Monday, September 22, 2014

A Labor Day Wedding (aka BEST WEEKEND EVER)

It wouldn't be a fabulous re-cap if I hadn't taken several weeks to compile it, right? Thus, below you'll find a lengthy (BUT JOYFUL) rundown of the amazing "wedding weekend" that I was a part of between August 29th and September 1st. Let's dive in!

Friday August 29th 

My Labor Day weekend kicked off on Friday with dinner and a sleepover at my friend Jenna's home in Newton, MA. We were both in the bridal party, so this way we could easily carpool on the drive south to East Bridgewater the next morning for a special bridesmaid brunch that was being thrown for all the ladies.

I've mentioned before that Jenna is an amazing cook - this time she made a delicious dinner of grilled veggies, roasted potatoes, and grilled marinated peppercorn chicken. Little did I know that this was just the start of a weekend of being incredibly well-fed.

Saturday August 30th

On Saturday we woke up bright and early and headed down to East Bridgewater for the bridesmaid brunch:

Drive from Newton to East Bridgewater

The brunch was hosted by friends of Abby's family - Patti, her husband Harry, and their daughter Susanne. Harry is a chef himself, so he had a little team of people helping him cater the affair. And it was SUCH a delightful spread! All morning and into the early afternoon, we enjoyed such things as adorable appetizers of grilled cheese wedges, which were charmingly served alongside a teacup of tomato bisque...

Tomato bisque and grilled cheese wedge, served on a teacup

... essentially bottomless mimosas and punch...

Mimosas and punch!

... as well as exquisite Eggs Benedict served with asparagus and sliced tomato, colorful fruit salad, sweet and sticky pecan rolls, crispy bacon, creamy chicken broccoli alfredo, iced sugar cookies, frozen chocolate chip cookies, and lots of other little desserts. I was SO. FULL. So was everyone else, and on top of that I had such a nice time getting to know the other women there and spending more time with the other bridesmaids.

Eggs Benedict and delicious plate of brunch food

Sugar cookies and desserts at the bridal brunch

Wine bottles dressed as bride and groom

From brunch, we headed to Geoff and Abby's house to help them put the finishing touches on the wedding decor for the next day's reception. While the wedding ceremony would be taking place at the nearby town common, Geobby were hosting the reception right in their own backyard - something they'd been working on for the last year (with leveling work, tree removal and garden planning).

That afternoon there was a flurry of activity in their yard by a "crew" of around 20 helpers - friends and family who were all more than happy to chip in for this awesome couple. Projects included:

- clipping fresh flowers directly from the garden and using them to fill the bounty of mason jars and old fashioned Coke bottles that would be used as table centerpieces (the pink, magenta, orange, red flowers looked so rustic and beautiful together)
- rolling 200 sets of silverware into napkins and securing each with a thin strand of twine rope
- cutting burlap strips of fabric that would be used as table runners
- setting out water and wine glasses and candles on all the tables beneath the big reception tent
- hanging lanterns around the property
- prepping the beer and wine stations (on their wedding night, bottles of beer were served from a big canoe filled with ice the world's most clever cooler!)

... and so many other details that Abigail and Geoff thought of. The whole yard and tent area was already looking PERFECT on Saturday afternoon... I couldn't wait till Sunday when it would be filled with tons of friends, glowing lanterns, strung lights, and music. And alcohol.

Following the afternoon of chipping in around the Geobby Estate, Jenna and I dashed over to the home that we'd be staying at for the evening. Another friend of Abby's family, Susan, had very generously offered to host us that night, so that we'd have local beds and a place to shower on the night before the wedding. Jenna and I got changed there very quickly and then headed back out to the wedding rehearsal at the East Bridgewater town common. The park also happens to be bordered by Abby's father's house, which was the starting point for the bridal party's walk to the alter area in the common. My friend Brian was my walking partner/groomsman buddy for the occasion - a fine pairing, if you ask me. He escorted me across the road and through the common flawlessly. We may or may not have been quietly rapping some Biggie to ourselves for most of our long walk.

