It's been one of the best (and most exhausting) weekends of my life. Being home creates a million different thoughts and emotions for me, but having time with some of my oldest friends was one of the best things for me right now. It allowed me to leave Columbia behind, in many ways, and focus on being present. These moments were all so precious, and looking back, I can't believe the weekend is already over. When leaving the hotel this morning, my friend Erin and I were saddened by the fact that it's all over. All the fun, partying, being with these friends--it's all over. It's back to normal life.
The entire weekend beginning Thursday was one big awesome party. I landed at Bluegrass Airport about 30 minutes late due to some air traffic congestion in Cincinnati. My friend, Jamie, picked me up and we immediately went to Keeneland for tailgating and fun. We had a cornhole tournament, ate so much great food, and partied for the entire afternoon. We eventually went into the grandstands around 3:00 p.m. and a few people did fairly well with the whole betting thing. I decided to not partake, which is a good thing based on the choices I would have put money on. The last race ran about 5:30 p.m. and we stuck around for a little longer outside and then moved the party to Brooke and Matt's new house. (Brooke and Matt are the couple who were married on Saturday.) We stayed up talking, laughing and visiting until about 3:00 a.m. First night of very little sleep.
Friday morning, the girls all got up and were treated to manicures and pedicures. 8:00 a.m. came very early, but it was a blast. Then we had a bridal luncheon while the boys went to play paintball. After the luncheon, we did manage to get a little nap and rest up for the evening. 5:00 p.m. was the rehearsal followed by the Groom's Dinner. It was at a very nice Italian chophouse here in Lexington, where I had a delightful 3 course meal consisting of salad, salmon & filet, and cheesecake dipped in chocolate. To top all that off, it was open bar. No need to say more about that.
[Matt's friends are incredible. The guy I walked down the aisle with is a sweet, handsome guy who lives in Anchorage, Alaska!! (I know, I know...why can't I find a nice guy who lives in the same city??) The groomsmen were Matt's oldest and dearest friends, and we all had SO MUCH FUN together. Kevin and I hit it off immediately and had a lot of fun together.]
So, after the Groom's Dinner most of the bridesmaids and groomsmen went back to the hotel to continue the party. Second night of very little sleep.
It was, once again, up early on Saturday morning for pampering and preparation for the big event! Jamie, Erin and I went to have our hair done and then it was back to the hotel for makeup and getting dressed. Brooke looked absolutely amazing. She's a beautiful girl and looked simply breathtaking in her dress. I like to the think the rest of us looked pretty great too! She is probably the oldest friend I have--going all the way back to 3rd grade. We've always shared a special connection that I am so grateful for. She's an incredible woman, someone I admire and love dearly. To see her so much in love is inspiring (and the guy she snagged is equally as cool and genuinely amazing!) To be a part of her day meant the world to me.
The ceremony was simple and nice. It was held outdoors and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. The night before at rehearsal was alittle chilly and breezy, but Saturday night was just perfect. The reception was fantastic and we danced until we couldn't dance anymore. I think we ended at midnight. Once again, we moved the party back to the hotel where Brooke and Matt stayed up and hung out with all of us for quite awhile. I think they left to go to their room about 4:00 a.m. That didn't stop the party, however, and I actually never did get to sleep on Saturday night.
But it was all totally worth it and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was one of those weekends that you remember forever and could never repeat even if you tried. It was that perfect. It was that much fun.