As just about everyone knows, I was home in Wisconsin this weekend for my brothers wedding, in which I would make my bridesmaid debut and which is why I haven't posted anything since Thursday - it was a full weekend wedding bonanza!
Anyhow, it's Monday now, the wedding is over, my hair still has glitter in it (as does my clothes), I'm exhausted and I have decided not to log my food from the weekend because...well it would be too painful.
So let's jump in, I have plenty of pictures to share and I have to say, while the wedding was exhausting and the weekend was almost like being in college again, I'm glad I was a bridesmaid and that I was there to see my baby brother get married. It's definitely a different experience than watching friends get married and it's something I won't forget.
Before the wedding, of course, we had the rehearsal at the church. I met my groomsmen, Tim, who my brother and I went to high school with, and who I found is a bit of a character. I wasn't sure if he was a perv or "special" - turns out it's a little of both - but he was a gentleman to me (until the reception).
After the church, we headed over to a local sports bar for the rehearsal dinner where we toasted the happy couple, I got my bridesmaid gift and received the most generous wine pour that I've ever had. Fortunately, I kept myself in control, as I'm still a little gunshy after my unfortunate Nordstrom's event a few weeks ago. *shudder*
Because hair started at 8 or 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, the bridesmaids shared a hotel room (at the hotel hosting the reception), which was like living in the dorm again - in a fun way. We were all up late talking and laughing, with our dresses hanging from any possible hook or cupboard we could find.
The big day - the glam squad
So after the third day of little sleep, everyone was up and ready on the day of the wedding. Hair started promptly at 8:30 a.m. and while two girls were being worked on, others were going through the rounds of hair/make-up. At one point, we had 13 people in the hotel suite - and yes it was cramped, but in a good way (if that makes any sense).
I opted to go with a "Jenna Bush wedding" look for my hair, but with a few more curls. I wear my hair straight on a daily basis (out of laziness) so if I was paying for my hair to be done, curl it and spray it within an inch of it's life! The hairdresser working on me sprayed my hair (and the other bridesmaids) with glitter hairspray. It added a great shine to the hair but got ALL over my clothes and body. Liz even sprayed my chest to match the other bridesmaids - that is a true friend. Here is my hair's final product, front and back. And with Liz's expert guidance, it turned out great.
Then it was time to get in the dress (which still fit - thank god!) and head to the church. I have to admit, when I had that dress on, combined with the gorgeous hair and somehow perfectly applied make-up, I felt absolutely beautiful. That's not to sound vain, but throughout the day, everyone kept telling me how beautiful I looked and for the first time, I would reply, "I do," or "I know!" I was even sad to wash the curls out this morning and remove the bobby pins last night. Not everyone knows I suffer from crippling self-esteem issues so for me to feel that way, embody it and have people recognize it, I felt like I was the prettiest bridesmaid ever.
Also, because the wedding was themed after the Wisconsin Badgers (my brother, sister-in-law and our family are huge fans), it's only appropriate that the flowers follow that trend too.
Going to the chapel
We had to wait a bit once we got into the church so that guests could arrive and be fully seated. While we were waiting, I got to see my brother before the wedding and was nearly hit by the rambunctious ring bearer with a dodgeball. Fortunately though, I wasn't hit, or that ball would have been thrown back at him.
When we all lined up to walk and meet our groomsmen, my knees were totally shaking and I was sweating like crazy. Tim did a great job walking me down the aisle and when I looked up and saw Andy at the alter, I wanted to cry. My baby brother, who I've had a love/hate relationship with since he was born, was getting married. How did we get to this point?
Here are some pictures from the ceremony - unfortunately Liz wasn't able to get me coming down the aisle so I'll post an "official" photograph of that later. But the last shot is of me/Andy after the wedding. I think we look pretty darn good.
So now that the wedding is over, we took photos outside (in the great sunshine and 70-degree weather - finally!) and got on the party bus back to the hotel, where champagne was flowing and the AC was on as well. We pre-partied before the cocktail hour - which lead to me getting horribly drunk on champagne and lead to me inhaling food during the cocktail hour so that I was sober for the wedding party procession. Fortunately, I rallied and was sober for the wedding party line-up, where we screamed so loud that a small child started crying out of fear. We get crazy in Wisconsin.
Before the wedding, we kept hearing that the bride had a surprise for my brother, but only two people knew what it was. Personally I thought it was news that I would be an auntie, but I was even more thrilled to find out with everyone else that my sister-in-law arranged for Bucky Badger (the Wisconsin mascot) to make an appearance at the reception and take pictures with guests. Bucky f*cking Badger was there, how awesome is that? Pretty awesome and appropriate if you have a Badger-themed wedding. Here are pictures of the wedding party and me with Bucky - f*ck 'em Bucky!
The other big treat of the night (other than my brother and sister-in-law dancing to "Soulja Boy" before their first song) had to be the father of the bride dancing (with the groomsmen and bride) to the Napoleon Dynamite dance. He loves that movie and in full costume and DVD
guidance, the entire party joined in on the fun. It was so great.
The day after
We got back into Chicago today and to amazing weather. I managed to wash out all the product and most of the glitter from my hair. Now I'm catching up on e-mail and Podcasts before I inevitably crash for work tomorrow. So my dress is hanging in my closet, where I'm sure I'll wear it again soon to water plants or dishes. That would be lovely. Want more pictures, e-mail me and let me know, there are some gems I didn't have time to post.
Quote of the weekend
"That's why you're going to die alone....if a man can't share his beef jerky, he can't share anything." -- Said by yours truly (after four glasses of champagne)
Also, I just want to say a big thanks to my friend Liz, who accompanied me this weekend. She was a true sport the entire time, holding my bag/wrap when I needed it, helping with anything big/small that needed to be done and being a true sport around me and my crazy family. She took just about all the pictures in this post and did a great job.