August 18, 2010

It's So Hard...

to say Goodbye...

One of my favorite songs that say goodbye. This was the first CD that I ever bought by the way!! If you're not familiar with Boyz II Men, you're missing out on some great late 80's/early 90's R&B.

I can't believe that I am writing this, but this will in fact be my last Weddingbee post ever. I remember way back when when I started to read WB: Mrs. Penguin was still engaged; there were barely any discussion boards; and even Mr. Bee would occasionally write a post. That was way back in the days of late 2007 (gulp!) months before I got engaged.

When I started to write a blog and even when I got accepted to Weddingbee, I didn't know how much it would change my life. I've met a great group of interesting and fun women from all over the country (and the world). I've discovered a new hobby and form of self-expression through blogging. I've learned a lot about social media. I've also gotten to interact with an encouraging, creative and resourceful community that are the readers of Weddingbee!

Now that I have been a married lady for a year and almost two weeks, I can say that marriage is fun, sometimes hard and rewarding. It's been a crazy year for me and Mr. Swan: getting new jobs, leaving old ones, and going through various types of personal change. That being said, it's all been good times, and we're learning to be better partners to each other everyday.

The biggest highlights of this year:

Cooking my first holiday dinner (Christmas) all by myself.

A few trips


And just hanging out....
Governor's Island in NYC. Mr. Swan took the picture, so I guess he's in this one too! :)

I have not stopped blogging though. I have a blog about food and travel (two of my most favorite things). It's called Try Anything Once. The cool title is courtesy of Mrs. Lamb; and if you like the blog design, it's all Mrs. Poodle. I'd love for you to join me over there, if you don't mind hearing about what I eat and where, my travel adventures plus a little personal stuff thrown in. By the way, those of you who are thinking about or planning a honeymoon or trip to Bali, I'm currently blogging about it there.

So this is it. I wish only good things for all of the brides and blogging Bees out there old and new.

Mrs. Swan

You Do WHAT with Your Hair?

Hey, all!

I'm almost outta here, but I thought I would pop in to describe something about me that I have never addressed before: how to take care of hair like mine. Many of you, who may actually remember when I was planning my wedding in the olden days of 2008-2009, know that one of my biggest issues was making sure that my hair was looking a-okay for the big day. If you don't remember my hair adventures, take at look at this, this and this (with some background here and here).

In case you don't remember, here's what my hair looked like on my wedding day.

Ditto re: Dante Williams

I SOOO should not be the poster child for anything hair related because I often do not treat my air with the graciousness it deserves. I should be doing way more to it on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I'm surprised my hair doesn't jump up and backslap me. :( That being said, this post's purpose is to just give you a sense of what caring for locs entails. There are many people better than me out there who have whole blogs and websites and are WAAY more knowledgeable. I'll get to them below.

Before I begin though, I should say that I can only really speak about MY particular experience with locs based on the fact that my hair would be this texture/curl pattern if I didn't have them:

Not this ...

Or this...

In other words, if your hair is like Kim K.'s or Sienna's, I'm not really sure how locs work on your hair texture/curl pattern (or lack thereof of a curl pattern). I can only speak about mine. Does that make sense?

Okey doke. Moving on....

I remember that I kept mentioning that my hair appointments would take a minimum of three hours (often more). Well, luckily I've switched hair salons, and that's been cut to a much more manageable two hours and definitely less than three. What the heck am I doing at the salon all that time? Usually when I arrive at the salon my hair looks like this:

Do you see the triangle of hair at the top of the loc? My hair can grow pretty quickly sometimes. I took the picture myself, so it is a little blurry.

I have a lot of new growth at the top of each loc that will require it to be twisted and fused with the rest of the loc.

