Florida Wedding Weekend (part 2)

As promised, I continue (and just for the record, I have a final tomorrow that I should be studying for instead of writing this post!)…

So Saturday morning we woke up squealing and smiling and so excited that the big day was finally here!  Originally we had planned an early morning run to the beach and back, but serious hunger and the lure of a free breakfast buffet won out, so we headed down a floor for some good eats…

 November 100 November 101

The Hampton Inn had two of my favorite things – Kashi cereal and a WAFFLE MAKER!  They even had sugar-free syrup – score!  I totally stuffed myself though, and felt like a whale after breakfast.  Good thing I was planning to spend the day in sweatpants!  When we got back to the room, we opened up our balcony door to discover the most beautiful day ever, perfect and sunny 75 degrees at the BEACH!  It doesnt get better than that.  Oh wait, it does – there was a parade going on right under our balcony – Happy Veterans’ Day!

 November 104 November 129

Back inside the suite, the bride was given her surprise wedding day tshirt (the DLO must always match in sharpie and sparkles), and the bridesmaids lined up to get their hair done!  Mary Ann’s friend and coworker, Jacintha, was our personal stylist for the day, and she went way above and beyond the call of duty.  A wedding guest herself, she literally spent her entire day making us feel gorgeous and pampered.  I have seriously NEVER loved my hair so much!  I want to have flowing curls every day!

November 133 November 135

In order to get those curls though, we had to do them up reaaaaally tightly so that they would fall.  We wrapped ribbons in them (just for kicks), and I looked like Pippi Longstocking…

November 137

While Lindsey got her hair done, the bride and I played on the couch.   Actually she literally tried to play sudoku, but I made her put it away and talk to me instead :)  (disclaimer: photo is pre-makeup)

November 140

While Jacintha worked her magic on our locks, I ordered lunch.  Always thinking about food, I started browsing lunch menus before I had even digested breakfast.  We ended up ordering from a cute place around the corner called The Happy Tomato Cafe, and they even delivered lunch right to our suite!  I got a delicious spicy tofu sandwich, which I’d never heard of before.  It was cold tofu with spicy flecks in it – sort of like a tofu version of pepper jack cheese – interesting.

 November 141 November 142

In other good news, Casey arrived!  He drove down Saturday morning and made it in time to join us for lunch.  He was also just in time to engage in his favorite DLO activity – taking our picture!  In this gigantic hotel suite, we all crammed into a 2×2 space in the bathroom to finish hair and makeup – typical.  Once we were done, we grabbed our dresses and headed to the wedding site!  I love a bride that drives her own pick up truck to her wedding…

November 147

Three best friends in three matching shirts (of course), getting ready in the special bridal room at the reception site.

November 183

And check out how AMAZING the back of Mary Ann’s hair looked – so beautiful!

November 179

Mary Ann’s other Anthropologie coworker (these girls were lifesavers!), Roz, came and arranged all the flowers and decorations.  She made everything look so beautiful!  It’s amazing what $50 in apples can do…

November 158 November 171

Meanwhile, Lindsey and I set up the dessert buffet.  Mary Ann spent weeks hand-making all of these desserts, so we knew we had to make it look perfect.  Lindsey made the adorable “just married” banner, and I used my visual skills to get the presentation looking pretty.

November 165

Lots…of…sugar!  I made myself literally sick with chocolate-covered marshmallow lollipops.  So good, yet soooo bad…

November 168 November 169

Mary Ann actually got the idea for her favors from my blog!  She saw the cute pint glasses my sister gave out at her wedding, and was inspired to make her own – a custom pint glass with silhouettes of their two dogs – so cute!  We also set up a self-serve bar inside the reception area…

November 170  November 173

And finally – the cake table!  Mary Ann’s groom actually made this cake at home out of funfetti cake mix – her favorite.  Roz made it beautiful with flowers, and I rolled the cute little silverware bundles!  (I used the same Anthro cake stand at my wedding!)

November 175

Finally, it was all set up and it was time to GET READY!  We rushed to get our dresses on, fix our hair, and make last minute touches.  Mary Ann looked so beautiful! 

November 191

She had the straps of her dress taken off, and an amazing Anthropologie necklace turned around backwards on the dress as a new halter strap – so freaking creative!  But I expect nothing less from this amazing girl.

November 198

Girls and curls, pretty hair from the back…

November 199

Pretty girls in the front!  I loved our dresses (again, Anthropologie), and we found the perfect matching sashes at J. Crew!  Such a fun outfit that I will most definitely wear again.  And you can’t see our shoes but they were equally amazing, albeit heels of paaaaain.

November 211 November 212

Finally it was time!  Lindsey and I veeeery nervously made our way down the rickety wooden staircase in our 4 inch stilettos – scary!  Mary Ann picked the instrumental version of “Only Hope” from our all-time favorite group movie, A Walk to Remember.  It reminded me of many sunny spring breaks spent in Florida lounging around her pool, and great times with two friends I cherish.  It also made me sob like a fool as I walked.  And then it was time for the bride!

November 214

It was over before we knew it, and then it was time to relax and enjoy the party!  And look who finally made it to Florida – Casey!  Yay :)

 November 218 November 219

November 223

We ate, danced, laughed, kicked off our heels (literally) and had a fabulous time.  There were some traditional wedding things, like the garter toss…

November 227

And some non-traditional things, like the wearing of the garter by a Chihuahua who ran frantically around the dance floor hoping not to get stepped on…seriously.

November 244

I love Mary Ann so much, and I was so happy to get to be by her side on such a special night:)  DLO kisses all around! (look at my CURLS!  ahhh I want them back!)

November 246 November 247

Towards the end of the night as the crowd got rowdier, I rescued poor Cappy from the heels of the dancers, and did some doggie snuggling myself.  If there’s a dog in the room, I will inevitable become its best friend.

November 250

When the reception was ending, we sadly hugged and kissed Mary Ann goodbye, and headed down the street to an Irish pub for greasy quesadillas.  Good choice at the time, bad choice when the guilt hit the next morning.

Speaking of the next morning, Blake and Casey were off early to get home, but I had the pleasure of a few more hours with miss Lindsey before her plane took off that afternoon!  We took advantage of time and our location, and headed first for the marina…

 November 252 November 253

And then to the sand.  It was truly a perfect day to be at the beach, and such a  special, unexpected treat at the end of a jam-packed weekend.

November 254

I realized when we got there that Lindsey and I hadn’t actually been to the beach together since our last Topsail visit – over three years ago!  Let’s never let it go that long again…

November 257

Moving to Charlotte and away from amazing friends like Lindsey has been one of the hardest parts of my transition.  I’ve learned to never take the time I spend with loved ones for granted again.  I felt so blessed to have a few hours to walk and talk and catch up as if we were still living just a few houses apart.  Love you, Linds!

 November 259 November 260

Sadly, she had a plane to catch.  I tried to stuff her in my trunk, but she resisted and made it into the airport.  I pointed my car towards Charlotte, and made the looooong drive home to Casey and the boys.  It was such a fabulous weekend, and I’m sad that it’s over.  The next DLO reunion needs to be scheduled onto calendars soon, so I can start my next countdown!

So now that you are all caught up, I can get back to telling you what’s happening in real time.  I finished my last day of finals today – my first term of classes is already OVER – so crazy!  I’m getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for hot yoga with Kath, working all day, packing my car, and heading home to Cincinnati on Saturday morning! I can’t WAIT to see my mom, sister, and friends at home!  I’ll be back – blogging live from the JUNGLE– yippeeeeee!