Archive | July 2013

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Listen (Ceremony Part One)

All of a sudden it was time to begin our wedding ceremony and the most important part of the day.  (I’ve broken it up in two parts for your reading pleasure while still keeping everything in sequential order.)  All ceremony photos were taken in the beautiful atrium of our Embassy Suites hotel.

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We ended up taking the bones of a non-denominational Christian ceremony provided to us by Pastor P and made changes where we saw fit.  A little bit about Pastor P, she was my Pastor growing up in the Twin Cities and she guided me through my confirmation years ago when I was in 8th grade.  (Pastor P also officiated Sister Big Eyes’ wedding in June, another example of our shrendoring!)  We really enjoyed working with her and Mr. Sword was able to get to know her through our couple’s counseling sessions and many wedding planning visits to Minnesota.

Regarding the religious aspects: full disclosure here, my husband identifies as agnostic, meaning he’s open to religion and higher powers but desires more scientific proof.  The fact alone that I am a strong Christian while he is not AND we still make it work the way we do is one of the healthiest things about our relationship.  But that’s another post for a different type of blog!  🙂

And with that, I give you the first half of the Sword Ceremony:

Pastor P: Welcome friends and family. We are gathered together here in the sight of God and in the presence of this company to join together Mr. Sword and Mrs. Sword in Holy Matrimony.

 Marriage is an honorable estate, instituted by God and blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a precious relationship, not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, thoughtfully and lovingly. Mrs. Sword and Mr. Sword are standing before us today to make their commitment to one another.

 Let us hold them in our hearts and surround them with our love and affection; let us be with them in “Spirit” just as God is now present with us in Spirit to join them in marriage from this day forward.

Will you pray with me…

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O God, we are awed by the many meanings of this hour and are overjoyed by its promises. We pray that the spirit of trust, understanding and love may be with Mrs. Sword and Mr. Sword through all the years that lie ahead of them.

Whatever trials and testing may come, may they trust each other wholly, for without such trust, marriage is in name only; may they strive to understand each other always, for without understanding there is neither acceptance nor forgiveness; may they truly love each with Your unconditional love, for this is what will make their marriage strong.

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As Mr. Sword and Mrs. Sword build a new life together, may they find peace and contentment. May their times together be full of laughter and joy, and may the years ahead deal gently with them… and walking with each other one day at a time, may they find far more in life together than either of them would have found alone.

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Lord, bless this day and their lives forever, for we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together . . .

We chose to include the Lord’s Prayer using debts.  I actually struggled with how to go about including this prayer as I know many people who are either a different religion than myself (Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Church of Scotland, etc) or who are not religious at all.  In the end, the day is about us and I believe a marriage should include God, so we had the prayer. My other concern was starting it with “Our Father” because in my feminist hippie ways, I’ve really taken to my church’s way of excluding any and all gender specific language.  That said, I grew up saying, “Our Father,” so it was kept.

After the prayer everyone else was asked to sit and the parents stayed standing for the parental blessing:

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It is only fitting to include the parents of Mr. Sword and Mrs. Sword in this time for they are those who raised these two and nurtured them and helped them to be the couple they are today. The love and warmth and faith they were given will continue to grow as they establish their own family. As their parents, they have you to thank for these roots that are strong and a hope that endures. So I ask you:

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Will you, now and always, from this day forward, promise to continue to support Mr. Sword and Mrs. Sword with your love and care and prayers, upholding and strengthening their marriage. If so, answer, we will.  (We will.)

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AND NOW FOR THE READINGS!  One of the hardest decisions of the entire planning process, I’m not kidding.  Thank you again for all of your amazing ideas hive, it was really fun reading everything!  In the end we ended up going a very simple route with both readings:

Friend of the Bride J read this:

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Mrs. Sword asked me to give a short preface to how she chose this particular poem for their wedding ceremony. Mrs. Sword has been searching for THE perfect ceremony reading since she and Mr. Sword first got engaged.  The problem was she had quite a few stipulations… she wanted it to be unique, not something you’d hear at every wedding, she wanted it to have gender inclusive language, and she wanted it to be straightforward and concise.  After browsing the internet, combing through wedding blogs, and asking around for months, she started to think she’d never find anything quite right.

