a small town wedding: girls get ready.

Before I go into the details of the morning of the wedding, I must share one last detail about the night before.  After our rehearsal dinner was over, we had gone to our friend's bar for a bit to visit with friends who were just getting into town.  While we were there I noticed that my nails were destroyed (the manicure I had earlier in the day was not the greatest) so I decided to fix it before I went to bed.  My sister (and MOH) and I stopped at the store on our way to the hotel (keep in mind this is after midnight and Walmart was the only store open) and bought some nail polish.  When we got back to the hotel, I sat down on the bed and immediately painted my nails while we were chatting.  The next thing I know...it's light outside, and both of us are sleeping while sitting up on top of the covers.  I had a bit of a freak out when I realized we had fallen asleep...I was afraid I was going to be late for my own wedding day!  Thankfully it was only about 5 am and I still had a little while left to sleep...under the covers and laying down this time!  

When I woke up (for the second time) we gathered our stuff and headed for the salon.  Leah went right to work on my hair since we'd already had a trial.

My bridesmaids took turns getting their hair done and had some breakfast and mimosas while they waited.

At some point, my (almost!) husband sent me a sweet text telling me that he couldn't wait to marry me.  I swear it made me much happier than I look in this photo.

My hair took forever.  Literally like 2 hours.  I was a little apprehensive at first...this is not what we agreed upon!

But eventually it started looking better.

When it was almost complete, we took a break to do my makeup.

Everyone else was doing their makeup too.

After a few last minute tweaks on my hair...
and a lot of hairspray, we were ready to head to the church!

Previously in this series:
a small town wedding: the beginning.
a small town wedding: giving gifts.


a small town wedding: giving gifts.

The part of our rehearsal dinner that I enjoyed the most had to be giving gifts to our bridal party.  I love coming up with creative gifts for people and we had put a lot of thought into what we were giving all of our nearest and dearest.

First up, the girls!  I put together gift bags for them with things they could use on the day of the wedding, but I wanted to make sure they were useful after the wedding as well.
I wrapped each little package up in the extra totes we had made for our OOT bags.  Each one included some stationary, flip flops, and two little things I had designed and made especially for them.

A pearl necklace and bracelet to wear on the wedding day.
And a little clutch to hold their essentials.

Thankfully I had thought ahead and made the clutches and jewelry months in advance, or there was no way I would've been able to finish them all in time!  The girls seemed to love their gifts and I've even seen a few of them use them on other occasions as well.

Next up, the boys.  Guys are hard to buy for.  My husband didn't want to get them anything personalized, no swiss army knives, etc. because they've all been in so many weddings and already received these as gifts.  So we opted for something that was a little bit of an inside joke to all of them.

Chucks and matching green socks!  As I've mentioned, these guys have all been in a lot of weddings.  Each of which have required them to wear those awful rented dress shoes to match their tuxes.  And by the end of the night at every single one of those weddings, all they do is complain about how much their feet hurt.  So we decided what better way to make them happy than to remove the one thing they always hate most about weddings?  (Yes, they still wore dress shoes to the ceremony.  But they took them off immediately after and I never heard a single complaint about their feet hurting!)

So after gifting our best guys and girls, we had two more very important gifts to give.  Our parents helped so much and were so supportive of us during all of our planning, we couldn't help but get them something too.

For my in-laws, who are very into landscaping, we bought a new tree for them to plant in their yard.

For my parents, who are in the process of opening a tavern & grill with a political theme to it (it opens this month!), a huge one-of-a-kind caricature of JFK, painted by my talented cousin.
We were so glad to give our family and friends a little something special to show them how much we appreciated their help and support!  It was a great way to wrap up our rehearsal dinner.  

Next we were off for a little fun with friends, the night was still young and we weren't ready for it to end just yet!

Previously in this series:


a small town wedding: the beginning.

Remember when I used to blog here?  It's been awhile.  But my 1 year anniversary is coming up on September 5th and I'm determined to finish my recaps before then.  I'm getting ahead of myself though, because in order to finish them...I need to actually start them.  So I'm going to skip through the madness that happened the week before the wedding and start at the beginning of the wedding weekend...the rehearsal.

I don't have any pictures of the actual rehearsal, which I think is actually a good thing.  Our rehearsal didn't exactly go smoothly.  Lots of people and even more confusion made me a very stressed bride-to-be, and our priest was even more stressed than I was.  Let's just say I was more nervous about the wedding after the rehearsal than I was going into it.  In the end we got everything straightened out for the most part and could move on to the more exciting part...dinner!  

Our rehearsal dinner took place at my future in-laws house.  The weather was beautiful and all of the tables were set up outside overlooking the lake.  

