Last weekend we went to Austin, Texas for my sister Michele's wedding. We left Friday morning early to drive to Midway airport in Chicago accompanied by my dad, my niece Emilee aka "the nanny", and our friends Tracey and Courtney along with Tracey's two nieces. Melana did awesome and slept the whole flights there and back. Amazing baby! When we landed we were greeted by my sister Michele aka "the bride" and my mom who had flown down the week before. It was Melana's first time meeting her Aunt Michele.
We quickly headed for the hotel to change and then to the rehearsal at the wedding site. This place is AMAZING!! It was so beautiful and a great setting for a wedding.
We then hurried to the rehearsal dinner at a country club with an amazing view. We had a great dinner, were able to catch up a little with Michele and her fiance Paul and meet his family and then were treated to the best cupcakes I've ever had made by a friend. They were Red Velvet Chocolate Chip cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. Honestly, my diet has been blown and the workouts lacking since Melana was born, but that night I really didn't care. I'm pretty sure those little cupcakes are what heaven is made of. :) But I digress....
After the rehearsal dinner we all headed back to the hotel to change for our girl's night out for Michele's bachelorette party at a place called Rebels in downtown Austin. Michele, Tracey, Courtney and I were joined by our cousin Christy, another bridesmaid and Michele's old friends Jill and Stephanie who traveled from AZ and South Bend for the wedding. The dress was western, the music was country and the bull was bucking. That's right I said bull. I wanted to ride the mechanical bull so bad but Darian and my mom made me promise that I wouldn't ride. What?! It's not like I'm accident prone or anything.... Tracey and Michele braved the bull though and we all had a good time watching them and cheering them on. We also checked out the insane night life down on Austin's 6th St. Crazy!
Saturday we all slept in and then headed to a big western wear store while my parents and Michele had lunch with Paul and his parents. I finally found the cowboy boots I've been wanting at Cavender's. http://www.cavenders.com/ Yeehaw! Just wished I would've had those the night before. We headed back to the hotel when we heard that my brother Jason and his two girls Jordyn, 7 and Jenna, 3 had arrived from their home NW of Austin. It was so good to see them!! Later that night we joined other family and friends from out of town for a great BBQ dinner at the famous Saltlick. http://www.saltlickbbq.com/ It was a great time and great dinner had by all and we almost had to be rolled out of there by the staff.
Sunday morning dawned and we headed to the ranch right away to help with some setup and then to the Spa for hair and makeup. Then back to the ranch to ready for the big moment.
The old church was decorated with burlap pew covers with sepia colored pics of Paul, Michele or both on them. An old rustic wooden cross was fastened over the alter and the initial "P" and "M" were fastened out of twigs and hung on the front door of the chapel.
The candles were glowing in the reception hall with beautiful flowers on the tables and personalized booklets at each seat telling Michele and Paul's story and explaining how family and Taiwanese traditions had been incorporated into the wedding.
Instead of cake, we dined on an amazing ice cream sundae bar and instead of alcohol we sipped Izze sparkling sodas with our toasts. Which there were many of. It was all beautiful and personal. Later, we slipped into our cowboy boots and boot scooted boogie on the porch of the reception hall followed by a rousing rendition of "Strawberry Wine" sung by Courtney and I to Michele. Years ago us three girls had recorded that song in a karaoke booth at Cedar Point. They gave a copy of the recording and it brought years of laughter and tears as we'd listen to how bad it was. Good times... Michele and Tracey quickly joined us in our embarrassing show of love for Michele.
After a fun filled day and night the newlyweds departed, by the light of sparklers and glow sticks, into the Texas night in a 1972 Texas orange Chevelle that Michele had booked as a surprise to Paul.
They are a beautiful couple and I wish them the best of God's blessings. Love you guys!!
Here are a few favorite pics from the weekend.
Darian, Melana and I at rehearsal dinner
Darian, Melana and my nieces Jordyn and Jenna
Michele, Courtney, Christy and I