Two Down

We’ve come to the end of anniversary week, and as promised, I’m putting an end to your misery wrapping it up with some pictures from our big day.  So let’s get this over with, shall we?

Yay blue wedding shoes!!!  I’m glad I bought two pairs cuz I’ve worn that pair to its last legs.

Apparently some people never learned how to share.  Either that or we didn’t feed them enough dinner.

Apparently the drinking age at our wedding wasn’t strictly enforced.

What’s a wedding without some line dancing?

Did the Bachelors in Residence just spot a hot girl?

Really?  We’re at a formal affair here–take it outside if the steak’s not sitting well.”

Idiot Nation represents!

Gotta love the Lebanese Dabke . . . Holla!

I’m pretty sure this picture could win a cheesiest-wedding-photo-ever contest.  What we were thinking?!  Oh wait–we weren’t.

I just got mawwied!”

Happy Anniversary Mr. Bunches!  I love you.

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Winter Wedding Touches

That’s right kids–it’s day 2 of a 3-day tribute to the Bunches’ second wedding anniversary.  In case you missed day 1, check it out here.  Since last time I ended with our final choice of a wedding venue (Saratoga National Golf Club in case you forgot . . . )

I thought that this go around I’d take a little jaunt down DIY-memory lane.  Since Mr. Bunches and I tend to be pretty practical (and by that I mean frugal) we (and by we I mean I) decided to DIY some stuff for the wedding (let’s be honest–Mr. Bunches would likely have skipped all this stuff, and in reality that probably would have been A-OK since it’s all kind of silly anyways).  First up–my bouquet.  Let’s start with the inspiration:

Yeah that was a picture I took of a photo in some bridal magazine.  Wish I could remember which one, but I can’t.  Anyways, I loved the simplicity and the winteriness of it.  But I didn’t love the $150 price tag, so I figured I’d just DIY it.  Which meant Mr. B and I needed to go on a scavenger hunt for some pine cones and twigs.  Then, with some floral foam from the dollar store, a hot glue gun, and some glitter, I made this:

Not bad for less than $10, right?  And even though it was a bit top-heavy, it made it through the night just fine.  See?

Which brings me to DIY item #2–my dress.  No, I’m not Martha Stewart so I did not sew my dress myself (well, actually if I was Martha Stewart I would have had an entire team to sew my dress for me–I mean, let’s be honest, that woman hasn’t done a thing for herself since her days in lock-up and even then she had other convicts knitting her ponchos).  Nope–I just tweaked my dress a bit.  See, when I finally got the dress home, I wasn’t so crazy about it; in the bridal salon I had added a bunch of stuff to it that eventually led me to get it.  I’d show you pictures from when I bought it, but I don’t look so good in those pics, and since it’s my blog, I get to be picky about which pictures of me I post; nothing like keeping it sort-of real, right?  To sum up, the original dress didn’t have the flower or the sash.  And while we found this flower at the bridal salon,

It was $200.  And like any frugal-minded type A personality, I knew I could make it myself.  So I took a good look at it . . .

. . . took some rough measurements . . .

And then basically made my own through trial and error.  For less than $20.  Score 2 for me.  I recognized the shape froma  Martha Tutorial on how to make fabric and paper wedding flowers–check it out here if you want all the details.  Oh, and the sash was even easier–just bought some silk, sewed it up, and then tied it around the dress about 5 minutes before I walked down the aisle.

Okay, so the last thing we DIY’ed (that I remember at least) were our favors, which basically amounted to chinese food containers so that people could take home the Lindt Lindor truffles that we had as centerpieces.

We used glass vases and vessels that we got free from freecycle.org to hold the candy.  Who knew that you could get so much free stuff on Freecycle, huh?  And then, after the wedding I used Freecycle to get rid of any vases I had left over.  Easy peasy.

Oh, and we added some trivia about us in each favor box along with seat assignments–ya’ know, just to keep it interesting overshare with our wedding guests.

So there you have it–not quite the wedding DIY tutorials I talked about for my sister’s big day (check those out here), but just a little trip down memory lane of the types of things I used to stress about.  Jeez–what was I thinking, huh?

