Sunday, October 20, 2013

Becoming the Breen's: To My Husband on Our Anniversary


A year ago we stood at the altar & vowed our lives to each other through good times & bad. The past 365 days we've faced quite a bit of both. But through each & every obstacle, you & I have been strong. I've never loved you more. You've been such a rock for me on days when I honestly didn't think I'd be able to go on. You make me laugh on a daily basis & nobody could ever understand me the way that you do. It's been a crazy year. One of so many ups & downs. I'm so glad that you are the one I get to have beside me on this crazy, insane journey!

I don't know how I ever gave myself credit for living before you came around. You've made me feel so alive. Finally, I'm living the life I'd always hoped I would & I'm becoming the person I always prayed I'd be. Sure, we've got a TON to learn, a whole bunch of growing to do & there are definitely things we still want to work for. But, babe, we have each other. That REALLY is all we need. As long as I get to wake up beside you & close my eyes with you at night... Well, I can't think of a single thing more important than that.

I find it so amazing that you've been my best friend for 8 years & my love interest for nearly 6 & I STILL learn new things about you all the time. Your little quirks never cease to amaze & entertain me! I love how you watch TCM & all the shows in black & white... Including old romances. I love the silly things you say in your sleep & how sometimes you say my name & "I love you." I love how well you take care of me when I'm sick. I love the way you laugh at my jokes when nobody else finds me particularly funny. I'm so proud of the hard work you put into getting this new job. You've done so well trying hard to provide the things we need as a family. I'm grateful for the way you held my hand & kissed my tears away during that terrible, terrible morning in May when we lost our baby. I'm grateful for the tears you cried beside me after hearing the sad news. I'm glad for the thousands of text messages we exchanged while you were working out of town & the whispered Skype conversations from your hotel room. I love the way you tell me I'm beautiful every single day... No matter what I'm wearing. You have this incredible way of making me feel SO special. I absolutely, positively LOVE being in love with you. I always have & I always will.

This year has gone by so fast. It's crazy to think that all those incredible wedding memories we've laughed about are one year-old today. It seems like only yesterday that I held your hand on the altar & promised to love you always. That's always been the funny thing about our relationship though... Time passes & nothing changes. We're still at heart the goofy, spontaneous, crazy-in-love teenagers we were when we fell in love.

Babe, no amount of time with you will make me feel like I've had enough. But I hope that the rest of our lives will be a sufficient start. We can follow that up with whatever comes next. :-)

Happy Anniversary, Handsome!
I'll always, always love you. To infinity & beyond. ;-)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Becoming The Breen's #8 -- The Reception

 Welcome back! 
If you've been following my blog, you've read a good amount about us this week. I've blogged about everything from how we met to our wedding ceremony. I'm chronicling all this to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary which is in like, hours. Woot! Becoming the Breen's started earlier this week & will be wrapping up with the love letter I wrote to my husband (which I will happily share with all of you) tomorrow on our actual anniversary. In the meantime, here is the final "wedding" related post in this series. Check back next week for some of the honeymoon details! I know I'd mentioned that the honeymoon would be included in this series, but, well, folks, I just don't think it would be fair to tack that on as an afterthought so I'd rather write it up when I can give it the attention that story requires! Check back later next week & I'll hopefully have that up for you. 

& now, without further ado, here is the information on our wedding reception!

The Reception:

The plan was to get pictures taken right after the ceremony. It was such a beautiful fall & I REALLY wanted our pictures to show the lovely colors in all the leaves. But as we left the church, I began to realize that we might just end up taking pictures indoors at Antonio's. Not only was it COLD (we're talking low 40's...) But it was POURING rain. My sister suggested stopping at the Ski Lodge for a congratulatory shot & some pictures in the bar. Sounds like a decent plan, eh? So, we took an unexpected turn (surprising poor Katie who was following behind the limo) & stopped at the bar. The pictures actually came out pretty sweet.... Not to mention, it was a ton of fun to get to toast to our brand spankin' new marriage in a bar where we've had SO many fun memories! Added bonus-- Because my sister kind of owns the place, we got some awesome pictures behind the bar. Don't the bottles of booze just look super cool in the background? Also, those shots are called "Ski Slopes" & they're basically THE shot at the Ski Lodge. I may have done like 3. The bar patrons were pretty excited to see a wedding party in there. Although one guy mentioned that he thought I was a figment of the alcohol because I was just "too beautiful to be real." Beer goggles are a wonderful thing, aren't they? Hahaha. I love drunk people. 

