Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Our untraditional wedding: part 2 / Michigan reception party.


Okay, I lied. This is probably just as long as part one, but definitely more pictures (maybe too many pictures, haha) and a little less wordy. But, because I do love words, it's still a little wordy.

So when I left off we had just returned home from our trip, married up and life pretty much just got back to normal. With the exception of a few changes of course, like me changing my last name and those sorts of things. I think I mentioned before that the hardest part for us was learning to call each other "husband" and "wife." It really took some getting used to. Whenever John would say wife at first it sounded like he was mad, haha. Like a hard "WI-fe." Maybe it's all in my head, but I think he says it much softer now, haha. At work I would always talk about "my boyfriend.." blah, blah, whatever, and the girls would be like, "um, isn't he your husband now?" Seriously, it was so hard to get used to! I mean couples who are together for like ten years, I can only imagine how weird that is to change titles. We weren't even dating THAT long, compared to some people. But probably because we did it all so fast, we didn't have time to think about it (or mentally practice haha). 

We knew we wanted to get at least the immediate families together afterwards just because it was the right thing to do, but we weren't sure where, or when or how. And we knew we were going to be moving again before the end of the year, so we were really hesitant about setting a date and planning something at home because as timing would have it, we would end up having to cancel or something. So a few weeks went by just talking about it. I was more for just a small dinner party somewhere, because I'm not really close with much family outside my immediate family (and my immediate family is large and confusing enough as it is lol), but John has a ton of family, like they have 100 people over for Christmas every year. So Johns parents had the idea to have a party at their house in December, as kind of a combined Christmas/wedding party. But before we knew it, it was just a wedding party, haha. Which is something that we never, ever wanted but the truth is that we realized it was important to our families so we needed to do it. And they were happy to pretty much plan the whole thing, so it was fine by us. John stayed almost completely out of it and I helped here & there with small decisions and things (mostly "I don't care" lol). 

So we set a date that worked with everyone and just went for it. I started a Pinterest board to try and figure out some things I liked, but I really had no idea. I just am not a party planner person. And working with a lot of people, even if it's family, totally overwhelms me. So we kind of majority decided on doing mostly red/cranberry and a lot of white, since it was basically Christmas season and obviously throw a little Vegas in the mix. Johns sister, Jessica designed the invitation pictured above (she's so good, like went to Parsons good). Isn't it such a good mix of December and Vegas? I love the little heart, it reminds me of a deck of cards. So she did that, and I got them printed and addressed them, and I think we invited about 150 people between the two families and friends. And then we kind of sat back and let our parents figure out the rest for a while, and everything was going smoothly (for the most part, I was still stressed out anyways) and then...





...because life laughs when you make plans, John gets notice that we have to move to Texas. Fast. We have just shy of two weeks to get there and his first day on the job will be December 3rd. Our party is December 6th. Up until this point everything was easy because we were living only 4 hours away, so we obviously had plans to just drive home for a long weekend. (If not multiple weekends to help.)

So, as if planning a move isn't hard enough, we had to figure out how to move quickly and then get back to Michigan immediately for this party. It was a little stressful, but we knew canceling wasn't an option. We brainstormed a lot of different ideas, but ended up deciding to pack up our belongings in moving crates and have them stored for a few weeks before being shipped to Texas. Then the weekend after Thanksgiving we would drive our cars down to Texas, then I would immediately fly back to Michigan to be there for the days leading up to the party and John would fly home the night before the party, and we'd both leave the day after. 

After that my mind was mostly focused on moving, and I decided not to worry about the party at all until I got back to Michigan. It really helped not being around for the planning though, because it was kind of "out of sight, out of mind" making it easy to ignore for the most part. And really everything was being taken care of, we literally just had to show up. I have to just say here before I go any further, that we are so lucky. SO LUCKY! Everyone pitched in and made this party happen for us and we will be forever grateful. We hardly had to do a thing. Our parents planned the menu and cooked all the food, my Step-Mom took care of the flowers, my step-sister who got married the year before let us borrow a ton of her stuff, my Mom bought the cake, we borrowed tons and tons of tables and chairs from anyone and everyone, my sister came over the night before and hung a million twinkle lights while I sat there going "I have no idea what to do." It was just amazing. The most I did was make a picture wall of John and I with string and miniature clothes pins, and that took me about a whole day. And the most I did food-wise was make chocolate covered strawberries, even though it wasn't strawberry season because John and I always used to make them when we first started dating. (And then neither of us ate any, haha.)

