If you are a regular reader of All Shook Up, you may have noticed the radio silence this week. First off, apologies for the randomness of an empty blog. Last weekend was a long but wonderful family filled weekend, and coming back to work this week was a bit of a struggle. As a result, my blogging was somewhat pushed to the wayside. And I never want to hit publish on a post unless my heart is truly in it, hence the lack of posts! But anyway, I want to recap my amazing trip to Ohio last weekend for my cousin Lori’s Wedding.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was really looking forward to this weekend and it certainly did not disappoint. I absolutely adore my cousin Lori. She is someone who I have looked up to pretty much since birth. She is incredibly down to earth, goofy, relaxed, and just a genuinely kind person, (it is no surprise that she is also a wonderful elementary school teacher!). She married Mark, an amazing guy who somehow seamlessly fits in with our family. Ever since the first day we met him four years ago, Mark has felt like a part of our family. I distinctly remember sitting at the kitchen island in my cousin Lori’s childhood home while my Uncle Rob and Mark made breakfast (while everyone else was still sleeping!) and thinking, “Wow, he just fits.” It was like he had been a part of our family much longer than a weekend. I was also impressed that he stuck with Lori after meeting the many eccentric personalities in our family ;).
So in order to get to this Ohio wedding, my mom and I decided to drive the 7 hours each way. In preparation for the many hours in the car together, I pretty much didn’t talk to my mom throughout the week up until we left. This was very strange for us, considering I talk to her pretty much on a daily basis. However, making a list of all the things I wanted to tell her was a great way to pass the time in the car and to just catch up. It reminded me of the Gilmore Girls episode when Lorelai and Rory reunite after their months of silence, and Lorelai is attempting to read all the random notes she made that she wanted to tell Rory when they weren’t speaking.
We successfully made it to the little Inn we were staying at, just in time to change and head outside for the rehearsal dinner. It was really nice to see most of my family all in one place (unfortunately my little brother Andy was still at school and unable to make it to Ohio for the wedding). I hadn’t seen the bride and groom since last summer at my cousin Michelle’s baby shower. It was also really fun to meet Baby Julia, the first great grandchild! We figured out that in family tree lingo she is my first cousin once removed. I absolutely loved being surrounded by my family. Even though there is of course silliness and some pretty weird personalities, I know that no matter what, I have an incredible support system. I have mentioned in previous posts that I often like to escape New York City every now and again, and this was the perfect trip away from the Big Apple. The city can be a very lonely place at times, so reconnecting with the people I love most, was an incredible feeling. After many cocktails and a few toasts for the happy couple (some of which brought me to tears) it was time to crash before the busy day ahead.
On the wedding day, I met my cousin Lori and the rest of the bridal party at the salon to get our hair done. I opted out of the makeup, seeing how I’ve learned enough tricks from working at Estee Lauder this past year. My mom and I then swung by my grandma’s house to catch up before we all had to go back to the hotel and change for the ceremony. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side for the big day, it was pretty chilly and raining. The ceremony, however, was BEAUTIFUL! The bridesmaids wore teal/green cocktail dresses with differing necklines that somehow worked perfectly together. They held bouquets of light yellow flowers. The flower girl was Baby Julia pulled down the aisle in a wagon by Lori’s paternal grandmother Dolores. Julia was absolutely adorable! Then Lori came out, looking stunning in a lace strapless fitted mermaid dress with a touch of sparkle. It fit her to a T. I had to keep myself from crying the moment she started walking down the aisle. The entire ceremony was so moving, (thank goodness there were tissues next to me!) because it was so clear throughout how much these two people care about each other! It was a beautiful ceremony that I think all of us in attendance will never forget.
After the exchanging of the vows and the bridal party left the sanctuary, we all spent time in the church since it was a little too rainy to go outside. I was able to see the cutie pie flower girl Julia which was very special. Luckily as we were all gathering in the back of the sanctuary, the rain began to subside so we were able to do a bubble send off. After Lori and Mark made their way into the limo and everyone blew bubbles for the send off, the true challenge began. Corralling our family members into the church for the family photos! This is somehow NEVER an easy task. Lori and Mark did a loop around the church and came back inside while the rest of us were still trying to find the stray members of our family who miraculously went missing right when the photos were set to happen. Thankfully my Dad started to gather the rest of our side of family to help start the process. I cannot wait to see the pictures!
Finally, we were done with photos and had a few hours to kill between the ceremony and the reception and decided to stop by a local bar. After a drink we all made our way to the Country Club where the reception was being held. Even though the rain put a damper on the plans to be outside, the venue still pulled it off indoors and everything looked great. The center pieces were set on a large chop of wood with vintage glasses and a variety of flowers. Lori and Mark even had a signature drink the Apple Cider Sangria (this was RIGHT up my alley!). It was such a fun evening spent with new family and friends and lots of dancing. It was really amazing to see how much love there was in the room for both Mark and Lori. The Best Men and Matron of Honor speeches were funny and sentimental, both perfectly encompassing the happy couple. It was very clear throughout the night how many people have been touched by the love that Lori and Mark have for one another. I just hope that one day I am lucky enough to have what they have. After several hours of food and dancing my family was ready to crash. We headed home for the night but prepared for the delicious Sunday brunch my aunt and uncle were hosting at their house.
My mom and I made our way to their home bright and early to see if we could help with anything. There was TONS of delicious food already ready to go, I was in absolute heaven. From a massive fruit salad to a mushroom strata, they had just about everything you could imagine. I think my absolute favorite part of the wedding weekend was when Lori arrived and my mom, aunt and I were asking her how she felt about everything. She said she felt completely satisfied. It was such a simple but incredibly moving way to describe everything she was feeling. It was a wonderful weekend and she was completely content and satisfied in her life and this next chapter. I truly almost started crying right then and there as she told us this with a beaming smile. I am so glad that my family was able to be a part of this truly incredible weekend for Lori and Mark.
After stuffing ourselves with breakfast foods my mom and I made the 7 hour trek back home. Even though it was a long drive each way, I am so glad that we made this trip to Ohio. I would do anything for my family, and I love that my parents and I made the time to spend it with the people we love most. I think this also explains why I was pretty absent on the blog, I wanted to be present in my life last weekend, (but I will admit it didn’t stop me from taking a few instas 😉 !). Taking a step back from social media, blogging, and everything outside of my family and the wedding was such a welcome break. I came back to the city the following day fully refreshed and content, a feeling that I haven’t felt in a while.