Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Amy and Mike's Wedding Extras

(Before we begin, all photos, unless otherwise indicated, were taken by the talented Ben Pancoast of Ben Pancoast Photography.)

On a cool day in October, I took the day off of work to prepare to head west to Lakeside, Michigan, where my best friend, Amy, was getting married. I called Amy before leaving to make sure she was doing well and to see if her and her fiancé, Mike, were on the road yet.

In actuality, her and Mike were having car issues and she was frustrated because they were not setting out when they had originally planned. I said a prayer that they would be able to get on the road quickly, and that she would feel more calm when they did.

Then, in an effort to comfort her, I started talking about how I had everything set to go...the timeline poster, the reception seating chart, and the table numbers. Surely this would help her feel like everything was just falling right into place.

I finished rattling off the list and then paused for Amy's response.

"And...the programs, right?" she asked.

Sometimes you try to comfort your best friend a few days before her wedding and it works out really well. Other times you basically let her know that even though you completely designed her wedding programs, you actually had forgotten all about them, and would have headed to her wedding without them had she not said something.

This is the story of two best friends and the weekend one of them got married. One friend is calming, steady, and comforting. The other is me.

Amy and Mike had decided Lakeside Inn was the perfect setting for their wedding and when I arrived, I couldn't help but think, "this is so Amy."

The Inn has a huge front porch lined with rocking chairs. It is located right across the street from Lake Michigan, which looked like this that weekend. 

The weather wasn't exactly what Amy was hoping for, but it made for a cozy weekend at an inn right by the lake, with 80 of Amy and Mike's closest friends and family. (Side note - how beautiful is Lake Michigan, no matter the time of year?)

We did a lot of things that first day we were at the inn. When I arrived (Luke would come the next day with my parents), I was able to hang out with Amy and her family. We had a wonderful meal together that evening, and then Amy, her mom, her sister, and I set out to make these birdseed hearts that would be used as wedding favors. This was a frustrating two days before the wedding event because the birdseed hearts she ordered from an Etsy vendor didn't make it to her house in time. But we chatted, laughed, and watched video clips while we put them together and it was a fun memory in hindsight (or maybe not...I'll have to check that with Amy).

The next day was filled with preparations for the wedding - a test run for Amy's hair, the rehearsal, and the rehearsal dinner. It was filled with excitement and anticipation.

And then it was the day of the wedding. We drove over to St. John's, Michigan, where we all got our hair done.

Then we all came back to the Inn and started getting last minute things ready for the day. The afternoon was filled with putting flower arrangements together, making sure the centerpieces were perfect, and getting everything set out so that the night ran smoothly.

As early afternoon turned into late afternoon, we all gathered in the largest room in the inn - the one that Mike and Amy were staying in - to get ready.

I love that we all just gathered around Amy until that absolutely stunning dress was just as it should be.   And believe me, it was just as it should be and it looked perfect.

And then it was time for Amy to get married. One by one, us girls walked down the aisle until it was Amy's turn. Let me just say, I don't think I've cried at any wedding I've ever been in, including my own. But when I got down to the end of the aisle and Amy's sister, Nicole, was already crying, I was done.

The weather was cold and windy at this point, but we were in the backyard of the inn, which seemed to block most of the wind from getting to us. We also had pashminas that Amy had given us as bridesmaids gifts to keep us warm.

But not Amy. Her arms were barely covered, but she didn't seem to mind one bit.

It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony that ended with quite a kiss.

And then we walked back down the aisle, Amy grabbed a coat from someone, and I had my first task of the day. We had to sign papers to make this marriage legit.

Then the pictures started. It meant so much to me that Amy had my family on the list to get a picture taken with. Amy was a part of so many family vacations, family events, sleepovers, pretty much every part of my life that it made perfect sense to snap a picture with her to document the occasion. (Side note - Look at my mom grabbing onto Amy's arm as if she wanted to take credit for her. Nance, please.)

And then we went out to the front of the inn to snap some pictures with the entire bridal party. This is when things got a little chilly...

But you can't tell, right?

We started strolling down the street in an effort to get a little warmer (or because we were told to, whichever).

The way Amy and I are looking at each other in this picture totally reminds me of a day three years prior when we strutted our stuff at my own wedding. 
Image by Widdis Photography
Ben, the photog, then let the bridal party go warm themselves by the fire while he snapped a few more photos of the newlyweds.

After Mike and Amy came in from the cold, it was time for the reception which meant it was time for my second big task of the day.

I think it went well. I do believe this is a picture of Amy laughing at something I said, so that has to be a good sign.

It was hard to wrap up all those years of friendship in a few minutes, but I did the best I could.

I finished, Amy and I hugged, and then Amy and Mike took the floor for their first dance as husband and wife. 

The dancing in general involved a lot of goofiness, a lot of white people snapping (both from me, let's be honest), and a lot of stomping. 

But folks, there was one who danced harder than anyone else that night. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Amy's dad, Wayne. 

The love I have for this photo is so deep that I am still considering getting it blown up to a poster and hanging it on my front door. (This has NOT been cleared with Luke yet.)

There was so much celebrating that went on that night and it was one of those days that just made me so thankful for the long standing friendship I have with Amy. As I said at the end of my speech, my life has been enhanced because she has been in it. 

So this post is to commemorate a good day. It was a day that I'll always remember, but because my memory does fail me more often than I'd like it to, I wanted to document it here so I could forever remember the day that my best friend got married. 

But I'm also blogging about Amy's day because she did have me do some extras for the wedding. In case you wanted to skip the story telling, you might have landed here. Welcome and please enjoy the extras. 

Now, because I did not accost the photographer before the wedding to tell him that he needed to take photos of my extras (I've only been known to do this once...), the table numbers were the only extras that were captured. You'll see those in a minute, but first, a couple of posters. 

We had two posters made for Amy and Mike's wedding. One was put at the front desk for all of the guests to see when they came in. It was basically the blown up timeline from Amy's wedding invitations

This was a great idea because it kept the guests constantly informed, especially if they forgot to bring the handy timeline from their invitation.

The second poster was located right where the guests walked into the reception and it indicated where they were sitting. The tables were marked by state, each one being somewhere Mike and Amy had visited together.

You can kind of see the seating chart in this photo (which, by the way, is of the lovely guest book that Amy's bridesmaid, Lexi, painted for them). It's over there way in the right hand side. OK, you can't see it at all, but this is the best I've got.

When guests sat down, this is what they found. A table number with a state, a date, and a favorite memory Mike and Amy have from their trip there. The centerpieces were also done by Lexi, bridesmaid extraordinaire. 

The table numbers were by far my favorite thing Amy had me do and I'm pretty sure it was because of how great they tied into everything else. 

The last thing I did was the programs. These pictures were taken by me, on my trusty porch swing. 

But Ben did capture this image of the top of the programs with the rings, which is especially beautiful.

You may think that these are all the wedding extras I have for this week. Not so, my friends. I'll be back on Friday with more. But tomorrow, I'll interrupt the wedding extra hoopla to bring a fun little valentines day post.

See you then!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post


  1. I honestly completely forgot about the programs SNAFU until I read it here. So clearly, I was not too traumatized. I'll let you know when I order my poster size photo of dancing Wayne. Maybe we can get a discount if we order them together. It was fun to reread the summary of my day. Makes me want to go back and do it again. It was the best day! Love you friend!

    1. Seriously, let's go to Lakeside Inn sometime in the next couple of years and just relive it all. And while all of the wedding photos are gorgeous, none make me laugh as much as the one of Wayne dancing. Classic Wayne.