Reception: Dancing, Bouquet and Garter Toss, Friends and Break Dancind Dentists

One of the best pieces of wedding advice I received from our DJ! DJ Louie of Unlimited Music Productions knows how to party. His advise to us was “The party is where the bride and groom are. If you are at the bar, your guests will congregate to the bar and if you are on the dance floor your guests will congregate there.”

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Well he was right! We wanted our guests on the dance floor so that’s where we went and we had a packed dance floor all night.

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I’ve mentioned this before but I have proof in the pictures. I met the people below when I was 4 years old and we are still friends til this day! We grew up together performing in American Zagreb Junior Tamburitzans and so glad we could get a picture in the exact same order 20 plus years later!

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Believe it or not, I met the people in the picture below this one when I was 2 years old! We also are all still friends today.

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I was pretty sure I was going to over throw the bouquet and I think I under threw it.

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Luckily, my friend Maria ran up and grabbed it.

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I think the garter toss was one of the things Ryan was nervous about before the wedding. The day off, it was nothing but laughing.

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And the guy to catch the garter was Maria’s boyfriend Brian!072713RJW-1022 072713RJW-1024

Now I could end the wedding posts with the disco inferno that my cousin-in-law, Paul, set up for us with the help of the DJ (while that was an awesome part of the night and were told “longest disco inferno they’ve ever seen” loved it!). We have to share picture of our break dancing dentist! (Not our actual dentist, our friend who is a dentist)

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I’ve received a ton of emails about my wedding posts (I’m trying to get back to you all) so I am glad so many people enjoyed them and “felt like you were there”. I think it’s time to tap back into the running part of this blog though.


Nothing Hotter Than A Man Who Can Kolo and Secrets I Kept From My Man!

For the wedding we had my Uncle’s Croatian band play for a little bit. However, Ryan and his family knew little about Croatian dances and I hated to leave them out of the fun. Also, Ryan had this great idea to surprise me and was going to learn how to kolo for the wedding. (Kolo is the name of the dances.)

As the wedding grew closer, Ryan was uncomfortable having someone he didn’t know well teach him the dances so he asked me to teach him instead. I think he was sad he couldn’t surprise me with it but I was so happy he was willing to learn. Nothing hotter than a guy who can kolo. Ryan picked up the dances pretty easily but what Ryan didn’t know was that I was sneaking over to his Moms house to teach his Mom, Aunt and Cousin how to kolo as well!

IMG_1947 IMG_1948I was easily able to tell Ryan I was meeting with a vendor or a cousin or just getting wedding stuff done but really I was hanging out with his family teaching them to dance. It was so hard to not tell him about it because 1) it was so much fun, 2) they were picking it up so quickly and 3) I was so excited for Ryan to know the secret!

Practically professionals

I was able to teach Ryan’s family the same dances I was teaching him so they were all on the same page. I thought it would make Ryan feel more comfortable to have his family up dancing with him.

There he is
There he is

Somehow we didn’t get any professional pictures of Ryan koloing but someone did snap that picture for us. However, I really wish I could have seen Ryan’s friends faces when he jumped in to dance. They were loving watching the kolos.

Awesome band

My very talented Uncle and his very talented band played at the wedding. I had no idea my little, 10 year old cousin Gus, was joining them! When did he become better than playing prim than me! He may be replacing my cousin Julian as “the best prim player I know” in a few years. (I just realized I’ve never blogged about my favorite prim player!!!!)

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I love how much fun everyone seems to be having in these photos!


Reception: The Most Nerve Racking Thing at the Reception

Cutting the cake! How do you cut cake in front of a couple hundred people? What if you mess up? We messed up and tried to cut through the ribbon. It took a while but was worth the laughs.072713RJW-813

We probably should have had “the talk” before the cake eating. You know the “are we goind to smash it in our faces or be nice?”

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It started out nice but in the end I think we got a little messy.072713RJW-822 072713RJW-823

Ryan and I haven’t had a lot of chances to slow dance together so I was pretty excited to dance with him. I could care less that all eyes were on us. We orginally picked “Then” by Brad Paisley as our first dance song but as the wedding got closer we changed our minds. We changed it to “Crazy Girl” by The Eli Young Band. It was a popular song when we first started dating and always reminds us of that.

