Real Wedding: Erin & Craig

I always think it is telling when you ask a bride about her wedding and she goes into great detail about the ceremony itself.  I think it speaks to the couples’ commitment and true love for each other.  And that is what I like most in reading about Erin and Craig’s recent wedding.  Here’s their story.

Erin & Craig September 6, 2009, Charlotte North Carolina

What you did on your first date
Craig took me to Andyman’s Treehouse (now just called The Treehouse) in Columbus Ohio for our first date.  I was relatively new to Columbus at the time, and having had ridden my bike past the small building a few times, was really curious what it was.  The little bar is barely noticeable from the street, mostly because the entrance is in an ally.  Craig rather randomly suggested it when he came to pick me up – so it worked out great because I wanted to go there.
Being in the bar is much like being in your parent’s basement – it has low ceilings and strange old furniture.  The namesake of the bar comes from on room where a large tree rises up through the center of the room – the building is actually built around it.  This same room also serves as a venue for indie rock bands.  I felt that going to Andyman’s was a good sign – who else would want to go there and actually suggest it?

How you knew he was the one
Our first date was the first clue that he was the one because we shared the same unique taste.  Soon after we also learned that we enjoyed some other unique hobbies, such as going to thrift stores and creating art and other projects.  Aside from all the things we have in common, I came to understand, through all the difficulties we faced together, that he was the most loyal person I have ever met and that he was truly my soulmate.  He was by my side during some very difficult times, including dealing with my mom’s cancer while I was in law school.

The ceremony
The ceremony was at St. Mary’s Chapel (park-district owned, used to be the chapel for an orphanage, now the only remaining building on the site which is now a park).  The chapel is very small, only seating a very snug 100 people.

Real Wedding: Erin & Craig

Our ceremony was somewhat traditional and protestant, my father walked me down the aisle and we had classical music provided by a violin and flute.

Real Wedding: Erin & CraigOur vows were modern and meant a lot to us.  We did not write them ourselves, rather our officiant, Reverend Dr. Patrick Maloy had several different options for us to choose from.  Choosing the vows was a breeze – Craig and I knew exactly what we wanted.  Our vows focused on friendship and love.  Our readings were an untitled quote by Mark Twain about marriage as a partnership.  The other reading was an anonymous poem, sometimes called “These I Can Promise.”  The main gist is that while we cannot promise the other happiness or riches, we an promise love and devotion.  This took on a special meaning, as I was laid off from my job shortly before the wedding.

Real Wedding: Erin & CraigThe reception
The reception was at The Charlotte City Club.  The city club is at the top of a sky scraper in Uptown Charlotte.  We chose the city club because it had beautiful views and it had other rooms that the guests could take a break in if they became tired from dancing.  We also liked the city club because of the old southern feel – even though our style tends to be more modern.  Our families are both from the midwest – so it was almost like a destination wedding for them.  By having it at the city club, it was almost like a theme wedding for most of our guests.

Real Wedding: Erin & Craig

We kept the wedding relatively small – 82 people attended – because we wanted to make sure that we were able to visit with all the guests and because we wanted a more intimate party.  The reception had a cocktail hour and a seated-plated meal, followed by cake and dancing.

Erin’s best memory from the day
I will always remember our first dance – because it was so fun!  We danced to “I Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” by Berry White.  The song itself was great because it was upbeat, but still a love song.  Craig and I did not take any dance lessons, not because we did not want to, but we just never got around to it.  A week before our wedding we moved the furniture around in our living room to create a dance floor and just danced to the song until we came up with a plan.  When we ran out of moves, we just grabbed our friends and wedding party to dance with us.  I would definitely recommend to anyone that they choose a fun song to dance to for your wedding – I am so glad that we did.

Real Wedding: Erin & Craig

Her favorite detail
My favorite detail about the reception is the music we choose for the cocktail hour and dinner service.  We choose a mix of mostly modern music.  Our younger guests really appreciated hearing songs they new from artists like Feist – instead of just Frank Sinatra.

Advice for other brides
My advice for other brides is to make sure that your Fiance, or his best man, is the master of the wedding day plans for the men.  I did not really do a good job of this.  I basically told them that they should get together in someone’s hotel room to eat eat lunch (I ordered it for them) and be at a certain place and time for pictures – unless we called to let them know things were running late.  Thus, they really made no plans and I received a million phone calls from them the day before the wedding and the day of the wedding because they did not know what they were doing.  Leading up the wedding, I did not get involved in this because I was afraid of being a bridezilla or a nag – but looking back, I would have taken being the bad guy a few weeks before the wedding instead of getting a million phone calls the day of the wedding when I had enough to do already.

Real Wedding: Erin & Craig

Photography: Diane Mason
Erin’s Wedding Dress: Romona KevezaL863 (Legends Collection)