Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Left Coast Ambitions: The Castle on the Hill

On Thursday, Mr. Goodlaff and I visited the place that inspired the plan for our entire Mini-Moon:  Hearst Castle.  I have wanted to go there for years, and a while back, Mr. Goodlaff and I found ourselves in the vicinity and popped in the visitor center to see how much it would be and when it was open.  We didn't have time to do a tour that day (they were pretty much sold out anyway), so we put it on our "places to see" list, and moved along. When discussing what we should do on our Mini-Moon, Hearst Castle came up, and we literally built our entire trip around this one thing. 

Who is this Hearst fellow and what was he doing with a castle in California?  Well, it turns out that William Randolph Hearst, of newspaper fame, was one wealthy dude.  He wanted a little ranch house, so he hired architect Julia Morgan to build a little something for him.  Here's what she came up with:

Like I said, he had some money. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Left Coast Ambitions: Mission Possible

Wednesday morning, Mr. Goodlaff and I awoke feeling refreshed and ready to go.  We checked out of our hotel, grabbed a breakfast smoothie (me) and coffee (him), and headed off to see one of the famous sights of Santa Barbara: the Mission!

Like all good little California school children, Mr. Goodlaff and I each spent a year in elementary school studying the California Missions.  The year of study culminates in a Mission project, which usually involved building the Mission of your choice out of sugar cubes and adobe-colored frosting (mine was Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, and I did a video-tour, not a model, but that's really beside the point. Yes, I am an overachiever--also beside the point).

In any case, we found ourselves here bright and early in the morning:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Left Coast Ambitions: We Mini-Moon!

I know I didn't talk about it much (or at all really), but because our Honeymoon isn't until October, the Goodlaffs decided to mini-moon for a few days after the wedding.  It was a much-needed break, and it was absolutely fantastic.  In fact, it went so well, I like to think of it as our "practice" honeymoon. Because our "real" Honeymoon is in the Fall, we decided to stay local.  And when I say "local," I mean we stayed in California. Your home state counts as local, right?. 

Two days after our wedding, the Goodlaffs hopped on a nearly empty Southwest flight, bound for Burbank, CA.

We rented a car, and for the next five days, we worked our way back up the California coast, stopping at anything that looked interesting, eating as much food as we could, and sleeping in as much as possible.  It was bliss!

From Burbank, we drove a bit out of the way, to Pasadena.  Pasadena is not en route to Santa Barbara (where we were headed), but it has one claim on my affections that Mr. Goodlaff just didn't understand.  The Hat:

Well known for its pastrami dip sandwiches, The Hat is one of those must-eat places when I'm in the Los Angeles area, so naturally, I wasn't even thinking about it when we landed.  But I'd sent Mr. Goodlaff taunting pictures of the tastiness during my dress-buying excursion in December, so when we were considering where to go for lunch, he mentioned The Hat.  It wasn't too far out of our way, and not being on any time schedule, we trekked out to Pasadena for some tastiness.

Friday, August 26, 2011

May Day:! Breakin' 2 Electric Blogaloo--Mr. Goodlaff Speaks

Well, my friends, the end's not near; it's here!  I have a few posts about our Mini-Moon, and after that, the Goodlaff Bride will officially transition to the Goodlaff Girl. Changes are afoot!

I think it's easy for us brides and brides-to-be to forget that there are two sides to every wedding planning story, and because you've listened to be babble for nearly a year, I thought it appropriate that Mr. Goodlaff get the very last word on our wedding.

Also, he came up with the title for this post on his own.  I had absolutely nothing to do with that...

