Tag Archive | sister

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Wait Half-Naked and See the Bouquets

By now it’s 11:30ish and I’m in my parent’s hotel room wandering around in my corseted bra and jeans, ready to complete the transition into a Bride.  Mom Sword is dressed and ready to rock and roll, but we are waiting for Sister/MOH Big Eyes to finish getting her hair done before I can change.  Laura and her hair and makeup team could only work so fast with a list of 10 gals to get ready for a wedding!

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I remember our cinematographer asking me if Mr. Sword would care that he was seeing me in my underwear and I had to laugh as I reassured him that Mr. Sword is the least jealous person I’ve ever met.  He takes it as a compliment if someone hits on me, and he’s so laid back that he doesn’t get worked up over little things like a wedding videographer seeing me in my bra and panties.  Which is pretty much ideal for someone like myself who will post practically anything on the internet.  Awkward.

I especially love this artsy shot.

I especially love this artsy shot.  Notice my dress in the background.

As I stared at myself in the mirror (to pass the time of course) we realized I wasn’t wearing my tiara or veil on, oops!  Laura came over to my parent’s room and she glam’d me up in no time.

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Checking my tiara in the mirror before adding the veil.

Checking my final look.

The below picture describes my sister and I’s loving but funny relationship: Me looking at myself in a mirror like the princess I am and her questioning me with those BIG EYES!  🙂

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This was also the moment I first saw my bouquet.

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YUM.  Our bouquets were insane.  Everyone was in love with them, myself included.

Adding my BEE charms!

L Dawg and H adding my BEE charms! Notice the tartan wrap.

(The bridesmaid bouquets looked just as lovely and you’ll see them when I recap our bridal party portraits.)

For someone who didn’t put flowers very high on the list of priorities, who went to ONE florist, and who had no idea what she was doing when ordering, I’m pretty sure they turned out perfectly.  Glamorous and dramatic, our flowers fit our day and theme beautifully.  I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better.

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Up next, I finally step into my wedding gown!  🙂

Anyone else wear a tiara or plan on wearing one?  How lucky did I get with my bridal bouquet!?!

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

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!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Steal a Midnight Kiss

One of my favorite moments of our whole wedding weekend took place around midnight the night before our wedding.  The rehearsal dinner was finished and BM L Dawg and H were trying to sleep in the adjoining room while I was trying to type my last post as a Miss in the living area.  Don’t you just love hotel suites?

I had previously said goodnight to Mr. Sword in the lobby as we split up, him to the bar to have one last drink, and me to the girls’ getting ready room where I was staying for the night.

But as I sat there typing away at my laptop, trying to shove all of my emotions into concise but eloquent thoughts, I decided I wanted to see him one last time.  I mean, he was so close, I could hear laughing coming from the hotel bar, voices of people who were here for our wedding.  In that moment, I wanted one more goodnight kiss.  One more embrace.

So I texted him, “Where are u?”

And he replied, “At the bar with my dad!”

“Nice ok!  If you leave soon come knock on my door to say hi! 🙂  I’m blogging.” (Clearly, it’s all about the hive.)

“Will do! Just having one!”

(The Swords are avid users of the exclamation point!)

About ten minutes later (or some other amount of time, I have no idea but ten minutes sounds nice) I heard a faint knock at the door and there he was, the man I was going to marry in mere hours!  I got butterflies in my stomach as I crept out into the hall.

I only have a foggy memory of what we said to each other, but I probably asked him how the bar was and if he’d be OK sleeping by himself. (Guys don’t buddy sleep, ya know?)  I probably said something like, “We’re getting married tomorrow!”  And then he probably said something like, “It’s after midnight, I shouldn’t see you, it’s technically our wedding day.”  To which I probably responded with a “Bah, who cares?”

While I don’t remember words, I do remember feelings, (as does my Mister).  We remember feeling happy, giddy, safe, loved, and calm.  I remember feeling this was the beginning of something amazing.

I had always pictured my last night as a single lady gossiping with my friends or crying tears of joy with my sister, but my friends were tired and wanted to hit the hay right away, and my sister has really long hair and wanted to shower in her own room so she opted to sleep with her fiancé to make things easier in the morning.  I guess I was meant to be alone with my thoughts and I think it’s sweet that my last conversation before I went to bed was with my future husband.

