Monday, October 8, 2012

A September Wedding

Once upon a time, in a far away place...I met little Mae-Lee. We were just itty bitty things, when were first became friends in pre-school at Creative Montessori School. She was spunky, athletic, humorous, smart, pretty, had an infectious laugh, a no dilly-dally type of girl. I'm just kidding. I don't remember what Mae-Lee was like at age 4. But---I do remember (only through pictures - we all know my memory isn't what it once was) that I invited her to my 5th and 6th birthday parties. AND she actually came, without much convincing. Although the pictures might show otherwise...she looks a tad on the shy side and I am going to say with confidence that Yu-Ping dragged her to my princess party.

Drum roll please........

If you read the speech below (at the very bottom), you'll get a few more details about our friendship history, so I don't want to bore you too much now. Here is the short of it: we were friends, we weren't friends, we were friends, and then she asked me to be her maid of honor. Bing, bang, boom. Sorry boys--she is officially off the market. Mae-Lee married a stud-of-a-man. A transplant from Montana. Jared, more formally known as Jerry, won us over wholeheartedly. He is also spunky, athletic, humorous, smart, pretty, has an infecious laugh, etc.... kidding, kidding. Jerry really is awesomely talented and hilarious and huggable, and they are simply two peas in a pod. I know it's cliche, but seriously--look at them golf pros. We are a lucky to have these two in our group of friends. 

Rather than draft a long written synopsis about the events surrounding their nuptials (which is painstaking hard for me NOT to do), I'll just post pictures, with a few short descriptions. My definition of short might be different than yours. This is what I promised Jerry--when I told him the next blog post would be about celebrating the Pang-Atkin's marriage. One minor disclaimer....after looking through the pictures--one thing is for sure, we like to party, we like to drink, we like to have fun.

First, we start with their engagement. And it ain't official, until it's on Facebook. I mean, right?! Jared popped the question while on the course. Mae, as a teaser to the FB world changed her status to, I didn't get a hole in one [insert picture of beautiful/big ring] ---- but dang, Mae-Lee got something brighter and more sparkier (sp?), than any hole-in-one I've seen. Well played Jerry, well played. Oh and I did I mention he proposed on her birthday. You win, all the single men better step up their game. Ahem. Ahem.

After such a wonderfully planned proposal and a few months delayed, we throw an engagement party. The event was held at the lovely Houser residence in Snohomish. Take a peek at what started as a formal affair and turned into a late-night dance party. Don't be shocked, our get-togethers almost always turn into a dance party.

Next up, was Mae-Lee's 2nd bridal shower. The first one was held in Gig Harbor at her aunt's house. Unfortunately--I didn't take any snapshots, but it was a perfect setting, surrounded by lovely people.

Her "friends" shower was held at my parent's house. I based the decorations/invitations on her color scheme for the wedding. Yellow and Grey! I ordered the invitations & return address labels from Wedding Paper Diva's. Their customer service was top-notch and they had sooo many unique designs, that it was a full-blown group effort with my co-workers trying to decide what to finally buy. I also must add that the instant messaging program used was KEY for me. I mean....if I don't have to make external calls, and the chat program happens to be available M-F, between 8-5, it's incredibly helpful :) The lanterns were purchased from Just Artifacts. I found this company through a google search. Although the website is lacking, the items were shipped within just a few days. I was really pleased with these products. Mae even ended up using some of them for her wedding! The party favors were hurricane glasses, fill with lemon drops & lemon heads, and topped with a silver floating candle. The wreath was made with a variety of fabrics in yellow/grey/white/black patterns. It's an easy peasy task. With the leftover fabric, I made the banner. The beautiful cake design was done by my friend Jaslyn. For her other work, see the pirate party cake she made for Raleigh's 1st birthday. Seriously, if you need someone to make cupcakes, cake, anything--she's your gal. The weather turned out okay, thank goodness. The sky was a little cloudy, but we ended up being outside for most of the party. We ate a yummy spread, drank vodka lemonade's, opened presents and played a "how well do you know the bride & groom game." Thanks P. and J. Coff for letting us use your home!

This now brings us to the bachelorette PARTAY! We decided to go out of town, stay in a cabin for two nights and enjoy the eastern Washington weather. We rented a house from All Seasons Vacation Rentals. I booked almost 7 months in advance. Is that extreme? The communication was great with the owners and the house was perfect for our group (everyone had a bed). The pictures on the site make it seem more like it's in the middle of nowhere, but I should warn--it's not, it's very cul-de-sac-esque. Also, in one of my emails I mentioned that it was a bachelorette girl's weekend away. Unfortunately, this company does not rent out to bachelor/bachelorette parties. So, if that's the plan. Don't stay here. They made an exception, and just changed the damage deposit amount from $40 to $600. Rules are rules, I guess. And we got back $550 of that money, apparently, we did NOT leave the hot tub in tip-top shape. Oops! We all drove over on Friday afternoon and started off just right with drinks in hand. My new fave: vodka, Crystal Light, and some sprite. Amazing. Thanks Sandy for the idea! I did menu planning for the weekend with the help of the rest of the bm's. We had a Coffey-family-favorite pasta dish (rigatoni, prosciutto and asparagus), garlic bread, and I paired it with one of the versions of the Olive Garden Salad. Also on Friday, Brandi's bathing suit was frozen in a block of ice. I swear it wasn't my idea...but it was freaking hilarious. On Saturday, we went to Lake Cle Elum for the day. It was beautiful and sandy and the water was FREEZING. We BBQ'd hot dogs on the beach (didn't realize there was a burn ban, my bad), had pasta salad/cole slaw, chips and beer and just tanned away. For dinner that night, we had a late night Taco Bar. I had a combination of each (salad, nachos, hard taco and burrito). It all looked too good to pass up! The weekend was a blast, we watched Bridesmaids about 25 times, ate (a lot), drank (a lot), hot-tubed (a lot), and spied on people (a lot). Overall, a success. For party favors for the weekend, I bought wine glasses filled with limoncello shooters, Tylenol/Advil packets, and ring-pops. They were placed on lemon coasters I sewed using this pattern. Again, the invitations were from Wedding Paper Diva's/Tiny Prints, in the same color scheme.