Mr. Goodlaff, the floor is yours:

It’s hard putting thoughts and words around our wedding day as it already seems so long ago. The whole day was just a blur. I was at our venue at 9 AM to meet The Enforcer to make sure everything went smoothly.  My dad and stepmom helped me drag all of our wedding stuff from the house to the venue, the decorating at was going great, and for the first time in recent memory, I had nothing to do. I thought about coming home and taking a nap (I had been up until 1:30 AM the night before writing my vows and watching Elliott Smith videos on YouTube – I couldn’t sleep, OK? We all have our ways of calming down…) but I was scared I’d sleep through my alarm. So I did what any normal person would do hours before their wedding, I got a Starbucks coffee and sat on our couch watching episodes of “The Office”.

 About noon the guys started showing up at the house and it was so nice to be able to kick it with four incredible guys. Between my brother, my two friends who I’ve known for 25+ years and my sister’s incredible significant other, I can’t imagine a better group of guys to be with me as I entered that next phase of my life. We chilled on the couch, watched the Giants game and talked about concrete countertops (I nodded my head in understanding despite having almost no idea what they were talking about; I guess construction skills skip a generation).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

May Day!: Photos Redux

Let me tell you, getting ready to look like a bride for the second day in a row wasn't as long of a process, but it sure was exhausting (maybe because I was so tired?).  I did my very best to apply my own makeup, amateur that I am, and still make it look good for pictures.  My hair, which was the day before an abundance of curls, had relaxed, and I decided to go with a half-up, messy, tousled curls look.  I carefully instructed Mr. Goodlaff on how to lace up my corset dress (that was fun), and after much ado, we both climbed into his car (me with some difficulty giving the poofiness of my dress), and drove to meet our photographer.

We chose the Empire Mine in Grass Valley as the location of our day-after photo session.  Early on in our engagement.  Mr. Goodlaff and I considered getting married at the mine, but given the uncertainty of the weather at the beginning of May and the cost, we ultimately decided against that location.  The grounds are fantastic: there's a beautiful stone cottage, plenty of greenery and foliage, a gorgeous garden, and many opportunities for posing with industrial structures.  We paid the fee for entrance, and basically ran amok for several hours on the grounds, taking photo opportunities anywhere that looked inspiring.

But enough talking.  Let's get to the pictures.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

May Day!: The Morning After

The day after our wedding, Mr. Goodlaff and I got up incredibly early (for newlyweds).  Duty called--we had morning breakfast at Casa Goodlaff to attend.  We rolled out of bed, made ourselves presentable, and headed out to the car. 

Oh, the car.  You remember the streamers, right?  Well, with a highway involved in this journey, we couldn't leave the streamers attached.  It was cleanup time. 

As you can see, the streamers weren't only outside the car, but all over the inside as well...

We decided to leave the "Just Married" sign, because it wasn't going anywhere....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

May Day!: The Cows Come Home

Mr. Goodlaff and I didn't do a grand exit. 

Instead, we partied for hours and hours, and slowly the crowd thinned out.  Around 9 PM, people started taking decorations off of tables, we cut off the DJ, and our somewhat inebriated family members got up on ladders and took down the lights and lanterns that had been so carefully hung from the rafters.
Right then seemed like an appropriate time to depart.  We gathered our things and headed out to our getaway vehicle, which was the 1969 Cougar I'd arrived in earlier that afternoon.  It looked a little different than it had before, and that wasn't just because it was dark outside:

Jensen Photobooth

Monday, August 22, 2011

May Day!: Alcohol Plus Costumes, Equals...

Photobooth Fun!

Dancing wasn't our guests' only option for reception entertainment.  We had a Photobooth, and boy, was it entertaining....

Niki Ross Photography

Our Photobooth, provided by Jensen Photobooth of Sacramento, was fantastic.  The booth was huge, and sometimes more than six people were in there at once.  Our guests could choose to have their pictures taken in black and white or color, and we had a huge bucket of props for people to choose from. 
But the best part was that the booth printed two sets of pictures--one for our guests, and one for the Goodlaffs.  We also got a DVD of all the images taken that night, both of the strips, and of the individual pictures themselves.

Jensen Photobooth

All of our guests were encouraged to hop in the booth, take pictures, and then leave us a note in our guestbook.  They certainly lived up to the task!

