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Snapshots: Lakewalks

After yesterday’s post where I talked about how little I actually take advantage of summer, I felt bad about that. I was also feeling bad about the fact that Alan and I are really bad at cooking dinner. So, I was like “Let’s cook a new recipe and go for a walk afterwards.” It was nice! We went to Lake Harriet after a dinner of fresh Alaskan Char and veggies. A very summery night.
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Summer forever (mixtape)

SUMMERFOREVER

Photos © @carolineroyce

I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Summer. It’s hot, and humid, and it’s not like I ever go to the beach, even though I love swimming. I tend to spend my summers spending time inside for the most part, enjoying prolonged daylight, and wearing shorts. AND.. Drinking lots of beer outside in the evening. Nonetheless, I wanted to create a playlist that captured all the wonderful parts of summer… Nostalgia, freedom, laziness, fuzzy warm days, and neighborhood sounds.  Minnesota doesn’t have a lot of “bum around outside” weather. It’s a great communal feeling of happiness when it finally rolls around.  And today is a lazy Sunday so what better time to share it around?

SUMMERFOREVER2

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Wedding IV: Let them eat cake

Just a few more of these. After the ceremony, the bus dropped everyone off back at the Chalet, and the wedding party took a ride around the chain of lakes while drinking Summit Summer Ale out of cans (scene missing). It was delightful. But, back to the Chalet…CarolineAlan_403CarolineAlan_386There’s more of that wedding branding. We hadn’t decided how we would do this until a couple days before. We had a year to plan, and so many things were done last minute. Typical us.CarolineAlan_389The Thursday before, we hadn’t decided how to mark tables. We knew they would all be towns and cities in the Midwest (mostly MN). I ended up using photos I took from our trip Up North last summer. We got the frames from Ikea. It all worked out! We bought a big lot of antlers from, you guessed it, Etsy (this shop). We dipped the milk bottles (from Ikea) in some white paint and bought fake flowers from Ikea and Michaels and I made little wildflower bouquets. They reminded me of taking bike rides up at the cabin through trees and meadows. CarolineAlan_390Alan and I sat at the Minneapolis table, natch.CarolineAlan_397 CarolineAlan_398I collected vintage Minnesota postcards from antique stores, and borrowed old thermoses from my friend Nick, who has about a million. One of my only main disappointments is that that clock was supposed to be taken down. Blech! CarolineAlan_411I was adamant we only have Minnesota beers served, which took some convincing on Alan’s part. Summit EPA is MY FAVORITE BEER. So glad we had it free on tap, so our out-of-town guests could know the joys of this legendary local brew.CarolineAlan_507I painted this big poster because we didn’t really want to do a guest book. This felt way more personal.CarolineAlan_412CarolineAlan_417The Chalet was a great venue to host this wedding. It was rustic and cozy and the swiss design gave it a real vintage campy feel. And the beautiful green everywhere fit so well into our theme. It was a perfect choice! And since it’s technically a Mpls park building, SUPER cheap to rent.
EDIT: Almost forgot, this was our entrance song!
CarolineAlan_421 CarolineAlan_423 CarolineAlan_429CarolineAlan_434 CarolineAlan_445 CarolineAlan_452Alan’s Best Man Andrew gave a lovely heartfelt speech about their history as best friends and where I came into the mix. My sister’s speech, on the other hand… Was off-the-cuff, and a bit snarky, and super super dry. People keep telling me how much they loved it.  My sister do have kind of a less-than-traditional relationship. We’re super close, but not like, bosom buddies, you know?CarolineAlan_459 CarolineAlan_463 CarolineAlan_470 CarolineAlan_471My dad… He’s a real old soul, and a class act, and a well known and very well liked writer in Minneapolis. I’ve seen him give wedding speeches and eulogies and biographical monologues. He kills every time. It’s a hard act to follow. CarolineAlan_482There’s like some thing about the Groom getting up at one point to say some words while his new bride sits and looks on adoringly. I was like, that’s dumb, so I got up to say some words, and to say thanks to all our families and our fantastic vendors. Then we ate burgers and mashed potatoes!CarolineAlan_495We had a simple little cake to cut, as we elected to serve our guests cupcakes for dessert.Dessert_Table Dessert_Table2And like, can you believe how adorable this is? Guess where I got the cupcake picks. ETSY, DUH. We had three kinds of cupcakes! S’mores (natch), A maple, lemon and blueberry (maple because of trees and northwoods, blueberry because blueberry is the state muffin of MN. Yes really), and “The Woodstock” which is based on a spectacular sounding cocktail we couldn’t get from our caterer because we could only get booze from one vendor and it wasn’t them. Just see what’s in it, and decide if YOU would’ve liked to drink this at your Minnesotan North Woods-themed wedding:
The unusual pairing of Minnesota maple syrup with Death’s Door Gin, made of wild juniper berries grown in Wisconsin, unites the deep piquant flavors of the north woods. Sunny citrus tones from orange bitters and fresh lemon bring a little levity to the glass.

The cupcake was maple, with lemon filling, and gin frosting. Gin frosting! It was like, a spicy, peppery thing, and it was a huge hit with guests.

CarolineAlan_491Cake_gif

Next: Dance, dance, dance.

ICYMI: Parts I, II & III

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Wedding III: Ceremony

**I just want to point out, before I begin, that I like to reference song titles and lyrics a lot in my blogs, and “Ceremony” is what this post is about, and a New Order song. It’s good, listen to it later.

Anyway. We knew it was supposed to rain. The week of May 24-30 was so beautiful and we could’ve had our wedding on any of those days, including the day before the wedding. During our rehearsal it was *gorgeous* out. But, we knew it was going to rain, no matter what. We considered pulling the trigger on the rain plan, which would’ve kept the whole event localized to one spot. This would’ve solved a few problems of ours, like a.) getting a ton of stuff to our wedding site, which was not near any real parking, so we had to go in little trips, and b.) get all the people to the site. We had to rent a bus to take everyone over. It was all rather charming, and for the most part it worked out pretty well. I stood on the patio at the Theodore Wirth Chalet watching people get on buses, and it was still fairly nice out. I had two beers, so I was like, pretty chill. CarolineAlan_028 CarolineAlan_029 CarolineAlan_030 CarolineAlan_031First I want to talk about my invitations, which were seriously challenging to do. My wedding invitations needed to be “up there” in terms of things I’ve designed. I felt like there was SO MUCH pressure on me (pressure only coming from myself). I went through multiple stages of what it should be. I’m really basically a minimalist though and had to say “no” to all the fussiness that invitations usually are. I made a logo which was on everything. I designed everything for this wedding. We got vintage stamps too, and black envelopes. MMM they are so good. CarolineAlan_387Alan’s ring is pretty simple; white gold paladium with a brushed finish, much like my engagement ring. My wedding band is from One Garnet Girl on etsy. She did both my rings, and they are just the best. It looks like this. While I’ve grown to absolutely hate chevron patterns that have been co-opted by mom bloggers, I love the subtlety on this ring. For the “ring pillow” we found a birch slab at Michaels and drilled a couple holes in it. Booom, done.CarolineAlan_246 CarolineAlan_247Everything you see here was done in the last week. I found the chalkboard sign at Michaels. Before then, I had no idea what kind of sign I was going to use. I made the programs and printed them, and my mom and aunt came over to help tie the little strings. I used that black and white twine for tons of stuff. All the print materials cost less than $300, because I designed and printed everything myself. Hey, do you need wedding invitations made?CarolineAlan_248 CarolineAlan_258So calm. Our officiant was Rob, who I’ve been friends with for a long time. He was excellent and put on a lovely, secular wedding ceremony, complete with a few references to our favorite nerd things.CarolineAlan_270Oh man, here it comes.CarolineAlan_271I love Alan’s face here. He’s walking our moms down right before the ceremony started and he is absolutely terrified that the rain is going to come and destroy everything. And lightning, I guess. He’s afraid lightning is going to kill our guests.
CarolineAlan_276 CarolineAlan_277
Our wedding party walked down the aisle to “Good Feeling” by Violent Femmes.CarolineAlan_278 CarolineAlan_280 CarolineAlan_283 CarolineAlan_287It like, literally started downpouring as soon as it was time for my dad and me to walk down the aisle. I couldn’t hear any of the music. I was just going off my personal attendant Kat, who was doubling as coordinator.CarolineAlan_289People really liked the rain, which I’m grateful for, because it means that we have rad, low-maitenance wedding guests who go with the flow. I also liked the rain, because walking down with my dad was something I knew would be hard to get through, and the rain kind of made us laugh instead of cry. CarolineAlan_292 CarolineAlan_297 CarolineAlan_298Once I got to the back of the seating, people were cheering, and I couldn’t really see anyone, except our photographer Matt, who was super into all of it, and it felt all so electrifying and I got this adrenaline rush and that’s all I remember. I couldn’t even hear my processional song until I got very near the front.

