My cousin Erin got married yesterday! It was so much fun, especially since we had been looking forward to it for a long time, and we got to party a lot this past week. I can't wait to tell you all about it. Be prepared - this may be the longest post in the history of my blog!
Erin met Dan around 6 or 7 years ago, and he was her junior year prom date. They've been together ever since, and we all knew it was just a matter of time before they got married. Since they've been together for awhile now, I feel like Dan is one of my cousins rather than just my cousin's husband!
I have really only been to 2 weddings that I remember before theirs - my cousins Jenny and Melissa got married years ago, so it had been awhile since I'd really been to a wedding. And although I remember having a lot of fun at their weddings, this one was just SO much fun. I think that's because I'm a lot older now and I understand the whole wedding thing a whole more. I also feel like I'm pretty close to both Erin and Dan, so that made the day that much more meaningful.
Erin and Dan have invited me over for pizza parties and bonfires before, so I know a lot of their friends as well - weddings are a lot more fun when you know a lot of people there!
Overall, the wedding was so enjoyable - I love both Erin and Dan so much, and I can't believe they're finally married :)
So here's my recap (and lots of pictures!) on all the fun we've had the last few days:
On Thursday night my parents and I were invited to Dan's parent's house for a bonfire party. I actually didn't go out to the bonfire since all the women mostly stayed inside :) It was fun being able to talk to everyone before the actual wedding. It gave me a little bit more time to talk to Erin and Dan that I didn't have at the rehearsal or wedding!
Friday was the big rehearsal and rehearsal dinner! We got to go since I was a Eucharistic Minister and my dad was doing a reading.
I loved Erin's dress!
Dinner was at a new restaurant downtown - the Moerlein Lager House. It was absolutely amazing! If I was getting married, I think I would want my rehearsal dinner there. The room overlooked downtown Cincinnati, and the food was absolutely amazing. They had this blueberry cobbler for dessert that was to die for!
Erin and Dan at the rehearsal dinner!
When I woke up Saturday morning I couldn't believe the day was finally there! They got engaged about a year and a half ago, and I've been looking forward to this day ever since then. It was also exciting because I had got to be somewhat involved in the wedding stuff over the last year - I went with Erin when she found her dress, I went to her shower, and the bachlorette party!
We also got the task of picking up lunch for the girls since they were getting ready at my aunt's house. So we got to go over, have lunch with them, and hang out some in the afternoon too!
Maids of honor - my cousins Jessica and Melissa
Jessica, Melissa, and Melissa's boyfriend Mike
The beautiful bride and I :)
The flowers got delivered while we there too.
The party bus! I loved the official looking driver.
How awesome is the inside of this bus?!?
We were having so much fun in here!
Erin, Annie, and Carrie
Jessica's boyfriend Max, my mom, and I
They had a light show setting where the ceiling changed colors and different lasers flashed around!
The parents of the bride - my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim
We headed home to get ready while the wedding party went to take pictures. It was raining off and on, which was kind of a bummer, but I think it cleared up a little bit so they could take some pictures outside. Aside from the rain, it was a pretty fall day!
As I was getting ready, I of course had to turn on my Wedding/Love Songs playlist. Yes, I have a wedding problem/obsession :)
We took some pictures at home before we left for the big event!
We picked up my grandma and drove her too.
We were one of the first ones there, which was fun because we got to see the wedding party arrive!
My Grandma and Aunt Linda
I loved the flowers!
My cousins Brandon and Hannah
Then it was time for the actual ceremony to start!
My dad escorted my Grandma down the aisle.
My Uncle Jim and Aunt Linda - Erin's parents
Lighting the candles
Dan with his best men waiting to get married!
Wedding party waiting for Erin to walk down the aisle - I love how you can tell that Dan is moving his head to look down the aisle for Erin!
Erin looked SO pretty!
Groom and bride :)
My dad doing the second reading - ha!
Lighting the unity candle
My aunt, uncle, and cousins brought up the offitory.
New Mr. & Mrs.
Love how they're both looking at the camera on this one!
I admit I did get a little emotional during the wedding. I don't know what it is, but weddings always make me cry. I cry watching people get married in movies. But since I know these 2 so well, it made me even more emotional. I'm just so happy for them!
After the mass, we stuck around for pictures, and I got a few with my phone :)
Even though the lighting is a little off since I took this with my phone, I love this picture!
The whole wedding party
Then it was time for some fun! The reception was at a hall called the Meadows. It was a really pretty venue.
My Aunt Judy, her friend Carol, and I. This is a funny story - my Aunt Judy is my mom's sister, but Erin is my cousin on my dad's side of the family. My Aunt Judy was there because she just so happens to be really good friends with Dan's parents. They go on vacations together all the time. Small world!
Instead of just having 1 cake, they had 5! Each one was a different flavor, and they were SO good. I had the pleasure of trying 4 out of the 5 flavors - ha! I got to try the chocolate, caramel, spice, and strawberry ones.
The bride and groom!
Hannah and Brandon
The toasts were excellent too. Dan's best man Greg gave a speech....
Parents listening to the speeches
.....and Melissa and Jessica did a speech together. They did a fantastic job, and even sang part of Hakuna Matata!
Cutting the cake
They stood there like this for a little while - I think they were both afraid that the other one was going to smash it in their face :)
In the end, there was no face cake smashing!
Jessica and I
I love this picture of me with the bride and 1 of the maids of honor (I don't know where Melissa was!).
Erin and Dan's first dance was so sweet. They danced to the song "A Thousand Years" by Christian Perri. I love the lyrics to that song - perfect for their first dance!
The father daughter dance was next. I had never heard the song before (and I don't remember what it was), but the lyrics were sweet and fitting for the father daughter dance!
I love how they're both smiling at each other in this one!
If you look closely on this one, you can see Erin's ring sparkling!
Then the dance floor was opened to everyone. We all pretty much stayed out on the dance floor the rest of the night. So fun!
My little cousin Brandon was a dancing fool out there! He just kept doing the splits.
Brandon and I danced together during one of the slow songs - ha!
My Aunt Maria and Uncle Jay
My dad and I
My Aunt Linda and Dan - ha!
Melissa and Mike
Overall, I had SO much fun at this wedding. I loved how I could just tell that Erin and Dan were so happy yesterday and so in love. I think that's what makes me so emotional at weddings. Just the fact that God hand picks the perfect person for you to spend your life with is just amazing to me, and gets to me every time I think about it. I hope on my wedding day I can be as happy as Erin and Dan were yesterday!
I know I'm going to fall asleep tonight feeling thankful beyond belief. Thankful that I have such a great family. Thankful that true love really does exist in this world. And thankful that I have a God who can bring 2 people together like marriage does!