Then, Johns parents neighbor was so, so sweet and offered to take pictures for us. I will never be able to thank her enough for doing that because if not for her, I would have a few grainy iPhone shots and that would be all. So I have her to thank for the majority of these pictures here, and especially for these nice ones of John and I. At first we were like, "do we have to do this?" But it was kind of fun. And I make so much fun of coordinated couple outfits (engagement photos kill me), but I'm pretty proud of what I did here, haha. I picked out Johns outfit before we moved and then just bought all of mine the day before the party. (JCrew outlet, holla!) And I decided to recycle the necklace I wore when we got married to tie the events together a little bit. Not too matchy-matchy right?





It was so windy. But we actually really lucked out in the weather department. It was not bad at all considering this is December in Michigan. We don't even have coats on AND the sun was out. 

We also tried to get a bunch of family photos before people showed up. My mom was so mad my brothers didn't show up until later so she didn't get "her" family, but what can ya do! (Teenagers..)

All of our parents. 


My Dad's side of the family. 


My sisters. 


My Mom and sister, Jordan.


My cute little ole Daddy.


Johns family. 


Johns siblings + photobomber.


Johns Mom and sister. 

And then a bunch of candids...



I'll never forget this little lady in the purple. I introduced myself and she went, "you're the bride? I thought you were one of the kids" hahaha. And then she told me that these other ladies made her come, haha. 






It was supposed to be "adults only" but a few kids snuck in. And I wasn't mad ;) Babygirl wanted that necklace so bad.





My friend Ellen was the only one who rsvp'd for the longest time, and I thought it was so funny John went, "well, she's getting a christmas card this year" haha. 





This is one of Johns "Grandmas" (not really, but kind of if you know what I mean). I just think it's so funny because at almost every wedding I've been to with him, he picks up little old ladys. One of the 17484037347 reasons why I love him.


And sometimes I get picked up too, haha.


Then this is my Grandma who I think is soo funny. She brought her own disposable camera and kept taking pictures doing that pose you know, camera right up to her eye with two hands on the button ready to click, arms out wide going, "say cheeese." I think Johns scared of her, haha.



My teenage brothers who finally showed up, haha.




I'm not sure why this one is black and white, but I stole if off Facebook and I like it. My Step-Mom and my Mom.




Food time. I heard that they wanted us to go first so I tried to hide in the basement, but they found me, haha. Our parents did a really good job with the food. More than a few people asked if we had it catered and I was like, "nope they did everything!" Have I mentioned that we are so lucky? 




And this here was my favorite part. This cake was amazing. My Mom offered to take care of it since she doesn't cook, haha. And my sister actually did the design! A nice little tribute to Las Vegas right ;) And funny story, a like 7 foot tall firefighter made it! It's him and his wifes side business. He came in that morning to put it together, and stick the roses in and I was like "wow, did not picture that!" It was so, so, so good. I ate tons of it, obviously. 




We really didn't want to do this cake feeding thing...but they made us, haha. We tried to do it like, super quietly and nonchalantly so no one would notice and make a big deal. But I'm kind of glad they did because these are some of my favorite pictures ever now.


We were also really adamant about "no toast" but it was Johns sister I believe, that snuck out and got a bunch of champagne and at this point we were just letting anything happen. And I'm not mad about this now either. It was really nice actually. Johns brother made a quick speech off the top of his head, and it was totally surprising and just really awesome of him to do that. Afterwards John yells out to my sister, "Jordan you're turn!" haha. She does give awesome speeches too, but not unprepared like he did ;)


He starts the toast out to "John and Jord..", Jordan my sister haha. People always mix up Morgan and Jordan still. A lot of people were upstairs and missed it...sorry Mom. (Basically anyone who was drinking was downstairs, haha.) It's a little dark, and I look like I'm playing on my phone, but I was taking a video, which apparently I didn't because I don't have it haha. Anyway, thanks Jimmy. We love ya.

