Okay! This is the post you’ve ALL been waiting for! lol. Strap in. It’s a long one (plus there are over 50 pics and 2 videos!).
Before I start, I’d just like to thank all the people who took photos during the wedding (and remembered to send them to me afterwards): Dad, Brian, Rochelle, Leslie, Nicole, Ray, Christi, and Mike. They took ALL of the photos below… but I’m not sure who took which pics anymore because they all got jumbled together in my Downloads folder. Whoops.
Anyway… wow. Where to begin?
The entire week was just endless prep. I admit it: I got overwhelmed and cried pretty hard on Wednesday night. Trying to balance my full-time job with all the wedding prep just exhausted me to the point of tears. I wasn’t sad, persay, just…so so SO tired.
I was SO glad I asked for the Friday before the wedding off from work MONTHS in advance. I probably would’ve died if I hadn’t LOL.
Friday was just endless prep. SO much house cleaning. It was intense.
That’s also when our out-of-town guests flew in (Christi and Leslie). I’ve known Leslie pretty much my entire life (since I started elementary school) and she was my childhood babysitter. But it was our first time meeting Christi (my Maid of Honor!) in person.
Christi has been a cherished friend of Frank’s and mine since the very beginning (over two years ago). We all worked at the same publication once upon a time. I was the Senior Editor, Christi was my Junior Editor (despite being a decade older hehe), and Frank was a staff writer. Basically, Christi and I got paid to boss Frank around. Then, after the publication went under and we were all let go, we all remained inseparable online pals.
Sweet Christi! Oh goodness. She was everything we knew she would be and more. She’s even more vibrant and wonderful in person than she is online. The only thing we didn’t anticipate was her Texas twang. LOL! As soon as she started speaking we were like “WHOA! We didn’t see THAT coming!” XD It was friggin’ adorable though. And now Frank and I can’t stop saying “y’all” ’cause we spent so much time with her over the past few days hahaha.
Anyway, Friday went by… Frank and I got about 2 hours sleep apiece that night. And then it was the BIG DAY!!
The Wedding Day (4/27/19)
Before the Ceremony
Before I begin this section, I want to give a special shoutout to the wonderful “Helpers” who arrived early: Mz. Tovar, Leslie, and Christi.
I didn’t get to see Mz. Tovar until after the ceremony, but I know she arrived extra early to help with all the food and things.
And just… thank GOD for Christi. I would’ve seriously been lost without her. My parents and Frank say the same thing. Gurl was ON IT. Best Maid of Honor EVER. She brought over balloons since we couldn’t afford decorations, she bought me waterproof mascara (thank goodness! I kept crying tears of joy throughout the day and my face would’ve been a scary mess!!), and took care of soooooooooooooooo many other little things that I lost count by the end of the day.
And Leslie was an enormous help too. We needed at least two people to get me into my wedding dress! I’ve lost about 20lbs since I bought my dress and it did NOT fit the same way anymore. It fit better in the waist, but the chest area and straps were all over the place. I had to be cinched, safety-pinned, and liberally taped (with double-stick fashion tape) into my dress in order for it to work properly.
And then, since Christi, Leslie, and I all had on acrylic nails, we were absolutely flummoxed by the clasps on my jewelry. We couldn’t get on my accessories to save our lives! Fortunately, Mom came to the rescue right on time.
I had my something blue…
I call Frank my “yeti” because he’s large, white, and thrives in the cold. He calls me his “unicorn” because I’m the purest, rarest, most magical being alive. (Can you tell which of us is the romantic? lol).
I had something new…
All of my moons glow in the dark! The bracelet has the moon that was shining when Frank was born (7/7/89) and the moon from when I was born (1/7/85 – full moon baby!). And the ring has the moon that shone on our wedding night (4/27/19).
And, of course, something old/borrowed…
That’s a prayer cloth from the 1920s belonging to my mom. Mom wore it pinned inside her dress on HER wedding day (6/18/83) and then I borrowed it so I could do the same on mine.
I tied my medicine bag to my bouquet (which was made of fake flowers, so I get to keep it forever – yay!):
We put the rings in the ring box:
And then Christi and I did the “Please, Jesus, don’t let us trip in our heels!” prayer…
Dad snapped one last “prep” pic…
And then it was GO TIME!!