After the rehearsal we were off once again - this time to The Fireside Grille in Middleboro for the rehearsal dinner. Here, our group had an entire function room to ourselves (and there were 50 people at the dinner!), complete with bartender, servers and a banquet buffet. We nommed on spanikopita, crab rangoon, green salad, cheesy mashed potatoes, green beans, steak tips and more. Dinner was capped off by huge, delicious slices of ice cream cake. Geoff's father gave a touching toast, Abigail gave her bridesmaids each a gorgeous scarf and a complementing pair of earrings, and Geoff gave his groomsmen ties, sunglasses, and machetes - the latter, much to the horror of most of the women in the room. 

Finally, when the rehearsal dinner was winding down, Jenna, her husband Dan, and I all headed back to Susan's, where I got a magnificent night's sleep on a magenta set of the most comfortable sheets I've ever slept on in my life. 

Sunday August 31st

Yahooo, wedding day!! On Sunday morning we got showered and had a cup of coffee c/o the lovely Susan before heading back over to Abby's father's house to get ready with the other bridesmaids. The ceremony wasn't until 3:30pm, but we had plenty to do before then. Two by two, all of the women in the bridal party had their hair done by a mother-daughter hairstyling duo, while we were kept content with a constant flow of mimosas, quiche, fruit salad, lemon poppy bread, crumb cake, and deli sandwiches. I loooooved the way my hair came out. Here's the YouTube video tutorial that I brought with  me to show the hairstylist: Braided Updo

Abby, it should be noted, was the most relaxed bride-to-be that there probably has ever been on a wedding day. She's got a zen to her that can't really be described, that one! She didn't appear to get flustered even once throughout the morning. Not that she ever gets flustered normally, but you'd think of all the days to do it, it'd be your wedding day. But nope - no door slamming, no dish throwing... not even a good old fashioned meltdown. Nothing was blowing her buzz that day!

When our hair and makeup were done, it was time for us all to get into our dresses. The bridesmaids were each wearing a different style dress in a variety of minty tones. Abby had given us all a list of about 30 different dresses and told us to take our pick. I chose this adorable minty-sage number from ModCloth:

Bubbly Celebration, mint sage dress from ModCloth

With it, I wore the white wedges that were featured in this blog, as well as the beautiful earrings that Abby had given me the night before:

Mint-turquoise and purple gold dangly earrings

Abby's dress was beautiful and so perfect for her. It had a total bohemian backyard garden wedding vibe to it - cream-colored, long and flowy with scalloped and detailed trim down the length:

Abby's wedding gown!

Close up of Abby's wedding gown
And here she is looking like a radiant bride - this is the kind of carefree smiles we were getting from her all day long!

The beautiful bride in her dress!

Bride with the Maid of Honor and Mother of the Groom

The Maid of Honor helping with the bride's jewelry
Bride with her grandmother!
 Atop her perfectly precious head she rocked a crown of fresh daisies, handmade with love that morning by the Maid of Honor herself, Abby's sister Meg:

And Abby, Jenna and I made sure to get a photo together, since we were the "UMass chapter" of her bridal party:

Abby chose to do gorgeous and fragrant bundles of lavender for her own bouquet as well as the bridesmaids. Around her own, she secured a locket and a photograph of her late mother:

Bundles of lavender for bridal bouquets

Wedding rings tied with a ribbon onto a burlap pillow

After the usual "waiting around for everyone to arrive and be seated" downtime, it was finally time for the ceremony! Once we did our walks from Abby's father's house to the alter, the bridal party then got to sit in the front row, so I had a fantastic view of the *magical* way that Geoff was looking at Abby throughout the ceremony. #Awwww. I didn't start to tear up until they were saying their vows. Something about them speaking the timeless words to each other just choked me up!! AND I DON'T EVEN CARE HOW RIDICULOUS THAT SOUNDS. Just so happy to have been there to hear the longtime lovahhhs say, "I do" to each other :) It was a really special moment.

