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The Wedding Day: Part 3, The Rabbit Hole

Ohhh look how far we’ve come. I bet when you asked to hear about our wedding you didn’t know you were in for a seven part series, but aren’t you glad you were?? There were the invites, the rehearsal dinner, welcome party, getting ready, the ceremony, our friends hillarious commentary, the reception…and now…the epic conclusion.

The Rabbit Hole.

When we were planning our wedding we knew that we wanted the reception to feel like an enchanted forrest, I even called it “mid-summers night dreamy” before Brides Who Mean Business taught me better. But we also wanted to plan some sort of surprise for our guests, and after tossing around some ridiculous and offensive ideas (at one point Pete and I wrote a rap to Rihanna/JayZ/Kanye “Run This Town” that we were going to recreate a music video to…think me in unitard draped in bullets…”We are yes I said it we are, we are the McCarthy’s, pledge your allegiance”…like I said weddings make you crazy) we decided some sort of secret after-party tent would be the best bet.

Since the main tent would be the enchanted forrest, I thought the after-party tent should be the crazy, through-the-rabbit-hole, Willy Wonka, Alice in Wonderland, Main Tent on acid.

And it was. It really was.

As usual, Lisa took what was in my head and just exploded it with awesomeness.

The fact that I happened to find the “Through The Rabbit Hole” version of my dress 10 days before the wedding just made it all the more perfect.(I don’t think you can tell here, but the tops are exactly the same, ruched sweetheart…ridic)

So after the cake cutting, Pete and I snuck off with Lisa so that I could change dresses and she brought us around back to the after-party tent, which was attached to the main tent behind a secret panel. Lisa coordinated the band that was playing in the main tent to play the same song as the DJ that was in the after-party tent, as Pete and I stepped out through the secret panel which had been pulled back……and I called out to everyone over the microphone to follow us through the Rabbit Hole.

Everyone was in shock as they raced from one tent to the other, and I was SO HAPPY that we pulled it off.

So first…details on the tent…Each of the four corners of the tent had color-blocked lounge areas in pink, orange, green, and yellow.On both ends of the tent there was a wall of candy…With color sorted bowls of bonbons, and macaroons, and lollies……And then there were round tables scattered about with more color blocked candy craziness.




In the round tables there were bunches of silver sparkly TOMs sorted by size for all of the girls to change into.

It was all very joy-inducing.

So was the bar in the middle of the tent… Centered around an crazy, acid-forrest, tree…

It was all just. So. Beautiful.

I don’t think Pete and I stopped dancing all night.
Like for serious…And everyone else was dancing their faces off too…

Then, at some point, someone- and Stina, I am looking at you on this one…

Someone realized that the glitter chocolate bonbons… Would make phenomenal face paint.

Which might seem like bizarre behavior for a wedding, But for us just seemed about right.Because, afterall, these kids right here…These are my people.Then just like that it was time to go…Not for everyone else, who stayed until 3 am…But definitely for the two of us, who had a flight out at 6 am the next day.

It took 6 years of dating, nearly 2 years of engagement, and a 3 day wedding to become Mrs. McCarthy.

I can honestly say the first moment I met Pete I knew he was all I wanted and needed and life, and the reality is even more than I could have imagined. We both feel so blessed that we could celebrate our marriage in this ridiculous fun way, with the most incredible and hilarious and loving friends and family ever, but now we are just excited to start our lives together as husband and wife. I know life can’t always be dancing and glitter balls, but I know that with Mr. Pete by my side life will be way way better than without, and if you can start your marriage in a gold lame dress, why wouldn’t you…really? Thank you for reading and commenting as I shared our wedding with all of you! I promise on Monday this blog will cease functioning as Bailey and Pete TV, but I hope you enjoyed the recaps while it lasted!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Mrs. McCarthy

The Wedding Day: Part 3, The Reception

I hope you all enjoyed Will’s recap yesterday, but I realize I probably have some explaining to do now.

So as you saw yesterday, the inside of the tent was made to look like a dinner in some sort of magical forrest. The top of the tent was clear, and draped with this beautiful fabric. Once the sun went down, the lighting magnified the moonlight outside and it really felt like you were eating and dancing under the stars.The dance floor was beautiful, stenciled with one of the images off of our invitations…I am telling you the details were out of control. All Lisa Vorce– I take little to no credit.
The band, Impulse (why do all wedding bands have such cheesy names?) was also out of control good.Pete and I walked into the tent to Johnny Cash, Ring of FireAnd our first dance was to Ray LaMontagne, You Are The Best ThingAnd we were DREADING it…Aren’t first dances always so awkward?? I feel like you just stand there and rock back and forth while everyone stares and your body breaks out into hives.But then something happened when we got out there, I mean the staring and rocking happened at first, and then we were like eff it, let’s twirl. And sing along…And just generally be us.It was awesome.After our first dance, we opened up the floor for a few songs before serving the first course. We wanted a seated dinner, but we didn’t want everyone to be in a food coma afterwards. Lisa suggested having dance sets between each course, I had never been to a wedding where this was done so I was a bit nervous about how it would work but it was fantastic! How beautiful is my bridal party in those COLORS??

Anyway, where were we? So some of the tables had beautiful low arrangements of red, orange, and pink ranunculus and wild roses.

And some had these trees growing out of them…Which were bunched at the bottom with some of the same beautiful flowers……And a wise old owl…of course. As Will mentioned in his posts yesterday, dinner was delicious.

We created a menu of our most favorite things, including a mini “grown up” grilled-cheese and tomato soup, truffle mushroom risotto, a filet with fall veggies, and an espresso pot d’creme with a donut. Donuts. Surprise surprise.

Also a huge surprise? There were two bars- I know shocking if you know me and Pete. But I do not give the free flowing wine credit for the continued amazing dancing over the weekend…I just think we have really, really fun friends…

I took all of your advice and dropped most of those silly bride proprieties…And really danced it up…And didn’t leave Petey’s side all night!

Pete had a lot of fun flashing the pink lining of his suit at everyone…And isn’t that really what it is all about?

There were a lot of really wonderful moments as well, my Dad, maid-of-honor, and Pete’s brother all gave incredible toasts and I let a ladylike tear roll down my cheek more than once. One of these days I will get all of the photographer’s photos to really properly show you everything…but I hope these fun candids will suffice for now.

After we cut the cake…OH! THE CAKE!!Pretty, love.AND THE GROOMS CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!Our babies. I mean AHHH!!!!!! I felt like Bella was real and her eyeballs were following me all night, judging me. It was awesome.After the cake cutting Pete gave a really sweet toast…That made me cry…And laugh…

And then it was time for the big surprise! After Pete’s toast we snuck off so that I could change into my afterparty dress…and if you tune in tomorrow you will get to hear all about the final chapter in the weeklong saga that was our wedding recap! You’ve made it this far, why quit now??

The Wedding Day Part 2: Ceremony

Our ceremony was held on the pond at our ranch.

While guests waited for the ceremony to start our string quartet, Supernova, played traditional ceremony fare…Pete had 4 groomsmen…And a groomswoman!His best friend from childhood Anne, who since we have moved to Chicago has become my bestfriend…She wore a navy version of the bridesmaids dresses to match the groomsmens navy suits. Isn’t she pretty??The House-Party walked down the aisle first escorted by Pete’s ushers…Then, as the bridesmaids walked down the string quartet switched from the traditional tunes to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, which they played in the style of Pachelbel…The violinist played his instrument like a guitar. It ruled.Nervous.As I came out of the house and walked to meet my dad the band played ‘Til Kingdom Come by ColdplayPete seeing me for the first time…


Pete and I spent a lot of time planning our ceremony. We knew we wanted a traditional Christian marriage rite, but it was really important to us that our readings speak to our relationship. I think sometimes Brides get caught up in all of the INSANITY that is planning a wedding- and it can get insane- and by the time they get to the ceremony they are so relieved that there is something that doesn’t necessarily require a kagillion choices, and don’t take as much time personalizing it. That is not to knock anyone for choosing Biblical passages- in fact we did for one of our readings- I just think the ceremony should reflect the couple, however that may be. Afterall, at least in the Christian marriage rite, your congegration is pledging to support you in your vows, and for many of them the ceremony is one of the only times they can get real insight to who you are as a couple.

Anyway, that is how we felt. So we met with a Priest (again, capitalized? not sure.) here in Chicago who was incredible and really supported our desire to marry the Christian tradition with our personal experience.

