We had a baby in 2012. We had a baby in 2013. Well, 2014 was the year of the wedding, and we were generously and kindly invited to fourteen weddings. Sadly we were not able to make all of them as this also was the year we went to a grad school student budget, and we have not discovered how to be in two places at once. Marci and Mark, Lisa and Duane, Renee and Ryan, Britt and Matt, Chris and Kirsten, we so wanted to be at your weddings! I won't be able to give full, in-detail recaps of each wedding, but I did want to share some highlights from each day.
We started out the wedding season with my brother's wedding. Funny story - we've actually known my sister-in-law pretty much our whole life because she is my cousin's childhood best friend! I love thinking about that - they probably interacted so many times with nary a thought of each other and now they are husband and wife. I was honored to be a bridesmaid, and Chris was a groomsman! I really can't go any further without mentioning my college roomie, Ashley, and her fiance, Jeff, who saved our behinds by kindly watching Ryan and Conor during Mass and when we went on the party bus (wahoo!). They are nothing short of amazing.
Ryan was the ring bearer, and I was pretty nervous about it because the terrible twos were hitting hard at this point. I promised him more gummy bears than he could imagine, and we watched multiple YouTube videos of ring bearers walking down the aisle so thank you, moms who proudly upload those videos of your dapper and tuxedo-ed toddlers! Fortunately, my adorable four-year-old cousin could be a professional flower girl, and she pulled him down the aisle. I know I'm his mom, but it was so cute to see a giddy flower girl dragging a wide-eyed ring bearer down the aisle.
^^ Ring bearer in the headlights. (My aunt's photo) Ryan wore the same tux that his Uncle Johnny wore to our wedding :) ^^
It was such a sweet moment to see Laura and her dad walk down the aisle. My new sister-in-law looked gorgeous and her dress fit her personality so well! It was very touching that she invited my sister and I to come when she was trying wedding dresses on last May. My brother didn't have a hard time picking what to wear, ha.
^^ Vows! (My aunt's photo) ^^
^^ Dreamy sword arch. (Photo snagged off of FB) ^^
I always look forward to the sword arch at military weddings. Tradition and humor all in one. The party bus was a great time, and Laura's mom had packed the best ham sandwiches I've ever tasted in my life. You know how it goes when you are in a wedding? Things are ridiculously busy so food is forgotten, and then, boom the ceremony is over and you are staaaaarving. Thank goodness for smart moms who think ahead and slap some bread, butter and ham together!
^^ New sister! And I'm still the only Corcoran sister with the Asian glow. ^^
The reception was sparkly and pink, and all 13 of my grandma's children were in attendance! I hadn't seen my brother's Naval Academy friends in years so it that was a treat. Ryan and Conor were exhausted and did not want to be with anyone but me, but we survived.
I've always prayed that my brother would find happiness and a wonderful wife so it was definitely a joy-filled day.
MARIE + BOB
I'm of the opinion that marriages set up by the ND rugby program are at the utmost top of the standard, but maybe that's because I have that group of guys to thank for meeting the guy I call Chris. Marie is Chris' best friend's little sister, and Bob has been Chris' friend and teammate for almost a decade. Marie is number two of ten, and their family is kind of everything - faithful, intelligent, athletic, artsy, hilarious. They are grand. When you combine Marie being from a big family + the 20+ rugby alum + the rest of the stellar invite list who flew in from all over, you know it's going to not just be a lovey-dovey, yay! we are so happy for you! wedding, it's going to be a great weekend. And great it was.
Marie was stunning. Bob, you didn't look too bad yourself. (Photo from Facebook)
The best group of guys.
After a beautiful Mass at a breathtaking church in Chicago, we trekked out to the suburbs to a sports bar with the rest of the guys, and I'm pretty sure napless Ryan ate his weight in french fries while unintentionally trying to convince our friends to not have kids. At the reception, the boys were pretty restless, and they wanted nothing to do with sitting at a table. Things were looking pretty grim, but then this happened:
Long live weddings where big families run rampant, no one bats an eye when you push six chairs together to make a toddler bed, and there are always at least a few friends taking a break from the dance floor to sit next to your kids. I might have had one, two, three White Russians while these babes slept the whole entire reception post-dinner.
I was so sad to miss Pat and Kara's wedding, but it only made sense for Chris to go to the wedding since he was already going to be out in California. Pat is another rugby player, and Kara has always been so sweet to me ever since we first met my sophomore year of college. Since I didn't get to go, I can't give a complete recap, but Chris did tell me that they had a Queen cover band that was "wicked." Also of note, look at this photo:
^^ The magazine-worthy high school sweethearts. ^^
Conor and I road-tripped our way up to Duluth, Minnesota the last weekend of June. There was no question as to whether or not I would make the drive or not. Aubs is one of my dearest friends from college, and it is a wondrous thing to clearly see God's hand in every step of their relationship. Plus, I can't believe that my friend who knows both the Catholic faith and the words to every rap song ever written found herself a Catholic rapper to marry.
