B & Kevin’s Couples Shower

Beth {who ended up sick & unable to attend}, Kelly, Kim & I {& technically our spouses} gave our good friend B & her hubby-to-be an uptown Charlotte shower Saturday night.

The hostesses & the bride-to-be

We went with a luau themed drinks & dessert party.

All set up & ready for the guests!

For the drinks part served: Diana’s punch aka spiked Hawaiian punch, red & white wine, sodas & water, & had a 1/4 keg of Miller lite.

Cookies, Brownies, Dessert Sliders & Lemon Squares

Our desserts included: chocolate chip cookie bites, brownie bites, strawberries, pineapples, marshmallows, pretzels & melted milk chocolate in a chafing dish for dipping all the above.

Melted chocolate goodness for all!

We also had lemon squares with blueberries & raspberries, dessert sliders & vanilla cupcakes.

G cupcakes!

We decorated the cupcakes with mini umbrellas, hung Chinese lanterns, had wreaths made of the umbrellas & had bright flowers throughout. Oh & gave the happy couples lais!

They were a trip opening gifts~ taking their time & being so sweet!

The happy couple & the pitcher I gave them.

Laughing & joking & being so happy to have all their favorite people together in one place.

Party group!

Based on this crowd & party, I know the Apr wedding is going to be a blast!

B’s bridesmaids

Baby Shower Punch

I mentioned in the VA Babies Shower post that I’d snagged the recipe to the delicious punch they served.

It was so good that I agreed when they offered us to take home the rest of it in a pitcher & while the rest of my family enjoyed cocktails that evening, I drank the heck out of the punch!

2 32 oz bottles of apple juice, chilled

2 12 oz cans from cranberry juice concentrate

2 c & 1 tbsp orange juice

3 liters ginger ale

In large punch bowl, combine apple, cranberry & orange juices. Stir until dissolved/combined then slowly pour in the ginger ale.

The original recipe Mom’s friend Jan gave me said to cut up an apple and float the slices on top. Instead, they sliced oranges and floated those on top. The oranges were really delicious later too {think eating the fruit from pj punch from college days minus the liquor}.

Jan also has a note that says if you wanted to make it alcoholic, the use champagne instead of ginger ale! That would be great for bridal shower or if you wanted to make two for a baby shower.

My Brother’s Wedding

To keep up, I posted about Thursday’s pre-wedding celebration & then about Friday’s wedding events yesterday. Today’s the day {well a week ago today was}~my brother got married! So thrilled to welcome Beth as my sister-in-law!

I cut the photos from this day down to 56 favorites! Here’s the day in eight photo collages beginning in the bridal suite with hair, makeup, & lunch.

Getting Prettier!

Mom & I got dressed in the bridal suite, I helped Beth get her dress all tied up before heading over the the room my parents had rented for the guys to chill in. Ten men crammed in one spot & all lookin’ good in their tuxes.

Pretty Bride & Handsome Groomsmen

I can’t wait to see the photographers shots of the ceremony. It was short & sweet complete with laughter & a few tears.

On to the party! The cocktail hour was in the hall ways beside the ballrooms. I was too busy chatting, eating & drinking to take any photos then. Welcome to the reception ~ gorgeous flowers, pretty cake, great lighting, fun table groups of friends & new friends.

new Mr & Mrs, family table, toasts, cake, cousins, my plate

During dinner {I had chicken topped with crab meat}, Beth’s Dad, Lauren & my Dad gave heart-felt toasts.

First Dances

Soon after Beth & Steven opened up the dance floor with a so-appropriate-to-them Jerry Garcia song. Beth & her Dad danced next followed by my Mom & brother to a Beatles song. How cute did Beth’s niece & nephew look?!

Cake! and family dances

The cake wasn’t just pretty ~ it was tasty too! I tried a bit of my Dad’s banana chip slice & while randomly sitting just us, my brother & I shared a Neapolitan {strawberry, chocolate & white cake} slice.

Once the dancing got started it didn’t end until after 11p. I had the chance to dance with my Papa, brother & {once he got drunk enough} my husband!

Bouquet & Garter Tosses & Nana even made it onto the dance floor

So fun that they did both the bouquet & garter tosses. Our family friend Katie caught the flowers & Steven’s friend Ian had the garter fall into his hands.

TN Clogging & all smiles on the dance floor

Our good family friends originally from TN broke it down to Rocky Top! With waters all around, we ended the night with hugs & happy honeymoon to the new married couple!

