Ron Lelito, classical guitarist

Quiet moment at the wedding rehearsal by Inkygirl.
(photo by Debbie)

I know I already used this photo from the rehearsal, but I just like it so much!

Anyway, Ron has been a great friend, not just to Rand, but to both of us over the past few years. He and Rand know each other from when Ron used to work at the college where Rand works. We live in the same village, and we get together fairly regularly to eat, watch movies, and just hang out.

One of the things Ron and Rand have in common is music. Ron is a very talented classical guitarist (don’t let him tell you any differently!), and so it seemed like a no-brainer to ask him to play guitar at our wedding.

Except for the processional song, we just trusted Ron to select some music for before the ceremony. Except for “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” I don’t even know what he played!

Ron provides music before ceremony by Inkygirl.
(also by Debbie)

For my entrance, we decided on “Across the Universe.” I wanted something a little bit different that would sound pretty played on the guitar. Rand loves John Lennon and the Beatles, so we went for it!

Erin & Rand - Wedding 063 by Korak.
(photo by Walter)

I’m not sure who I’m looking at in the above photo, but I do believe that’s my “I’m trying really hard not to cry” face. 😉

During the ceremony, Ron also accompanied my dad, who sang “Because.” We included this song in our ceremony because it’s become something of a tradition in my family–it was used during my grandparents’ wedding, and each of the children and grandchildren have incorporated it in some way.

Erin & Rand - Wedding 095 by Korak.
(photo by Walter)

The song isn’t really meant for guitar, so I greatly appreciate the extra time Ron took to work on an arrangement that would sound good!

Ron also took care of some other post-wedding matters for us, like making sure the tux got back to the store, and bringing our cake top home and keeping it his freezer! We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends.

And finally, here’s a fantastic photo of Ron with his sweet and beautiful girlfriend Melissa:

Melissa and Ron by Inkygirl.
(photo by debbie)

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Allthingsjennifer–the wedding hostess with the mostess!

Erin and Jen by Inkygirl.

Since we dispensed with the idea of a traditional wedding party, I asked Jen to be my “wedding hostess.” The way I envisioned it, this mostly involved things like making sure nothing exploded on the day of the wedding. 😉

Seriously, though…I thought it was a great way to put Jen’s people skills to work. We had a lot of groups of people coming in who didn’t know each other, and Jen knew (or made it a point to know) a pretty good cross-section of these people. She knew who all of our “helpers” were. She’d be the person to direct questions to, so that no one was running to me 5 minutes before the ceremony to ask me something.

As far as I can tell, this worked out fairly well!

Jen checks Erin's dress by Inkygirl.

Jen was in the suite while I was getting ready. In the photo above (also by Debbie), she’s pinning blue & white ADPi ribbons to my slip. This is a tradition we started…well, I’m not really sure when it started, but whenever one of us gets married, we make sure the bride and all of the sorority sisters in attendance get ribbons. (I think Jen from Cleveland provided the ribbons. Thanks, Jen!)

Basically, over the past several months, Jen has been the one to help me keep sane–particularly in the last couple of weeks leading up to the wedding!

She also took on some more traditional maid-of-honor duties, like throwing me a bachelorette party (which I know I still need to blog the details of!):

The girls by All Things Jennifer.
(photo from Jen’s camera, taken by a stranger at Cozumel)

And organizing the awesome “virtual shower.”

Jen gets pinned by Inkygirl.

Here, my friend Vicki helps Jen pin on her corsage.

Me & Erin by All Things Jennifer.
(photo from Jen, probably taken by Mark)

I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for Jen’s friendship…and for everything that she’s done for me, both over this past year, and since we first met all those years ago as college freshmen. I hope that I can return the favor. 😉

) by All Things Jennifer.

Here, Mark caught us hugging and singing the end of American Pie–another sorority tradition throwback to our college days. I requested the song for karaoke (more on the karaoke to come!) and insisted that it be the last song of the night. It’s one of those sentimental sniffly moments, and I’m so glad this was captured on film!

So, if I hadn’t said it enough…thank you, Jen. I love you dearly.

mejenspringparty by you.

A (ahem) lovely photo of us from sophomore year. Teehee. I have no idea who took this.

*unless otherwise noted, photos by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

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The photographers–Debbie and Walter

Erin & Rand - Reception 069 by Korak.
(Photo of Debbie and Walter by Jeff, Debbie’s husband)

We opted not to hire a professional photographer, for a number of reasons. Rand asked Debbie if she would be our *official* photographer after she took some lovely informal photos of us last year, shortly after we were engaged. We knew she would do a fantastic job. Walter, another friend of ours, has also  been dabbling a bit in photography, so he brought his big fancy camera as well. 😉

Quiet moment at the wedding rehearsal by Inkygirl.

Debbie took the above photo during a quiet moment at the rehearsal. I think it’s stunning–it should be in a magazine or something! Debbie has an artist’s eye. She has a way with composition, with capturing people and moments that I’m not sure can be learned.

Sleepy ringbearer by Inkygirl.
(photo by Debbie)

Our ringbearer, Rand’s nephew, captured yawning during the ceremony. Is this adorable or what?

Jen is good at looking evil by Inkygirl.
(photo by Debbie)

Jen, my dear friend and “wedding hostess” poses for Debbie just before we draw names to sign the marriage license.

Walter stunned us with the sheer volume of photos he took! He had literally hundreds of shots on his camera before the weekend was over, and he’s posted many of them for all to see. This one might be my favorite photo of me ever :

Erin & Rand - Reception 028 by Korak.

It’s currently my facebook profile photo!

He also got a lot of terrific ceremony shots. I like this one of the kiss in particular:

Erin & Rand - Wedding 104 by Korak.

Rand and I could not be happier with the photographs, especially given the circumstances. We planned a private photo session with Debbie immediately after the ceremony. We wanted to do outdoor shots, so outside we went. We tried to get some photos on the back balcony at Pearl Street, but Debbie was getting some weird shadows. Our event coordinator at the venue had suggested the courtyard across the street at the HSBC center, so we headed over there next.

Erin and Rand by Inkygirl.

Debbie managed to snap just a few photos before a mean security guard chased us away. “You can’t take photos here. This is private property.” He even followed us to make sure we left. Gah.

We walked across the street, over to the end of Main Street near the Metro stop, and got some good things there…but then, we felt rain drops. Time to head back to Pearl Street.

Here we are, running from the rain:

Running from the rain by Inkygirl.

Total time Debbie spent photographing us outside: 12 minutes. 12 MINUTES! Can you believe she did all that in 12 minutes?

When we got back inside, we of course got swept into talking and greeting and socializing, so we didn’t really do much posed stuff. There wasn’t much that I wanted, but I do wish we’d taken a group photo with my cousin and Rand’s nephews (our wedding party), and photos with our families. It just all went by so fast!

I don’t regret even a second of it, though. We have stunning photos, and we had a wonderful time.

Thank you again, Debbie and Walter!

Debbie’s flickr photostream. And her wedding photo set.

Walter’s flickr photostream. And his wedding set. Also, reception part I and reception part II.

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Song lyrics

Here are the lyrics to the song that Greg Klyma wrote for us (which, by the way, I still haven’t found. I had to email Greg and ask him to send them to me, which he did…):

Once upon modern times
Rand and Erin met online
Love at first site was depending
On love induced by email sending
The fruit of keyboard love was ripe
Turned out he was just her type

Rand is the librarian
At the college Erin did attend
They did not meet there and then
Today they are the best of friends
It must be fate that they would marry
She never went to the library

Call it luck
Call it love
Call it anything good you can think of

Call it quick
Don’t let it get away
Call it Rand and Erin’s Wedding Day

Buffalo Brew Pub, drinks and darts
Real world, real time romance starts
Rand stole Erin’s heart away
His nerdy brain on full display
He’s silly, reads books, loves food, gives hugs
There’s more… you can read it in Erin’s blog

Call it luck
Call it love
Call it anything good you can think of

Call it quick
Don’t let it get away
Call it Rand and Erin’s Wedding Day

He bought her favorite ring, but she didn’t know
When to the jewelry store did Erin-go-
Brah! the ring she loved was sold
Poor Erin could not be consoled
But Erin’s heart got quite the lift
When she opened up her birthday gift and Rand proposed

Call it luck
Call it love
Call it anything good you can think of

Call it quick
Don’t let it get away
Call it Rand and Erin’s Wedding Day

Call it luck
Call it love
Call it anything good you can think of

Call it quick
Don’t let it get away
Call it Rand and Erin’s Wedding Day

Once upon modern times
Rand and Erin met online

Adam English, caricature artist extraordinaire!

(photo by Walter)

Adam English is Rand’s musical partner in Ookla the Mok, as well as being a fantastic artist. Adam agreed to help make our wedding day unique by drawing caricatures for our guests.

Adam works at Darien Lake, managing the art vendors. He also does quite a bit of other caricature work around Western New York, including regular gigs at places like Duff’s in Orchard Park (or is it West Seneca? I’m never quite sure…)

Friday night, during our rehearsal, Adam made use of the large blackboard that was hanging out in the banquet room:

(photo by Debbie Ridpath Ohi)

Rand’s nephew, something of a budding young artist, watched Adam intently.

Here’s the finished product:

(also by Debbie)

We told Adam to draw during cocktail hour, stop for dinner, and then return to drawing only if he wanted to.

Well, demand for caricatures was so high that Adam just kept right on drawing! We tried to persuade him to stop and eat, but he didn’t…so when I was done eating, I made him a plate and brought it over to him. I saw Rand feeding him bites as he drew.

(this one’s by Debbie too!)

People seemed to be very happy with their caricatures. One of my cousins, who got married the following weekend, brought hers to show the family and friends at her day-after picnic. (I heard this from my parents…as we, of course, were honeymooning in Vermont and had to miss the wedding!)

(photo by Walter)

We cannot thank Adam enough for his time and talent. He certainly helped make our wedding interesting and fun for everyone!

(this photo came from my friends Jen and Tim)

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We interrupt the wedding updates…

For this article from the New York Times:

It’s Botox for You, Dear Bridesmaids

Uh, yeah…remember that postcard I got from the Center for Plastic Surgery that I thought was so offensive and thoroughly made fun of? I guess the joke is on me.

I think I’ve sprained my eyes from rolling them so hard.

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A song for me

Rand and I are very fortunate to have many talented, kind, and generous friends. Many of them contributed to our wedding in significant ways, and so I am going to dedicate a post to each one of them.

Rand has been friends with Greg Klyma for a number of years. Greg is from Buffalo, but ten years ago, he quit his job and went on the road to support himself as a musician. Greg is now living in Boston, playing with Tom Bianchi. They are both wonderfully talented and entertaining on their own, but together, they are truly a force to be reckoned with.

Rand asked Greg if he and Tom would entertain our guests during contact hour, and they happily obliged.


If I’m not mistaken, Debbie snapped this photo of us right after the ceremony, before we went outside to take photos. We asked Greg and Tom to kick off their set by learning “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen for our recessional. It could not have been more perfect!

(photos by Debbie Ridpath Ohi)

I love this shot of Greg!

In addition to the cocktail hour set, Greg specifically asked Rand if he could do a short set for us. We decided to do this right after dinner. Greg and Tom performed four songs, and we were given seats of honor while our friends and family gathered around.

Rand was asked to join the guys to sing some backup on one of Greg’s songs, “Bean Bag Chair.”

While Rand was singing, I was visited by my friend Mary’s little boy. Isn’t he adorable?

For their last song–as a complete and utter surprise to me–they performed a song that Greg had written especially for the occasion.

Here’s what Greg had to say about it on his myspace blog:

The fourth and final song of our set was a specialty song for Rand and Erin. It was chock full of information about their courtship that Rand had provided to me by my request in emails. I figured I would know if I’d written a good song if I got the bride to cry.

The bride bawled. At song’s end, she got up, came over and gave me a hug, thanking me as she did so. I’ll have to play it for ya sometime. Maybe you’ll cry too.

Yes, bawl I did. 😉 I have the lyrics around here somewhere, which Greg presented to me at the end of the performance. I’ll post them as soon as I figure out where they are.

Here we are enjoying the song:

And I’m pretty sure I’m crying in this next one:

I got up and hugged Greg immediately.

And then we posed for a quick photo together:

(all of these photos by Walter K.)

It was absolutely amazing, and we could not be more appreciative! Thank you again, Greg and Tom!

*post title sort of borrowed from one of Greg’s songs

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