Okay…so…a lot of people were a bit confused by our ceremony. lol. I’ll explain it all here.
First of all: we had ZERO rehearsals of any kind. We had sort of a vague idea of what was gonna go down, but no specifics. Neither Frank nor I had a clue what was going to be said or…pretty much anything. lol. We didn’t even know where we were going to stand and stuff until THAT morning. 😀
Sooooooooooooo… the Cherokee stuff!
Leslie (who is known by a different name among the tribe) is a Tsalagi Cherokee. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve known her pretty much my entire life. She took care of me when I was younger (childhood babysitter). I always viewed her as kind of a “second mom” or “kooky/cool aunt.” We’ve always been close. Even when she moved across the country to be with her people, we stayed in constant contact.
She views me as her fourth daughter. And, since the feeling of “family” is so strong between us, I was given a tribe name and am an honorary Cherokee. So is Frank. As are my parents. We can only share our tribe names among the tribe, family, and closest friends though so…shh.
Rather than “Here Comes the Bride,” I walked out to a native drum beat.
The unity ceremony was a traditional Cherokee union ceremony.
Then, we had the main part of the ceremony, which was performed by my dear friend “Magic” Mike. Michael was a cardician (a magician who specializes in card tricks) who ended up becoming a minister.
Mike knocked it out of the park! It was short and super sweet. At the time, Frank and I thought at least half-an-hour must’ve gone by, but it was only 9 minutes for the entire ceremony (including the unity ceremony!). What?! lol. You seriously have NO concept of time during a wedding… The after party lasted 7 hours and I had no clue! (My FitBit Versa step counter later informed me that I’d walked 2.3 MILES just from running around the house chatting with guests!!).
Also: I had a death grip on my bouquet and forgot to hand it to Christi. Oops! lol.
Anyway, here’s the FULL video of the entire ceremony:
Oh! And someone (I forget who) took this neat picture of the back of my dress (See? Corset!) as Dad was leading me out to give me away:
I know that’s kind of a “whatevs” lil detail, but it took us so long to cinch me into that darn thing I was happy there was a photo of it! lol.
This section is going to be mostly pictures and I’m not entirely sure if they’re going to be in order…
We had 14 guests total. Everyone was on my side — total strangers to Frank for the most part. Frank had met Mz. Tovar, Minister Mike, and Uncle Mike each once before; and he knew Christi, Leslie, Ray, Rochelle (sorta), and Chris (sorta) from the internet. But that’s it!
Anyway… here we go!
This was the food table at the start of the party:
This was our personalized cake topper:
My dad baked the wedding cake and all the cupcakes. My mom decorated them. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the cake had edible glitter on it so it sparkled. It was really pretty! And DELICIOUS! My dad bakes the BEST cakes!
Here’re some pics of Frank and me cutting the cake, feeding each other cake, and posing with cake:
The paparazzi inside…
The Spears (Frank and me) + The Tharps (Mom and Dad):
Nicole and her husband, Eric. I’ve known Nicole since the first day of first grade:
And I’ve known Rochelle since kindergarten:
Nicole and Rochelle were in the same Girl Scouts troupe. I never joined the Girl Scouts, but I got invited to ALL their little events and whatnot as a “guest of honor” or whatever. lol. Basically: I got to do all the FUN things the Girl Scouts did, but I didn’t have to wear an itchy uniform or do any of the work (sell cookies, etc.).
Ray was basically Frank’s unofficial Best Man. He came early and took care of my hubby pre-ceremony. Got him all jazzed up on ice-cold energy drinks and brought a tube of glue with him to try to fix Frank’s glasses. Frank’s glasses got destroyed right before the wedding, so he was blind to anything that was further than a foot in front of his face. They weren’t able to fix them at the time (one of the pieces had gone missing until much later), but Ray had Frank’s back throughout the entire day. Frank was so grateful.
And, of course, my Maid of Honor (Christi) pretty much never left my side. She was always hovering close by JUST IN CASE!
