Angels We Have Heard
Are High

angelic kitsch...from Hell

Cavalcade of Bad Nativities
it came upon a midnight weird

The Passion of the Tchotchke
holy week kitsch-o-rama

Stations of the Kitsch


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About the ceremony...

The ceremony was amazing. Of course we used the standard Book of Common Prayer service; I think the service is pretty much perfect as it is written. It's not overly sentimental or trite, and keeps the focus on, you know, God.

My friend Jon the amazing singer (of Hookslide fame - they're opening for the Village People in August!) sang Ubi Caritas a cappella for the processional, which was just gorgeous.

Here we are coming down the aisle. We walked in together, after being out front greeting people as they arrived. I decided I'd rather be active than hiding out in a room and trying to stay calm, and this worked really well for us.

The first reading, by Dennis' mother, was good old 1 Corinthians - I swear that we really did choose it deliberately, and weren't just going for the Wedding Greatest Hits. The fact that the words have been put onto every tacky thing the Wedding Industrial Complex can produce does not change the fact that Paul's letter contains capital-T Truth about love as we have experienced it.

Then Jon sang Psalm 67 (Anglican chant) which was beautiful, and Leigh read from the Song of Solomon. I love that first passage, because it touches on the more playful and carefree side of love, the way that it makes you see everything that's new and lovely.

The whole congregation sang Amazing Grace. I have no idea if that was even an appropriate song, but it's one of my favorites and grace WILL lead me home, so there. That was right before the Gospel reading, which was from Matthew, the "let your light shine" passage. TheRev gave a wonderful homily, which I totally can't remember, except that I cried. I'm looking forward to seeing the video for that. My head was off in the clouds for a lot of the day, and I kept trying to pull myself down and Be Present.

I was as cool as a cucumber during the vows and ring exchange. Ok, as cool as a cucumber strapped to the outside of the space shuttle during re-entry. As seen here, I had trouble holding it together.

(note: the color of my dress is a bit funky in these pictures because of the lighting in the church; scroll down for better dress pictures)

I love this shot - hey, we're married!

After that came the prayers, read by SassyPriest, which included an out-of-place Lord's Prayer (the rubric about skipping it if you're doing communion appears after the prayer, so we just went right into it) and the specific marriage prayers, which didn't make me cry - ok, maybe a little. Then came the blessing (major tears by now), and then the Peace.

At which point, a hug frenzy broke out.

SassyPriest celebrated the eucharist; she has an incredible voice and when she sings the eucharistic prayer, people get goosebumps. Seriously.

During communion, Jon and Ryan, along with two other friends, sang a Taize chant:

I loved it. I'd sent the music to Jon not long before the wedding (yes, I left planning the music to the last minute, because church music intimidates me, ok?) and he said that he needed two more voices. Before I even had a chance to freak out about this and wonder where I would find two more singers, my friend Kathy called. She sings with our worship band, so I immediately realized that I should ask her. One female voice! Then I only needed a male voice...and five minutes later, Peter, our music director, walked through the door, and I had my quartet. It was, as we say around here, a God Thing.

After the end of the ceremony, we had everyone meet out in front of the church, and the photographer got on a ladder and took a photo of everyone.

I wanted to get everyone into a human pyramid afterwards, but no one would volunteer to be the bottom layer. Sigh.
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shiny happy people

Looking at pictures of other people kissing is kind of weird, isn't it?

In the garden at St. Ned's. I carried my Book of Common Prayer, with a spray of roses and gerbera daisies, instead of a bouquet.
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the dress

Pictures of meeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I made my headpiece and necklace. The headpiece was a comb with freshwater pearls, crystals, and peridot chips, all on little twisted wires.

The necklace was made from pearls and more of the crystals which were on the headpiece, on twisted wire. The back has a sheer pink ribbon and a clasp. I planned it that way. Really. I certainly didn't make the necklace too short and need to extend it with ribbon, because I certainly wasn't making the whole thing up as I went along.

[in-depth sewing process for the dress is here]
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cake and monkeys

Yes, yes, but what everyone really wants to know is, what did the cake look like? I present to you the truly amazing Seasons of Love cake:

It's the most amazing cake ever. Look at all the detail! The top of each layer was made out of hardened sugar; I have no idea how that even works, but it was beautiful. The flowers and lilypads and everything else are made out of gum paste or royal icing. The cake artists have a full writeup, which covers the entire process, here. Ryan and Leigh spent most of last week making this cake. It was chocolate, with various fillings (mint, chocolate chip, hazelnut...I'm forgetting something) and it was completely delicous in addition to being deeply cool. I let them surprise me; I had no idea what the cake would look like until I saw it the day of the wedding. I'm so glad I did, because I never would have come up with anything this wonderful!