072713RJW-830“Wouldn’t last a single day, I’d probably just fade away. Without you, I’d lose my mind
Before you ever came along, I was livin’ life all wrong. Smartest thing I ever did was make you all mine.
Crazy girl, don’t you know that I love you? And I wouldn’t dream of goin’ nowhere.Silly woman, come here, let me hold you. Have I told you lately?
I love you like crazy, girl”

Ryan and his Mom danced to “Never Alone” by Lady Antebellum and Jim Brickman. I pretty sure neither one of them cried throughout the whole thing which is practically a miracle.

072713RJW-841Tomorrow’s post has a huge secret that I kept with Ryan and some sneaking around I did behind his back. Don’t worry his Mom was there with me 😉


Reception: The Party Don’t Start Til I Walk In

A few small details from the wedding reception site. I wrapped lace around about 400 votive candles that were placed on all the tables (I still have some if anyone wants to buy them off of me). The cake was delicious and was from Cakes by Maria and Joe in Eastlake.

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I found a decorative box at Big Lots and had my step dad cut a hole in the top to use for cards. A few shots of slivo for good luck and wine corks that I turned into placecards. Assigned seating for a large wedding wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone made it seem. Plus then I knew where everyone was sitting!

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After all the formal stuff it’s nice to finally let loose and celebrate with family and friends.

072713RJW-611Having a Croatian tambura band at our wedding was no question but it had to be my Uncle’s band. I couldn’t imagine having a different group of guys playing.

Our photographer came by at one point and asked for our rings and snapped this awesome picture. Wow

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I am not sure how but I convinced the groom that we had to have Kesha’s Tik Tok as our entrance song. He may have put up a fight but in the end I got my way.

“The party don’t start til I walk in”

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A over a year before our wedding I had decided who I wanted to do the prayer at the wedding. I saw Ryan’s Uncle Jerry say the prayer at his daughters wedding and I couldn’t imagine anyone else saying the prayer at ours after that. He did a great job and even gave us a copy of the prayer.

Ryan's Uncle Jerry
Ryan’s Uncle Jerry

I’d like to say I am a little biased but after hearing the reviews, our maid of honor and best man had awesome speeches. Heartfelt and not too long. Just Perfect!

I was afraid my MOH would be a little nervous because she said to me “I’ve never had to give a speech in front of that many people.” but if she was nervous I couldn’t tell. She had her notes written down but didn’t even need them. I loved that she threw in inside jokes and key words that I would get but didn’t bore the crowd. That’s how you know you have a good speech!

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I was told that our best man is a pro at giving speeches and I was blown away. He didn’t have his speech written down, he had the whole thing in his head and it was by far the greatest best man speech that I have ever heard. I’ve never been so impressed and proud that Ryan has him as a best friend.

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The food at the hall was incredible, chicken, roast beef, schnitzel, wedding soup, I don’t even remember what else there was because everyone was in love with the schnitzel.

These guys
These guys

I think it was these guys who had a schnitzel eating contest and probably woke up with schnitzel hangovers.



Wedding Picture Spots #2 and #3

I’m actually not really sure where these were taken but it was on the West Bank of the Flats still.

Me and my beautiful MOH
Me and my beautiful MOH
Have I mentioned how much I love bridges!

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There was a little bit of wind but we were able to use that to our advantage and get some cool shots of the veil in the wind.

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We really didn’t have a whole lot of time in between the ceremony and the reception but still managed to get a ton of pictures in and went to 3 locations.

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These next set of pictures were all taken on that bridge next to Shooters. I have plans to go back every year on our anniversary to take a picture there.

My bouquet weighed like 20 pounds but it made my arms look toned in all the pictures.

See my tip above on how to have toned arms for wedding pictures.

My Mom calls this the runaway bride photo

I have a slight obsession with black and white photos.

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Wedding Picture Spot #1-West Bank of the Flats

I was a little nervous about it raining on our wedding day because where would we take pictures at! I basically told my photographer that I trusted her to do her thing. And she did great!

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You can’t tell but there are volleyball courts behind us and I play there all the time. Who would have thought I’d actually take my wedding pictures there but it was perfect.072713RJW-409I love everything about this photo. I think a framed black and white one will be hanging in the house soon.072713RJW-411

The wedding party had no problem with the “fun” pictures. They were an awesome group.

072713RJW-412I have to admit not only does Ryan have some awesome friends but they are pretty good looking too!

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These pictures above and below were all taken on the west bank of the flats. It was awesome because you get some cool Cleveland views but also some of the bridges.

I think I was laughing at Ryan in this picture so I love it. Plus i was holding my dress up awkwardly so it didn't touch the ground.
I think I was laughing at Ryan in this picture so I love it. Plus i was holding my dress up awkwardly so it didn’t touch the ground.

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I love when he looks at me like that!

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I serious wonder if Ryan was meant to model, he poses perfectly for every single picture!072713RJW-480


The Ceremony

It may have rained on our wedding day but thankfully our ceremony and reception were both indoors.

I didn’t really notice this photo the first 5 times I looked through the photos but now I love it.

I love this photo
I love this photo

We weren’t allowed to decorate the church because there was another wedding before ours. For the record I was guaranteed there would no be another wedding before our because we were having a large wedding. So the only thing I could do for the church was to make programs and get bubbles.

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Ryan has not said so but I think he was a little nervous coming down the aisle.

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I've never seen my sister so poised.
I’ve never seen my sister so poised.

Ryan and I were both blessed with amazing friends and family that were part of our wedding day.

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The priest had advised us against having a flower girl and ring bearer and was especially against having children in the ceremony. However, I love seeing a flower girl and ring bearer at weddings and had planned on having my cousin Tommy as my ring bearer ever since he was born.

The flower girl needed some help down the aisle.
The flower girl needed some help down the aisle.

At rehearsal they walked down no problem, day of there was some stage freight. I loved it though because I couldn’t stop laughing.

I almost cried! But you can't tell. phew!
I almost cried! But you can’t tell. phew!
Now this is a first look photo!
Now this is a first look photo!

Felt so good once I was on Ryan’s arm. All was right in the world once we were together.

072713RJW-167Ryan and I could not stop smiling the entire day.

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The priest did a good job of keeping things moving and the ceremony was less than an hour. Pretty unheard of for a catholic mass. I’d say it was perfect except he yelled at one of our guests who was video taping the wedding as a surprise for us.

072713RJW-224      072713RJW-233 072713RJW-234 072713RJW-241I think our families were just a little excited.

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Everytime we held hands, we were squeezing so tight. Look at that grip!
Everytime we held hands, we were squeezing so tight. Look at that grip!

I’m slightly obsessed with these two cuties. They were perfect on our wedding day and the ring bearer thinks I’m a princess. Extra points for him!

072713RJW-310 072713RJW-296 072713RJW-312You can blame my photographer for all the photos in this post. If she didn’t take so many good photos I wouldn’t have to post so many!072713RJW-314 072713RJW-317 072713RJW-318

And they lived happily ever after!


It’s been 137 days

And I am just now posting the professional pictures on the blog. Hopefully I can narrow it down to just a few posts, my goal is 5 posts or less.

072713RJW-4072713RJW-8072713RJW-9I’m still slightly obsessed with my dress and I was just thinking yesterday how I miss it.

072713RJW-12 072713RJW-17I just had to have pink shoes for my wedding. Actually, I’d wear pink shoes anytime. My Target wedding jewelry I’m planning to wear for the holidays and that hanky was my something old.

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My best girls buttoned me into my dress, I have no idea how many buttons there were but it was a lot!

I’ve never seen my Mom look so dressed up!

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The piece in my hair was my something borrowed. I borrowed it from the world’s best/most amazing cousin and maid of honor ever.

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I think my photographer (Kayla at Full Bloom) did a phenomenal job catching all the details. It’s amazing some of the places these photos were taken, you’d never know from the angles she captured them in.

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072713RJW-75I got ready at the house but Ryan and his friends got ready at friends houses or at church.

Look at these handsome men. hubba hubba
Look at these handsome men. hubba hubba

Seriously, this guy and that happy smile, melt my heart every time. Hands off ladies, he’s all mine. (I have the last name to prove it)

oh man...
oh man…

Tomorrow I’ll post about the ceremony but really I’m trying to talk myself out of dedicating a post to my flower girl and ring bearer. Two of the most adorable kids I know.

Here is a sneak peak of them and their “smiles”

I want to keep them both as my own.
I want to keep them both as my own.

Disclosure: Sorry if you are not interested in my wedding posts but this is a way for me to remember and capture these memories forever. Happiest day of my life, you better believe I’ll be blogging massively about it.