Okay, so stay tuned tomorrow for some actual never-before-seen pictures from our big day (mainly because two years later I still haven’t gotten around to actually doing anything with our wedding photos–again: oops).  For now, though, I’ll leave you with a few additional scenery shots . . .

Cotton or China?

So can anyone guess what this post will be about based on the title?  Perchance some of you married folks out there?  No?  Okay, it has to do with two years . . . any guesses now?  I’m sure some of you have it by now–that’s right, this week marks the Bunches’ Two-Year Wedding Anniversary!  Can you believe it?!  And not only have we been married two years, but this week also marks the three-year anniversary of our engagement.

Yeah, in retrospect I should’ve removed the ring from my index finger when posing for that pic, but I was clearly way too excited and giddy to think about that.  I mean–look at the smile on my face!  It pretty much didn’t disappear for about two weeks.


In case you still haven’t figured out the title, it’s a reference to the “traditional” and “modern” US wedding gifts for the two-year anniversary.  So apparently if I wanted to be traditional, I should’ve wrapped up some cotton balls for Mr. B on the big day; or, if I was feeling more modern, I could’ve gotten him a china tea cup because I think we all know how perfectly the Mr. would love a little tea cup, right?  Can you tell by my sarcasm that I’ve clearly done neither?  Yeah–no cotton or china for the Mr. this year.  Sorry Bunches.

But . . . since it’s our anniversary week, I thought it would be a good time to take a little trip down memory lane of our wedding.  Which might seem really obnoxious to some of you, but too bad.  It’s my blog, not yours.  How you like ‘dem apples?

First up, our hunt for a wedding venue . . . it took us from a restaurant on the shores of Lake Ontario . . .

Loving the Easter bunnies btw.

. . . to Hamlin Beach, NY . . .

Which I still think would be perfect for a summer casual bbq wedding, no matter what Deenie says!

. . . to the Finger Lakes region of NY . . .

Again, beautiful, but a bit too casual.  Of course, another trip to Upstate NY meant that I got to try my first garbage plate . . . 

Yes, that was completely unrelated to wedding stuff, but it was taken on the same trip, so I figured I’d include it.  Plus, it was my first and last garbage plate.  Ick.

. . . to the breathtaking Hyde Hall at Glimmerglass State Park in Cooperstown, NY . . .

. . . and finally to Saratoga Springs, NY, where there seemed to be endless wedding venue options . . .

. . . and with all those options, and the fact that we fell in love with Saratoga Springs the first time we went there, we were basically sold.    Saratoga Springs it was!

Of course, that is clearly not a comprehensive list of everything we looked at (online and in person).  If I were to try and review all of that, we’d be here days.  Literally days.  And I might go insane (again).  So consider that a highly truncated list; and consider yourself saved from being even more bored than you likely already are from this post.

So once we found our venue (Saratoga National Golf Club in case you were wondering), we just needed a horse for Mr. Bunches to ride in on . . .

Oh no, wait, that was just in my head.  Nevermind.

Okay, so since I’m going to extend our anniversary stretch out our anniversary over the rest of the week until none of you wants to hear about it ever again, I think I’ll end there for today.

But just for kicks, I’ll give you a hint about what I’ll be blogging about next week (in case you feel the need to skip the rest of this week’s anniversary recap).  Just a quick little trip I took this past weekend . . . can you guess where?

Sand, Surf, and Love

As promised in last week’s teaser, I’m back to spill all the details on Mike and Carrie’s big day.    Yep–they’re mawwied!  And it was absolutely beautiful–we got to spend 4 days in Florida and most of it was filled with clear skies and sunny days.  Good job planning the weather M&C!

The wedding reception was held at the Night Swan Bed & Breakfast, located right on the Intracoastal Waterway.

The location was perfect, and since there were a lot of different rooms and cottages, it was nice to have everyone in one place.

The reception was held in the tents, which were set up a couple days before the big day.  One of the best parts of the Night Swan was the dock across the street.

