Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wrapped Around Your Finger: In Your Eyes

Our ceremony coordinator Christy had instructed me to wait in the bride’s room as the procession unfolded. First, Mr. Ladyfingers walked his mother, and Best Man Maverick my dad’s fiancee, down the smaller set of side stairs. Then, my girls proceeded one by one down the aisle while Vitamin String Quartet’s cover of “Transatlanticism” played from the deck.

I fiddled with my bouquet, my bracelet, my bangs, and tried to stand perfectly still while I waited… and waited… and waited. I could see each girl through the deck railings and the bushes beyond. I became very, very glad that we’d opted for an instrumental processional song, because it turned out to not be quite long enough. But when it was queued up a second time, it turned out to sound quite natural — particularly because there were likely not many people there who had heard the song before.

And then, it faded out, and I heard my song — our song.

I knew the very first time that I heard it that it would have to be the one. I talked about our history with this song here, and how its pace (and length!) didn’t really lend itself so well to a first dance. Weddingbee introduced me to VSQ’s whole catalogue, and I rifled through many, many songs before I found this one. I’m even listening to it now, while I write. And I’m totally trying not to cry.

My dad tells me a funny story: Apparently, I SPED toward him as I exited the bride’s room. The layout was such that you made a left out of the bride’s room, then a right onto the main deck. After that right, my dad stood about 20 feet in front of me at the head of the stairs. He said I was like a little speed racer. But I was so nervous! I just wanted to make it down that aisle as soon as I could. The guests rose. …

And I tried to keep it together as I first saw Mr. Ladyfingers…

…and he first saw me.

We got to the front, and The Reverend began the ceremony that John and I had put together from a combination of traditional, contemporary, and secular options he had sent us. We found it easiest to go off this template, and to write our own vows for later in the ceremony.

Dear friends, we have gathered here in this beautiful place to join together Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers in marriage. Marriage is a lifelong commitment of body, mind and spirit and is therefore not to be entered into thoughtlessly, but lovingly and soberly. No other human ties are more tender, no other vows more binding than those which Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers now assume.

I ask you both to remember that love makes all relationships sacred. It is an eternal gift given to us to add meaning, beauty and depth to our lives. In marriage, love must be the cornerstone on which all later experiences build. What you promise today must be renewed tomorrow.

Mr. Ladyfingers, from all the people in the world you have chosen Miss Ladyfingers to be your wife. Do you promise that you will love her, comfort her, honor her, and be faithful to her as long as you both live?

(He did.)

Miss Ladyfingers, from all the people in the world you have chosen Mr. Ladyfingers to be your husband. Do you promise that you will love him, comfort him, honor him, and be faithful to him as long as you both live?

(I did.)

Another awkward moment: None of us had remembered that the Reverend would talk for so long before my dad gave me away, so I started worrying that maybe we’d missed our cue and the whole ceremony would go on with father and daughter standing there, arm in arm! A silly notion, really, but one I could not shake. Thankfully, it turned out that the Reverend’s prelude was momentary, and then we did this nifty little handoff, and we were in business.

Another thing we chose that we really liked, when he first told us about it, was a blessing by the parents. Rather than the traditional view of the bride being given away by her father and that being that, we loved the idea of the entire family providing their assent to the union.

It is fitting that we recognize the love and support given these two persons by their parents across the years. Although Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers have left the homes of their childhood, they continue their need for family support, love and understanding. As parents, will you pledge to give these two your deepest blessings as they enter this new season of their lives? Will you honor and support the commitment they make to one another today?

(They did.)

And then the vows. The Reverend gave us a little introduction…

Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers, at this moment, you are filled with joy and anticipation. You have come here to place your lives – all of your hopes and dreams – in each other’s keeping. To enter in this union as genuinely and spiritually as possible, Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers have prepared individual vows to proclaim to one another, and all who are present here today, the depth and breadth of their love.

Our catering coordinator had recommended we print our vows on matching cardstock for both the class factor, and the security of not having a thin piece of paper blowing in the wind. Yeah… we didn’t do that. Whoops.

Mr. Ladyfingers started.

I vow to further your every laugh and quell every cry. 

I vow to remember that we were the best of friends before we were husband and wife. 

I vow to keep the AC at 76, to wash each dish thoroughly, and to limit myself to one Springsteen impersonation a week.

I vow to do right by our family and to make you feel loved each and every day. 

I vow to never forget how lucky I am to have a woman like you by my side, and to treasure every night that I come home to you. 

I vow to be your best friend, your biggest fan, and your ever-present sounding board.

