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On Sunday, Little S got married (I guess she’s not so little any more!) Since I was the matron of honor, I gave one of the toasts of the evening. I really liked it a lot, so I thought I’d share it with you guys as well.
First of all, I would like to say congratulations to the happy couple – Little S and JT. From the day you met, you could see that you two had something that you can only find in fairy tales. I am so proud to be here today, taking part in your happiest day. And I also want to thank you for giving me a moment to share some of your stories with all of your friends, family and loved ones.
On December 25th, 1985, my life drastically changed. At that moment in time, I was not a happy camper. It was Christmas Day and I was living an idyllic life with my parents as the only apple in their eye. Oma and Opa were in town and we had just celebrated Christmas as a family. As a three-year-old, I didn’t comprehend what it meant when my parents hurriedly grabbed bags and disappeared from the house for hours. The next day, Dad picked us up to meet the new addition to the family. I remember it like it was yesterday – here were my proud parents holding their new bundle of joy. Their eyes and faces were lit up with pure happiness when they introduced me to Little S. My eyes on the other hand were dull with boredom as I had been waiting for hours for my “special” Christmas present. I looked down at my new sister for a second and turned to them and said, “That’s great. Can we go home now?” Our first meeting was a little rough, but as the years progressed, I realized that my sister and best friend, Little S, was the best gift I could have ever gotten.
Being Army brats meant that we moved around a lot when we were younger, which I know helped strengthen our sisterly bond, especially when we moved to America from Germany in 1990. When we were new in town, I always knew that I had a friend by my side. Even after we finally got settled and started making our own friends, nothing changed between us. We were still like peanut butter and jelly, our circle of friends blending just like it still does – sometimes sweet, sometimes a little nutty, but forever stuck together.
As you all know, Little S is not one to sit still. She always had to be doing something – whether it was bouncing the ball off the side of the house endlessly for hours, playing a mock softball game in the driveway (to this day I’m still surprised that no windows were ever broken…), or creating exciting new lives for our Barbies and building crayon roads in her bedroom for our Matchbox cars – she was ready for anything. Her enthusiasm always ended up dragging me away from my 90210 marathons outside to the imaginary world waiting for us on the other side of the door. Little S always did end up being much better entertainment than Tori Spelling ever could be. And that is something that I will always thank her for.
Speaking of our younger years, Little S used to be quite the little tom boy. My image of her as a child is of a small, freckle-faced girl in a Braves hat with a softball glove glued to her hand. Wait, that’s not much different than it is today, is it? Anyway, she lived in that hat – Mom had to pry it off her head from time to time so we could actually see her face. Now when I look at Little S, I see a beautiful mature woman, who occasionally still sports that glove.
It might be hard to see now, especially after she’s had a couple of beers, but Little S used to be so quiet and shy. Luckily, I was there to be her mouthpiece until she found her own voice. Now she is a sure-footed, strong woman, who knows want she wants and won’t quit until she achieves her goal. That is always something I admired about her. I get frustrated and tend to want to give up when something doesn’t go my way – Little S on the other hand will keep at it until she is successful. Whether it was being a softball all-star or being the only girl on the snare drum line in marching band to finding the absolute perfect man for her to marry, Little S is one to set her eyes on the prize and get it. Even though you are younger, I look up to you for your can-do spirit. If you take that same attitude that you’ve always had, I know you will make a great wife to JT and a wonderful mother to your future quarter German, American, Chinese and eighth Thai and Laotian children.
Speaking of JT, I still remember when you called me after your first few weeks at your first job to tell me about the “cute boy that you worked with who was so nice and sweet and kept inviting you to office outings.” The second I heard your voice, I knew that you had been bitten by the Love Bug. Even though I couldn’t see your face, I knew you were smiling and your eyes were shining. And when I met JT for the first time, I knew my predication was true and I could understand why. When I was around you both, I saw a happiness that I had never seen in you before, and it made me smile.
