Oh my, this post is so very long overdue. The holiday season got the best of me, but I'm back and ready to relive a special day in November.
As the Maid of Honor (MOH) in my friend Cody's wedding, I declared it my personal mission--with the help of an awesome best man--to get the entire wedding party together, plus friends and family. We wanted a stress-free celebration for the bride and her lovely groom, Jesse.
The weather was not quite what you'd want for an outdoor engagement party at a picturesque winery. Cold and rainy. More like frigid, but we made it work anyway. I stayed up late Friday night forcing myself to be crafty, and woke up early Saturday...positively jittery with excitement.
Luckily he sensed I was on the edge of party-planning panic mode and gave in. Whew. What would I have done without pictures of the happy couple on every surface??
Here's a look at the before version of our corner of the barn. (That sounds super country, but it was perfect.) Cody worked at Balducci's Winery when we were in high school, so it was neat to be in a place with some great memories for the bride's family and friends.
I don't have a good after picture, but here's the finished cake table! When I first got there I had NO idea what to do, but thanks to some very helpful boys, Co's future sister-in-law, and my mom, we transformed the space!
Cutest pumpkin I've ever seen. Also, who can successfully draw the state of Missouri?? Megan Burkett, that's who.
The guys who showed up early to help were so cute and patient as I bossed them around, demanding they adjust the placement of tablecloths and pictures frames. HUGE thanks to Spencer, Billy and my brother Matt and my mom for saving the day.
I decided to do this little project at the last minute, and totally thought it would be a bust. As usual, it's those ideas that often turn out to be the big hits.
We put out paper and pens for people to write their 'Words of Wisdom' for the bridge and groom. The results were insightful and hilarious. From couples who've been married for decades, to newlyweds and even the singles and under 18 crowd, all had great things to say. Cody and Jesse wouldn't know it though, because I'm still holding them hostage. (Don't worry Co, the finished product is coming soon. :-D #slacker)
The blurriness of this shot should indicate how much fun (and wine) we were having! SO cool to have both sides of the family and friends together. Lots of people meeting for the first time, but it felt like a gathering of old friends. Co and Jess are lucky to have such wonderful people surrounding them.
I kinda worried about having enough food, but clearly that wasn't an issue! We kept it simple, and made e-invitations and asked everyone to bring a snack to share. Yum!
There was live music, and dancing and soo much laughter. Here's a shot of Cody, with some of her favorite ladies...her aunt, then Cody, my mom (missing a leg it seems), Co's mom Pat, and her future mom-in-law Kit. Wonderful women that I am so happy to know.
Best friend pic!! Thanks for being so great, Co. Grateful to have you in my life after all these years, and I can't wait until the big day! I will be holding your dress in one hand and a hankie in the other as I sob at the alter. Kidding.
Above: My mom with Cody's brother, Gus. Just one example of the unexpected connections that come from two people deciding to get hitched and having a party to celebrate! Just add wine and you've got yourself some forever friendships.
Below: The Dianes! Cody, my mom, and me! Seriously these two are such special people in my life. They've stuck by me through the good and bad and all the creepy hand pictures in between! I just love them.
If the party was anywhere close to what the wedding will be like, I'm not worried. It all goes back to the special connection Cody and Jesse have. I heard it multiple times that day, and I couldn't agree more-- they are two peas in a pod and a perfect fit.
The light and love from the people they bring together is an incredible bonus, and I'm so happy to be part of it.
Love you both!
P.S....the only bad part!? My alarm going off at 2:30 the next morning. Had a very important date with my friend, the Blanchette Bridge. Note to self: take off work if you're going to get less than 4 hours of sleep. Good thing it was worth every gulp of Quick Trip coffee.