Category Archives: Parents

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 ­čÖé

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 ­čÖé

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┬áwhole 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.

Bridal Shower Recap


At the end of May (wow, that seems so long ago!) my mom, my aunts and my bridesmaids threw me the most beautiful bridal shower that I could have asked for. A while back, I promised that I would write an official recap…so here it is!

My bridal shower was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It was awesome to see everyone, and it was nice to still have the whole weekend to look forward to once it was over! Sometimes showers can be a real drag because they take up the majority of a weekend day, but the timing for mine was perfect!

It was a weekend of pretty flowers! The multi-colored roses were for my sister’s birthday, and the orange roses were from the shower.

The town hall, all decorated and ready for people to arrive

Me seeing it for the first time ­čÖé

My mom, me and my sister – I love my family!

This beautiful┬ácake was also the hit of the party – the bottom was cheesecake, and the top was amaretto flavored. Yum!

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The Value of Unplugging


As I was cleaning my room this morning (gotta make everything look spiffy for when the boy visits this weekend!), I turned on Good Morning America. I like watching the news…but being on a college kid’s schedule, I don’t get to watch it as often as I would like. Anyway, this particular morning was interesting because Robin Roberts was interviewing actress Glenn Close about her new movie, “Albert Nobbs.” I’m not entirely┬ásure of the plot line of the film yet, but basically Glenn plays a woman who spends most of her life “hiding” in plain sight by dressing and acting and living as a man. She was talking about how it was interesting to play this character, because she really needed to portray how alone┬áthis person felt for over 30 years. And then she said something brilliant. Something along the lines of: “Even in today’s world where we’re constantly plugged in all of the time, people get lost. People still feel alone. Maybe even more so.”

Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs” (Source)

Over break, my dad told me something along those same lines. We were joking around and taking goofy pictures, then someone mentioned something about posting them to Facebook. Now, my dad doesn’t like the idea of Facebook in general, but what he said next was pretty enlightening: “Everyone is so worried about showing off their lives on the Internet now that they forget to actually have fun and live it.” Right on, dad.


This is something that I’ve been thinking about more and more lately…maybe because it just seems to keep popping up in different scenarios with different people. I think the fact that this has been an issue for more than one person in my life lately really says something about our generation, and I think it’s a real problem that we’re going to have to face as we move on from being teenagers, to young adults, to “real” adults and beyond.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Facebook. I tweet like a mo-fo sometimes. I have a LinkedIn. Obviously, I write a blog. I check my email compulsively. All things considered, I’m a pretty plugged-in individual. But there are some things in life worth┬áputting away the laptop for, and just enjoying the moment.

On our trip to Mexico last January when Shaun and I got engaged, we were completely unplugged for an entire week. We didn’t have cell phone reception, and to access the internet in our hotel you had to pay a per-minute fee to use the lobby computers. We finally accumulated enough pesos by Thursday (five days into the trip) to call home on a pay phone and tell them the good news. At the Cancun airport on our way home, I caved and bought fifteen minutes of internet access to kill a little time. But that was it. And you know what? It was great.

I think this translates to the world of weddings too, in a lot of ways. I’ll let Ryan Gosling sum up my feelings on this matter, because I’ve pontificated about this particular issue way┬átoo many times:

Source: Practical Ryan Gosling

So while I might not be as extreme as my dad on this issue, I think there’s real value in stepping back and remembering to actually live┬álife. Not through photos, although photos are great. Not through blogs, although blogging is fun. Especially not through Facebook. There are times when unplugging and really soaking in the moment is more important than whatever photo-op you might get, and actually seeing someone in person is always better than a text or a private message or whatever it may be. In today’s world where everybody knows everybody’s business but nobody talks, I hope we all (myself included) can work on remembering that, especially when it comes to big, important occasions, what’s important are people. And actually interacting with them.

Where do you stand on this issue? Do you post your whole life online, or try to limit the information you give out? I’m a little bit of both!

