And We’re Back!

I apologize for leaving the blog hanging for a little while, but with the stress of last minute wedding craziness and the honeymoon, we decided to take a little break. We thought we’d share a little about the wedding day,  some finished snap shots of all the projects we’ve been updating you on over the past couple months and update you on our next big project for the blog. These will come in three blog posts over the next week. To give a little sample of the upcoming pictures, here’s a teaser from our photographer.

For starters, the wedding went so well! The week before was one of the most stressful weeks of our lives, right up there with finishing and defending a masters thesis and taking the CPA exam. It was an emotional roller-coaster ride. We planned this wedding in less than 4 months and the only thing we formally rented or service we received was the flatware/silverware/market lights, photography and the catering. Everything else was homegrown, rounded up, hand painted, salvaged, thrifted or purchased in bulk and assembled or made into something usable. The venue for the reception was a car garage (shop) that hadn’t been cleaned in 10 years and was full to doors with collected goodies. In addition to transforming the venue, we also finished our apartment attached to the venue. BTW, we both work full-time and the wedding was planned for right after Christmas. Crazy? Yes, why yes we are. To make things really interesting, we switched venues for the ceremony the week before! We went from a chapel to an open field!  The wedding ceremony itself consisted of borrowed benches, reception chairs, a few trees and some last minute touches that turned a dirt patch into a beautiful ceremony with a fantastic view. A little fun fact: This was the original venue. We had originally planned to rent a tent and have the reception at the top of the hill and the ceremony right next to it. For fear that the weather would take a turn for the worse and to save money, we changed the reception to the shop.

The shop before…

One week before the wedding… if that…


We both had the week off of work and had way more planned for the week than was possible to actually accomplish. The venue was still being cleaned and cleared until Friday, the day before the wedding. The final day before, we rushed to make the bouquets, set the tables and get the decorations up and out. The night before the wedding I was up until 1 AM setting up the reception hall. I then left a detailed list of tasks still to be completed and washed my hands of it all. To my surprise, a few friends came to the rescue and completed every last detail. I was continually surprised throughout the reception when I’d see a detail that they had completed, it made me unbelievably happy. We received complements all night long and long after the wedding. That’s what we did all of this for, so that our friends and family could experience and would enjoy it! It’s hard to describe, but it’s similar to when you decorate your home–you do it to bless your guests. It’s not all for you. They always tell the bride that it’s her day. When in reality, we spent every waking moment of the past three months so our guests too would have this day to remember our marriage as a day of celebration, hand crafted by us. Turns out that we are surrounded by people who are willing to get their hands a little dirty and help us pull it all together.  Needless to say, it was a mad dash and we didn’t do it alone. Phillip’s family came in droves to assist us. They offered their hands and went to work. Phillip’s sister Amy and her husband Gabriel worked day and night on any random and outlandish tasks we asked of them.

They painted the side of Phillip’s truck (which held the beer kegs) in the most creative way…

They painted signs for the cake table…

and did a make-over of the signs by the road, adding one with our new address on it…

 They scraped oil stains off of the floor of the shop… We are so thankful for their help. Not to mention a few others who stepped in to help wherever help was needed: Aaron, Greg, Tatiana, Diana and Chris.

Samantha, my matron of honor, helped me to keep mentally stable while I faced the possibility that things wouldn’t get done in time. I’d spent so much time on every detail, my biggest fear was that I’d have to let it all go and have the place be thrown together any which way or worse, that it wouldn’t get done in time at all. We’d spent hours, days, months laboring over every detail. Would it really all be for nothing? These were the threatening thoughts that raced through my mind. Samantha held me together and labored with me. I haven’t even gotten to the part about how much work Phillip’s father put into this. I don’t even know where to start there… there are no words to describe how grateful we are. Not to mention Phillip’s mom who provided and washed a zillion mason jars and helped Phillip taste-test the Kahlua to perfection. My family as well rolled up their sleeves and helped out the day before. My mom, stressed out to the max, helped me every step of the way and looked beautiful on my wedding day, btw.

Let me tell you, I’ve got some talented friends. Diana grabbed my bouquet that I had thrown together and turned it into the most beautiful bouquet I’ve ever seen. She wouldn’t even let me see it until she was done because she knew how stressed out I was. Bless you Diana… I love you. She mentioned in passing, “Oh, I took a flower arranging class once.” She doesn’t realize how talented she is.

Many friends contributed to our beautiful selection of home made cakes of all shapes, kinds, and sizes! Phillip’s brother-in-law brewed fantastic beer. All three kegs were dry as a bone. The Barleywine was to die for and everyone loved it. Michelle came to the rescue on Saturday. Unfortunately, I was not there to witness it, but she pulled that reception together until the last glass was picked up that night. I am continually told that Michelle needs a medal. Her husband does catering for a living and had I been thinking, I would have hired them to set up the reception and do the apps from the beginning. Also, Katie swooped in on Friday and took charge. She’d been there before and knew exactly what needed to be done. Dr. Kim and the band rocked the house! The band was a hit! Aly, Kayla and Alexander played beautifully for the ceremony… I’m so sad that I didn’t get to hear it all.

The kegs in the back of Phil’s 54 Chevy panel truck in a tub.

One thing I learned in the process of event planning is delegate and reiterate exactly what you need from people and when you need them. I wont say anything more than, don’t assume.

Here are some snap shots of some of the work crew…

De-nenge putting down the wood laminate flooring for the dance floor. We later used this same flooring for the kitchen of our apartment.

Phillip’s brother Andy, the architect, planned the design for the market lights using CAD. Others joined to help us put them up.

Chuck, a friend of the Howerzyls, let us borrow heaters and many other items for the reception. He brought some of the Buckheart boys to help.


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