Thursday, January 31, 2013

Furniture Idol

So, let's see what the judges think:

"(British Accent) This is the worst couch I have ever seen!  What were you thinking?"
"Yo dog, the colors are a little dingy, but it's iight."
"I just don't get it. Is it vintage?"

Wouldn't it be fun if there were judges following us around to help us decide how to fill our rooms?  We have all walked through the doors stunned as we look over a building filled to the brim with couches, chairs, lamps, beds, dressers, rugs, art, flooring samples, etc.  In a hushed, scared whisper we say,  "How am I ever going to choose?"  To make matters worse, each couch or chair has even more fabric options to choose from, causing more frustration.  Since we started the blog, we've had more readers coming to us for help and sharing with us their dreams of making their homes a star!  I have a way I'm able to narrow down the competition.   Pretend you are your own "Furniture Idol" judge.  Ask your self a few questions as you're looking at your next furniture purchase.

1. Where is it going?
Figure out where you're going to be putting the furniture.  Measure it out before hand, and start looking for something that will fit.

2. What's the function?
For example, if you're buying a couch, think about how many people you need it to seat.  Do you need it to turn into a place for sleeping?  Will you use it a lot or only occasionally? 

3. What's the Style?
What style is going to fit in your home?  Once you figure that out, look only for pieces that fit that style.

4. What Color?
Figure out the color scheme for your room and find pieces in those colors or in similar shades.

5. How much?
How much can you spend?  You don't want to blow all your money on one purchase..

Asking yourself these five question can help you figure out what the right choice will be to win a place in your home, and win the title of being the next "Furniture Idol!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Black to the Future

Welcome to 2013!  Even though we have been here for a month now, it's always a good time to see what's trending with the world.  Apparently, the other Kardashian (Khloe) is pregnant, and why did Selena Gomez break up with the Beibster?  We, on the other hand, have been more interested in what's trending in my favorite thing - home design!
Black is Back
If you ask, me black had never left.  For 2013 it's all about the color black.  There's something that makes black a classic, yet feel so fresh.  Here are some of the House of Brockman top picks to add black into your home.

1. Black Crystal Chandelier
Looks like a classic, but when the crystal's color changes to black, it makes a head turner!  Double take anyone?

2. Paint a Wall Black
We are in love with black walls.  I have to admit, you have to be a bit brave to do this.  In our home, Little Pea Cottage, the whole back wall from our kitchen to the laundry room is all painted black.  Think of it like a diamond placed in front of a black back drop makes it look even more brilliant.

3. Black Accent Chairs
Love, love, love!  An easy way to bring the color black into your room without making a huge change.  Plus, you can easily move it when your done with it.
4. Black and White Family Pictures
Easiest way to add some black, and let's face it, everyone looks better in black and white.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Color Blind

It's not always as interesting as a bowl full of Skittles, or in our case, a crystal candy dish full of Skittles.  Mmm...all those colorsWhat I'm really talking about is the dreaded, and sometimes painful experience of choosing paint colors.  Standing in front of the paint color swatch wall, scared, feeling more alone than ever.  How is anyone ever supposed to choose just one color in a sea of color and funny names?  You see colors like "Dusty Lane" or "Sassy Green."  Personally, I would love to have the job of naming paint colors.  I would name them colors like, "Ride my Bus Yellow," or "Too Much to Drink Brown."  For the past few weeks I have been helping a friend who is renovating his 1950's ranch.  I've been counseling him on layouts, cabinets, tiles, and of course paint color.  I have a few rules when it comes to picking the right paint for any room, to insure you don't end up with a color that looks like "Too Much to Drink Brown."