Click on this link to see how locs are "groomed" (code word for washing and retwisting them) and what my hair goes through during my hair appointments. By the way, the woman in the video has done my hair before, and while she is hawking some of her products, they are good. Pretty much the loctician (cool word, huh?) has to retwist each and every single one of my locs. That can be VERY time consuming if you've got slow hands. The most "fun" part is having to sit under the dryer for about 40 minutes to an hour depending on how long your hair needs to dry (which depends on the length and thickness of your hair). My drying time was an hour when my hair was at its longest earlier this year and also depended on whether I was styling my hair a certain way. It's good reading time though. :)

Then after or during retwisting you can do all kinds of things that will give the locs more texture. If my locs are braided while they are wet, I go under the dryer and then the braids are taken out resulting in my hair looking crimped like this:

My old Weddingbee profile pic!

Sometimes I keep in the braids and take them out a week or more later. The crimp can last anywhere from a couple of days to up to a week depending on what my hair feels like doing.

Other times my locs can be set with rod or other types of curlers for another look. Sometimes it takes a few days to get springy like this:

This is the best picture I could find with my hair like this.
BIL & SIL Swan's wedding a few years ago.

Here's a better pic with a model:

Okay, here are some things you should know. I'll need many of you to suspend what you know about YOUR hair as whatever you do to yours, I probably do the exact opposite.

1. My locs are NOT braided extensions. If I want to get rid of my locs, I have to cut them off (although some people apparently can simply comb their locs out. Again, different hair textures behave differently.). Locs are often seen as a committment. You have to really want them. At this point, I know I am not ready to break up with my locs. That being said, when I made the transition from chemically straightening my hair, I never cut my hair off completely (a method that many Black women use to make the transition from chemical straightening). I'm pretty anxious (in a good way) to see what I would look like with a cute little 'fro. I know I am not ready yet because I watched another woman getting her locs cut off completely just the other day, and I had a pretty visceral reaction. They're here to stay for now.

2. I don't wash my hair every other day....or even every other week. Yes. You read that right. Ewww, Mrs. Swan!!! Hold on now. This isn't particular to locs. Even when I did have straightened hair I didn't wash it constantly either. My hair and its texture are, by nature, extremely dry and constant washing would strip it of valuable natural occurring oils that provide much needed moisture. Also if I wash my hair I have to re-twist it all over again. Time consuming!!! Instead, I use natural astringent on my scalp like Witch Hazel (using cotton balls or Q-Tips) to gently cleanse it or a dry shampoo. I have also heard that some people use SeaBreeze. That being said, there are some people with locs who wash their hair themselves 1-2 times per week. As with anything, each person knows their hair and their schedule best. I would love to be well off enough or have the time to get to the salon every two weeks or the time to really concentrate on my hair 1-2 times per week, but I don't. Also I am lazy. That I do know.

Dos and Don'ts

So yeah. Since I have already admitted to you that I should be better to my hair than I am, I thought I would at least share with you some things that I have picked up along the way. Again, I AM SO NOT an expert!!!

1. I've found that using heavy, non-see through oils are not great for locs. That means no mineral oil or Vitamin E oil. Almost all essential oils are great for moisturizing locs. My favorites: jojoba, ylang ylang, and rosemary. If you don't want to make your own oil (I don't), I am a fan of Carol's Daughter, Khamit Kinks and Nubian Kinks oils. Also NO BEES WAX!! NONE!!! Again, I'm only saying this from the perspective of someone who has MY hair texture, BUT bee's wax and any other heavy non-light oil based product in your hair is setting it up for disaster down the road. You don't want anything in there you can't wash out. Also moisturize daily.

2. Find a good loctician. Seriously, it can be very helpful to find someone who understands how to care for and style your hair even if you choose to take care of it primarily on your own. Some people do fine on their own. I am not one of them.

3. Wear something on your hair at night while you sleep, preferably a satin or silk scarf or bonnet. You can buy satin bonnets in drugstores. Why sleep with something on your head? Well, the constant rubbing of the hair against a cotton pillow robs it of the oils and makes it dry. Also it prevents the locs from collecting lint.

