Kelly and Anthony immediately went from the ceremony to take photos with their photographer. They made sure to take all the family and bridal party photos before the ceremony so they could soak in the first 30 minutes or so as a married couple with just the two of them (and two photographers capturing every second of it, of course ).
While they took photos, the rest of the wedding party headed to cocktail hour. We were all starving at this point, and the delicious arrangements of crackers, cheese, vegetables, and carved fruit never looked or tasted so good.
I also reunited with my own future hubby-to-be at this point.
Someone had asked in the comments of the previous post what Derek had been up to while we were doing “girl stuff” all day. Well, he spent the morning golfing with the groomsmen and dads (a free round of golf was included in the wedding package), took his time getting ready since he didn’t have to be onsite until later, and then played the role of videographer during the ceremony and reception. He also had to smile and nod as 50 family members told him “You’re next!” (I got the same thing! )
The cocktail hour was fun. I had a glass of red wine and played catch up with friends from high school and family members I hadn’t seen in a while. I <3 weddings!
Cocktail hour went too fast. Before we knew it Kelly and Anthony had returned from photos, the wedding guests were taking their seats, and the bridal party introductions had started.
Kelly and Anthony planned a little surprise with each introduction. Along with the usual “please welcome bridesmaid so-and-so” they inserted fun facts.
For instance, there was a shout out to Stephanie’s “new finger painting classes,” Ben and Ashley’s “secret juggling skills,” and I bet you didn’t know I am a blogger by day and crime fighter by night.
Kelly and Anthony were introduced last and immediately shared their first dance.
Then it was time to eat!
But before I get to that, check out Kelly and Anthony’s table number system.
Instead of the traditional numbers, they used family dogs! We were seated at the Oliver table and my parents were seated at the Scooby table.
There was also a Maddie table, a Presley table, an Abbie table (in loving memory), and so on and so on. The dog name tables were a HUGE hit and it was a fun game to connect the dog to the person the dog belonged to (they used family dogs from both sides of the family) and a great tribute to dogs who are no longer with us (Abbie was one of several in-loving-memory-of tables).
They did a beautiful job with the center pieces. My brother, dad, and uncles sanded, stained, and branded each slice of wood, and we helped my aunt finish the flower arrangements the day before.
Each place setting had a dark-chocolate oreo favor with a thank you note from the bride and groom.
The dinner was amazing. I heard person after person go on and on about how much they enjoyed the food.
We started with a fruit and arugula salad.
And had a bacon stuffed chicken dish for the main course.
Kelly wanted me to take a photo of her stuffed mushroom vegetarian dish. She loved it and requested the rest of the large serving be boxed up and taken to the honeymoon suite for her and Anthony.
After I finished eating I made sure to sign the guestbook “M”
And then it was time for speeches. By this point I had about two glasses of wine in me and was feeling pretty good. The best man (Anthony’s younger brother, Andrew) went first. He took the comedic route and made everyone laugh. It was a tough act to follow!
I was up next. My plan was to just use the written speech as notes and ad lib a bit, but I was so nervous that I ended up reading the speech straight and didn’t glance up as much as I should have.
My speech started with the story of Kelly and Anthony’s first kiss and covered the rest of their journey that led them from that first kiss to their wedding day. I tried to go the funny route, but definitely got some crickets where there should have been laughs. Oh, well. The good news is I didn’t cry. However, I did tear up during Anthony’s speech that immediately followed.
That boy sure does love my sister.
My dad ended the streak of speeches with the traditional “Brother Jack” toast.
The bottle didn’t last long at all. Next time we need a handle.
Then the father/daughter dance (more tears).
The mother/son dance (no photo).
And – finally! – it was time to PARTY!
And, party, we did.
With a quick break for cake.
The bouquet toss.
And the garter belt.
The night flew too quickly. We ended with the (now traditional) group hug dance where we all surrounded the happy couple for one last time.
And that was it. Kelly and Anthony were off. My sister was no longer just a bride – she was a wife, and Anthony was her husband. They were one and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Congrats, Kelly and Anthony!!!!!!
I love you guys! The best sister and brother-in-law a girl could ask for.