Following the ceremony, the wedding party took off to get pictures taken at Satchem Rock, an historic farm in East Bridgewater. The world's most efficient wedding photographer, Graham, did his thang with his two helpers, and we were pretty much done with pictures in record time. I can't wait to see how they turned out!

Finally it was party tiiiime!! Back at Geobby's place, the reception kicked off with all of the dances with the bride/groom, bride/father, groom/mother, etc. There were sweet toasts by the Maid of Honor and the Best Man, as well as Abby's father. Geobby had been dating for so long (12+ years, I believe) that it was obvious that everyone had already considered each other family for years. Making it "official" was just the cherry on top for everyone involved.

Geoff and Abby dancing their first dance as a married couple

Sharing a laugh during their first dance as a married couple

Listening to the toasts

Once all the sappy stuff was out of the way, mayhem was free to ensue. Dancing, rain, wine, friends, a scrumptious BBQ dinner, wine, an ice cream sundae bar for dessert, rain, great music, wine, sweat, and did I mention rain, sweat and wine?? Luckily the rain outside just made it all the more appealing to stay inside the tent and dance. I had an absolute blast, and don't mind saying that I got drunk for the first time in a year... since my last stint as a bridesmaid!

Late night turned into a marshmallow-roasting and s'more-making session around the backyard fire pit. Clearly the best way ever for any party to end, am I right?

Since the reception was at Geoff and Abby's house, they had invited everyone to bring a tent and camp out. Now of course, not everyone is down for that sort of thing, but our UMass friends usually are - so there was a nice crew of people who were tenting that night. The rain put a slight damper on that... some of the tents got a bit flooded out... my own included. But that turned out to be fine because Brian had an ENORMOUS (and dry) tent all to himself. SEW, obvi I just hopped into that one and was a dry panda that night. Others weren't so lucky and had to sleep in their cars. Womp womp.

Monday September 1st

The next morning Geoff and Abby continued their hosting extravaganza by hooking us up with breakfast on their grill. We had eggs, bacon, egg sandwiches, bananas, orange juice - the works. A few people made Marylou's runs to get some of their incredible flavored iced coffees. For those who don't know (and I figure you don't), Marylou's is like Southeastern Massachusetts' pre-pubescent coffee version of Hooters. (Please see here.) They might not have the fairest hiring practices in all the land... but they do make a damn good iced coffee. I got their Girl Scout Cookie version that morning... incredible.

After breakfast, those who remained lurking around the Geobby estate helped put away some things and clean up the tables/table cloths before we began to take the idea of dispersing seriously.  My friend J-rod brought me home and I did nothing for the rest of the day. Not that I needed to  - I'd already done it all that weekend.

WHOOO are you still here? IS ANYONE LISTENING? Hey, thanks for sticking around for that re-cap. I do this for me, more than you, if I'm being honest. I like re-capping these stories here - especially the ones that mean a lot to me. There have been many times that I've gone back and re-read old blog posts and been able to relive the memories again. So if you don't like these long-ass posts, then here is a nice short haiku for you:

Hey, what's your problem?
You don't like words or something?
Let a blogger blog.

For everyone else, I hope you have enjoyed this story of love and friendship! I sure did. And will enjoy it again when I go back to re-read it in a few months. #GEOBBY2K14!!!!



  1. totally bohemian! looks like you had an awesome time bailey :)

    A Beautiful Zen

    1. The entire neighborhood had an awesome time!! :D

  2. Thanks for the recap Bebe! Great way to spend a Monday morning :)

    1. Thanks for the swell party Geoff. Wanna do it again next year?

  3. Lol @ the haiku. :) I love everyone's style at the wedding! Very pretty!

  4. I went to a wedding a couple weekends ago too. The food looks yum, especially the dessert. And the couple look quite happy together!

  5. Aw, gorgeous! I love all the lines and color scheme- very simple and beautiful. And clearly everyone was having a great time! That brunch looks to die for. :D


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