^^ Aub's dress was perfect for her. Perfect. I remember sitting in a library room with her the summer we found my dress. I asked her what she envisioned for her dress down the road, and she wanted something simple, form-fitting, yet flowy. Nailed it. ^^
^^ They gave credit where credit was due. ^^
^^ I guess iPhones aren't meant to capture groom's being hoisted up in celebration. ^^
Aubry's family serves like no other family I know. For example, that busy, loving bride found me a house to stay in for the weekend. The whole day was brimming with meaning from getting ready with a rosary and music to one of the most intentional nuptial Masses I've ever attended to the rap the groom wrote for his bride. I think I was able to go to the wedding with a baby in tow and without Chris sans worry because children are seen as such a blessing to this family. Mass was full of babbling and squawking babies, as the bride and groom wanted. It really was an honor to be able to attend.
If you want to see more of their dreamy wedding, click on over to the photographer's complete blog post of the wedding.
I had been so excited for Meagan and Tommy's wedding for seventeen months!
I did secure their wedding date, after all. But really, I've known both of them since our freshman year of college, and I still remember dropping Meagan off at Main Circle when she was going to hang out with Tommy when they had just become a couple. The whole shebang was so fun from the welcome pizza dinner to the darling bridal luncheon to the delicious steak house rehearsal dinner to the gorgeous Nuptial Mass in the Basilica to the neat locker room tour to the stunning reception at the Palais Royale downtown to the goodbye breakfast on Sunday.
All of the bridesmaids stayed in the same house which was really wonderful. Since we didn't have to travel anywhere, Chris and I splurged and hired a babysitter for the bridal lunch afternoon and then for the rehearsal dinner. The babysitter we use is a really sweet and quiet thirteen year old, and as she left that night she told me, "I don't know how moms do it." Interpretation: your kids are a handful. Ha!
^^ Marci, my friend and the matron of honor, ordered Gigi's Cupcakes for the bridal luncheon. WOW. ^^
^^ Portrait of a nursing bridesmaid. ^^
So there are four Saturday time slots at the Basilica, 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. It turned out that the 11am time slot that I luckily snagged for the happy couple ended up being the best time of that day because it was raining cats and dogs all afternoon. The reception pulled out all the stops with a live band and a late night snack, but my favorite part was the traditional singing of Piano Man at the end of the wedding. Okay, I was wrong, my favorite part was probably the the pom squad dance. Meagan was the captain of the pom squad senior year, and she was so in her element to be performing! Her ecstatic and confident was pretty adorable. I'm so happy I got to stay til the very end (thanks, Chris, for going home with the boys!), and I was really touched to be able to be a bridesmaid for Meagan.
We drove out to San Diego for David and Becca's wedding. They got engaged at the Grotto back in March, and then it was full speed ahead to throw the best backyard wedding ever! All hands were on deck with Becca being the oldest of seven and you know about the Harringtons. Both also come from huge and loyal extended families, and with a locale like San Diego, there weren't many regrets sent!
There was so much heart put into it. Becca fell in love with this dress, so her mom made it for her. The flowers were made by family friends, sisters-in-law and cousins. The cake was baked and decorated by my sisters-in-law in a neighbor's kitchen. Cousins made the best punch ever (this reminds me that I need to get the recipe!). So many family members helped set up the dance floor and tables and chairs and lights. Neighbors opened up their driveway for parking. It really was a wedding put on by love.
The crazy part about the wedding was that after a year of practically no rain, it poured the day of their wedding! There was no tent or back-up plan because it is SAN DIEGO! There is never rain the first week of August! But the rain let up by the time of the reception, and really, it was such a blessing. Everyone attending was so understanding, the rain brought the temperature and humidity down and both sides of the each family are full of people with servants hearts. With all of that, everything could go off without a major hitch, in spite of the rain - well, there was a very essential hitch, that of Becca and David.
^^ Every single Harrington was in attendance! ^^
Ryan was the ring bearer with David's other godchild, Molly. You would think that since this was my second go round as the ring bearer's mother, I would have fed my child more than a half a bagel while I was frantically getting him dressed, but no. Once again, he was thankfully matched with an expert flower girl so he made it down the aisle, although he did hold the pillow up as a shield. My sister drove down from her training to help out for the day, and we would not have been able to do it without her! Kristina curled hair, got dresses, chauffeured us around, rewarded Ryan with his gummy bears after making it down the aisle, took care of the boys during Mass, took pictures; she did everything. I love you, Sis!
Oh, it was such a joy to see David and Becca get married. A highly talented choir sung at their Mass, the altar servers were her brothers, and they used her mother's veil with a gorgeous image of the Holy Family attached to it. And it was so neat to watch Becca while we were all getting ready. We were not making it a calm setting, but she didn't care that it was raining! She didn't care we were running late! She was just ready to marry David, and nothing could ruin their day as long as that happened.