Friday, August 19, 2011

May Day!: Just Dance

With all the required elements out of the way, it was time to let go and get to getting down on the dance floor.  To encourage our guests to get moving, our DJ suggested that we do an anniversary dance.  We invited all couples to the dance floor, and the longest married couple still dancing at the end of the song won. 

Needless to say, Mr. Goodlaff and I lost that contest.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

May Day!: The Best Things in Life Are Free

We did things a little differently in the bouquet toss arena. 

Our DJ invited anyone who was feeling lucky--whether male, female, single, or taken--to the dance floor for the bouquet toss, because this was not your typical bouquet.

My bouquet was quite literally made of money, and was, if I say so myself, quite a catch!  We got everyone out on the dance floor. Even though we opened it up to everyone, it was mostly the single ladies that decided to participate anyway.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

May Day!: You Are My Sunshine

I would like to say that choosing the Father-Daughter Dance song took some thought and time.  But it didn't.  Finding the right version of the song did.  Years ago Mama Goodlaff made an off-handed comment that she thought my Father-Daughter dance should be to "You Are My Sunshine," because Daddy Goodlaff used to sing it to me when I was little.  I guess it kind of stuck with me. 

When I went searching, I found many, many versions of the song, but mostly jazzy, five minute long renditions that were unsuitable for dancing, and for a while, I gave up on the song.  I looked at lists of normal Father-Daughter Dance songs, but none of them seemed right.  Then, buried deep in the trenches of iTunes, I found what I was looking for.  A two and a half minute Nat King Cole version.  It was perfect, and the deal was done.

I collected Daddy Goodlaff and we got ready for our dance, but as the music began, and we began dancing, Mama Goodlaff (who had no idea what my song choice was) was nowhere to be seen. 

Uh Oh.

As we danced, I kept looking for Mama Goodlaff, and told Daddy Goodlaff, "Mom is gonna be so pissed that she missed this!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

May Day!: Holy Cake Bar, Batman!

The cake.  Oh, the cake!

 Early on, I fell in love with the idea of a cake bar, and even now, months after the wedding, it's one of my favorite things.  I mean, just look at it:

Um. YUM.  Looking at our cake bar made me feel like I was a kid in Willy Wonka's Candy Factory, and I wanted a piece of Every. Single. One. We had eleven different flavors, and one two-tiered cake for Mr. Goodlaff and I to cut into. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

May Day!: Getting Toast-y

While our guests settled in for dinner, Mr. Goodlaff and I sat perched at our sweetheart table, observing the room.  I'm not gonna lie: the sweetheart table was the best way to go.  We still had guests coming up to chat with us, but for the most part, dinner allowed us a little bit of alone time before the party got into full swing. 

Our food was fantastic, and even though we did a buffet, the caterers delivered plates of food to Mr. Goodlaff and I, which was fortunate.  The last thing I wanted to do was try to navigate a buffet line with a very poofy, very white dress.

About halfway through dinner, Mr. Goodlaff up and left me:

Never fear, it was for a good cause!  He went to get me some champagne, because the toasts were about to begin!

BIL Goodlaff led off, toasting to how perfect Mr. Goodlaff and I were together, and how happy his brother was...

Friday, August 12, 2011

May Day!: The Luckiest

Deciding on our first dance wasn't nearly as hard as deciding on our entrance song.  I'd say that fairly early on, we knew what the song was, and that there was nothing more perfect for us in terms of first dances.  We chose "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds. It's not a typical first dance song;  it's a little quirky, but beautiful, and it still gets me a little choked up.  Press play.  You won't regret it, I promise.  

We got out on the dance floor, and our song began:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

May Day!: Too-Rah-Loo-Rah

Very early on in the planning process, our DJ told Mr. Goodlaff and I that the entrance song--the song which you enter your reception to--is the most important song of the evening.  Even more important than your first dance song, the entrance song, he said, sets the tone for your entire reception. Pick a good song and you will have a rockin' party.  A bad song equals a snooze-fest.  So, no pressure or anything. 

Accordingly, Mr. Goodlaff and I had a hell of a time picking our entrance song.  We didn't want to pick the wrong song, for fear of setting the tone for a crappy reception, so we thought and thought and thought some more, but nothing seemed to be exactly what we were going for.  After months of debate, with many song rejects, the answer was so simple that we should have figured it out earlier: we would enter to our song.  Well, a cover of our song.

For reasons beyond all explanation, "Come On Eileen," by Dexy's Midnight Runners is our song.  It's not particularly romantic or sentimental, but it's ours, and sometimes a song just fits, and that's just how it is.  In fact, "Come On Eileen" is how we first came to meet our DJ, and it's how, months later, he knew who we were when we contacted him about playing at our wedding.

We decided that it would be a perfect entrance song, but because we wanted to hear it twice in one evening, and because we wanted something with a bit more kick than the original, we chose a cover of our song done by the ever-peppy ska band, Save Ferris: 

Talk about setting the tone!  It turned out to be the perfect entrance song!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

May Day!: I Think We're Alone Now

After all the pictures with other people were taken, we had 25 minutes until our reception started, and instead of going inside and eating appetizers and drinking some wine, Mr. Goodlaff and I posed for even more pictures.  But this time, we were all alone.  Well, except for our photographer...

We took advantage of a lot of great locations around the Miners Foundry, and in Nevada City.

By the ivy-covered back wall...

By the neighboring winery doorway...

Behind the Foundry's back door...It's entirely possible that this is one of my favorite pictures of Mr. Goodlaff and I from our wedding day.  I love the colors, the background--everything!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

May Day!: Family Photos

Inside the Miners Foundry, our guests and Bridal Party were enjoying our appetizers and free-flowing beer and wine, but we were outside, dutifully posing for pictures with our family.  Niki told us that we wouldn't be moving much during all of our formal shots, which turned out to be the case.  For most of our photos, we are in the same spot, in exactly the same pose.  It made it easy for us--we didn't have to move or change.  People were swapped in and out, and our family pictures went by just as quickly as our bridal party shots.

With Daddy, Mama, and Sister Goodlaff

Aunt Goodlaff and Sister Goodlaff's Boyfriend hopped in for this one

With the Goodlaff Grandparents

Monday, August 8, 2011

May Day!: A Recipe for Photos

Immediately following the ceremony, while our guests were enjoying the cocktail hour, our family and our bridal party had some modeling work to do. 

Niki's recipe for bridal party photos, started with just Mr. Goodlaff and I in the middle:

First up, add Bridesmaids.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

May Day!: Kiss the Bride

Our ceremony was drawing to a close, and Mr. Goodlaff and I were so close to being declared man and wife.  Houdini had stuck to the script that we gave him, but we also wanted him to put a little bit of his own spin on things, so Mr. Goodlaff and I told him he could add (almost) anything he wanted to our ceremony.  And he did.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

May Day!: Rings and Roses

After we said our vows, Houdini continued with the ceremony, by asking Groomsman M to do our second reading. He, like Sister Goodlaff, was shanghaied into helping out at our rehearsal dinner the night before:

Miss Goodlaff and Mr. Goodlaff have chosen a poem to share with you entitled "Love" by Roy Croft.

Groomsman M - if you will.

 Love (a poem by Roy Croft)
 I love you
 Not only for what you are,
 But for what I am
 When I am with you.
 I love you,
 Not only for what
 You have made of yourself,
 But for what
 You are making of me.
I love you
 For the part of me
 That you bring out;
I love you
 For putting your hand
 Into my heaped-up heart

And passing over
 All the foolish, weak things
 That you can't help
 Dimly seeing there,
 And for drawing out
 Into the light
 All the beautiful belongings
 That no one else had looked
 Quite far enough to find.