Then in January at her local Barnes and Noble, Mrs. Sword was perusing the Valentine’s Day themed children’s books when she found one that made her teary-eyed thinking about her favorite person.  And while it’s not the perfect reading (because she realized that didn’t exist) it’s the perfect reading for Mr. and Mrs. Sword.

You by Stephen Michael King.

The world is a colorful place-

yellow, red, blue, and all other colors.

The world is colored with big things, small things, and all sorts of things.

But the most colorful part of my world is… YOU.

The world is a musical place,

with high notes, low notes, and all the notes in between.

But the most musical part of my world is… YOU.

The world is an exciting place,

with ups, downs, around and arounds, and far, far aways.

But the most exciting place in my world

is with…

YOU.

While J was reading, I started crying.  It was such an intense feeling and the words really hit home.  MOH Big Eyes stepped in to dry my eyes while I clutched Mr. Sword’s hand.

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In between the two readings my beautiful and talented Sister/MOH sang a song I had picked out early on in our engagement. “Crazy Dreams” performed my Megan Hilty in the TV show Smash.

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Honor Attendant H played the lovely accompaniment on keyboard.  I’m lucky to know such talented people!

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“Crazy Dreams” couldn’t be more fitting for Mr. Sword and I.  It’s really, truly crazy that a girl from Minnesota would ever meet a guy from Scotland in a bar in Chicago of all places. Plus, its no surprise I love anything fairy tale- related!

I love this pic of Mom Sword watching Sister Big Eyes singing:

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Cousin of the Groom J read this:

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Scottish Wedding Prayer

Lord help us to remember when
we first met and the strong
love that grew between us.
To work that love into
practical things so that nothing
can divide us.
We ask for words both kind
and loving and hearts always
ready to ask forgiveness
as well as to forgive.
Dear Lord, we put our
marriage into your hands.

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A Scottish Wedding prayer, of course! Such a no-brainer when it finally dawned on me on how perfect this reading was for us.  Plus, Cousin J appreciated its short length.  🙂

Pastor P:

Mrs. Sword and Mr. Sword have chosen for their scripture reading today a passage from the Old Testament, from Ecclesiastes chapter 4: verses 9-12:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie down together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A three-fold cord is not quickly broken.”

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(Picking a gender-neutral, inclusive, non-offensive, uplifting, wedding-related scripture from the Bible was extremely difficult.  But this one talks about a cord and hints to our handfasting later on.  It was perfect for us and maybe it can work for your ceremony too!)

After the scripture Pastor P went into her homily or message.  I’m not going to include it here for two reasons, 1) This post is already insanely long and 2) It’s personal to us and it won’t be much help in formulating a wedding ceremony for anyone else.

Part Two of the ceremony continues next with vows, the handfasting, and our first kiss as husband and wife!  🙂

Anyone surprised at our choice of readings?  What will you have read in your ceremony?

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

Ceremony
People processing!
Bridal cry/laugh walk!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Watch Me Cry/Laugh Down the Aisle

At this point the DJ faded out and Bagpiper E started playing again, this time, Highland Cathedral, also known as my bridal song.  I kept wondering in the back of my mind if I’d regret walking down the aisle to bagpipes but I’m to report I was 100% happy with my bridal march!  Some folks said they got the chills when the bagpipes started again.  Me too.  🙂

I’ve included a link to the song if you want an idea what E played but you’ll have to imagine it without the drums and going a bit slower in tempo:

Before I entered, our flower girl, Littlest C, mader her appearance down the aisle, scattering petals in preparation for the bride.  She took her job very seriously and looked absolutely adorable.

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She did a fantastic job scattering petals and she looked adorable.

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If you’re at all like me, you were a bit nervous (or you will be) before walking down the aisle, but once Dad Sword and I got started, the nervous butterflies turned into happy butterflies and I was so excited to be walking down the aisle to my groom in front of all of my favorite people!  I am an extrovert after all.

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When Dad Sword and I first began walking I was worried about tripping but I soon forgot about my feet and all of my energy became focused on NOT SOBBING.  Watch as my face attempts to “keep it together.”

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My emotions were getting the best of me and I’m pretty sure it had something to do with this amazing guy:

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What do you do when the love your life is beaming at you in his handsome kilt minutes before it’s time to pledge your love to each other?  Completely lose it of course (with Dad Sword grinning away as a proud FOB next to you).

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And then start to chuckle cause you’re so happy you feel silly.  I don’t know how anyone can cry all the time and NOT have a sense of humor about it!

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After hugging Dad Sword, I was presented (sounds better than “given away,” right?) to Mr. Sword and proceeded to hold his hand as much as I could for the entire ceremony.  There was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be.

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did you cry and then laugh at yourself while walking down the aisle too?  Anyone else use bagpipes for their bridal march?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

Ceremony
People processing!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Begin With Important People Processing

We’ve now hit 4 PM (finally!) and the ceremony is about to begin…

The DJ started by playing a few tunes as guests began to arrive and our adorable ushers (notice their tartan bow ties) began passing out programs.

Usher/Cousin Singer

Usher/Cousin Singer

Usher/Big C

Usher/Big C

Usher/Cousin Dancer reading a program

Usher/Cousin Dancer reading a program

The prelude was led by Bagpiper E who played three songs (Leaving Port AskaigDornoch Highland Gathering, and Amazing Grace) while walking up and down the aisle.

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In Scotland, I guess it’s common for the bagpiper to pipe outside the church or venue to welcome guests as they arrive, but I liked showcasing E and it was great because as soon as he started playing, everyone figured out it was time to get in their seat!

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The family processional song was chosen by Mr. Sword and couldn’t have been more perfect, Sigur Ros’ Hoppipolla, instrumental version.

First up to walk down the aisle was Grandpa F and Grandma J escorted by Head Usher/Cousin Cool.

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Next up came the handsome Mr. Sword escorting Mum Sword and Scottish Dad down the aisle before taking his place up front.  (At the same time Pastor P was entering up the sneaky side aisle.)

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After that it was time for the Mother of the Bride, Mom Sword!  She was also escorted in by Head Usher/Cousin Cool.

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To round out this song we had Cousin Q process in holding two silk roses in honor of those who have passed on before us, one rose for those in my family, one for Mr. Sword’s loved ones.  I had no idea how to explain this in the program so I just labeled this part of the ceremony, “remembrance flowers.”  All the names of those we were missing at the wedding were printed in the ceremony program and as she reached the front Cousin Q put each rose in a tall glass vase.

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personal photo

The bridal party was next and they came in to my very offbeat choice of the opening song from Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses.  You can listen along, trust me, it’s not as bad as you think!

First up, GM The Glue and BM Wee Sis.

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Following them was GM J and BM Jo.

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Next up was GM P and BM L Dawg.

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Finally, these two grinning goofs, our Best Man and Maid of Honor, came down the aisle.  We like to joke they never stopped smiling the entire day (we have lots of photos to prove it too!), but we think it’s super sweet.

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All the while this guy is waiting patiently for me to make my big entrance…

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

How did you or how will you honor those who have passed on?  Did you choose any non-traditional processional songs?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Check to See if the Guys Went “True Scottish” and I have to Pee

In Scotland, it’s understood that to be a True Scotsman you don’t wear any underwear with your kilt.  It was actually something Mr. Sword and I got asked A LOT over the course of wedding planning once people found out he’d be wearing one, and it was the butt of many a joke that weekend (har har har).  Most of the guys told us they would NOT be wearing any but hey, us girls still wanted to check for ourselves…

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OK, so we didn’t lift their kilts high enough to gain any concrete proof (cause that’d be weird), but I did confirm that my husband was going commando in our alone time post ceremony, because well, he’s my husband, I had to know!  Also, do you remember my post about my wedding crush?  We stole borrowed this idea from them!