I spent quite a bit of time hanging out there.  I may or may not have seen 20+ dolphins, a manatee, and some crazy pelicans.

Nothing like a little R&R.  Of course, there was lots to do, so we quickly got to work helping M&C get set up for the big day.  We helped hang the photo screen.  What’s that?  Well, let’s let some pictures do the talking . . .

Yep, it was an air-brushed beach scene that served as a DIY photo booth of sorts.  M&C set up their camera on a tripod and let people pose for pictures throughout the reception.  Always the first to volunteer for the toughest jobs, Mr. Bunches offered to pose as the model for the test shots.  That Mr.–always hard at work, huh?

They even put out some props so that everyone could really get into it . . .

Once we had finished doing some setup, it was time for a practice run.  That’s right–rehearsal time!  Practice makes perfect ya’ know.  So we headed to the beach.  Canaveral National Seashore to be exact.

And M&C got their practice on.

It was important to make sure everyone knew their roles and responsibilities.  Particularly the flower girl Moose . . .

And, of course, there was time for some hugs . . . here’s where y’all collectively say, “Awww . . . “

Okay, but back to the couple in question–it was M&C’s big day.  Not ours.  Once we’d finished with the rehearsal, we were ready.  Well, almost.  We got a good night’s sleep, and then it was pampering time!  Carrie had sweetly arranged for mani-pedis for all us girls at Beaches Day Spa.

Have you ever seen a more chill bride?!  Must be all that yoga.  She’s definitely way more chill than Bunches Jr.

It was nice to get a little pampering.  My toes especially appreciated it.  My apologies if feet (or my feet in particular) totally gross you out.

Carrie also got some of her make-up done while we there.  So purty!

Back to the Night Swan after that for the rest of hair and makeup and some last-minute setting up.  Oh, and some texting.  Who texts a bride on her wedding day?!

Why, the sweetest groom ever does!

Then it was time to get the dress on–a few hands were needed for that job . . .

But no reveal yet–nope.  Not yet.  Wait for it.  Instead, some finishing hair touches . . .

And the bouquet shots.  Quick note on the bouquets–Carrie made these while getting her hair done!  Talk about multi-tasking, huh?!  She seriously was Super Bride all day!

With hair done, dress on, and bouquets in hand, it was time to head to the beach!  And take some pre-wedding shots (now you get the full reveal).  Here she is with her mom and M-I-L.

Mr. Bunches gave Carrie a good luck hug before taking the plunge . . .

Once all the guests arrived and made it down to the beach, it was time to start the show!

Lots of friends and family spent the day decorating the beach–they did a fantastic job and with almost all free stuff (palm fronds, stones, shells).  Talk about a resourceful crowd!

From here, I’ll let the pictures do the talking . . .

Sand, Surf, and Love.  Sigh.

Once the guests were on their way to the reception, I stole the bride and groom for a quick photo shoot on their big day.

Seriously?  Best. Looking. Couple. Ever.

I also grabbed Bunches Jr. for a quick photo shoot.  Ain’t she the purtiest?

Oh, and the most graceful! :)

Of course, then it was time to head to the par-tay!!  And these two were ready to rock.

That’s right–Olsen was in da’ house!!  Time to get our party on–back to the Night Swan!  But first, some quick shots of all the thoughtful touches that Mike and Carrie (alright–really just Carrie) had at their wedding.

DIY’ed sea glass candy!  Seriously–Carrie is my hero.

She also made the beachy-inspired centerpieces.  Love them!

And since M&C’s dogs couldn’t be there for the wedding or reception (darn those bed and breakfast rules!), Carrie made sure they were represented.  And what better way than through the three wedding cakes?!

Notice anything familiar about the backdrop of all those doggie picks?  Again–Carrie is beyond clever.  Oh, and those cakes were A-MA-ZING!  Particularly the chocolate peanut butter one!  And the best part?  They were from Publix!  Who knew that the best wedding cake I’ve ever eaten could come from the grocery store?!  I may need to be there for Mike and Carrie’s first anniversary so I can eat another slice . . .

