Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tying the JKnot

So within a few minutes of publishing that last blog post a text from "one who shall remain nameless" hit my phone alerting me that, in my recap of highlights from 2013, I failed to mention one EXTREMELY important event--Uncle Jared and Aunt Kylee's wedding.

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
In my defense, I overlooked this occasion because it didn't come up in my quick review of the previous year's blog. Okay, maybe not a good defense. I admit, an absolute failure on my part. It's just that, in the month following Joci's birth, blogging about someone else's nuptials fell slightly below teeth brushing and showering on Mama's List of Priorities. But that's not to say it wasn't important. In fact, this was my second favorite wedding EVER. So I'll do my best to offer my perspective, 3 weeks post-partum, zombie mom brained perspective, mind you, as best as I can remember.

Bride-designed invitations, the only thing missing was a trumpeting herald upon delivery.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
 They say you can really get to know a person by looking at their Pinterest. If that's the case for Kylee, I was anticipating a New Year's Eve wedding with snow and fur and lots of sparkles. I was also anticipating plenty of time to get back to my small, slender self after my July-baby. So when April rolled around and there were discussions of late-summer, I got a little nervous. (Kylee is a teacher so getting married before school started made a lot of sense!) And when the date got narrowed down to August 3rd or August 10th I got really nervous.

I should mention here that I would never, ever expect someone to plan around a pregnant sister-of-the-groom. I'm a firm believer in short engagements and giving the couple complete freedom to do whatever they want without fear of family angst. It is YOUR day after all. I was just really hoping to be there.  I've been known to give birth a week before the due date, I've also been known to give birth a week after my due date.  After going back and forth with myself over the course of the summer I decided I would be at the wedding with newborn, or I'd be at the wedding pregnant.  The only case in which I would not be at the wedding was if I was in the throes, and I mean throes (I've got no qualms against "not making it" to the hospital, you know) of labor.  Or within hours of having given birth.  Nevertheless, I prayed.

"The Cellars" at Brookpark Farm, Lewisburg.  PA friends, this is a gorgeous venue!
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
The wedding was set for August 10 and, as you know, Omega Baby made her appearance on July 21. That gave me 2.5 weeks to prepare for the event.  Once it was clear that we'd both be there, I realized there were other things to consider.  Like how often I'd have to nurse this tiny, new babe, and whether or not I'd be emotionally able to handle the entire weekend.  Kylee was sweet enough to ask me to be in the wedding anyway with complete flexibility.  And I can honestly say it could not have gone better.  Obviously, I had to disappear several times throughout the day to nurse the baby (in my bridesmaid garb to boot!) but I never felt that I missed out on anything important, including the pictures.  And Joci was a complete angel the entire day.  I also only cried at appropriate intervals and only because it was all just so beautiful.  Hormones in check.

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Homemade yeast roll "knots" at every place setting.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
Now let's talk logistics.  I was a bridesmaid, therefore I needed a bridesmaid dress.  The good news is the bride let us choose anything we wanted, as long as it was on the beige spectrum, short, and would work with a belt.  The bad news is I had no idea what kind of shape my body would be in that day.  Plus I needed something in which I could easily nurse a baby.  I found a dress online that appeared to fit the bill, had it sent all the way from China, and then hung it in the closet until I could try it on ... the week of the wedding.

Note to self: Don't sit on knees on cement moments before walking down the aisle. 


The kids were in the wedding too.  The boys were khaki shorts and white button down shirts from the Children's Place (on sale, of course).  I also got them fedoras.  We had a friend make coordinating bow ties and bands for the hats.  We also found brown leather sandals on clearance at Kohls.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until the day before we left for the wedding that we went to try them on and realized Jude's were two right feet.  Amazingly, I stopped at another Kohls that day and they just so happened to have one pair left in his size, even cheaper than the first.


Julia was a flower girl along with Kylee's niece Raegan.  I started working on her wedding garb months in advance.  It was an ivory tulle skirt with a detachable matching train.  We're talking hundreds of yards of tulle here, people.  (I have a lot leftover if anyone is looking!!)  It actually ended up being easier than I thought (I made it twice because the first one wasn't quite "right"), and cost less than $10.  The shirt was much more difficult, and I waited a little too long to figure it out.  It was a satin front, with an open back and elastic lace straps.  The problem with the open back was getting the bottom front to stay down.  In the end, it didn't matter so much.  When the flower girl is crying and rolling around in the grass moments before walking down the aisle, the shirt becomes less noticeable.  Her hair clip was my favorite.  A kiddie-style fascinator with satin flower, tulle, and feathers.  The feathers were actually leftover from a bag of neon ones we used at my parents surprise birthday party, since they were bright white, and the rest of the outfit was cream, I just soaked them in tea for a few days.  Wa-la.  She still wears the clip and just got complimented on it at church on Sunday.
An overwhelmed Flower Girl.

Only shot I have of the back.

Lost in tulle!


Uncle Micah was dangling swedish fish above her head ...
Finally, there was Joci.  She wasn't in the wedding, obviously, but still needed to look good.  In my head, I was picturing a lace petti-romper.  I almost ordered one off Etsy.  I should have.  But in my cheap mind I decided to do it myself.  I did everything I could ahead of time, based on the measurements I saw in an Etsy listing.  I just created a satin-lined, lace rectangle.  The plan was to have it all made up except for the back seam so I could just fit it to her the week of the wedding.  Well, I sized it to a newborn and she ended up being two weeks old when I fitted her.  It was too short so I added an apron top and did the same strap/lace-up the back thing I did with Julia.  But you know newborns, always packing on the pounds. I sewed it up three days before the wedding and by the actual day she could barely squeeze in to it.  Which is why she's showing so much skin in all the pictures.





