Brooke and I aren't traditionalists. We didn't want to sit through a half-hour ceremony, but we also didn't think eloping was the answer. One thing that we did do was spend the night before the wedding in separate houses.
Even though Scott came with me to pick out my dress I still didn't want him to see me before the wedding. I had to keep one tradition.
I woke up early to meet Brooke's dad at the Theodore Wirth Picnic Pavilion, only to find out that he was meeting me a couple hours later. I ended up getting most of the decorations over to the venue with my dad, sister and Dennis.
Scott had texted me in the morning, "I'm supposed to merry your dad right now right?". I was like, merry my dad? What he meant to type, but autocorrect corrected for him was meet.
Since Brooke came over to the venue to help, I spent most of the rest of the day with Blake, Colin and Olger. We ate some Pair of Dice Pizza and sent Blake on errands.
After finishing with the setting up, my sister's went with me back to Tyler and Emma's to help me get ready.
An hour before the ceremony Brooke's grandpa and ma showed up, followed by Brooke's aunt and uncle. Her grandparents were hungry so I sent them to the Lowry Cafe.
Chelsea's stepson was with us too, he kept me entertained while they made me pretty.
Brittany made my hair piece. I hadn't seen it until this moment. It turned out better than I imagined.
I couldn't decide which shoes to wear. Thank goodness for sisters.
The four of us that hung out the whole day set out some snacks. I was actually relaxed. After being a bit of a "groomzilla" the day before it was nice to see everything coming together.
I did have a moment of panic when Brooke's sisters weren't at our house, but it turned out that they were with Brooke at Emma's.
My mom thought it was crazy that I wasn't going to have a bouquet. I think they're awkward for the bride. I'll have my arm around my dad when I walk up and then I'll be with Scott at the end. I didn't see the point of carrying flowers in the other hand. I think my mom thought we were just being cheap so she bought me a corsage. My dad surprised me with it when he met up with me. I was afraid I was going to look like I was going to prom.
Everyone at once decided to leave the house. Most everyone walked, but I had to drive the grandparents. Halfway there (thankfully it was only 4 or so blocks away) I realized I had forgotten a chair for grandma. Mrs. Gail (Brooke's mom, not mine) joked I was getting cold feet.
By the time we got back everyone had arrived at the spot. Instead of going to a church or even paying the park district to rent a spot we had decided to wing it. Having worked for the parks in Milwaukee and Minneapolis I knew you could get away with a lot as long as you didn't make a scene. I was right.
And hey, we pay taxes.
I told everyone we would be walking to the ceremony. They thought I was crazy. "It's only a few blocks away," I explained.
Olger had to send his speech to himself. I joked that our wedding was brought to you by Google.
We got a few stares from people driving by.
It seems like everyone on both sides of the family has a knack for photography. Since I wasn't photographing I let Blake borrow my best lens. Colin kept it real with his iPhone.
On the way my boutonniere fell off. Aunt Jill expertly pinned it back to my vest.
We let the others walk ahead of us. While waiting from them to catch up with everyone else my dad let me borrow his coat. After he gave it to me he realized how cold it was outside.
Olger and I joked and then waited anxiously for the beautiful bride.
My dad was happy to have his coat back.
Watching Brooke walk from far and then get near was one of the most exciting moments of my life. Nearly six years had led to this moment. I got a little emotional, but held back any tears.
I was pretty surprised at how calm I felt. I too felt emotions while walking up. Since there was no music everyone clapped as I walked up.
Since Olger decided to preside over our wedding, he's made many joke's about saying something raunchy during our ceremony. If you know Olger, you know he like's to have fun, but he's also a dedicated person. He never does anything half-ass.
I couldn't tell if I was shaking from being nervous or cold or both.
I was a little nervous about what he was going to say. I tried talking him into reading it to us the night before, but I'm glad I waited.
His sermon was perfect. It was funny, it was charming and totally encompassed what a wedding and marriage is.
It was exactly what I wanted, short and straight to the point, but it was also very heartfelt.
I kept thinking how real this finally was and wasn't listening carefully to what I had to repeat back and screwed up a word. I don't think anyone else noticed but me.
After we said our vows and exchanged rings Olger said, "You may now kiss the groom."
Before I knew it we were married. Poor Scott had waited for me longer than the ceremony lasted.
After the ceremony finished we quickly took photos with the family and then meandered around Theo Wirth Park taking photos with Emma.
We got pictures with family first so they could head back to our house for the cocktail and snack hour.
Of course we had to take funny pictures of the family. I think my pops is blinking.
Finally, after all these years, these guys are my family too.
I copied Chelsea.
Then we took all the cheesy pictures with Emma. Like Brooke and I in the urban forest.
Brooke and I playing in the leaves.
Me starring at something a.k.a. the model pose.