**When Alan and I met, we didn’t really have a lot of the same musical tastes in common (he’d never even listened to The Smiths). But on our first or second date he asked if I liked Neutral Milk Hotel, which I did, and for want of anything else to listen to on the way to our first camping weekend, I put on that CD and that’s one of my earliest memories of our time together. In February we saw NMH at First Avenue (granted, he was in the back, and I was up front with my friend [and bridesmaid!] Anna). There was no other option for what I would walk down the aisle to. Really. There was no question. We knew instantly this had to be it. I really love music. It’s one of my greatest loves. Alan, not so much, but, like the invitations, the music selections had to be PERFECT. And they had to speak for both of us. In my previous life, I probably would’ve walked down to The Smiths, and gone back down to New Order. The “special music” would’ve been David Bowie probably. Anyway.

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We had Alan’s sister do a couple readings for us. By the way, if you’re trying to have a secular ceremony, but don’t want readings that are too hippy dippy, or poetical, or whimsical, the selection pool is really very shallow. We managed to find a couple great ones that were both romantic and pragmatic.

Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected. – Madeline L’Engle, The Irrational Season

I guess maybe it is like rolling off of a log — my heart is filled again and I’m choked with emotions — and love is so good and powerful — it’s worth preserving — I know nothing can separate us — we’ve stood the tests of time and our love is as glorious now as the day it was born — dearest riches have never made people great but love does it every day — we’re not little people — we’re giants… I know we both have a future ahead of us — with a world of happiness — now & forever. — Richard Feynman, Physicist

It was important to us to have cultured readings. Because we’re pretentious! Hahahaha……..CarolineAlan_331 CarolineAlan_340For us both being pretty chill, generally humorous personalities, our vows were quite serious and emotional. Who knew! I won’t post them, but Alan and I did agree that I would call him “My Sun and Stars” and he would call me “Moon of my life.” It’s a nerd thing. You wouldn’t get it. CarolineAlan_349 CarolineAlan_354It kinda stopped raining in time for our unity ceremony. You know how in most weddings, they have some thing like, lighting a candle, or putting sand in a jar? We wanted to be a little more creative, and, more importantly, a little more on-theme. With us, and the ceremony in general. We got a little pine tree (which, I love pine trees, so much) and a pretty stoneware pot, and planted it together. Trees last for a long, long time. And they grow big and strong. Pine trees especially can weather many storms. The tree is now planted in our back yard.

“The Book of Love” was our tree-planting music. Alan always loved this song, and when I first heard it I knew right away that would be it.CarolineAlan_356Ha ha ha, it’s funny, because that tree doesn’t need watering!!! CarolineAlan_359 CarolineAlan_364It was a super short ceremony, which does seem a bit silly, only because it was such a big thing leading up to it. But it was so, so special. I’m really triumphant in this photo, not *just* because the deed was done, but because our recessional music got timed out perfectly, which is probably what I was most concerned about.

