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Brady-Arroyo Wedding Weekend: The Reception

After a year and a half of planning, a busy few days leading up to the wedding, and a beautiful but hectic day, I was ready to let loose and have some fun at the reception.

I had finished my Maid of Honor speech about a week before the wedding, and was feeling decently confident about it: not too sappy, not too funny, and I had it mostly memorized. I told a few stories about my sister growing up, as well as some about Bryan.

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Not long after they got engaged, I went to visit Erin and Bryan in Virginia. The three of us went out to dinner, and when we returned to their apartment, Bryan had gotten out two shot glasses and was opening a bottle of tequila (my liquor of choice) before I could even take off my shoes. Best brother ever! So I told this story during my speech, and Bryan and I toasted with shots of tequila. Well, they were supposed to be shots, but I’m pretty sure they gave us like triple shots, and I’m pretty sure “Oh, s***” went through my mind as I stood in front of 130 people taking a shot I was confident would spill all over my face. Ten minutes and no food later, I was definitely feeling it. Oops!

The food was spectacular! After I ate I made my way around to visit friends and family. It was so great having all of them in the same place!

Soon it was time for cake-cutting and all of the standard dances.

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Then it was time to PARTY! I had so much fun dancing the night away with my sister, friends and family. I actually went to college with the DJ, Rockin’ Ron, and was definitely not disappointed by the tunes he chose for us to jam to. This was actually Ron’s last wedding, as he is going on to pursue different things, and I’m so glad he could be there for my sister’s wedding–he is awesome!

With the newlyweds

With the newlyweds

With my "little sister" and "baby" cousin

With my “little sister” and “baby” cousin

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My Papa is a stud!

My Papa is a stud!

Stella and Penelope

Stella and Penelope

My loving parents

My loving parents

Did I mention that there was a photo booth?! We had so much fun with all of the props, and the photo strips definitely made for an entertaining guest book! Those pictures should be on the photo booth website soon and I can’t wait to share them!

Overall it was such a fun night, and I truly enjoyed celebrating such a happy occasion! Erin and Bryan are currently on their honeymoon in Punta Cana (jealous!), and it’s killing me that I can’t talk to my sister! I hope they are having tons of fun, but I am looking forward to them coming home tomorrow so my sister and I can resume our daily G-chat conversations and FaceTime dates!

 

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Brady-Arroyo Wedding Weekend: THE WEDDING

Saturday morning began bright and early. As soon as her alarm went off, I turned to Erin and said “Happy Wedding Day!” Scout immediately came in the room, jumped on the bed, and wagged her entire butt when I told her that Erin and Bryan were FINALLY getting married!

After dropping Erin off at Portage Country Club, the location of the wedding, I did what all good Maids of Honor do: went on a Starbucks run!

Did I mention they gave us 2 of our drinks for free?!

Did I mention they gave us 2 of our drinks for free?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After arriving back at the country club, we relaxed and ate some breakfast, drank some mimosas, and listened to love songs while getting hair and makeup done. I absolutely LOVED my hair and makeup (hair by Jolene, makeup by Erica of Beauty Therapy)!

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One by one all of the bridesmaids arrived, along with the flower girls, and my very best friend (and hot date for the evening), Mo! Mo is learning more about photography and she came to get some shots of us getting ready! She’s the best!

Clearly this was BEFORE my makeup

Clearly this was BEFORE my makeup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After hair and makeup were done, everyone got into their dresses, and I got to help lace my big sister into her wedding dress! It was such a surreal moment for me, and she looked absolutely stunning.

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Photo by Mo!
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Once we were all ready, we went outside for some photos with the bride. After that it was time for my dad’s first look at the bride. It was pretty emotional watching the two of them see each other for the first time. It was just me, my mom, my sister, my dad, and the photographers (S and B Photography, who were awesome, by the way!) in the room and it was so nice to have a moment with the family on such a hectic and beautiful day. I’m pretty sure we all teared up at some point, and the photographers snapped a couple family pictures while we were in there (can’t wait to see them!).

After a little bit of waiting, it was time for the ceremony!

Leaving my sister alone with my dad before I walked down the aisle was emotional for me. I hugged my sister, teared up, and began my walk. As soon as I saw Bryan waiting at the end of the aisle I got even more choked up–I couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when he saw my sister!

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Erin walked down the aisle to the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (and yes, I had to Google that spelling) version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The ceremony was beautiful. Short and sweet.

Cutest ring bearer ever? I think so!

Cutest ring bearer ever? I think so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Being given away by Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Before we knew it, Erin and Bryan were husband and wife and the newlyweds were making their way back down the aisle!

Is this not the best picture?! Good work, Mo!

Is this not the best picture?! Good work, Mo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it was time for professional photos! There was some downtime between pictures, which was the perfect opportunity to snag some photos with my BFF!

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We got rained on a bit, but moved inside for indoor pics and were able to go back out shortly after. They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, and I see nothing but sunny skies for Erin and Bryan in their future together!

After pictures it was time for the PARTY! Stay tuned for my reception post!

ALSO, a huge, big, special THANK YOU shoutout to Mo! Seriously, she was like my right hand woman on wedding day and was willing and eager to help however she could. I am convinced that I have the BEST best friend!

Brady-Arroyo Wedding Weekend: Rehearsal

After a busy day of wedding preparations, we finally arrived at the rehearsal!

Since the wedding was in Ohio and the ceremony was supposed to be outside, we of course rehearsed both outdoors and indoors. There’s just no telling what Ohio weather will do!

I don’t know about Erin, but as soon as we got to the rehearsal things started to feel real to me. To the point that my dad and I had a moment and cried briefly–SO unlike me! With such a happy occasion, though, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by emotion.

Sister Selfie!

Sister Selfie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the rehearsal was finished we headed to the party house in our family friend’s neighborhood (the same place we had Erin’s shower) for dinner made my friends of my parents. It was delicious!

The night consisted of spending time with family and friends, telling stories about Erin and Bryan from when they were younger, and taking lots of pictures!

 

Me and Erin

Me and Erin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With my new brother!

With my new brother!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new family

Our new family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Kiss before they become husband and wife!

Last Kiss before they become husband and wife!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The night ended pretty early, which was probably a good thing since we were up bright and early the following morning for WEDDING DAY!!!

Brady-Arroyo Wedding Weekend: Wedding Prep

I’m finally starting to recover after what was an amazing weekend home in Ohio for my sister’s wedding! After ten years, Erin and Bryan finally tied the knot, and it was a weekend to remember!

Because of events at work last week, I was not able to fly home to Ohio until Thursday afternoon. I was greeted at the airport by my parents and sister, and we headed straight to my parents’ house for last-minute wedding preparations.

While my mom and sister put together the escort cards/favors (picture frames for photo booth strips) together, I worked on alphabetizing them to put out at the reception. I’ve recently started admitting my love for alphabetizing, and I’m pretty sure my family thought I was crazy for enjoying it so much. 

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The night didn’t consist of just work, though. While out searching for props for the photo booth, my mom came across Wizard of Oz masks. Since this has been Erin’s favorite movie her entire life, they were obviously purchased.

…And I obviously had to play Toto for a few minutes.

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Speaking of dogs, my parents dog Scout loves having Erin and me home, and decided to sleep with us that first night. Even though we have our own rooms, when we are both home Erin and I typically both stay in her old room. This could get weird now that she and Bryan are married. This is how Scout decided to sleep the entire night. 

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And did we move her? Of course not. Instead Erin and I pretty much shared her side of the bed and had “moon landings” all night (Modern Family, anyone??). I think it’s worth it for such a cute pup!

After laughing for quite a while, we finally fell asleep and were up early on Friday for nail appointments!

PS Has anyone ever had a gel manicure before? A week later and it’s still holding strong–totally worth the extra cash!

Mom and Renee

Mom and Renee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin and Katie

Erin and Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day consisted of nails, brunch with the bridesmaids (and my parents), picking up THE DRESS, and the rehearsal dinner! 

More on that in my next post!

Getting Sexy in the City

After cleaning up from the bridal shower, it was time to head back to my parents’ house to get ready before heading over to Erin’s friend Anna’s apartment to kick off her bachelorette party. Anna and I decided on a loose Sex and the City theme, which could be interpreted however the attendee wanted (wink wink). Our plans were to meet at Anna’s for some wine and appetizers before driving to Cleveland for dinner and a night out.

Becky, Robyn, Me, Erin, Katie and Renee

Becky, Robyn, Me, Erin, Katie and Renee

While at Anna’s we played the famous Panty Game! If you’ve never heard of the game, each girl that attended the party brought a pair of new panties for the bride. The panties could reflect the bride’s personality, make the person think of the bride, make the bride think of the person, etc. Erin then had to look at all the panties and guess who got her each pair.

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Erin didn’t do a spectacular job, but there were a few she guessed right away!

Who could these be from? ;)

Who could these be from? 😉

We presented Erin with her veil and sash, opened gifts, and were on our way to Cleveland.

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The folks at D’Vine Wine Bar were extremely kind when I called to tell them we were running late (shocking, I know), and told us our table would be ready when we got there. We were seated as soon as we arrived and started looking over the menu. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. I am one of those people that obsessively looks at menus before going to a new restaurant to see what I might like to eat. For D’Vine, I had it narrowed down to a couple options–neither of which was on the menu when we got there. I scanned the menu for a bit and ended up getting the Ugly Tom (heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette served in a Parmesan bowl), and Tipsy Shrimp (I don’t remember the exact description since it’s not on the menu, but it was shrimp sauteed in white wine, served in some sort of tomato broth, I believe). Both were delicious.

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 From dinner we headed to our hotel to check-in, and were pleasantly surprised! Would you have guessed that this is a Residence Inn?

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The staff there was also extremely accommodating! When we realized that one of our rooms (which was more like a suite), would fit all eight of us, they allowed us to cancel our other room with no charge. On top of that, there was an amazing breakfast buffet the next morning that was included in the cost of the room that I wasn’t previously aware of. It was a steal, that’s for sure!

After checking in to the hotel we hailed some cabs and headed to The Blind Pig to listen to a band and do some dancing. The band, The Faction, was really fun and played everything from Jessie’s Girl to Thrift Shop. At one point they called Erin up on stage to dance with them.

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Around the time the bar was getting ready for last call, we headed outside to get a cab before the rush. We hopped in a van that took us back to our hotel, and proceeded to fall asleep pretty quickly–it was a long day for all of us!

Erin Hit Her Target

My sister and her fiance, Bryan, met ten years ago when they both worked at Target. Erin was 18 and thought Bryan was cute, but was too nervous to ask him to go to Prom with her. So she didn’t. Fast-forward ten years and they will be having an even bigger and better dance party–their wedding! When Erin got engaged, one of the first things I said to her was “At least you already know your wedding colors!” Erin was confused, and I jokingly told her that they obviously had to be red and khaki, and that their favors had to be from the Dollar Spot. I’m not sure why, but she wasn’t a fan of that idea…I think she said something about nightmares. Who knows.

Since Erin nixed my Target-themed wedding idea, I decided it would be perfect for her shower! In my head I referred to her shower as “Erin Hit Her Target-themed,” and this is the invitation I came up with:

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The decorations at the shower were red and white, and I tried to incorporate the Target with the heart bulls-eye that I created as much as I could.

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Because the party room where we had the shower had limited decorations, I did my best to spruce the place up a bit. I spent the weekend prior to the shower taking a trip to Hobby Lobby and doing some crafting.

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Their wedding date

Their wedding date

 

Their new monogram

Their new monogram

I’m pretty sure TSA got a kick out of my luggage when they found it full of plastic silverware, bridal shower decorations, and prizes. I’m sure they’ve seen crazier things.

The menu for Erin’s shower included:

  • A salad bar with grilled chicken and plenty of topping options (tomatoes, peppers, hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, baby corn, etc etc)
  • Fruit cornucopias (ice cream cones filled with fruit)
  • Mini quiches
  • Deli spirals
  • Dinner rolls
  • White wine sangria
  • Arnold Palmers

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And for dessert:

  • Dark chocolate fudge and funfetti cupcakes
  • Milk and Dark chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Red and white M&Ms

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We also played a few of the typical bridal shower games. Back in March I visited my sister and Bryan in Arlington. One day while my sister was at work I asked Bryan a few questions…and recorded it. Some of the questions included:

  • If you could be any animal, what would you be?
  • What was your first job?
  • If you could get rid of one item in your apartment, what would it be?

There were a total of 15 questions, and I started by giving Erin 25 one dollar bills. If Erin answered a question the same way Bryan did, she got to keep her money. If she got a question wrong, she had to give a dollar back to me. The money is supposed to go towards doing something fun on their honeymoon. Erin was nervous about the game, and got about six questions right (thankfully I had basically given her $10 to start since there were more dollar bills than questions). I have to admit that some of the questions were pretty obscure, and Erin was surprised that she got some of them right.

The next game was to see how well the shower attendees knew the bride and groom. Sample questions were:

  • What did the bride and groom do on their first date?
  • What is the bride’s middle name? The groom’s?
  • How long have the bride and groom been together?

Out of 16 possible points, I believe the winner got 14, but prizes were awarded to those who got 12 or more correct.

The last game was Bridal BINGO. Before opening gifts, I gave everyone a blank BINGO board that they had to fill in with gifts they thought Erin might receive. If she opened one of the gifts on their board, they got to mark that square and hope to get five in a row. I had played the game in the past and enjoyed it because it gave the shower attendees something to do while the bride opened gifts other than just watching.

Erin got so many wonderful gifts! Some were things from her registry that she really wanted.

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Others were gifts that the giver put a lot of thought into.

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And leave it to my mom’s crafty friends to stick with my theme on their gift-wrapping!

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After opening gifts most people started saying goodbyes, and we took the opportunity to snap some pictures!

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Grandma and cousins from my dad's side

Grandma and cousins from my dad’s side

 

Cousins from my mom's side

Cousins from my mom’s side 

 

Erin and her bridesmaids

Erin and her bridesmaids

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Columbus Wedding Weekend

My 4th of July Weekend started bright and early when my alarm went off at 3:30 in the morning so I could get up and drive an hour to the airport to catch my 6:50am flight to Ohio! After a brief layover in Chicago I arrived in Columbus by 11am and was ready for bed! I checked into my hotel and waited for my friends Kelly and Becky to arrive so we could get ready for our friend Johanna’s bachelorette party! [Side note: Kelly had gotten engaged earlier that week so it was super exciting to congratulate her in person and check out her rock!] After getting ready, we met up with the rest of the girls at Thurber’s, a restaurant inside the hotel the other girls were staying at. At Thurber’s we had wine and appetizers and watched Johanna open her gifts!

From there we headed to Gordon Biersch where we enjoyed more drinks and dinner, and watched as Johanna completed some of her bachelorette dares, such as getting our server to dance with her.

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He was a good sport. For dinner I chose Jambalaya with chicken, shrimp, ham, and andouille sausage. It was delicious!

jambalayaAfter a few more dares and the arrival of a few more out-of-town friends, we headed to The Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar where we spent the rest of our evening. We had a blast requesting songs for the pianists to play. If you have never been to a dueling piano bar, it’s something to put on your to-do list. They are so much fun!

The group

The group

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Amy, Johanna, Me, Kelly

Amy, Johanna, Me, Kelly

 

After a fun night, I was ready to pass out when we got back to the hotel and it didn’t take long for me to fall asleep!

The next morning Becky drove back to her husband and son while Kelly and I met up with my friend Emily and my parents for lunch and shopping. My parents came down early for the wedding to spend some time with me while I was in town. How nice! My visit with Emily was way too short, but I am hoping to see her and some other former coworkers when I am in town in September! I spent the day and evening relaxing with my parents, which was extremely nice after such a hectic Thursday.

Saturday morning I spent more time with my parents as we wandered Columbus for pedicures, lunch, and a trip to Target (you KNOW I was happy!). We met up with the rest of my college friends at the hotel later that afternoon so we could all get ready for the wedding. We then made our way to Via Vecchia, the winery where the wedding took place.

Ceremony site

Ceremony site

Husband and Wife

Husband and Wife

Had to get a picture with the parents

Had to get a picture with the parents

Amy, Elizabeth, Kelly, Me, and Megan

Amy, Elizabeth, Kelly, Me, and Megan

First Dance

First Dance

With the bride

With the bride

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I had such a good time with my college friends and my parents celebrating Johanna and Bryan’s wedding! Though Johanna and I went to college together, we were also on the same gymnastics team growing up and have known each other for many, many years. I’m so glad I was able to share in her special day! Congrats to the newlyweds!

I was up early the next morning to catch my flight back to Ohio. After another layover in Chicago, I arrived back in South Carolina by 12:30 and was back at my apartment by 2! Though it was hard getting up so early, it was nice being home early enough to do some grocery shopping for the week, get laundry done, and relax a bit before heading to work on Monday morning.

Plus I got to spend some time with this little furball who did not leave my side upon my return home!

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Also, huge shoutout to Southwest Airlines! It was my first time traveling with them (and for free with points!) and it was the best experience I’ve ever had. No flight delays, extremely friendly flight attendants, and free in-flight tv! I am so glad to be traveling with them to Ohio the rest of this summer and fall for upcoming weddings/wedding events!