I vow to tell you each day that I love you, even though I can tell you a million times over and it would never convey the live I have for you in my heart.

I vow to spring into action whenever you see a spider and to stay away from major appliances whenever Yankees lose one in the 9th.

But I vow to make every day just as special as this one.

Then me. Disclosure: Mr. Ladyfingers’ vows were either shorter than mine, or seemed shorter once I started reading, so I skipped a bunch of stuff. I let him read the whole shebang later, though 🙂

When I was young, I wanted to believe that I had a soul mate. I had two wonderful role models in my parents, and a lot to aspire to in their marriage, but for many years of my adult life, I became certain that I, among others, had no “other half” waiting for me in the universe. Little did I know that you were waiting for me and that the reason my heart had not found its partner yet is that I was waiting for you.

In the months and weeks leading up to this day, I may have driven you just a little bit crazy with my obsessions, worries, nerves and neuroses, questions and weird conversation threads, projects taken up and projects never finished. But know this: The reason I worried so much over the precise color of pink in the font on our programs, or stressed out about how many cupcakes to order, or nagged you to get your tux already, it was only because I wanted this day, the best day of my life so far, to be perfect. But what I kept forgetting was that it would be perfect because I am marrying you.

I love you because your heart is as big as hearts can be. Your genuine kindness and concern for those you love overwhelms me. 

You stand by me even when I shut myself away, and the simple fact that you are there is enough to draw me out again.

You make me laugh until my stomach hurts, and you make me WANT to laugh, even when I really want to throw things at your head. Which, by the way, is really irritating – but please, don’t stop.

I could sit with you all night, saying nothing of consequence, and come away thinking it was the best night of my life.

I know without a doubt that you will always be there, unfaltering, honest and open, with a shoulder ready for me to lay my head upon. And because I love you, I will be the same for you.

As I pledge my love to you for the rest of our time, I promise to always stand by you, no matter what might come our way. I promise to cheer you on and not to try to be your coach.

I promise to always be your best friend and confidante, to be as unconditional in my love and support as possible, no matter what challenges you might have.

I promise to always laugh at your jokes, no matter how bad they are, and to never become so serious that the ridiculous things we discuss fail to hold my interest. I promise to at least TRY to let things slide, even when you drive me craziest — or at least not to hold it against you for too long.

And I promise to hold your hand in mine, and your heart in mine, for as long as the universe believes that we should be together.

Mr. Ladyfingers, I love you with all of my heart, and I’m so proud that at the end of the day, I’ll have the honor of calling myself your wife.

The Reverend began the exchange of wedding rings.

The circle, represented by this ring, is a symbol of the sun, and of the earth, and of the universe. The circle is also a symbol of peace. For centuries, the wedding ring has been an eternal sign representing the eternal union of two spirits. This beautiful symbol of unity now joins the two lives of Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers in one unbroken circle.

We each stated, as we presented our rings to one another:

I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. I promise that from this day forward, you shall not walk alone. For my heart will be your shelter and my arms will be your home.

And we all prayed during the pastoral prayer of blessing.

Eternal father, we thank you for the lives of Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers and for the love which has brought them together.  Bless their marriage with the same measure of devotion which they bring to each other today.  Give them strength to keep the vows they have made. Teach them to give themselves unselfishly so that their loyalty will be strong and their love eternal.  Grant them the grace to make their home a haven of blessing and a place of peace.

And now, God, as Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers are about to embark on an exciting new adventure, grant that every bend in the road may be a happy surprise and every hill a challenge to be met, and when clouds appear, help them remember the beauty of these moments when before you and their loved ones, they took these solemn vows.  Make of their hands one hand.  Make of their hearts one heart.  Make of their love one love—that together they may be blessed by your presence and your peace. Amen.

In as much as Miss and Mr. Ladyfingers have declared their intention to live together in marriage, have pledged their faithfulness each to the other, and have expressed their love by joining hands and by giving and receiving rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.

And now, go forth united by the light of love. Go forth with hope and joy and a heart full of dreams, knowing that the blessing of family and friends is always with you.

You may kiss the bride.

Photo courtesy of family member

Photo courtesy of family member

Dearly beloved, it is my privilege and joy to introduce to you for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Ladyfingers.

And just like that — man and wife.

