Ellen Gets Hitched: Wedding Day...

Wedding day -- August 1, 2015 -- How had we arrived? Months and months of planning and preparation all leading up to this one very special day when my sweet little sister would marry the man of her dreams.  A special day full of lots of fun, laughter, tears, singing, and more fun!  It was a perfectly Ellen and Kristiaan day....

We started out the day with an EARLY wake-up call and had to be in the lobby ready to go get hair done at 7:15am.  My mom graciously got a luxury bus (and it was luxurious) to take us all to get our hair done.  Lucy went too...first time in a limo bus for her!  We jammed out to a wedding playlist I created for the day and had mimosas (Well I had the OJ part) and muffins on our ride to Eagan where Ellen has her hair done normally.  Her good friend who happened to be her personal attendant, Tanya, was doing her hair at her salon.

We spent the morning at the salon with her 3 personal attendants, Erin (a bridesmaid), my mom and I.  Her sisters-in-law (also bridesmaids) had kiddos to attend to and didn't come.  We had a blast, who doesn't love getting their hair all done up fancy!

We then headed back to the hotel and I checked in on Lucy, fed her and gave the run down to my mother in law and sister in law of who needed to be where/when and what to wear.  They were amazing, from doing Vera's hair to getting everything ironed.  Once again, it took a village so I could be with my sister the whole day! 

After that, I headed back down to the bridal prep room...we had lunch and hung out, shed some more happy tears as we got Ellen all dolled up and ready to go in her dress with her something old, borrowed and blue.  

My dad showed up and we had a little time with just the 4 "originals"...my dad is a very cool and collected man which is why God blessed him with 3 emotional women but on our wedding days, man he pulls out the compliments and hugs that well produce more sweet tears and hugs!  LOVE YOU DAD!
Looking dapper Dad

...and a beautiful mama.  Her dress was so cute and stylish!  

Ellen's sisters in law (bridesmaids in the wedding) put on the ISU inspired garter to complete Ellen's bridal ensemble!

I then got the pleasure of escorting her to her first look...first she read a letter written to her by her groom - insert more happy tears from her and I.  She also had one delivered to him!

After the first look it was picture time...under the shade of the trees it was ok but when we got out into the park it was HOT, poor guys!  We were all sweating pretty good...thankfully we went back to the ceremony sight which was all covered under a canopy of trees for all the family photos so it was nice and comfortable!

Such a beautiful bride - the pictures don't do it justice!

Even though Lucy was spitty, Auntie Ellen risked it for a chance to snuggle with her newest niece!
...and my sweet flower girl, sweet baby and ring bearer!

...and of course one of just Vera and her favorite person in the whole wide world :)

hmmm they look good with 3 kids, maybe they need to have a little tribe of their own ;) ;)!!!

And just like that it was time to "hide" from the guests and wait for the ceremony to start.  We all grabbed some chips and a pop while we waited, we were all getting hungry!!!  The wedding started at 4:30 and from what I could tell everything went beautifully.  Scott read from Colossians and the string quartet played, the pink rose petals lined the aisle and the grass was perfectly green...it couldn't get much more beautiful!  After the ceremony, the wedding party walked down to Brit's Pub for a celebratory toast and drink before returning to enjoy cocktail hour.  The only snag of the day was the marriage certificate went missing so I went hunting for it and we finally found it - phew!
The reception was fun...we had a lovely dinner which I didn't eat because I was SO nervous to give my speech.  I just wanted it go well since I had spent SO much time (like hours upon hours) writing it and practicing it.  I had practiced so much my kids knew all the words and could sing along :).  Luckily I did mess up but I was able to roll with it and sing the song and totally surprise my sister with a one of a kind MOH speech.  She was worth it and your baby sister only gets married once...hopefully she heard all of my advice.  I gave her the 4 rough drafts and finished lyrics for her scrapbook!  My dad gave a very moving and sweet speech and did his ceremonial 3 song father-daughter dance.  Each song he picks has special meaning (same as my wedding).

Then the rest of the night was spent dancing...my kids danced for hours before finally crashing at about 10pm.  Vera cried because she wanted to keep "jamming out".  She still asks if we can have another wedding, it was so fun!

Cousins dancing...

Solon and Daddy getting down...

The new Mr. and Mrs. Swinton!

It was a lovely day and we were all so glad to play a special role!  I can't believe how fast it flew by but there are so many special memories that we will remember for a lifetime...Congratulations Ellen and Kristiaan (and welcome to the family, you are stuck with us :)