Tag Archives: Lissa and Curtis Got Hitched

SumoGodzilla Wedding, Part 2: Everyone needs a Night of Discovery

Immediately following the ceremony, L&C went and took some more photos, while everyone else mingled and the catering staff moved all the chairs inside so people could sit down. Lissa had done a seating chart (rather than escort cards) and everyone managed to figure out where they were supposed to sit. The centerpieces consisted of a potted orchid and a jar of chocolate-covered mint patties, and each table (0-10) had a photo of Lissa and Curtis at that age. I think people had fun going from table to table looking at the photos; they put a lot of work into that project!

So now, I explain the sumo-godzilla thing. Several years ago, L&C found one of those plywood painted face cutout things, and took a photo of themselves – Curtis as the sumo wrestler and Lissa as Godzilla. During wedding planning, they decided to structure the wedding around this theme (with some orchids thrown in for good measure) and lots of the little details involved sumo and godzilla – the ties, the sumo cufflinks, the cake toppers. (Yes, that is a small piece of paper towel taped to Godzilla’s head.) The intro to their wedding website featured an animation of Sumo fighting Godzilla that Dan put together for them. And they recreated the sumo-godzilla photo cutout thing (cardboard, not plywood, handpainted by Lissa), and used it as the backdrop for their DIY photo guestbook (also starring a new polaroid product that spits out a photo taken by a digital camera), so guests took photos as Sumo or Godzilla and pasted them in the guestbook along with their signatures. And speaking of the guestbook, I mentioned that Dan handmade it, and by that I meant that he REALLY handmade it – all of the paper was made by Dan, and it was hand-bound, the cover was made, the letterpress was done, and the drawings inside were done by Dan. I think it turned out really nicely.

I digress. So while L&C were taking “We just got married” photos with each other, people started to take sumogodzilla photos, and mingle, and drink wine and beer and other refreshing beverages. I got a chance to talk more with my Dad’s-side-of-family relatives and hug some people I’d last seen at our wedding (granted, it was only 5 months ago, but I hardly ever see them). I posed for more photos. By that time it was REALLY hot outside unless you were in the shade, so people mostly stuck to the shady spots or hung out indoors to wait. Horse’s ovaries were passed. More mingling happened. Simon, as the emcee, got the music going and asked everyone to be seated when the caterers started putting out lunch, and I chatted with my mom’s-side relatives with whom we were seated, waving at Leah and Simon the next table over.

There was eating, and there was visiting, and little girls and cute babies playing on the floor, and there was prosecco (or sparkling cider) poured into champagne flutes, and Laurel and Sam toasted the bride and groom. Then, they cut the cake, and they danced their first dance for a minute, then invited others up to join them. I danced in my heeled brown sandals for the first time since I hurt my leg, and for a while it was OK. The best part of the dancing, aside from dancing with my husband, was the (now) traditional set of movements to the Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), and this time more people joined in. And at one point, I had to fix Lissa’s hair because it started to come undone. Don’t ask me why she looks so horrified.

Lissa had asked us to keep the dancing going, which we tried to do, but it was so hot. I had to escape outside for a few minutes, while cake was cut and passed out, and when I came back in there were no more slices or plates or a knife for cutting, so I had to find someone in the kitchen to cut more. Harumph, I said to that. But the cake was exceptionally good, so it was worth the hassle. Then, those of us in the bridal party were whisked up to the highest part of the park (Inspiration Point) to take a few more group shots, and when we got back the party was over. The place where the wedding was held has two events a day on summer weekends, so everyone was booted out at 3 PM.

After everything was packed and loaded up, Dan drove us (plus some stuff) down to Leah and Simon’s, who followed with some of the potted orchids (they volunteered to take care of them while L&C were on the honeymoon) and the remains of the full sheet cake. We put it in their extra fridge, where it juuuuust fit, and everyone relaxed for a while and took off their fancy clothes. I took a brief nap. Then, it was time to load back up and head for the afterparty, held at a neighborhood pool/poohouse in Orinda. At the party we saw a slideshow created by Curtis’s dad, we ate pizza, we drank sangria, Dan swam in the pool, and I marveled at how utterly exhausted I was. It was kind of ridiculous. My energy was gone, and everyone else at the party seemed to have unlimited amounts of the stuff, even the little kids and the pregnant lady. Laurel and her friends came up with a drink they named the Night of Discovery*, consisting of blueberry vodka and sprite, I think. It was a little sweet for me.

