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Fun Storming the Castle (Wedding Post)

After months of preparation and those last few weeks of hurried running around and projects, the wedding was a huge success! I'm really proud of us and grateful for everyone who helped us out. To name a few: Regan who did photography for free, Charlotte who did the girls hair and make up, Marvin for putting together an amazing floral display and making the most bad-ass bouquet for me, Sfirah for officiating for us, Raye for getting me a TARDIS garter and all her help along the way with dresses and coordinating, also Dani and my mum for their help with the dresses, and my dad for carting us around to all those appointments, oh and of course my folks for the lovely rehearsal dinner. (Sounds like an Oscar speech.) I just want to get those thanks out of the way first off because it wouldn't have come together as well as it did without all those folks' help.

Rehearsal Dinner

I don't know where to begin. I guess I'll briefly mention the rehearsal dinner. After everyone got to Port Townsend and to the castle, settled into our rooms and all, we met up in the rose garden to do a practice run and Sfirah coached us through the ceremony. I think I got a little freaked out at this point because I realized how, despite my years in theatre, I don't know what I'm doing because I've not done this before. We had quotes for our party to read and some folks seemed a bit nervous about it. After the rehearsal and before the dinner, Sifrah met with Andy and me and talked about that she's going to do, what our concerns are and she told us how she could help. She said she would meet with each member of our party and coach them a bit and settle nerves. She made me feel better and less anxious (which she would do yet again, the next day, bless her.) We caravanned to the rehearsal dinner. Port Townsend was having a film festival that weekend so my parents' task to find a restaurant for us was difficult but we went to a place on the water and partially had the place to ourselves and it was lovely. We had our wedding party, along with their plus ones, plus Sfirah, Regan, Teri and Alex, my folks of course, and Andy's niece Tifiny was able to make it in time so he did have some family there. Everyone was getting along and chatting and at one point Andy and I just sat back and enjoyed everyone enjoying themselves on our special weekend. After dinner it came time to make the speeches and give out gifts. I cried a lot. Andy got his groomsmen engraved baseball bats as a gift. We got my parents a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant at the harbor in Magnolia for their anniversary dinner. I was really excited to give my gifts to my bridesmaids. I made them each a special photobook of memories as a thank you and to celebrate all that they mean to me. True I got the idea 'cause there was a Groupon but it meant a lot to me to go through the pictures and the memories and show why each friend was so important to me. I tried to do a little speech to everyone at the dinner but it kept making my voice crack and the tears well up so I tried to just let the photos do the talking. There was a lot of love at the table, needless to say and it was a lovely night.

The big day

I didn't get a lot of rest the night before the big day. I was a bit anxious. I need not go into all the ins and outs of the day but before my hair & make up appointment I really didn't know what to do with myself. Dani and I went to the salon and there was a bit of the snafu as all the schedules and such were in my purse. Oops.(we ran into my folks in the downtown area and they brought the stuff back to the castle).  Andy sounded a bit panicked but I had to let go and let the Kate Hudson looking, intimidatingly pretty, salon girl fix me up nice.

By the time we got back to the castle at about one I noticed some of the guest had already arrived. (Well, we did say leave Seattle early). I got up to the girls room to put on the dress and get pretty. There was another snafu with the bustle of the dress that was a bit of a problem. Once I was in, Raye and Charlotte couldn't remember what the alteration lady told them about the bustle and couldn't find all the loops in the miles of train. It was kind of an issue for a while but we let it go and I went down stairs to let Andy see me for the first time and to get the pictures taken. I saw my bouquet for the first time and it was gorgeous...heavy but gorgeous. We did pictures for a while in the back: Andy ad me, then my folks joining in and then, even though guests were starting to mill around the hotel, I wanted my picture of the full party on the steps in front of the castle so we made that happen. That's the one time I totally turned over my bride card. They were saying to do it after the ceremony or to just do it in the back but I totally pulled some guilt trip inducing phrase I can't remember that let everyone know that those pics on the steps were kinda non-negotiable for me. I wanted them. Then I went back upstairs and the struggle with the bustle continued. Luckily at the last minute I ran into Oni in the hall and it dawned on me that she was there with her mum and that her mum was a costumer! (Ding ding ding!) Vickey, Oni's mum, stepped into the "boys room" and eventually sorted the whole bustle problem out. Once she got it in people we like "oh so now we have to take it out for the ceremony?" and I said fuck it, keep it bustled, I got pics of the train. Which was probably for the better and kept the dress cleaner. SO Oni's mum totally saved our wedding. Thanks to her too.

