Remember the movie 21 Dresses? You know, the one where Katherine Heigl is in 21 weddings and has a closet full of bridesmaids dresses? Well, that’s been my life for the past year and a half. Only I haven’t been in all of the weddings and there it hasn’t been quite 21. (And in the movie she was in every wedding and single … fortunately, I’ve had a date to every wedding. The same one, at that!) Ok, so it’s not exactly like the movie, but you’ll get the picture soon enough.
Since mid-2009, Jimmy and I have attended 12 weddings together. I guess we’re at that age where everyone is getting to that point in their lives, but it still seems so strange to think about. I wish I had been blogging about each wedding as they happened because they have all been so incredible, but better late than never, right? So this two-part blog is full of brief summaries and photos from these weddings, stories of the couples and some of my favorite memories.
I apologize in advance for the length … but I have 12 weddings to talk about. Twelve! And 13 celebrations, which you will understand in part 2 of this post.
#1. White Wedding, April 10, 2009
It all started when my friend Megan, who I met in PR class at Georgia Southern University, married the wonderful Mr. Greg White on April 10, 2010 at the Sea Palms Resort in St. Simons Island, GA. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding, a ton of fun and the bride and groom were absolutely picture-perfect. The weather was perfect, the venue was phenomenal and the company was even better!
Megan and Greg were the first wedding of mine and Jimmy’s relationship. (Now that I think about it, all of these weddings began once I started dating Jimmy. Hmmm…..) Little did we know that this would begin our wedding whirlwind that was to come.
#2. Henderson Wedding, July 24, 2010
After a 14-month wedding hiatus, we returned to the wedding scene. Sara and I have been friends since 8th grade, when she moved to Richmond Hill. We cheered together, had classes together, lived down the road from one another … were best friends. I remember when she and Bill (her husband) first started dating. It was sophomore year in high school (or was in junior year?). She didn’t really want a boyfriend and she wasn’t really too in to him at first, probably because she was just being stubborn (like every girl.) Bill was loved by all, very smart, a teacher’s pet, a “good boy” and star basketball player. Sara was (and still is) absolutely gorgeous, an excellent gymnast and cheerleader and one of the sweetest, most loyal people you’ll ever know. Anyone would be lucky to know them, and they were perfect for each other. Everyone in high school was envious of how adorably happy they were together, which continued all through college. They were active in church, loved sports, studied together, went on mission trips together …. you never found one without the other and they were always doing something for someone else. It wasn’t a surprise (just way overdue) when Bill popped the question. I remember the day when they came by my dad’s house to tell me they were engaged and she asked me to be a bridesmaid like it was yesterday, and I had never been more honored. They got married on a hot summer day in Savannah. The ceremony took place at the United Methodist Church downtown and the reception followed at the Desoto Hilton – and she was beyond stunning.
The reception wasn’t like most. It wasn’t a big party with an open bar where you wouldn’t remember what happened in the last three hours. It was full of dancing, picture-taking, smiles and kind words. After the speeches (which brought everyone to tears, thanks to Sara’s dad and Bill’s brother), the DJ opened up the floor to anyone else that might like to make a toast to the bride and groom. The next 30 minutes consisted of heartfelt and meaningful words from people whose lives Sara and Bill had changed. It was incredible and emotional. I must say though, even with the wonderful ceremony, the beautiful bride and the speeches, the best part, to me, was the bridal luncheon. Sara gave all of her bridesmaids a box filled with a card, pearls for the wedding and a few “day of” necessities. But mine had something extra. In the bottom of the box were several sheets of folded notebook paper with writing and lots of colors. When I opened them up, I realized that they were notes and drawings I gave to her all throughout high school. Notes to cheer her up, thank her for something, wish her good luck … you name it. She’d held on to them this whole time – for 5+ years! That’s how you know what kind of person she is.