But, I digress. So, pictures were taken. Drinks were consumed. Then it was back on the limo! We had discussed several locations to do our pictures. The one that stuck was in Youngstown New York at Old Fort Niagara. There are some beautiful mansions on the grounds with covered porches in case of rain. Also, the leaves & scenery.... just spectacular. I figured we could still do the porches since it was raining, so we continued towards Youngstown. But on the way, something REALLY awesome began to happen. The clouds were clearing. The sun's rays were beginning to show through the gray sky. The rain stopped! I couldn't believe our luck! 

We arrived at Fort Niagara & we took pictures for about an hour. They came out beyond beautifully. Katie is SO talented! Despite the cold, everyone took it in stride & we actually had a few laughs during the process. We did end up stealing the guy's jackets for quite a few pictures. But you do what you have to for survival, guys. :-) Here's some shots from our time at Ft. Niagara. 

It looks so sunshine-y doesn't it!?! Perfect, perfect, perfect! As soon as we got into the limo though... Torrental downpour. Whatever. It cooperated for pictures. That's all I needed! We drove up to Niagara Falls just in time for the start of the reception. But, by this point, my hair was coming uncurled, I had to use the bathroom & my shoes were KILLING me. So, I decided to make a stop in our hotel room before going into the reception. Most of the bridesmaids followed me upstairs. Those that were staying the night checked into their rooms & then came into the bridal suite to help me curl my hair & get ready for the reception. Andrew relaxed on our couch for about 1/2 an hour. Cocktail hour was just ending. Through the grapevine, we talked to the DJ & he got everyone ready for introductions. All of our guests were seated, the bridal party was in the hallway along with parents. We would be seeing many of our guests/the reception hall for the first time when we were announced! It was SO exciting that way. 

The parents were announced & then "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by the Darkness started to play. SUCH a fun song for announcements, by the way! The bridal party was able to rock out on their way into the reception & the guests were getting pumped up! One by one the couples in our bridal party were announced & proceeded into the double doors. 
The bridal party & parents being announced at the reception!
My heart was racing. Andrew took my hand & smiled at me as Lisa & Bobby made their way into the reception. The music changed. The first couple notes of "So Happy Together" by the Turtles started. "Ready?" Andrew asked. I just nodded my head. I could hear Brent talking "& now, ladies & gentlemen.... If you could rise.... It's time to put your hands together.... As we announce..... For the VERY first time, Mr. & Mrs. Andrew & Rene Breen!" 
We entered the reception to cheers, clapping & lots of high 5's! It was unbelievable. The music, the cheers, the fact that they just announced me as Rene Breen... All of it was just so exciting! Even now, just writing about it makes me smile the BIGGEST smile. It was incredible. Seriously, though. The fact that our guests got to see us for the first time after our announcements made it THAT much more special for us.

Right after announcements, Andrew & I got to see our cake for the first time. It was a million times more beautiful than I could have ever imagined! A family friend (who should have her own bakery, but doesn't!) made our cake. We'd met with her a few weeks before the wedding & discussed what we wanted in a cake. Although we REALLY weren't too sure... I'd seen a couple pictures around that I'd liked, but I just had no real concept of how to put it together. Marge was amazing. She sat down, took all my ideas & put them into this amazing, beautiful design. She had us go through the books of all the cakes she'd made over the years. A ton of the cakes from the 90's had these fountains in them. My husband decided he wanted a fountain in our wedding cake. Marge told me she could make it purple to match our wedding colors. I was SO excited to see it. It had 3 flavors -- Spice cake with cream cheese frosting, vanilla with a raspberry almond filling & chocolate with vanilla frosting. Beautiful, delcious & so cool! (I'm pretty psyched to have it again tomorrow when we eat our thawed, year-old anniversary cake! Haha.) The DJ played "When I'm 64" by the Beatles while we cut the cake. We played nice... For the most part. 

Once the cake cutting was completed, we started the toasts.... & there were lots of them. Both Lisa & Jeri made toasts, Bobby, Nathan, my dad, Andrew's dad & Andrew's mom surprised us with a sweet toast as well. 7 toasts. It seems like a lot, but they were all beautiful & meant SO much to us. There was plenty of talk about how we met & there was mention of Andrew's crazy hair. There was marriage advice, well wishes so many sweet sentiments. I cried more than 1 happy tear & laughed SO much. I just loved them. 