I’m Not Ready To Stop Talking About Our Wedding!

It’s been almost 2 months and I’m still gushing over our wedding. I keep putting off writing the wedding related posts because I don’t want to stop talking about it. I’ve also been putting off sending out the thank you’s! Oops! Sorry guests, they will be in the mail this week.

However, I can’t start the honeymoon posts until I finish the wedding posts. Right?

Hanging out in the bridal suite with my flower girl and my sister. The flower girl loved my bling.

At the rehearsal the flower girl and ring bearer did so great that I was not worried about them the day of the wedding. The day of our flower girl had a little stage fright but our ring bearer was a champ and marched on! Such a cutie!

Best Ring Bearer I could ask for!
Best Ring Bearer I could ask for!

This is the only picture I have of us walking down the aisle. (Right now, professional pictures will be here soon.) However, what is up with my Mom’s face? Is she about to cry?

Walking down the aisle
Walking down the aisle

As soon as I got to Ryan, I could not stop holding his hand. If you look at some of the pictures, we were both squeezing each others hand so tight. I would have been a mess if I could hold his hand.

IMG_2181The mass was perfect..except for when the priest yelled at a guest for video taping our wedding! It was also pretty short for a catholic wedding. Less than an hour!

Look at that grip!

WalkingoutofchurchHow cute is this pic of the ring bearer and flower girl? They just sat down there and started blowing bubbles. Perfect picture opportunity.

Too Cute!
Too Cute!

My little cousin wore green to the wedding, part of our wedding colors! (Pink and Green!)

IMG_2136Of all things to be nervous about, I was nervous about cutting the cake! I know, so silly but I’ve never cut a wedding cake before. OR done so with someone helping and all our family and friends watching. The only cake I got to eat was the bite Ryan fed me. Luckily there was left over cake and I got some the next day. It was really really good. Way better than at the cake tasting!

IMG_2133We had some changes with our first dance song choice. Originally we had picked Then by Brad Paisley. However as the wedding got closer we changed it to Crazy Girl by The Eli Young Band. The song was really popular when we first started dating and has always remind us of that.IMG_2143There was a lot of dancing at our wedding. The best wedding advice we received was “The party is where the bride and groom are. If the bride and groom are at the bar then that is where people will congregate. If the bride and groom are on the dance floor then you will have a packed dance floor.”

Ryan and his even learned how to kolo for the wedding. I’ll have a separate post on this eventually.

IMG_2179My cousin/MOH’s husband has been to a million weddings and was familiar with our DJ and gathered all of our guests on the dance floor for the largest Disco Inferno you have ever seen. I think every guest jumped out there for that one.

SoultrainI really don’t know what we were laughing at by Ryan was really nervous about the garter toss.

Glimpse of my pink shoes!

Hopefully the beers we chugged helped.

Classy, I know. At least it was Columbus IPA!

I love that I was able to get these guys together for a picture. We are rarely all together at the same place so I loved that we were able to get a picture and in the same order as we were from 1988!


This is still my favorite picture of us from that day.

IMG_2126A couple people have asked me if I would do my wedding all over again and I always respond “absolutely not!” It’s not because of the expense or the amount of time that I put into the wedding. It’s because our wedding day was more perfect than I ever could have imagined. Being so in love and knowing that our love is only going to grow and having the time of our life. I would never want to do our wedding over again because it was perfect the first time and I know we’d never be able to top that day.

To think that they day we got married was the day we loved each other the least.


Wedding Favors and Fun Facts

When it came time to pick out wedding favors, one of the first things I thought of was that I wanted it to be either useful or edible. Out of all the weddings I have been to, those are the most memorable to me. The first idea we had was to have beer pint glasses made with our name and date on them. The more we thought about it, we thought it kind of weird for all of our friends and family to drink out of glasses with our name and wedding date. Plus it would be expensive for a large wedding.

The next idea was to have an edible favor and we decided to go with our favorite snacks. Ryan’s favorite snack is peanuts and mine is Swedish fish.

Ryan hard at work
Ryan hard at work

We stuffed little zip lock baggies (we probably looked like drug dealers with all the little baggies we bought) with either nuts or Swedish fish and then topped it with a piece of cardstock that had had been printed with a cartoon graphic of Ryan and I on the front and on the back was a fun fact. (Sorry for the run on sentence).


