This weekend was amazing. Here is a recap list. Warning, quite long.
1. We rented a fancy car, dropped mine off in the shop, introduced our pup to her roommate for the weekend, our neighbor from the cottages, and hit the road Thursday night.
2. We only got about 1/3rd of the way there before getting sleeeeeepy and stopped in the crazy town of Santee, SC to stay at a ridiculous little roadside lodge. Enjoyed a breakfast there while reading the local paper all about gator hunting. Cultural experience.
3. Got to Gainesville with the assistance of my sister and the internet, and a friend I lived with in DC who lives there. Next time.. more maps.
4. Met up with Stephen and Amanda at the bed and breakfast they were staying at. It was so lovely and southern charm-y. Plus Tom Petty used to party there.
5. T and I take a walk around the University of Florida to stretch our legs and get some sun. We are both horrified/amazed by the fact that there are actually alligators on campus. Apparently this is normal.
6. Met up with everyone at Amanda's house, where the wedding was taking place. Great house they built in the '70's near an amazing tree. They had a big tent on their back lawn where the ceremony and reception took place. We practiced, T and I got to be Stephen's parents, awesome.
7. All practiced up, we headed to a historical house where Stephen's parents made an awesome rehersal dinner feast. She cooked tons of Trinidad-ian food, and it was all delicious. Met a lot of family and friends and boogied to the steel drum player they hired to entertain.
8. A bunch of us "kids" headed out to downtown for the pre-wedding beer mile (an entirely different post will describe this terrible/awesome idea) and heading to a fun bar to chat and dance. Lots of nice folks, I had a blast meeting everyone and seeing folks we've met before.
9. We were staying with Amanda's brother and family and snuck in around 2am. Not a baby was woken! Go us!
10. So hard to get up on Saturday, but we headed to the wedding house and played frisbee and basketball while Amanda got her hair done. I sat with other wives/girlfriends/babies and watched our boys play. Crew boys are not so good at basketball, it was kinda cute.
11. Trent and the boys headed to the B&B to get ready, a few girls and I convinced Amanda that mayyyybe it was time to get dressed about 20 minutes before the photographer showed up. She was an awesome, mellow, bride. Fun doing makeup like we learned at Sephora and getting her into her mom's dress.
12. Everyone was back to the house around 3 for lots of pictures and last minute details. Her two nieces were the flowergirls and I helped them pass out the programs. Trent took polaroid pictures of folks by the gorgeous tree as they arrived. The timing was really flexible, once everyone was there, they started.
13. The service was so beautiful. They put a lot of thought and effort into their ceremony, which was done by their brothers. His sister and her sister in law did readings and it was emotional and lovely. They have wonderful families and a long and crazy relationship that is just perfect for them.
14. Cocktail hour on their patio while the caterers re-arranged the chairs and tables under the tent. Impromtu receiving line was kind of awesome. No appetizers and no one was any worse for it. Fun music and conversation. I am taking lots of notes.
15. They start serving dinner, a buffet of salad, steak, stuffed mushrooms and zuchinni, all delicious. Amanda changed into a second dress with a sparkly sweater and we sat with them and some family and friends, including adorable baby Jack.
16. Dessert kind of starts on the patio and everything is very flexible and mellow. Beautiful speeches from the brothers and fathers, and Amanda and Stephen give great ones as well.
17. Off to the screened in porch for dancing. It was colder than they'd hoped, but after shaking and boogy-ing, we all warmed up. Great music, great that we all knew each other well from the rehearsal and evening out at the bars so it wasn't awkward at all.
18. Highlight: Trent, Trevor (a friend from DC who we hung out with at the OBX marathon), and Mike (rowed with Stephen on the National team) back up Stephen in a choreographed dance and serendate to "My Girl" to Amanda, complete with matching sunglasses. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
19. More dancing and folks sitting inside the house staying warm by the fire. Nice combination of both. Folks left as they pleased and we ended up with about 10 of us sitting in the living room being silly and chatting around midnight. We headed back to the brother's house.
20. Up early to help his brother and wife set up for the brunch they hosted. Lot of delicous fruit and pasteries, bagels and quiches. Everyone came over and relaxed and chatted. Nice to not worry about saying goodbye to everyone the night before. I hate saying goodbye to people so this might have to happen at my shindig. We take off around 11, to head to St. Augustine.
21. I manage to get us totally lost, even though we had great directions from my cousin, to get there. Arrive late, and run around the city like crazy trying to meet up with him. Get clues from folks at various museums and theaters, but missed them by the time we find the restaurant they were at. So sad! We walk around the city (which is adorable) and startle lots of people as we think we've found them but haven't. We have to get going and leave around 3:30 to start the drive back. But very intrigued and want to get the tour from Walker next time!
22. Hit the road, boring but easy. No traffic thanks to the game and lots of stops to snack and stretch. Lots of conversations to catch up with friends and we get to Chapel Hill around 10pm. Not bad at all!
Great to be home, great weekend. Lots of good ideas we are going to steal for our event and so fun to be a part of such a lovely festivity. Made lots of great new friends and hope we can all keep in touch. I will post pictures and more details soon!