After my Dad gave me away, we asked our guests to read the Prayer Attributed to St. Francis with us as a responsive. We then chose three readings. The first, SUPERBLY read by my step-brother, Patrick, was from Exodus about Moses at the burning bush and spoke of place as something sacred. Pete and I fell in love on a trip to Aspen, and so my families home there is a sacred place to us and I could not have imagined getting married anywhere else.Our second reading, delivered by our Priest, was the Gospel of Matthew and spoke of the importance of a child-like faith. Finally, my soon-to-be new sister-in-law, Caitlyn, read an exerpt from the children’s book “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. It is super long in its original format, and so we cut it down a bit…Here is an exerpt from our version:

I like you and I know why/ I like you because you are a good person to like/ You know how to be silly/ That’s why I like you/ Boy are you ever silly/ I never met anybody sillier than me till I met you

If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one/ If I find four, I give you two/ If we only find three, we keep on looking

I like you because I don’t know why but/ Everything that happens is nicer with you/ I can’t remember when I didn’t like you/ It must have been lonesome then/ I like you because because because/ I forget why I like you but I do

So many reasons./ On the 4th of July I like you because it’s the 4th of July/ On the fifth of July, I like you too/ If you and I had some drums and some horns and some horses/ If we had some hats and some flags and some fire engines/ We could be a HOLIDAY/ We could be a CELEBRATION/ We could be a WHOLE PARADE

See what I mean?/ Even if it was the 999th of July/ Even if it was August/ Even if it was way down at the bottom of November/ Even if it was no place particular in January/ I would go on choosing you/ And you would go on choosing me/ Over and over again.

It was perfect for us, and we were a bit nervous that our friends and family wouldn’t get it, but they loved it and it ended up being the sort of uniting theme of our wedding. The idea of love growing and maturing but still remaining child-like, very true to what I hope is the essence of Pete and I as a couple, and which the Priest summed up in a beautiful homily.In what seemed like no time at all we were exchanging vows, and QUITE surprisingly I managed to hold it together.I love this picture, the look on my face as I give Pete his ring says, You are MINE buddy. Fer Rill, now.Then a little kissy kissy…And whaddya know!Mr. & Mrs. McCarthy!Which felt, and still feels, just awesome.Our recessional was also played by Supernova, God Only Knows by the Beach Boys.Immediately after the ceremony and some brief…VERY brief portraits…We gathered the whole Bridal Party on the back patio of the cabin for a little private cocktail reception with our besties…It was so nice to have a moment with our closest people before getting swept in to the craziness of the reception…
Especially because you are such a high from the ceremonyAll you want to do is just relax and have yosef a cocktail and just chill with your people for one hot second.Well hello there, Mr. & Mrs. McCarthy!
Plus, Pete got to show off His ring…Which we all know is super important…Meanwhile, down at the barn, a cocktail reception was being held for the rest of the guests.There were lighted trees leading you in through the barn……And out through to the other side where an outdoor cocktail lounge had been setup between the barn and reception tent.Luckily we had THE most gorgeous night everAnd everyone was able to frolic outside with a cocktail…These poor bartenders didn’t even know what hit them!

Name tags were attached to these posts, and after retrieving their table assignments, guests were encourage to leave us a notecard filled out with what “Love Is…” to them, which were then gathered and sent to us- and while some of them were really sweet and thoughtful, a few of the answers were downright strange and made me seriously doubt the wisdom of my friends :)

Just beyond cocktails lurked the mysteries hidden, heavily guarded, in the big tent…which you will all find out about…tomorrow! In what will, I guarantee, be one of your favorite posts you have ever read on here. The summary of our wedding as told by Pete’s good friend, and comedy writer, Will Hettinger. Set your alarms early tomorrow, you are going to want to read that post straight off the presses!

The Wedding Day Part 1: Getting Ready

The morning of my wedding I woke up with six beautiful ladies in my bed.

Not bad, not bad at all. Let me introduce you to everyone: Next to me on the far left you have Elizabeth, my Maid of Honor and life long bff/sister. To my immediate right is Laura, bff since 6th grade, and next to her, MayMay- other life long bff. This might get confusing so try to keep up. MayMay and Laura are cousins, but I became friends with both of them separately. MayMay and Elizabeth are now step-sisters, their parents got married when we were in college. Incestuous, isn’t it?