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We also added our own little twist by switching it up and having the guys lift up our dresses!  Ooo-la-la!

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After all group, couple, and other random pictures were completed, it was FINALLY time to separate and prepare for the ceremony.  Crystal and the second shooter headed off to the atrium, the men did whatever men do before a wedding (crack jokes and mingle?), and me and my girls headed to our getting ready room to relax and scarf down a few snacks.  Subway anyone?

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personal photo/MOH Big Eyes joins me

One of my friends on Facebook said I should get paid by Subway for this endorsement!  HA!

After stuffing my face I realized I desperately needed to go to the bathroom.  I have a tiny bladder and was shocked I’d made it to 3:30 PM before thinking about it!  Luckily this moment was also captured for your enjoyment.  Yes, that is TP I’m holding.  Yes, I have no shame.

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personal photo

That’s what BFF’s are for, amirite?

Next up, the ceremony begins!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography unless otherwise noted.

How did we do on re-creating the “True Scottish” photo?  Who helped you use the facilities on your wedding day?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Cuddle With a Cutie

After our families had left the lobby to finish getting ready for the ceremony, Crystal was able to snap a few more pics of Mr. Sword and myself indoors.  By this time, I had fully thawed and was happy to continue smiling for the camera.

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We decided to switch things up and move locations and I’m so glad we did because I love these next few pics.  So romantic and bridal looking.  And for reference, this location is a tiny hallway near a window on the second floor of the hotel.  Nothing special about it in real life but a great spot for some lovely photos!

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On my photography shot list I had also made time for a mini photo shoot with Littlest C, because well, she’s pretty damn important.  I’m pretty sure I was picturing her as my flower girl before I’d even met Mr. Sword!

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We went outside and Littlest C got to wear her beautiful jacket.

MOH Big Eyes and Littlest C

MOH Big Eyes and Littlest C

The next three pictures tend to make me tear up!  Notice our matching tiaras?  🙂  I had this idea for a pose that we should both hold her flower girl basket and I’m so glad they turned out as well as they did!  If you are taking pictures with your ring bearers or flower girls, I recommend getting down to their height level, it makes for better photos!

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I love how much we look-alike (even though we’re obviously not blood-related) and I’m just reminded of how grown-up and beautiful Littlest C looks!

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Did you see the purple petals?  Those were cut from fake flowers I purchased at JoAnn’s when shopping for boutonnieres.  So easy, and so much cheaper than real petals!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did you take extra pics with any of your little ones?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Finally Take Family Photos

I know this a post many Blogger Bees gloss over because the family photos aren’t quite as interesting as bridal party pics or detailed reception shots.  For me, taking family photos was a special part of the day and I can’t imagine not including them (I promise I’m not including ALL of them)!  I blog to share my wedding with this community but I also blog for myself and my family so please bear with me!

I gave Crystal an hour to power through my family photography shot list and due to the elevator snafu we were down to 30 minutes, which was plenty of time in the end but I’m so glad I included the buffer!  Add extra minutes to your timeline, it will get used somehow!

Our ceremony took place in the atrium of the Embassy Suites, but we wanted to utilize a different part of the hotel to leave the atrium special for the ceremony.  We chose to take photos on the steps coming down from the lobby and it worked out beautifully.  No matter where you take large group photos, look for steps, it makes posing people ten times easier!

First up, Mr. Sword’s immediate family…

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Mum Sword and Mr. Sword

Mum Sword and Mr. Sword

Scottish Dad and Mr. Sword

Scottish Dad and Mr. Sword

Mr. Sword and Wee Sis

Mr. Sword and Wee Sis

Mr. Sword had one cousin and her husband in California and one cousin that flew in from Scotland, plus Wee Sis’ fiance to make up the rest of this photo below.  He had more family that couldn’t make it due to travel, cost, and children, but we weren’t complaining!  Flying from Scotland to Minnesota is not a cheap deal!

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After this we just added my family to the mix to get a whole group shot!