After our quick chat, we kissed once or twice more and said goodnight for real and I finished my post, stowed my laptop, and fell asleep surprisingly quick for someone who can rarely shut their brain off fully when they are extra excited.

Tomorrow I was going to be the bride.  I was going to marry an amazing man and celebrate with my favorite people on the planet.  There’s nothing quite like going to bed and knowing you’re going to wake up to your very own wedding day.  As I fell asleep I knew tomorrow would be golden.

Photo by Friend AB

Photo by Friend AB

Did you have one picture in your head for the night before your wedding only to have something different happen?  Anyone else steal a goodnight or goodbye kiss from their partner at an unexpected moment?

Sword Wedding footer FINAL

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

Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Eat Burgers and Things Are Surprising

I want to say we wrapped up the rehearsal right around 9 PM, but I can’t be too sure because I was hardly looking at my phone all day and I don’t wear watches.

BEST IDEA EVER: Having the rehearsal dinner location literally across the street.  After everyone was “dismissed,” people started exiting in groups to head over to our location of choice necessity, the loud but fun western bar, Cowboy Jack’s.

They might not have been our first choice in a pub, but their service was impeccable and their staff was amazing.  Immediately upon entering the private room they were asking our guests for their drink order and attempting to give out tickets based on what burger each person had selected in advance (on our wedding website).  I had no idea how they were going to figure out who had ordered what, we had so many options, beef, BBQ, turkey, veggie, cheese or no cheese, but their little labeled cards did the trick!  Our reserved space was essentially two rooms with the sliding door between them fully open.  It was the perfect size and everyone was able to sit by wherever they wanted.

My only complaint was that it was hard to address everyone during the toasts because the bar was so loud (party bar for sure) and because there was no good place to stand and be heard in both rooms.  You really had to keep turning you head from side to side in order to be heard.  The noise level was a bit frustrating to be honest (especially after the screaming teenagers from earlier) but we went ahead as planned.

First up was FIL Sword and his touching and sweet toast to Mr. Sword and myself.  Here is a snippet from his speech:

When Mr. Sword told us he was going out with Mrs. Sword we were quite nervous about the thought of meeting her… after all Mrs. Sword was the first girl Mr. Sword had brought home to meet us so we thought that this relationship must be quite serious!  Especially when they had to travel all the way to Scotland for the introductions!

Anyway as soon as we picked them up at the airport and were introduced to Mrs. Sword, any concerns we had disappeared as we found Mrs. Sword to be a very friendly, warm, and genuine person and our liking for her just grew over the time that they spent with us.

So we were absolutely thrilled that their relationship blossomed and that they are now only a few hours away from being married.

Next up, I spoke, because in case you can’t tell from my lengthy blog posts, I love words and talking and writing.  While I wanted to thank everyone in the room (and the world!) I had to limit myself and chose to thank the three women who occupy the space of a motherly role in my life, all in different and special ways.  I won’t include it here but in my speech I thanked Boss Lady, Mum Sword, and of course my amazing mother, Mom Sword!

There were TWO surprises at our rehearsal dinner.  The first was Sister/MOH Big Eyes and FBIL singing a song medley that chronicled our relationship over the years.  SO cool.  They chose a short verse or chorus from each part of the song to represent each moment written on cards (written in bold below) held by our Usher/Cousin Dancer.

Usher/Cousin Dancer held their cue cards!

The song selections were:

Drama Queen by Suzie McNeil- It all started with a girl named Mrs. Sword.

Geek in the Pink by Jason Mraz- And… a boy from Scotland named Mr. Sword.

Closing Time by Semisonic- They met at a bar! (Ironically this is also the song Mr. Sword chose for our DJ to play as our last song of the night at our wedding.)

Window Shopping by Hank Williams – For their first date they decided to go… Window Shopping.  (Our first date was browsing shops on Michigan Ave, specifically the awesomeness that is Nordstrom.)

Crush by David Archuleta- The dating began.  (Duh.)

Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy) by Rodney Atkins- It was time to meet the families.  (The funniest part about this song choice is that neither of our Dad’s own guns or the least bit intimidating to meet.)

Woman I Love by Jason Mraz- Mr. Sword decided to pop the question.

I Do by Colbie Caillat- Mrs. Sword said yes!

Going to the Chapel by Crystals- Wedding date set- March 9th, 2013

A Thousand Years by Christina Perri- They plan to grow old together.  (You’ll sing this song reappear later as well!)