This is about the time I got my shoes full of mud.
An advertisement for CVS.
And of course this cool one. I love the contrasts Emma. Oh yeah our dear friend Emma took all of our real wedding photos, though we've got a mix of photos from everyone.
As a side note Emma and I would love to photograph your wedding or event.
Way to throw an ad in here Scott.
This may sound strange, but we lost Olger somewhere in here. My brother was making mixers and he decided to send Olger on an errand. Problem was he didn't know our address or how to get back. I swear he was gone for at least 45 minutes in the wilds of North Minneapolis. Eventually we got a hold of him and all was good.
A toast to us all being married.
Everyone gets Emma and I confused. More so lately than before for some reason. Even my dad thought she was me. He decided to call her "Little Brooke" for the rest of the day. I tried on her glasses to see if I looked like her.
Brittany and Chelsea were too excited to wait to give us their gift so they let us open it right away. It's a door knocker that says, The Tuska's est. 2011. Definitely one of our favorite gifts, such a good idea.
We quickly signed the marriage license making our makeshift ceremony legit.
I went back to the Wirth Pavilion a bit early to meet with the band and setup the DJ equipment with my brother. Before we knew it, it was time for the party.
Here's Ali and Adri setting up alongside the ever-present Colin.
Instead of handing out one favor for everyone, I let people choose what they wanted. All kitchenware items.
Apparently Katie went straight for the wine.
My brother, being a wine expert from his gig at Hearth, graciously bought us a case or so for the night. He picked out Le Clos Millesime, a red, and special bottle of Riesling at our table.
Olger was the consummate gentleman. Here he is talking to Brooke's grandparents. I wish he could have stayed longer, but he had to leave the next morning. I didn't get to say a decent goodbye. Thanks Olger.
Mr. Mike, my new father-in-law, did an amazing job of lighting the dance floor.
Eventually our friends and family started showing up. When my college roommate Chris and his better half Rachel arrived I knew it was going to be a fun night.
On the invite we wrote Chris and Rachel Zapp. We started talking and found out that they weren't married. The rumor that they already tied the knot was started by our other roommate Jake. When Jacob arrived we had to clear the air.
Carlos the caterer arrived a little late (he was stuck in traffic), but he brought the goods. The shreded beef and chicken kicked butt and the veggie options were scarfed down by everyone.
We now have a boatload of leftovers. Brooke's mom gave us the idea that we should eat it on the 14th of every month.
Mmmm, shredded beef and taquitos.
Of course everyone made us kiss every ten minutes.
A while back I came up with the idea to have people swallow goldfish if they wanted us to kiss. I forgot about that idea until this moment.
Here's our centerpiece. All the centerpieces were things we had laying around the house. They told the story of us.
Each table was slightly different as well.
I had asked my sister to embroider a heart that said, "I Love You 10-14-11" She forgot to send it to me before the wedding. I was going to iron it onto the back of Scott's tie so when he got dressed in the morning he would have seen it. I put it on his plate instead.
During the days before the big day we had to decide who was going to do the big speech. Colin decided he would do it since everyone else was too chicken/unprepared. My brother made a heartfelt ode to family. It was perfect.
After the taco dinner we cut the cake before the band started. Adri, the band's bass player, yelled over the PA, "Look they're cuting the cake." Indeed we were.
I had asked a few friends and family to bring a dessert too. I thought it would be fun to have different options. Unfortunately I was too full from dinner to have any dessert even though everything looked so delicious. Thanks ladies.
Before my good friends Ali, Monica and Adri rocked our socks off we had the obligatory first dances. Brooke and I danced to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Hysteric.
A few nights before while going over our music selection we decided to go with the acoustic version of our song since it was better suited for slow dancing. The original version was played so Scott and I busted out our dance moves during the fast part of the song.
Brooke and her pops danced to the Ryan Adams cover of "Wonderwall."
My mom and I danced to NKOTB's "I'll Be Loving You". The mother-son dance was a nod to my many 4 year-old nights spent dancing to the New Kids on bootlegged VHSes.
Here's my sis and I rocking out to the Hollow Boys. I think this was their cover of The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry." It was so much fun dancing like a fool as some my best friends rocked the house. Ali and I have been friends since my student magazine days and it was great to have them play.
Other than Olger's crazy journey to the wedding, Monica probably worked harder than anyone else to make something for our wedding. She put this awesome Pinata together. Working tirelessly learning all the songs for the Hollow Boys set.
Since we had no place to hang the pinata I told Monica that I was going to smash the Pinata like a guitar. I finally did it during an epic moment during my brohams DJ set. Monica later told me she almost cried when it broke. Luckily we still have the masterpiece.
After the dancing we headed out with a few friends for some more celebratory drinks before our perfect day ended.