I gave myself a strict no drinking until 9pm rule, and this was about that time, so it was game on after that. I'll just say that we had fun. I have such a great video of John and I dancing in the kitchen while I feed him pretzels and tell him that I love him, but the song playing in the background is like, "*** **** *****" so I won't share it, haha.


This is a cell phone snap now, so quality's going down hill from here haha, but we had brought this bottle of booze home from Germany earlier in the year because it says at the top "Apfel" and everyone took a shot of it with us. It was just so cool because John literally carried it for weeks wrapped inside a t-shirt, inside a backpack and it survived multiple plane rides. (And if anyone is wondering, it tasted delicious!)

Another one of my favorite things, was we had this Jenga set on the card table and asked everyone to write on a block. It was something I pinned in my Pinterest page and totally wouldn't have followed through with it, but my Step-Mom got it for us. (So nice.) We actually only recently played it and read them all. (I was laughing/almost peeing my pants because every time I went to take a piece John would yell "JENGA" but in like a weird accent, more like "CHANG-AH." I was dying.) These are some of my favorite ones...(besides the ones John and I wrote to eachother)

- "John + Morgan when is the baby due." - from Johns Grandma.

- "Morgan, you had fun. Told ya." - from a friend I was telling earlier in the day that I was going to have NO fun, haha. 

- "Who is the illest MF'ker in Nebraska?" - from Johns cousin who used to prank call when we lived in Omaha and say this in a scary voice, haha.

(I think Grandma's is the funniest. I can picture her saying these words in total seriousness haha.)

We counted the next day, and a little over 90 people showed up. Of course not all at the same time, they trickled in and out throughout the evening. A lot of friends actually showed up later on, which was nice because I was really focused earlier on making sure that I said hello to everyone and thanking them for coming (I literally said "hi thank you so much for coming" to every single person, haha) and meeting all of Johns family. I realized that weddings are so great because you can meet a TON of people all in one shot. Like, I met all these people I had only ever heard about, all in one day. It was pretty amazing. (I remember my throat hurting because I'm not used to talking so much, haha.) Looking back now I wish I had invited more of my friends from home, but I didn't want it to seem like a big deal or like anyone owed me anything. (I know, I'm so weird.)  So I kind of regret that, but it was so nice to be with the ones who were there.


So like I said, our original flights were supposed to be the next day, but if you can't already guess, that didn't happen. We had to change them, haha. We changed mine to later in the week because I didn't have to be back to Texas for any reason and it would give me time to clean up and visit a little more with family. And John just booked a new flight for the next morning. And then Johns sister who lives in New York also changed her flight to the next morning. It was funny. We were quite the pathetic bunch. But once we all decided we were staying, it was kind of fun. We got fast food and I ate my french fries one at a time over the next few hours while we opened up cards and gifts. (Everyone was seriously too nice to us.) And then we got Jets pizza (the best) and watched movies. It was another one of those feelings like, it was so fun, but so glad it was over with. (Plus we had a lot still to do moving wise, we had literally been living out of suitcases so our attention needed to shift back to real life ASAP.)


I always tell John that this was one of my favorite days ever. I loved our wedding day, but this was equally as special. Just in a different way. As much as I never wanted a party about me, it wasn't so bad. It was over before I knew it, and I realized that people genuinely care. I have a hard time accepting that for some reason. It sounds stupid, but I just really felt the love that day. Maybe that's a pro to weddings that I never thought about before, how you get to be surrounded by so many people who love you and it's kind of an amazing feeling. Not saying I wish that I would have had all those people witness to my actual wedding, I would still die, but it was nice. And I felt so much love for John. Even though it was mostly us grabbing the others arm going, "hey I need you to come meet this person" and we didn't get much time together until later on, we kept looking at each other from across the room and I remember thinking, "god, I love him so much." And I didn't even realize it until afterwards, but not a single person asked where my ring was (which up until this point, and afterwards I guess, that's all anyone ever asked), so I thought that was awesome. 