1. How do You Want the Room to Feel?
Do you want dramatic, light and airy, fun and bright, cool and calm?  Figure out what you want.  This is the first clue that can narrow the choices down.  Here are the definitions of these phrases just in case you don't speak HGTV:
Dramatic - deep, rich colors like purples, navy blues, or deep reds
Light and airy - whites, or light shades of any color
Fun and bright - bold colors like oranges, yellows, reds, etc
Cool and calm - grays, greens, spa-like colors

2. What's in the Room?
This can be a game changer.  For example, one of the homes I grew up in had the worst Football Field Green carpet.  We hated it, but with limited money and bills to be payed, the carpet had to stay.  We had to choose our paint color carefully so as not to make matters worst.  I looked and looked for a color that would compliment that terrible colored carpet, until I found a golden yellowish brown, named "Soft Pebble." By the way, I've memorized every paint color my family and I have used since I has seven.  What can I say?  I'm good with paint names.  When we were done painting, it was as much success as the winning touch-down at the Homecoming game.  Other items in the room to consider: the furniture, art, drapes, etc.

3. Whats the Finish?
There are a few different types of paint: Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-gloss, and High-gloss.  Why so many finishes you ask?  Well, it depends on where your putting it of course, and if you have kids.  Flat paint equals no shine and no kids.  If you try to clean a wall with flat paint, both the dirty finger prints, and the paint are coming off.  Eggshell is a little better, but not much.  Satin is what I use most of the time.  It's a durable paint which you can clean if needs be.  With a medium shine level, it can catch the light ever so slightly, but doesn't look like a reflection.  Semi-gloss is great for bathrooms and kitchens.  It cleans like a breeze, and look Mom! No paint is gone!  High-gloss is awesome, and another one of my favorites.  I used high-gloss paint when painting my furniture.  It leaves an almost refection-like shine.  We also used this in our entryway of out house, Little Pea Cottage.  The entry was a little dark, but we wanted a dramatic, glamorous color for the entry, which is also our gallery.  We painted it a high-gloss dark gray, and with the little light from the overhead window, and the lights from the chandeliers, you can see light reflecting off the walls, making it feel dramatic and glamorous.

4. That's Not my Color!
Beware of falling in love with the paint on the paint swatch.  Here's a little secret: the paint dries two shades darker than what's on the swatch.  The color can also look different in your house than it does at the store.  So, make sure before you buy your paint, check to see how it looks in your room.  Believe me, it's worth it.  Thank goodness paint swatches are free!

5. Paint a Little, Pick a Little
Last of all, stop before you spend all that money buying all those gallons of paint.  If you only buy a pint size, you can paint a little of your top contenders.  Live with them for a while see which one is the best for you and for your room.  This will makes things easier when it comes to only having to pick a few colors, when faced with the sea of color.

Here's hoping you don't go color blind with all the choices of paint, and if worst comes to worst, it's only paint!  You can always paint again!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Swap That!

A question for the masses: Would you like to decorate a room for free?  I figured that would peek your intrest.  Here is my second question: Who likes to party?  I hope you said yes to both because I have a genious way of how you can have the best of both worlds!  Most of the ladies reading I'm sure have heard of a clothes swapping party.  Friends come together and bring lightly worn threads that they just don't want any more.  The tricky part is making sure you don't bring one of your friend's sweaters you forgot to return back.  Much like the clothes, I had the idea of doing this same thing, but with furniture instead. 

Potential Problem Averted
As a host of this furniture swapping  party, you don't want a room full of furniture stacked to the ceiling, projecting the new style of a horder.  The guests problem would be actually bringing the furniture.  I can see all the guests dressed in there party best, pulling up in U-hauls, or even better, valeting their U-haul trucks.  Neighbors would be hearing the sounds of beeping from the backing trucks all night, and as much fun as that would be to experience... This can be all avoided with a simple picture.  You can either have your guests bring a picture of the furniture they are tired of and want to get rid of, or have them email you a picture so you can have them all ready to view in time for the party.  I would first set up a few ground rules to insure people aren't tyring to give away furnitrure that's broken, badly scratched up, or missing parts without leting other guests know.  You could write what kind of condition the piece is in on the back of each picture.  Most of all, have fun.  As you know, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

House of Brockman's 10 Design Rules

Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!  As the House of Brockman continues to grow, we wanted to take the opportunity out of your busy day to share another list.  I believe everyone has a list inside of them.  Your very own 10 design rules.  These rules help govern our choices about what we like, why we like them, and how we want to live.  So here at the House of Brockman, we wrote out our design rules to share with you.  Please feel free to share some of yours.