The photo below is a good view of the awkwardness that it was to stand in between both rooms.

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The second surprise of the night was from ME to Mr. Sword!

The groom’s cake is a tradition we never really discussed and wouldn’t have missed to be perfectly honest, but I knew my hubby loves a good tres leches cake.  He’d never had one until coming to America and since his first one in 2010 we have to look for tres leches cake on every single dessert menu we see.  If you’ve never had the three milks cake you’re missing out! It’s nothing short of amazing and FWIW I once made one starting with a yellow box cake and simply added the milks to it, and Mr. Sword was in heaven!

Of course I had to have them write “A Highland Fairy Tale” on top!

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Mr. Sword loved his groom’s cake and definitely had no idea it was coming so I was pretty happy!

The woman I worked with to organize our rehearsal dinner at Cowboy Jacks was so sweet and she even offered to pick up the cakes earlier that day so we wouldn’t have to find someone to do it. Cowboy Jack’s also provided us with plates, forks, and an open table to store our bridal party gifts.  They went above and beyond.  I know it might be a bit of a unique place for a rehearsal dinner but I highly recommend them to anyone getting married in the Twin Cities and Bloomington area!  Who doesn’t love a good burger and a beer?

After passing out gifts, hugging everyone, and chatting with our friends, it was time to walk back over to the hotel.  Some of Mr. Sword’s Scottish friends were staying at Cowboy Jack’s to partake in post-dinner shots and being the buzz kill that I am I made to sure to remind our groomsmen of the long day coming up and how they had to look happy and alive for pictures!  (It must have worked because they were all up and ready and perfect gentleman all day and some of them were still trying to get past the jet lag! Such troopers!)

(all photos personal and still blurry)

Did you have any surprises at your rehearsal dinner?  Did you choose convenience too and in the end it was totally worth it?

Sword Wedding footer FINAL

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

Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Are Ladies Who Lunch

Friday marked the beginning of the end.  It was here, our wedding weekend had arrived and I wanted life to slow down as much as possible to enjoy every second of it.

Mr. Sword and I before we kicked him out!

Mr. Sword and I before we kicked him out!

Remember when I mentioned Mom Sword wanted to throw a little shindig for the women in the family/bridal party the day before the wedding?  Well, she did and it was lovely.  All my favorite women in one place.

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Flavored water anyone? I need to get myself a pair of these pitchers!

Flavored water anyone? I need to get myself a pair of these pitchers from BBB!

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Mom Sword and Cousin/Bridesmaid Jo were the hosts and BM Jo even put together a slide show that gave every woman at the luncheon a princess identity.  I thought it was so cute how they wanted to incorporate the fairy tale theme with everyone and I also got to talk about how much each person meant to me which was a great way for the ladies to get to know each other.

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Of course we also wore our princess headbands that MOH Big Eyes gifted everyone in the bridal party.  They made their first appearance at my bachelorette party and were a big hit with all the girls!

Mrs. Sword and Usher/Cousin Dancer

Mrs. Sword and Usher/Cousin Dancer

Mrs. Sword with BM/Cousin Jo

Mrs. Sword with BM/Cousin Jo

We aren't wearing our headbands yet but I had to include this one of Sister Big Eyes and I, we kind of look alike here!

We aren’t wearing our headbands yet but I had to include this one of Sister Big Eyes and I, we kind of look alike here!

The Ladies luncheon was a really sweet and normal speed memory in an otherwise fast-paced weekend.  It was also the only pre-wedding event that Mr. Sword’s Mum and Sister could attend being that they live in Scotland.  It was so special to have our families together in one country if even for one weekend!

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Are you going to have a special get together before your wedding day?  Did anyone notice that the dress I am wearing (from the Loft) was also one of the MANY I wore on my honeymoon a few weeks later?

(all photos personal)

Sword Wedding footer FINAL

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

Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Drive in Snow and Tears

Our wedding was on a Saturday but we left for Minnesota on a Tuesday.  We drove in a snowstorm/blizzard.

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That was fun, NOT.  At this point, it’s just devastating comical how many times the weather has interrupted our wedding plans.  For starters, I had rain on both of my shower days (Minnesota one in Oct, Chicago one in Feb).  We drove at NIGHT in a blizzard for our planning trip at Christmas, and then proceeded to press repeat for our final drive the Tuesday of our wedding week, with it all culminating on our rainy and cold wedding day.  Winning.

