My only sister getting married was a pretty big deal and I was nearly as excited as I was on my wedding day for her! Everything had turned out perfectly, the dresses fit, the jewelry was a hit, all the family was happy and healthy and here, and it was a beautiful sunny summer Michigan day! We arrived at Headliners in the morning for our hair up-dos and wedding make-up. It was so great to hang out with my cousins and sisters friends for the experience, I don’t see my cousins very much, but we always seem to pick up where we left off and have a great time together. I can say that about lots of my cousins actually on both sides of my family; the Raineys and Mahers are definitely a great family to be a part of.
We all got beautified at the salon, watching and commenting on everyone’s up-dos while eating breakfast and drinking coffee. After the salon we drove to the church to get ready, I was excited and antsy waiting for the festivities to start, fortunately my cousin Amanda had the foresight to order a pizza delivery to the church so we were able to get a bite to eat.
My sister had asked all of the girls to wear navy blue shoes of their choosing for the wedding, and being a nature girl myself, I chose a simple wedge with medium sized heel so that I could walk and dance easily; however all of the other gals chose heels that were crazy tall and I looked tiny compared to everyone else. I tried on Leah’s shoes and it was pretty comical watching me walk in those heels, but the other gals rocked theirs.
The wedding started out to be a tear-fest but somehow lightened up and we all enjoyed the ceremony without too many tears. For me, this was due to the 4 year old flower girl and Cody’s cousin Almy who sat next to me. She chose me as her new “BFF” (best friend forever) and continued to crack me up with her nonstop fidgeting and talking during the ceremony. The comic relief allowed me to enjoy the ceremony rather than fighting the tears while trying not to cry
After the ceremony the bride and groom rented a stretch hummer limo for the large bridal party stocked with beer and champagne for the 3 hour time difference after the wedding before the reception for photos. I had insisted Laura and Cody spend a good amount of money on a photographer they really liked so they could enjoy their wedding photos forever. After our wedding photo experience, I wanted her to learn from my mistakes. Their photographer Vince was incredibly nice and had a great eye for urban shots; I cannot wait to see how they turned out!
Once we got to the reception the realization that I had to give my maid of honor speech hit and I got really nervous, but after talking to Justin, the best man, and finding out that he was even more nervous than me, I calmed down and knew it would be O.K. Both Justin and I promised each other loud laughter during our speeches and wished each other luck as I went first. The speech came easily to me and I enjoyed sharing it with the families; Justin’s was even better and received a lot of laughter from the family and a little embarrassment from Cody, as it should be.
After dinner the real party began as the DJ started playing music and I tried to spend time with family even though I could have spent the entire evening on the dance floor. My favorite piece of the night was talking with my cousins who I rarely see, and dancing with my grandparents including with my grandpa to Cotton Eye Joe, a fast bluegrass song.
It seemed the evening ended all too soon, and we waited impatiently with a group of cousins and friends for a cab to the Hunt Club for a nightcap and some deers ears (potato skins). Unfortunately the kitchen was closed and I insisted Josh call a cab so that we could drive through Burger King for some grub to soak up all the beer I drank all night. Fortunately the cab came quickly and we drove through the drive through before being deposited at the Country Inn for the evening. I hear the party at the hunt club continued till 2pm, then on into the evening for the true partiers. I, however, was ready for bed. What a great night, I wish I could make it back for the next big family wedding in August.
My parents had planned a family party for the 4th of July the next day to enjoy the out of town visitors for another day. This was a great idea and we were able to visit with family in a relaxed setting. I had a great time talking to my cousin Jim and uncle Rob, who I didn’t get to talk with as much as I would have liked the day before. We enjoyed kayaking in the lake, and then taking the boat out onto the lake for fireworks with the newly married couple to watch their first 4th of July fireworks.
After many tearful goodbyes we packed up our suitcases for the next leg of our trip with Josh’s family and to start our weeklong camping trip across the country.