I liked JT from the moment I met him, even though he is a Florida fan. He is a person who exudes happiness. He has a good heart and spirit and is someone you know you will have fun with. And I knew he had staying power after I heard the story about your very first date. Put together first date jitters, beers on an empty stomach, and a dinner consisting of a crepe filled with ham, cheese, and strawberry jelly (I still wonder what you were thinking when you made that selection…) and you end up with an unforgettable evening. Since JT is a true gentleman, he walked you to your front door. As you were standing there, trying to unlock it, you turned to him and said, “I think I’m going to be sick!” I know JT had to feel slightly dejected since you’d had a great evening together, but he did the right thing and said, “If you don’t want me to come in, I can leave.” As he was finishing his sentence, you shoved him out of the way to Ralph in the bushes. Poor JT had no idea that was coming, but he was so worried about you that he stuck by your side for the rest of the evening – holding your hand and your hair. That right there is how you know that you found “a keeper.”
On New Year’s Eve 2010, I pulled JT aside to chat. After a few champagnes, I’d worked up the courage to tell him that I thought he was perfect for you and I could see the two of you together forever. He fit right in with the family – he was the older brother I never had, and he was like a son to mom and dad.
Just imagine my happiness last August when JT pulled me aside to “talk to me.” As we snuck away to chat in secret, he told me he was planning on proposing to you. When he told me, it was all I could do to keep from screaming with joy for you two. It was hard to keep my game face on for the rest of the evening when I knew the happy surprise waiting for you on your two year anniversary. And by the way, I totally spilled the beans to everyone about five minutes after you walked out of the door.
And here we are today, a year and a little less than a month later. You two have exchanged your vows and are now your own family. And I couldn’t be happier.
You are my sister, and I will always be protective over you. No matter how old we are, I always feel the need to watch over you and stick up for you. I know that feeling will never fade, but it’s nice to know that now you’ll have an extra set of eyes looking out for you for the rest of your life. Today, I am officially passing the torch of being your guardian onto JT.
Little S and JT, I am so happy for the two of you! I love you both so much and am glad that you found each other. If I had known that fateful Christmas Day that my “special present” would be a gift that keeps on giving, and that not only would I have received a sister, but one day gain a brother, the look in my eyes would have been much more excited.
So let’s raise our glasses to the special couple and offer them a toast for a long life filled with continued happiness because their love is truly a gift. Congratulations to my sister and my new brother!!! Here’s to Little S and JT!!
Day 7 – Your dream wedding
I don’t ever remember dreaming about and plotting the perfect wedding when I was younger or even before I was married. Call me odd I guess, but apparently my mind doesn’t work the same way as other females.
My wedding planning began once I had a ring on my finger. I’d been to a few wedding before I got engaged, so I knew what I liked and didn’t like, but that’s where my thoughts ended.
When T and I got married in August 2008, I would have to say we had my dream wedding. We tied the knot in a very modern space that was beautifully decorated, and T and I felt like it fit our styles and personalities perfectly. We had a big party where all of our friends and family could celebrate with us. The food was amazing, and everyone had a great time. The best compliment that I received was people telling me it was the best wedding they’d ever been to. That meant the most to me.
If I could go back and change a few things about that nearly perfect day, it would be that our grandparents who felt they were too old to travel so far (my German grandparents and his grandparents from New York) would have been able to be there to celebrate, our other German and northern family members that couldn’t come for one reason or another could have made it, and that it hadn’t poured rain all day. If all those three things were changed, the day would have been absolutely perfect.
And now for your enjoyment, some wedding photos:
Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the wedding. We were all “behind the scenes,” getting ready to walk out. I’m pretty sure it was taken by one of my bridesmaids (JD or CMc) as we were all giddy with nervous excitement about heading out to begin the walk down the aisle.
I was happy, nervous, scared, but mostly excited, and I think this picture truly captures that emotion. Plus, not to toot my own horn, but I think I look pretty damn good here! 🙂
A couple of weeks ago I received some news that made me so happy and made me beam from ear-to-ear…
Little S and her boyfriend JT got engaged! I am so excited for the both of them and can’t wait to welcome him into our family. From the second they started dating, he’s always gotten along well with T and me, as well as the rest of our family and friends. Even though they’ve only been dating for two years, it feels like we’ve known him forever.
I’m so excited to share my sisterly perspective and wedding advice with Little S while she and JT plan their big day. I’m glad that I’ve gone through it all before so I’ll be able to offer her guidance and assistance along the way. She has also asked me to be her matron of honor (which makes me sound so old, haha), so I know I have some big speech shoes to fill. She rocked the house with the speech she wrote for my wedding – everyone was cracking up or tearing up. It may have quite possibly been the best speech ever!