Apparently, after we left, there was a (root beer) keg stand and a cake fight, but I was long asleep by that point. And Lissa and Curtis headed off to a fancy hotel (a gift from Laurel and Jackie) for their night of discovery.*

* One of Curtis’s coworkers spent the nearly two years of their engagement telling him about the wedding night and what it would entail. He called it the “night of discovery.” Curtis initially thought he was joking, but apparently he was dead serious (and also didn’t know L&C had lived together for their entire relationship). So after Curtis told us about it, people spent the entire wedding week/weekend teasing them about it.

Thanks to Dan, Leah, and Laurel for the photos

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Sumo-Godzilla Wedding, part 1: or, how I gained a second brother in one year


August 2nd dawned dark and early.

Actually, it’s kind of hard to tell when you’re in the Bay Area in the summer, because it’s nearly always overcast that early in the morning. How early, you ask? After nearly 5 hours of sleep I rolled out of bed at 6:30, tiptoed down the stairs, brushed my teeth, checked my email and updated my Facebook status, and attempted to leave Leah and Simon’s house in order to drive to my sister’s in time to do her hair. Except the screen door wouldn’t open, so I had to wake Simon up. Boo.

So I got to Lissa’s house around 7:15 and everyone was awake, or as awake as most of them can be at that time of the day (none of them are morning people). As I said, it was overcast, so there was still some dismay over the possibility of the wedding being cold rather than warm. Staying in their house were L&C, Laurel and her friend Lindsay, and Jackie, the awesomest ER nurse evah, and so as you might imagine, things were a little crazy. Someone put the Princess Bride on the TV, and someone handed me a caffinated sody pop when I asked for one, and there was a parade of showers and people pouring coffee and I plugged in the curling iron and started on Lissa’s hair. Because her hair is even thicker than mine, I knew it would take a while to get it all curled so I could start to style it, so I had Lissa sitting in a chair in a daze by about 7:40 as everyone else fluttered around.

Due to some practice earlier in the week, I knew exactly how I’d be doing Lissa’s hair, so once it was curled it didn’t take long. I sprayed the heck out of it and hoped it would hold with only small bobby pins – in our family, with our thick hair, we usually need the big ones, but the amount of hair that was pinned wasn’t especially big, so I was hoping it would hold OK. I shoved in the two pearl hairpins that had belonged to my maternal grandmother to help camoflage some of the bobby pins, and Lissa’s hair was ready to go. I sat in the kitchen to do my makeup, hand mirror propped against a box on the table so I could see, because the bathroom mirror and living room mirror were full of primping ladies.

At various times throughout the morning, a parade of people stopped by the house to assist in transporting things like all the wine and beer and prosecco, the champagne flutes, the 15 potted orchids, the elements for the table settings, and a large cardboard cutout with Godzilla and a Sumo wrestler on it (more on that later). My mom arrived and was put to work ironing shirts and wraps. I put on my bm dress (a little tight in the boobs, but fit OK otherwise) and did something very simple with my hair, and stopped in the middle of something to apply Lissa’s eyeliner when requested (tightlining using a dark brown eyeshadow, which I think looks much nicer than a pencil) after Jackie and Laurel had done the rest of her makeup. Jackie filed my obscenely long nails down in a square shape and I gave myself the quickest French manicure ever, and immediately smudged it when helping Jackie to tie her dress. Someone put makeup on Curtis (don’t ask me why, but there is photographic evidence). The groomsmen who hadn’t been at the rehearsal dinner came over to get their ties (silkscreened with sumo wrestlers) and one of them had a large hole in the back of his pants, which I fixed with about 6 safety pins. And suddenly we all had to leave, and so we piled into three cars, Lissa with her dress, veil, purse (with vows) in hand, and headed up to the Brazil Room in Tilden Park.