Oh, I can't forget the shoes.  While the wedding was mostly biege/ivory tones, there were also some hints of gold and coral.  So, to match her mama, Joci got her own coral barefoot sandals.  Like any great shoe, she wore them once.  I don't know what to do with them now, but whenever I see them in the drawer they make me smile.  Moving on ...

The drapery and chandelier, two of my favorites!
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
One of the things I love about my new sister-in-law is her her DIY attitude.  And with such flair.  In an age where it seems that people are spending a fortune on their weddings while starving the actual marriage, Kylee and Co. pulled off an amazing wedding on a realistic budget.  I mean, was there any doubt after that shower her sister threw?  And as for the mother-of-the-bride, I'm just waiting for her to announce an internship program so I can sign right up.  I have never seen someone pull off so many things in such a short amount of time.  Not only did she work with Kylee for all the decorations, but she also managed the entire meal as well.  And it was phenomenal.

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
In fact, the whole day was just perfect.  The weather was supremely beautiful.  We're talking August in Pennsylvania here, for an outside wedding.  Which usually means hot and sticky but on this particular day it was warm and breezy.  The kind of breeze that just tossed the limbs of the mighty sycamore and made the leaves sing.

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Did I mention the mother-of-the-bride also made the bouquets and boutonnieres?
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
I wish I could say my kids were as well-behaved as the weather but alas, that was not to be had.  Despite spending weeks talking about the wedding, and wedding clothes, and being still and quiet, the ideal eluded us.  Apparently, Julia was not given a nap that afternoon.  While waiting to walk down the aisle, she just wanted to be held.  And when that didn't go her way she threw a fit.  Screaming, tears rolling down her face, laying flat on the ground fit.  And then it was time to send her down the aisle.  So Poppa grabbed her hand and helped me walk her crying self all the way to the ceremony.

The lovely Marmie being escorted by Uncle Micah.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

A little help from Poppa.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

It was all just too much for little princess.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
The boys, they just wanted to have fun.  Which meant running laps around an old, extremely dirty porch moments before the wedding.  And then sitting down on said dirty porch.  And so I'm trying to manage them, and Julia, while keeping myself clean and all while wearing the most uncomfortable heels that have ever graced my toes.  They were a little more excited to walk down the aisle.  And that excitement carried through the entire ceremony where they sat in the front row with Marmie and Poppa and I heard Jack say, over and over again, "Is she Aunt Kylee yet?  Is she Aunt Kylee yet?  Is she Aunt Kylee yet?"

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Her demeanor drastically changed once she reached the end of the aisle.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Our growing family!
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Aunt Bride and Uncle Groom
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Marmie and Poppa, celebrating marrying another kid off!
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
Thankfully, after surveying a handful of guests, I don't think too many other people noticed.  They were too taken with the beautiful ceremony and that stunning bride.

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
 We all sang "Come Thy Fount" together.  Kylee's sister played the cello.  Jared and Kylee exchanged vows that they wrote themselves and that brought us ALL to tears.  They tied an actual knot.  And then there was the kiss and cheers, followed by lots of hugs, celebration, and a chance to finally take my shoes off.

Now that's a close wedding party!
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Making sure that knot is secure.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
The rest of the day is a bit of a blur for this mama.  There were more pictures, catching up with friends and family we haven't seen much, chasing ducks ...

video



... a few trips to the coffee bar, some fabulous speeches by my brother Micah and Kylee's sisters Abi and Haylynn, and dancing.  The highlight of which was this number which included flash-mob-esque participation by the wedding party and some key guests.  This is a poor video, but the only thing we have.  And I don't mind because I chose to go to bed instead of attend the dance rehearsal so it's a good thing you can't see too much of me anyway.

Best Man Speech = embarrassingly hilarious.
Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
video


It was a fun day.  Certainly the "best day ever" for our favorite couple who left the next morning for their honeymoon in Saint Lucia.  As things usually happen for my little brother, Kylee got called for an interview the day she got back from her honeymoon and started teaching that very week.  They're both settled in their adorable Charm City row house.  I couldn't be happier to finally have a sister in the family and one so close by!  And while I would say that I can now look forward to hopefully being an Aunt someday (and a good excuse to hold on to some of those baby clothes that make me get a little teary-eyed) we're glad they're enjoying the newlywed life for now.

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com

Photo Credit: Achor & Eden, www.achorandeden.com
Okay, so maybe we're willing to hold off on nieces and nephews a little bit longer if it means a few more nights of free babysitting.

Uncle Jared and Aunt Kylee, we loved you both before you found each other, we love you even more as a couple.  It was a beautiful wedding, but even more importantly, we're so proud of your beautiful marriage!


Sooo, turns out I couldn't hide my Nikon behind the bouquet.  Not that it mattered because no picture I could take would compare with the talent of Achor and Eden.  You can check out their post on the wedding (as well as some other great pictures that I didn't include here) at http://achorandeden.com/kylee-jared-the-cellars-in-lewisburg-pa.  

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