Holy bananas this post is overdue. But the good news is that now I get to relive one of the best nights of my life, five months later. Now where did we last leave off…?
Oh yes. Paradise.
Following the ceremony and the pictures, we made our way to the reception venue at the Cochise-Geronimo Clubhouse in Desert Mountain. The sun was setting, and we arrived just in time to be greeted by the paparazzi! 😉 After we snapped a few photos, we headed inside to get a glimpse of the gorgeous decor.
The chairs, the centerpieces, the menus (created by Mama Bender). Everything was perfect!
Our cake was simply exquisite. Created by Cathy’s Rum Cake (who desperately needs a website facelift!), there were three tiers and two flavors: strawberry-banana rum and chocolate rum. Can you sense a theme here?
The swans that adorned the cake table were a gift from my parents. Fun fact: swans find one partner and mate for life. A very appropriate gift for newlyweds!
After the cocktail hour, guests began trickling into their seats for the “grand entrance.” The wedding party came in with flair to the sounds of Black Eyed Peas.
When Bobby and I were announced, the music changed – to the tune of the Northwestern fight song!
As you can see, Bobby was appropriately outfitted for the occasion.
If you’re interested, below is the video of the fun!
Once everyone was seated, there were the toasts.
I know I may be biased, but I have had multiple family members and friends tell me that these fab five toasts were the best they had ever seen at a wedding. I feel so fortunate and blessed because truly, everyone’s kind words meant the world. First up was the best man, Bobby’s brother Jim. Then came my maid of honor and bestie, Sam. Both of them had a mixture of hilarious and poignant things to say to us.
Then came Papa Bender, who is always counted on for corny jokes – and a sweet ending. He spoke a lot about Bobby and me as he remembered us in high school. “The dating scene, a dad’s worst nightmare,” as he called it. Little did he know back then that seven years later the guy I brought home junior year would become my husband.
And then there was this kid.
Anyone who knows my brother Eric will tell you that he is the sweetest kid you will ever meet. I caught him staring at a small sheet of paper and practicing before we went into the reception and nearly burst into tears right then and there. My brother, as many of you know, has mild autism, and had recently joined a Toastmasters club at school to improve his speaking ability.
Well, turns out this rockstar did not reference his notes…AT ALL. My dad later told me he spoke purely from his heart. As you can see from my reaction, it got progressively more charming as he went.
Fortunately, I don’t just have to tell you about it. You can see it for yourself! My Uncle Bob magically taped all of our toasts. You may not be able to see him clearly, but just listen. I promise it’s worth it.
By the end of the speech, it took everything in me not to trample Bobby to give Eric a hug. Both Bobby and I were crying, and Eric looked very proud of himself. This is the little boy who Bobby played Star Wars light sabers with in our basement ever since he was 10 years old. To see him grow into a 17-year-old full of compassion and love is one of the greatest things going in my life.
Bobby admitted right away that he was a tough act to follow, but he still managed to make me blush.
And then…we feasted!
The very same dish I raved about during our wedding tasting. A combination of a perfectly tender and portioned piece of filet, marinated in a rich and flavorful dark sauce and served over a bed of white chocolate risotto, and a small piece of chicken stuffed with a roulade of spinach and cheeses. We also enjoyed the butter lettuce salad topped with a balsamic vinaigrette and surrounded by candied pecans, fresh feta cheese and strawberries.
Bobby and I made the rounds while everyone was eating. Then it was time to cut the cake!
We were way too nice about it.
Before we knew it, the night was half over and guests were being ushered into the dancin’ room!
Jill, I just had to post this picture. I love it too much not to.
Our first dance was Amazed by Lonestar. It’s been our song since high school!
Next came the Father-Daughter dance to Tim McGraw’s My Little Girl.
Which later turned into a Jimmy Sturr polka to incorporate Bobby and his mom!
Then it was time for everyone to get their groove on!
The females belted out the words to Summer Nights.
The couples boogied their hearts out.
Speaking of these two lovebirds, Bobby and I were delighted when it came time to toss the garter and the bouquet. We knew who we wanted the winners to be and they did everything they could to make it happen.
Alex, my maid-of-honor Sam’s boyfriend, managed to snatch the garter out of Eric’s waiting hands. Sam, on the other hand, was another, more hilarious story entirely.
Wait, what’s going on back there?
Victory taken from the aggressive arms of my little girl cousin Sarah?
Aw, Sam. You deserved it. I know you and Alex are next in line!
My mom and I finished out the song Single Ladies with intense precision.
And the night continued with more dancing, a photobooth…
…and plenty of love to go around.
If asked to live that night over again, my answer would automatically be, “heck yes!”
And so there you have it. My wedding day has finally come to a complete close on this blog. It’s bittersweet, but I hope you enjoyed the recap and let me know if you have questions on any of the details!