10 years ago today…. I married Matt!

(Thanks to my sister Beth for painting the pumpkins.)

Our wedding day was a little bit different. We were already living together, so we spent the night before the wedding at home, and had breakfast together the next day. Eventually we separated when I headed off to Capristo Salon for hair and makeup.

Everything went just fine at Capristo with hair and makeup, but there was one little snag. Two of my cousins from New Jersey, Michael and John, drove with the women to the salon, with the plan that they were then going to take my dad’s car and explore Pittsburgh a little bit. This seemed like a fine idea as we knew we’d be there for a couple hours.

You can probably guess where this is going. But not exactly, because the key here is that Michael and John definitely didn’t know exactly where they were going. Before we knew it, we were done with hair and makeup, sitting idly in the waiting area, moments ticking by, with no Michael and John. Eventually one of us got a call from these mortified young men, admitting they were a little lost and trying to find their way back to us.

We had come in more than one car, so after it was clear that Michael and John’s detour was not insignificant, my friend Morna and I left in her car. Still problematic: my shoes, undergarments and necklace were all in the lost car.

Matt and I had planned to do a first look… except, we didn’t call it a first look back then. We probably called it something like “we want to spend cocktail hour with our guests, so let’s do all our photos before the ceremony.” So we did not have a dramatic first encounter planned. And since time was pretty tight by the time my shoes, undergarment and necklace arrived, Matt was there with me to help expedite the process.

Our ceremony and reception took place at The Mansion in Butler. Photography by John Schisler. All images shot on FILM!

My dress: Jeannette Russell. LOVED my bouquet from The Bloomery.

We requested photojournalistic coverage, but of course we had formal family photos, too. These photos are very important to us, and this one of Matt and me with his parents in particular, as we lost Matt’s mom, Randi, to cancer in 2009.

We stuck together even after our portraits and spent our pre-ceremony time together, relaxing with a little wine. Just a little.

We wanted a secular ceremony, but we also wanted it to be personal and meaningful. In Pennsylvania, you can apply for a self-uniting license, sometimes called a “Quaker” license, which means that you do not need a religious or judicial official present, just two witnesses.

We asked my uncle Don to perform our ceremony, and he exceeded our expectations by writing some beautiful words about marriage and commitment. And then we also had readings by some very important people in our lives, before we each spoke our own vows. (Mine included a quote from Albus Dumbledore.)

These next two are my favorite, because I’ll never forget the euphoria of “just married” bliss I felt as we walked out into the hallway and embraced.

Enjoying cocktail hour with Uncle Don!

Crazy story time! Toward the end of cocktail hour, I slipped out of the room to go to the restroom upstairs. On my way back down, at the bottom of the stairs, a man unknown to me stopped me and said, “the bride and groom are supposed to exchanged kisses on their wedding day. Here is one from me.” He then proceeded to drop a Hershey’s Kiss DOWN MY DRESS!!! My jaw dropped. I returned to cocktail hour and told this story to my sister, retrieving the Kiss from my cleavage as evidence.
Our food, prepared by A Fare to Remember, was sooooooo good. We took advantage of the multiple rooms at The Mansion and set up stations, which included a Southwestern station, an Asian station, and a dessert station. Even better, they packed up and froze leftovers for us so we could enjoy them after our honeymoon.

There was one other issue that sort of goes back to Capristo. But it’s not Capristo’s fault – I can’t blame them for my mutant thick hair. I really wanted this low updo, but my extremely heavy hair won in the end. By the time I danced with my dad (to Elvis singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”), it was unraveling.

My mom tried to fix it, but it was no use.

Best night ever! Much love to Matt and thanks for 10 wonderful years, so far.