All photos by Shorts Shots Photography, except where noted

We made final preparations, visited with family members, rehearsed, and ate a miniature Mr. Ladyfingers

The girls and I got gussied up and headed out to the venue

I got all verklempt, the people took their places, and I waited quietly, alone

Wrapped Around Your Finger: Hey There, Delilah

When we arrived at the venue, the first thing I saw upon walking into the bride’s room was my beautiful flowers, delivered and set up by our florist. I had to take a peek in the main room to see how everything was coming together — SO WELL! — but was quickly ushered back into the bride’s room, hiding away to avoid an encounter with Mr. Ladyfingers. We were not doing a first look, so I’d have to wait until the ceremony to actually see him.

The venue was so quiet and peaceful, the only people there being the bridal party, some family, and our vendors.

Dude, this bride’s room was hot. I mean, there were many degrees of heat and plenty of humidity in the air. The day was beautiful, but I felt so stuffy trying to get into my dres! It didn’t help that, upon arriving, all the windows were open and the air was off. Thank goodness I brought along my portable fan, which was pretty much a huge lifesaver as my girls trussed me up. We’d made sure to leave about 30 minutes for this part, just because if you put my dress on slightly crooked or had it even a little askew when you started lacing up the corset, then you’d have to undo and start all over again.

As guests started arriving, I peeked out of the window…

…which ceremony coordinator Christy quickly put a stop to by closing the blinds and admonishing me. I wasn’t supposed to peek! Boo.

BM Prego kept me entertained and feeling more than a little awkward — my natural state.

The DJ had queued up the music already, and when BM Ginger ran out to grab something, the strains of the Plain White T’s “Hey There, Delilah” came wafting through the doorway. I pretty much immedately started to tear up. Christy told me to stop or else I’d ruin my makeup — thank goodness for her!

This song always reminded me of Mr. Ladyfingers, and him of me. For no good reason, really — I mean, we lived about an hour apart for the first year of our relationship, but it was by no means an LDR, and certainly not a situation of unrequited love. But I’d learned that he had a little crush on me before we actually started seeing each other, and would think of me when he heard this song. He put it on the first mix CD ever made for me, and… well… it was a natural for the prelude section of the ceremony.

What else did we play during the prelude? This was one of the most fun parts of the whole affair — choosing the songs people would hear before sitting down. I won’t do a terrible lot of embedding here, but our list was:

  • Bruce Springsteen, “HappyMr. Ladyfingers had originally lobbied to make this our first dance song. He’s the No. 1 Bruce Springsteen fan, I tell you. But I had to back out of my originaly promise, because I just really hate The Boss. I didn’t feel right dancing to something that only one of us liked — and thankfuly, he wasn’t too broken up about it (though he did bring it up what seemed like every other day).
  • Big Star, “ThirteenOMG I love love love this song. The lyrics and melody are so simple and evoke what it’s like to be in love at 13 — which is probably one of the most fun ages to be in love, before reality actually sets into your life! It’s also hard to believe this song is from 1972. Timeless.
  • The Beach Boys, “God Only Knows  I shouldn’t have to tell you why this song is so amazing. I love it even more for its association with “Big Love,” which I kinda fell in love with last year.
  • Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water Our DJ told us this was a weird song for a wedding… I don’t get it. Just listen to the lyrics. “When you’re weary, feeling small, When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all; I’m on your side. when times get rough…” Come on. You get it.
  • Sufjan Stevens “To Be Alone With You Kiiind of a new one! I think it’s gorgeous. The lyrics maybe aren’t the lovie-est-dovie-est, but I’m sort of smitten with Sufjan’s voice, so whatever.

As the music comtinued to faintly play, the whole “clamming up when I’m nervous” thing came into play bigtime here.

And just like, there was some final straightening, a few words of encouragement, and my girls were gone, lined up outside. There was just me, my bouquet, and a whole lot of emotions.

Yep, it was about that time.

All photos by Shorts Shots Photography

We made final preparations, visited with family members, rehearsed, and ate a miniature Mr. Ladyfingers

The girls and I got gussied up and headed out to the venue

Wrapped Around Your Finger: Put On a Little Makeup

We awoke bright and early for our makeup artist’s arrival at 8 a.m., and she got to work setting my hair and doing MOH Ginger and BM Prego’s hair, and MIL Ladyfingers and BM Prego’s makeup. She finished up with my hair and makeup, and applied all our glosses last thing. In all, it took about five hours — and felt like the blink of an eye.

Marci doing up MOH Ginger’s hair

The finished product from behind — it’s hard to make her hair look bad — while making up MOH Prego

This might have been the most hilarious and bizarre five hours of the whole day. My girls are my girls for a reason: They’re incredible witty and acerbic and… just… odd. BM Prego and MIL Ladyfingers had a weird rapport going. BM Esquire showed up to accompany us while she did her own hair and makeup. It was a laugh fest. We watched many hours of TV inexplicably filled with weddings — “My Best Friend’s Girl” and a couple of wedding episodes of “Scrubs.” We totally didn’t plan it this way, folks.

