Saturday, March 28, 2015

March Marriage Madness

This time last week, we were celebrating the wedding of Adam and Courtney. Although they grew up on opposite ends of the same county, they became friends and fell in love while students at Purdue University. Adam proposed to her on one knee under the bell tower, and they chose to get married surrounded by the campus and traditions that were an important part of their love story. 

This meant that we packed six well-filled plastic totes, ten lanterns, one cooler, two suitcases, two hanging bags, two bridesmaid dresses, and three bags of clementines into the car and headed north. Check in, unload, organize, and take a little break at Pappy's Sweet Shop, our first stop on the campus landmark tour.
As a Purdue family, we have experienced many of the well-known traditions on and around campus. Breakfast club, sledding down Slayter Hill, tailgating at Ross-Ade, delighting in Drew Brees (maybe that's just me), and a favorite of the younger generation: Thursday nights at the Cactus.

The Neon Cactus is located on the levee, and features Purdue grad and former Purdue Varsity Glee Club member Bruce, who now spends three nights each week as the Piano Man, entertaining students in the piano bar. Shylah called ahead for special seating, and they had a some welcome favors set out for the bride and groom and friends.
But first, all attention was focused on our Boilermakers. Fortunately, there were big screens all around for a perfect viewing atmosphere. Unfortunately, the Boilers weren't able to finish, and our tournament run ended there. We will, however, remain 'ever grateful, ever true.' (More on that in an upcoming post.)
We moved to the piano bar to drown our sorrows, and Bruce soon discovered that Adam and Courtney were getting married in TWO DAYS! and invited them up front along with another engaged girl.
I obviously borrowed a few of these photos from the Cactus website since they are way better than the dark, blurry phone photos I managed during the evening.
The Piano Man can be described as a talented entertainer with a foul mouth and an inappropriate sense of humor. Hilarious to the college crowd, but a bit shocking to the tender ears of a mama. As a dad himself, he is sensitive to that fact, and often urges parents to put on their 'ear muffs!'
He had a little mock wedding for Adam and Courtney as a preliminary rehearsal to their big day.
First timers to the piano bar are, not surprisingly, called 'virgins', and are treated to a free song of their choice.
 Courtney and some of her girls even ran into some old friends.
The view from the piano, parents in the back.
 A blurry photo of the happy couple.
 Mama and her boys.
 Stewarts storm the stage.
 I don't remember what they were singing, but it must have been a good one.
And Mama even got to dance with her baby. "Country roads, take me home…"
And we did head home, to the hotel, shortly thereafter. Friday morning would come early, and there were things to do and preparations to make. At least for some of us. :) And just in case Thursday night's fun might muddle my memory of what day it was, I had this handy reminder on my phone. :)
While some of the girls got manis and pedis, I made a trip to Meijer, set up wedding decorations in the ballroom, and drew on clementines. Since I know you are just dying to know about the whole clementine thing, they were part of the rehearsal dinner decor, which I also set up on Friday afternoon.

Way back in the summer, I booked a room in Mackey Arena for the rehearsal dinner, as a surprise for Adam, not even thinking that it would be smack dab in the midst of March Madness. Though there was a moment or two of concern as to whether we would actually have access to the room (that's a story for another day), it all worked out and inspired a 'March Marriage Madness' theme for the evening.

I found these cute invitations here, in the wedding colors of navy and coral.
I ordered spirit fan faces of Adam and Courtney from this website, and used them to decorate the tables.
The banner was a $5 add-on when I ordered the faces. Why, yes please! Later, all the guests at the rehearsal signed the banner for the bride and groom.
The clementines, upon which I drew basketball lines, filled the vases which also held the faces.
I had told no one about the faces, and it was a fun and funny surprise for all. The faces continued to make appearances throughout the weekend. :)
Who IS that behind the faces??
 The bride and her beautiful maids.
Hello! It's the bride and groom!
 We even got to have an up-close look at Keady Court.
The girls did some sideline posing.

As did little Noah James, dreaming some basketball dreams.
The girls ended their night-before-the-wedding in the suite reading the adorable letters Courtney's students wrote to Adam telling him why he should marry Miss Apperson. 
They're gettin' married in the morning!


Terri D said...

What fun!! And you really had some great ideas!! Love the faces and the clementines as basketballs! Very clever! I can't wait to hear more!

Lea said...

Could not have been any cuter. What a cleaver idea with the Clementines. And, the faces, the BEST. Sounds like a wonderful time! Happy new week!