Mom Sword felt bad for us but she was quick to remind me that we had no trouble getting all of our relatives and friends to the wedding from snowy North Dakota or faraway Scotland so we should be grateful for that (and we were!).

Back to that fateful Tuesday.  You can see why there was snow, but why tears?  While the weather was melting down so was I.  The thing about wedding weeks is that emotions are heightened and everything is a bigger deal than it should be.  Miscommunication can and will happen!  The gist of it was, my feelings were hurt, but in the grand scheme of things, it was nothing.  And true to our overly communicative family, we talked it out and all was fine in the end.

The good news was that Mr. Sword’s parents also arrived that Tuesday despite our crappy Midwestern weather!  It was their first trip to America, and spoiler alert, they loved it!

We spent the next few days organizing all of the reception decor to be dropped off at the hotel, folding ceremony programs, meeting with Pastor P, and showing my in-laws around the Twin Cities!

Oh and we also put them to work!  ;)

Oh and we also put them to work! 😉

My brother, affectionately known as “The Glue” (because he claims he’s the glue that keeps the family together) got to try on his rented kilt ensemble after it arrived just a few days before the wedding.  The funny thing is I think The Glue looked the most Scottish of all our groomsmen despite being the only American (you’ll see what I mean later on).

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Great face Mr. Sword, haha!

The Thursday before the wedding I took my Mom and Mr. Sword’s Mum to get their nails done with Sister/MOH Big Eyes in tow.  It was nice to have a special moment with both of them before everyone else arrived and since neither of them get their nails done regularly it was a real treat!

Mom Sword and MOH Big Eyes

Mom Sword and MOH Big Eyes

Mum Sword

Mum Sword

Did you have a good cry the week of your wedding (I totally recommend it)?  Any out of town brides have trouble getting to their wedding because of weather or something else?

(all photos personal)

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

Teaser video!

Obligatory How I Found My Wedding Dress Post

Since I kept Evie (remember how I named her?) a secret from all of you until after our wedding I figured it’s only fair to explain how I found her, and most of all share photos of our alterations journey together!

To recap, I bought her at the Wedding Shoppe, Inc., back in June of 2012 with Mom Sword, Sister Big Eyes, Auntie B, and BM L Dawg in attendance. There were some tears and I had the “this is the dress” feeling so I considered it a successful day! After a week of disappointing appointments and knowing I was heading back home to Chicago in two days, I was so thrilled to have found my wedding gown!

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This dress is the epitome of glamorous in my eyes.  It’s sexy on top and fit for a princess on the bottom.  It’s dramatic and a little crazy (like me) and it was actually really easy to wear all day!  It was very comfortable and my favorite part was lifting up the bottom of the dress and feeling like I was being swallowed up by the ruffles.

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Naturally everyone wanted to get in on the lifting of the ruffles, or make fun of me, either way I didn’t mind.  I’d found my dress!  So you can imagine my surprise and frankly, disgust, when I first tried it on again in October.  It was so wrinkled and ill-fitting (hard to tell in the photo below), and it was far from glamorous.

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This is one of the few pictures taken from my first fitting and there’s no need to go into all that again.  You can tell by my face in the mirror that I am NOT happy.

Fast forward to my fittings with our family friend L, a five-pound weight loss, a steamed dress, and you’ll see me as a happy bride-to-be!

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We ended up taking in the sides where it hit my legs and everyone warned me that dancing would be difficult but I’ve always preferred my clothing to be body hugging and I’m here to report I danced the entire night without a problem in my tight fit and flare gown!  🙂

The second fitting (first time looking at alterations) was where we discovered the veil I’d borrowed from Mrs. Archer didn’t match my ivory dress at all (I was so sad)!  Luckily, L had a bit of ivory tulle lying around her sewing room and she ended up making me the beautiful veil you’ll see in all of my photos.  We did something a bit different by making a small poof at the top of the veil to sit behind my tiara. I can’t wait to show you guys the way it looked in the professional photos!

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I chose to do a three-point bustle.  It was pretty simple (or so I hear), the most difficult part being finding where the hooks were located.  The best part about having a jagged, ruffled bottom was that I could bustle my gown for our rainy pre-ceremony photos without wrinkling my dress, which was then un-bustled for the ceremony and then bustled again for the reception.  Phew, that’s a lot of bustling!