Pre-Wedding Festivities {part 2}

Last Friday {the day before my brother’s wedding} was a wild & crazy day. Mom, Nana, my mom’s cousin Becky, my aunt Mimi & I were at Costco soon after it opened. I purchased snacks for Saturday in the bridal suite while Mom bought flowers to decorate the rehearsal dinner. Stocked up, we headed over to Old City Bar where after helping them unpack loads of flowers, borrowed vases, fall decor, & bows, I rushed off to join the other bridesmaids & Beth at Fusion nail salon. I chose OPI’s Suzi says Da for my nail & toe color & loved it so much that I bought a bottle of the polish. It’s this great dark color with hints of brown & burgundy ~ perfect for a fall wedding & this winter. Beth went with the traditional French manicure which I loved for the bride-to-be.

Gettin' our Nails Did

Her friends, other sister-in-law & I went for lunch across the street at New York Deli. My turkey/apple sandwich was amazing as was the conversation & laughter!

I love the funkiness of Carytown

I learned during the end of lunch that my Mom & the ladies helping her decorate had been rear ended. Everyone & everything {included all the Costco food!} was fine but the guy was going fast enough to push them into another car & that car into another one. I told you this was a wild day!

A quick change {I wore the other blue Boden dress}, piling into cars, & heading back downtown later, Mom, Dad, Jason, my cousin Preston & his wife Krissie & I were on our way to the rehearsal. Debra & Debbie at the Marriott definitely kept our large group in line as she told us where to stand, when to walk & where to look. The precious flower girl & ring barer {Beth’s niece & nephew} did a great job learning their parts too.

Rehearsing for the Big Day

From the hotel, we continued the celebration at the Old City Bar. Mom & her helpers had done an outstanding job with the decorations that perfectly fit into Beth’s fall wedding theme.

Old City Bar all decorated

Mom, Dad, Steven & Beth choose delicious appetizers {cheese, veggies & mango salsa’d shrimp}, salads, entrees {veggie pasta, apple glazed pork, & crispy fish} & banana pudding for dessert. Plus all the wine you & beer you could drink!

Cousins, the crowd, Emily, my grandparents, Papa & his brother, my brother's friends, Beth's "bridezilla moment" {not really}, & the boyfriends

Beth’s sweet high school friends stepped up & gave some of the best toasts I’d ever heard. Steven’s friends surprised us too with touching, heart-felt comments. I chickened out & just drank wine & was too busy tearing up to take photos of any of the toasts. Beth & Steven gave their bridal party great gifts~ a personalized cooler chair & pint glass for Jason & I got a red Suzanne tote full of Bath & Body Works goodies, flip flops, & a reusable coffee mug among other things.

Matt & Katie, Beth's cousin & her bf, the last single kiss, Lauren & Emily up to no good in the corner?!

As you’ve already seen in this week’s project 365 post, the party was a blast catching up with family, friends & meeting new friends. I loved that I caught their “last non-married kiss”! {I made them re-do it three times before I got the perfect shot~they didn’t mind!}

Tomorrow~ the wedding post!

Pre-Wedding Festivities {part 1}

Jason & I drove up to VA to begin the wedding weekend Thursday morning. After I quick lunch with Mom, Dad & the husband, Mom & I rushed off to Carytown’s Bombshell salon for a spray tan. Fifteen or so minutes later I was feeling sticky with the promise of tan within 4-8 hours. I could definitely see a difference that afternoon & definitely that night.

More family arrived & five of us {Papa, Nana, Mom, Jason & I} piled into my brother’s two-door Civic & made our way downtown to the Marriott. As part of their wedding package, my brother & sister-in-law had the presidental suite Thurs-Sat. It was fabulous & the location for Thursday night’s cocktail party hosted by Beth’s aunt, uncle & cousins. For those who remember by outfit dilemma post, I decided to wear the blues dizzy Boden dress that night. It was so fun to meet more of Beth’s family & a few more of the other bridesmaids as well as seeing other family & friends to get the celebration on!

And the wedding partying begins!

We stayed for just a little over an hour although we learned the next day that the party was still going around 11p. We traded the Civic for my parents usual SUV {that Beth had used to pick up her dress} & we’re back home in time for a late dinner with the other family members who’d arrived. After catching up at dinner, Papa got a phone call letting him know that my great-aunt Virg {my Ma’s sister} who’d had a serious stroke last Saturday had passed away. We were expecting it but it was still sad. Mom & Papa called family while Becky & Nana helped me make Beth’s ribbon bouquet. So bittersweet.

I was going to post about Friday here too but I split it up so it’s not the-longest-post-ever.