4. Watch out for woolen hats and scarves. In my experience, my hair is like velcro. So many things stick to it. I have to be very careful about wearing certain sweaters, scarves and hats that shed. Mohair is my enemy.

5. Be patient and love yourself. Please know that locs will look different from person to person, and for some people it does take awhile for locs to fully fuse or "lock." Again, everyone's hair is different and is on its own schedule and journey. One of the things my hair taught me was being patient with myself and self-acceptance about the way I look. When I first started to lock my hair, I had go through yet another time of reflection and period of personal growth regarding how I thought about my appearance. I had to come to terms with the fact that I could be/am beautiful in my own way. Being happy with the way you look is important for everyone regardless of the way you choose to wear your hair.

Here are some good resources for caring for locs (or natural hair in general) that I have found online (By the way, it's exciting that these are around now. Almost none of these resource existed when I stopped chemically straightening my hair in 1996 or when I started my locs in 2004):

Okay, hopefully I demystified something for ya. I hope you all don't ask me any questions that I can't answer. I may just refer you to Google:)

By the way, people with locs can have Post-Wedding Chops too. Here's mine 10 months after my wedding.

On our honeymoon back in June. This is the first time my hair's been all one length in forever! :)

Thanks for reading, everyone!

August 2, 2010

Swan Tips Revisited

Hey, all!

Mrs. Swan here! Remember me? I dipped out for a bit, but I just wanted to begin to bring some full closure on my time on Weddingbee. Can you believe that Sunday will be my 1st Anniversary? I can't!

I know that a reader or two had asked about a post with my Swan Tips for the day of your wedding all in one place. I thought I would just lay them out here. I've linked them to the related recap post just in case you are wondering what the heck I'm talkin' about. Also just in case you've forgotten what my wedding looks like (or have never read any of my posts), I've interspersed some of my favorite pictures from the recaps throughout the tips.

So here are my Swan Tips just in case you might want them:

Swan Tip #1 - If you can steal a few moments for yourself (or with others who have a calming effect on you) to have some quiet time to read, reflect, do some yoga, deep breathing, or whatever relaxes you, definitely do it!

Swan Tip #2 - Sometimes choosing a vendor shouldn't come down solely to cost. I valued not only being able share a good working relationship with vendors/wedding elves that I hired, but also being able to work with people that I truly liked. Plus, if you're going to be around someone that's not family or friends on your wedding day, why not have someone you think is pretty cool too?

a) Don't be afraid to accept help on your wedding day (and not just to get ready), even if you think you can do it by yourself. Allow yourself to be helped and even pampered a bit. You don't get married everyday (at least I hope you don't:)).

b) - Know when to step in and take charge if you need to, but also remember Swan Tip #3a.

Swan Tip #4 - As if you have enough things to think about as you're getting married, I'd like you to consider the environment that you want for getting ready prior to the wedding. For some of you, it will mean having a large wedding party with lots of family around you. For others, it will mean just a small select group of people that will be by your side. I encourage everyone to figure out what will be best for them because that preparation period really can be fun and special.

Swan Tip #5 - I know it's generally a point of debate in the wedding world, but I am an advocate of the pre-ceremony look. We still had a very emotional ceremony even though we saw each other beforehand. We spent a lot of time with our guests, and so having the time together to greet each other, to hold each other's hands and to walk together was priceless.

Swan Tip #6 - Our wedding photoshoot was fun. While I agree it's important to have pictures of the two of you, your bridal party, etc., just make sure that you use your time wisely with your photographer as well as make sure that you stick to a timeline to keep the events of the day moving.

Swan Tip #7 - Everything is not going to go smoothly on your wedding day. If you have to break down, it's okay. When that starts, just listen to Mrs. Swan's voice in your head, "There's no wallowing at weddings!" (There's no crying in baseball either, just in case you were wondering.) :)

Swan Tip #8 - There will be traditions that actually might end up a part of your ceremony and reception that you're not going to like. Know when to push back and when to let go.