The reception also gave everyone a chance to take some posed shots at the DIY photo booth.  I told you those props would be put to good use!

C’mon–you knew that planking was going to be a part of the festivities.  I mean–Olsen was there for crying out loud.

During the reception, M&C played a slide show (created by their amazing sister-in-law) on the roof of the tent.  It was a great way to showcase them as individuals and then them as a couple.

They were seriously too cute the whole night.

But we took a break from gazing at them to get a little bit of our groove on.  Dapke anyone?

Oh, and a wedding classic . . . can you guess which one?

Mr. B and I did our best eighth-grade dance impression.  You know–we wanted to keep it PG for the kids and all.

All in all, such a great time.  And look–everyone decided to wear matching outfits!

We were just like that sea glass candy!

And with the tied knot of M&C, we’ve finally come to the end of wedding season.  Phew–we survived (check out this season’s other weddings here and here).  Not so sure if Olsen can say the same . . .

Maybe it was all that planking?

Congratulations again Mike & Carrie!!  We love you and wish you many, many happy years to come!

Teaser

So this is going to be short and sweet, but don’t worry–there’s a much longer post in the works.  This past weekend Mr. Bunches and I traveled south to celebrate with Mike and Carrie . . .

That’s right–those two are officially off the market!  And we couldn’t be happier.  It was a beautiful wedding.  Love to you both!

I’ll post way more details later, but I’m still in the process of sorting through the 1,500+ pictures I took last weekend.

My Sister’s Maine Squeeze

As promised yesterday, here are all the details on my little sis’ big day.  It was so beautiful, and she timed it perfectly–right between an earthquake and a hurricane, without a cloud in sight!

Wasn’t it gorgeous?!  The ceremony and reception were held at the Red Barn at Outlook Farm in South Berwick, Maine and the venue could literally not have been any more perfect.  But we can’t just jump right in, now can we?  Of course not!  If you’ve been paying attention at all, then you know I like to go on and on and on about weddings (like I did with my big sister’s wedding in Santa Barbara, CA).  So I’ll make you a promise if you make me one–I’ll keep this wedding to one post IF you promise not to skip ahead to all the wedding deets?  Deal?  Deal.

First up?  The bridal party preparations!  We met up with my little sis while she and her bridesmaids were getting their hair and makeup did for the big day.  Just check out how happy she was–she literally was beaming  she was so excited!

And since she’s a smart girl, she made some super smart decisions.  Like picking out adorable bridesmaid dresses that were also cost-conscious (only $23 each from Charlotte Russe! check out a similar dress here):

You could tell that her bridesmaids LOVED them (and the extra cash that they left in their pockets).

Her bridesmaids had made sure that there were lots of cute touches surrounding her on her big day, and that was so sweet to see–love it when you can get a bunch of youngish girls to come together to do good instead of evil drama.

Once we said our hellos and shared a champagne toast, it was time to leave the bridal party to their hair-didding.  So here’s our last look at the bride before . . . a picture of calm, cool, collectedness:

Then it was time for the ceremony!  So off to the Red Barn we drove–over the river and through the woods (or on 95 and then on a side road).  And arrive at a ceremony we did.  And then we waited, all of us sisters giddy in anticipation.

And ready with our cameras.  We were pointing those things at anything that would sit still!

The venue was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S.

And the groom wasn’t so bad himself . . . who doesn’t love a man in uniform?  That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

All the nervous anticipation . . . waiting for the curtains to be raised . . .

And the procession to begin . . .

The Maid of Honor stood out from the crowd with a different gown, coordinated perfectly with the other girls.

But one of the sweetest parts of the procession was the Flower Girl Woman.  How fantastic is that idea?!

And then?  It was time!  Time for the sweetest little sister ever to make her grand entrance . . .

Sigh.

And the handoff is gooooooood (what?  Football season’s about to start.  Wrong moment?  Sorry).

Don’t they look darling?  Like little wedding cake toppers?  The brunette versions.

“I do.”

“I do.”

Smoocharoo!

HOORAY!

While the bride and groom got their mugs shot with their bridal party, the rest of us enjoyed some cocktails and apps out on the verandah . . .

It was so great to have all the sisters and mothers together (4 sisters and 3 moms–nothing says normal like crazily-arranged families, right?) . . .

The Ex-Wives Club . . . One, Two, and Three!

Once Chloe finally reappeared, we made quick work of grabbing her for some family shots.

It was so great to see my stepmom and my uncle–it had been way too long!

Once cocktail hour was over, we headed back inside for the dinner reception and dancing.  From here on out, I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking (you’re welcome).

So there you have it!  The last sister has been spoken for.  The wedding was wonderful and Mr. Bunches and I were so happy to be there and share in Chloe and Brandon’s special day.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Wedding? Book it.

Back when my big sis got hitched in April, I gave y’all the play-by-play details (and then some).  It was such a wonderful time, and we loved being a part of it, so I thought one last revisit to the big event was in order, but this time with a little twist.  A post-wedding gift idea twist.  As anyone who’s recently gone through a wedding knows, the first question you get once you’re home from the honeymoon is, “Do you have pictures?  Can I see?  Oh come on–I’m just dying to see the photos of your big day!  What do you mean it’s going to take your photographer months to get them to you?!  I want to see them NOW.  NOW damn it!”  Okay, so maybe people aren’t quite that pushy, but you get the idea.

So, with my own knowledge of recently being married and having to deal with all those obnoxious sweet, caring, and curious friends and coworkers (love you!), I knew just the thing to get my sister.  Of course, I can’t take any credit for this idea whatsoever.  Nope, none.  See, soon after our own wedding, one of the Mr’s closest friends sent us a photo album that she had put together from her shots of our big day.  It was a 7″x7″ hardcover book that she had made on Blurb, and it was the perfect size–so easy to throw in my purse and take with us–to show to coworkers, family, friends, etc.  And since, true to form, wedding photographers (ours included) took a while before getting our pictures to us, it was doubly nice that we had such a professional album to show around so soon after the wedding.  (Oh, and it may have helped that the Mr.’s friend is one of the BEST photographers out there, with a long list of celebrity clients.  But the idea’s still good even for amateur photogs like myself.)

So first thing–I downloaded Blurb’s Booksmart tool and got started (although, if you’re wary of downloading programs, they have an online tool to make books as well) . . .

Why Blurb?  Like I said, the Mr.’s friend is in the upper echelons of professional photography and that’s the program she chose, so why reinvent the wheel, right?  The research, in this instance, was done for me.  Plus, I may or may not have liked saying the company’s name.  Out loud.  To myself.  Sometimes in a frog-like voice.

Anyways, the program was super easy to use and had a TON of layouts to choose from, which was a nice change from programs like Snapfish or Kodak.  My only problem was that I didn’t have enough pictures of the actual big day–being the Maid of Honor necessitated me not having a camera during the ceremony.  But luckily, I put a call out to all my sister’s friends and they totally delivered–so thank you Punkie, Alisa, Jenn, and Shona for all the great pics!  Then, it was just a matter of laying out the book, reviewing it, and ordering.  Voila!

Once I placed the order, the book arrived in a only a few days and it came out awesome.  My only regret was that I should have added more pages–sorry Doodles!

So there it is–a great gift idea for a recent bride (and don’t worry–I gave this to my sis a looooong time ago, so no surprise ruined here :); I just forgot to post about it).  I even loved it so much that I ordered another copy for myself!  The Blurb books start at $10.95 (softcover), but this version started at $20.95 (hardcover with dust jacket).  But I managed to find myself a coupon (by checking sites like these), so even though I added extra pages, it was still totally reasonable.

Consider yourself Blurbed.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

My big sister’s wedding went off swimmingly . . . the sun shone brightly, there were no surprises, and all was well.  Since they were super smart and got lots of pictures done ahead of time, they got to practically head right over to the Canary Hotel for the reception.  And of course, that’s where all the fun stuff was–eating, drinking, and dancing (not necessarily in that order)!  So my sister and her husband (ack–it sounds so crazy to write that for the first time!) made their way over to the reception courtesy of their pedi-cab driver (read more about how the pedi-cab was decorated here):

Pedicab

The roofdeck at the Canary Hotel looked beautiful . . . all that planning and scouring of the Internet that my sister did in preparation really paid off.  From the overall look . . .

