Wedding Recap: Part 3 {Reception}

Hi there! I’m back with another wedding recap. I figured since I’m ready to start recapping our honeymoon, I should probably just finish this post which has been drafted for an embarrassingly long tim! In case you missed the others, here you go:

Wedding Recap Part 1
Wedding Recap Part 2

I last left off as we were getting ready to be introduced as Mr. & Mrs., right? Yes, that’s exactly where I left off! Since we didn’t really have wedding parties, our family just got introduced from their seats and then we did our entrance as we made our way to the dance floor for our first dance.

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Funny story: we had a song picked and all planned out and then literally 10 minutes before we were supposed to enter the tent RM felt like we needed to go to our plan B song since we didn’t get to practice enough for our plan A song. Luckily the band was able to download our new first dance song with a few minutes to spare 😉

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After the first dance, my parents did a speech, RM’s brother did a speech and then my sister did a speech. Everyone did such a wonderful job with the speeches- we were laughing and crying as they shared memories/stories/etc. It was such a special part of the night.

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After that it was time to eat! While the steak ended up being a little over-cooked (pretty typical for wedding food I think), everything else was really perfect. We had crab cakes to start, fresh salads, either steak or swordfish (or a vegetarian meal that I heard was unbelievably good) and then instead of cake, we had a huge assortment of Italian pastries/cookies. RM’s mother and some of her sister’s made some of the items at our dessert bar- all of which were fantastic! I also provided the guests with little takeaway bags so that they could take some cookies home, which ended up being a really great idea since there were so many cookies left over!

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{above food photos taken by our family friend, Jeanne, who is amazing!}

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After dinner a lot of people ventured out of the tent for a bit of a reprieve from the heat inside the tent, but once the sun went down a bit, people were pretty much on the dance floor ALL night, which is exactly what I wanted! For the father/daughter dance, we started off dancing to a slow song and then about halfway through I gave the nod to the band to switch it up and start playing “Happy” by Pharrell,  since that was a song my dad really wanted to dance to. We also invited my mom onto the dance floor with us and it was so much fun! My dad’s smile and dance moves were just priceless 🙂

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RM’s dance with his mother was a bit more mellow, but still very sweet. I love seeing how much he loves her!

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I happily spent the rest of the night on the dance floor, living it up with everyone. One of my favorite parts of the night was when the song “American Girl” by Tom Petty came on and RM came out of nowhere to grab me and start dancing- he was quite the dancing machine and by the end of the song my face hurt from smiling and laughing so much.

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After a few more hours of dancing, we closed out the night with one last slow-er song before heading into the Inn for late night snacks and piano show tunes 😉

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Overall, it was the most perfect, amazing, magical night that I will never forget. Everything that we, as brides, worry about leading up to the big event went better than I could’ve expected. We laughed, we cried, we ate & drank, we danced and we soaked up all of the love. We would re-live the day/night a million times over if we could. Thank you to everyone who made our day so special!

Photo Credit: Janelle Carmela Photography– she’s absolutely amazing!!

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Bachelorette Party: Recap

Good morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Ours was great: Jeveli’s date night on Friday night, Flywheel class on Saturday morning for me and then a weekend on the cape consisting of lots of sun, sand, vino & seafood.

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Back to the grind this week, though, but I figured starting the week with a recap of my amazing bachelorette weekend was a great way to kick it off! Consider this your warning- it’s a long, picture filled post!

When my sister and I were discussing possible bachelorette options, I really only had a few preferences/requests: not too far away because I didn’t want people to have to spend a ton of money for traveling or have to take time off, I wanted to workout and I wanted to drink vino & wear a tutu 🙂 I can easily say that she- and with the help of my friend, Jessi- not only nailed it in the fact all of those things were included, they far surpassed it with everything else they also included.