After our many, beautiful toasts, it was time for dinner. We'd selected chicken marsala & sliced beef as the entree which was served family style with beans, mixed vegetables & red potatoes. I didn't have much of an appetite but what I did eat was supurb! Andrew & I started greeting our guests at their tables about midway through dinner. This was quite a task since there were 24 tables... But we made an attempt to get to as many as we could. I think we still only managed to get around to like 19 or 20? We kept getting caught up in conversation with people. I have a hard time just walking away so we weren't moving as quickly as we should have. Oh, well. 

After dinner it was time to open the candy bar! It was gone SO quickly because it was SUCH a hit! People just loved it. I'm so glad we waited until after dinner to do it so that we could have a chance to have it photographed. The set up really was lovely & I'm glad to have pictures of it completely intact! Haha. 

I should mention some of the beautiful, floral decorations you've seen, including those on the cake, the unity candle stand & the boutonnieres, corsages & all the bouquets were done by Creekside Floral in Medina, New York. Mary was an absolute joy to work with. She did such an amazing job! I especially LOVED our centerpieces. They were white pumpkins with beautiful floral arrangements inside. People thought they were just the greatest thing. We actually played a game after dinner where the winner won the centerpieces. Everyone was so excited to get to take one of those babies home. In fact, at the end of the night, every single one of them was accounted for & carried out by an excited guest. As lovely as they were, I couldn't have been happier to NOT have to carry centerpieces home with everything else the next morning! I'm glad we were able to get rid of them & make some guests happy! One guest even said "My husband didn't buy me flowers for Sweetest Day... But, luckily I won myself some." Haha. But in all seriousness, I could not have been more pleased with how they turned out. Mary took this idea I described to her & she made it absolutely stunning. The centerpieces really MADE the tables & all the flowers were just beyond gorgeous. 

Once the candy bar was opened, it was time for our first dance. We have many, many songs as a couple so when it came time to pick a song for our first dance, we had a LONG list to choose from. We listened to many & at different points even decided on several as THE song. But we were never completely sure. That is, until we relistened to Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk. There's so many words in that song that so completely describe the journey it took to end up where we are. But the most important one for me is in the chorus. Growing up with divorced parents, having a bed here, a bed there, weekends at dad's, weekdays at mom's, outfits just at mom's, outfits at dad's... Split holidays, shared birthdays.... I always felt kind of like I lived in 2 places. Like my life was specific to whichever house I was in. It wasn't until Andrew & I started dating & I realized just how much I loved him that I started to associate being with him as being "home." No matter where we were, if we were together, I felt like I was home. For the first time in my life, I knew exactly where I was meant to be. Moving in together & having this lovely house to live in has only further reinforced it. I'm finally, 100% home. So, this song meant so much. It described perfectly my feelings & also what we'd hoped to build together -- A home. A family. A love that would span a lifetime. 

As the song began, Andrew took me into his arms. We'd practiced this dance in our living room. We'd talked about how we were going to do some fancy maneuvers & show off our dancing abilities. But when the time actually came for our dance, we slowly, quietly swayed to the music -- both of us listening to the words. Sometimes we sang the lyrics to each other. But I just could not keep the smile off of my face. The first dance is ALWAYS my favorite part at weddings. I love watching the way the new Mr & Mrs get lost in each other & the notes to their song. It's such an extraordinary moment. So many people are watching, but to the 2 people dancing on the dance floor, there's nobody else in the world. I experienced that first hand. When the last few notes of the song ended & my husband kissed me, I was brought back to earth by the applause. It was such a wonderful few moments of alone time... even as hundreds of people watched, even as cameras flashed. It was just us, in our own little world. Alone on the dance floor. It was better than I'd imagined. :-)

Next up was the father daughter dance. I'd selected the song "I Loved Her First" by Heartland because it's seriously the most perfect father-daughter song on the planet. It fit the moment perfectly & was just such a lovely (if not a bit weepy) moment with my dad. Andrew & his mom danced to "I'll Always Be Your Mother" which we found online. She had the hardest time picking a song because nothing seemed to fit. This song was SO sweet & was very meaningful for both Momma B & Andrew. 

There were a few more formal dances & then it was open dance floor! I was amazed and absolutely delighted at how many of our guests were on the floor. The dance floor was packed the entire night. I LOVE to dance so whenever possible, I was on the floor, dancing up a storm!

I'll sum up the music selections for you while we're on the subject of music & dancing.