 

Party View

. . . to the centerpieces, candles, and burlap table runners . . .

 

Wedding Centerpieces

. . . to the homemade table numbers (these were apparently quite a pain initially; but all was well once my sister and her M-I-L realized how wonderful glue guns were.  They basically solve all problems; kind of like how Windex cures everything . . . quick: name that movie!) . . .

 

Centerpieces

. . . and remember those last-minute escort cards (detailed here)?  Well, they did their job and looked good in the process . . .

Escort Card

Again, the real photographers will hopefully have much better shots of everything, and since I was so caught up in making sure I was having a good time (I had to prioritize, ya’ know), I forgot to take all the pictures I was planning to take, so again–thank you, thank you, thank you to my sister’s friends for providing all these photos. 
 
Since Josh has a bit of a thang for penguins, his mom was able to get these sweet cake toppers for their classic cake:

Wedding Cake

I kind of love how chunky they are; and since we’re on the topic of chunky things . . .
 
CHUNK
 
(okay, really, I just needed to get a picture of Chunk somewhere on this blog–that curvacious girl has ruined me for all other pugs!  Oh Chunk.)
 
Alright–back on track.  Once we got to the reception, we had one focus: food.  Well, okay, there may have been one other focus: drinks.  Drinks was easy, but with food, we had a strategy.  See, Mr. Bunches and I have been to our fair share of weddings lately, and we’ve learned that the best place to stand and chat is near whatever door the passed hors d’oeuvres were coming out of.  And that’s exactly what we did (along with Uncle Tree and my cousins–they’re no slouches when it comes to food strategies).  So we got to taste everything: beef skewers, brie & spinach puff pastries, spring rolls, you name it–if they made it, we ate it.
 
Of course, eventually it was time to find our seats and to welcome the new couple as they performed their first dance as H+W.  They did great.  Spectacular.  It was really a DWTS moment.  She had sequins and glitter, and he had stretchy pants . . . can’t you just picture it?!  Sublime.  Okay, well maybe it wasn’t quite like that.  But you had a cool image in your head, didn’t you?  You’re welcome.  I figured since I didn’t have any pictures of it, I better give your imagination a good jumping off point.
 
But no, it was just beautiful.  And once they sat down, and we all sat down, that’s when we felt it: the first raindrop.  At first I thought maybe someone at our table just had a lisp or something, but no–it was a rain drop!  Apparently their dance was so amazing and sparkly and jazzy that the rain gods decided to reward them.  With rain.  Light at first, but then pouring!  Can you believe it?  The average rainfall for Santa Barbara is only 1.21 inches for the month of April–the entire month!  (We get that much rain in Brockport at least every day.)  So what were the odds?!  Of course, my sis was a little distraught at first, but everyone was great–the hotel staff quickly brought out towels and umbrellas, the DJ was a rockstar and kept playing theme appropriate music (we were hoping that It’s Raining Men would make an appearance, but it wasn’t in the cards; shucks, huh?), and the Best Man even got on the dance floor and performed his own special rain dance. 
 
Rain Showers

My sister’s good friend, Shona, pointed out that rain on a wedding day is a good thing–it’s a sign of fertility!  Yay babies!  So all in all, the rain only lasted for about 20 minutes, and then this happened:

Rainbows

See that beautiful rainbow?  Well–there were TWO of them!  Doubly lucky.  And it looks like my sis may have gotten her own little pot o’ gold Josh:

Pot of Gold

I can’t wait to see these pictures from the photographer–I’m sure they’ll be stunning:

Lucky Rainbows

The hotel staff was amazing and quickly changed out all the linens, reset all the tables, and made everything beautiful yet again.  The sky was clear the entire rest of the night, there was no wind, and it was the perfect temperature–it really couldn’t have been better.  Which, of course, meant that there had to be dancing:

Why exactly is it impossible to look cool while you’re dancing?  IM-POSS-IBLE.  But it was fun regardless–lord knows that me and the Mr. like to get our boogey on. 