1. Be True to You
I think this is so important when it comes to design.  Your home is an extension of who you are.  An outward expression of your likes and dislikes.  I hate it when you visit a home, and it feels like the home and the owner have split personalities.  Decorate for you and not for what others may like.

2. Make Your Room Fit
Have you ever been in a home that feels like a Crayola Crayon Box?  The kitchen is red, the living room is blue, the bathroom is yellow, and master bedroom is purple.  My only hope for the people living in the Crayon Box is that they are color blind; unaware of the color abuse smacking them in the face.  I believe that your home should feel as one.  No, that doesn't mean you have to paint every room the same color.  Work with similar shades and styles of furniture so each room flows into one another.

3. Mix and Match
I love design.  Now-a-days it's just so personal.  It's not all about living with one style anymore. You no longer are forced to live in a period style.  Just because you live in a Victorian home doesn't mean your have to sport interiors like "Downton Abby."  It's OK to have a french antique table, with an abstract modern painting hanging on the wall, with a crystal chandelier, all in a modern concrete and glass home.  You can make it your own by mixing and matching different styles.

4. Keep it Young
My personal style is Young Traditional.  I'm not a fan of homes feeling old and dingy, or like a museum where your guests feel like they have to be cautious of where to sit, making sure they stay behind the velvet rope keeping them away from the exhibit.  You can still use Grandma's furniture, but there are clues that dates it like a re-run of "Leave it to Beaver."  These clues can be the fabric choices, color combinations, light fixtures, or art choices.  If you freshen those up, Grandma's furniture will start to feel young again.

5. Don't Over Think It
I believe your home should speak for itself.  I never want people to come into our home and say, "I just don't get it."  I never want to have to explain why I decorated a certain way, or tell them why it looks awesome, hopelessly trying to convince them that it really is stylish.  Don't over think it! Creativity is great, but when you're about to hang a chair upside down from the ceiling because you think it's a good idea, please - for all our sakes - put the chair down and step away!

6. Use it
Use or loose it.  It's important to use your home and everything in it.  I've heard stories of mothers who have "special rooms" which are off limits to all.  The strict mom gives heated threats, where if she sees any evidence that anyone has been in the room, the FBI will be called to track down the criminal.  With no remorse, the accused will be shipped off to a correctional facility to correct their terrible behavior.  If you don't use it, or plan to use it, just get rid of it!  There is no reason to waste space or to harass your family.

7. Invest in your Bedroom
I love all rooms, but there is nothing like a great bedroom.  Your bedroom is where the magic should happen.  Your oasis should be comfortable, stylish, and personal.  A place you never want to leave. My personal must haves in our bedroom are: all white bedding, sconces for reading in bed, an amazing mattress - what better to sleep on my dear - and, lastly, I've always have a four poster bed since I was 12.  Your bedroom is the most important place to invest for you.

8. Look for the Surprise!
Maybe it's just me, but I try to never take my interiors too seriously.  I love to find quirky fun things for our home.  I love to have surprises for me and my guests!  I received a  small statue from a friend while she was in Chile.  Since the day I received it, I placed it on my coffee table.  As many guests do when they are sitting on your couch, they start to lurk about.  I always knew when a guest had picked up the statue because I would hear an, "Oh my!" and it would be quickly put back down.  To my guests surprise, when you picked up this statue something poked out at them, and it was a bit of a shock.  Wink, wink.

9. Let There be Light
Just like an outfit without shoes would look ridiculous, a well put together room without the right lighting fixtures could look just the same.  Inside our home, Little Pea Cottage, you will find every room to have a chandelier.  Yes, including the bathrooms.  Great lighting fixtures are so important, they are a must have for you to take your room to the next level.  You don't need to be like us, having only chandeliers, but everyone should budget out good over head lighting.  Lighting fixtures are the "Wow" factor in any room.  Light makes your room feel alive and lived it.