Swan Tip #9 - Everybody loves a wedding. There are going to be people you don't expect who will love yours too.

Swan Tip #10 - For me, the ceremony is really the meaning of it all. Without the bond between you and your partner, there really is no wedding. Pick readings that fit well with the tone of your ceremony and what you want your marriage (and maybe your life) to embody. For some of you it may be a religious text. For others of you it may be cool passages like Mrs. Mouse's Alice Walker poem or Mrs. Star's excerpt from Madeleine L'Engel's work. Words have meaning and power. I hope your ceremony will reflect your future hopes for your marriage.

Swan Tip #11 - This is most definitely a personal choice, but I really love the fact that Mr. Swan and I were able to write vows to each other in addition to traditional vows. Even if you can't include this in your ceremony, I think it's great to be able to share how you feel about each other in your own words at some point in the day.

Swan Tip #12 - Another one of the most highly debated wedding issues: cocktail hour attendance. Attending was a great option for us. We got to spend even more time with our guests, enjoy the beautiful weather we were having that day, and eat. Who doesn’t like eating? :) If you can find a way to attend even a small part of the cocktail hour, I highly recommend it.

Swan Tip #13 - While you might want everything to turn out a certain way during your wedding, be open to the fun surprises that may be in store.

Swan Tip #13 - More Mrs. Swan Tough Love: Definitely include personal details if you'd like to, but if you're tearing your hair out about them, they're just not worth it.

(That's not a typo above, by the way. The numbering gets fuzzy now because: (1) I'm getting old and senile and screwed it up during my recaps, and (2) I can't count. Carry on....)

Swan Tip #15 - Be prepared for your emotions to hit you when you least expect it.

Swan Tip #16 - Be careful if you give a toast at someone's wedding. It might come back to haunt you! :)

Swan Tip #17 - Savor the unplanned and spontaneous moments of the wedding!

Swan Tip #18 - If you're sourpuss, then everyone else will be a sourpuss. The focus, whether you want it to or not, will be on you that day, and YOU will set the tone of your reception. Get out there and enjoy yourself! Your guests will follow suit.

Swan Tip #19 - Think about how your reception will be experienced from your guests' perspective.

Swan Tip #20 - You know, there never was a Swan Tip # 20, so I'll just say this: Regardless of what goes wrong, the people who don't show up or the ones that act like a dang fool on your wedding day, you're going to get something out of the wedding that you'll have for a very long time: someone who loves you just as much you love them. There are no tips that I could ever give you that will prepare you for what that truly feels like. Seriously, it's the greatness thing ever.

All Images by Dante Williams

May 25, 2010

Exorcising My Wedding Dress Demons

Hey there, hive! I've got a story for you. I don't really know how to address this issue, since it touches on some feelings that I've been harboring since my wedding. I am slowly coming to terms with this a full NINE months AFTER my wedding. What is troubling me so? My dress.

Honestly, I liked my dress. I liked it a lot...but I can't help but feel that I lost out on some bridal rite of passage by not buying a brand name/designer dress.

By the way, just in case you forgot, here's my dress, which is also Mrs. Nachos' dress. Great minds.....:)

I usually don't covet other people's stuff, especially things on the pricier end of the spectrum, even moreso when it comes to clothes. 9 times out of 10 when it comes to clothing shopping, I'll roll out to H &M, Zara or maybe splurge at Club Monaco (See, not even close to designer!). I usually shock some people who inquire about certain things I wear and get a heap of furrowed brows when I tell them it's from Old Navy. (Don't sleep on old Navy, folks!) Add all of this to the fact that during my planning process, I definitely didn't get into "I must feel like a bride" or "It must be 'bridal' or nothing" attitude, so why the heck do I still feel a sense of loss that I never had the pretty designer wedding dress from the fancy bridal store?

