The Streator-Girl Wedding Experience

25 Feb

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you’re well familiar with the term “Streator Girl Wedding.” If you’re new here, I’ll back up.

These are the Streator Girls:

BFFs, heart-breakers, trouble-makers, heavy drinkers since 2001.

We’re loud, proud and embarrassing to those who appear with us in public. And slowly but surely, we’re getting married off. I went first. April followed closely behind. Brandi’s on deck. These weddings are not small or simple affairs. They are not understated. They are not low-key. These, are Streator Girl weddings. And since I’ve shared just about plenty of the first SGW with you, it’s time we reviewed the second SGW: April and Matt.

January 23, 2009 . Notre Dame University Campus . South Bend, Indiana

We stood in the parking lot shivering, chowing down on McDonald’s, snapping photos of old buildings and trading stories about our church-going habits. Which, apparently, are non-existent.

Collectively this group of people – we’ll just call them my friends, no need to name names – has attended church 5 times in the last 10 years. Not coincidentally, this group of people has collectively attended 5 faith-based  funerals in the last 10 years. Now you know why I’m not naming names.

But there we were, dressed up to our snazziest state and ready to go to church. Because these people are our friends:

And they go to church. Correctly. With regularity. Not just when people kick the bucket.

And they opted to get married here:

And we respect that so we obliged and showed up.

We prepped ourselves for the experience, practiced the Our Father once for good measure, made sure we’d remembered our baggies of Cheerios, took one last swig from our flasks and put on our church faces.

We walked to the church, marveling at the old buildings, humbled by the reverence of such a magnificent basilica.

Then my buttons popped open.

Look. You can dress me up and tell me to behave but the sinners will always be the sinners. (And I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. Thank you, Billy Joel.)

Did my friends rush to help me? Hold up a jacket to offer me modesty from the passers-by? No. They ran around the front of me to make sure they got a good view, then they had a real good laugh about it and snapped some photos. Good people.

We laughed, made inappropriate jokes about flashing clergy members and then collected ourselves again. And re-buttoned my dress.

Into the church we went.

It was a real knock out of a church.

Technically we are friends of the bride. But we snuck past the ushers and snagged seats on the groom’s side because there were better aisle seats and vantage points from his side. And we figure everyone needs a few Streator girls on their side.

Then began a weird game called lean-into-the-aisle.

Kate leans. I lean. Kate leans. I lean. Shutters were firing in rapid succession. It wasn’t very holy behavior.

Between our shutters and the hired photographer’s shutter, there was a whole lot of clickin going on. But no flashing. I kept my coat buttoned.

But I snagged some keepers.

A few times, our leaning pattern got thrown off, as seen here:

And then they were married and we all bolted outside like prison escapees where we all promptly agreed we really should start going to church more often. We’re Catholic after all.

And then my buttons popped open again.

**As a disclaimer. We are all good, Christian people. We dig church. We heart Jesus. But that wouldn’t have made for a very amusing blog now would it? Hey, we all have to spread the Good Word in our way. And in all seriousness, April and Matt’s wedding ceremony was completely beautiful and spiritual, just like them!**

Once back to the hotel, Kate and I set about our mission of decorating the reception. April was overly organized (just the way I like my women) so it took no time at all. The decorations were fabulous – not just because they looked awesome – but because they were so them.

If you’re going to have a huge party in your honor, it should look like its your party after all. Keep that in mind if you’re planning a wedding!

This is another great wedding idea to keep in mind – have guests leave you notes on small slips of paper (get cool themed ones from a scrapbook store) then compile them, along with candid photos, to make a guest book. Much more fun and memorable than lined paper with names!

Also – you’ll want to consider having me take beautiful engagement photos of you, which you can then frame and display on your guest book/note table, as pictured above. Just an idea.

And then it was all set and ready to go. Gorgeous, and just waiting for guests to arrive!

Following the decorating, some self-indulgent photography involving mirrored glass.

The hubs. He’s such a hunk.

What? I want to play with the mirrored glass too!!

It wasn’t long before things were underway and guests were filing in, oohing and ahhing over April, April’s dress and April’s awesome reception decor!

Champagne flowed. Dinner was served and then came dancin’ time…

Love me some first dance photos!

This was the point where I put away the camera, took off my high heels and got to work partying with my fellow Streator Girls. It was a riot. What else could it be? I’d share some of the better stories but this is a family blog and I can’t think of any that would be suitable. Suffice to say we all had a lovely time.

Streator Girl weddings are proving to be the most fun Streator Girl sponsored events yet! I’m lucky enough to have 5 awesome best friends. I’m luckier still that they are marrying guys I love just as much as I love them!

Streator Girl Wedding Numero 3 takes place in six short months leaving us just enough time to recover from the last two. And it’s a good thing because this one’s going to be a doosey… Viva Las Vegas, Baby.

PS – You should hop over to Kate’s blog now since she just did her own recap of April and Matt’s big day!!

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6 Responses to “The Streator-Girl Wedding Experience”

  1. klmphotos February 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Our timing is perfect – I think there is some sort of Streator Girl shared brain-wave or something slightly more scientific going on here! Love your shots – love that our shots are so different all from the same day!

    We’re gonna rock Brandi and Cody’s photos – as long as we time our “leans”!

  2. April February 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    These are SO beautiful! Is it sad that my favorite pictures of my own wedding receptions are the pictures of the books? My favorite is the one of the “Great Speeches” and “Worldly Philosophers” … nothin’ gets me quite like old books. *sigh*

    Also, this post is hilarious and, I must confess, it would have been twice as hilarious if you had been here to listen to my reactions (like Matt was) . It went something like this…

    “Aww…I love that picture…” *scroll*

    “I am not a heavy drinker!” *scroll*

    “What does she mean ‘non-existent church going habits’?” *scroll*

    “I love church! I go to church enough for all of those unnamed church goers!” *scroll*

    “I do not want people thinking I got married at the beautiful Basilica at Notre Dame and DON’T GO TO CHURCH!” *scroll* scroll * scroll*

    “Oh…it says that. It says we go to church…with regularity. That’s true. Nevermind.”

    You probably knew that would happen when you wrote it. Excellent technique. hehe. 🙂

    • maggieandzac February 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

      That was the funniest comment ever. Thank you for that lol

  3. Doneida February 26, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    Mag-
    I am not certain how I would get through my worklife without your blog…hahah I am a regular visitor Monday-Friday during work hours!! 🙂
    Just had to tell you that the pics look great and the mirrored glass photo of you would make a GREAT ‘MaggieM Photo advertisement’!!

    • maggieandzac February 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

      Always glad to help someone through their work day! I hear that a lot. Apparently not working at work is pretty common!! And yes, I’m sure a photo of me acting ridiculous with mirrored glass would really drum up the business! Just how every bride wants their photog to behave!

  4. Brandi February 27, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    I love the pics! I have the fullest confidence that our wedding pics will look wonderful! But I guess I didn’t realize until I read your blog that my wedding is less than 6 months away! That put me into a bit of a panic tonight 🙂 So much to still do-at least we have the photographers booked!

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