One of the best parts of the night was when my biggest sis arrived to the reception . . . of course, it only reminded us that we were missing the youngest sis, but we’ll see her soon enough at her own wedding.  For now, there are 3, but in August, there will be 4:

Is it obvious that I’m practically kneeling in this picture?  I kind of feel like Big Bird when I’m with all the sisters (especially when I’m in a yellow dress ;) )–one of these kids is definitely not like the others.

Okay, so that’s all.  Finito.  The end of the greatest wedding yet (take that William and Kate).  But our travels weren’t over–soon I’ll post some details about our wine trip from the day after the wedding, and then Vegas baby.  Yeah.

She Does! He Does! JOY.

After much preparation and practice, the wedding day finally arrived.  Oh happy day (and, coincidentally, Happy Earth Day, since it shared their April 22nd nuptial date).  Just an fyi–this post is going to be pretty picture heavy to satisfy all the family requests–and thanks so much to my sister’s girlfriends for sending me their pics so soon!  (I have something special planned for all those pics, but more on that later.)

First up: Alcohol.  What else, right?!  My sis’ good friend, Punkie, gave her a bottle of champagne from Mumm Vineyard, so Doodles did the honors to start the glamification session off on the right foot . . .

Wedding Day Champagne

Wedding Day Champagne Toast

Next up was hair and makeup at the estate by the future sister-in-law, aka all-around magic-maker, Bre.  Basically, she’s a genius and she made everyone look beautiful for the big day:

Wedding Makeup-The Beginning

Major Concentration

Hair Time

Of course, it wasn’t only time for the grown-ups to get ready . . . the flower girl was all sweeted up too!  Don’t you just love that dress?!  (From Etsy seller SweetPlume.)

Kira Gets Ready!

But the most important dress was just for the bride . . . doesn’t she look angelic?  Sigh.  My big sis.  I may have cried.  A little.  But not so much as to ruin Bre’s magic.

Sigh.

Now it was time for the veil . . . again, Bre to the rescue:

Wedding Veil

Then we were off to the races (of course we were running a little late–I mean, Bre had to work some serious MAGIC–not on my sister of course, but most definitely on me ;) ).  The bride and groom had planned to see each other before the ceremony in order to have that first look captured when he laid eyes on her; and so they could have a moment with just the two of them.  Plus, they then had an opportunity to get lots of pictures out of the way so they could get straight on to partying after the ceremony.  Now, for all those first look shots, we’ll just have to wait for pictures from their photographer, but here’s one of the bridal party:

Bridal Party

And some random family and friends’ shots while we all waited around:

Shocking! Non-awkward Teenagers!

The Bunches

Cousins

Mira!!!

Family Shot

Once all the pictures were done, and the guests had arrived, it was GO time!  Again, forgive me a little for a lack of pictures here since I was busy walking and standing (all that practice really helped, except who knew I’d be so shaky from nerves?!), and Mr. Bunches was the official videographer, so he was sans camera as well.  But with 2 professional photographers on site, I’m sure there will be great pics to come.  For now, though, here are some shots taken by the other guests:

MOH and Best Man

Luckily, I had the best man to hold onto . . . otherwise, my heels could have been disastrous.  And thank goodness my mom had the bride to hold onto!  We thought she’d cried it out at the rehearsal, but clearly not . . .

MOB and Bride's Entrance

And true to form, Uncle Tree gave quite the performance . . . from laughter (and maybe some drooling?  I’m not quite sure what he’s doing in this shot) . . .

Wedding Laughter

. . . to complete solemnity . . .

Vows

. . . and a little singing and dancing thrown in for good measure.  His rendition of The Jungle Book’s Bear Necessities almost stole the show:

Bear Necessities

That is, of course, until Josh’s kiss major smooch really stole the show:

Wedding Make Out Session

Everything went off so smoothly and it was such a fantastic ceremony.  I can hardly believe that my sis is all growed up . . .