We still can't believe how great everyone was to us. Thank you a million times to our family! 

And thank you to everyone else for their nice words on our story. I'm glad I could share it here for my own personal memories sake, and also to show an example that a wedding can be different. It can be whatever you want it to be. I'm a huge advocate for this now, that you don't have to follow the traditional "rules." Do what's best for you, and although not personally the easiest advice for me to follow myself, don't worry about what anyone else thinks. Seriously. I'm still learning how to live this way everyday, but this was a good start for me, our marriage and for our family. Yes, we did some things to make other people happy here, but we also stayed true to what was most important to us. We had our intimate wedding alone, and then we got to celebrate with family. We really got the best of both worlds ;)

Part 3: title to be determined, but for now "some thoughts about wedding rings"...coming eventually. (It's one of the hardest things I've tried to explain/communicate so can't rush writing it.)

Until next time..x.

12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. sorry my comment had too many typos I had to delete it to fix it. Here it is:

    yay! I am loving these wedding posts and i can't wait for part 3!! So your engagements (the pictures John's neighbor took) are so cute and I LOVE your outfit! Not to matchy matchy with John at all haha :) Looks like it was such a fun party!! I love our cake eating pictures, too :) just a silly tradition but I'm really glad we did it! So the place we got married fit like 80 people I think and Jason has TONS of family so we invited all family and a few close friends and I totally get wanting the private time. I remember asking Jason if we could just invite a few people because I didn't want all these other people who I didn't really know to see us get married, I just wanted it to be our personal thing. we invited all his family (strangers to me because i don't really know his cousins/aunts/uncles) and it turned out wonderful still but my point is I get you & can totally relate to wanting that personal time haha and then everyone else can come to the reception and it's still like they're celebrating with you without being at the wedding itself!
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

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    1. (Am I blowing up your email yet hahah??) Ok, you had 80 people watch you get married?! I would die. I wouldn't even be able to go out in front of that many people.I was a bridesmaid for a friend who literally got hives all over before she walked down the aisle. Like that would be me. I'm allergic to peoples attention on me. Hopefully you didn't have to say hello to hundreds of people....or did you lol.

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  3. What a great reception! I'm so glad you decided to do some of the traditions stuff like engagement photos, cake feeding, and toast--what great memories!! Btw I'm very impressed with the cake--that fireman did a good job! Haha. Can't wait to read part 3!!

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    1. When we decided a party was happening, the first thing I was excited about was that I got to have a wedding cake. It's literally my favorite part of every wedding.

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  4. Wait... where in MI are you originally from?! I live in MI!!!!

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    1. Hahaha, Howell? Ever heard of it...(probably not lol)...where are you from???

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  5. Oh my goodness I love every single grandma in the pictures and the lady in purple as well. I love that you had the reception with all your friends and family. I remember that feeling looking around at all the people that genuinely care about you so much, it's pretty awesome. You moved to Houston not long after we left!

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    1. Funny how that works huh!! Houstons been good to us, we like it. But yes the lady in the purple was a hit. I loved her honesty haha.

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  6. This is the best compromise! You look so happy and so pretty in these photos. I love that your family pushed you outside of your comfort zone just a bit and you really enjoyed yourself. I still think this is the best way to go for a wedding! Also, probably for the best your family planned this and insisted because I thought about it and yeah that is as far as it went! "John + Morgan when is the baby due"?! ��hysterical!

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    1. Oh yeah I would have never followed through with any of it if it was up to me lol. I about died when I read that one from his Grandma. Like so matter-of-factly as if I was already pregnant lol.

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  7. My husband and I had a particular vision for our wedding, and we were struggling to find the right venue, until we came across these wedding venues Los Angeles. I liked this venue, the manager and his team are second to none.

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