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!

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Buy Local Moose!

Every Saturday, flocks of people head to the Rochester Market to browse, shop, eat, and get a bargain.  Moose (my father-in-law) had told us about the pilgrimage, proclaiming how much we would love it because of two things:

  1. A cheese and olive shop where the owners actually made their own olive oil on a small farm in Italy; and
  2. Scores of goods from local farmers and merchants.

Now, Moose basically had us at one word: cheese.  We love the stuff so much that some days we even like to pretend we’re European and dine on a crusty baguette, a few varied cheeses, and a robust Cabernet for dinner.  Of course, we probably eat way more of it in one sitting than most Europeans, and we doubt that Yancey’s Fancy Buffalo Wing Cheddar usually makes the cut on most Parisian tables, but still—we at least like to pretend we’re refined.  (Yancey’s Fancy is a local cheese producer located about mid-way between Buffalo and Brockport; they make a wide variety of cheddars, all of which are available at Wegman’s, so needless to say that when Mr. Bunches caught a glimpse of a combo of Buffalo Wings and Cheddar Cheese, you know it ended up coming home with us.)

So off we headed to Rochester one Saturday afternoon in hopes of snagging some awesome cheese, and maybe some local booty too.  I’ve always loved a good farmer’s market, and in Boston you can easily get spoiled by the sheer number of them that descend upon the city every April . . . I even had one right outside my office, so buying local was simple (which was a good thing since Mr. Bunches wasn’t always up for farmer’s markets—whenever I would spot one on our travels around town, he liked to say it was closed and we’d have to go another time . . . real nice, huh?  But one of our agreements upon moving to NY was that every market was going to be “open” from now on.  That’s right—Mr. Bunches was going to become a farmer’s market groupie . . . I wonder if that might look something like Vacation Bunches?)

First stop: Cheese Store (which we learned upon arriving was called VM Giordano Imports) where the sheer variety was overwhelming.  And with free tastes of anything they had, we probably could have spent hours in there!

VM Giordano Import and Cheese Shop

And of course, Moose knew the owner, so we got tastes of everything and left the place with about a pound of cheese (we chose Manchego and an aged goat cheese), a bunch of olives, and some fresh-pressed olive oil from that little farm in Italy he’d told us about.  This place was awesome—you could even order fresh made sandwiches in the back (they had a whole assortment of imported meats, pastas,  you name it . . . it was quite the gourmet find).  Score one for the Moose!

VM Giordano's

Now, Moose says it’s only open on Saturdays, the market day, but I’m not so sure he has that right . . . okay, I just checked their site and they have open hours on Thursdays as well.  Phew.  Crisis averted.

After gorging ourselves on all that is good from cows, goats, and sheep, we headed into the market to peruse the “local” goods Moose promised.  Now, since Moose already delivered on some pretty outstanding cheese, I had to cut him a little slack on his definition of local.  I don’t know if we just haven’t been to the right parts of Western New York, but I haven’t seen a single citrus tree yet . . .

Rochester Market Citrus Fruits

Sorry to burst your bubble Moose!  But all was not lost . . . some of the vendors were in fact local.  And one was our most favorite type of vendor: WINE!  Nothing like some northern NY wine to go with that pound of cheese we just picked up, right?

Thousand Islands Wine

And with free tastings, how can you go wrong?!  Moose was on quite the generous kick and bought us a bottle of our favorite: Thousand Islands Merlot.  I’m thinking it might get even better with age, so we’re probably going to hold onto it for a little while.

Thousand Islands Merlot

And yes, that’s another Mozzeroni’s box in the back . . . we just can’t seem to get enough of the good stuff!

So all in all, the trip to the market was definitely worthwhile, and I can’t wait to see how it expands during the summer months . . . with all the fertile land in WNY, I’m sure the local produce offerings will grow exponentially.  Until then, at least now I know a good place to pick up some beans:

Snakes in a Warehouse?

It doesn’t quite have the same ring as Snakes on a Plane, but what does?

So Mr. Bunches had quite the scare today–apparently he opened the warehouse door at Moose’s and practically stepped on a snake!  And of course, to hear him tell it, it was basically a 10-foot python (my guess is it was more likely a garter snake, which are apparently commonly found in NY):

Since Moose’s warehouse is surrounded by farmland, I think we can all agree that Mr. Bunches may have been exaggerating . . . but, of course, he could have the last laugh when we finally move all of our stuff out of the warehouse and find ourselves in the middle of a Snakes on a Plane sequel: Snakes in a U-Haul!

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