Friday, January 29, 2010

A Matter of Tayst (aka The Rehearsal Dinner)

We interrup this blog post to say something that isn't often in this southern gal's vocabulary:

IT'S SNOWING! And I'm talking those big honkin' flakes that look like somebody just shook a snowglobe on little ole Nashville. I see the creation of a snowman in my future. It's days like this that make me so very happy to have absolutley NADA on the weekend agenda - no thank you notes left to write (aside: in case I've forgotten someone, which I am rather terrified I'm going to do, and you happen to read this blog, please feel free to shame me in the comments section. I think I've been keeping good records, but I am a little paranoid I missed someone with the flurry of gifts that came in around the holidays), no wedding plans to finalize, no budgets to review and fret over, no nothing. I'm feeling so good, in fact, that I just might be a little domestic diva and make a gigantic pot of chili for the hubs and his buddies, so they can come over and watch the Vandy/UK basketball game. Now let it be said that I am not nearly as big a fan of basketball as I am of football (again, roll tide) but since Mr. T played basketball in college, coaches a little league of 7 year olds in YMCA basketball, and even continues to play in a winter league with a bunch of other has-beens (only kidding if you're reading this, dear - I know you guys are awesome) so needless to say, he definitely has an interest in the sport. So I guess the least I can do is be the dutiful, supportive wife that I vowed to be before God and 200 witnesses about three weeks ago, and watch the occasional game with him if it makes him happy. So that is exactly what I'm going to do tomorrow. Yes, that sound you hear is me patting myself on the back.

So on to other subjects, namely a recap of our absolutely wonderful, so very touching rehearsal diner at Tayst. Mr. T has ties to the fabulous chef, the highly acclaimed Jeremy Barlow, since Tayst is a proud sponsor of Vanderbilt Athletics, for which my hubby sells corporate sponsorships. So imagine our delight when he generously offered to let us use the entire restaurant on a Friday night all to ourselves - and on New Years Day to boot. I'm sure the staff hated us after their late shift on New Years Eve, but they couldn't have been better to us. We felt like royalty! Talk about starting the new year off on the right foot. Jeremy, we love you and the Tayst staff to death and can't thank you enough! And P.S. you should get a patent for your Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. It is like a piece of heaven in your mouth. Not exaggerating.

Being the event planner that I am, I decided that while our wedding would be an all-white affair, I wanted to play on the beautiful rich red walls of the restaurant, so I pulled in lots of fun touches to play them up. However, you'll have to use your imagination because I was having so much fun I forgot to take a lot of photos. And our photographer also came up a night early to take pictures for our little Nashville Lifestyles feature (yay!) so I didn't think my little digital would matter much. Now I'm wishing I had been thinking about how great they would be for blog purposes! Oh well. For example, I took childhood photos of the Mr. and myself and framed them in rustic wood frames (bought half off at Michael's - score!) and hung them in place of the artwork that is usually displayed on the walls. I also found these to-die-for aluminum cowboy boots at Fabu that were painted red and had little star cut-outs - too perfect for welcoming folks to Nashville! We placed candles inside and used them as centerpieces on the bistro tables in the bar area, which you saw when you first walked in. The other item that was a major hit with our guests was our guitar that doubled as a guest book. I ran across this idea forever I go right after we first got engaged and decided right then and there I had to do it. We had silver sharpies for the guests to sign it with, and it was the perfect way to get signatures started with our family and close friends before we unveiled it at the reception! Check the little guy out...

I also found these ah-dorable placecard holders online, which added a nice little western touch...

And one of my MOST favorite things was the wonderful entertainment we lined up for the cocktail hour - a banjo and fiddle duet! One of these sweet gentlemen works in the Vandy Law School library, and ever since I discovered he played the banjo, I've asked him to play several times! The young and old loved hearng those bluegrass tunes played the minute they walked in the door, and I noticed many feet were tapping along!