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Then it was time for just my side.  Both Mr. Sword and I have relatively small but close-knit families which means we knew every family member who came to our wedding.  No third cousins or distant relatives in attendance!

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Between Mr. Sword and I we had one set of grandparents at our wedding (the rest have passed away).  I’ve always been really close to my Mom’s parents, Grandpa F and Grandma J, and they’ve witnessed almost all of my major life milestones.

Unfortunately, Grandpa F has Alzheimer’s and it’s pretty severe so the fact that he made it to my wedding (and Sister Big Eyes’ wedding in June) was a HUGE deal.  They had to be picked up from Bismarck, ND and it wasn’t the easiest trip on them but I am so blessed they were present at my wedding and so happy I have these photos from the day.  Grandma J had her outfit picked almost a year in advance, and she looks fantastic!

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The cousins photo was up next but first Laura surprised me by bringing her makeup to me! Apparently she hadn’t left yet and I was able to get a quick touch-up between photos.  Thanks Laura, you’re the best!

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I guess no one knew what to do while they waited so they just stared at me!  Good work people.  Keep it up.

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After the extra primping it was back to photos.  I have the best cousins ever!

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Next up, my immediate family.

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Mrs. Sword and Mom Sword

Me and Mom Sword

Dad Sword and Mrs. Sword

Dad Sword and Me

I love my parents but I also happen to have the best sister and brother in the world!  The three of us are really close.  They spoil me with their awesomeness.

Big Eyes, Me, and The Glue
Big Eyes, Me, and The Glue

This is my nanny family or as I also call them, my Chicago family.  Obviously I work for them but over the years it has become more than a career.  We share our lives, our families, our holidays, our ups and our downs!  I probably won’t be their nanny for much longer but they are stuck with me forever at this point!  🙂

Boss Lady, Big C, Me, Littlest C, and Boss Man  (I guess Mr. Sword didn't make it into this pic- oops!)

Boss Lady, Big C, Me, Littlest C, and Boss Man (I guess Mr. Sword didn’t make it into this pic- oops!)

Me and my babies!

Me and my babies!

We also got a photo of us with our two readers in the ceremony, Friend J (the guy) and Cousin J (the girl).  Looking sharp!

Friend J, Mrs. Sword, Mr. Sword, Cousin J

Friend J, Mrs. Sword, Mr. Sword, Cousin J

We also took a photo with Pastor P once she got to the hotel.

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And finally, before letting everyone go we had to take a few more bridal party photos that included everyone from ushers to bridesmaids, groomsmen, honor attendants, and flower girl.

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

How much time did you or will you allot for family photos?  Thanks for soldiering through this post!

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Are Revealed and The Girls Are Freed

Last we left off, I told you my Sister/MOH Big Eyes, and BM L Dawg were stuck in an elevator with Mr. Sword and I on the 7th floor waiting to show ourselves to everyone waiting for us on the first floor for our family first look.

At this point I’m getting nervous, wondering how they’re going to get out of said elevator and how behind we are with my schedule.  It’s not clear in my memory but I think we get a call from someone to go to the other side of the hotel and come down one of those elevators while Big Eyes and L Dawg wait for someone to get them out!

Mr. Sword and I race down the hall, past some family with kids who say, “Look, a bride!” but I’m too preoccupied to enjoy the adoration and instead mutter “excuse me” while rushing past them.  Not my best moment.

We hop into an elevator and begin steadily toward floor one all the while praying WE don’t get stuck as well.

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Everyone was waving and looked excited to see us FINALLY making the slow ride down to the ground floor!

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We arrive to happy faces and some clapping.  It was relatively anti-climatic and not quite like I had pictured in my head, but I was SO relieved to be back where the action was taking place!  This is my What the hell is going on? face or my Thank God I’m not in an elevator anymore face!

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Eventually a hotel maintenance guy came over to fix the elevator and both Sister Big Eyes and L Dawg were freed from it’s clutches after being stuck for almost 30 minutes!