It’s so weird to me when I stop and think about it. This year, Little S will be 25, and on some as of yet undetermined date between May and October 2011, she will be married. I can remember the day she was born. I was not a happy camper.
My mom and dad rushed to the hospital on Christmas Day and left me at home with my Oma and Opa. Since we were in Germany, we’d already done our present opening on Christmas Eve, meaning that I had many new toys to keep me company. But after a while, the absence of the parental units was starting to take its toll on me. I wanted my mommy and daddy, and they were nowhere to be found. Hey, I was three and had been the only child in the house up until this point.
Finally, on December 26th my dad came and picked the three of us up to take us to the hospital (Oma and Opa can’t drive) to meet my little sister. Let me tell you, I was less than thrilled. I took one look at the pink baby in my parents arms and asked when we could go home. No one paid much attention to my lack of enthusiasm at the time.
As the months and years progressed, Little S began to grow on me. The older we got, the closer we became. We were like peanut butter and jelly even though there are three years between us. We were always running around outside playing when we were younger. Then when she got older, she’d accompany me to my high school parties and hang out with my friends. She even came to my senior prom because one of my guy friends said he couldn’t image her not being there since she was apart of “the group” – so she became his date.
In college, I took her to get her first fake ID saying that she was 18 so she could come out with us to the dance clubs when she visited me in college. I was so excited that she was going to be a freshman when I was a senior, and we’d get to spend more time together hanging out. That’s just the type of bond we have.
Even though she is my sister, I am as protective over her as I would be over my child. No matter how old we are, I always feel the need to watch over her and stick up for her since she is my little sister. I know that feeling will never fade, but it’s nice to know that now she’ll have an extra set of eyes looking out for her for the rest of her life.
Little S and JT, I am so happy for the two of you! I love you both so much and am glad that the two of you found each other.
Two years ago today, I remember waking up with butterflies in my stomach and looking over to watch you sleep a few more minutes. This was our last morning as two separate people, fiancés. Later that day, we would be united and become a family, forever and always.
It’s sort of weird when I think about how much time has passed since we got married. It feels like it was just yesterday when we were sitting in our dining room enjoying a romantic meal, and you dropped down on one knee to propose. We were both so happy and crying tears of joy. Now it has been two years since we exchanged our vows.
We’ve been through good times and bad. We’ve fought hard, but loved harder still. Everyday I think about how lucky I am to have you in my life, and I am so glad my family moved to New York 11 years ago so we could meet.
We’ve known each other for so long and been through so many milestones, and I can’t wait to see where the next steps take us.
Happy anniversary babe! Love you!
Hello lovelies! First of all I want to thank all of you for the birthday wishes last week! You are all too sweet!
What can I say? The weekend was crazy, yet so much fun. I think I’m still recovering! Friday night, the boys from NY and our best man arrived, so we all went to Fox for dinner and drinks before heading to VaHi for the pub crawl.
I had actually picked out 4 bars, 3 of which I’d never been to so we could branch out. Well, we stopped at the first one and decided we may need to move on. It was a cute Irish pub, but it was teeny, tiny and already sort of packed – there was live music and another pub crawl group already there. Plus it was roasting inside. We decided to head to bar 2 before any more people showed up and had to pay a cover and leave 15 minutes later.
Luckily, JD, ASP and her fiance had already made their way to the second stop, and they were able to secure a small patio. About 20 people showed up, so we completely took over the patio. In the end, we had such a prime spot that we never ended up leaving. This was fine with me, because we had enough room for everyone to hang out. It was really a lot of fun.
On Saturday, we took it easy until it was time to head to the pre-wedding festivities. Since the whole wedding, from start to finish, was only an hour, ASP decided to invite everyone to a pre-wedding dinner gathering. We hung out, wined and dined, then headed to the hotel around 11:30 p.m. to get ready for the wedding.
ASP didn’t have a bridal party, but I went back to the bridal suite to help her get ready. She’s been one of my best friends since 7th grade, so I was glad I could be there for her. She was so cute – she was as calm and cool as a cucumber. If she was nervous, she never said anything about it or showed it.
