Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Sister-in-Law and Brother's Wedding Weekend

Only about a 2 months behind on this one.... On a Thursday afternoon toward the end of May, S and I loaded our car up with a ton of wedding decorations, dog supplies, clothes, snack foods, and of course the pup, and drove 7 hours to Jackson, Mississippi for my brother D and sister-in-law B's wedding weekend!  We arrived fairly late on Thursday night at the lake house that my parents had rented for the weekend and promptly crashed after feeding and walking the pup and unloading the car.  The next morning Pandora woke us up uncommonly early (she's usually fairly good about letting us sleep in on weekends, but since she was in a new place and knew that "grandma" was also there she was raring to go sometime around 6 am...  Ugh.)  We were able to take it easy most of the day on Friday.  We ran a few errands (S needed beer and we had to get Pandora's nails trimmed because the clacking against the wood floors as she sprinted everywhere all the time was driving us nuts) and then drove into town to meet up with D and B for dinner at The Manship, one of their favorite restaurants.  It was delicious and I'm now committed to learning how to make rillette so I can eat it all the time.  After dinner we went to the hotel where a number of the wedding guests were staying so that we could grab a drink with some of D's friends.  That night my other brother J arrived with his wife J.
Pandora meets her first fish!
Saturday was really the beginning of the wedding prep work.  In the morning the guys went to go pick up their tuxes and grab some brunch while we made a Target trip for some toiletries that J had forgot to bring and food for the wedding day breakfast.  When we got back to the house I practiced wedding hairstyle options on my mom (I'm her official hair and makeup stylist...).  In the afternoon we drove out to Cathead Distillery for the pre-wedding festivities.  There were lot of yummy drinks using Cathead's three signature flavors of vodka, food trucks serving southern style bbq and friend chicken, gourmet popsicles (I had more than a few of these), live music, and games galore.  A number of the wedding guests showed up to party including friends of D and B, family, and family friends.  It was so much fun!! At the end of the evening D climbed into the dunk booth and due to all of his friends and family wanting to dunk him wound up raising a lot of money for a local cherity!  After the distillery we went to the hotel again to meet up with and say hi to a number of my parents' friends who had just arrived from Illinois and then back to the house to feed and walk our attention starved pups (my mom and dad brought their 2 dogs as well) and make the fruit salad for Sunday.

Sunday was a FRENZY of activity!  The guys took on dog duty while the gals loaded up the car with all of the decorations and food that we had as well as dresses, toiletries, makeup, etc.  My mom and I were tasked with providing breakfast foods for the bridal party while getting ready.  We had the fruit salad that we made the previous night, so we stopped off to pick up donut holes and kolaches and hit up the grocery store to get some orange juice and bottled water before making our way to the venue.  We got there at 9 and started unloading everything into the venue.  After setting up the breakfast food, I got to work decorating the chuppah with the fabric and lights that I'd brought and J and another bridesmaid helped me out.  The maid of honor was the florist and the flowers she added were the perfect finishing touch.  It was a gorgeous chuppah if I don't say so myself!  I also put out the place cards for the reception seating and did my mom's hair and makeup.  All the while, the bride was getting her hair and makeup done.  I finally got around to getting ready myself and then my mom, J, and I worked on "crocheting" B into her dress (we had to use crochet hooks to secure the zillion little buttons that snaked up the back of her dress).   Then it was upstairs for pictures!

J and I "crocheting" B into her dress

The rest of the afternoon/evening went by in a blur.  Trying to remember all of the family and bridal party pictures that we needed to take (we forgot to print out the list... doh!), helping the bride maneuver through tiny doorways onto balcony's for photos, doing a practice run of the ceremony so we all knew where to stand, witnessing the signing of the ketubah, last minute hair and makeup touch ups while we waited for the guests to get seated, and of course the wedding (which was perfect).  I tried really hard to do as much as I could to help B so that her wedding would be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.  I think I may have stressed myself out a bit in the process but it was worth it as long as she enjoyed herself!  B had other helpers too, her friend M was such an amazing help as the day-of wedding ceremony coordinator and I think that she was a clincher in helping B have an enjoyable day as well!

After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour, although I barely got to enjoy the delicious cheese spread as I spent most of the time trying to help out.  I touched up B's eye makeup in their wedding suite while they noshed on appetizers, and then I proceeded to round up all of the extended family and organize them for the large family photos.  I'm not sure if the photographer found me annoying for being so bossy or if he appreciated it as trying to organize that many people for a photo was like trying to herd cats.  I'm hoping it was the latter.  I finally managed to get a small hunk of carmelized onion goat cheese dip (sans cracker as they had all been consumed already) and a glass of wine at the end and it was worth it.

The traditional tequila shot with grandma!
The reception was a lot of fun!  The food that the venue provided was really tasty.  I was tempted to go back for seconds but didn't want S to have to roll me around the dance floor.  There was a really fun photo booth set up with a box of fun props, great dance music, and of course the traditional tequila shots with grandma and all of her grandkids!  At the end of the night I worked with the DJ and a couple of the other bridesmaids to give D and B a sparkler "send off" (they were actually staying in the hotel that night, but it was a gorgeous photo op and a great way to officially end the event).  The venue did most of the cleanup, but I stuck around to take down the chuppah, bring all of the gifts and decorations to D and B's room, and load the car back up.
My parents had invited all of the family to come over to the lake house for brunch on Monday.  Thankfully I got to sleep in a bit (I had a slight migraine from all of the loud music and flashing lights) while my parents ran to the grocery store in the morning for the food.  When we woke up, S and I packed up all of our stuff and loaded the car then he played with the pup by the lake for a while (we felt bad for leaving her in her crate all day during the wedding) while I helped my mom get the food ready.  Family started arriving and we had a really fun morning mingling, catching up, and reliving the fun moments from the previous two day.  Around noon S and I piled into the car with Pandora and drove back home to Houston.  It was an exhausting but lovely weekend and we're so thrilled that B is officially a part of the family now!