We enjoyed some drinks to warm up from the winter weather and passed hors d'oeuvres for the cocktail hour and then sat down to a lovely dinner, complete with a hoppin' john appetizer of gourmet cornbread and black eyed peas for good luck (a tradition in our house growing up - every pea supposedly brought a dollar in the pocket in the coming year, so I was always sure to eat every bite of mine). We had the most delicious menu typed on parchment paper and beautifully placed at each place setting. Our selections included:

First Course:

Signature Salad
mixed greens, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, sundried cherry vinaigrette
Butternut Squash Bisque
topped with cinnamon marshmallow

Main Course

chicken risotto, thyme~tarragon glaze, pumpkin seeds

Bison Brisket
butternut squash, greens, bacon, reduction

Lamb Leg
winter squash napoleon, cider reduction

Just For Luck…

Hoppin’ John
black eyed peas & cornbread

Sweet Course

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake
chocolate mousse, chocolate syrup

Roasted Apple
smoked caramel, vanilla crème anglaise, caramel lace cookie

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
doughnut, vanilla milkshake

Delicious, no? So after dessert was served, my handsome husband to be made a toast that basically started with him thanking both of our parents, went on to say how blessed he felt, and ended with him telling the story of how when we got engaged, we called our parents first. Mine of course knew what was coming since Craig had asked their permission, but his had no clue. So his Dad's reply to Craig? "I'm just glad you're not gay." Which Craig shared with the crowd. Nice...

After that, several of our sweet friends made toasts as well, and words can't describe how touching they were to hear. I basically started crying at the first one that my best friend and MOH did, and didn't stop through the next six. I mean I was a mess. All those emotions and nerves and stresses from the last few days finally caught up with me, and I ended up laughing and crying for a solid thirty minutes. It went something like this: Friend Stands Up, I smile. Friend Starts Speaking, I feel tears forming. Friend Finishes, I am straight up crying. Friend Sits Down, we all toast at the table. New Friend Gets Up, process starts again.

So when Keith Colbert, a long time friend of Craig's family who was able to make the trip at the last minute, got up and said he would be honored if his son turned out like Craig, well Craig got a little choked up too. I've never seen the boy shed a tear (though he claims he had tears in his eyes during our vows - I couldn't see them because of the tears in mine) but I'm glad he can balance me out since I am clearly such a basketcase. I mean, the boy has a bet with me that I won't make it five minutes into Extreme Home Makeover before shedding a tear. I never do.

Anyway, all the toasts we showed a montage of our childhood photos that turned out perfectly. This was also done by the super fab Jennifer Fritz at Dynamic Video who did the sneak peek of our wedding footage that I posted a few days ago. I debated whether or not to include that in our dinner, since I had seen it done so much, but I think it is truly something everyone enjoys and I for one never get tired of seeing them. So here's the link to ours, in case you want to waste a few minutes of your Friday with a trip down memory lane. I must say, the song selections couldn't have turned out better. That last song by Keith Urban had me in tears the first time I heard it. Shocking, I know. Man, I am such a crybaby.

All that to say the night was simply lovely in every way, and we loved being able to celebrate such a fun occasion with the people who are closest to us. I can honestly say I will always remember those toasts, and I most certainly will always remember that evening. So, here are a few photos I did manage to capture. Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy reliving them.

With my new niece, Amber and sis-in-law, Treva

Chuck, Craig's brother, giving their dad some love

My sweet parents, Gail and John. Love them!

My brother, niece, and sister-in-law
Craig's mother and precious niece, Carly

Craig's other brother, Chris, and his son, Logan - such a ham!

All the way from Louisiana, my fabulous Aunt Martha Lou and Uncle Ron

Andrea, Catherine and my namesake Lilly at the Kids Table (don't feel bad for them, we gave them a kid-friendly menu and a bandana bag full of coloring books, crayons and candy.

One of my favorite people on earth, Aunt Margaret. Who prefers to be called Pretty Margaret.

McKenzie, Carly and Courtney in their matching dresses.
So you see, the recaps may be a long time coming, but aren't they worth the wait? Happy Friday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Five, Four, Three, Two, One...Happy 2010!