Bridal Party Entrance --
I Believe in a Thing Called Love : The Darkness
Bride & Groom Entrance --
Happy Together : The Turtles
Cake Cutting Song --
When I'm 64: The Beatles
First Dance -- 
Feels Like Home: Chantal Kreviazuk
Father/Daughter Dance -- 
I Loved Her First : Heartland
Mother/Son Dance -- 
I'll Always Be Your Mother : Lynn Leonti
Parent Dance -- 
A Moment Like This : Kelly Clarkson
Bridal Party Dance -- 
Because You Loved Me : Celine Dion
First Open Dance -- 
Celebrate : Cool & the Gang
Anniversary Dance -- 
Just the Way You Are : Billy Joel/Unforgettable : Nat King Cole
Garter Removal -- 
Let's Get It On : Barry White
Bouquet Toss/Garter Toss --
Mission Impossible Theme
Last Song of the Night --
Then : Brad Paisley

I should mention our bouquet/garter toss. Originally I did not plan to even do a garter/bouquet toss. I HATED having to participate in them when I was unmarried & I certainly didn't want to put any poor single guests through it. There's nothing worse than having some strange, creepy stranger inappropriately sliding a piece of lace off someone else's leg up your thigh... No thanks. But, a few months before the wedding, Andrew's cousin Samantha got engaged. We decided to set it up. So when the music began, I handed the bouquet to Sam & Andrew handed the garter to her fiancé Joe. It was sweet & they were hysterical. It's so much less awkward to watch when it's not the drunk groomsman & some poor, unsuspecting pre-teen. Just my opinion, I guess. :-)

Anyway. The reception itself was supposed to be 5 hours... But it ended up getting done close to midnight. There was just too much fun going on & nobody wanted to end it. Seriously though. The bar stayed open another hour & 1/2. It was an open bar... Not like they were making ridiculous amounts of money in anything but tips.. It was just FUN. However, all good things MUST come to an end. So was the case with our reception. The last song of the night played (Then by Brad Paisley) & Andrew & I danced, surrounded by the guests who remained. It was the perfect ending to an amazing night.

Here's some shots of our last dance & the 2 of us heading out of the reception & toward the life that awaited us. (But, really we're headed to our bridal suite....Haha.) 

& there you have it, ladies & gentlemen! 
The final recap has been completed. I hope you've enjoyed these past few posts as much as I've enjoyed writing them!

Tomorrow, check in for my letter to my beloved. 
It's anniversary day! Woo! 
I promise that I will make an honest-to-god, serious effort to get in the honeymoon post next week. 
I'm on vacation so I SHOULD have some time to blog. 
I'm bad with keeping my blog-y promises though. 

Becoming the Breen's #7 -- The Ceremony!

Hello, friends! 
Our very first anniversary is TOMORROW! Crazy! 
If you've been following the past few posts, you've read all about our wedding experience & the events leading up to our big day. In the last post you got to see a bunch of pictures from the morning of the wedding taken mostly by Katie from Kate Blank Photography! Today you'll to read about the actual ceremony & reception & see a TON of pictures from the wedding itself! Tomorrow, check back for a letter to my husband on our anniversary to wrap up the "Becoming the Breen's" series I've been doing this week. :-)

Our Wedding Ceremony:

It was finally, finally here! The day we'd waited years for. The day we'd planned for, saved for & dreamed of had FINALLY arrived! As I sat outside the church in the limo on that cold, rainy October day, I felt this calm, blissful feeling in my chest. I was here. This was really happening. I was about to marry the love of my life. All I had to do was walk through those doors. I couldn't believe it!

So many times I'd thought of this day. I'd pictured this moment a thousand times in my head. This was better than even my wildest fantasy could dream. I was here in the most beautiful dress I'd ever seen with my closest family & friends by my side, the rest sitting within those doors & best of all... The love of my life was standing at the end of that aisle! It was like a dream!

Some brides get nervous just before walking down the aisle & I can completely understand why. But I felt the least amount of nesvousness I'd felt in weeks. The planning was over. The craziness was done. I was about to marry my best friend. As I stood in the back of the church with my bridemaids, flowergirls & my dad, I could hear my Aunt Debbie singing inside. She sounded absolutely amazing as she finished up the last notes to "You Raise Me Up" which I knew meant that the moms were finishing up lighting the unity candle. 

