A Picture Perfect Weekend

Last month my other best friend got married & it was the most picture perfect weekend imaginable. Her job is curating beautiful images and stories on IG, so it kind of goes without saying that her wedding weekend was stunning.

Aubrey is the creative genius behind That’s What She Eats. We went to high school together and she lived in Cleveland, OH before jet setting off to FL with her then-girlfriend, now-wife Megan. (I cried when they moved.) (Fortunately, they’re coming back eventually!) Since CLE has their heart (& most of their friends and family live in OH), they had their wedding up north.

Like Kayla’s wedding (when Aubrey stayed with me), Kayla and I stayed together at an AirBNB in Lakewood. Our husbands were there, too. We were in Cleveland from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

It was the typical wedding weekend schedule (rehearsal & dinner / ceremony & reception / next-day brunch), but not also not typical at all.

Aub & Megan rented several AirBNBs for the weekend. A house in the Ohio City/Tremont area was used for the rehearsal & after-reception party, we used some lofts in Hingetown for morning-of prep, and a little restaurant in Lakewood was the setting for the ceremony and reception dinner.

After a laidback rehearsal, a few speeches, and a delicious dinner, the wedding crowd mostly cleared out of the backyard and K, Kayla, her husband Connor, and I went to work. It was our job to put the after-reception party together. With some pre-planning, we were able to transform the yard in about two hours. K and Connor hung fairy lights along the 2nd floor balcony and across the backyard. Kayla and I moved tables around, set up a little bar corner, and added the lounge furniture that we hauled from home. With only a few finishing touches to add the following day, we called it a night and went home to rest up for the big day.

The wedding was beautiful & intimate. There were less than 45 guests and I think I knew 35 of them? Haha. That’s what happens when you’ve been friends for 20+ years. Also, when you’ve been friends for that long the bride might ask you to speak during the ceremony. Which she did. So Kayla and I did. Aubrey’s mom and Megan’s mom wrote letters to their future daughters-in-law (SOB FEST) and then Kayla and I gave a short speech on friendship. Aubrey and Megan followed all of us up by saying really kind things to one another, then making their status as wife & wife official! It was beautiful ❤️

The dinner that followed was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. obviously. Kayla and I slipped out a little early and headed to the after-party house to put on the tablecloths, centerpieces, and set out dessert. Honestly, the day couldn’t have gone smoother. We were home and in bed by 11:30pm. (WIN!)

The next day brunch was a partial ode to the newly weds and ode to the Browns game. LOL. We stayed for a bit and visited, hugged our new brides EXTRA tight, packed up the car, and drove back home to see our blonde baby. We ended the weekend with full hearts and tummies.

A&M cultivated their weekend beautifully. They kept it small, they included so many personal elements, and they made the people involved feel loved and taken care of. (Hopefully we made them feel loved, too.)

Congratulations, Aubrey and Megan ❤️ We love you SO much and can’t wait until you’re back in OH on a permanent basis!

-Aud

Waitress in Cleveland

My talented, vivacious, beautiful friend Aubrey offered me two tickets to see Waitress at Playhouse Square in Cleveland last month, so I invited my mom along and we made a night of it! (We had less than 24 hours notice so it was a whirlwind!)

Knowing how Cleveland gets on a Friday night, Mom and I arrived in the city roughly 2 hours before showtime. (Fortunately the Cavs were out of town!) We parked across from the theater and decided to find some noms before the show. Rookie mistakes: Reservations are a must in Cleveland on a Friday night in the theater district. Lol

Fortunately, after putting our names on a waiting list and flashing our puppy-dog eyes, we snagged a table at Cowell & Hubbard, an upscale eatery a block down from the show. Our sever was only three days into his job and so nervous but so so good! He explained all the specials to us and obliged our weird orders and time restraints.

Mom and I each got an appetizer. She ordered Foie Gras (BLEH) and I got chicken spring rolls. Our second course was a cup of tomato bisque for me and Brussels sprouts salad for Mom.