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Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

I practiced walking down the hallway and family friend L told me to remember to keep my head up anytime I was walking, she said it’s so awkward when brides stare at the ground the whole time worried about tripping on their dress.  The many layers of my gown made walking tricky at first but by the end of alterations it was the perfect length.

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I could stare at the back of my dress forever but alas it’s time to say goodbye… for now… I am so incredibly LUCKY that I get to do a wedding gown photo shoot with my sister after her Big Day in June. I can’t wait to wear Evie in some warmer weather and take some cool shots next to my lovely sister.  And don’t worry I’ll definitely be sharing our Rock the Frock Sister Shoot with the hive!

(all photos personal)

Did you go through a love/dislike process with your wedding dress too?  How did your alterations go?  Who else is obsessed with RUFFLES!?!

Pre Wedding Depression, Didn’t See This One Coming

Disclaimer:  So yea, I’m going to talk about depression and I know that word can mean different things to different people and it can cause lots of very strong opinions, but I just want to recognize that everyone’s journey is unique to them and I only speak for myself.  Cool.

Scotland April 2012

Scotland April 2012

Throughout my year of wedding planning I was well aware of and well equipped to handle post wedding depression. I had read about it, heard first hand experiences about it, and had personally experienced the feeling of loss that can overtake one after something exciting ends (in my case, when I show I was performing in closed, it always left me a little sad). I was doing everything right to combat post wedding depression. I kept my friendships active, I planned for events post-wedding, and I reminded myself that there would be many exciting life events to look forward to with Mr. Sword.

Fortunately, I don’t feel any PWD (yay)! I loved my wedding day; I’m grateful it went so well and I’m happy to be married to the love of my life. But it turns out I was preparing for the wrong thing…

If you Google Pre Wedding Depression you can find articles that talk about it. They mostly go on about brides being so stressed out planning their wedding that they turn “blue.” This is not what I felt. I can handle stress. I can handle my anxiety (poorly but I can), and I can handle being “blue.” What I felt in the last few months of planning was painful.

It probably wasn’t evident from my blogging and it didn’t affect my job as a nanny but in my downtime I was apathetic, lonely, pessimistic, melancholy, and just plain sad. My Mom says when we have many changes in our lives our chemical balances can get off, and whether that’s true or not, that’s what I felt. Mr. Sword was traveling every week for work and I had way too much time to be alone, and to think. I was agonizing about all the upcoming changes in our careers, our location, and our relationship. I was feeling overwhelmed at the responsibilities of being someone’s wife, as I suddenly thought I wouldn’t be enough. And I was scared of failing, at well, everything.

So of course I picked fights with Mr. Sword. I had lots of emotional breakdowns on the phone to Mom, Sister, and Best Friends. I spent a few Saturdays in bed too depressed to move.

Sure, there were a few factors that helped contribute to my low mental state, the holidays were over, the winter dreariness was just beginning, and the thought of hosting the biggest event of our life seemed so overwhelming that everything else in life looked equally as daunting. Whatever the trigger, I knew I was not feeling like myself. I knew something was off.

At first it became apparent that I was a wreck every other weekend and so I began dreading every other weekend. I thought about seeing someone outside of my family to talk about things with but eventually we decided to go the holistic route and stocked up on herbal pills and extracts to help aid me in positive thinking and lower my anxiety. These things worked… slightly? Or perhaps they were a mental trick, either way I was working on feeling better and I was glad.

Soon enough both January and February past and by March I was starting to feel like myself again. I was still nervous for the big day (hello control freak) and I was still prone to emotional breakdowns (but what bride isn’t?), but I was happy and positive. It was a relief to be excited for the future again instead of dreaming up worst case scenarios.

Looking back from the other side I feel blessed to have had so many amazing people in my life that listened to me when I needed that, or made me laugh when I needed that, or acted excited about the wedding when I needed that. Mostly I’m grateful for having a partner who will discuss anything with me no matter how crazy I sound, who I can trust with my worst and most personal fears, and who loves me even when I’m not feeling 100% like myself.

love you baby!

Muah! love you baby!

(all photos personal)

Treading carefully here, does anyone else want to share their pre or post wedding depression experiences?  How did you get past the low moments?