “plus one?” So many people…so few invitations.

One of these days we’re going to have to sit down and finalize our guest list. I’m thinking it might have to be done over a bottle of wine. If you’re reading this, I hope you can sort of understand how torn up I am about this whole process. We want to be able to share our special day with everyone important to us, but a limited guest list means we’ll have to compromise on a lot of things…including who gets invited. In the end, it’s only one day…but I’m starting to see how so many couples get swept up in the “wedding” and forget about the “marriage” that comes after…which is really the best part of all.