Back view of the favors and of course we stuck with our wedding colors of pink and green. Thanks for the photos @stovewithahouse 🙂

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Finished favors all ready to go.
Finished favors all ready to go.

We had 32 Fun Facts about us so there were many fun facts going around. Some tables might have had repeat fun facts, while others might have had all different ones.

Here are the Fun Facts we came up with.

  1. Jess and Ryan both dislike tomatoes
  2. Jess and Ryan are obsessed with anything pumpkin flavored
  3. Jess and Ryan love to run but we hope you already knew that.
  4. Between the two of them they have completed 18 marathons
  5. Jess and Ryan’s first date happened because of a pumpkin taco special they both wanted at Deagan’s.
  6. Jess and Ryan both play musical instruments. Good luck guessing which ones.
  7. On Jess and Ryan’s 1st date, Jess had no idea that Ryan texted the owner & asked for a romantic window table.
  8. Ryan has a box of ghostbusters in the basement. Jess has a box of my little ponies and several boxes of Barbie’s.
  9. Ryan and Jess both love buffalo chicken everything. This is how Jess tricked Ryan into thinking she can cook.
  10. Ryan hates to fly over water but they are honeymooning in the Bahamas anyways.
  11. Jess taught Ryan how to hard boil eggs. They now have hard boiled eggs in the fridge at all times.
  12. When Ryan proposed, Jess cried and he thought she was going to say no.
  13. Together, Jess and Ryan go through about 16 pairs of running shoes a year.
  14. When Jess and Ryan met, Jess thought Ryan was older, like 30s. Today Ryan is only 28
  15. Jess has no middle name. Ryan’s is Jeffrey. After his uncle.
  16. Jess and Ryan both love the beer Bodhi from Columbus Brewing Company. They plan to name their first dog after it.
  17. Ryan’s favorite meal that Jess makes is brussels sprouts. Not as a side dish but as a meal.
  18. Before Jess and Ryan started dating they grabbed coffee after a race…for over 2 hours. They could not stop talking and neither one wanted to leave.
  19. Jess and Ryan are known for being “freeze babies”.
  20. Whenever Jess and Ryan try to plan something on a weekend, the first thing they think of is, “wait…is there a race that weekend?”
  21. When they were dating, Ryan played and sang “Love your love the most” by Eric Church on guitar for her.
  22. Ryan hated chocolate cake…until he had Jess’s. Ryan will eat almost anything Jess makes.
  23. Ryan had the ring for about 3 weeks before he proposed. Waiting any longer was not an option.
  24. Ryan felt summer would be the earliest “socially acceptable” time to propose to Jess; he did so on June 2nd, 2012.
  25. Ryan kept the ring at his parents house for 3 weeks; he knew that if he kept it in his possession, he would propose immediately.
  26. Jess and Ryan are both Boston Marathoners.
  27. Jess and Ryan met at a race in 2009.
  28. Jess’s mom and Ryan are both high school math teachers.
  29. Jess loves to snack on marshmallows. Ryan originally thought this was weird but Jess has caught him snacking on them as well.
  30. Ryan and Jess decided early on what their first dance song would be after attending a Brad Paisley concert. However, a few months before the wedding they changed it to a different song.
  31. Ryan never wore a helmet while  riding a bike until Jess put her foot down and made him. Related: Jess had a bad bike crash in 2010…she WAS wearing a  helmet.
  32. Ryan has turned Jess into a craft beer fan. Jess will deny it but she is a fan of anything from stouts to barley wines to IPA’s to sours to Belgian tripels to…you get the idea.
Jess and Ryan both dislike Tomatoes
Jess and Ryan are obsessed with anything pumpkin flavored. 
Love to run but you already knew that.
 Between the 2 of them they have completed 16 marathons (18 if we both run Spring Marathons)
Jess and Ryan’s first date happened because of a pumpkin taco special that they both wanted at Deagan’s.
Jess and Ryan both play musical instruments. Good luck guessing which ones.
On Jess and Ryan’s 1st date, Jess had no idea that Ryan texted the owner & asked for a romantic window table. 
Ryan has a box of Ghostbusters in the basement. Jess has a box of my little ponies…and several boxes of barbies. 
Ryan and Jess both love buffalo chicken everything. This is how Jess tricked Ryan into thinking she can cook.
Ryan hates to fly over water but are going to honeymoon in the Bahamas anyways.