I didn’t know where I was going, since I’d never driven up there from the part of the East Bay where L&C live, and the drive was far more challenging than I expected – lots of twists and turns on super narrow streets undergoing construction, trying to follow someone who knew where he was going but wanted to drive way faster than I did. On the drive up, it became clear that the fog was going to burn off completely, and then someone realized that the tie for the remaining groomsman might have been left at their house, so Lissa switched cars and Curtis drove home to get the offending piece of formalwear. We made it to the location in time for Lissa to get her dress on before the photographers arrived (10 AM), and people immediately went into action, arranging centerpieces on the tables, setting up SumoGodzilla and the camera and the guestbook that Dan made them, helping Lissa with her dress and getting her veil in the right spot, and visiting with each other. I managed to find everyone on whom I needed to pin flowers (8 men, 6 women) and eventually the last bridesmaid (Curtis’s sister) arrived so we each picked a BM bouquet (each one was different, and all had elements similar to Lissa’s bouquet). I ended up with the one I liked best, and I think everyone’s bouquets went best with their dresses, even though I didn’t plan it that way.

More guests arrived as we started taking formal photos, and it got brighter and hotter as the morning went on. The fog had burned off completely, so it was actually much more comfortable indoors than outside where we were taking photos. Leah and Simon arrived with the PA system and Dan just in the nick of time, as he was supposed to be in some of the photos. More people arrived. It got hotter. People started to seat themselves on the shady side of the ceremony space. Nobody seated themselves on the sunny side except people who’d thought ahead and brought umbrellas to shade themselves. And then it was time for us to gather inside and discuss the order in which we’d be walking out, since we hadn’t had any sort of rehearsal the day before. Dan escorting Mom, officiant, flower girls, every other groomsman and bridesmaid, and then Lissa and Curtis walking arm in arm up to the front of the group to say their vows.

So that’s what we did. Some of us grinned. Some of us cried. Some of us did both (me! though I managed not to let any tears actually fall out of my eyes). And then, suddenly, after all this time, they were married.

It was time to party.

photos by Dan, Leah, someone with Lissa’s camera, and Laurel

I went to California for a week and I need another week to recover

First, my sister and Curtis got themselves all marrified. Yay! I will write a wedding post, maybe tomorrow, because holy cow, people have already put up like 500 photos on their flickr site and they just got married on Saturday.

Second, while I enjoyed doing everything that I did, I never want to work in the wedding industry. Three weddings in 12 months was hard enough, I can’t imagine doing it all the time. Maybe it’s different if you’re getting paid for it, I dunno.

So. I flew to Oakland on Saturday the 26th (at night) after a busy day of errand running (post office, pharmacy, fabric store) and purse-finishing and packing. My sister and her almost-husband picked me up at the airport, and when we got to their house I got to work on my first task – making some fake flowers Lissa had gotten into hair wreaths for their flower girls.

Sunday, we (and by we, I mean my family) threw a suprise birthday party for Lissa (her birthday was the 30th). She thought she would be attending a coed shower but didn’t know anything else. A good time was had by all 16 people and I hope it was nice for her to have some birthday-oriented time rather than wedding time (my birthday this year was all but swallowed by wedding prep; I even kind of forgot I was having one) since it was my idea that the party be a surprise bday shindig and not a shower. We had salads and pizza and tasty beverages (Jupiter’s sells a very lovely pomegranate hard cider) and my mom made a chocolate cake. After the party, we went back to their house and worked on wedding stuff.

Monday I woke up in abject misery. My neck went out again, and I have no idea why, but it hurt like a mofo and made things much more difficult because there were a lot of projects and errands I was intending to help with that I just couldn’t. Lissa got their rings cleaned and bought some makeup at Benefit, and Laurel and I tagged along. We got some food at Trader Joe’s. I spent most of the day on the verge of tears because 1. my neck hurt really, really badly, and 2. I was essentially useless after making the trip out to be helpful. I ended up working on a few projects that didn’t ultimately happen, like spraypainting blackboard paint on some cardboard for directional signs that never got used. It turned my finger black!

