Sideburns & Bangs Get Married8:54 AM
September 30th, 2012 Sideburns (Kyle) and Bangs (myself) got married. It was a breezy, but warm autumn day at Cobblestone Farms in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and we could not have asked for better weather, or a more awesome location. The venue is a giant barn, with a smaller barn hosting typical farm animals, as well as there being a historic carriage house on the property. It was the first place Kyle and I looked at, and it was in our budget. We wanted something a little different for us because we knew that we wanted to make a lot of the decorations and to keep it simple. It ended up being a perfect day for a non-traditional wedding of sorts. Or as we like to call it, our "Rustic, fall, library, dance-party" wedding.
This was a real DIY wedding, pretty much everything aside from the food. We had to get there early and set everything up ourselves, and pack everything up at the end of the night. It was a very long day for us, but it flew by so fast, and it was amazing. Weddings are always filled with unexpected surprises, but my favorite had to be my brother David. He was originally supposed to stand up in the wedding, but at the last minute could not get the leave time (he is a marine). A few days before the wedding, he called Kyle to tell him he got the day off, but had to be back the next day. Kyle bought him a plane ticket at the very last minute so he could be there. He surprised me the day before and helped us with all of the last-minute preparations, help set-up at the wedding, and was able to stand. He had to leave right after dinner, but I am so happy and thankful that he got to be a part of our day. It would not have been complete without all of the "Astley-Asshholes" present :P
Not only did we set everything up, we made all of the decorations. Kyle's mom made table runners for all of the guest tables and the DJ table, and my mom hand-embroidered sunflowers on all of the girls sweaters standing up in the wedding. My best friend, and maid -of-honor Jamie made the bunting decor, as well as tiny pillows with our initials on them, and the ring-bearer pillow. Lauren designed, made, and mailed out all of the wedding invitations for us before the wedding. My friend Anne loaned us the arch from her wedding and decorated it for us with hand-made decorations. She also kindly made all of the boutineers and my entire bouquet with paper roses made from an Anne Rice book (completely beautiful, and badass!). My Aunt Terri made all of the beautiful candles for the wedding, taking care to wrap each jar in burlap and tie sunflowers to them.
Kyle and I thrifted tons of mason jars to use as center-pieces, collected sticks from our backyard and added the sunflowers to them (I made the girl's bouquets as well). We also thrifted mis-matched dishes and put Reeses pieces in them for the guests to snack on before cocktail hour. The table numbers I made myself from thrifted picture frames, paint, stencils, and an old book, and we stacked our own vintage & kids books on the tables. I ended up making the table-runners for the gift/seating chart table, the head table, and dessert table. We bought little burlap bags, stamped them, and stuffed them with tulip bulbs for the favors (a lot of people thought they were garlic, oops). We somehow ended up with a ton of glass shooters, so I put daisy-mums in them as well. There were two giant pegs on the barn doors, so I made fall wreathes with bunting to help tie in the theme.
The dessert table was simple, but awesome! My parents made sure to get cupcakes with our wedding colors (purple & orange, if you haven't figured it out yet), and a small cake for us. We bought a ton of sea-salt chocolate chip cookies from Mae's in Pleasant Ridge (basically our very own "Lukes" from Gilmore Girls, only better). Mariah (my girl-usher) hand-painted little wooden figures to look like Kyle and Myself (Weezer & Tiger's love!), and did a fantastic job.
The seating chart/gift table was another favorite aspect of the wedding, and mostly Kyle's idea. We made a trip down to the Detroit salvage yard and bought three old window pains, and Mariah kindly wrote all of the guest names on each panel, by table. She even brought over some cool flowers to decorate it with (genius!). We thrifted an old picnic basket and tied ribbons on it for the cards, and I went to craft-town on an old guestbook to make it match our decorations.
Chris & Michelle (Kyle's brother and his wife) not only took all of the photos for the wedding (Chris also stood up), but made us a little camera section with instamax cameras and markers to write on. It was a hit, and I can't wait to get those back to look at and scan and post, the pics and captions were hilarious!