New Adventures Await

What was especially amazing, though, about their big day was that it started out pretty overcast, but right before the ceremony started, there was a break in the clouds that allowed the sun to shine through!  And it kept on shining throughout the entire ceremony, only to go back into hiding once they finished their walk out.  I think it was a sign  . . . just like the other weather signs that came later that night . . . I’ll dish all the details about that and pics from the reception tomorrow.  But for now, some more bride and groom eye candy:

Love

True Love

Practice Makes Perfect

Once all of the last-minute crafting was taken care of, it was time for the Wedding Rehearsal where we practiced walking . . .

Uncle Tree Walking

and standing . . .

Standing Practice

Pretty important stuff, right?  Luckily for my sister, Uncle Tree had the whole walking thing down on his first try, and he really showed the rest of us how it was done.  Phew, huh?

But let’s back up a few hours to when we were getting ready for the rehearsal . . . see, my sister’s future M-I-L had rented the most amazing house estate in the hills of Santa Barbara, and we got ready for both the rehearsal and the wedding there (plus, it was the ideal spot for the rehearsal dinner that she hosted for all the wedding guests).  Here’s the view from the 6 foot high window above the master bathtub:

Estate Picture Window

For those of you that have seen either the Bachelor or Bachelorette (yes, we watch that trash show in our house), the estate was similar to something you’d see on the show (especially if you could see the size of the bathtub–I think one of the prerequisites for that show is your willingness to make out in some sort of tub).  So of course, we had to have our own Bachelor/ette moment on the master bedroom balcony (did you think I was going to say bathtub? Get your mind out of the gutter!).  No–the moment we were going for was all about feelings–you know the type: really important feelings about love, laughter, joy, blah, blah, blah; the kind of feelings that you can only have while looking longingly in the distance:

Mr. Bunches' Bachelor Moment

Mrs. Bunches' Bachelorette Moment

Bride's Bachelorette Moment

Sidenote: I wonder if Mr. Bunches was thinking about the one that got away . . .

Ashley H and Mr. Bunches

Yep, that’s Vacation Bunches with the next Bachelorette, Ashley H., in Vegas!  I know, I know–he literally has sunshine coming out of his butt everywhere he goes.  Joke’s on her though–he hadn’t showered in days when she leaned in for that pic!

Alright, back to the walking and standing practice.  True to form, my mom was a tearful mess–it was a good thing she had my sister to hold onto, because otherwise, I’m not sure she would’ve been so successful with the whole walking thing:

Mom Crying

Of course, she wasn’t the only one getting teary . . . I’m pretty sure that Josh’s mom was just as caught up in the moment:

M-I-L Rehearsal Crying

In the end, everyone did great; I think my favorite part was their walk out of the rehearsal . . . gotta love the beauty queen wave and rockstar bouquet raise:

Rehearsal Exit

Once we finished up at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, off we went back to the set of the next Bachelorette estate for the Rehearsal Dinner.  It was a low-key barbeque and everyone was invited.  There was pool time . . .

. . . Toast time . . .

. . . and of course, the best time of all: CAKE TIME!

Wedding Rehearsal Cake

The best part about that cake was how excited the groom’s nephew was to get his hands on that big yellow bird on top . . . I don’t think anything jazzes up a five year old quite like animals made entirely of frosting:

 My sister also took this opportunity to give everyone a little welcome gift (since everyone was staying at hotels all over the city, it would have been nearly impossible to have these bags waiting for people when they checked in).

Wedding Welcome Bag

Besides the typical water and granola bars, my sister thoughtfully included a pre-stamped Santa Barbara postcard for everyone (like me, she likes to mail herself a postcard when she travels–that way, you always have a little keepsake that’s conveniently dated for when you took the trip).  The welcome bag also included some Easter treats (since she was getting  married on Good Friday).  So fun, right?

Easter Eggs

All in all, the rehearsal went off without a hitch, and everyone had a great time.  Of course, the cake didn’t fare so well . . .

Stay tuned tomorrow when I’ll post some pics from the BIG DAY!

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