OK, one more thing: I had a huge zit. Yes. A HUGE. ZIT. I noticed it coming on about a week before. I have a history of cystic acne and (dumb) had been experimenting with my skin care regimen despite telling you I would not do that. The minute I saw things getting red and angry, I knew I was in for a rough one.

Sure enough, it exploded a few days before the wedding. Large. Red. Scabby (SORRY!). Thankfully, I was able to squeeze into a dermatologist’s office on Thursday and get a nice little cortisone shot. Things were significantly better come Saturday, but still not perfect. Every photo I have showed you so far, I have Photoshopped. But thank goodness for Marci — not only did she not blink an eye (I felt pretty gross), but she covered that sucker up like nobody’s business. So, for all of you fearing a facial freakout, worry not! Makeup is an amazing, amazing thing. Even if you don’t have a professional working on it, you may be able to get your local department store makeup expert to teach you a few things. Where there’s a clear-skinned will, there’s a way.

I have no knowledge of hijinks…

BMs Prego and Esquire: Fast friends

As Marci put the finishing touches on my hair and attached the hairpiece, MOH Ginger started to tear up a bit. I was really starting to get nervous, now. Actually, it hit me at around 10 a.m. — that afternoon, I was going to be marrying Mr. Ladyfingers. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me at all, given my longstanding certainty that I would never ever get married. And I couldn’t believe the day was finally here.

After all those months of planning… I really took them for granted. I counted down the months and days like I was in a race. The fact is, it goes so fast. Then you have your wedding, and then it’s over. You’re married. I clammed up — which is a sure sign that I’m nervous — and fretted. I felt butterflies.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Marci added my hairpiece, and we took one last moment to go ga-ga over how gorgeous we all looked.

We each grabbed about eight armfulls of stuff and MOH Ginger called Mr. Ladyfingers to make sure he was tucked away somewhere. We rushed out of the hotel room and passed by about 15 family members. No time to talk! I piled everything into BM Prego’s car while BM Esquire took the dress, rings, and other important paraphernalia. BM Prego weaved through side streets and blared Top 40s pop and made me laugh hysterically, singing along with “Sexy and I Know It” with her fancy updo, pearls, and jogging suit encrusted with rhinestones from HER wedding. We arrived at the venue only slightly behind schedule, and I just had to pop into the main room to see how everything was coming together. It was so thrilling to see the caterers putting everything in place, coming into the bride’s room to find our bouquets lined up on the table, hearing our photographer arrive — and, of course, being sequestered in my room the moment Mr. Ladyfingers and his entourage arrived.

All that was left now was to truss me up in my dress, panic a bit, and get ourselves hitched.

*All photos personal

We made final preparations, visited with family members, rehearsed, and ate a miniature Mr. Ladyfingers

Wrapped Around Your Finger: The Day Before The Day

Welcome to the Ladyfinger wedding recaps! I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share our day with you — so let’s get this party started, shall we?

After months of planning, blogging, worrying, crying, grinning, crafting, and general thumb twiddling, the wedding week was HERE. I had arranged to have the Wednesday through Friday off from work so we could set things up down south, greet family, and try to relax a bit before the big day.

Because our caterer was awesome and set everything up for us at the venue, all my projects had to be done by that Wednesday — that’s when we had to bring everything to them, from the favors and champagne to the banners and the guestbook. We had already taken the collected centerpiece bottles to our florist three weeks out, so this meant my wedding crafting room was pretty much cleared out a few days before the big day. This made the rest of the week especially relaxing, with plenty of time for visiting with friends and family without the stresses of last-minute-favor-baking-and-program-folding. Over the next couple of days, family trickled in, and we tried to make as much time as possible for everybody.

Me, MIL and Mr. Ladyfingers

Puppy Ladyfingers, happy as always to have new playmates.

And then, all of a sudden, it was the Day Before the Day.

We arrived at our venue for the rehearsal around 2 on Friday, greeted by a relatively blustery day. Even the New York in-laws-to-be pointed out it was actually warmer up North than it was in Florida that day — but we assured them the forecast predicted a temperature hike the next day, accompanied by sun and blue skies.