The DIY did not stop at the decorations. I had so many amazing people with multiple jobs, and I still don't know how they managed to be so badass while doing it. One of the guy's main jobs was to set up the chairs outside for the ceremony, and Chris had the genius idea to shape the chairs like the Weezer symbol! =W= I about died! As I mentioned before, Chris stood in the wedding, and was also a photographer.
Kyle and I are not religious at all, and were not sure how to go about the whole ceremony. We had a few ideas in mind, but waited to the last minute and then panicked when we realized that we did not have anyone to officiate the wedding. My friend Becky offered up to check out how to become ordained online, and then surprised us by doing it. Not only was she a bridesmaid, she was our officiate, and did an amazing job as well. You would never have known that she never married anyone before that day. I also made the entire playlist for the wedding on itunes (with a lot of help from my friend Neil, and did I get a shitload of compliments on it, may I add) and Becky also acted as a DJ of sorts by announcing the dances, the speeches, as well as making sure the correct playlists were playing.
One of our good friends Cix is in a band and I may have bugged him to sing a song while we walked down the isle, and he did! He sang "Arms of a woman" by Amos Lee, one of Kyle's favorite artists. Sadly, I did not get to hear most of the song (I was inside, waiting to walk) but everyone said he was amazing and loved the personal touch. Oh and did I mention that he sang it acapella, in front of 135 people? yeah, my friends are the absolute shit.
I think my second favorite surprise had to be my dad, or as well so fondly refer to him as "Sasquatch". While the wedding party was piling out the door, arm in arm, my dad pulled a Halloween monky-mask out of his pocket and slipped it on, right before walking me down the aisle. I don't really like a lot of attention on me, so this was actually a great comic-relief. I basically had a ridiculous giggle-fit the first few minutes of the ceremony, but it was well worth-it. Oh and he kept it on the entire ceremony, as well as during the dancing. My dad, the Sasquatch.
The ceremony went great, it was full of giggles and tears. We wrote our own cheesy vows (mine may or have may-not included a few Doctor Who references...you write what you know) and when we finished, Mariah played "I believe in a thing called love" by the Darkness as the recessional.
Kyle and I planned so many details of the wedding, that by the time the actual big day arrived, we wanted to keep things simple and fun. We did not do most of the traditional wedding activities, but we did do the best man and maid-of-honor speeches, which were tear-jerking and a riot, as well as the first dances.
Chris and Michelle had the great idea to Rick-Roll someone (with the last-name Astley being half of the wedding party, hello!) and we did just that. My monkey-mask wearing father and I danced to about 30 seconds of Cat Stevens "Wild World" before switching it to Rick Astley "Never gonna give you up!" ... and my dad danced like a Monkey. Kyle and his mom Debbie danced to Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" and it was very sweet to watch after the monkey-dance.
Kyle and I danced to Weezer's "Island in the sun" as our first dance as a married couple. Kyle does not share the same
obsession passion as I do for Rivers Coumo & Co. but he loves the Green Album and this song. Because it is a faster-paced song at some intervals, we spun around as well as danced close, and it was perfection :)
After that, most of the older guests left (our wedding was on a Sunday and they had to work the next day), and the rest of us youngsters danced for a few hours straight. We even performed the "Cat Shuffle" (a dance we invented at a nightclub, you know, as people do) to MGMT's "Kids". I *think* there may be a video of it out there somewhere, and if one comes up, I shall post it.
We could have not gotten through the day without all of the help from friends and family. Everyone helped set-up, breakdown, guests even helped bring in chairs. We hired two of David's friends to help out for the day, and they worked their asses off! Brian, Kyle's twin brother, works for catering company, and they really helped us out. The food was amazing, and they even gave us a ton of it to take home with us. My brother Mark's boss is also a DJ so he loaned us a speaker, and a mic for the night. My friend Sara came over early and did my hair for me, as well as two of my bridesmaids. Kyle's mom bought us all of the booze, and even hired us a coffee cart (so awesome btw) for the night, and my parents bought all of the dessert and paid for the chair rental so we could have an outdoor ceremony. Michelle and Chris did an amazing job with the photos, and I still have so many more to share.
I still cannot believe that we are finally married, it feels so good, but not really that much different. I feel like we are finally complete, and also that more adventures are ahead. Right now, life is pretty good.
Photo credits: Michelle & Chris Gerard