Ok, so this was after the dress came off and into a pair of jeans as we danced our way into the night post wedding. That's our best man I'm bumping my booty against and yes, the guy to the left is not just the coolest online ordained minister around, but one of our bestest friends evah and superhost to the backyard wedding. His family put together the greatest wedding in history folks. We had a dance floor pumping with music, lights strung all around, white tents and awnings, blooming gardens, kick ass homemade Italian meatball sandwiches, lemonade and sweet tea, and hospitality galore. These people are a rare find and believe me, we are holding onto them with both hands for dear life. I love my colorado family.
So, long story short, the run down:
Engaged May 31 to wedding July 24. Mark it down people that is one superfast wedding planning and all went down so smoothly and relatively stress free that I am astonished at how perfect it all turned out to be. I can't imagine doing a wedding any other way, seriously. I mean, sure you can be all into the year planning drawn out with cake testing, couple arguments about minor details, food choices, please-put-me-out-of-my-misery seating charts, calligraphy invitations and date reminder cards, over-priced and unattached ministers, flower arrangements that die in a day, expensive and stressful family interventions....should I list more or are you already overwhelmed? I thought so....
With these day's weddings averaging somewhere around 27K (Holy F__!!!!) we thought it a much wiser and healthy start to our lives together by knocking off a few grand and KISS it (Keep It Simple Stupid). Like about 22-24K less...seriously.
We decided to go backyard style and *in leu of gifts* bring us a dish for a potluck dinner with the recipe attached to add to our recipe book! All the research I had done online brought frustrating results in the beginning. I found a lot of "how dare you do that to your guests!" and "I wouldn't be caught dead at a trashy potluck wedding!"
Our feeling, "if you feel that offended, then don't come". We were a little unsure of how people would take it but after reviewing our 50+ guest list of close family and friends we realized that there is a reason why these people are our friends. They think like us and don't carry attitudes such as above. Potluck it is! We were very excited to see what everyone would bring. If everyone brought potato salad then so be it.
(note- after a bit more researching I did find a few arguments supporting a potluck reception. Many people focused that this is how it used to be in the past. Everyone got together to support the married couple in their joining of lives and brought food to celebrate. It is modern times that resort to fancy chip dip platters, crystal glasses, and expensive linens).
The few days before the wedding everyone was abuzz setting up tents, chairs, lights, decorating cupcakes, rolling meatballs and sausage, and general family gathering. I made wedding favor gift bags homemade complete with a wedding CD, homemade sugar cookie scented candles, and chocolates. It was hard work for all but it felt as if we were all at a family reunion having fun at the same time. Badminton and volleyball was broken out, pizza was ordered, and those that didn't get hit with water balloons were found napping in hammocks and lounging on couches during breaks.
The day of the wedding came and excitement was in the air. My parents went with me into the foothills to watch me run a 10 mile trail race adorned with a BRIDE tank top and black running skirt. It was a very strenuous but mentally clearing race. I felt invigorated when done then promptly took a one hour nap at home! Cowboy joined his side of the family for breakfast that morning and told me someone had commented, "boy isn't she going to be exhausted tonight?!" His reply, "you have no idea. she is going to be pumped that she got a run in, she'll have plenty of energy!"
After getting my hair styled, I had my MOH (maid of honor) and mom help me get into my dress and my makeup applied. My future MIL and her sisters came to watch and cheer us on. A few tactical hairsprays later by my MOH and I was in the arms of my dad waiting to walk down the "aisle" by the garden. I heard the music playing "Feels Like Home" and we began our walk down to cowboy. OMG he looked incredible and I kept peeking a look at him thinking, "He's going to be my husband!" I fought back instant tears as I saw him welling up too as well as my dad. To prevent this I turned my eyes to my MOH for support. Dang, she was crying too!
The ceremony was non-traditional with a little story of how we met (all told via our "mentor" and best friend- who was there from day 1) and how all that knew us felt "what took us so long!". Vows were said, rings exchanged, and the kiss planted. I couldn't stop grinning. Pictures were snapped from many different family and friends with one good friend taking the "professional" pictures. We are still currently getting in new pictures as they get sent to us. THANK YOU!
MIL was the main coordinator and maker of the cupcakes (instead of a wedding cake) and they were a HIT! So darn good I had to fight hard not to start stuffing them down my dress to shove into my mouth in a dark corner somewhere.
Food turned out even better than expected with no duplicates! It was all so delicious. My MOH had collected baby/kid pictures of both cowboy and I from the parents and made several collages showing our lives growing up in parallel. We both enjoyed the outdoors to the point it was almost humorous how identical we were as kids. It was a beautiful touch and a lot of hard work on her part.
Dancing started pretty early and continued on into the night. We left around 12:30/1am and the party was still going strong. How awesome is that! We met back the next afternoon for brunch and opening gifts from out of towners that couldn't make it. With the rehearsal dinner at a small mom and pop Italian restaurant, it was as if our wedding lasted 3 days!
Oh yeah, and if I forgot to mention, our wedding was an open carry wedding!! My mom had the privilege of sewing me a garter holster for cowboy's little Derringer.
The next day, my parents, Argos, and best man climbed Mount Bierstadt together. It was Argos and my parent's very first "fourteener" (14,000' elevation and NOT to be taken lightly). It was exhausting and empowering.
Argos had to take a "few" naps....
next big event......The TRANSAPLINE RACE!!!