What? It's January 24th and not 1st? Okay, so I'm a tad bit belated, but this is truly a case of better late than never. So as I mentioned before, Mr. T and I decided (more so I did the convincing) to host a welcome party for our Nashville friends and out-of-town wedding guests, to kick off the wedding weekend on a festive foot. I found the cutest invitation EVER on Wedding Paper Divas that I would love to share with you all. However, since I am not the most savvy blogger, I can't figure out how to do that handy-dandy trick where you blur your address out, just in case there are any crazies out there. And so, unless one of you kind souls can share that trick with me, you'll just have to trust me that it was, in fact, a-dor-able.
Anyway, so as Salt and Pepa says, back to the subject. Let me first mention that I finally established a regular physician at Vanderbilt on the Tuesday before our wedding, simply because that was the only appointment I could get within a two-month time frame. After sitting down with my new doc and discovering we were going to be friends (she's in her mid-30's and so very cool), I told her I was a) getting married in five days and b) we were going to Mexico on our honeymooon to which she promply replied "You've gotten your flu shot, right?" Well no, friends, I actually had not (what? I've been busy, Mom) so she promply pulls Nurse with Two Large Needles into the room to give me the seasonal flu shot in one arm and the H1N1 shot in the other. And truth be told, she was right, I probably did need those little suckers since I was going out of the country and all. The only problem was that about two days later, I feel that little prickle in the back of my throat that tells me uh-oh...something is coming. I drink OJ for breakfast, lunch and dinner, double up on my vitamins, and basically start praying please don't let this happen. But the Big Guy had other plans. He took my perfectly healthy body and rocked it with some horrible flu-like funk to remind me, "Look sister, I know you think you're in charge here with all the crazy control you've been exerting over this little thing called a wedding, but you're due for a reminder that I am in fact the one in charge, wedding or not, and don't you forget it." Well I was reminded alright. Just as New Years Eve day arrives, I am a puny mess with zero appetite, sinus congestion out the wazoo, and a severely sore throat. How fun! Even worse, it's practically impossible not to kiss your groom in the days leading up to the wedding, so I passed it on to Mr. T as well. Ooopsie!
All that to say, you'll have to excuse my appearance in these photos, because I literally had just jumped out of the shower when the first guests started to arrive, andI look like quite a mess...and not a hot one. Thank goodness for the sequined tank top I extracted from the back of my hope was that it would divert attention from my chapped nose and watery eyes. However, looking back on these photos, I'm not sure it worked. At any rate, in an effort to remember the party that actually turned out to be fun despite my sneezing every five minutes, I have many fond memories from that night that I'd like to document. We had so many people show up (I think I counted 32 at one point, and our house isn't exactly a mansion) that it turned out to be a pretty excellent way to ring in the new year. And you can't start it much better than celebrating a wedding around the corner, introducing old friends to new ones, and being surrounded by the people you love the most. I might have had a 102 fever, but I sure had fun!
Amber and I modeling the champagne punch we collectively created. Please stop and zero in on these super-fun wine glasses, which were a gift from our Nashville friends, Liz and Adam. They were hand painted with cowboy boots, and even had rhinestone embellishments. Tres chic.

Amber and Justin - their save the dates just went out the week after our wedding and were shot by my favorite photographer, Evin Krehbiel, who also shot my bridal portraits at Cheekwood back in November. Get ready, guys. You have no idea the insanity that is coming your way! I mena that in a good way, of course. :)

And again with Justin. Notice our awesome Christmas card collection in the background. I was very sad to take it down after all the happiness it brought me.

Posing with Amber, Lauren and Erika, after we perfected our champagne punch. Never mind the fact that Erika mistakenly put a dash of red wine in the mix. We just used more champagne.

Practicing our midnight kiss!

Mr. T modeling his Miller Lite. I mean, Bride to Be.

My BFF and MOH, Stacy. One of about ten photos we took that night. We can never make one we're both happy with, try as we might.

The newly-expecting Robbins! They were married back in August and found out right before the wedding that a baby was on the way. So excited for them - they'll make excellent parents.

Stacy and Matt looking dapper And if you like Stacy's necklace, please know that it is actually mine that she borrowed for the evening. So please give the credit for her hotness to me. :)

All the way from of Craig's best friends, Augie Niles, and his lovely lady, Sue. She's even wearing Virginia Tech colors (since they played Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl that night) which I'm sure scored her major points with the boys.

With one of my favorite guys, Dan. Don't worry, he shaved for the wedding.
So there you have it, a very belated recap of our New Year's Eve Bash. One of the things I'll never forget is passing out champagne in Dixie cups (that's right, we do it up fancy for our guests) and toasting with all of our friends as we shouted "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" You just can't beat that feeling of knowing that all is right in your world. Even with a runny nose. :)
Next up - the Rehearsal Dinner at Tayst Restaurant and Wine Bar, also known as The Night I Never Stopped Crying. But in a good way. Someone should tell you how incredibly touching those toasts can be!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sneak Peek of Our Wedding Video!

I'm watching this with big ole whopping crocodile tears in my eyes. And I think this is the sixth time I've watched it today. When those doors open and I'm on my Dad's arm, it gets me every time. Word to the wise, everyone: hire a videographer! I promise you will not regret it! Enjoy, my friends!!

Lillian and Craig Turman Wedding Sneak Peak from Dynamic Video on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Wish Wednesday

I just discovered the adorable Kelsey at The Seattle Smith's and found a great idea for a hump day blog feature - Wishful Wednesday! Today she's discussing the Golden Globe gowns. I must admit, I am way more interested in the red carpet arrivals than I am in the actual awards. I told Craig that just one day I would love to get all dolled up in a gorgeous dress, have people fuss over my hair and makeup, borrow some over the top jewelry from a fancy jeweler, and work it for a day. Oh wait - I just did all that two weeks ago on our wedding day - HA! Wish granted. :)

But I still want to play Kelsey's fun game, so here we go...

I Wish I could have worn the gown that
Heidi Klum wore at the Golden Globes!

Umm, how many kids has she had? If I didn't love her I would want to kill her.

I just adore that mermaid shape - if it didn't emphasize my booty so much, I would have chosen that style for my wedding dress. Instead I went with the classic A-line, and I must say, I loved my dress. For me, there was just something about that shape I couldn't resist - the minute I put it on I felt exactly like I pictured in my head when I was a little girl. And who knows, maybe I'll have a daughter of my own one day who will want to wear it. Though I'm sure the brides of the 80's thought the same about their long sleeved numbers. Yowza.

And in the hair and makeup category, I choose the exotically gorgeous Penelope Cruz.

She nails it every time. She works the Latin look, and I've always said she is the one person I would want to look like if I got to choose. I love her that much.

OK, so I'm getting serious about my wedding recap post, people. Really I am. I'm just not sure where to start because there is SO very much I want to be sure and cover, so I procrastinate by playing fun little "Wishful Wednesday" games. I used to do this same thing all the time in college by waiting until the 11th hour to start writing my papers, and then I would gorge on Mt. Dew and pull an all-nighter and in a zombie stupor walk to class to turn in something I honestly couldn't remember writing at all, when all I really had to do was devote a little time to it each day.

So tonight after my small group with my lovely ladies from church, I've committed to seriously breaking it down, day by day, then starting my series with the day that kicked off our wedding weekend, which happened to be the last day of the year. And the decade, for that matter. We're talking New Year's Eve, people. And what did this little bride decide to do? That's right, tack on another party, a welcome party for that matter, because clearly an entire wedding weekend full of things to do was not enough for me to handle. I do think I turned a little crazy there at the end with all of my bright ideas that had Mr. T scrambling for a package of Oreos for the Oreo truffles I just had to make for the party. And want to know where those Oreos are? On the top shelf of my pantry, where they have remained since Craig brought them home from the grocery store and I realized that there was simply no way I could put my Donna Reed hat on and whip up some stinkin' truffles with about 30 guests arriving at our new home for the party. As if our closest friends who we never get to see really cared about some freakin' truffles. But in my mind, you see, I had to be Event Planner Extraordinaire and make sure I set the table like Martha Stewart. In my head I was thinking a nice little dessert bar to go along with nicely chilled bottles of champagne on a beautifully set table with silver decor. Instead we made a mad dash for strawberry and wedding-cake flavored cupcakes from The Cupcake Collection in Germantown and the girls and I made up our own Champagne Punch concoction in the beverage dispenser we got as a wedding gift (which I love, love, love) and I really can't tell you what it included. I do know at one point someone threw in a dash of red wine, when she really mean to use fruit punch. Whoopsie. But it did taste delicious, and that is coming from someone who had no tastebuds because that same someone got deathly ill two days before the wedding. Oh yes, indeed. I am quite the example for what happens when a bride takes on too much. Like I said, I kind of lost it thinking I could pull that one off. Anyway, more on that by week's end. My goal is to write it Thursday night after Grey's Anatomy and before the 10:00 news. It should be a comical post since that will be right after I get home from a girls' night happy hour, where I can assure you a cocktail or two will be imbibed with some of my favorite friends. Stay should be interesting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Hi folks! I promise the recap is coming shortly - I'm just REALLY loving married life right now and trying to just relax a little and enjoy it. Which means no blog posts when I could be cuddled up with my new husband on the sofa watching The Bachelor with a shared bottle of Riesling. :)

But I had to share my new favorite picture from our wedding day. The fur jacket was too perfect for that cold winter day, and I loved how the black ribbon sash coordinates so perfectly with my handsome husband's tux. He is a hottie. And I am SUCH a lucky girl.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Holy Wedding Day...

I'm MARRIED! Back from our honeymoon in the Riviera Maya and trying to process all the pictures, sweet comments, well wishes and abundance of memories we made on January 2, 2010. Best day of my life. Recap post coming shortly - I promise! In the meantime, here's one of my favorite photos that captures what I felt right after putting my dress on. Priceless!

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