Midday on Friday, I packed up my car, picked up my sister and we hit the road to go to Portland, Maine. Everyone else was working full days, but we figured it would be smart to take half days to get up there early to get everything ready. Originally I wanted to rent a house, but they had trouble finding one big enough, close enough to town and affordable enough so we opted to just stay at the Residence Inn in downtown Portland. This was the PERFECT place to stay for my (or any) bachelorette party for a number of reasons:

  • Walking distance to all the good bars/restaurants
  • All rooms have mini kitchenettes so we can store stuff in the fridges
  • All rooms have little living rooms, so people don’t have to hang out on the beds
  • They have suite options- we did a 2 bedroom suite which had 2 separate bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen with a table and a full living room, so we had plenty of space to hang out and relax. We also rented another standard room for 1 night since we had more girls staying on the second night.
  • You don’t have to bring your own sheets/towels
  • Housekeeping
  • Free breakfast, which was awesome- they had a waffle maker, eggs, sausage, cereal, bagels, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. This was a huge cost saver because a few of us would go down and stock up and then we could all enjoy it in the room.
  • Cocktail hour

Basically, it worked out way better than renting a house- I highly suggest it!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, back to day 1. We stopped at the Market Basket in Biddeford on the way up to get beer/wine/snacks to stock the rooms and fridges. This was another good way to save money! Once we checked in and unpacked, we walked over to Flatbread Pizza which was right on the water- perfect for a sunny afternoon!

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Not long after lunch, a few more friends arrived and we popped some bubbly and hung out until we got dressed to head to dinner at Vignola Cinque Terre, which was an amazing little Italian restaurant. We ended up having the whole upstairs to ourselves, which was good considering the vino was flowing and friends kept arriving. The best surprise of the night/weekend was when my friend Amy showed up- I thought she wasn’t coming because she was going to be in Nashville, but her plans changed and everyone just kept me thinking she couldn’t come to make it a surprise- it was the best! We shared a bunch of different things and everything that came out was absolutely delicious- I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in Portland.

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We asked our waitress where we should go after and when she mentioned a country bar called Bonfire, it was an obvious choice to go there. We got a beer tower and had fun dancing and singing before calling it a night around midnight. I didn’t want to stay out too late because I knew we had a spin class followed by a day of drinking the next days.

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Saturday morning we headed to Reve Cycling on Forest Ave. Some of my friends who couldn’t stay for 2 nights met us there so it was fun to have the majority of the crowd together! The best part was that Jessi organized to have matching pants made with out initials (my new ones!!) on the leg and then mine said “bride” on the butt. It was such a fun surprise! The class was awesome & challenging, but it flew by. Everyone was so happy that we did it, too. Nothing like starting the day with a good sweat (even if it probably wreaked of wine, lol).

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After the class, we went back to the hotel and started the shower process, which, considering we had 12 girls showering between 3 showers, didn’t take too long!

My mom and her friend Chris came to spend the afternoon with us, so once everyone was there, we walked to Portland Lobster Company for drinks, eats and live music. It was the perfect place to kickoff the afternoon because the food and drinks were great and affordable, there was plenty of outdoor space and it was right on the water.

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The next stop was The Porthole, which was another great outdoor spot on the water. They also had a live band, but we all joked how terrible they were! It didn’t matter, though, the drinks and company most definitely made up for it 🙂

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After a round we decided to make our way back to the hotel to regroup and get ready for the night. The girls also brought me lingerie which was a fun surprise! For dinner, my mom and dad had prepped all of the fixings to make tacos so we didn’t have to worry about dealing with going out to eat for a big group of girls. This was such a good idea, not to mention the food was delicious.

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BTW, if you’re looking for a tutu, my girl Amy is the best at making them- we said her Etsy line should be called “Babies and Brides” because she makes tutu’s for the brides and babies in her life. It was such a fun addition to my outfit for the day!!

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My other friend, Amy, is doing my makeup for the wedding so we did a trial run before we went out. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and she did a great job of making me not look or feel like I had loads on, but still put enough on to look good in pictures.

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Once we were all dolled up, we headed out to Bull Feeney’s, which is a fun bar for live band dancing. We stayed there for a while before heading BACK to the country bar (Bonfire)… what can I say? We love country music! It was livelier on Saturday night and I was even able to have (and win) a dance off- my idea of a solid night 😉

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Late night shenanigans at the hotel most certainly ensued, which was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these girls made me feel SO special and loved all weekend. Between friends from home & college (and family), I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to hang out with.  I couldn’t believe all that they did for me, especially my sister and Jessi- you girls are the absolute best and I am SO LUCKY to have you in my life! Can we do this again soon?! Love to you all!!!

Questions for you: Did you have a bachelorette party? Where did you have it? What types of bars do you like to go to? Have you been to Portland before? What are your favorite stops when you’re there? What’s a must-have on a girls weekend?
 