She walked down the aisle at 1:00 a.m. sharp. The whole ceremony lasted about 5 minutes, but it was perfect. We laughed and oohed and ahhed, and everyone cheered when they sealed the deal with a kiss!
The reception went by pretty fast – they did all the special dances, bouquet and garter toss and cake cutting in about 10 minutes. I got up and gave an impromptu speech, everyone cheered the happy couple. Then we all danced our butts off for the next 20 minutes or so, and it was done. It was very “wham, bam, thank you ma’am,” but it was exactly what they wanted. I’m so happy for them and love them so much!
Sunday night, we went out for my birthday dinner with my family, the NY boys and JD to Two Urban Licks. The food was phenomenal! T and I split the Lobster Corndogs for an appetizer. What is a lobster corndog? It’s a lobster tail on a stick that is battered and fried like a corndog. It was delish! I ordered the Bronzed Scallops with Gouda Grits, Pico de Gallo and Smoked Tomato Broth. It was heaven on a plate. I seriously cannot get enough of correctly seared scallops – they are melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for! Since it was my birthday, I was also given a complimentary dessert. It was a decadent chocolate cupcake with ice cream. It was really tasty, but I was so full I didn’t eat too much of it. I did share with the table though.
After dinner, we decided to go out and grab a birthday drink. We went to this divey Irish bar down the street from JD’s house. I think we may need to start hanging there because the bartender was super nice. Since it was Sunday, it was a little dead. But he brought us over some jello shots and even sent me a free shot for my birthday, so I can’t complain!
It was an amazing weekend, and I’m sad it’s over. But it has taken me all week to recover-too many late nights and not enough sleep!
One of my best friends, ASP, is getting married on November 15 (which also happens to be my birthday)! She was one of my bridesmaids and helped me out during the stressful pre-wedding times, so I want to throw her a really awesome and fun bachelorette party! There is a slight catch though…she’s not your typical bride.
Let me explain…ASP and her fiance have been together for years, and got engaged while I was in Germany. They didn’t do it the traditional way with the guy getting on one knee and proposing. They talked about their future, decided they wanted to get married, and bought ASP a ring. My parents did the same thing when they got married.
Originally they had planned on a destination wedding to Las Vegas or a beach, but then her fiance’s father’s health issues ended up changing the plans. They decided to look around the Atlanta area for a site, but just kept coming across super expensive options. Then someone e-mailed her about a wedding opportunity that would benefit an Atlanta children’s shelter, and she thought it would be a good option. It isn’t too expensive, the proceeds go to charity, and it is a fairly quick ceremony and reception – one hour. They decided to go this route on October 15 – one month out from the day they will tie the knot.
And this is where I come in. Since ASP was such a good sport and helped plan my showers, my bachelorette, and was in my wedding party, I wanted to show her how much I appreciated what she did for me by throwing her an awesome bachelorette party the weekend before her wedding.
I have a couple of ideas that I’ve come up with and discussed with some friends, but I wanted to get some of your opinions for a bachelorette party for someone who isn’t a typical bridey-bride (I hope that makes sense).
Idea 1: Gather at someone’s house, make a nice dinner with some wine, and hire a male stripper to come over and surprise the bride! I think that would be fun and hilarious…but how does one go about ordering one? I’ve never done that before, so I don’t even know where to start looking! Haha! Are male strippers sketchy?
Idea 2: Go out for dinner and drinks, then wind up at the Clermont Lounge – Atlanta’s trashiest and oldest strip club. It’s a famous ATL landmark that everyone loves, and Amanda has mentioned she’d be down with going there.
So, that’s all I have for now. If any Atlanta readers have suggestions, please let me know! If you’ve ever thrown a bachy party for a more non-traditional friend, I’d love to hear what you did!
Thanks lovelies! 🙂
We did a lot of this because we had just walked down the aisle!
One year ago today we were filled with butterflies and excitement as we prepared to walk down the aisle to become a family. We laughed, we cried, and we had the biggest night of our lives so far.
I can’t believe all of that happened one year ago. It seems like this year went by so fast. I feel like it was only yesterday that were getting engaged, and now we’ve been Mr. and Mrs. for a year.