Time is getting closer and with all this bustle business I still need to go over my Mp3 player with Alex for the ceremony music and everything's a bit overwhelming. (And I learned later I didn't even know the half of it!) Sfirah, pulls me aside and tries to get me grounded again and calm myself. Alex interrupts and I show him how to work it and what songs to play. Then as the busy hallway goes quiet and Sfirah gets me to relax and tells me to just stay there and be alone with myself until someone comes to collect me. I have no idea what time it is or how close we are, I just do what Sfirah tells me and sit tight--hangin' out with the ghost. (Manresa Castle is supposedly haunted. I don't really believe in ghosts but a haunted castle is pretty awesome and fun for guests and just neat to have that history! Supposedly Dani and Sam's room was haunted.)  I rested on the fainting couch a bit and waited for my dad to tell me it was time, and I very carefully headed downstairs.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was kinda surreal at the time. I couldn't remember almost anything we decided the night before. But it was lovely. My dad walked me down the aisle and I met up with Andy and Sfirah. We had been worried about the 40% chance of rain in Port Townsend on our big day. I got to the front and Sfirah started speaking and after I felt the first drop of rain on my arm I'm afraid I didn't hear much of what she was saying any more. My eyes kept on the fountain in the center, eyeing the raindrops hoping they would stay light.  I'm proabalby looking to my right in a lot of the pics instead of looking at Andy, but then looking at Andy made my eyes al watery and my rose start to run getting all ferklempt.

After Sfirah's speech we had the wedding party go through our quotes. Which went off really well everyone did a great job, none of the wedding party messed up. Sfirah forget Raye, but that was funny considering she was the one who coached everybody. Sfirah has done loads of wedding before, but she said she got way more emotional during this one because we are such old friends. We've know each other since we were 11 years old, over 20 years and I'm glad it means as much to her to have done my wedding as it means to me. After the quotes, Andy and I did our very short vows. We had four lines each back and forth, then three lines we said together and our promise to love each other. Then we did the rings, I might have messed up in repeating Sfirahs' words exactly, I'm not sure, but at least I didn't drop the ring. Then she pronounced us we kissed at it was time to party! Alex made a very serendipitous mistake with the music. When we were talking exit music (we have these orchestral version of pop songs, I came down the aisle to a version of David Bowie's "Life on Mars" which is pretty fuckin' awesome to me.) in the castle hallway when I was all stressed out I told him to do the orchestral version of "Do You Realize" by the Flaming Lips and he instead did the version of "No Rain" by Blind Mellon. At the time I thought 'oh shit, wrong song' but it was commented on later by guest and was actually very appropriate because the rain threatened to come but ultimately hung back and waited until an hour after the ceremony to do its downpour. What a piece of luck!

The Reception

When we made our entrance to the ballroom we headed, slowly with all the congrats and hugs, to the back of the room where we cut the cheese. Instead of a cake we did wheels of cheese and served them right away as an appetizer. Not knowing this, Tifiny said she was ready to disown Andy when she heard him shout "lets cut some cheese!" as the start of his wedding reception. The wedding theme was "silly hats" and we had put together prizes for the 6 best hats at the wedding (3 male, 3 female) The female category was pretty easy, a lot of the grils had great hats. The guys with the exception of Aaron who really went all out, were not as fabulous. Over dinner we discussed who should win what. Dorothy made a "playing to the judge" hat that was great, a panda with a TARDIS on top and a bunch of pics of me and Andy on it. It definitely would have won first place if it weren't for my former boss Marna who had a hat that had pics of the staff at my old job and the kids holding up signs for me and a bunch of notes from staff of well wishes and that the kids helped decorate. That had to win first, I felt. We gave away the prizes after the speeches from folks. Raye's was short and sweet and she finished it off with "Guess what I'm doing right now" which is, if you're in the know, kinda a dirty inside joke. Well played, Raye, well played.