10. Dining is a Must
As Emily and I looked for our first house, one of our must-haves was a place for our dining room table.  Most 20-something-year-olds don't normally care much about a dinning room, let alone a dinning room table.  For us, it's all about dinning.  I have to admit, we don't always eat dinner with linens and china, but we do most of the time.  I love a quote from Carson the Butler on "Downton Abby" where he said, "If your ever tired of style, your only tired with life."  Dinning rooms are another important place to invest because nothing brings people together more than the magical experiences which happen around a dinning room table.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Decorating 911

 We received an email the other day from a reader who felt she had problems when it came to decorating her first apartment.  Even those who have been home owners for years have these similar problems. With her consent, we want to share her email with our other readers.  In our next few posts, we'll be tackling the problems she faces with her apartment.  Please feel free to write in your own decorating problems.

"I am a 29 year old single woman who has finally gotten fed up with looking at the plain, artless walls in her first-ever apartment. I signed the lease for my one-bedroom, 650-square foot apartment back in April 2011. When I moved in, the only piece of furniture I brought with me were my bed and a few lawn chairs that I acquired from a dusty corner of my parents' garage. I ordered a pizza and bought myself a bottle of wine, which I enjoyed one plastic Dixie cup at a time.
It went all downhill from there...
You always assume that once you've acquired a place of your own, you'll become a more responsible, level-headed adult overnight. Not so. I quickly discovered that I had no idea how to live on my own. The first few months, I lived off of sandwiches, frozen foods, and pre-packaged meals. I spent most of my time in my room, watching DVDs, over and over again because I didn't know what else to do, and the front room was so open and spacious that the thought of having to fill it with furniture filled me with so much dread that I wondered if it wouldn't be easier to just move back home. I tried Craig's List first. I responded to a few of the posts - the ones that included pictures of the furniture they were selling, of course - but they never went anywhere. I tried a few second-hand stores, and was so dismayed by the condition of the couches that I never wanted to go back. It was then that I realized that magical gnomes weren't going to come up from underground and furnish my apartment for me, and that I was never going to be satisfied with anything that I saw because I was just too darn freaked out about the possibility of making a mistake. I have to get this right the first time! I can't waste money on an item that I do not love!
I did eventually come across one piece of furniture that I loved: a beautiful wooden table with sturdy teal-colored legs, handcrafted by a local carpenter. With it, came two benches, identical in style. I love this table. This table opened up the door of possibility. It was this single purchase that finally got me out of my bedroom, and into the living room.
My family - bless them - encouraged me to purchase a couch. Any couch. One that they could sit on instead of those hard, not-at-all supportive lawn chairs. So I went shopping. I bought a couch from Goodwill for the low, low price of $54. It's not a beautiful couch, mind you. It's got wear and tears, and it doesn't have that fluffy quality that I like (you know, a couch that is so comfortable and supportive that you find yourself falling asleep against it), but its something. It's a forest green color, with a gold trim, and it sits low on the ground.
Right now, I just want an apartment that I can be proud of. A place that I can come home to at the end of a long, hard day of work and say, "Yeah, everything is going to be okay now." Some place calming. A place to escape the outside world. I enjoy reading, and my personality has been described as very quiet and reserved. My ideal place to be to relax is a coffee shop. There's not much that I do in my spare time other than visit with my family. I work constantly, so its important to me to have a place where I can de-stress and chill. So, my issue is, I do not know how to create that space, and was hoping that you might be able to help me. Thanks for any advice you have to offer, and I look forward to hearing from you."

One Night Stands

One morning, I awoke to the sounds of a whimper and the constant jumping of our toy poodle, Bexley, against our bed.  I grudgingly opened my eyes, and the first thing that I saw was my night stand.  Hmmm, I started to think... No, it wasn't how I was going to shut up the dog, but what was interesting to me was what I had on my nightstand.  The truth about me lied only a foot away.  It made sense that if I'm going to spend 1/3 of my life in bed, that the items right next to it must be important.  How is it that we seem to overlook this piece of furniture and its importance?  Here is my question for you: What is on your night stand?