I stood to the side as the doors opened. I heard the beginning notes of Ava Maria. (Seriously. Like angels singing!) & one by one my bridesmaids, flower girls, ring bearer & then my matron of honor slipped through the doors. Each one glancing back at me & smiling before beginning their walk down the aisle. 

I felt a fluttering in my stomach. The last notes to Ava Maria ended. I heard the music change & the first few notes of Canon in D began to swell throughout the church. This was it! This was the moment! 

My dad's arm tightened around my hand. He glanced over & smiled. I smiled back. The doors opened....

"These are the hands of your best friend, 
young and strong and full of love for you, 
that are holding yours on your wedding day, 
as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. 
These are the hands that will work alongside yours,
 as together you build your future. 

These are the hands that will passionately love you 
and cherish you through the years, 

& with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. 

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. 
These are the hands that will countless times, 
wipe the tears from your eyes; 
tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. 
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. 
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. 
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. 
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, 
will still be reaching for yours, 
still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a simple touch."

As we left the church after the ceremony & I sat, holding my new husband's hand in the limo. It was pouring rain which meant that getting pictures done was probably going to be quite a disaster. But we were married. It was official! We were Mr & Mrs Breen! No matter how much it rained, or how terrible the pictures turned out... No matter what happened from this moment forward, we were married. I was now the wife of the most amazing man I'd ever known. 

Next up is the reception! Check back later for that post! :-)

Becoming the Breen's #6 -- The Day & Night Before + The Morning of the Wedding!

We're SO close to our very first wedding anniversary! 
I can't believe it's been a year since all of these amazing events. Our wedding day was absolutely incredible & doing these posts have allowed me to relive it in detail. It's been such a fun way to look back & remember the perfect wedding experience we had & the moments that made us The Breen's! 

Today (fittingly!) You'll get the details for the day before our wedding & the details from the night before & morning of our wedding. But, later this evening, expect to see all the details from our big day! Tomorrow, on the actual anniversary, see the letter I've written to my husband about this incredible year we've had together!

The Day Before The Day:

My girls & I had big plans for the day before the wedding. The plan was to get manis, pedis & some lunch together. Then a few of us were heading to Antonio's to finish up the preparations. We had to drop off some of the wedding details. Also, since I'm analretentive I planned to set a lot of the reception up myself. My stepmom had put together a candy bar for us & that was being set up, along with place cards, table numbers, favors.... All that good stuff.

We started the day early with some Timmy's coffee. My stomach was so full of butterflies that for a few days prior to the wedding I had a hard time eating. It wasn't nerves, really. Just unbelievable amounts of excitement! I tried to eat a bagel, but ended up just drinking my coffee. Then, Lisa & I were off the the nail salon where the rest of my girls, including my mom & mother-in law were waiting! I decided I just wanted a very plain, very simple light pink color on the full set for my fingers. I just got a french manicure on my toes. I didn't want anything too bold because I wanted all the attention to be on my ring & my brand new wrap/wedding band I'd get to start wearing the next day! 

It was so nice to be able to get our nails done. It was like the calm before the craziness of the wedding! There was a lot of chit-chat & loads of "Oh my gosh. You're getting married TOMORROW!" Those of us who were heading to Antonio's stopped at Red Robin on Niagara Falls Boulevard for lunch. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't have much of an appetite but I did enjoy what little I did eat of my salad! Then it was off to Antonio's to finish up the decorating! I was bringing some of the details I wanted set up, including my place cards & table numbers... But I also dropped off our wine flutes, cake knife & server & the favors. We'd had these items engraved as well. Our wine flutes said "Today is the Start of Our Forever -- Andrew & Rene -- October 20th, 2012" & our cake server & knife said "Forever Sweethearts -- Mr & Mrs Breen -- October 20th, 2012." We also helped to set up the Candy Bar which came out AMAZING & was such a HUGE hit with the folks at our wedding! A quick tip about the candy buffet -- Do an "unveiling" of the candy bar at the reception otherwise this will be completely gone by the time dinner rolls around! 

Once we were done with the set-up, we had plans to go out to dinner. I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed though & decided I'd rather spend a few hours with my fiancé before he left for the night. (Andrew spent the night before our wedding at his parent's house.) So Andrew & I spent some time sitting on our couch cuddling & watching TV, chatting & laughing. It seriously was such an amazing few hours. It really brought us back down to reality & reminded us what this whole experience was about. Those few hours together really refreshed me. I had begun to feel sort of overwhelmed by wedding planning & knowing that it was all over, that we were together for the last time as an engaged couple before our big day just made me smile. I couldn't believe this was all happening FINALLY!

