Prepping For Troyssie’s Wedding

This time last week I was in Pennsylvania at Jessie’s childhood home checking off the final to-dos and counting down the hours to Jessie and Troy’s wedding.

I road-tripped up with the happy couple and their pup Dexter, leaving my beloved behind to finish ticking and tying his audit (I don’t know accounting things, but I assume that’s what he was doing). Troy and Dex shared the back seat.



IMG_0531Our first order of business, according to the three-page check-list the bride was clutching, was to assemble the welcome bags for out-of-town guests’ hotel rooms. In the midst of the operation, however, Jessie’s dad alerted us to a herd of feral mini horses with a bunch of foals down the road. Jessie wasn’t impressed, but I begged enough and off we went to visit the baby horses.




Back at the ranch, we packed up the groom and the welcome bags and headed a few towns over where the wedding was taking place to run some errands (lunch, tuxes, etc.) and drop some things — and Troy — off at the hotel.



When Jessie and I returned to her parents’ house, we played with the dogs, went out to dinner, and played with the dogs some more before attempting to get a good night’s sleep (which Jessie failed to get, despite my best efforts not to snore).

Friday morning it was time for nails with Troy’s sisters, nieces and nephew, followed by lunch, reception set-up, ceremony rehearsal, and a beautiful rehearsal dinner.





Jessie was calm and beautiful all day Saturday. We got our hair and make-up done in the bridal suite, Jessie ate chicken fingers, I cried when her mom and I zipped her into her gown and again when I put her veil on … and again when her dad came in for the first time.

And when we got to the church nice and early as the incredibly organized bride had planned, I had time to go double check a few things in the reception space leftover from the first double-check. I ran across a field barefoot in my bridesmaid dress and glamorous hair and make-up, the sheep in the churchyard baa-ed at me, and it was worth it. After tidying a few details I got to scurry back and share pictures with the anxious (in a good way) bride.



And she was happy.


Before I started my walk down the aisle, I turned to Jessie and told her that I love her. The joy between her and her dad in that moment right before the wedding was incredibly sweet.

Jessie and Troy’s ceremony was beautiful, and I was so happy for them that I did the gator later that night at their reception.



I’ll upload actual pictures from my actual camera sometime soon. Probably.

Dexter’s [Wedding] Laboratory

Jessie’s wedding is only a week away now, so we spent some time in the wedding lab (as Hugh called it during my prep for our wedding) putting some finishing touches on things like programs and welcome letters.

Dexter supervised.





When things are centered and adding up correctly, and to-do lists get checked off, Jessie smiles.


PS – remember Dexter’s Laboratory??

Throwing a Bridal Shower in the Age of Pinterest

For the last two years, Pinterest has been improving our crock pot recipes, filling our imaginations with decor plans for our future homes, promising that we can DIY this and that, and flaunting inspirational exercise mantras next to pictures of tan, six-packed women. It has also been making it more and more difficult to pull off an impressive party without feeling completely inadequate. Thanks to Pinterest, a successful party now requires mason jars, pretty straws, impeccably decorated miniature foods, handmade decorations, and lush, themed tablescapes.

Daunting, no?

I’ll admit that since Jessie got engaged (maybe even before) I’ve been compiling a ‘secret’ board of pins to help fulfill my Maid Matron of Honor duties. I browsed for inspiration for bridal shower invitations, recipe cards, flowers, and favors but I always ended up more overwhelmed than when I began. The Pinterest pressure was just too much.

Eventually I just walked away from the pin boards and began planning a bridal shower based on what my best friend would enjoy: something simple, not too fussy, with good food, some beverages, and a few surprises for good measure. It didn’t have to be any more elaborate than that.

So on Saturday I threw Jessie a bridal shower. I made some food I knew she’d like and a punch she’d enjoyed in Charleston, we ate a leisurely lunch outside in the long-awaited sunshine, played some games, and opened some gifts.

Jessie looked beautiful and happy, and even though there was a distinct lack of themed tablescapes, I think she had fun.

Super Fast Recap: A Girls Trip to Charleston

Last Thursday, eight of us ladyfriends packed ourselves into two cars and traveled down to Charleston, SC, for a girls weekend celebrating Jessie’s upcoming wedding. We stayed in a beautiful home on Folly Beach with the two most important amenities: a big couch and bathroom space for all of us.

In Folly, we ate dinner at Taco Boy and grabbed rainy day carry-out from Woody’s. I had a pimento grilled cheese (which I intend to perfect) at Blind Tiger, we entertained collegiate nostalgia at The Brick, and rounded out the weekend with an amazing southern meal at Poogan’s Porch where I attacked a bowl of shrimp and grits the size of my head.

We visited the Bourbon selection and tasted classic cocktails at The Bar at Husk. We stuck our toes in the sand, took a historical walking tour of Charleston, wandered through the  Charleston City Market, hunted for the best ice cream, sampled some fudge, judged several versions of pimento cheese, spent a rainy day on the couch, played some games, danced the night away in our matching t-shirts, and sufficiently toasted the bride.

I recommend everything. The whole trip from pre-dawn Thursday to unpacking the car Sunday — perhaps with the exception of some bad weather — was perfect.

[click on a photo in the gallery to view in a slideshow]