To be totally honest, nothing really impressed me (except the service). My soup was ok but not spectacular and my chicken spring rolls weren’t the best I’d ever had. But then we ordered dessert…

Oh em gee. My caramel apple cheesecake was awesome. Mom got the peanut butter and jelly creme brulee and it was killer. Seriously… a ridiculously good note to end on.

After dinner we hightailed it to the box office to retrieve out tix and find our seats. After a quick hug and “hello” to Aubrey and her fiancee Alyssa we found our seats and settled in.

I loved this musical. There were a handful of story lines that I didn’t agree with, but I think that’s what made the story so beautiful and relateable and real. All the characters were flawed but the best ones exuded so much kindness. And the music? Sara Bareilles is a composing goddess. If this musical comes to a theater near you, I recommend you go 🙂

Thank you to my mom for going with me last minute! (And for reserving judgement when I cried like a toddler for the last 20 minutes of the show.) And THANK YOU to Aubrey for the tickets!!

The best part might have been Sara Bareilles coming out at the final curtain. I just really love her. It made me cry even harder.
When spontaneous nights are this incredible it lifts your soul.

Married in Cleveland

This weekend K and I headed to Cleveland to celebrate the holy matrimony of a college friend/roommate and her fabulous man.

Amanda and John are two of the classiest human beings I know. John is the definition of “Renaissance Man” and Amanda is a pie-baking, dress-wearing, tea-loving feminist. They are also two of the smartest, nicest people I know- and they totally deserve each other.

This is one of their incredibly gorgeous engagement photos.
This is one of their incredibly gorgeous engagement photos.

Cleveland, Ohio is a two hour drive for the husband and I, so we loaded up the car around 11:30am last Saturday and made our way north.

Invitation
Invitation

We looked pretty darn good…

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They asked that no pictures be taken at the wedding, so I refrained, but it was a beautiful ceremony. Halfway through the groom tried to kiss the bride and she held him back, telling him “not yet” while the preacher jokingly reprimanded him. Instead of a unity candle or sand ceremony, the bride and groom washed one another’s feet, similar to how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and hosts. They cleaned off the dirt from their pasts so that they could move forward washed anew. During the feet washing ceremony my college pal Dana sang “Where I Land” by J.J. Heller and played ukelele. It was an incredible moment.

I messed up and didn't get a picture of the program, but here's Dana and I!
I messed up and didn’t get a picture of the program, but here’s Dana and I!

The ceremony ended around 3 and the reception began at 6, so we decided to wander around the little “village” of Coventry. We visited a thrift store, game shop, and an antique store.

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While perusing the antique store a little stray dog wandered in.

Other Shopper: Um I think a dog wandered in.
Dana: What happened to [Louise]?
K: Well, if there’s a dog in here, she’s probably with it.
Not a second went by before I came through the door with the dog in my hand.

We didn’t find his owner, but a wonderful woman offered to take him and walk him around the area and look for his parent(s). Thank goodness for her, or we’d have a third dog.

Knowing the dog was in good hands, we left Coventry and hit up Starbucks before making our way to Night Town for the reception!

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Dana & her hubby, Jamie

We had a short cocktail hour, then headed to our seats. Table 11, y’all!

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The atmosphere was excellent and the food was AWESOME. I had the Dublin Lawyer.

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The evening was filled with cake, dancing, and some really adorable family speeches.

John comes from a Lebanese background. He also has a deaf mother and father. During the speeches his grandfather read a beautiful letter to John and Amanda, saying how the day was the happiest of his life and he could now peacefully pass on. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry…

John holding the light while his grandfather read his letter.
John holding the light while his grandfather read his letter.

The cake was yummy, the card box was crafty, and the couple was 1920’s perfection.

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The newly weds are now headed to Arizona to begin their life together!

Thanks for letting us witness your beautiful day, Amanda and John!

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Here’s a bonus (Snapchat) picture of my adorable workaholic husband taking a business call during cocktail hour.

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-Louise