My days were spent working on various wedding crafts (I'm officially obsessed with making flower crowns), watching Gilmore Girls and soaking up time with family and friends. Which in my book, translates to the ultimate vacation. Although I missed Matt terribly, I enjoyed every day that I was home.
So to ease my homesickness as I return back to my life down here, I thought I'd share the few pictures I have from the weekend, mostly taken with my iPhone (lugging the Canon around was tempting, but I figured it would get in the way of my MOH duties..)
Here's a shot of Ashby & Abram during the rehearsal dinner. It had rained terribly that day, making for a very soggy and muddy wedding site. Our good friend Bethany put on her Wedding Coordinator hat for the night and directed us around joyfully, wine glass in hand. After tiptoeing around the grass for a while, we headed back inside for an incredible dinner.
After saying good bye to his bride-to-be that night, Abram went out for brotherly-bonding time with Matt and my brother at the pub downstairs. Ashby, Bethany and I sipped coffee and picked through the left over desserts as the staff cleaned up around us. It felt so surreal to me that she was getting married the next day! I don't think my sister has ever been described as a "calm" person, but I know she never cracks under pressure and was especially relaxed for someone who was getting married in a mere 15 hours.
The next morning, after scarfing down a continental breakfast while simultaneously doing my hair and makeup, I headed over to Ashby's hotel. (Note to self: next time, have girls stay in your hotel too so that your poor husband doesn't have to answer frantic questions about eye liner and bobby pins while half-asleep.)
Ash let me do her make up that morning, which in wedding world is a pretty big privilege, but in Ashby's world it's an even BIGGER privilege because she doesn't normally wear make up. She looked absolutely gorgeous, and later, Abram told me he couldn't even tell she had make up on. (Success!)
After that, I zipped over to the venue to start setting everything up. It was quite the group effort and things went seamlessly, thanks to all the help from my family (and to the extra large iced latte my husband showed up with). Seriously family, thank you! As you can tell from our squinting eyes in the picture, it was SUNNY! 85 degrees, in fact. I set up as much as I could and then handed everything over to my Aunt Jackie before slipping on my bridesmaid dress and getting ready for pictures. This part was the most hilarious and most memorable. In new shoes that were digging into my ankles, (didn't break my shoes in beforehand, what an amateur), I ran back and forth from the alter to the parking lot in attempts to smuggle Ashby into her dressing room without Abram getting a peek at her. When she pulled into the parking lot, she was barefoot, brushing her teeth and holding her dress bag. Classic.
She stepped into her dress while I placed her flower crown on her head and waved the photographer in for a few shots of us tying the satin bow in the back. A few sniffling bridesmaids were crammed into the room with us and (thankfully) took a picture that captured the moment perfectly.
After a few hand signals and more sneaking, we got Ashby from the dressing room without Abram seeing her. We all stayed back (but of course secretly spied) as Ashby greeted her soon-to-be husband.
About an hour and a couple flower girl meltdowns later, it was time to watch Ashby walk down the aisle!
The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a blast. I was zipping around most of the day, but still managed to enjoy a drink with my friends, take pictures of the bride and groom, dance with Matt to "Sweet Home Alabama" and step up to the mic to make a quick toast.
I've never really been that involved in a wedding, besides my own, but I tried to do as much as possible for Ashby so she could simply enjoy. I've never seen her as happy as I did on Saturday. She even came out on the dance floor for a couple songs!
Ash, it was an honor to get to serve and help you! I rarely get chances to do so, as you are older, wiser and wildly independent. And live in Africa. That day was beautiful, fun and went by way too quickly. I love you!
I'm sure I won't be able to resist posting more pictures as they surface; but for now, that's a pretty quick version of what Saturday was like!
Congratulations, Ashby and Abram!