Nikia & Kyle’s Snowy Spring Wedding

It seems as though I say “that was the best wedding ever!” after every friends’ wedding. Waking up the morning after Nikia and Kyle’s wedding, my mind was thinking that same exact thing. We danced, we laughed, we cried, we loved. It was such a beautiful, wonderful wedding with so much love that it was hard to not think it was perfect!

RM and I got stuck in massive amounts of traffic when we left on Friday afternoon, but we finally got to Chittenden, VT around 8pm. Lucky for us, most of our friends had just arrived and we were greeted with a big ol’ glass of wine! The wedding festivities were held at the beautiful Mountain Top Inn, which was perfect since they had large houses for renting in addition to normal hotel rooms. Since there were 11 of us in our group (SMC girls plus some of our significant others), we opted to rent a house. The house was HUGE and could’ve fit probably 5 more people comfortably! There was a nice, big kitchen/living room/dining room area, 5 bedrooms and bathrooms, a whole separate living area downstairs including a kitchen. It seemed like it just went on and on!

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After we finished catching up, we sat down for “family dinner”. My friend Jess picked up some chicken parm and eggplant parm from Bricco and it totally hit the spot!

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Kia’s North Conway Bachelorette Weekend

I love celebrating my friends, and this past weekend was such a wonderful way to do so. My college friend, Nikia, is getting married this weekend so we all headed up to North Conway last weekend to celebrate her last weekend as a “single” lady. It was a mix of college girlfriends and some of her other girlfriends from different parts of her life. We all got along so well and by the end, it felt like we had all been friends for so long!

We arrived at various times on Friday night and took that time to drink wine, hang out and relax. The house that we rented was amazing!!! It was perfect for us because there were so many bedrooms and bathrooms- a must for a group of girls! It slept 14, had 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, huge kitchen, 2 gas fireplaces, a game room and a hot tub with views of the nearby mountain. The Maid of Honor found the house on VRBO if you’re interested in checking it out!

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On Saturday, we got up and I led a 45 minute bootcamp. I did this at Sheila’s bachelorette weekend and was pumped when Kia asked if I would do it for hers. I’m all about drinking and partying and straying off of my normal healthy eats for a weekend, but I really like when I can still get in a workout and some movement because it’s something that makes me feel so much better! So, when you have a group of girls willing to do it with you, it makes for a fun event. I’ll post the workout on Wednesday, but it was a good one and it was so funny to listen to everyone grunting and groaning!
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Weekending: The Gagnons Do Boston

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine, per usual, went way too quickly. I still have San Francisco to recap for you, but for now, let’s do a little weekend recap!

Friday night, RM and I headed into the city to have a sushi dinner at Douzo. It feels like it’s been ages since we had a Friday night date night, and since we aren’t eating meat on Fridays (Lent), it was a great excuse to get out and do a sushi date night. Per usual, the food was fantastic. We shared a few rolls and sashimi pieces and had their spicy garlic coated edamame which is absolutely delicious! Paired with a few glasses of rose and good conversation, it made for a great night!

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Oh, and tempura bananas and ice cream to finish the night? Perfection.

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Saturday morning started with my cardio kickboxing class which is always my favorite way to start the day! But what I was really excited about on Saturday was the fact that my parents were coming down for the night. My sister used her points and got them a night at the Renaissance, so she, her boyfriend, RM and I headed in around 6 to meet for a pre-dinner drink and then dinner at 75 on Liberty Wharf. Have you ever been there? It’s right on the water next to Jerry Remy’s and it’s a cute, tiny little restaurant with delicious food! We all loved our meals- everything from the steak tip salad to salmon to seafood stew to a burger and my Jambalaya, was just awesome.

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Post dinner, we headed over to Whiskey Priest because mom wanted to go dancing. I hadn’t been there in years, and it didn’t take long for me to realize why: it’s such a young crowd!! But, they had a great live band and we had so much fun dancing and meeting people. Guess that’s what happens when you bring your cute little mom to the bar 😉

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“I’m a guy magnet!”- Sue Gags herself. We did not know these guys, but she had guys and girls dancing with her all night!

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Even though I stayed out way later than I anticipated and drank more than I would’ve liked, it was seriously such a fun night. I’m so lucky to have parents who love coming to the city and going out and having fun.

Sunday morning had a very lazy start, which was perfect. And these healthy pancakes? The best RM has ever made!

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All in all, such a fun weekend! I was so sad last night when I knew it was coming to an end.

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Where do you go dancing? Have you ever been to 75 on Liberty Wharf?