Now, it's the NIGHT before the big day. The bm's and bridey drove down to Gig Harbor early on the Friday before the wedding. We had are nails done (I slipped in a tan, of course), went and grabbed snacks at QFC, stopped by her aunt's house to check out the progress of the venue, and checked into the hotel. After some freshening up, we headed to Fondi's for the rehearsal dinner at 3pm. Jared's family hosted, and it was a great time. We had really good pizza, salads, unlimited beer and THE best candy on table. No seriously, these Hersey bites were to-die-for. I think I ate a whole wine glass full of them. After dinner, we went back to Mae's aunt's house for the rehearsal. It was a beautiful night! The rehearsal turned into an after-party, which turned into late-night snacks at Taco Time, which turned into us bm's passing out by 9:30pms. Whereas, the groom and his gm's decided they had something different in mind and kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning (well at least some of the boys did!). A big thanks to Jared's family for hosting dinner and for the delicious desserts made by his mom - cookies AND rice crispy treats. Yea, I stashed a few in bag and brought them back to the hotel.

September 8th, 2012. We wake up refreshed, covered in Taco Time wrappers and ready to start the day. With this many girls, showers commenced at 7:00am. We headed to the house to continue getting ready. Her aunt Kris is awesome. No seriously, there are multiple reasons I could list, but for starters, she provided the ultimate "getting-ready room" for the bride and her bridesmaids. We show up, and she has this huge spread with drinks, water, snacks, flowers and decor all provided. It was soo cute. And did I mention her and Rick's house is stunning! We all wanted to move in. It almost looked like we did, with ALL of our stuff. The wedding went on without a hitch. Rick did a wonderful job marrying Mae-Lee & Jared. His speech was entertaining, funny and serious. They couldn't have picked a better guy to do the job. We danced as if there was no tomorrow, smoked cigars as if they were our last, drank BLL's like it was water, and held up taxi's like it was our job. We just didn't want the party to end. Typical. Their wedding was beautiful, crafty, fun, and loving. A fabulous event for everyone that attended.

Congratulations to Mrs. Mae-Lee Pang-Atkins (lovin' the hyphens) and Jared Atkins.
Best wishes to you both on this next journey!

And for those who actually want to keep reading (yikes!), I present to you my word-for-word speech I gave to the happy couple. Actually minus a paragraph. I decided to cut it out last minute to avoid booing from the crowd. My friend Kris stole my speech and posted it smack dab on Facebook. So, for those who missed that online appearance, here is round 3.

Good evening everyone and welcome to this lovely celebration honoring Mae-Lee and Jared. I want to start by thanking the bride and groom, as well as their family for allowing us to share in these special events this weekend. It truly has been a beautiful experience.
But now I want to go back in time, 23 years actually. For those who have heard my wedding speeches before, don’t let that number scare you, I will keep this as short as possible.
 At age 4, I met Mae-Lee at Creative Montessori School.  Me, with a mushroom haircut, ginormous glasses, and eye patches that depicted the days’ weather and Mae wearing black & white polka dot pants, hair pulled back in a side ponytail, and dawning a boyish Bart Simpson t-shirt. Needless to say, we became pre-school pals with a fashion sense that’d make you jealous. Mae even attended my 5th and 6th birthdays – we have amazingly awkward pictures to prove it. However, after completing kindergarten, we went our separate ways.  Our friendship went on an official hiatus until the year 2000, where we both re-met at Inglemoor High School. We did cross paths playing tennis against each other in Junior High and again at a mutual friend’s party in 9th grade---but neither of us fully recognized the fact that we had actually known each other at one time. Our friendship has literally spanned decades, and I appreciate each and every moment we’ve shared, from our travels to Mexico and Vegas, to swimming in the backyard pool, to Slurpee runs, tennis matches, high school house parties, Red Robin, teriyaki, coffee stand visits, concerts and so many more adventures that came our way. I am honored to stand by your side Mae-Lee and look forward to another 23 years of friendship!
 Now onto the reason why we are all here celebrating tonight. Most of us have watched Mae and Jared’s’ relationship grow from a simple Starbucks friendship to a “Facebook official” couple on August 15th 2007 (yes, I looked). Throughout the last five years, Mae-Lee went back to school in Vegas, they did long distance for a year and a half, Jared eventually took the plunge and followed. They lived together for 5 months in the sweltering heat and a not-so-nice apartment until they thankfully moved back to the Pacific Northwest. Now more than 5 years later and after purchasing their first home together, it’s official. Jared, you are the perfect partner for Mae-Lee. You are funny, artistic, passionate, a beer-lover, a golf enthusiast, a tad doofy, patient, loving and supportive. I’m so happy you two have found each other.
Today is a celebration of not only where they are now, and the road ahead, but the road that has brought them here. They have built a beautiful life and home together and I’m sure I can speak on behalf of all of us that we as friends and family are here to support you and watch you two continually grow as a family.
Raise your glass for a toast to Mae-Lee and Jared.
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Atkins!

1 comment:

Erin said...

You are hands down the best maid of honor speech writer ever :) I love that it's been posted on FB and now on your blog for the world to see. You are also such a wonderful friend to everyone aroud you. I feel so incredibly fortunate to call you my sister and Raleigh's "sissy: