Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Maggie's Wedding!

My best friend Maggie is a professional event planner, so we knew the reception at her wedding was going to be good.

She's also the third of eight kids - and the first to get married - with a huge network of aunts, uncles and cousins, so we knew her family was going to go WILD.

All of it exceeded my expectations.

Maggie decided to get married in Nebraska rather than in Chicago, where we grew up, because her husband's three surviving grandparents live in Grand Island and are too elderly to travel. Her grandparents, on the other hand, have all passed away, so they decided to hold the wedding where his, at least, could be present. Grand Island is a 10 hour drive from Chicago, which made travel a little complicated, but I think it was worth it to have Robert's grandparents there - they were clearly so happy to be at his wedding.

Maggie's family never does things by halves, so they rented a 15-passenger van and formed a three-car caravan with some of Maggie's many relatives. Her sister Lydia bought window chalk and covered the sides of the car with messages: "Party Bus #1!" (2 and 3 came behind them), "Honk if you <3 weddings!" and "Maggie and Robert 4eva!" Seeing them roll into the Best Western parking lot on Thursday night was the greatest thing.

A sample, from Party Bus #3:

They got a million honks.

Lillian and I spent Friday morning working on our Maids of Honor speech. We love Maggie and wanted to make it perfect for her so it kind of took us a while to agree on what to say, but it came together really well in the end.

Friday afternoon was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, a backyard BBQ at Robert's parents' house. It was a great party! His dad cooked the best bbq pork of my life and his mom decorated beautifully.

She made little hanging lanterns out of mason jars and votive candles, giant paper flowers to hang from the trees and she even hand-painted personalized wine glasses for every member of the bridal party.

It was like something straight off of Pinterest! I had never met Robert's family before but I really warmed to them as I saw how much they care about Maggie. They did everything they could to make the occasion special.

Maggie presented each bridesmaid with a beautiful hostess apron (we all love cooking and generally pretending to be domestic goddesses) and a pair of pearl earrings while Robert gave the groomsmen personalized flasks with a bottle of whiskey. Everyone was happy, especially Robert and Maggie.

On the day of the wedding, Maggie was an incredibly calm bride, probably because she's a professional event planner. We got our hair done in the morning and then gathered at the church to do makeup and help Maggie dress. The ceremony was lovely but sadly I don't have pictures of it (too busy doing my Maid of Honor duties) so I'll just skip straight to the reception!

I hitched a ride to the reception with Maggie's family (in Party Bus #1, for those keeping score). Here I am with 5 of her siblings and a friend. Her sisters are all SO beautiful!

The reception was perfect, down to every last detail. Maggie organized it all so well and even had one of her friends from hospitality school act as on-site wedding planner. Even the cocktail napkins were darling keepsakes:

Maggie and Robert had both planned little events and surprises for each other throughout the reception... and their families had planned even more! All the little details made the reception so sweet, funny and memorable. Here are a few of the great things they did:

1. Robert is a Marine and he always wanted a Marine saber but could never afford one. Maggie secretly bought one for him as a wedding present and when it was time to cut the cake, she declared, "You've got to cut this cake like a man!" and pulled the saber out of its hiding place. He was thrilled, and then he surprised her with "their song" coming on right after the cake cutting as he whisked her away to the dance floor. I managed to capture her excitement at that moment:

2. Instead of a bouquet toss, they held an "anniversary dance": all the married couples were asked to come on the dance floor and then were eliminated from the dance based on how many years they had been married. When only the longest-married couple was left standing - a couple that had been married for 34 years! - Maggie presented the wife with the bouquet.

The bride and MOHs with Claire, another dear friend from  high school
3. Instead of a garter toss (which I've always found to be tacky and kind of gross), Robert surprised Maggie by asking her to sit down while he pulled out a pitcher of water and a bowl so he could wash her feet, while their wedding coordinator read aloud the passage from the Bible where Christ washes His disciples' feet. Robert explained that he wants to love Maggie as Christ loves His Church and serve her in the same way. It was a very sweet moment and made quite a few of the moms tear up.

4. Maggie's four sisters had planned a surprise song and dance routine based on Maggie's favorite childhood Disney song... and halfway through, Maggie got up and joined them! It was hilarious and brought down the house.

There were a bunch of other great moments, including the "wedding shoe game" and a Polish Polka dance, for which all the bridesmaids donned the aprons Maggie had given them. Lillian and I gave our speech and everyone loved it (or at least said they did), so we were very contented. After seeing how well Maggie put everything together, I'm DEFINITELY going to ask her to help plan my wedding!

The Co-MOHs
And that's it! It was was one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen... and one of the best parties I've ever been to. I had an absolute blast and I'm so glad I was there to see my darling Maggie get married.

No comments:

Post a Comment