Wedding Crasher

I’m not sure how it happened, but Mini B has officially become a wedding crasher.  Her dad is so proud.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves–how about we start at the beginning?  First up–Mini B’s first plane ride.  Gone are the days of us traveling light, huh?

She was great in the airport . . .

But that slumber didn’t last long–she was wide awake by the time we boarded our flight to Philly . . .

And even though we were prepared for disaster (I had steeled myself to be those parents with the screaming baby who receive one of two looks from the other passengers: 1) the look of total sympathy; or 2) the look of death), she actually did wonderfully.  She was wide awake the whole time, but overall pretty content.  Mr. Bunches and I breathed a collective sigh of relief for that one.

Once we got to Philly, we were starving.  And what do you eat in Philly?!  Why, cheese steaks of course!  So off to Geno’s we headed . . .

Now, I had a Philly cheese steak once back in high school on a rowing trip to Philly, but for the life of me I can’t remember where it was from.  But I have a vivid memory of it being surprisingly good.  And Mr. Bunches assured me that this one was the BEST (the best, Jerry, the best).

And let’s face it–I was famished.  So I polished off an entire cheese steak in less than 2 minutes.  Ugh–I’m cringing right now at the memory of it all.

Good thing Mini B was sound asleep and therefore got to miss the carnage.  Was it the best cheese steak ever?  No.  Hardly.  But it was food.  And I was hungry.  Therefore, mission accomplished.  Once our bellies were filled with grease and “steak” (I mean, let’s be honest–that’s no Grade A beef or anything), we headed off to introduce Mini B to the “Loop,” aka Mr. Bunches’ college buddies . . .

Of course, she didn’t really seem to take that much interest in the conversation . . .

Ahh well.  After that it was time to take Mini B to her first hotel.  The Hilton Garden Inn.  Now, we had asked for a crib in the room, but we already knew we weren’t going to use it.  Nope, not for our high-maintenance Mini B.  No sirree.  We had to instead bring her “Pink Palace” from home for her to sleep in . . .

And there she is in all her glory.

See, in preparation for this trip I had attempted to wean her off the Pink Palace (which is actually the Nap Nanny), but it didn’t work (and I suffered 30 sleepless hours for my failed attempt).  So the Pink Palace came with us–stuffed in a suitcase.  But it was basically a lifesaver, so it was worth it.

Why was it a lifesaver?  Well, let’s just put it this way–Mini B gave us her longest sleep ever on our trip.  8 uninterrupted hours of pure bliss.  We seriously contemplated moving into that Hilton Garden Inn for good . . . isn’t it amazing how important sleep becomes when you have a kid?  But anyways, back to the long, drawn out story of our trip (C’mon–you’re loving the play-by-play, right?).

On Saturday we decided to hit up Mr. B’s alma mater: Villanova.

She was loving being shown around by her proud papa . . .

Of course, being the idiots we are, we thought that school hadn’t started yet since there weren’t any students around.  But then we saw a few students and they informed us that it was just too early for people to be up, but school had in fact started the previous week.  It was 11:30 AM on Saturday.  Apparently that’s “too early” for people to be awake . . . oh, to be in college again.  Sigh.

We wanted to get Mini B a little souvenir of her trip, so we headed to the bookstore.

But it was CLOSED.  Seriously?!  Closed for the entire Labor Day weekend–whoever heard of such a thing?  So maybe next time Mini B . . .

After our excursion, it was time to get ready for the main event: the WEDDING!  Mini B took a power nap (3 hours–basically her best nap EVER.  Again, we were seriously considering moving into that Hilton) and then put on her party dress and headed out.

Of course, she ended up waiting until we got there to give us a little surprise . . . no worries, though, that just meant a quick diaper change in the car.  We’re actually getting pretty good at that maneuver.

Once she was all cleaned up, we passed her off to our babysitter (thanks Auntie Kar-Kar!) and we headed to the ceremony.  It was really beautiful–held at the Stone Barn in Kennett Square, PA, the ceremony was just perfect.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking . . .

See what I mean?  Sigh.  Thank you, thank you Leah & Derek for inviting us to be a part of your day!

Well, after the serious stuff was taken care of, it was time to get our party on, and that’s when it became official: Mini B crashed the wedding!

She just had to get in there and see what all the fuss was about.  Plus, they had bacon-wrapped scallops.  And if there’s one thing Mini B loves–it’s bacon-wrapped scallops ;).

Seriously, though, she had a great time meeting some of the guests, being reacquainted with the “Loop” and also giving her congratulations to Leah & Derek.  There also may have been a few celebrities in attendance that may or may not have been slightly enamored with our little peanut . . . but we’ve got to keep those details on the DL.  Sorry! :)

Unfortunately Mini B was not the best dressed in attendance . . .

Sorry Ian–I just had to do it.  It was THAT good.

It was a great time, and once Mini B made her rounds, it was back to Auntie Kar-Kar so that the Mr. and I could enjoy our night out along with everyone else.

There was a fair amount of hoopla, including Derek’s initiation into the Loop . . .

Which basically was the start of things going a bit downhill (this last one is from the after party) . . .

Oh, and just because I thought they were great, here are a couple shots of their wedding cakes (yes–they had three!) . . .

After all the hoopla, we spent a quiet night back at the Hilton Garden Inn (aka our favorite place ever since it somehow put that magic spell on Mini B and got her to sleep extra long) and awoke only slightly hung over . . .

But no worries–we rallied.

Mini B even did a little more hanging out with her new friends . . .

But then it was time to say goodbye and head back to the airport to go home.  She did AMAZING on the flight home–slept the entire way!

It was a great trip, but she was happy to be back home . . .

And while we had some trepidation about leaving behind that glorious, glorious Hilton Garden Inn, it all worked out in the end.  On our first night home she slept 9.5 hours straight!  It was a Labor Day MIRACLE!  Of course, it didn’t last–the next night we were back to sleeping in 4 hour chunks.  So who knows–maybe we will be moving into that Hilton Garden Inn after all . . .

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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.

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!!!

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