I had been thinking about my feelings of "loss" here and there, but the issue didn't rear it's ugly head until one morning when I was futzing around Twitter. I saw a tweet that profoundly disturbed me. The tweet was about Ms. Vera Wang's decision to sell a line at David's Bridal. Someone I happen to follow (who I no longer follow, and you'll know why in a second) pretty much called the move "Barfworthy." SAY WHAT?! HOLD UP! WAIT A MINUTE!

Look, we are all entitled to our opinions. I also know nothing can start an angry stampede of brides than the mention of the words "David's Bridal." But come on...barfworthy? I don't judge people by what labels they wear in everyday life. I'm not about to start on their wedding day. Maybe this was my own insecurity whispering angry words into my ears, but I really don't like when people turn their noses up at others for something as small as clothing choices. Perhaps I'm a bit harsh, but I would love to see a happy, ecstatic bride regardless of what the label in her dress says.

The tweeter and I exchanged some tweets. I told her to each her own regarding dress choices, and I disengaged and stopped following her. In the weeks since my little "incident" on Twitter has occurred, I think I've made some peace with my dress choice.

My dress did what it needed to do. It made me look great the one day I wanted it make me look and feel fabulous. It's now sitting in my closet pressed and dry-cleaned waiting for me to get off my behind and do something with it (maybe publishing this post will spur me into action?). I loved my wedding day, but I have no desire to wear my dress again. I actually don't think about my darling dress very much at all.

So in an effort to finally rid myself of my unnecessary insecurity and unfounded regret, I've decided to write a short letter to the Bridal Gown Industry to exorcise my dress demons and finally move on.

May 2010

Dear Bridal Gown Industry,

Unlike many women, I didn't like my bridal gown shopping experience. It was at times disheartening, frustrating and could sometimes be a pretty big pain in the arse. There are some things I need to tell you, and I feel that by telling you publicly I will rid myself of feeling that I missed out on some quintessential bridal experience.

I would just like to say that my name is Mrs. Swan, and:

1. I tried on over 60 dresses, and it took me forever to find a dress I liked. Even when I did, I questioned it when as I was buying it. There were no angels singing nor did the heavens part once I found my dress. I did not cry. I just kinda bought the dress. Please don't tell me there is a "one" dress made for me. There probably could have been tons of others out there, if I was willing to spend more money.

2. I know that you all strive to be creative and regale us with new designs each season, but how about something else besides strapless dresses? I promise that brides will like a little something different.

3. Some of us want a dress that is reasonably priced. For some strange reason, Bridal Gown Industry, you have decided that reasonably priced somehow equals beading. Why does there need to be an odd direct correlation between more beading and lower price.

4. Why don't many stores let us take pictures? Would it really be that bad? If I want to copy the dress, I'll just go to the designer's website. It's not that crucial. I would have still bought your dress if you let me take a picture to show my family and friends. Finally....

5. I live in New York City, and I have never been to Kleinfeld's.

Thank you, for letting me tell you those things, Bridal Gown Industry. I am now going to finish my newlywed days being at peace with my dress choice.

May I never have to shop for a wedding dress ever again,
Mrs. Swan

April 24, 2010

Wedding Salon

Hey there, hive!

I had the pleasure of attending the Wedding Salon at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan on April 12. I most definitely had a wonderful time as it was my first bridal show. I never went to one even while engaged! It was a great opportunity to get a look at what vendors are offering and see some new bridal fashion.

I also got to see a special someone. Do you know her?

Courtesy of Miss Hamster

Miss Hamster and I were also joined by the lovely, MOH/Sister Hamster and Mrs. Lovebird and friend.

The event was divided into various rooms connected by a hallway and also occupied the Grand Ballroom, which was full of even more vendors and live music from various bands.

What I liked about the Wedding Salon was that there were vendors for every person's interests:

For the honeymoon daydreamers:
The Seychelles Tourism Board ( I soo want to go here!) and the Barbados Tourism Authority.