Tuesday was Lissa’s final dress fitting up at the same shop where I got my dress, so Laurel and I went up with her and met my mom at the shop. Lissa had no end of trouble getting the dress to be right (the shop ordered a size too big, which came in late, so it had to be drastically altered, and the fabric for the veil didn’t come until a week before the wedding so there wasn’t time for anyone but the dress shop to make it, and her dress got shuttled between Santa Rosa and the Bay Area at least twice, and she probably had six fittings, and when it was finally done the lady still hadn’t done everything she was supposed to do to the dress). I had far less drama with my dress but the last alteration on mine was never done, either, so I am starting to think the whole thing was just a scheme to get more money for the alterations lady. My sister intends to write a scathing review on Yelp, and I am glad I stuck to my guns and insisted on the size that I knew would fit me. We ran a few other errands that day – to the wholesale flower place to look at flower possibilities, to Costco and Trader Joe’s and BevMo to price alcohol, and we helped my mom pick out carpet. My neck felt a little better that day, but not a whole lot. I pulled a list of “to be done” out of Lissa’s head in the car on the way back down to the Bay Area and when we got back I organized it into “Stuff to buy” “Errands to run” and “Projects to finish” and I think it ended up being helpful for them.

Wednesday I tagged along on more errands and then I met Leah at her work to pick up a key to her house. Then my friend the Irish German picked me up at a cafe, we had some tasty Pakistani food, and stopped at Berkeley Bowl (Pilgrimage!), and then we went back to his house in Oakland to relax for a while before we retrieved Dan at the airport. The Irish German co-owns his house with College Boyfriend, so I got a little update on College Boyfriend’s life (currently: off-again with his 10 year, on/off again gf) and got to hear all about how fertile his brothers are (he has one niece, another on the way, and his younger brother’s wife just found out she’s having twins). He had retired to his room by the time we returned from the airport, and everyone was just exhausted so we didn’t stay up late or anything, and I got to sleep in a Real Bed for the first time in nearly a week and it was so, so nice. I heart the Irish German.

Thursday, we made a tasty breakfast for our pal who let us sleep in his bed, and picked some veggies in his garden, and he drove us all over the place, meeting with Lissa and Curtis at the Oakland Flower Market for them to buy flowers and me to take them and deposit them in Leah and Simon’s basement, and then we had to go meet them again to get the other stuff they needed to give me (cooler, bowls for the event on Friday) and for Curtis to pick out the right orchid plant that would have enough flowers on it for the groomsmen’s bouts. We got back to the Irish German’s place pretty frazzled, so we relaxed for a while and logistics for Thursday night were worked out (a last-minute bachelor and bachelorette event came together, so Dan had to take our newly-acquired rental car down to the South Bay and went out to see Batman and play games at Dave and Buster’s with the boys, and I took BART over to the city, met up with my sisters and a couple of other ladies, and we watched Mamma Mia and then went out to an Irish Pub, and then I took the bus all the way across the city to Scarlett’s house where Dan and I stayed that night).

Friday we got up and going much later than I had hoped and it took us over an hour to get through the city and across the Bay. Luckily, we’d done our planning in advance so we knew exactly what we needed to buy at Costco and at Berkeley Bowl. And we lugged our groceries to Leah and Simon’s who graciously agreed to let us use their kitchen to cook the rehearsal dinner that Dan and I hosted that night for the happy couple. We made a green salad with veggies from the Irish German’s garden, and black bean/corn salad, and shrimp kabobs, and turkey burgers, and bought everything to go with, plus made some guacamole for the chips and salsa, and a great big apple pie and cookies from Costco. We hauled all the food up to the park in nasty traffic, but luckily the guests weren’t there yet since everyone else had to deal with the same traffic. We used a new portable grill that L&C got as a wedding gift, since the charcoal in the existing park grill didn’t work out so well (though it eventually caught after all the food was cooked and people used it to warm their hands; it gets cool up there once the sun goes down!) and successfully fed 26 guests (plus leftovers for Leah and Simon) for about $120. Not too shabby!

After the party was over, a big group went over to decorate the wedding afterparty venue but Dan and I went back to Leah and Simon’s to finish the handmade guestbook, relax and watch Flash Gordon (Dan) and put together all the personal flowers (me). I made 1 bridal bouquet, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 2 flower girl nosegays, 5 groomsmen bouts, 3 other bouts (2 dads and Dan), and six corsages in about 3 and a half hours (I took a shower break) and got to bed around 1:30 AM. It was a long week, and I haven’t even written about the wedding yet.

Photos courtesy Laurel and someone using Lissa’s camera (not sure who!)