Going through the motions and making last-minute arrangements, it started to really hit me — we were getting married. Here. Tomorrow. Our caterer had assigned us a rehearsal and ceremony coordinator, who was seriously worth her weight in gold. I highly recommend appointing somebody to help you with this aspect of the wedding specifically, even if it’s a friend or family member. It made the whole scary “everybody’s staring at me” part of the wedding — the part before the party, the part that seemed so full of details with the potential to screw up — virtually stress-free, and answered so many questions for everybody.

First, she went through the agenda and explained the process based on what Mr. Ladyfingers and I had established during earlier meetings with the caterer. We started at the end of the lawn, and then came back up to the deck to process the actual way we would that day.

Mr. Ladyfingers walked his mom down the aisle…

(Side note: previously, he was adamant about not doing this, so we decided the best man would walk her down, followed by another groomsman walking my dad’s fiancee down. Two days before the wedding, he said, “Wait — why is somebody else walking my mom down the aisle?” So we changed it. The day of, she asked me, “Why is my son walking me down the aisle?” Yeesh — it was all sorted out in the end, but apparently confusing for all.)

And Best Man Maverick escorted my dad’s fiancee.

The dudes processed down during the rehearsal, but in actuality would be waiting off to the side while the rest of the procession occurred, and would fall into place right before my ladies.

Dad and I strolled on down…

While the rest of the crew waited at the end for us. Let me point something out here: Look at the right side of that picture (specifically, the dudes). Now, look at the left side of that picture (specifically, the maids). Look how orderly the right side is — standing tall, hands clasped (OK, with the exception of Mr. Ladyfingers). And there are my maids, chit chatting away. Our coordinator had to point it out, and they were chastised more than once!

We ran through what would happen — the handoff from father to Mr. Ladyfingers, the way to exchange rings, the bouquet handoff to MOH and all that jazz.

And, ta-da — we were “married”!


We’d brought along our wedding license along at the request of our Reverend, who signed it along with MOH Ginger and Best Man Maverick, tucking it away to send off after the ceremony the following day.

Then, we made the vehicular switcheroo, transferring my stuff from Mr. Ladyfinger’s to BM Prego’s car, and my girls and I stopped off for some much-needed coffee and had our nails done at a nearby salon.

I definitely suggest a nice little break like this sometime in the days leading up to the wedding. We’s had a little thank-you-bridesmaids dinner the weekend before, but having this additional time to decompress and be girly and pampered was so welcomed. Even if it’s just you — maybe even ideally if it’s just you! — it’s great to have a little time to yourself(ves). This moment of relative solitude, with each bridesmaid in their own chairs getting fingers and toes painted, brought another level of reality to things. We were still at the point where there were enough big moments between now and the ceremony — the rehearsal dinner, hotel time with MOH, getting ready in the morning — but really, not many of them. Eleven months later, we were one day from our wedding.

With our freshly painted fingers and toes, we stopped at BM Prego’s house to get dressed, then met the rest of the crew at the rehearsal dinner.

We could not have been more thrilled with the food, service, and everything else. It was about 50 degrees and windy outside at our beachside rehearsal dinner site, and I was nervous that the dinner was outside. But — yay! — the pavilion turned out to be covered, with heat lamps. See? Everything works out in the end. No, really — it DOES.

BM Esquire, me, MOH Ginger, and BM Spotty

The dudes and their ladies

Dad and FIL Ladyfingers get along swimmingly

After the tasty dinner, Mr. Ladyfingers handed out his groomsmen’s gifts: beer mugs engraved with each dude’s last name and the date of our wedding.

And then, we milled about for the big surprise: Mr. Ladyfinger’s groom’s cake.

It was even better than I’d planned, and he was thrilled! Everybody lined up like paparazzi, taking shots of the cake, him with the cake, us with the cake. Then, we ate the cake. Mmm.

(Side note: It being a round cake, there was a bit of confusion over how to cut it, but the servers were able to convince a bartender to do the honors — another Yankees fan who said that if anybody was going to cut into the precious team logo, it should be him.)

Oh noes!

With our rehearsal dinner over and done with in what seemed like such a short amount of time, Mr. Ladyfingers drove me over to the hotel, where I’d be staying that night in a suite with MOH Ginger. I was seriously expecting to get no sleep and be up until all hours and totally cracked out on my wedding day. I started second guessing our arrangement — was it wise to have my best friend staying with me the night before the wedding? Shouldn’t I be getting my beauty rest??

Well, turns out all my worrying was (as usual) for naught. We were both exhausted and sacked out by midnight. All the better for the whirwind day ahead…

*All photos personal and courtesy of friends and family.