For lovers of all things sweet:

Amazing Truffles from Sweet Perfection Desserts

I was lucky enough to have two of these bite-size cake truffles in Chocolate Chiffon and Lemon Chiffon flavors. Swoon! They pack a perfect little sweet punch and would make a great addition to a sweets table or as favors.

A lush floral multi-tier cake from Make My Cake, one of my favorite bakeries in New York City. I used to live near one of their two shops in Harlem; and yes, I needed restraint not to stop by often.

For those in search of beauty:
Attendees had the opportunity to get free makeup trials and advice from a variety of beauty specialists such as Courtney Akai Salon.

And this was just the start of my trip around the event. Phew!

A view of the Grand Ballroom courtesy of Miss Hamster

When I finally made my way to the ballroom, I was definitely overwhelmed by all of the lovely tables filled with gorgeous, elegant table designs that many florists and event designers created.

The team from In Bloom created a table that brought the natural world inside with branches, soft candles and vibrant, colorful china.

Pure opulence from Disney's Fairytale Weddings by David Tutera (more on him in a minute!)

One of my favorite tablescapes was the table from Gubby & Swife, a husband and wife event design team.
Surprisingly, it was the only one without a tall centerpiece. I love the light, crisp, pops of color and the understated floral arrangement, especially the palm details at each napkin. Also I'd like to send an extra special shout out to Farley Green, the Swife portion of Gubby and Swife. She was very pleasant to me while I peppered her with questions. Vendors take note! Please be friendly at bridal shows. :)

Lest I forget: the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. David Tutera, made an appareance. There was most definitely a long line of fans waiting to meet him.

This is the best pic that I could find (thanks, Miss Hamster!). Sorry I couldn't do better, DT fans!

Of course the main event of the whole evening was the bridal couture show produced by Bridal Reflections.

I was so excited to see my first bridal fashion show, and I wasn't disappointed. The fashion show included designs from Ines Di Santo, Stephen Yearick, David Tutera by Faviana and Marina K Couture. Here are some highlights:

I like that this dress by Stephen Yearick pushed the envelope with feathers on the bodice.

Ines DiSanto with her models

There was so much to see at the Wedding Salon, and I hope I'll be able to go back again soon.

*All photos by Creative Compositions unless otherwise noted

April 6, 2010

Never a Bridesmaid?

So there's the saying, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride," but what if you're like me? I've never been a bridesmaid!!! Yes, that's right. I've never gotten the chance to look like this:

Katherine Heigl, you look maaaarvelous, daahling...just not in this.

Sadly, my closet occasionally looks like this, and I don't have 27 bridesmaid dresses in it!

For my adult life,* I have never had the privilege of being a bridesmaid. I've never planned a bachelorette party; held the bouquet for a friend while she's said her vows; or planned a bridal shower. The sad part is that as I get older, it's looking like there is a strong possibility that I may not have this experience. Part of me is sad about that, but another part of me is wondering if that may not be such a bad thing.

Please don't think I am hating on the concept of being a bridesmaid. I actually think it's a very amazing honor bestowed on a friend or a loved one. By being a bridesmaid, you're in a position to be a source of support and comfort for that special bride in your life during what can be a busy and stressful time.

As much as I know all of this, I've also come to realize that I am not in the prime position for being asked to even be a bridesmaid 'cause:

1. I'm essentially an only child. No siblings means less chance to be in at least one wedding.

2. I've got a small group of friends. I love my friends. I may not have oodles of them, but the ones I do have I LOVE. They are an amazing group of primarily women who awe me on the regular. They just don't have me in their bridal parties :) But seriously, I'm also the type to spend quality time with two to three people at a time and not really prone to being a part of big groups of friends. I guess less friends automatically lowers the chances of a bridesmaid invite, huh?

