The day for the girls started bright and early. The make-up artist started at 7:30 and the two hair stylists started at 9:30.
One of my pre-wedding goals was to keep everyone well fed and hydrated. I made ham and cheese quiches and Jay made waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. (Strawberries waffles are Liz's favorite!) The day before I had made chocolate chip muffins, Andrew's favorite, so the guys would have something for breakfast at his apartment. There was plenty for everyone!
The morning of the wedding was so special. It was filled with joy, laughter and peace....as well as random dance parties and singing. Having all of these beautiful young women getting ready to share in such a special day just filled my heart. (Jay's, too) We just kept trying to soak in the moment.
|Ellie's up do|
|Kate and her future sil, Marisa|
|The beautiful bouquets!|
|One of my favorite things! Sarah had adult coloring cards and the girls all joined in!|
It was relaxing for them...in between the dancing and singing. :)
|More coloring and make-up in the background|
|Victoria's up do (maid of honor and sister of the bride)|
Liz's parents were with us the whole morning as well. I can't express enough how grateful we are that, not only did Andrew marry into a very loving, faithful family, but Jay and I have felt that our families have bonded in a special way. Liz's parents, Patti and Chris, are such kind, generous people and we have enjoyed spending time getting to know them over the last year. Liz's sister, Victoria, has really hit it off with Ellie and Sarah and they have become friends as well. It's been an added blessing that the daughter-in-law we love so much comes with such a great family! Being able to experience and share in the early morning festivities with all of them just made it that much more special. (And Chris was extremely helpful in running out to grab things we ran out of! He saved the day when we ran low on bobby pins!!)
At lunch time, Jay and Chris picked up several orders of wings and headed to Andrew's apartment for a special lunch with the guys. Unlike the girls who spent the morning prepping and primping, the guys spent the morning sleeping, playing games, and practicing a special dance for the reception.(more on that in Part 3!)
Quick side story...Jay stopped by Cumberland Farms to grab some Coke and Dr. Pepper the guys requested. Jay had Luke with him and didn't want him hyped up on caffeine for the afternoon. So he got him a chill zone instead. More specifically, a blue raspberry chill zone. (Maybe you moms know where this is going.) Luke had drank a third of it by the time they got to Andrew's. When they walked in, Mike and Andrew looked at Jay and said, "Dad, what did you do?!? The pictures!" It was then that Jay realized Luke's teeth and tongue were completely blue! So the chill zone was disposed of and Jay spent some time scrubbing Luke's teeth and tongue with paper towels!
Lunch for the girls consisted of sandwiches and fruit. The morning and early afternoon passed quickly and before we knew it, dresses were put on and we were waiting for the bride to emerge. Liz looked absolutely beautiful!
And just like that....it was go time! Liz and Andrew got married at our Church just a few minutes away. The Mass started at 3pm...Mercy Hour...which is fitting because of our love of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina and the Polish heritage that both Andrew and Liz share.
The ceremony was beautiful...filled with a grace that I could feel. Andrew and Liz chose to live a chaste relationship, something extremely counter cultural in today's society. I've attended two other weddings, a friend's many years ago and our God child's wedding 3 years ago, where the bride and groom had made the same choice. And at both of those weddings I had that same feeling. Just so much grace because both the bride and groom were open to receiving all God had to give them. It is truly a special experience.
The wedding itself felt surreal. I kept saying in my head, "Andrew is actually getting married!" It was a lot to take in and process. All the months of planning had led to that special moment. And, again, I tried to just soak it in.
|Andrew and Jon, brother and best man|
|Andrew's face as Liz walked up the aisle|
|Liz and her Dad|
In the meantime...
...........a picture is worth a thousand words...
|The wedding party|
|All the girls|
|All the guys plus Peter|
|Andrew and Kate have a special bond<3|
|Sometimes it's hard being the flower girl.....|
|Liz's beautiful dress and cathedral veil|
|And on to their own version of Happily Ever After....|