Yes, those are dancing yeti:

Each layer had an animal couple: Here are the dragonflies, the frogs, and the caterpillars:

Good detail shots of the animal pairs, the royal icing snowflakes, and the hard candy tops. Making the tops involved creating silicone molds of the leaf and flower shapes, and then pouring in the candy. Science!

Leigh activated the cake while wearing the Master of the Dark Pastry Arts apron that Ryan made for her. The mechanism involved an additional flower which broke through a lattice in the top layer and unfolded. It didn't make it out all the way, but it was still a very cool effect. It's not like you get a practice run when you're dealing with cakes.

Here, you can see where the flower came out when Leigh activated the cake. It broke through the grid and came out.

I got the tablecloth for the cake table on ebay - it's sage green satin, and formerly worked at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena according to the description. The spokes on top are sheer pink and orange ribbons; there are silk gerbera daisies on the ends of the ribbons, hanging over the table edge.

The hanging ribbons you can see in some of the photos are part of the ribbon canopy which was behind the cake. I'd been opportunistically buying ribbon on sale for months, and this is where it all ended up. I added more of those little pink daisies to some of the ribbons. I got 360 of them on eBay for $8, and used up almost all of them between the invitations, programs, and ribbons.

Apparently Dennis was being attacked by the cake canopy, and it's possible that I bit him during the cake-feeding; we can't really remember what's happening here.

And monkey brides! These windup toys were favors. My mom, a former gift shop owner, called up an old supplier and got me a gross of monkeys. I glued earrings and veils on them. I had originally planned to do monkey grooms, but I couldn't find suitable hats and the monkey brides were really fun to do, so I just made them all brides.
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decorations and details

I love the color of the roses...I had requested a different color, but that's what came and they were perfect. So many things like that happened...I finally just decided to roll with it because clearly we were blessed and everything was going to be just fine.

The back wall of the parish hall has these beige panels on it, and I just have a Thing about them. So I covered them in plastic tablecloths, and then put nylon net curtains over the top. The net is decorated with silk flower heads. I personally decapitated over 100 cheapass silk daisies. Actually, I didn't put this stuff up at all - I had tons of help, as seen here:

I had dozens and dozens of the art-tissue balls and fans, and they filled up almost the entire ceiling area. It looked great. We strung them on big ropes, and then ran the ropes across the room, securing them on speaker supports or windows or whatever was handy. Then someone used a big pole with a hook on the end to space the decorations along the line. This was much faster than hanging each ball or fan individually, especially considering how high the ceiling is in there.

The guest book table (edge of book visible on the right). The stock I ordered from freshroses.com came in a bit more purple than I expected, but it looked good with the gold alstromeria. I made the tablecloth from a 2-sided pink/orange taffeta, and then put a scalloped square green vinyl placemat from Target on top of it.

You can see the programs in the back; they were orange cardstock on the outside, and gold paper on the inside, with a silk flower attached to the front and a sheer hot pink ribbon holding it all together. My parents and my aunt and my friend Rita devoted an afternoon to putting them together.

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flowers and food

The flowers were the last thing I did on Friday night. They're, you know, ok.

My prayer book bouquet. I forgot to buy ribbon for holding the flowers on the book, which was just stupid. I had to use something which wasn't quite the right color, from the room decorations. Ah well. The sreamers are silk satin 1/8" ribbon, with knots and green glass beads scattered randomly along them.

Ryan's flowers turned out pretty well, I thought. Handtied bouquet, roses, stock, alstromeria, and daisies:

The corsages I made were just scary and the less said about them, the better. It was like prom night in Hell. Everyone who got stuck with one was a good sport about it, though. Here is my mom having a good time, even though her corsage is about to try to choke her and steal her drink:

My friend Peggy, who is the chef at St. Ned's, made tapas and sangria and it was amazing. Carnitas on a tortilla chip! Salmon rolls! Little bites of chicken, cheese, and horseradish...it was all delicious. I know this because I stopped back in the kitchen at one point and she gave me food; otherwise, I probably wouldn't have eaten.

The sangria was yummy, too. It was served out of a big glass jar, which wasn't actually labeled as sangria, so I know of at least one kid who tried the punch. There were plastic cocktail monkeys all over the beverage table, so most people had at least one monkey on their drink.

The monkeys came in red, yellow, green, and blue, but I didn't think the blue ones went with the color scheme so I took them out, which was sort of weird and obsessive. Eventually, the kids got ahold of the monkeys and figured out a way to make monkey chains, which they hung outside in the courtyard. Oh, and there's no special reason for all these monkeys (the stamps on the invitations were the Year of the Monkey ones, also) - we just think monkeys are funny.
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Photo Credit

The professional photos on this page are by Ben Passarelli, who is available for weddings throughout the bay area. He's great. Phone: (650) 303-3086. email: photography@pacbell.net
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