Since I cannot seem to sleep, I figured now was as good a time as any to blog about this past weekend! My baby brother got married in Memphis to the lovely Lindsay Sistrunk and boy, did we have a good time! The past two trips home since I've been in El Paso have followed the same pattern: 90 miles an hour, staying up so late I thought I was still in college, seeing tons of friends and family, and losing (or partially losing) my voice...
It seems logical to start from the beginning, so here goes! My flight left bright and early at 6 AM Wednesday morning. I was so excited, I only got about 3.5 hours of sleep the night before. This was also probably because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up since Brian wasn't also getting up with me! 3:30 AM is a common wake-up call for him...gross! So I be-bopped down to the airport and was in Huntsville by noon, headed to Casa Blanca, claro :) That afternoon mom, Emily, and I managed to squeeze in a little shopping followed my last minute details for the rehearsal dinner. This is the first time to be on the groom's side of things for me! We headed out to Memphis Thursday morning and Em and I got to spend a lot of car time talking, catching up, and jamming out, of course. After meeting up with Clay, Linds, and Chelsea (another bridesmaid) for lunch, we picked up the tuxes and headed downtown! Lindsay's mom has worked for the Peabody for the last 20+ years, so we got the hook-up for this wedding weekend!
Before the craziness started, my family and Lindsay's family went to Pete and Sam's, a delicious Italian restuarant where you can brown bag in your own wine...love it! Reminds me of City Bagel :) It was such a nice time just getting to talk before all of the guests arrived for the weekend! Afterwards we had a "Warden hotel party"...our family had arrived from out of town and we ended the night telling stories, laughing raucously, and having a few drinks--a great time with the family!
Friday kicked off all of the wedding fesitivies. We had a super fun bridesmaid brunch which ended up with us laying out by the pool...my kind of fun! That afternoon, two of my best friends from home, Erin and Katie, got into town! We headed off to the rehearsal at First Pres and realized that only parts of this incredibly old and gorgeous church are air-conditioned...whew, it was a little hot! But I have to say, it was one of the smoothest rehearsals I've ever been to! I usually get scolded for talking/laughing too much...typical.
We had the rehearsal dinner at "The Arcade", a fun 50's-themed diner near downtown. They served classic American food and a Elvis favorite, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches--delish. In typical Warden fashion, the rehearsal dinner turned itself into a party as well...ha! It was so much fun to catch up with all of our old friends from MSU and home! I got to see some people I haven't seen since our wedding or before, and I was so thrilled! But of course the party couldn't end there! Our cousins had never been to Beale St. before, so we took them out and about to show them all that Beale offers :) It was a fun night and my head hit the pillow waaaay later than I had anticipated!
Wedding day arrived and for once, I didn't have something to do early on Saturday! We had a big family lunch at Rendevouz (spelling?), complete with ribs, coleslaw, beans, and super sweet tea! Oh how I miss sugar-ladened sweet tea! This was a new experience for most of us...I've never had dry rub ribs before! Sorry Memphis, but I think I prefer them sopping wet with sauce!
From there, we headed to the church to start primping and taking pictures! The church was gorgeous; I wish I had taken more pictures inside! I thought it would be weird to watch Clay get married (they're younger than me...they're supposed to stay little! haha!) but the day went perfectly! We spent our time getting Linds and ourselves ready, steaming dresses, and trying to keep our dresses taped up, which wasn't working so well with our sweaty bodies! Unfortunately the day was pretty hot...it was one of those "low heat" days, where the humid air is sort of oppressive...we discovered why after the ceremony when a massive downpour ensued! The ceremony was beautiful; I had a perfect view of my favorite part: watching the bride come down the aisle. Eric, my brother-in-law, was my escort; a fitting replacement for Brian :)
During the ceremony, we heard a huge crack of thunder and a low laugh went throughout the congregation...everyone was probably thinking, "great, I definitely did not bring in my umbrella"...and dear old Emily was thinking, "oh crap...left my sunroof open...". The clouds did make the sanctuary have a very romantic feel and the candles enhanced that. Joey, our college minister, did the ceremony and it was wonderful-I loved being able to hear him speak another time.
Thankfully, the church had a covered carport, so we were able to load cars without getting too wet...Emily sacrificed herself and made a run for her car...her curly hair recovers better from rain, but we can't say the same for the dress--it was pretty wet! The reception was in two of the Peabody's halls, and they looked gorgeous! Once everyone got there and dried off, the party started! The food was amazing and I was able to walk around and catch up with tons of people I haven't seen in forever! I was so happy at one point I almost started crying. I went to the bathroom just in case I did start crying...ha! I'm so ridiculous. Finally I realized I should eat...oh. my. gosh. The food was amazing. And the butter was in the shape of ducks, naturally! Not long after the cake-smash, we hit the dance floor! Most of us girls decided to ditch our shoes...maybe not the best decision! I have some serious bruises from my feet being crunched by groomsmen's shoes! And not to mention a few glass shards from broken bottles...we had a lot of party fouls that night! In case you see pictures and wonder about all of the Elvis glasses people had on, those were part of the table decorations from the rehearsal dinner that we all brought to the reception! There is also a "party hat" that rotated heads throughout the night...it was at our wedding too and has been at many subsequent events...no telling how many people have worn it!
We were a sweaty, dancing mess after just a few songs but that did not stop us! We have such a fun bunch of family, friends, and relatives that will dance the entire night! Something I cannot understand though: why do banquet halls/reception places always take up the water glasses? I can't tell you how thirsty we all were! So I just started visiting empty tables and taking swigs out of glasses that appeared totally full...at that point, I did not care! When it came time for the garter/bouquet toss, Clay's guys pulled a great one on him...He and his buddies, mainly the frisbee guys, have been "icing" each other for who knows how long. Well, one of Clay's friends distracted Clay while Drew, another friend, slipped a Smirnoff Ice under Lindsay's skirt. Clay knelt down to get the garter, and discovered the Ice....hilarity ensued. It was so funny--his face was priceless! So after sucessfully getting the garter, he managed to drink it, with all the guys surrounding him and laughing hysterically. So funny!
The mothers of the bride and groom also had some "spotlight" time during the evening. My mom's name is Sally, and so her signature song is "Mustang Sally"...well someone made sure it was dedicated to her and she danced in the middle of a circle during the entire song, rotating partners from Clay, Lindsay, Dad, and more. Lindsay's mom took over the mike on "Don't Stop Believin'" and sang the entire song--too funny! And then my sister impressed us all with her "stanky leg"...hilarious! I have video evidence :)
Another funny thing from the evening: I cannot tell you how many people thought Eric (my brother-in-law), was actually my husband! There were a lot of folks there that night that have only met/seen him once or twice, and they do look a lot alike! It was so funny..."Rebecca, where's Brian? I saw him earlier"..."Actually, that's not Brian..." Instead Paul was my faux-husband/dance partner! I basically danced around to various friends and family throughout the night-I imagine we all probably burned about 3,000 calories! Which made plenty of room for cake...
Finally it was time to bid them good night, so they left the room and...headed to the elevator-ha! They stayed in the "Romeo and Juliet" suite in the Peabody--the room even had a balcony overlooking a living room-it was so cool! We continued the party until midnight and then, once again, headed to Beale St. As we waited for everyone to meet us in the lobby, we saw 4 different brides and grooms come in together, and of course we all cheered them onto the elevator...poor things.
We headed home on Sunday and then I flew out on Monday afternoon--it was a wonderful trip! But on average I think we got about 5-6 hours of sleep a night for 3 nights in a row...which doesn't sound so bad but when coupled with how busy the days were, it got to be exhausting! The only way Emmie and I stayed awake on the way home was blasting fun music and drinking caffeine! And since then, I can't seem to catch up/get regulated with my sleep schedule! I slept a ton Sunday night and last night I got 11 hours of sleep, and 3 hours after I woke up, I accidentally took a 3 hour nap...whoops! I think now I'm back on track though :)
Overall, we had so much fun! It was so fun being home and seeing so many people! I still don't have voice hardly; we sang our lungs out during the reception and when you add that to tons of talking, I don't have much left in me!
Surprisingly though, when we flew into El Paso and I saw the mountains, I had a sense of home sweep over me...maybe this place is starting to feel more like home to me! Although we're supposed to get over 105 degrees tomorrow and my poor air conditioning just can't keep up...think I'm going to live in the pool! I'm sure I'll have more memories come to me over the next few days from the wedding weekend, but this is a pretty good outline of all the fun that was had!