I do have to say that the best part about a backyard wedding is that you can put your kids to bed and not miss the party!! Both Conor and Ryan were asleep early into the reception so Chris and I danced the whole night on that full dance floor. Second best part about a backyard wedding? After all is said and done, you take out the hundred bobby pins in your hair while relaxing in the hot tub and then multiple people sit around one of the cakes that hadn't been eaten, each with a fork in hand. Extra points when it is spice cake.
^^ My favorite part of this photo is my father-in-law and brother-in-law behind David and Becca. ^^
^^ Can you believe my sisters-in-law made this wedding cake, and it was their first attempt ever? Oh, and there is evidence of Ryan's attendance at the wedding on the groom's cake, if you can spot it. ^^
^^ Brad gave a truly great best man's speech. ^^
^^ Funniest. ^^
^^ I love them. ^^
^^ The hobbit ring bearer, as captured by our talented friend, Dylan. ^^
^^ Okay this is my favorite photo because Becca has always been told that Johnny is a mini-David in both looks and mannerisms. Just look at how he is looking up at her! ^^
^^ Bridesmaids, but sisters first. ^^
^^ To see more of David and Becca's wedding, here is the photographer's blog post about the day.
Out of my cousins on my dad's side, there are seven of us girls born in four years. We've grown up very close, always doing everything together, and last month, Andrea was the third of us to tie the knot!
^^Love my Corcoran girl cousins. ^^
^^ My uncle's ice cream machine. It is legendary. Rich ice cream that comes out like soft-serve. Chris said it lived up to the hype. ^^
^^ Didn't my aunt do a lovely job with the cookie table? ^^
^^ Godmother and godson. ^^
^^ Chris' brother, Patrick, basically lived with us for a month. Isn't he a mini-Chris? He is the best with little kids. ^^
^^ Another cool sword arch! (Also, people taking photos with iPads never fail to make me smile) ^^
I love family weddings, and the fact that there were so many this year was just glorious. Andrea and Andy got married in the family church in my dad's hometown. I helped Andrea with their invitations, and she was such a relaxed bride. Well, both Andrea and Andy were so relaxed! Their carefree and goofy personalities made for a very fun reception that included a crazy sock dance. Ryan and the rest of the great grandchildren loved the pond on the reception site. It's always a delight to see my family, and this was no exception!
To see more photos from the day, here is the photographer's blog post.
Brad and Geena might win for most combined siblings at a wedding. Between the families, there are eleven boys and eleven girls - they could all have dance partners, ha! Ryan, Conor and I hitched a ride with Chris' mom & co. to Annapolis, one of my favorite cities, which is where Geena's family lives. The whole week beforehand was incredible because we basically just spent a lot of time with Geena's family. Dinner Wednesday night, paddle boarding Thursday, welcome party on Friday, we couldn't get enough of them. It's always so nice to be able to breathe when your visiting with people who adore children and understand them ... or understand that sometimes, you just can't understand them.
It was another wonderfully handmade wedding. The week prior, we went to our family friends to make the Italian sausage for the welcome party. Geena's grandma grew all of the flowers for the centerpieces in her front yard. Chris' mom made the cake and the groom's cake (and she didn't kill me when I messed up the icing she had spent all night on. She's a saint). Geena's friend and neighbor designed all the paper products. All the decorations were made by Geena and her mom and Mel.
Every detail was thought out, but you could see where the emphasis was placed - on their marriage centered around Christ.
Both Geena and Brad are loved by so many, and it showed the whole day long. Saying that I'm so happy for them doesn't even cut it.
Kimberly, the photographer, blogged about Brad and Geena's day here.
Make sure you check it out! Kimberly and her fiance, Andrew, are something special. Other lovely write ups: from the bride herself, from Mel, the most helpful girl you ever will meet, and from Alex, MOH and my Shake It Off dance partner for life.
^^ Aunt Jill gives and gives and gives! She volunteered to drive back with my mother-in-law from Annapolis to San Diego. I know! ^^
^^ Sister bridesmaids. ^^
^^ These girls are treasures. ^^
^^ Godmother and godson. ^^
^^ Just some brothers of the groom and brother of the bride hanging out. ^^
^^ She was dreamy. ^^
^^ Mom and most of her girls (just missing Mary!) ^^
^^ I'm pretty sure Erin took this breathtaking photo of the bride! ^^
^^ Harrington sisters. ^^
^^ Sweet Mary. ^^
^^ David was Chris' best man. Brad was David's best man. Chris was Brad's best man. My boys won't find a better set of brothers to look up to. ^^
^^ Alex, I feel like this photo perfectly captures our friendship. ^^
^^ Brick is good. A perfect day. ^^
Post reception, we Harringtons hurried to the rental to fit 30 people into a room to watch the DVRed Notre Dame football VICTORY with push-ups and all. Told ya it was a perfect day.
Chris is going to the last wedding of the year this weekend. His best friend from high school is getting married! I'm sending my love with him, Katie and Matt!
Okay, that's it! And they all lived happily ever after.
Has it been a busy wedding year for you?