This is what's on mine:
•Our favorite wedding picture in a mirrored frame
•My wallet and cell phone
•Blue Willow tea cup
•My favorite magazines
•Two leather bound reproduction scriptures circa 1830's
•Vase of mossy rocks
•Three and a half foot candle stick

As I was talking to other friends about what was on their night stands, most of them were shocked by how many items they had on their nightstands. I think it tells a little story about who we are.  What does my night stand say about me?  The night stand itself is a french design; two tiered, with a marble top.  Truth be told, Emily and I found it by the dumpster at our old loft, and saw it was much too nice to be thrown away.  The night stand we chose says, I'm traditional in style and I have classic design.  The wedding picture says I'm sentimental and family focused, and the mirrored frame shows that I like a little glamour. My wallet and cell phone means the things I use the most are never out of my sight, and that everything has its place.  I usually like to drink a cup of red reuabus or mint tea out of my blue willow tea cup every night while I read my favorite magazinesThe leather reproduction scriptures show I'm religious and love old things.  I have an obsession for mossy rocks. You can find them at most design stores for a few dollars a piece.  Mine, on the other hand, were bought at the Dollar Tree: 5 rocks for $1. Not too bad! It shows that I'm always looking for a bargain. Last but not least is the over large candle stick, which means that bigger is better.   I love oversized accessories.
Now let’s see what truths lie only a foot away from your bed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The 20 Dollar Fix

What's in a list?  For a list called by any other name, shall they not be as helpful?  Let's list up your life, shall we?  Since we have started our blog, I have found myself constantly looking for inspiration. I've started noticing things I didn't notice before, and frankly, didn't seem to care much about.  I have been forced to take a quest into myself to try and explain my design secerts. So, as I walked into the house today, after a very long and wet day at work, I was struck with a wave of inspiration.  A LIST!

6 Ways to Instantly Spruce up a Room with less than $20

1. Throw Pillows: So easy!  My favorite places to find pillows seem to be Ross and Target.  But there is nothing like a custom made down pillow you make yourself.  Use this small pillow to make an old couch less tired or to finish a freshly made bed.

2. Sented Candles:  Just because your room looks like crap doesn't mean it has to smell like crap too.  So, light up and scare away the funk!

3. Fresh Flowers:  Is it sad that I think I love fresh flowers more that Emily loves fresh flowers? My personal favorites are white roses, hydrangeas, and peonies.  Unfortunately, Emily can see right through my smoke sceen.  I can never come home with flowers in hand and claim they are for her because she know the truth.

4. Art:  Look through those old family pictures, select a few to blow up to 8x10, find a frame with a mat, and BAM! Art!

5. Paint Something:  You can find most paint for under $20.  Paint that old coffee table, or even your walls which your darling children decided to decorate for you with makers.  Paint is the one of the easiest ways to breath new life into any room.  Chech out 50 Shades of Lamp

 6. Decluter:  Bills that are stacked on your desk, to many nick-nacks, and magazines that have been on your coffee table for years all need to go, or at least put up.  Look at it this way, your room will look better, and you're not burning any money - just carbs!

Is there anything better than a good list?  Please share with us some of your design finds under $20!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bonjour Baby

After 39 weeks, three days, one eviction notice, and a dash of Pitocin, we have our daughter, Little B.  Those who know us personally know we have been thinking about two different names.  The only problem was we had to to see what color her hair would be.  I know this may sound a little ridiculous.  We just hoped there wouldn't be the potential problem where she came out as bald as Emily's dad.  Thank goodness, due to lots of prayer and plenty of heartburn she was born with a full head of dark brown hair. We are both grateful that we were able to come up with names that both of us were happy to yell out when our daughter is grounded or to say when we tell her how much we love her.  We have many friends that have under gone "The Battle of the Names" game.  These are the name we decided on:

Paisley Roux Brockman
What a better first name than one of our favorite patterns?  Roux translates from french into Red Hair, which is why we had to wait until we saw if she had red hair.  I have to admit, her name sounds  like a paint color.  "I just painted my dinning room in Paisley Roux!"  That's right Benjamin Moore, eat your heart out!

Elle Clairette Brockman
People have asked us why we wanted to name her Elle.  Our answer? "Because Vogue would be a stupid name for a child, of course!"  Clairette means bright, famous, and rare.  Our little girl would definitely fit that description.  It proved to be very difficult finding a middle name for Elle because every one we tried seemed to sound Spanish.  Elle Rose, Elle Sienna.  I have eaten at both of those Mexican restaurants in California.

Both Emily are I are so blessed to have little Elle in our lives, even though we didn't get the tax breaks for 2012. I'm so grateful to have finally have our daughter. True to form of what we thought, Elle was a little difficult. After about two weeks of failed attempts to induce the baby on our own, she just wasn't coming. We spent hour after hour in the hospital with very little progress. Our baby never dropped low enough and Emily had to under go a C-section. As I looked around the OR, feeling like I was on the set of Grey's Anatomy, waiting to hear her cry for the first time, I looked over at Emily and whispered, "Thank you. Are you ready?" With a loud cry from our little girl signaling her first breath, both Emily and I shed a tear. As the nurses were cleaning her up, I could see her brown hair and I heard the nurse say, "she weighs 6lbs. 13oz." What!? The doctor we saw just two days prior said she was almost 8lbs, and that was a big reason as to why she wasn't dropping. Then, realizing who's daughter she was, we figured she didn't want to squish up her pretty face for the pictures. There was no way she was going to squeeze her head through that little hole. There was no problem for her mother to sacrifice just little for Elle to have a good glamour shot. We are excited to she what this little girl has in store for us. I was thinking how amazing it was, what taking a chance and following my heart has brought me in just three and a half years

Thursday, January 3, 2013

When Chris Met Emily - The Movie

Lights! Camera! Memories! Since most of our readers weren't at our reception, we have decided to show the World Premiere of the silent movie, "When Chris Met Emily," for all of our House of Brockman viewers. So, dim the lights, pull up your favorite chair, and pop some pop corn if you wish. Enjoy the show!

We want to give special thanks to both Joshua Meggison for editing, and to Mary White for filming.

Our Wedding Made us Want to Flip the Byrd

Since Emily and I are about to have a baby, I've been reflecting on what started it all - the wedding. 
The Proposal
I'm not sure if you've gotten the message yet, but we love a good story.  To follow suit, the proposal was just that.  "What better way to start our love story than with a book store." I thought.  I called the book store and said, "I hope you can help me.  I'm about to propose to my girlfriend in your store tonight."  I heard a loud "YES!" from a middle aged woman on the other end of the phone.  "Oh, how romantic!"  I continued explaining my most ingenious plan to the woman.  My plan was in set in motion.  To Emily's surprise, I arrived at her house unexpectedly and grabbed her by the hand and said, "You're coming with me."  Unaware as to what was about to happen, her mind was swimming of different ideas, "Maybe we'll go to a fancy dinner, or a romantic walk through Colonial Williamsburg."  But, as we pulled up to the book store, I saw her face change from an excited smile to a puzzled, confused look.  "What are we doing here?" she asked.
"I thought we could look at some wedding ideas."
"Oh.  OK." she said.   We walked over to the wedding section and I started loading her up with books to look at.  Then, I grabbed a small book with red leather binding and said, "Hey, look at this one."  She opened it and realized it was a journal.  An empty journal.  She flipped to the front page and there read.
With these pages we will write our own Fairy Tale.  And what better way to start than,
 Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl who married this boy....
She looked up, saw me on one knee, and of course she said yes!  We even had a standing ovation from the shoppers and workers around us.
Things became much more interesting after that...
If you have been married, you know what happens after the couple gets engaged.  One minute you're happy and smiling, then you're so stressed out you think pulling out your hair is a good idea.  Who should we invite?  How much is our budget?  Flowers cost what!?  It's enough to make you want to take a hostage.  It's interesting that when planning a day which is supposed to be all about the bride and groom, everyone comes out of the wood work to put in their own agendas.  My number one rule for weddings it to make sure the bride and groom are happy, and everything is what they want."  We love you family and friends of the bride and groom, and we love that you want to help.  But remember, you had your wedding already, or you will have one in the future, and that's when you have the right to do what you want.
The Venue
One day as we were at Emily's parent's house, we were talking about different ideas of where to have the wedding.  We had a budget of $2000, so it had to be somewhere reasonable.  We talked about places in Williamsburg, which quickly turn into something quite different.  Before we knew it, we were joking about bowling alleys, movie theaters, white doves, circus performers, a bounce house, or anything crazy and unrealistic.  No offence to the bride and groom with the bounce house, of course.  But in this crazy whirl wind of ideas, one stuck out - a movie theater!  Why not?  I knew of just the place - The Byrd Theater.
The Byrd is a Richmond, Virginia landmark of pre-war decadence.  It was once was a silent movie theater, now turned into a regular movie theater.  It was perfect!  Gold mirrors, chandeliers everywhere, huge red velvet draperies.  There was only a couple problems, they didn't do wedding receptions, and if you remember, we only had $2,000 to work with.
Tip: if you have a small budget, try places that have never done weddings before.  These places don't always know what their space is worth, so sometimes you can talk them into giving you a good deal.  Due to my never-take-no-for-an-answer mind set, I called up the theater and explained in detail what we wanted and what we were planning on using the space for.  Somehow, we got it!
The Wedding Day
Emily and I were happily married on October 14, 2011 in Washington D.C.  It felt like a movie even though it was raining.  As we were taking pictures, kissing in the rain with over sized umbrellas over head. the rain started to subside and blue skies quickly followed.  After a lovely wedding came four hours of traffic, and the luncheon that sparked a fight between the bride's family and the groom's family.  Not to mention the wedding plague that was staring to go around to different members of both families.  Emily an I traveled back to Richmond in the traffic previously mentioned and stopped off at the apartment to grab our things before heading to the hotel.  Emily then, gracefully threw up in the apartment building's elevator.  I guess this is what they meant by "in sickness and in health?"  So, our first night as man and wife was spent with chills, sweats, and vomiting in our hotel room.
The Reception Day
I was very grateful we planned to have our reception the day after the wedding since we had the unfortold traffic the day prior.  I woke up that morning to the most unsettling feeling in my stomach, much like what Emily had described the day before.  But I couldn't think about that.  The show must go on!  Emily and I both got to the theater and all of our hard work came together.  We had one of our favorite restaurants cater the reception, New York Deli (which we still go to at least once a week).  Our guest could roam anywhere in the two story theater as well as in the lobbies, while listing to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.  The concession stand was open for our guests to enjoy popcorn and soda while the main spread was in the upstairs lobby.  Many guests  were quite surprised at the venue since it was very different from most traditional weddings.  It's a tradition at the Byrd to have the Wurlitzer (or organist) from the silent movie days play every Saturday night.  The management at the Byrd surprised us by entertaining our guests with a performance from the Wurlitzer.  He played a mixture of love songs and wedding songs.  When the songs came to an end, both the Wurlitzer and the organ lowered down into the pit, and the velvet curtains on the screen behind him went up.  Our guests got another surprise!  The lights dimmed and a silent movie that Emily and I made started playing.  It was called "When Chris met Emily" and was a representation of our love story.  Even though throughout the reception Emily and I were both sick, and other guests started to catch the Wedding Plague, the wedding and the reception were nothing short of memorable, and what's a party without a little drama?  Now, one year and  two and a half months later, we will shortly have our daughter, and our story is just starting to begin.
 To be continued...