This was an Alan selection. I thought it was totally appropriate, because it’s a folksy cover of an old standard, which is *kinda what we were going for with all of it*
CarolineAlan_380Aw, we love everybody.CarolineAlan_372

I really loved the music we (I) chose for the pre-ceremony too. Give it a listen:

Next up: Party time.

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Wedding II: Good Feeling

CarolineAlan_069 CarolineAlan_072More wedding SNAPS. I suppose a bit of the drama of seeing each other before the vows was a bit downplayed considering we woke up in the same bed that day. But our First Look was still a very tender and intimate moment. Just us and the two photographers.CarolineAlan_074CarolineAlan_075 CarolineAlan_084 CarolineAlan_086 CarolineAlan_104 CarolineAlan_111CarolineAlan_101My lovely bouquet was only ordered a few days before this. I loved holding it.CarolineAlan_163 CarolineAlan_156My bridesmaids were my two sisters (on the right) and two of my best friends.CarolineAlan_133CarolineAlan_175Alan doesn’t have any brothers, but luckily he’s got some really awesome friends. I love all these guys!CarolineAlan_199We got tie pins for Alan and his groomsmen from this etsy shop. Alan is the stag.CarolineAlan_198 CarolineAlan_197 CarolineAlan_195 CarolineAlan_196 CarolineAlan_194Super into those gray wool ties too.

Next up: Ceremony!

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Baby Birthday

My niece’s 2nd birthday party was on Saturday. Photographing toddlers in low light = the best photography classroom.CRW_1369 Should’ve added “wrap super cute presents” to my life list. Consider it fulfilled.CRW_1374 CRW_1375 CRW_1376 CRW_1393 CRW_1395 CRW_1397 CRW_1400 CRW_1411 CRW_1413 CRW_1418 CRW_1440 CRW_1443 CRW_1457 CRW_1458 CRW_1461 CRW_1462 CRW_1466

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Wedding I: Calm before the storm

We were both feeling pretty calm the day of the wedding. We woke up together, went up the street to get the flowers, and kissed each other goodbye for a few hours. The only thing hanging over our head (besides getting married) was that there was a pretty much 100% chance it was going to rain at some point. He went off to the hotel we would be staying at that night to get ready with his groomsmen and I stayed at home with my bridesmaids.  All photos by Matt Lien!CarolineAlan_001CarolineAlan_009My dress is from ModCloth. I always knew I wasn’t going to want a big fussy dress. For a while the plan was to have my mom make it because I didn’t think I’d find the right one in a store. Then I saw this one from ModCloth and knew instantly. Within the week, I had it. And it was less than $200. The shoes are from Target which I just happened to come across one day, only a few weeks before the wedding. My little antler earrings are from this etsy shop, the cameo is a family heirloom (my something old AND borrowed I think), and the headwreath is from Bachmann’s, our local gardening giant. Our wedding theme was outdoorsy, campy, north-woodsy, Minnesota. I tried to go for “rustic” but without using kraft paper, burlap, twine, or mason jars. Surprisingly difficult!CarolineAlan_013CarolineAlan_026I did my hair and makeup myself. By sheer chance, I had a great hair day. It’s always a toss up. Thank you, Hair Gods.CarolineAlan_035CarolineAlan_037Arya was there too! She loved the garment bag my dress came in.CarolineAlan_039CarolineAlan_041CarolineAlan_044CarolineAlan_046CarolineAlan_047CarolineAlan_050I was feeling pretty chill. Not sure how or why, because I stress out over things. Although, not as much over time since meeting Alan.CarolineAlan_051CarolineAlan_055CarolineAlan_059CarolineAlan_061CarolineAlan_066CarolineAlan_068I was hoping Alan and his dudes would do something manly like drink nice whisky, and they did. So I was glad about that.

Next will be our First Look and a few family photos!