Joyous Sounds: Let’s Party!


Like many other couples, we’ve chosen to kick off the party part of our reception with some special dances. Like our ceremony songs, we put a lot of thought into choosing these tunes, so I thought I’d take some time to share some of the meaning behind them and why we chose them to play a prominent part in our wedding reception.

First Dance:
Something About the Way You Look Tonight (Elton John)

Shaun and I don’t always agree on music, but when we do…we prefer Elton John. (Dos Equis, anyone? Ok…bad joke…) Anyway, we do both really love Elton. When we were first trying to pick the song for our first dance, we easily narrowed the options down to a handful. “At Last” by Etta James was a top contender for a while, but that’s definitely more my taste than it is Shaun’s. And then we found/remembered this song…and there was no longer any doubt in either of our minds which one it would be.

We’ve grown even more attached to this song, if possible, since picking it for our first dance. It’s become so much more than our first dance song…it’s become our┬ásong. I’m glad that I let Shaun make the ultimate decision on song choice, because it means so much to me that he loves our first dance song as much I as do. And this song is definitely┬áone that we both connect to.

Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Combo Dance:
Unforgettable (Nat Cole, with Natalie Cole)

When it came to dancing with our parents, Shaun and I decided that we would combine the traditional father/daughter dance with the mother/son dance and just get them both done at the same time. While we want to dance with our parents and think it’s important, neither of our families are really comfortable in the spotlight and so multiple slow dances with everyone watching could get awkward for them and us. This way, there will be two couples out on the dance floor for people to focus their attention on, so I can just enjoy dancing with my dad, and he can enjoy dancing with his mom.

Why this song? Well, this is most definitely my┬ástyle of music. And at first, I was having a lot of trouble picking a father/daughter dance song. While I love my dad to death and I think he is an amazing and supportive man and I wouldn’t trade him for the world…we don’t have that “daddy’s little girl” relationship that so many traditional father/daughter dance choices focus on. Especially the country ones. Then, I was introduced to this song in a class I took my senior year of undergrad – “Legendary Performers” with Mike Leckrone. (If you haven’t heard of the guy…he’s the director of the UW Marching Band. Hence the reason I was in the class. Because the guy is a legend himself.) As soon as I heard it, I couldn’t let it go from my mind. I loved the song as Nat recorded it originally, but when I saw the version that added Natalie (his daughter) and created a duet between them after┬áNat had passed away, the song took on a whole new meaning for me. And truly, I love the lyrics and I think they do┬ádescribe my relationship with my father, and Shaun’s with his mother. They’re unforgettable to us, we are unforgettable to them and we do have a deep and profound love for each other…even if we don’t always say it.

In addition to the “first” dances, a few other songs will play a prominent role in our wedding reception. First of all, we’re keeping the old tradition (at least it’s pretty popular where I’m from) of having a “grand march” of the bridal party around 9:00 pm. Then later on, of course, we’ll have the bouquet toss and the garter toss. All of those things are much more fun with music involved, so here’s what we picked!

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Talking Tuxes


Winter break is winding down, and we’ve accomplished a lot of wedding projects and tasks in the last few weeks. Last week, we headed back to Algoma and checked another big item off of our to-do list…tuxes!

Although we chose the attire for the female half of the wedding party back in summer, we put off deciding on tuxes for a while for a few reasons. First, we knew that we were going to go through Tina Marie’s Boutique, the shop where we also got my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses. Tina usually prefers that we come in on weekdays, as opposed to weekends, so that we really get time to talk to her about things instead of getting lost in the weekend walk-in rush. Shaun has off every other Friday, but that meant waiting until winter break when I would be available to go with him. We also wanted to wait a little longer so that the new 2012 styles would be out when we made our final decision. Last Friday was the magic day, so we headed to Algoma to pick out some snazzy suits for our guys!

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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!

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