We have decided on our caterer, and we are going to have Chardeau’s do our wedding. Michelle, the caterer, has been very helpful to us, even coming to look at the reception hall, and she has worked hard to keep us within our budget. The food is very good, and she will also sort of serve as a day-of coordinator, which will be nice. We think she will be great to work with, and we’re excited to have this decision made. We’ve put down a deposit. Now we just have to sign the contract and give her an estimated number of people who will be at the reception. Yay!
Now that Kyle finally got his post up about our soon to be new home, we’ve also decided on when we’re moving. So if you just have this longing to help lift and carry heavy boxes, come on out. It’ll be fun. We’re moving Kyle on May 16. We’ll be cleaning his apartment (as long as his landlady still has money to give him back his deposit) on May 17. His last day there is May 18.
We will be moving me on June 20. I have more big stuff, so if you want to help but only want to help one day, June 20 would be awesome. My lease isn’t up until June 30, so we don’t know if we’ll be cleaning my apartment out right away or not. But mark your calendars. We’ll provide food if you come. And we’ll love you forever!
Caitlan and I both have a thing for old buildings. Very few new buildings have the same character and charm that the older structures have. We have been blessed to be living among the largest collection of Victorian Era homes in the world. In addition, our neighborhood features the highest concentration of stained glass in a residential neighborhood in America. I could brag on for a few thousand lines, but I’ll just give you some reading material for those of you who are interested.
Along with all this history, beauty, and character, comes other, less desirable, traits. Our pipes have frozen repeatedly. I’m not just talking about the ice storm, but any time the temperature drops below 30 degrees, and there seems to be little we can do about it. We could let the water run, but because all of the drains are slow we would flood our apartments in the night if we attempted that. During the ice storm, we were one of the first to lose power and among the last to have it turned back on. Even then, my landlady refused to come out and turn our water on so I was crawling around in the cellar looking for the right lever to flip. My paint is peeling, which is bad, because it’s lead paint and over my bed. Most recently a leak has developed in my room that threatens the necessary aridity of my computer. Once again, I could write a book on these problems but I will spare you.
So what do we do, when we love the history an old home can provide, but do not want to deal with the added stresses? We move into a renovated and repurposed old building! After Derby this year Caitlan and I will move into St. Francis Apartments on the corner of 3rd and Broadway! There really isn’t a good site to tell you about this building, and I’ve been slowly piecing the history together, so you’re going to have to deal with my abbreviated story of how St. Francis came to be.
The building was constructed in 1913 by the YMCA. It housed living quarters, a gymnasium, several Presbyterian ministers on staff, and one of Louisville’s earliest basketball courts (the first being the previous location of the YMCA at Chestnut and Walnut streets). The YMCA was located there until it moved a block away to a new building on second street, where it remains today. The building has seen almost 100 years of activity in the city. In 1926 the court was home to the first home basketball game between the University of Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky (State College) Wildcats. Cards won 26-15.
In 1977 St. Francis High School moved into the building, founding an urban “coeducational, independent, interdenominational college preparatory high school.” The school officially bought the building in 1999 and began an ambitious building campaign. The building is split down the middle with the High School on one side, and residential units on the other. Caitlan and I will be moving into a corner unit on the 6th floor and will have windows overlooking both 3rd street and Broadway.
The proximity to the river, Caitlan’s office, the new downtown arena, and UofL’s campus make this a great location. Caitlan and I are excited to make this our first home together.
So before we considered New Year’s Eve as a possible date, we called caterers, photographers, musicians, and reception venues to make sure it wouldn’t be a whole lot more expensive and that they would be available and willing to work on a holiday. No problems there. Then we put the day up to a vote, and of course, you all know what happened there. Then Kyle and I actually looked at the dates and made the final decision. So everything is still going according to plan, but we did hit a little bump in the road with our New Year’s Eve plans. We forgot to consult a couple very important people to having our wedding that day: the priests. We did ask about the church availability, and it was available, though the next day is a holy day of obligation. No big deal, we thought. However, we got an e-mail a little while ago that informed us there would also be a vigil service for the next day, at 5:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. So we can’t get into the church until 7, and possibly not at all before the service, which means we can’t take many pictures before the wedding, unless we push the wedding later, which is probably what we’re doing. So it’s definitely an evening affair, one that probably won’t start until 8 or later. Yes, you want to eat dinner beforehand.
The bigger possible problem was the priests. We had wanted my childhood priest, Fr. Pat, to be involved, but he is now at a church in London, KY. Not exactly close to Louisville. And he has Masses for New Year’s Day, and possibly a vigil on New Year’s Eve. Fr. Cuddy, who has been helping us reserve the church, etc., we thought could also be involved, but he has a tradition of going home to Boston for New Year’s. Not exactly close to Louisville either. So we found ourselves in a dilemma. Of course, there’s a priory right next door to our church, so there would be plenty of priests who could probably marry us, but none with whom we had a personal connection.
But why am I writing about this now? Just to complain about my problems? No. Fr. Pat called me a few nights ago and said he would like to commit to having our wedding on New Year’s Eve this year in Louisville. He’s going to drive up on the Wednesday before for the rehearsal, and then he’ll stay here and be here for the wedding on Thursday. He said he’s been through a lot of stages in my life – he was my priest at my confirmation, he married my mom and Joe, he said Joe’s funeral. So he’s seen and been with my family at its best and worst, its happiest and saddest. And he said he would enjoy being able to be a part of this phase of my life too. So we have a priest! And one who will really know me, and will get to know Kyle and will make it a more personal day for us. We’re very excited. We’re hoping that Fr. Cuddy will still be willing and able to help us with our preparation before the wedding, and if he is able to be involved on the wedding day as well, that will be great too. So far, things keep falling into place!
We met with our photographer yesterday evening to discuss packages, and now we have to decide what we want versus what we can afford. We do get to take advantage of a sale because we booked in February, but it will still be expensive. However, we are saving on other aspects of the wedding, and lots of people have told us it’s worth it to spend the money on photography.
It’s really just this book that we want. He does it through GraphiStudio. And it looks really cool, and it would be a great keepsake of the wedding. We asked about getting the book with the lowest package, but he said, after the work he puts into it, it wouldn’t be much cheaper than just going with the second package. So we’re thinking about doing that. The second package also comes with an engagement or bridal session with prints and travelling expenses. We don’t think we need an engagement session, so he said he could comp that with more enlargements, which he would do for the traveling expenses as well. Although now we’re considering a bridal session since none of our pictures will really be taken in daylight, and it might be nice to have some daylight wedding pictures.
Lastly, he offered that we could put our package as part of our registry, so people could put money towards it for us, but we’re not sure if we want to do that because we need other things from our registry. So there’s a lot to think about, but at least right now, Kyle and I agree on what we like and what we’re leaning toward. We just have to make a decision. So we’ll see. It was exciting to meet with him though, and to see his work again. We think he’ll do a great job.
We also have some other exciting news, about which Kyle is supposed to be putting up an entry (he has it started, just can’t seem to finish it), so stay tuned!
And we delivered. There are now some words to read on our page about the couple. Yay for progress!
I went to the church hall Thursday evening to meet Fr. Cuddy and Michelle from Chardeau’s. Fr. Cuddy had gotten information on the church hall, and Michelle came to give us her opinion on how it would work as a reception venue, basically if it would be big enough. Not only is the price right, but Michelle thinks it will have plenty of room for us, especially for the type of reception we want to have. Our reception will feel like a gala more than a party: formal, elegant, and sophisticated. We want something that reflects our personalities. We won’t have tables and chairs for everyone but cocktail tables. Plus we’ll have a dance floor and a live band. For our food, we’ll have stations and some passing by waiters rather than one big buffet.
Last Sunday, we met with Aunt Dana and Uncle John, who will be designing our invitations. We are very excited about having invitations made by people who are close to us so that we will reflect who we are. They enjoyed the ideas we had for our reception and we hope everyone else will too. It was also fun looking at some of the other stuff they’ve done for weddings.
Tuesday evening we met with our second possible caterer, Mirabelle Catering. We really liked him too. We met with the actual chef, as he pretty much runs his business. And he does cakes, too, though not if he does the catering too. He doesn’t like to have the responsibility of the cake and the catering at the same time, which makes sense. All his food presentation is really neat and very unique. We’re planning on sending him a menu as well to get an approximate cost. We’re sort of hoping that there will be a big difference when it comes to that, so it makes our decision easier because, though the two caterers we’ve talked to are different, we like them both a lot. So I know that everyone says do what makes you happy and don’t worry about everyone else, but this decision is going to be hard if their prices are relatively similar. But I guess everything will fall into place. Now we just need to get a response from our priest about the church hall and get the reception venue booked.
On Thursday, Kyle and I headed into Jeffersonville, IN to meet with our first caterer. We met with the President of Chardeau’s in an old elementary school, where their business is set up. We really liked her, and she even offered to meet us and give her professional opinion on the two venues we’re considering for our reception, so we’re probably going to take her up on that. Once we get together somewhat of a menu, we’re going to send it to her so she can give us a cost estimate. Then we can compare to the other caterers we’re going to meet. We’re going to see another one on Tuesday.
Today, we sent in payment for the retainer for our photographer. We agree to his contract, but in it we’re supposed to put what package we want, which we’re not sure about. So hopefully, we’ll be setting up a meeting with him to discuss that soon. We also paid the reservation fee to reserve our date for the church, so we’re officially on the books. Spending lots of money today.
We were going to meet with Uncle John about the invitations, but he is sick. Hope you get better soon, Uncle John!
Lastly in wedding news, I got some wedding planners this weekend, so I get to start reading and making lists and checking things off and putting things in the little pouches in the books. I got one from my Aunt Janet, and one from Kyle’s family for Kyle’s birthday. Kyle got “The Idiot’s Guide to being a Groom.” He also got a suit for his birthday, which looks very nice on him.
And, last of all, Happy early Birthday to Grammo!