After spending the day getting ready and watching my brother and his beautiful new wife say ‘I do,’ we all piled into our cars and drove about 20 minutes south to the reception site in Cocoa Beach. The reception hotel was right on the beach and the great location allowed for some pretty fun beach shots. I posted the sneak peek earlier, but I really can’t wait to see the rest!
The photographer was amazing (and quick!). He got everything he needed in lightening speed and it wasn’t long before the bridal party was making their grand entrance at the reception.
(Derek and I came out doing the FSU chop – classic )
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Anderson!!
The bride and groom had their first dance as husband and wife to ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol.
Tears flowed as the bride and her father danced to ‘Butterfly Kisses.’ They were both unprepared and the bride ended up reaching for her dad’s pocket handkerchief to wipe her tears. It was a fun- heartwarming moment that had the crowd giggling through their own tears.
My brother and my mom danced to ‘Simple Man.’ My mom looked so proud and radiant dancing with her youngest son. I know she’s proud of the wonderful man he has become.
My camera was passed around through the ceremony and early parts of the reception (many thanks to all who took photos with it!), but somehow it missed getting photos of both Amanda’s maid of honor and Eric’s best man speeches. They both did a great job and were so well prepared.
I sat by Eric at the head table and right before the speeches started his mom came to the table and reminded him to keep the speech slow and natural. I asked Eric if he was nervous and he said ‘YES’ then showed me the printed copy of his speech, which was double spaced, in large font, and with little slashes to remind him to pause. I let out a little laugh when I saw it because he really had no need to be nervous – his speech was perfect and he’s a natural in front of a large crowd. They both killed it.
Ben and Ashley were really excited about the food since their tasting went so well. We all started with salads then were served the main dish of chicken masala with veggies and mashed potatoes after the speeches were finished. Ashley and Ben were right – the food was great!- and I’m happy to report they were both able finish their plates before making their rounds of the tables – something that was very important to them.
Dinner was delicious, but I was really excited about the cupcakes!
Instead of digging into a layer of cake, the two of them split a cupcake. Such a fun idea.
I had one of the red velvet ones – AMAZING! I plan to do a ‘details post’ later, since Ashley did such a great job planning this wedding and I want to share some of her hard work that went into this. I’ll give more scoop into the cupcakes then.
The DJ played the same game with the bride and groom that my friends had at their wedding back in January. It’s really a fun set up – the bride and groom trade one of their shoes with each other and as the DJ asks a series of questions, they each hold up the shoe that belongs to the person who they believe is the correct answer. Such as ‘Who spends more money’ or ‘Who is the better driver.’ The questions are usually pretty tame, but the different responses are always a crowd pleaser.
After the game, came the bouquet toss. Obviously the girls were excited.
1, 2, 3…..
My cousin Jessica was the lucky catcher.
Then the garter toss.
This is the moment where Ashley is telling Ben she has two on and to grab the lowest one.
Check out Ben’s friend Drew in the front. He was obviously on a mission.
And the winner is….
Drew! Told ya he was on a mission!
With all the traditions out of the way – it was now time to party!
And party we did. We didn’t leave the dance floor until the DJ cut us off! This is just a sampling of the SIX HUNDRED photos I had on my camera the next morning! SO. MUCH. FUN.
At the end of the night, the DJ played the last song (‘I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing’ by Aerosmith) and we all serenaded the happy couple before swarming them for one final group hug.
It was the perfect way to end the night.
I’m not sure if it was because this was my baby brother’s wedding – and I love him and his new wife so, so, so much – but this past weekend was the best wedding I’ve ever attended. I had so much fun and never wanted the party to end!
Thank you Ben and Ashley for asking me to be apart of something so beautiful. You two are amazing and I can’t wait to see what the future brings both of you. I love you guys!
Ben – Remember to tell Ashley you love her everyday and to never let her go.
Ashley – Welcome to the family! You already felt like a sister to me, but now it’s official!
Now when are the babies coming?!?!
I kid! I kid!