fireflies and cottonwood

our wedding blog

More location photos September 21, 2008

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While last in St. Louis, I had the opportunity to take lots of photos of both Emmanuel and the Tap Room. Now, I can officially begin making decisions about decorations!  Flowers along the aisle?  Emmanuel has a very, very long nave, and is dark, with dark wood and green carpet.  One idea would be to have flowers or greenery with ribbon along some of the pews, but there are so many pews!  The only other place we are allowed to put flowers is up on the altar, in the official altar guild vases.  But maybe with a bride, groom, 16 attendants, a ring bearer and a flower girl, there will be enough human decoration.

I didn’t have time to take interior shots at church, but took one from my friend Jodie’s blog from her wedding (she is an _incredible_ photographer, by the way.)

(So exciting to see Emmanuel during a wedding!)

Exterior of Emmanuel:

The outside of the front door.  To the right is Jones Lawn, which is really quite large and filled with huge shade trees.  We are thinking of having lemonade and sparkling water on the lawn, directly after the ceremony and receiving line.  We could have a clown making balloon animals for the children, and maybe some live music…  While the bridal party and families are being photographed, people can mingle, have something to drink, and relax a bit before the reception.  This could also prevent a long lag at the reception, while people wait for the bridal party to arrive.

This is the memorial garden, to the left of the main entrance.  There is also a side entrance to the Chapel here, and up along the path on the left is the door into the parish hall.

(The church was built by a family from “back East,” and Mrs. Lockwood used memories and sketches of her own home church to influence the architects.  The cross on the steeple is exactly the height of the little Lockwood girl when it was built.)

The Tap Room–I love, love, love the hardwood floors, exposed bricks, tall windows, views of the city–I can’t wait to dance the night away with my love and everyone we love.

The first thing to consider: head tables.  Do we have our spouses and dates of our attendants at the head tables with them?  My first instinct is to say yes, because it seems odd to have people separated just because that’s the way it’s usually done.  I would never do that at a dinner party.  But we have 16 people. Maybe two head tables, at opposite ends or something?

Matt and I are thinking doing a writer as a theme for each table.  So instead of “Table 5,” you might have “the Whitman table.”  I’m thinking of doing tablescapes of old books and many, many candles as centerpieces at each table.

The bar.  They also have tiny white lights strung all around the wooden pillars and windows.

The outside patio for the upper room where our reception will be held.  I suppose people can mingle out here as well.  Candles out here, as well.


My little sister’s wedding! September 6, 2008

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Oh, oh, oh!  The most amazing photos.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  Aren’t they beautiful together?  And isn’t the setting dreamy-strange-amazing?

During the ceremony.  I love that someone built an all-white Chapel, with pillows and natural light, in the middle of the desert.


The minister is the Reverend Ludo, a Celtic officiant.


With Katherine and Paul, their witnesses, a lovely couple from the UK.



How beautiful and unique.  I know many, many couples talk about eloping, but I have to say: Jamie and Jeremiah did it right–she has a dress, and it took money to pay for gas to drive to Nevada, but once they were there…it was organic, spontaneous, and true.  The photographs weren’t done by a professional, but they couldn’t be more amazing, and the setting is just unreal.

I’m so proud of her, and thrilled for them.  I can’t wait to see them in person.  Congratulations, Jeremiah and Jamie!


Location, location, location August 18, 2008

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After much thought and discussion, we’ve decided on having the ceremony at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, in Webster Groves.  This is my church, and has been for nearly ten years.  Matt also loves his church–right up the street–and we first struggled to visualize our wedding in both spaces, and to try to articulate what they meant to us.




The Episcopal service goes by the Book of Common prayer.  I have been worshiping with this liturgy since I was seventeen.  One of the wonderful things about it is its constancy: I can go to an Episcopal or Anglican church anywhere in the world, and immediately fall into the familiar liturgy and cadences of the prayers and patterns I recognize.  Once, I was in a church in Prague–I knew none of the words, but followed along in my own way.  Suddenly, during Communion, the liturgy was sung in the exact same tune as the tune used for Communion when I was a freshman at University of Illinois.  I hadn’t heard it in years, but it suddenly came rushing back to me–a flood of familiarity in the most of foreign of places.


Emmanuel in particular is a huge part of my life.  My college is across the street, and I walked across the church lawn countless times, on my way to class.  I sang in the choir, and rehearsed every Wednesday night with years.  I taught Sunday school, and then was head of Parish Family Life–planning parish-wide events throughout the year.  In the year before I left for New York, I trained new acolytes.  It gives me joy and pride to imagine that some of the kids I trained will get to by acolytes at my own wedding.  Finally, some of my most dearly beloved friends are there.  That church community has supported me in so many ways, and I grew as a person and came into myself there.  I still miss it, many a Sunday.


When we were just beginning to date, Matt came to Emmanuel to hear me sing.  I was the cantor for a small, formal evening service: Evensong.  I was the cantor, accompanied by the organ.  I was very nervous: all of my roommates, as well as my dad and another colleague, had come to see the service and hear me, but I was most nervous because it was the first time Matt would hear me sing.  In fact, afterwards, I wouldn’t let him say anything at all about the service, and could barely look at him.


As for the reception, it was relatively simple to choose the Tap Room, or Schlafly Brewery.  Again, we have many, many good memories there.  I often went there with my family, including my Grammy and my late Grandpa Hughes, and my dad loved to go there with me.  I remember at least one Thanksgiving there with my dad and sister.  Matt and all our community of friends went there often, and we have one hilarious story from our courtship that took place there (again, I was deeply embarrassed, and pacing outside with my roommates trying to discern whether Matt could tell if I liked him…while Matt cooly played pool and controlled the jukebox…)

Also, the food is great.  So is the bar.  And the upstairs room is lovely, and very St. Louis.  I was tempted to have an outdoor reception, but once we moved it to summer, we wanted it inside, so people could dance and make merry comfortably.






We’ll post menu options from the Tap Room later, but hopefully, we’ll get to share some meals there with family friends before the end of the year…and decide in person which options are most delicious.