Chris (ginormous super buff white dude) has been in my life since he and I were 12, but we weren’t always friends. lol. Seventh grade boys can be sooo annoying, y’know? But, once we went to high school, he grew up a ton (literally and figuratively) and we’ve been super close ever since. He’s now one of my best, sweetest, and most reliable friends. I can always count on him. And we have some wild stories to tell! Like, one time, we were out driving around in Chris’ first truck and a gang member started throwing signs at us and tried to run us down and Chris did some truly fancy driving to get us to safety. It was amazing. I have a framed photo of Chris’ truck to this day (two actually lol). And, one time, after I was attacked while working alone during the nightshift at one of my old jobs, Chris came by every night to be my bodyguard until my final two weeks were up (I resigned the night I was attacked). Also: one time I saw him lift an entire four-seater couch over his head with one hand!!
His husband, Matt (who would’ve been guest #15), was sick on our wedding day and couldn’t make it. But their good friend Eduardo came and he was a delight. I’d never met him before, but his smile was infectious…
And, of course, Mike… Always, always, always so sweet. You’ll never meet a kinder human or a better minister:
Mz. Tovar!! She’s been one of my dad’s best buddies since the early ’70s. I met her for the first time in 1997. She’s fantastic — always. We all call her “Mz.” Tovar because she’d get really mad whenever anyone would call her “Miss” or “Mrs.” She’d really emphasize that she was a “Ms.” to the point that the “s” sounded like a “z.” Anyway… she was a HUGE help to my folks pre-ceremony and it’s always great to see her:
^ My glasses were starting to steam up in that photo because I was boiling. You’d think that a sleeveless, just below-the-knee, dress would be thermally “cool,” but NOPE. That dress was THICK and I couldn’t stop sweating.
Leslie had me go outside. Which helped a lot.
And, of course, the VAPE LIFE never ends — not even during a wedding!
Here’s my dad, looking super proud:
And here’s my mom, exhausted but happy:
I honestly have no idea when this was taken, but it’s cute:
Ahhhhh! Brian! Also known as “Tall Brian” sometimes (for obvious reasons). I met Brian while riding a bus back in 2007. I had just watched Speed the night before and was looking around having bus-related action fantasies when I noticed Brian. I thought, “Oh wow. That dude actually looks a bit like a young Keanu Reeves!” annnnnnnnnd…I have a bit of a staring problem. So he noticed. lol. He was like “Uhhh…hi? I’m Brian!” and we started chatting and have been friends ever since. He’s a sweetie.
And, of course, I couldn’t resist making Brian (tallest guest) stand next to Christi (shortest guest) for this amazing photo:
Brian and Christi also served as our two witnesses — so they played a large part in making Frank and me LEGALLY married. Here they are signing the documents:
Brian also BUSTED Dorian drinking champagne! LOL! But Dorian is over 21 years old in human years (and over 120 in cat years) so he’s definitely old enough to legally drink:
And he snapped this pic of Flex hanging out on one of my doll shelves. Tina stayed hidden for the entire party (only appearing once to angrily meow at Frank before retreating back under the bed). Flex just seemed mildly annoyed, but never scared:
I also know Brian’s the one who took this pic of the polaroid pictures I was snapping throughout the wedding (I wanted a tangible wedding album!!):
These were my two favorite polaroids…
^ We actually had over 100 props that people could pose with (that I painstakingly assembled the night before), but Christi and Ray were the only ones who used them!
Speaking of things I painstakingly put together the night before… We had a TON of goodie bags (we had 15 guests planned, so I made over 30 of these things in case anyone wanted extras!) and almost NO ONE took any home with them:
Oh well. Good thing I like buttermints, I guess!
Anyway, I tossed my bouquet, but it was a bit awkward. The only other unmarried ladies left super early, which meant poor Rochelle was the ONLY person I could chuck my tossing flowers at…
She caught it though! So that was good. lol. And, like my wedding bouquet, my tossing bouquet was super fake so she got to keep it as a souvenir.
And then Frank did the garter toss thing. We had a bit of a struggle because, by that point in the evening, my legs were hitting failure from running around all day and I could barely lift my leg up for him to get to my tossin’ garter (I kept the fancier one, on my other leg, as a keepsake).
Ray got the garter. But the only person who took a pic of that as evidence was my dad… who didn’t realize he’d run out of digital “film” when he snapped the pic, so…there’s no pic. But Ray looked rad with my garter around his arm, posing with a flexed bicep.
