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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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 😉

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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.

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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.

 

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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
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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Honeymooning in New Orleans

We decided to make New Orleans part of our honeymoon because I had been there and really thought it was something Ryan would enjoy. Little pressure on my part, what if he hated it and I ruined the honeymoon! Spoiler: he loved it 🙂

I can't get enough of the streets in New Orleans
I can’t get enough of the streets in New Orleans

When we checked into our hotel, literally steps from Bourbon Street, they sent up champagne and chocolates because it was our honeymoon! However, we pretty much dropped off our luggage and caught a cab to the Avenue Pub in the Garden District. Steps from Bourbon and we head to a craft beer bar instead.

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They had a pretty awesome tap list and we grabbed dinner while we were there which was surprisingly good. We liked this place so much that on our last day, we checked out of our hotel and before we went to the airport we caught a cab to the Avenue Pub one last time.

There were 3 things that I really wanted to do while in New Orleans. The first was a visit to Cafe Du Monde. This is a huge favorite, I could drink cafe au lait all day. We actually went there for breakfast both days because I can’t imagine eating anything else when down there.

   Jazzband Cafedumonde

New Orleans was another place where we did a lot of walking. We did a lot of shopping and wandering the streets. The open container law was perfect because it was just as hot in New Orleans as it was in the Bahamas.

I walked by saw this shirt and still regret not buying it or at least seeing if they had one in my size. My friends call me a “pint sized princess” because I am so short.

I need this shirt
I need this shirt

The second thing we had to do was have po boys at Johnny’s. I cannot eat a po boy anywhere else, these have to be the best po boys in the world. Ryan liked this place so much that he requested to come back the next day. Being a good wife I said ok 😉

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The last place on my list was Lafitte’s Bar, oldest bar or tavern or something like that.

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It’s really dark inside so my pics didn’t come out so great. You’ll have to go check it out for yourself.

IMG_2160We even managed to sneak in a ghost tour while we were in town. I highly recommend going on one, the stories are great and you learn some history about the city.

These are 2 of the haunted hotels on the tour. I know where I won’t be staying next time I visit.

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On our way to dinner we saw some awesome street performers. They have really stepped up their game since I was last in town.

vroom vroom
vroom vroom

I was pretty amazed at this.

human cars
human cars

We had planned on checking out an Emeril restaurant while in New Orleans, however, we were swayed into going to another place, Pier 424. We were won over by their seafood selection and featured dessert, s’mores bread pudding!!!!

Blurry pic, sorry
Blurry pic, sorry

When we got there we got a seat on the balcony over looking Bourbon. It was perfect for our last dinner of the honeymoon.

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So we may have ordered a lot of food. So much that they brought us a second table!

dinner4It was pretty funny when they tried to bring us our check and we ordered dessert instead.

S'more Bread Pudding
S’more Bread Pudding

On our last day we checked out of our hotel and spent time checking out a cemetery. Ryan had never been to the New Orleans ones and it reminded him of Double Jeopardy. (Which we watched as soon as we got home because I had never seen it) We also stopped at Pat O’Brien’s for a drink before we left Bourbon.

I just had to have a hurricane before we left. Also I’d never been to Pat O’Brien’s before because I like to avoid chains on vacation. I really enjoyed it and the place was actually really pretty inside.

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I think a return trip to New Orleans is easily in our future. If you are in New Orleans make sure you go to Cafe du Monde, Johnny’s Po Boys, Lafitte’s Bar, a ghost tour, a cemetery tour (can be self guided) and a hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s.

Disclaimer: Not proofread. I left out our crazy cab driver that took us to the airport. He may have been a serial killer.