Recap: The Ceremony

Monday, January 30, 2012

Our ceremony was beautiful and emotional. Okay, I guess I'm a little biased! But seriously, every song and reading we chose was deliberate and meaningful. My girls walked down the aisle to St. Anthony's Chorale, a somewhat somber song but fitting none the less. You see, my father's favorite saint was St. Anthony, patron saint of lost and stolen items. I never found out why he was his favorite, but I do know that St. Anthony played an important role in my life growing up. Whenever I'd lose something, I'd pray to him and, almost immediately, the item would show up. 

My dad was very Italian (obviously) and, you know those Italian men, they like to wear gold chains. When my mom first met my dad his birthday was coming up soon. Their relationship wasn't truly defined just yet so she was unsure of what to buy him as a gift. She chose a gold chain with a St. Anthony medal hanging from it. He put it on and didn't take it off...ever. When my dad was hit by a car later in life while crossing the street, the paramedics cut his necklace off of him. They couldn't get the clasp to open (it was fused shut since he hadn't used it) so they had to cut it. After his death, I got the necklace and my mom had it repaired. I carried that down the aisle with me along with my bouquet.

So, our organist recommended that we choose a slow song to have the girls walk down the aisle to as it would more appropriately lead into "Ave Maria". Ave Maria is a very prayerful piece and has always been a favorite of mine. Long before I was engaged, I dreamt of walking down the aisle to a vocalist singing that song. Our organist said that in his 25 years at the church, he never saw a bride walk to Ave Maria and wasn't quite sure if it was appropriate for the occasion. I, on the other hand, believed it was a fitting choice as my mother was giving me away. It was a dream that I was not willing to let go of and in the end he supported my decision, played it on the organ beautifully, and recommend the most amazing soprano to sing it for us. The music far exceeded my expectations.

At the alter, my husband was not the only one waiting for me. A photo of my dad (in which he was wearing a suit and tie with his hand in a bag of potato chips) was present along with a candle that was lit by my sister in his memory. It was wonderful seeing him up there! Here are a few of my favorite ceremony photos!

Recap: My Walk Down the Aisle

Sunday, January 29, 2012

And so it was time to get married! I was anxious to finally get to see all of the people who traveled from near and far to share this day with us. I was also excited to take part in our wedding ceremony, a full Catholic mass, the whole hour of it! Sure, it was fun picking out my attire and planning our reception decor, but the event I was most looking forward to was our ceremony. The serious part of it all, where I would finally be able to state my vows before God and before our closest family and friends. 

I took my mom's hand and felt at ease and ready to go! She, on the other hand, was not so relaxed. She often said over the course of my engagement that she had inherited all of my nerves. She was right. If I got stressed or second-guessed my decisions for even one minute, I would talk to her about it and then I immediately felt better and let it go. Despite her worries about executing such a big event, and tripping down the aisle, it all went smoothly as I knew it would. My mother provided me with endless love and support throughout the whole wedding planning process and it was such an honor to have her walk me down the aisle. I wouldn't have wanted any other person by my side during that most important moment of my life.

The music started and off we went!
The cantor sang "Ave Maria" beautifully.
I was SO happy! Mom was still worried about tripping! :)
There, at the alter, my handsome groom was waiting for me. I was so ready to be his wife!

Recap: Church Portraits

Saturday, January 28, 2012

After portraits in the garden, it was time to leave for church. When I stepped out of the limo, there it was in all it's beauty, the Cathedral of Christ the King.

We were early, which gave our photographer a little more time to snap some pictures. We knew there was an outdoor courtyard which would serve as the perfect backdrop for photos, so we headed that way. When we got out there, we were surprised to see the guys through one of the old, large windows! Luckily we already saw each other because there was Mr. CF looking out!

Of course I had to go over and greet my future husband!

So he ended up seeing my in my veil before the ceremony after all! But I couldn't be upset because it was SO romantic to see him reaching out to me through that church window!

We took few more pics before it was time for the the big moment.

Recap: The Bouquet

Thursday, January 26, 2012

For much of our engagement, I was unsure if I was going to carry a bouquet on my wedding day. I didn't know if it was necessary and thought I wanted to carry something more sentimental down the aisle. I had a few things in mind, my grandmother's rosary, my mother's small bible, or the gold necklace that my dad wore everyday for over 20 years (which I inherited after his death).

Mainly, I really wanted to make sure that everything we incorporated into our day was meaningful. Traditions or customs that we didn't feel emotionally connected to, we chose to leave out. One example is that we didn't do a bouquet/garter toss. I eventually chose to carry a bouquet along with my dad's necklace down the aisle and was happy with my choice to combine both options. Now I just love looking at pictures of those pretty flowers wrapped in lace and secured with a pink cameo! My bouquet included English Garden Roses, Ranunculus, Succulents, and Scabiosa Pods.


{All photos are by Tina Rowden Photography 

Recap: Portraits

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

By the look on my love's face, you would think that it was the first time he saw my crazy high heels. But no, it was not. You see, I walked around the house in my shoes for several months before our big day! Breaking them in, adjusting to the height, and dreaming of the day that I'd finally be able to wear them while walking down that long marble aisle at the Cathedral of Christ the King. Being the jokester (and apparently good actor) that he is, Mr. Cuddlefish seemed shocked by the sight of my shoes (see picture below)! I just love him!

Below are a few more portraits we took before heading over to the church. 

Recap: The Guys

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I shared some pictures of the beautiful ladies in our wedding party and want to make sure I show the guys some love too! You'll notice that our wedding party had three guys and eight girls. We never even thought twice about this (having an unequal number) as we just asked the people who we were closest to. We also had two wonderful ushers who you'll see pictures of later! The guys wore traditional Calvin Klein tuxes from Men's Warehouse. To my surprise, they even wore suspenders (something I wanted but Mr. CF nixed)! I guess at the last moment they decided to put them on. I love a man in suspenders!

Would you consider having an unequal number of guys and girls in your bridal party? Did you or your fiance decide on the guys attire?

Recap: First Look

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Initially, having a "first look" was something that Mr. CF and I did not agree on. I wanted to have one for many reasons and he didn't (for his own very good reasons). Now, I'll be honest and tell you that my sweet husband did not have many demands when it came to our wedding. He simply wanted good food, not a whole lot of pink, some vanilla cake (he doesn't eat chocolate!), and for us not to do a first look. So, for a time, I put the decision on the back burner and considered not having one.

As the date grew closer, I started thinking about our ceremony time which was at 7 PM. I looked online at the projected sunset time and realized that if we didn't do a first look, we wouldn't have any portraits of just the two of us in the beautiful English garden. I also liked the idea of us first seeing each other in private, where we could take some time to cry, hug, kiss, and talk without having all eyes on us. I brought these things up to my love and he agreed that all of those things would be nice. I am so happy that we decided to do one! When I watch our interaction during this time on our wedding video I just cry a million happy tears. To see how we embraced and to hear the words we were able to is just amazing. We definitely would not have had that moment if we saw each other for the first time in church.

I chose not to wear my veil for our first look so that there would be that added element in church. And for the record, we did have two layers of vanilla cake, good food, and not too many pink roses :)