I'm totally going to start to rush through this cause I'm running out of time.

Really at the reception was just fun to see everyone one on one and talk to them. I'm all warm and fuzzy inside, not only by all the friends who made it out to Port Townsend, but to see some folks who I hadn't seen in a while because they've moved elsewhere (or were from Vegas). In our Party Geoff and Heather flew up from Vegas and Cathy flew from DC to be there in our wedding party and help out. As for guests, I was so happy to see Oni (along with her little one Grayson who stole people's hearts and really liked being a train, and her mum who saved my day!) who came up from San Francisco. Adam and his fiancée Lisa came up from New Orleans (they're getting married next year, finally get to go to New Orleans!) and were there with Fairygirl. I hadn't met Lisa before and when I told her we were going to a Steampunk wedding in Vegas the next week she literally gave me the hat off her head so I had something "steampunk" to wear for the occasion. How nice is that! What a keeper.  I'm sending it back to her after the honeymoon. John and Jen came up from Vegas even though Jen was suffering from a sinus infection, poor thing. It was great to connect with my old boss, and Karen Jo (who came out on her birthday) said it was the best way she could possibly spend a birthday. Again so much love, so much happiness, chatting dancing.

One other highlight was during the bouquet toss and the garter toss. My bouquet toss was fine except it's sad that my amazing bouquet kind of exploded in the process but, that's how it goes. During the garter toss however, more hilarity insued. Andy wasn't guite sure how the whole thing worked. Someone pulled out a chair which was for me to sit on or put my leg on but Andy didn't knw what he was doing so he was just about to sit on my chair when I pulled it out from under him and he totally fell on his ass. It probably looked like it was scripted slapstick but we were really just disasters waiting to happen not knowing what we were doing. It will be a fond memory into our autumn years, I feel. Incidently Anna caught the bouquet and Samuel caught the garte. Both of them also caught them at Cathy & Doug's wedding. At first it was like "yeay, here's to gay marriage rights" but this second time people wer more like what the fuck, give someone else a shot.

The After Party

The after party seemed off the hook in the girls room. Andy and I only came in and out between going to our bridal suite (hey hey) and downstairs outside to smoke. (Oh dear there were so many slugs and snails outside late at night, but people protected me from them,) I kept feeling that tug to be a part of it and keep the party going but I kept knowing that it really wasn't our place. That and everyone reminded us, what the hell are you doing here? Shouldn't you be consummating the marriage. Hence our "in and out" of the afterparty. (Ooaf, that sounds WAY dirtier than I meant it, but meh, that's funny. I mean in and out of the after party not...yeah..) Anyway, the pics are great though and it looked like everyone had a really bitchin' time.

All in all

All things said and done I think we put on a beautiful , fun, unique wedding that everyone enjoyed. People told us it was the best wedding they've been to. People loved the cheese, they loved the quotes, they loved the clothes. I think we just did well all around. I'm very proud of us for pulling it together (with help) on a budget and making it work. The last shout out I have to make is for Bob and the Staff of Manresa who were so awesome. That place is beautiful, for sure, and I love the history and the town but the staff of the castle were so easy to work with, helpful, nice and super tolerant of us loud, drunken Seattlites storming their castle for a weekend!  I couldn't be happier to with how it all turned out.

Now it's time for the honeymoon! Vegas & Hawaii here come the Holtmanns!



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
Your wedding was really fun, which often isn't the case with weddings! Amy and I had a great time exploring Port Townsend, loved the actual ceremony, and the reception and after party were super fun. I'm so glad we stayed there too, it made it way more of an experience than just showing up and attending a wedding.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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