They entered the main floor to the pomp and circumstance I had dreamed of for Mr. Sword and myself because everyone was beyond thrilled to see them leave that elevator!  It was a pretty exciting moment!  Luckily, I can share the spotlight, and I was very happy to see them safe and sound.

With all the commotion over it was time to begin the family portraits!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

I love this story now because it’s such a crazy memory and we all still talk and laugh about those damn elevators!  Do you have a funny wedding story that still makes you laugh?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Lose Two Bridesmaids to an Elevator

When I last talked about the elevators at Embassy Suites I mentioned how painfully slow they were, but turns out that was the least of our lift related problems.

After arriving back at the hotel we were all so grateful to be inside and desperately tried to warm up fast.  BM L Dawg even grabbed a coffee from the hotel lobby; you gotta do what you gotta do!  At this point it was almost 2 PM and at 2 PM on my Day of Timeline it stated that we should be doing the “Family First Look.”  My vision for the family first look was that Mr. Sword and I would make our entrance into the lobby by coming down one of the elevators in a triumphant reveal of our wedding day attire to the clapping and smiles of both of our families.  That was the way it went in my head anyway.

Because it was already 2 PM instead of finding my hair and makeup artist, Laura, on floor 2 for a touch-up like I should have, I grabbed Mr. Sword’s hand and we proceeded to walk up the entire 8 flights of stairs in our kilt and gown to the very top floor to avoid being noticed on our way up (remember the elevators are clear and out in the open).

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This took some time because I was terrified of falling backwards down the stairs (a normal life fear for me but especially on this day) and to be honest I still couldn’t feel my feet after spending 2 hours outside in 33 degree weather.  I had told Crystal we would be waiting on the 8th floor for her cue to come down the elevator for the big reveal.

Well once we got up there we waited, and waited, and waited some more, and Mr. Sword watched from above for a cue that never came.  At first I was jut slightly agitated, but after Mr. Sword called Honor Attendant H for an update only to learn no new information, I started to get frantic.  I did NOT want to get behind on my schedule and I was getting married in less than 2 hours!! Cue panic!  This had to happen now or never!  What was going on down there?  From what I could see (when I finally allowed myself to peek over the railing) Crystal was setting up her lights for the family photos but it looked like everyone was there and ready to see us.

Apparently, not everyone was there.

I got so frustrated with all the waiting that I grabbed Mr. Sword and pulled him into an elevator, shouting something about how they’re so slow that I was sure everyone will be ready by the time we got to the first floor.  But then I quickly realized I was going to ruin things if I rushed our big moment so I pushed the button to stop at level 7, riding the elevator for exactly one floor.  Clearly I was losing my ability to make calm and rational thoughts.

FINALLY, Mr. Sword gets a phone call (his cell phone was in his sporran thankfully) and he’s told that my Sister/MOH Big Eyes and BM L Dawg are stuck in an elevator on the same side of the hotel as us.  (Each side has two elevators for a total of 4 in the entire hotel.)  WHAT?!?!?  Stuck in an elevator??  Are they OK??

Poor Big Eyes and L Dawg had gone to see Laura on the second floor for a hair touch-up but somehow ended up stuck on level six with, get this, a non-working elevator telephone, and without their cell phones (hello pocket-less bridesmaid dresses).  At least L Dawg had her coffee! The photo below was taken when the elevator was back on the ground floor.

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We peered over the edge and could see them waving through the clear glass.  That’s when I started to calm down (just a bit), and realize the silliness of it all.  They both started dancing and our videographers started filming them and we soon we were all laughing.  Everyone on the bottom floor was pointing at them and Sister Big Eyes and L Dawg were being such good sports waving back.

My thoughts came fast: How long were they stuck?  How was I going to take a family photo without my sister?  Who can fix this and is that person in the hotel?  Is this going to ruin our elevator reveal moment?  I mean come on, I was still the bride!  🙂

To Be Continued…

(photo is personal)

Did you have any mishaps on your big day?  What did you do about them?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Risk Hypothermia Posing All Together

Pardon my bragging, but after putting everyone together, somehow our bridal party looked even sharper!  It was pretty amazing to see my vision come together and to have it validated through photos.  Our Highland Fairy Tale was alive and kicking and I can tell because these pictures exude beauty, drama, and warmth even though we were all freezing in reality.