Ummmm… I think these were from much earlier on in the day. I know Christi took these. Ring pics!
That’s actually the SECOND wedding ring I bought Frank! He’s been losing SO much weight (healthy eating, etc.) that the first ring I got him ended up being WAY too large. And the original ring was tungsten, so it couldn’t be resized. Whoops! So I got him another one. And even THIS ring is getting to be too large on him!! Thankfully, I bought the second one in a resizable material… He’s gonna wear one of those thingies (I forget what they’re called) on the underside of it to keep it from slipping off for now and then, when he finally plateaus re: weight loss, we’ll get it resized to fit him properly.
Towards the end of the evening, Frank and I folded up the blanket (and the red leather cord) from the unity ceremony and crushed white sage, sweet grass, and tobacco all over it:
Rochelle is mildly terrified of cats (because of their claws) so, of course, Dorian decided she was his new best friend:
She has kind of a “please help me” smile in that pic. lol. But she was a good sport, and Dorian is just such a sweet old man. <3
Also… this was the food table later on in the day (right before it got packed into the fridge so it wouldn’t spoil). Isn’t it just totally bizarre that there was more food at the END than at the beginning?? I’m not entirely sure how that happened! LOL!
And the iced bowl of caviar never even made it to the table! LOL LOL!! Whoops! We found it still in the fridge afterward and facepalmed.
And I’m not really sure when this pic was taken, but I know it was towards the very end. Our darling Christi was the first to arrive and the last to leave:
After it was all over, Frank and I were absolutely exhausted:
But, of course, Frank was then tasked with the job of getting me out of my dress. It took THREE people to get me INTO that dress, so it was a pretty hefty job for one thoroughly pooped young man. SO much tape and safety pins and ribbons and whatnot…
Once he finally got me out of my white tulle prison, I gleefully tossed it aside…and Flex claimed it as her own:
Anyway… Frank and I briefly eyeballed each other and waggled our eyebrows, but, ultimately, decided to follow Rochelle’s sage wedding night advice: “If you’re too exhausted…don’t…just don’t. You don’t want your first time to be lame.”
We have our entire lives for that stuff. 😉
We got into our comfiest PJs and fell asleep…HARD. We didn’t wake up until nearly 3pm the next day.
The Day After
I have a new last name!!! I’m now Mrs. Lauren Spear!
Christi commissioned this adorable piece of art by Rhode Montip for us to showcase our new status as a married couple:
Isn’t that just adorable? I can’t get enough of my new last name! She also got me a personalized robe!!
Frank and I also had so many cards to open, and gifts kept being delivered (Amazon delivers on Sundays!) from people who weren’t even AT the wedding… Thank you, All. Y’all really didn’t have to do that. We feel so very blessed.
And then there were little things that I hadn’t even noticed the day before. Like these real flowers from Chris and Eduardo! I had NO IDEA they brought me flowers, but they’re so very pretty:
And, of course, Christi came by one last time before heading back to Texas and was with us deep into the night. Every hour she kept saying “Okay, I really should be going…” and then she’d stay for another hour. lol. She didn’t want to leave. And we didn’t want to let her go. We miss her already.
My parents absolutely fell in love with Christi too, and adopted her into our family as my sister. Christi was super misty-eyed, and my parents were jazzed that they now have two grandchildren (Christi is a mother of two).
Here’s a cute/silly pic of all of us in our pajamas:
Not the best pic of any of us (you can tell we’re all tired), but you can still feel the warmth and love radiating from our tiny lil family.
Leslie decided Christi was family too and gave her a tribe name as well.
What a wonderful weekend!!
Side note though: Did anyone get any decent pictures of either of my uncles? lol. Both my biological uncles (Dad’s older bro and Mom’s older bro) made a very brief appearance at the wedding, but I only have two cruddy photos of them (which I didn’t want to embarrass them with by sharing).
Anyway… I think that’s it! I hope this EPIC WEDDING POST was everything everyone hoped it would be.
It’s time for me to sleep now. Frank and I didn’t get to have a honeymoon of any kind, soooooooooooooooo… I gotta rest up for work!
Until next time,
(AKA: Mrs. Spear)