Real Wedding: Karen & Mark

The luck of the Irish brought them a sunny wedding day in an otherwise rainy week.  And their guest list chocked full of artists and comedians made for a fun and funny night.   Here’s more about the wedding from Karen…

Karen & Mark July 4, 2009, Park Street Church, Boston, Massachusetts

What you did on your first date
Mark asked me to a Flamingo Concert his friend arranged. We sat in the back row and couldn’t stop laughing at how serious everyone was at the concert! We got such dirty looks! Mark’s from Ireland and I couldn’t stop laughing at his Spinal Tap impressions of “Stone Henge.”

How you knew he was the one
I knew he was the one because he liked my band! My band is pretty different, with costumes, video art, and a glowing set of a silver city.  I knew if he came to my show after seeing our song clips on-line, he was someone special. Not only did he come, but he insisted on helping us run the video and sound. He acted as our roadie for the night carrying around all the heavy equipment after seeing our bassist had a broken foot!  He charmed everyone he met, making them feel comfortable immediately and was good humored enough to wedged himself into the silver city set in our van, so he could come back to our practice space to help unload. He won over my closest friends, and insisted on continuing to be our roadie since that day.  We went our first date the next night, and haven’t stopped dating!

The ceremony
We were married in Park Street Church where we met, in Boston on the church’s 200th year anniversary.  Mark’s family is from Ireland, and my family is scattered across the US, so half our guests flew in for the wedding. They came early, and it rain the whole week before, but on our wedding day it was a cool sunny summer day with gorgeous light pouring in the side windows of the church. Everyone said it was the luck of the Irish!

We had three bridesmaids who were my closest friends. His two brothers and my one brother, made up the grooms, with my brother’s children 5 yr. old niece and 7 yr. old nephew as flower girl and ring bearer. Mark’s two best mates from Ireland were the humorous ushers, and our head pastor Hugenberger held us all in check.

We added a few non-traditional elements at the start of the ceremony. Before anyone came down the left or right aisles, my band mates pour hot water over the flowers to activate dry ice in the bottom of the urns for the “watering of the flowers.”

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

At the alter, fog gushed out of the flower urns while I walked down the isle to a traditional “Ode to Joy” on organ with a Theremin warbling the melody instead of a vocalist. My father was beaming, and everyone told me later Mark mouthed “Wow” when they opened the doors and he saw me.

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

Months before the wedding we joked about how big the “cloud” dress was, and Mark hadn’t seen it until that moment!

The moment Karen will never forget
After the ceremony, we stole a few minutes in the side hallway giving each other high fives for remembering our vows

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

and then snuck into the historic cemetery next door for a photo shoot.

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

Every few minutes a July 4th tour trolley would drive by the church outside and people would scream congratulations to us. I felt like such a movie star!

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

The reception
We hosted a dinner reception on the top floor of Beacon Hill’s Holiday Inn, which over looking the firework display on the Charles River at the end of the night. We kept our guest list to a modest 100, and our DJs were our music friends who made the night’s events run smoothly.  We made our own centerpieces of gold and white feathers and a big gold MK logo with real flowers tucked into flute vases.  We added little LED lights held on with magnets for accents. Since most of our friends and family were artists/comedians, they took off the centerpiece lights and played with them wearing the lights on their on their ears, clothing, or anything else they would stick to! It was so fun. Our cake was simply white and beautiful, and the toasts were so fun, that strangely my Wisconsin relatives were louder than the family from Ireland!

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

Karen’s favorite detail
We missed a few steps on our first dance, but it didn’t matter because the first fireworks of the night went off outside the window behind us in the middle of it, and that’s all people could remember! We couldn’t have asked for better timing.

Advice for other brides
We had 100 guests at our wedding after agonizing over the list the month before, we realized we could’ve had an equally elegant wedding with only 50 guests. Ask yourself if you’d normally spend $80 or more on dinner for your old college roommate, or aunt Martha’s best friend. Cut costs where you can, and prioritize spending on things you want to be a little more special, but don’t go overboard making everything a little more special.

Budget Budget Budget. Be transparent about spending from the start with your fiancé. He’ll appreciate your honesty even if he’s not interested that you’ve spent $250 on hair clips.

Don’t buy your flowers on-line, you may get that type of flower mailed on time, but it may not be in season or as full as in the ads.

Leave a 4hr. block of time the day before for last minute detail scrambles, and go to bed early the night before even if you can’t sleep. Your feet will thank you for that the next day!

Real Wedding Karen & Mark

Photography: Ceremony, Karen Lorenz, Reception: Brian Jenkin / Karen’s Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander 8320