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To digress for a moment, I have to say one of the hardest parts of wedding planning is choosing a bridal party.  It’s so entirely different from choosing a Save the Date design or a unique guestbook.  It’s wrought with emotion and entitlement, and can often cause a lot of stress.  We were lucky because, after a lot of thinking, we chose to surround ourselves with only family and the closest of friends.

Unfortunately, I had a few hiccups early on and I can see why people choose to avoid the bridal party altogether!  That was never an option for us, and I’m so happy that these are the faces of our wedding.  (Note my two amazing honor attendants are in these next pics, one at each end!)

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After relocating to the parking garage… I love that my “outdoor” pics are under a bridge and in a parking garage, haha… it was time to get a photo with each of my lovely girls (Mr. Sword had one taken with each of his guys, but we never received them for some reason, grrr.)

Sister/MOH Big Eyes and I had a quick photo session of just the two of us pretending to love each other and then hate each other, as it is with sisters.  Do we finally look alike?  🙂

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We HAD to get a fake “we wanna kill each other” shot.

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And back to love.

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What follows are my favorite pics with each of my girls.  My recommendation?  Remember to take these individual ones because these are the ones you (and they too) are likely to frame.  It’s a great time for hugs and one-on-one time as well!

BM L Dawg

BM L Dawg

BM Jo

BM Jo

BM Wee Sis

BM Wee Sis

Honor Attendant C Fri

Honor Attendant C Fri

Honor Attendant H

Honor Attendant H

I also wanted to get a photo of the me with the best man and Mr. Sword with the MOH.  Such sweet shots!  And these two totally rocked their posts, going above and beyond.

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We also snuck in a few more couple portraits in the garage for good measure.

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But after that we had to get one last sword photo as a group!  YES!

These folks are truly some of the best people we know and through their kindness, support, and laughter they made our wedding day insanely amazing.  We love you guys!

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did your vision for your bridal party come true? Did anyone else stress over their bridal party at first?  Would you take photos in a parking garage (yay for urban settings)?

Next up, we go back indoors, FINALLY!

Sword Wedding footer FINAL.jpg

Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Make the Women Freeze

Where my girls at?  OH WAIT.  They’re right here, looking absolutely stunning and fresh.

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Pretty faces with pretty bouquets.  I don’t have a close up of their bouquets but I thought they looked AH-mazing.  MOH Big Eyes’ had a few ivory spray roses to make hers stand out.

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We did the obligatory shoe pic, but it was more of a boot pic, considering the circumstances.  I told each of the girls to wear whatever black shoe they desired for the wedding, and I also told them to bring warm boots for the outdoor bridal party photos.  Thank you Crystal for that tip!

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The girls are so beautiful in their eggplant dresses and I love seeing their homemade tartan necklaces in each lovely picture.  The black shawls were part of their gift from me and worked really well in both style AND functionality.  You can see my tartan heart peeking through in the pic below:

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Unfortunately due to weather and time we didn’t get as many pics of the girls as I would have liked but you have to accept that there’s only so much you can fit in and I’m really pleased with the ones we do have.  Once we moved to the parking garage we threw Mr. Sword into the girly mix.

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You can see how wet the bottom of their dresses got in the next few photos.  Luckily everyone dried up in time for the ceremony.

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I’m so glad their purple dresses photographed as dark as they did, because when I was using my simple point and shoot camera they tended to come out looking super bright and fuschia-like, which is pretty but didn’t match my vision at all.  In the end, I’d say our bridesmaid dresses were a huge success (and to think they were picked a few minutes in at our very first stop) and I can’t wait to show you all how we looked together as a group!

Did you or will you go with the classic, all matching, floor-length gowns like us?

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Sword Wedding footer FINAL.jpg

Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!