Last weekend we scooted down to South Carolina for a special family weekend. My sweet cousin was getting married! We opted to head down Thursday to give ourselves a little extra time since the drive is so long. It's not fun to do it twice in four days but it would be even less to try and do it twice in just three days. And the other bonus of leaving early meant one extra day of hanging with some of our favorite people! We spent Thursday night at our close friends house, complete with snuggles from their two kiddos and then a grown up double date night. This is the couple that introduced us and we love them and their sweet family dearly so it was an awesome bonus to spend some time with them.
Friday was low-key to start with a yummy breakfast from the local biscuit company. Oh boy am I glad to be moving back to the land of biscuits soon! And afterwards hubby and I headed over to my sister's in-laws so he could FINALLY meet her, my bro-in-law and their boys! I know, I know...it's crazy that they haven't met. But since hubby and I didn't start dating until after they moved overseas, they've had to settle for facetime introductions. It warms my heart that even with only facetime the boys have still gotten to know him and Shannon tells me they ask about their uncle often. But the in person meeting had been long awaited and was finally here! We played trucks and planes and they showed off all their toys and asked questions and snuggled and we were all around thrilled to be in the same room as one another.
After our reunion it was lunch, repacking suitcases and then just about time to get dressed and ready for the rehearsal and dinner. It should be noted that it had been pouring cats and dogs for DAYS leading up to this weekend. Seriously, all week- just buckets. But it miraculously stopped in time for us to make our way to the ceremony space. The setting the bride and groom had selected was truly stunning with just the most gorgeous views of the mountains. Even overcast it was gorgeous. This picture does not do it justice but trust me, the Blue Ridge mountains are an A+ backdrop for a wedding.
We practiced till it was perfect...the coordinator made sure of it. Then we loaded ourselves up in the cars to head to dinner downtown. The dinner was delicious and full of delightful conversation with family and some new friends. Hubby makes friends easily and often and I never worry about dropping him into a situation where he doesn't know many people. After dinner, we met up with rest of the family and hubby got to meet the last few members that he hadn't met yet while we all hung out in the hotel lobby telling old stories and some new ones.
Saturday came much too quickly. This was not a weekend for sleeping in. So our carload headed over to meet up with the rest of the bridal party to start getting ready. But of course, not before stopping at Starbucks. Every bride (and her ladies) needs their favorite coffee to start the wedding day off right! My cousin had gotten us the softest pajama shirts to wear while getting ready. So did I go into Starbucks in a pajama shirt? Yes. Was there a very long line and did I have to stand there in my pajamas for about 20 minutes? Yes. Was I embarrassed? Absolutely not. The shirts were exactly what I expected from my cousin because they were delightfully cozy as opposed to some of the less practical getting ready outfits you see brides give out.
I should point out that my hair and makeup did not look anything like this when I was standing in the Starbucks line. They were much less glam and much more, I didn't get enough sleep.
Caffeine in hand we were ready! Because getting reading for a wedding takes a while y'all. Boys have it so easy, they arrive, get dressed and it's time to go. But we ladies have a few more things on our to-do list. But we make it fun, with lots of snacks, music and girl talk. There's not many quiet moments when you put 7 women together in one room for several hours.
Several hours, an cans of hairspray later we were all dressed and ready, it was time for the main event. The bride was stunning and we all peeked behind the trees for her first look moment with her dad and then her groom before it was time to walk down the aisle.
The ceremony was lovely, and only a little wet. Yes, there had been no rain ALL day. But we did get a small shower during the ceremony. But how can you even care when two of the best people are in the middle of the best moment of their life? Plus, it came complete with a rainbow! Now I know they say rain on your wedding day is good luck, so I have to assume that a rainbow appearing behind you while you're saying your vows is even luckier! I don't have any ceremony pictures just yet because it's frowned upon to take pictures while standing up in front of everyone as part of the wedding party but I assure you it was magical.
A few more pictures then it was time for dinner. Oh and toasts! All three toasts were lovely and I am not sure I have ever laughed so hard at a toast as I did for the best man...it was so creative and witty and all the guests were very impressed. Should I ever need to make a toast in the future I will be asking him for advice. After dinner was dancing time. Now let me tell you, my husband loves to dance. Loves it! So we were out there most of the night tearing up the dance floor with all of our moves. Some of them graceful and impressive, some a bit more silly. My husband danced his tail off...quite literally. He may or may not have left the evening with a tear in his dress pants.
Don't say he doesn't know how to have a good time! This photo was my husband's idea and I'm not sure my bro-in-law was quite as excited but I'm pretty sure it fills both my sister and I with immense joy that these two men got along so well their first weekend meeting.
A sparkler send off concluded the magical evening and we helped load all the cars with all the things before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday equals another early morning, breakfast at a local spot and lots of hugs, kisses and see you soons to so many of our favorite people before making the long trek home. I've made that drive many times but after such a full weekend, I've got to say it was a bit tougher and required a few extra stops for renewed energy. But as I flopped into bed that evening I was overwhelmed with the joy from the weekend. My cousin is such a special person and she found the most special man to spend her life with, And celebrating that with the people nearest and dearest to me was such a gift.
Cheers to the newlyweds and the best weekend!