A couple weeks ago, I flew to Florida, along with my mom and brother, to spend the week with the beautiful bride-to-be, my cousin Casey. Casey was the maid of honor in my wedding, and as the "matron" of honor in her's, I definitely wanted to offer the same support before her big day.
The week and weekend were action packed, as time spent with my family always is! Wednesday we worked hard at making buckets for her hotel guests, table signs, and drink coozies (wedding favors). Wednesday night, we had dinner with immediate family that was starting to trickle into town.
On Thursday we headed to Dade City, FL for the bridesmaid luncheon at Lunch on Limoges. The food was great...especially the coconut cake I had for dessert! It was lovely to be with all the girls, our moms, Casey's Grandma Jeanne, and T.C.'s grandma Rita.
Here are the happy bridesmaids, and Casey.
Casey's three cousins (Ali, Haley, and myself)
and T.C.'s two sisters, Nikki and Andrea.
Thursday night Casey and T.C. hosted a BBQ at their house. The food was amazing....T.C. is quite the cook! It was great fun to meet some of T.C.'s friends who were starting to arrive from out of town. And then my Aunt Barb started drinking tequila with the boys! Yes!
The girls all loved Dave (one of the groomsmen..)
As the night went on, things got really fun when we had a corn-chucking contest into the lake in their backyard!
Friday morning we were up early to head to the spa! It was so luxurious. Casey was so generous in giving all the bridesmaids the gift of a massage! (Thanks again Casey!!!) And we all also had pedicures and lunch while we were there. We should do that every week...
Friday night, T.C.'s mother hosted a great party at a restaurant right on the riverbank in Port Richey, FL. And everything, of course, was pink and green, right down to Casey's dress and shoes.
My uncle Chet and Brian called each other the night before and planned to wear matching outfits....
My dad wanted to be part of the yellow-shirt gang.
Here I am with my cousin Ali...
And then...the big day arrived!!!!!
We started off the day with some last minute work to be done at Cathy and Ray's house (where the wedding was held). I put up the chuppah, Casey prepared a memorial table, and Cathy was frantically planting. Ray was so nice to cook us a great breakfast of bacon and waffles!
Around noon we headed to the salon to get our hair done. Casey was amazingly calm at this point. The Armstrong sisters had even arrived with mimosas! And we got to wear flowers in our hair...fun!
Once we got back to the house, things all started falling into place. We did our makeup and got dressed so that we were ready to help Casey get into her dress once the photographers arrived. And now, a word about the dresses....
I'm going to be honest here and say that from the moment the pepto-bismol colored dress arrived in the mail until the day of the wedding, I was not so excited about this particular bridesmaid dress. But....as soon as we all had them on, our hair and makeup were done, and we had flowers in our hair...an amazing change came over me! I loved the dresses!!! They were so festive and fun, and made me ready to party! Here's a good shot...I know, not really my style, but I actually had lots of fun in this dress!
Anyway, Casey got dressed...and looked amazing!!!! We took pictures around the property which will turn out beautifully I'm sure.
I definitely started crying as I walked down the aisle and heard my dad playing and singing John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith In Me". The ceremony was beautiful, and was conducted by Rabbi Birnholz, who our family has known for many years. There weren't many dry eyes in the place. Casey and T.C. wrote their own vows and they were lovely.
And then....bring on the fruity drinks! And more comfortable shoes!
What a great party. There was a huge white tent up in the yard with colorful paper lanterns,
tons of flowers (including orchids), a table full of old-fashioned candy, a tiki bar with frozen margaritas and pina coladas, a gigantic tub of beer, great food, and about 250 people. There was a steel drum player and a rockin' band. The toasts were wonderful (I mananged to make it through mine without being dragged, sobbing off the stage). Brian's favorite part was that Casey and T.C. got the official announcer for the Tampa Bay Bucaneers to record the wedding party and married couple introductions!! It was pretty cool....
So, we danced the night away and couldn't take our eyes off the beautiful couple. They're in Costa Rica right now, enjoying their honeymoon....and having fruity drinks. (jealous.....)
It was a wonderful, exhausting weekend. By the time it was all over, we all sort of felt a little like this....
And a little like this....
And a little like this....