The Night Before the Day: 

Andrew left around maybe 5 or 6pm to get his hair cut & for a night out with the guys before spending the night at his parent's. My girlfriends Jeri & Brittany were spending the night before the wedding with me. Before they got there, my dad stopped by to chat with me & he brought me a beautiful, beautiful bouquet of roses. He was so excited, but I could tell he was getting nervous as well. This was a big day for a lot of people, not just Andrew & I. I knew he was having a bit of difficulty with his only daughter getting married. In the meantime, my Aunt Angela stopped over to give me a card & a gift that she & my Uncle Paul had picked up for me before he passed away shortly before I was engaged. It was such a beautiful gesture & I cherish that gift so, so very much. Both my dad & my aunt hung around for awhile before the girls got there. I was so glad to have had those beautiful moments with my family. 

Jeri, Brittany & I ordered in Chinese Take-Out, watched some girly shows, had some wine & just had the greatest time! I had a hard time falling asleep, but just before I did I got a text message from my sweetheart telling me how much he loved me & that he couldn't wait to see me in the morning. It was sweet & it helped me to relax. I cried some happy tears & thanked God for allowing me to have these amazing moments & for blessing me with so much love in my life. I thanked him for friends & family. I thanked him for blessing me with such an amazing man & for giving me the opportunity to make the love of my life my husband. I didn't get much sleep, but I think I FINALLY fell asleep around 1am. :-)

The BIG Day! -- Getting Ready: 

I woke up at 6:20 to get in the shower & completely wash & dry my hair. Normally they say not to do this, but I couldn't help it. Haha. I slipped on the personalized jacket I'd bought for this day & got the girls up. Our hair appointments at Pecoraro's Salon on Walnut Street in Lockport were staggered throughout the morning, starting with mine at 7:15am. We were the only ones in the salon & we had filled a table with bagels, juice & mimosas! Although my stomach was still very full of butterflies, I felt this strange calm that morning. I was no longer nervous. Just happy. I couldn't keep the smile off my face! ....Except maybe while reading the letter Andrew had written for me. That evoked quite a stream of tears... 

As for my hair. I'd picked out a couple styles via Pinterest that I brought in & showed the hair stylist. I didn't do a hair trial, & my hair turned out exactly as I'd hoped. It took awhile, but my hair isn't the best at holding a curl & the style I wanted was pretty involved. It was basically a teased top with 1/2 up, 1/2 down curls & a cris-cross between the 2 layers where my veil would sit. The girl who did my hair executed it perfectly. I couldn't believe it when I looked in the mirror. I give her serious kudos since I'm EXTREMELY picky about my hair!  We also were having our makeup done at the salon by the makup artist on site. She was pretty good but I did redo a good majority of my makeup when I got home. I felt like my face was too bronze. Not enough blush & not enough highlights in my eye makeup. It was just kind of dark & lifeless. So, I added a silver-ish tone to the arch of my brow & the corner of my eyes as well as some pencil to my brows. I also changed the lipstick since the one she gave me was just... No. I did really like what she did with everyone else though. By the time we left, everyone looked absolutely stunning.  I'd given my girls the freedom to select whatever style they wanted. Some wore their hair up, some were 1/2 up & 1/2 down, but all of them were just beyond beautiful. Here's some more pictures from our morning!

Mimosas & the jacket I wore the morning of the wedding! 
All the pretty ladies getting styled!
Getting my makeup done! 
Even Teddy had a tux for the big day! Ashleigh & I did the flowergirl's makeup
The bride is ready! 

The pictures were being taken in my dad's backyard, which is wooded & absolutely gorgeous. But, I didn't want my dad to see me before I was completely ready. So we got dressed & ready at my house, then jumped in the car & drove down to his house. Of course when it was time to see me, we had the photographer on hand to capture the moment! & what a beautiful moment it was. :-)

This was my dad's first time seeing me. Then putting the penny in my shoe for luck!
The ladies are looking good & ready to go!
The girls texted this picture to Andrew!
My honey reading the letter I wrote to him
The groom is ready! & he got the girl's text message! 
Handsome fellas! Ready to go!

The limo picked the bridesmaids, flowergirls, my dad & I up at his house & took us to the church. The boys all drove up there in my in-law's Suburban & Yukon. The preparation is now complete! It's time to get married! :-)

Next up you'll get the details & (mostly) pictures from the ceremony. Yay!