We’ve had our good times and some bad. You push my buttons like no one else can, but I wouldn’t want to spend my life with anyone but you. Here’s to many more years of being Mr. and Mrs. M.
Love you babe!
P.S. – We really need to do that wedding album and stop procrastinating! 🙂
It’s that time again, where you share a little bit too much about yourself with thousands of strangers. To read about everyone else’s horror stories, go to LiLu’s TMI Thursday page.
A couple of weeks ago T and I attended the wedding of some of our close friends. It was a nice wedding in a hotel in downtown Atlanta. Both the bride and groom went to big football schools, so you knew there was going to be lots of drinking going down. There was a cocktail hour followed by 3 hours of an open bar.
I never saw anyone do anything crazy in the ballroom we were in. Everyone was dancing, drinking, laughing and having a good time. Everything was kosher.
At one point, T and I had to use the restroom. So we hiked across the floor we were on to the hallways where the bathrooms were. Once we reached the entrance of the hall, we noticed a foul smell. Then we looked down. Some guy (I’m assuming it was a guy since there was a trail leading to the men’s room) had thrown up all over the hallway. It was disgusting.
To escape the rancidness of the situation, I ducked into the ladies room. Only to have my nose assaulted by another horrific stench. I held my breath and walked into the last stall and almost gagged. Someone had decided that they were too cool to actually sit on the toilet to poo. Instead, they hovered their drunk ass over the toilet…and missed the bowl. There was poop all down the side of the toilet, and it was nasty! Seriously!?! Who does that? The part I thought was really shitty (hardy har har) was that it was the handicapped stall, the only one. If there was someone in a wheelchair, they wouldn’t be able to use that bathroom. Neither would the bride, who would need some assistance holding her dress up.
The thing that disturbed me most about that incident was that we were at a wedding. Someone blatantly shat all over a toilet while wear a nice dress. Gross! I don’t care what your phobias are of public toilets, if you can’t get it in the hole, sit on the bowl. No one wants to see the mess you left behind.
I feel sorry for the poor staff who had to clean up the nasty hall and bathroom.
So I guess I fell off of the wedding recap band wagon. Ooopsie. I have to say I’ve been really busy at work and trying to adjust back to normal life. Since I have some time, I will grace you with wedding recap part 3!
New Yorkers and New Hampshire. A decent chunk of our guests came down from out of town. My dad’s family is from NH and pretty much all of T’s family is from NY, and a lot of our friends from high school are too. It was flattering to have them take time off of work and spend the money to share our special day with us. I wish we could all be together in one place more often!
Officiant. T and I are both Catholic flunkies (neither one of us has been confirmed) but we wanted to have a religious ceremony and not one by a justice of the peace. We were lucky when we found out about the Reformed Catholic Church. Our priest was a great guy who could do our ceremony outside of a church, which is exactly what we were looking for. Plus he was a funny guy who definitely made everyone laugh a few times during the ceremony. This was totally needed in those tear-jerking, choking up, trying not to cry moments.
People. We had right around 127 guests at the wedding. To me, this was the perfect size. Thankfully our venue was really spacious so we were never overly crammed in. Plus I lost it when I walked down the aisle and realized that all of these people were here to see T and I exchange our vows and pledge our undying love to each other. If there had been more people, I may have passed out from the nerves!
A pretty full house
Photos. T and I decided to take our formal pictures beforehand so we could spend more time with our guests post-ceremony. I am so glad we did this! Not only did we get to have our own special moment together, but it helped get some of the nerves out of my system. Plus I think I cried a little less walking down the aisle for real. Here’s a funny story: As we were about to have our moment, the venue started playing this God-awful, sappy Mariah Carey song. I was already emotional enough, but the song set me over the edge (I think it was that Hero song). I’m making my way down the aisle, trying not to completely cry all of my make up off. Finally I’d reached my breaking point. I turned around and yelled to one of the groomsmen to get his iPod and play something more upbeat. He ran off to get the music changed, but of course a new upbeat song started playing once I reached T. Figures.
Trying not to lose it. Damn you Mariah!
Photo Album. Our pictures came in while we were on our honeymoon, so we’ve basically had them for about 2 months. Have we chosen the images for the album yet? No. We are seriously slacking, but it’s going to take some serious time to pick out the pictures and the page layout we want. I’m hoping maybe we can try to tackle this on Sunday. There are seriously like 1,000 photos to sort through! Yikes.
Post-Wedding Party. Yup, T and I had an after party. Instead of heading back to the hotel, we gathered with friends and family to celebrate our nuptials into early Monday morning at some friends’ house. It was great. It is true what they say about you being mentally and physically exhausted after your wedding. Towards the end of our stint at the after party, I swear I almost fell asleep standing up!
Celebrating our marriage at the after party. Keeping it classy!
Questions. Wow, I couldn’t think of anything Q-related. Feel free to ask me for wedding advice. I will gladly share my wedding knowledge with you!
Reception. It was amazing. Everyone post-festivities has told T and me that our wedding was the best they had ever been to. The food was perfect, the venue was gorgeous, the flowers kicked ass, and everyone loved the DJ and our music selections. I’m totally not trying to brag, but this makes me feel good. I’ve only been to one other friend’s wedding recently, so I really had nothing to borrow ideas from. I basically just went with things I liked and everything turned out the way we had hoped.
Songs. T and I danced our first dance to World on a String by Sinatra. The song was perfect because it was sweet but not tear inducingly sappy. My dad and I danced to Daughters by John Mayer, which was sweet and only made me tear up a little. Now, every time I hear that song I think of the wedding and dancing with my dad. T and his mom danced to The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston. This one is a tear jerker. T’s mom was cute and had arranged a signal with the DJ to cut the song when she got too teared up.
Of course we had Baby Got Back in the mix at the reception. T’s cousin Dan took the mic from the DJ at one point and rapped along for the entire song. Of course all the ladies shook it like it was our job. T’s dad loves James Brown, so at one point he did a buzzed rendition of a James hit and tried to moonwalk while singing. It was hilarious.
T. The love of my life. My husband. He’s always such a tough guy, but he teared up while saying his vows. It was so cute, except that it got me crying even more. He was also super nervous. The entire time we were up at the alter (or whatever it’s called when you are not in a church), he was pale as a ghost and sweating. For a while I blew on his face to try to cool him down. At one point he had to wipe his forehead, which resulted in me getting a clamy hand back to hold. I have also never seen him smile so much in one day (even when the Dawgs beat the crap out of one of our rivals). He is amazing and I love him more than anything in the world! I am glad to call myself his wife.
Unbustled. My dress’ bustles did not survive the reception. People kept trampling the train, even when it was up. By the end of the night, most of it was down because a couple of them ripped out. It was done in a French bustle, where there are a lot of little color-coded ribbons that tie together. Probably not the best way to keep a fairly heavy train out of the way.
Video. T and I opted to have a videographer at the wedding, and I’m so glad we did. This allowed us to capture all of the sweet and funny moments of the day. The video arrived in the mail about 2 weeks ago and we have an edited version and the unedited footage. I can’t wait to watch both! Especially the unedited one!
Waterworks. There were quite a few criers throughout the day. My friend and bridesmaid ASP was the first to pop (as she called it). She lost it when I got into my dress and put my veil on. Little S shed some tears during the ceremony and when she gave her toast. Our friend Jackie knew she was going to bawl, so she had a wad of tissues in her hand (which can be seen in some of the photos and in the video). T teared up during the vows, which made me choke up a lot! You know what I’m not that sure of, is if my mom cried. I think she teared up a little, but never fully lost it. Or at least she never let me see.
X-static. I know this is not a real word that starts with X, but I’m stumped. That is the emotion I’m going to use to sum up my feelings and a lot of other people’s feelings. T and I have been together so long, that we have all of the same friends. They were all so happy to finally see us tie the knot, and were more than happy to help us celebrate.
Yay! You’re almost done with the recap!
Zo. Zo was one of the groomsmen, and he is hilarious. At one point during the reception, he started dancing with T’s grammy. She is almost 90 and uses a walker to get around. It was hilarious to see them shake it. The best part is, she talked about it for weeks! She was so excited to get up and dance. Later on in the reception, Zo and our friend Drew busted out into a pop and lock dance off. It was insane to watch them go. The crowd made a circle around them and went nuts.
Fin! I bet you never thought I’d get through this!