At the foot of the bed from left to right are my step-sister Taylor, and my college roommates Julia and Stina.I, proving that I am a true, natural beauty treated myself to a hearty breakfast of AN piece of bacon, a dollop of eggs, and a bit of some melon.Luckily my bridesmaids were a little more well-fed.Afterwards, our magical hair and makeup team got to work beautifying…Bridesmaids Dresses:For my bridal party I had 5 bridesmaids (Elizabeth, Laura, MayMay, Stina, and Taylor) and 9 girls in my house-party (Mollie, Jessica, Izzy, Melanie, Helen, Berry, Julia, Kathleen, and Isabel). The bridesmaids had long Amsale dresses in 5 different styles and shades of pinks/orange/reds that they chose. The house-party had short versions of the same styles/colors that they chose from as well. They looked like a canaaadiannn sunset. So beauty.

And I wore…Wait for it…These two beauties.

For the ceremony, this Amsale number:I worked with Amsale for a year on the dress, first deciding on the top and then going through many, many incarnations of the skirt. In the end, the top was a sort of swiss dot tulle, and the bottom was antique french lace. It was just magic.

Because the lace was like super fragilistic, and I am sort of a violent dancer, it was decided I would have an after-party dress. You might remember my troubles finding a short white sparkly number. But I did, sort of…but then I went to have it fitted and HATED it. Like 10 days before the wedding, and was in a MAJOR funk when I went to New York for my final Amsale fitting. I was only in the city for 19 hours, and after my fitting slumped over the Bergdorfs for some retail therapy, and was greeted by this Monique Lhuillier beauty.

I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but it rules. It is the same style top as my wedding dress, and is gold lame. They only had 1, and it was my size. I mean…

Anyway. Getting ready. One of my favorite things I did in planning the wedding was insisting that the day-of be a big ol’ party while we got dressed, and it was:

Minus a few tears…Aww Laursie…

Bridesmaids/House Party also chose between a lovely flower in their hair…

Or woodland-nymph wreaths…Beauty.For lunch we had this fab spread of salad, cookies, tea sammies…and mas champiggly obv.I was surprisingly really calm all-day…I actually think it started to make my bridesmaids more nervous for me.Part of the reason I was so calm is I was avoiding putting my dress on like the plague, not because I didn’t LOVE it and feel amazing in it…because I knew once I did it was going to be game over and there would only be so much time to hustle me down the aisle before I exploded.Oh, oh here we go…The second Pete’s mom walked in…waterworks…

And then, just like that…it was time to go!

And no, I’m not going to leave you hanging…I will have a full post with the ceremony later today! I just thought this was a lot of me for one post, and it’s probably better to break them up a bit so you don’t get TOO sick of my face before this never ending recap is over :)

McCarthy’s Get Mawwied: The Welcome Party

I hope you are ready, because you are about to learn the conclusion to one of the internets most highly anticipated cliff hangers.

WHAT did I decide to wear to our Friday Night western-themed Welcome Party.

But first, if you can even stand it…The set up.

One of our favorite parts about our wedding was that we were going to get to introduce all of our amazing friends from Chicago and Texas and our other various life detours to each other, and we wanted to give everyone as many opportunities to get to know each other, fall in love, and promise us God-Parentalship to their future children. So Friday night that meant a Welcome Party on top of Aspen Mountain for all of our guests.

At 5:00 everyone met at the base of the Gondola to ride up to the top of the mountain.

Our absolutely unreal wedding planner, Lisa Vorce, turned the lodge on top of the mountain into well…this:

When you walked in to the lodge, there was a wall of cowboy hats with table numbers painted on them and name tags attached…

Lisa also had my friends give her some favorite quotes/sayings for “taxidermied” deer heads that were hung throughout.

And the dress I chose for this blessed event was…I went with brown fringe…Because…I mean how couldn’t I.

Everyone else looked FANTASTIC.

The tables were covered in burlap with raw cotton bouquets and other cool junk as well…

(Super yums bar-b-q buffet, the best part of which was the grits bar where you could add lobster, chorizo, bacon etc…I went back for thirds.)

Pete and I welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming…

Before opening up the mic for toasts which were, again, heartfelt and hillarious.And ended with a rousing, impromptu, edition of The Eyes of Texas

After everyone was sufficiently stuffed, the Spazmatics (The most incredible 80s cover band ever, look them up, they probably play in your area) took the stage…I don’t know if it was the alcohol, or the altitude…or the sheer power of Pete’s and my love…But the dancing was out.of.control.

I had a long weekend and I don’t really have the energy to think of witty comments for each picture, but I am pretty sure they speak for themselves:

And these were just the internets appropriate choices.

For the gondola ride down there was a basket of cow socks for people to take to rest their toesies up for Saturday… Which our friends, of course, made good use of.And that’s all I have to say about that.