Our Wedding

The Proposal
Chris had a suspicion I knew a proposal was coming when he took me back to NYC for a 4-day weekend to revisit the city that had brought us together. (Probably because he asked me to help him pick out the ring. haha One of the complications of marrying your best friend, I guess). But being the romantic, thoughtful person that he is, Chris devised a series of events to keep me guessing throughout the weekend getaway. Not only did he find the perfect location and setting to propose, he found three perfect locations and settings to propose.

When we arrived in NYC, he took me to Central Park for a nighttime horse-drawn carriage ride. We cuddled under the blanket, admired our pretty white horse and entertaining driver, and enjoyed the quiet sense of being transported back to the 1800s. But Chris did not propose here.

The next day, after touring the American Museum of Natural History, we went over to another surprise that Chris had planned. He took me to The View, a 48th floor revolving restaurant in Times Square with magnificent views of the whole city, and of course, Central Park. It was a wonderful, romantic evening. But Chris did not propose here. Suddenly, I began to doubt that he was going to do it at all. haha

After the restaurant, Chris announced that he had another surprise. We walked a few blocks away to Rockefeller Center and headed up to the 68th floor of one of the buildings to Top of the Rock, a rooftop observation deck with even more spectacular views of the city. We walked around taking in the sights, and were even able to find the green expanse of Central Park. At this point, Chris knelt down and said, "Hang on, I have a rock in my shoe."

I nodded and continued to enjoy the view. After another 30 seconds or so, however, I noticed that he was still kneeling so asked, "Do you really have a rock in your shoe?"

Chris replied with a big grin, "No, but I have a rock in my hand." With that, he held out a ring box and asked me to marry him. Neither one of us could stop laughing in excitement during the whole event. A small group of tourists squealed and wondered aloud if it would be impolite to take a picture of the proposal. We hugged and kissed and then ran inside to get a better view of my new rock, which happens to be the most unbelievably gorgeous diamond engagement ring in the history of NYC proposals (but maybe I'm biased).

Planning for the Wedding
After a year and eight months of planning, Chris and I pulled off our dream wedding and had a blast celebrating our marriage with our family and friends. Deciding where to have the wedding was difficult for a girl from Michigan and a boy from upstate New York. We didn't want to exclude family from either side, so at first we came up with the idea of having the wedding in a neutral place.

Chris immediately suggested Disney World. We all had a laugh at the joke, but as we went through the list of other possible ideas, Disney World kept popping back up. It did make sense for us: Chris and I loved Disney World and had spent one of our first vacations together there. And if we were going to ask everyone to travel, why not have them travel to an fun vacation spot and enjoy their time before and after the wedding?

Adding Another Reception
With that mostly settled, we began thinking about all the people who wouldn't be able to make it to Florida for the wedding. We were bummed that some friends and family members would have to miss out. But then something crazy happened: One day, Chris was driving home from a long day at work when he heard on our local Syracuse radio station, 93Q, that it was wedding week. They instructed their listeners to go on their website for links to great deals for weddings.

The good fiance that he is, Chris did just that when he got home. He found a website called iBid that the radio station sponsors. On it, an auction for a full reception at the Victorian-style Dibbles Inn, located between Syracuse and Utica. And no one had placed a bid yet ...

We didn't have time to see the Inn before the auction closed, unfortunately, which made the decision very difficult. After much debate and seeking advice from parents and siblings, we decided to go for it and place a bid on the reception. Two hours later the auction closed and we had purchased our reception package for 1/5 the actual price! He also snagged a $500 gift card to New York Bride (a wedding dress store) for only $150. So we had a good start on finding the dress as well. I knew I was marrying him for a good reason. haha

Adding Yet ANOTHER Reception
So now we had a Disney wedding and a New York reception. But the madness didn't stop there. There were still important people in my life that lived in Michigan and really couldn't travel to FL or NY. That's when my parents stepped in and said they would host a small cocktail-type reception in Michigan for a few guests that ought to be involved in our wedding madness.

Three Weddings and a Dessert Party
Having the wedding and three receptions in different states didn't make things easy, but it definitely was memorable. We couldn't have asked for anything more to kick off the rest of our life together (although we're definitely happy to be settled back into normal life).

We spent an incredible week in Disney World, where we vowed to love each other for as long as we both shall live. We also went to the Disney Parks pretty much every day. haha And we hosted a small reception in Animal Kingdom after hours and a dessert party in Epcot for all our guests during the Illuminations fireworks show.

Two weeks later, we had our reception in New York where we had the traditional dances and garter/bouquet toss and wedding cake. And I got to wear my wedding dress again! How many brides can say that? We set up a photo area for the guests with funny props and wigs to have some fun between dances, food, and drinks.

Another two weeks and we headed out to Michigan for one last hurrah. This time, we went a bit more casual, so instead of the big wedding dress, I wore a short white dress from our engagement pictures. (Yay for getting extra use out of that one too!) We had a photobooth so our guests would have keepsake photobooth strips to take home and a guitar player provided ambiance for the event.

Phew! It's Over!
In the end, Chris and I were so glad we did our wedding the way we wanted, over-the-top craziness and all. Would we do it again? No way. But luckily, Chris and I are so thrilled to be husband and wife, so once should be enough for this lifetime.

Want to See the Pictures?
You can check out the wedding pictures on our Shutterfly site: http://chrisandcallieswedding.shutterfly.com/ Some of these pictures are from us, some from our New York photographer and a bunch are from wedding guests and family who were happy to share the pictures they snapped at the various events.

The photobooth pictures from the Michigan reception are no longer available online.

The Disney pictures can no longer be viewed online either, but we do have prints of all 700 pictures I scanned in and we posted a few here for your viewing pleasure.