3. Most of my good friends have had the small city hall or destination wedding; have an army of sisters and female cousins who take priority over me; or went the "no bridal party" route like I did. As a group, we're also pushing further and further into our 30's and simplicity in life and relationships seems to be taking priority over tradition. I really feel many of my unmarried friends will choose to forgo the bridal party option. Maybe someone will prove me wrong?

I don't know why this is coming up now. Okay, that's a lie. I do. :) A recently engaged BFF actually didn't ask me to be a part of her wedding party. She'll have her sister and one other friend. At first, I was a bit taken off guard and kinda disappointed. Mr. Swan even mentioned that I shouldn't even be caring about ever being a bridesmaid because I've already had the ultimate wedding experience: I've been a bride! I know that I am getting back what I put out into the universe, since I didn't have a bridal party of my own. Ahhh, darn you, Bridal Karma!

After awhile to think about it, I'm actually almost a little psyched about not being chosen as a part of the wedding party. I didn't really understand my own change of heart at first, but now I feel like there is a bit of freedom in my continued bridesmaid virginity: no dress I may or may not like; some nice cost savings; and not having to think at all (just celebrate) the day of the wedding. In the end I guess it doesn't seem so bad, right?

Is there anyone else out there who has never been a bridesmaid and has the odds stacked against their chance of achieving Bridesmaid-dom? Am I missing an important life experience? Let me know!

*I was a junior bridesmaid in my aunt's wedding when I was twelve. I just stood there and looked cute. When I was eighteen, I did the same thing for a family friend who seemed to need some warm bodies to have an even bridal party. Her fiance had seven brothers or something like that. In both cases, I didn't really do much. I don't count these though, but should I?

March 25, 2010

A Harborside Wedding - A Piano Man Ending

Mr. Swan didn't make too many demands during the planning process except for one: "Piano Man." You mean the Billy Joel song, Mr. Swan? Yepper doo. Can I just say that I was happy to even know this song 'cause sometimes Mr. Swan whips out names of songs, and I give him a blank stare? Mr. Swan lucked out this time because I am very familiar with and like Billy Joel. Besides Billy is a New Yorker. :)

For those who aren't familiar with the song, here's a clip from 1975 of Billy Joel singing "Piano Man." I'm happy to say that this clip is older than me. :)

I'm sure you asking, "'Piano Man', but why?" Well, apparently during Mr. Swan's college days this song signified the end to one of the many basement frat parties that occupied Mr. Swan's weekend evenings. (That's a nice way of saying he partied a lot. I doubt I need to give you more evidence.) Don't front, you've all been to at least one of those kind of parties too. :) Apparently, this song has some significance to Mr. Swan's childhood friends too, so it was a no-brainer to have our DJ, Rob, play this song as we came towards the end of the reception. Besides, who am I to deny a group of grown men a moment to get a little sappy and sing at the top of their lungs? After graduating, playing "Piano Man" became a wedding tradition at many of the weddings of his fraternity brothers, so we continued the tradition.

As the bride, my job was to stand in the middle of the group while they sang, arms linked and all.

Then I was told I was supposed to start dancing with everyone, so I did! I think I must have danced with each man in that circle. I totally enjoyed connecting, talking and dancing with them all, especially since some of the guys hadn't been on the dance floor yet for the day.

I figured I should have some fun with this. I'm glad my partner did too.

I even got a chance to dance a little more with Mr. Swan.

After a few minutes, MIL Swan and Mommmy Swan joined in.

Check out MIL Swan & BIL dancing.

We weren't done yet with our reception. We still had a bit more partying to do...

Will you be incorporating any traditions into your wedding that have developed among your friends?

Well, this it it! My final wedding recap post! Don't worry. You haven't gotten rid of me yet. :) I still have a few wedding-related posts still left in me, and I'll roll those out before bowing out officially on Weddingbee.

Thanks for reading my recaps and allowing me to relive this day with you.

All Images by our great photographer, Dante Williams

Here's the rest of our wedding day journey: