Category Archives: wedding


name change


I am officially Mrs. CNV. I kept my maiden name as my middle name, dropped my two existing middle names (which made my former initials CMAN), and took Andrés’ last name.

I struggled with the decision a little, but in the end I decided that if I had an established career under my maiden name, I would have just kept my name. But I am excited to have his name, and I’m excited to have the same name our children will have. And, in the end, if I had kept my maiden name, I wouldn’t be keeping “my” name … I’d be keeping my father’s name.

Keeping my existing first middle name, Marie, would have made my initials CMV, which is problematic for me because those initials stand for the Cytomegalovirus. Random that I know that, right? Here’s the thing… I don’t have CMV. It affects between 50-80% of adults, and 90.8% of people aged 80+ have it. It’s not noticeable for most healthy people that contract it after they’re born, but it can be dangerous if contracted while pregnant. I give blood as often as I’m allowed, and they once called back to inform me that I’m CMV-negative, and therefore my blood is extra pure.

So that’s how I ended up Mrs. CNV, à la Hillary Rodham Clinton and Kay Bailey Hutchison. And John Wayne Gacy. As Slate said, “In a way, it is an ingenious political solution: By shunting their old names into a prominent middle-name status, aspiring first ladies can signal to red states that they defer to their husbands while winking at the blue states that they still have their own names.”


Grab a Prop & Strike a Pose


One of the best decisions we made for the wedding was to rent a photo booth for our guests. We chose the Party Booth from Shifoto, a Ma & Pop photography business based in West Virginia. They were so kind, helpful, professional and communicative.

We asked for all the photos to be in black and white (it’s classic and it hides sweaty flushed faces), and we put out a couple of chalkboard speech bubbles, a 20 piece set of photo booth props, and a framed print of the image above found here on Pinterest.

It was a blast — we got so many compliments on it from our guests — even the minister and his wife hopped in! It helped keep everyone busy while we were photographed after the ceremony and before the reception, and it provided lots of entertainment when people took a break from dancing.

Here are a few of our favorites (so hard to choose!). You can see the whole set here.

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Mr. & Mrs.

Andrés & I were married this weekend in the mountains of West Virginia, surrounded by crisp air, changing leaves, a gorgeous lake and our closest family and friends.

We exchanged vows of unconditional love, support, and respect; of accepting each other’s faults; of attending each other’s needs; of teamwork; of nurturing growth and embracing change.

It was perfect.

woods at sunset

deer in woods

gazebo before wedding


Y doing her hair

A and B

decorated gazebo

gazebo aisle


wedding rings


More photos to come.

Wedding To-Do

We’re getting married in one week. Here’s how the To-Do List is looking:


  • Date set
  • Officiant booked
  • Venues reserved
  • Photobooth booked
  • Photographer reserved
  • Cake ordered
  • Cake flowers ordered
  • Cake topper ordered
  • Dress ordered
  • Guest list finalized
  • Engagement photos taken
  • Save the Dates printed & mailed
  • Spanish Announcements printed
  • Invitations printed
  • Bridesmaids dresses ordered
  • Jars / lanterns / candles acquired
  • Andrés’ gift purchased

To Do:

  • Sign contract on venues 
  • Finalize menu: food / alcohol
  • Sign contract with photographer
  • Book DJ (meeting 7/29)
  • Mail Invitations
  • Get marriage license 
  • Meet with minister 1 (7/28) / 2 (8/18)
  • Schedule events for ceremony / reception
  • Decorations
    • Lace & twine jars crafted
    • Candelabra 
    • White lights + drapery
    • Burlap table runners (14) (Mom making)
    • Aubergine napkins
    • Peony paper flowers
    • Sparklers / bubbles / matchboxes / galvanized pails
    • Chalkboard silver trays + stands
    • Photobooth props
    • Lavender in bags & cigar wedding favors
    • Guestbook tree (A making) + ink + pens + wipes
    • Escort cards (doillies, craft paper) (after 9/22)
    • Large chalkboards, chalk pen
    • Candleabra
    • Speaker
    • Bathroom baskets (A gathering)
  • Attire
    • Bride: dress fittings: 1, 2 / veil (A making) + hair flowers / shoes (ceremony + reception) / jewelry / faux fur wrap / clutch / lingerie
    • Bridesmaids: faux fur wraps / shoes / gifts
    • Groom:  tux /shoes / rings / gifts
    • Groomsmen: tuxes
  • Flowers (meeting 8/18)
    • Bride / Bridesmaids bouquets (1 + 3)
    • Groom / Groomsmen boutonnieres (4)
    • Mother / Grandmother corsages (5)
    • Baby’s breath decor bundles (20 for isles)
  • Reserve cabin for wedding night

My second dress fitting is on Monday (I’m bringing Andrés’ mom!). My mom has a few more runners to make. I need to check in with A about the guestbook tree, veil, & bathroom baskets. The escort cards are made, I just need to write the names & table numbers on them. Not too bad!

Processional & Recessional

wedding ceremony speaker


We booked a DJ for the reception, but we figured we could handle the ceremony music ourselves — with the help of my sister’s boyfriend.

I didn’t want to by a dinky CD player just for this, so we splurged on the ION Tailgater Speaker System for iPod. It’s small, but it packs a punch. It’s perfect for house parties, outside barbecues, or… wedding ceremonies.

The processional songs are:

The recessional song:


Titi Miriam

The main decorations for our wedding are lace covered jars and coffee filter peonies.

Andrés’ aunt has helped me SO much. I get a little teary-eyed when I think about how gracious she’s been — never complaining or backing out. She decorated dozens of jars, in detail (the simple ones above are my own), and she assembled over 60 paper peonies. She’s incredible, and I’m grateful to have her. Last night she called and asked if I needed her to make more. Bless you, Miriam.