We really wanted our rehearsal dinner to be low key and somewhat casual, and my in-laws did a fantastic job putting it all together.  When we arrived, my FIL was already passing out glasses of Italian sparkling wine.

We had gourmet thin crust pizzas from several different places in the area for dinner.  Pizza (and Italian food in general) is what the town is known for, and we really wanted our family and friends from out of town to experience the local cuisine.  For dessert, we had a groom's cake....ice cream cake from Dairy Queen!  My husband is not a fan of any other kind of cake!  

After dinner we just kind of relaxed and visited for awhile.  It was nice to have a little down time to recover after all of the work we'd been doing to get everything finished.

After visiting for awhile, we posed for a few pictures with the wedding party.

MOH (and sister) Dani, Me, Mom, & BM (and sister) Gaby

The groom and his groomsmen (and ushers)

Me with my bridesmaids

Us with my sisters

Us with his parents and sisters
Next up, gifts for the wedding party!


mascaras meet the mediterranean, part ten: a final stop in venice.

Finally, the final stop on our Mediterranean journey.  After a wonderful time in Croatia, we had an “At Sea” day that ended with a fantastic dinner, went to sleep and awoke to Venice!  Mimosas were served out on the deck that morning as we drove past the lovely buildings and bridges throughout the city.
We could see the Piazza San Marco and the crowds starting to form as we drove by.4 11
When the boat docked, we took a shuttle to St. Mark’s Square with some of our fellow honeymooners.


26There were pigeons everywhere!  I felt like I was in the movie The Birds.23There was a very large puddle (understatement of the year) that kept us from entering the basilica.  Our friends whipped off their shoes and proceeded to walk through it.  I, on the other hand, was worried about what kind of diseases I would get.  I did not want to walk through that water.  But our friends were jumping off the cliff, so we did too.  And I was dying in my mind the entire time.28 Relief!  We made it.  The inside was just as beautiful as the rest of the historic cathedrals we’d toured on our trip.32 We climbed to the balcony to catch the view of the square from above. 40 We had lost our friends by this point, so after awhile we decided to walk through the rest of Venice.  There were lots of shops with colorful Venetian glass items to peruse.45 We wanted to eat lunch at this restaurant that our travel book recommended, so we did our best to follow the map to get there.  This was quite a task…have you seen how crazy the streets are in Venice?  They wind, they turn, they come to dead ends.  Everyone on the boat kept telling us “You WILL get lost in Venice.  It’s okay, it’s not that big.  Just keep walking.  You’ll find your way back to St. Mark’s eventually.”  So we took that to heart and just kept walking., enjoying the beautiful scenery.43 It wouldn’t be Venice without gondolas!  We were saving our cash for a sunset ride.
44We crossed the Rialto bridge.

50  And admired the view of the Grand Canal.49 We stopped at every church we could find on the map that was even remotely along on route.  There are a lot of churches in Venice!64
65 Somehow, we finally found the restaurant from our guide.  Trattoria da Fiore.
74We went inside to find out that they hadn’t opened the restaurant side yet.  They still served food in the bar.  Of course, none of the menu was in English and we didn’t even recognize any of the words.  I asked if they had any pasta without meat.  “Vegetables?” the lady asked.  I said yes, with vegetables.  And ended up with a plate full of clams.  Have I mentioned that I hate shellfish?  After walking for hours to find this place, lunch was a huge failure.

We decided that we didn’t want our last meal in Italy to be a bad one.  So we had a second lunch.  At a better restaurant.  And it didn’t involve any shellfish.
75mmmm ravioli and gnocchi.  Super delicious!

After lunch #2, which turned out to be more like an early dinner, we left the restaurant and realized the sun was going to set soon.  It was time for our gondola ride!  We bartered with the gondolier and got ourselves a private boat.
82We quickly found out that gondola rides are a little overly romanticized.  Small wobbly boat driven by a slightly creepy man holding a paddle and singing out of tune?  Check.  Faux fur seats in 95 degree weather?  Check.  Massive amounts of green sludge to look at? Definitely check.  I won’t even begin to describe the terrible smell of dead fish and sewage.  Oops…I just did.  I’ll put it this way, I almost lost lunch #1 and #2 during our 50 minute gondola ride.  Now isn’t that romantic?
79 Furry seats and sludge aside, the views were all worth it.  Plus, how often can one say they’ve taken a gondola ride through the Grand Canal on their honeymoon?
83 After the gondola ride, it was about time to head back to the boat.  We enjoyed the some gelato for the last time before grabbing a shuttle boat back.
91 Venice said goodbye with a gorgeous last bit of sunset.
98   And with that, our Mediterranean honeymoon was over!