The school year had just begun when I took five extremely short days off work to be the maid of honor in my very best friend’s wedding. I flew to San Francisco on July 2nd and got picked up at SFO by Liz and her then-fiancee, Josh. I had tears in my eyes as we all hugged. I couldn’t believe I was about to watch Elizabeth Jayne – my best friend of 25 years – marry the man of her dreams!
The love birds started dating in December 2010, and they got engaged in February 2012. Here they are, a year before the wedding:
For months leading up to the big day, their apartment was wedding central. When I first walked in it looked like they were moving out, though in reality they were moving wedding gifts in and getting all the wedding accoutrement ready to be driven to the wedding site. There were boxes of wine, millions of decorations, piles of RSVPs, and gift bags for out-of-town guests that needed to be assembled.
The few days we had before the wedding were very busy! Josh had to deal with issues with his and his groomsmen’s suits, Liz had to call and confirm everything with everyone, they both were constantly welcoming family and friends from Colorado, Southern California, and around the Bay Area, and I was happily put to work writing out all the guests’ place cards and making chalkboard-style boards. Josh, Liz, and I made a trip to Costco one day during the week. I’ve never seen anyone buy so much liquid all at once! They bought all the beer, Pellegrino, liquor, mixers, and fruit for cocktails all in one fell swoop. I was surprised it all fit in the trunk of Liz’s little car! The week was full of errands — Micheal’s for a couple picture frames, Trader Joe’s for more gift bag goodies, and a few trips to the venue and the hotels where guests were staying.
The night before the wedding, the girls all descended upon Liz’s apartment for a night-before-the-wedding slumber party (with Chipotle, of course), and Josh went to the spend the night in a hotel. Liz gave all the bridesmaids sweet personalized gifts, and then we just kicked back, chatted, and watched movies. The next morning was the BIG DAY, July 6, 2013. Carrie, Liz’s sister, prepared a wedding morning playlist, so we all got to shower and put on our pre-wedding matching outfits while listening to such favorites as “Goin’ to the Chapel”!
The morning was taken up by up-dos and make-up at a cute little salon in Palo Alto. The bride’s parents and the groom’s brother provided us ladies with champagne and OJ for mimosas, plus bagels and muffins. We also treated the bride to a Jamba! Her hair was lovely — a side bun with a big flower, borrowed from her sister who wore it in her wedding.
It was about 1 o’clock when we were expected at the venue, the beautiful, charming Rengstorff House in Mountain View. When the bridesmaids arrived, the venue was abuzz with family and friends setting everything up and decorating the ceremony location, as well as the area for the reception. My mom, aunt, sister, and my sister’s boyfriend were all there too and were excited to see us all dolled up.
Liz’s dress was so perfectly Liz. It was strapless with a drop-waist and was embellished with embroidered flowers. All the women in her life got to help her put it on, and of course, we all teared up!
The bridesmaids wore light pink strapless dresses and cute wedges.
Liz had been nervous all day — butterflies, stress, etc. — but 10 seconds before the ceremony, she was completely calm. She was ready. And she was stunning.
The ceremony itself went off without a hitch. Lots of happy tears, a wonderful speech by the officiant, beautiful readings from the bride and groom’s sisters, and lovely acoustic guitar music. The reception was an absolute blast — delicious food, fun people, great toasts, awesome dance music, and a tasty Norwegian cake called a kransekake.
Every little detail was just perfect that day! By the end of the night we were all exhausted, but it was the happy kind of exhausted that signifies an unforgettable day. My best friend is happily married, and she couldn’t have chosen a better guy. I feel lucky to be able to call Josh a brother-in-law. Cheers!