#3. Stinson Wedding, December 18, 2010
Before the year came to an end, one of my best friends tied the knot with her dream boy. Sara and I met in 9th grade and have been friends ever since. We were roommates in college, went through RUSH together, went on road trips …. and dealt with each other’s boyfriends (both good and bad). She hadn’t had much luck finding a good guy – until her the day before her 21st birthday when we went out with a few girlfriends in Downtown Savannah. I was working for a minor league baseball team at the time and was friends with a few of the players, so they came and met up with us while we were out. Sara wasn’t having the best time; she was tired, didn’t feel like drinking and one of the guys kept annoying her. Who knew that she would be marrying him a year-and-a-half later? They married at the Mansion on Forsyth in Savannah, GA on a cold December night and it was absolutely breathtaking. The ceremony took place outside in the Courtyard (thank goodness for heat lamps!), followed by a cocktail hour in the common area and reception in the Grande Ballroom (and I do mean grand … the walls were gold-plated.) Elegant Christmas trees were everywhere and she tied in sparkly ornaments to her table decor. The party was a blast, she was unbelievably gorgeous and I had never seen Josh look so happy for as long as I’d known him. It was perfect.
#4. Perez Wedding, March 17, 2011
Have you ever been to Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day? If so, you know how wild, crazy and fun it is. If not, I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. Now, have you ever been to a wedding on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah? Now THAT is a good time. Last SPD, my mom married my (now) stepfather, George Perez, in Forsyth Park in front of the famous green fountain.
My sister and I were bridesmaids and gave her away, and my niece was the most beautiful flower girl in the world. Jimmy (my boyfriend), Jimmy (my new step brother) and my sister’s husband Andrew were the groomsmen. George is a fireman and wore his uniform and my mom … well, she was stunning. I’ve always thought my mom was the most beautiful woman in the world, but she left me speechless when I saw her walking down that aisle; I can’t even imagine how George felt. She smiled bigger than I have ever seen her smile and you could just see the happiness in George’s eyes. Friends and family gathered alone the edges of the sidewalk and a friend of theirs sang and played the guitar as she walked down the aisle. Strangers crowded around to watch (no one could blame them; It looked like a fairy tale.) Everyone cheered when they were pronounced husband and wife and we headed to the grassy area in the park under a few large oak trees for the celebration. We all made speeches and toasts, enjoyed a simple potluck buffet (that their friends so kindly organized) and danced shoeless on the cool grass. Then, because it was St. Paddy’s Day in Savannah, we all headed out to the bars for the after-after party. Did I mention they did this all for under $1,000? How’s that for a perfect wedding?
Mom and George just celebrated their one-year anniversary and are happier now than ever, and I love them both so much. (More photos below)
#5. Kadow Wedding, May 14, 2011
While southern weddings in Savannah are beautiful, I was excited to hear that we would be attending a wedding in Chicago (where Jimmy is from.) J’s high school friend, Brian, had been dating his girlfriend all throughout college and med school and finally decided to tie the knot with his gorgeous lady friend, Tiffany. I was excited about this for many reasons: we had an excuse to go to Chicago, we got to se all of Jimmy’s friends and I knew Tiffany would make a breathtaking bride. I was right. She was gorgeous!
She and Brian looked so happy and had so much fun the entire night.
The reception was at a place called Loft on Lake, a fantastic venue with brick walls and exposed ceilings.
White lights lined the walls and ceilings and the entire place had a very modern, trendy vibe. Everyone was breaking it down on the dance floor, I was dancing with the groom’s dad (who I’d just met) and Jimmy …. well, he had a blast, I’ll leave it at that. I mean, I guess you know your reception is a blast when Jimmy and his buddies Bob and Stadler start doing “the gator” on the dance floor when the DJ plays “Shout” (see below) without a care in the world. My favorite part? They served 312 at their bar. If you haven’t had it, you MUST. It’s the most amazing beer (brewed in Chicago) in the world!
Ok, since this is getting so long I’ve decided to make it a two-part blog. But be sure to read part two – the weddings only get better and better!
3,194.48 miles traveled for weddings so far.
Additional photos from these weddings: