What can be better in life than attending a destination wedding with a close group of friends? Absolutely nothing!!!
But first of all, let me explain something very important to this story. My close friends and I are friends with the mother of the groom. So our little bird's eye view of the upcoming nuptials were completely through her crazy Italian eyes.
Our first duty as friends was to help plan the décor of the rehearsal dinner. So my buddy Laurell drove 6 hours with Christy to St Louis to choose a restaurant! After spending 24 hours there, a restaurant was chosen. Well, not really. That would be too easy! The original choice was abandoned and a new search was on. Thank the Lord for the internet. Once we knew an Italian venue was chosen, we proceeded to create the table décor for the dinner.
And I can assuredly state that no other mother of the groom ( or even any bride) has ever been so focused on finding the right dress- months of discussions- truly. In June, in a severe desperate move, she even ordered a dress from China - a promise of a luxurious designer gown at a truly unbelievable price. As we anxiously waited 2 weeks for the "China" dress to arrive, we planned a cocktail party to unveil the dress. Tracking the dress from China, as if it was Santa Claus himself, bringing a million dollar gift, the dress arrived. Not waiting for us ( if you can't tell already, she's very impulsive), Christy opened the box and immediately sent out a text to cancel the party. The dress was already in the trash. Darn- we really thought that one was the one! And after finding the right dress ( one she had found in the beginning of this little journey), the search was then on for the shoes! After ordering and trying on pairs and pairs and pairs- none were just right- too high, too expensive, too much, just too! So my quick witted friend Laurell goes shopping with Christy at a high end department store outlet and they find a potential pair of shoes. Graceful, black, yet simple, these shoes will become our victim- we can't bear the thought of more shoe discussions! Laurell suggests gluing rhinestones up the back of the heel- I think she's on to something big! And I remember seeing a picture of another pair of Christy's rejected shoes with an incredible heel detail. And I knew that a David Tutera embellishment from Joanne's would be just the ticket to a fabulous pair of shoes. A little E-6000 glue and a couple of clothes pins to hold it in place while it dried,- voila- a $1000 shoe look-a like! More on those shoes later in the post!
So after these months of planning and laughing and just having fun- the wedding took place in St Louis this past weekend. Leaving from Chicago on Friday morning, many cars of Christy's friends head south to St Louis, traveling through the "less than stimulating" flat land of southern Illinois.. My car is loaded with wine bottles and red roses for the rehearsal dinner.
I have never spent any time in St. Louis, so this was a treat for me! We stayed at the Chase Park Plaza in the west end with lots of great eateries. The architecture was inspiring.
Tops of the roofs of the historic townhomes.
These street lamps were unbelieveable!
The balloon festival was also taking place in St Louis this weekend! Awesome!
After getting checked in to the hotel, Candy, Laurell and I head over to Cucina Pazzo to set up the rehearsal dinner while the bridal party is at the wedding rehearsal.
Graciously being greeted by the awesome Cucina Pazzo staff, they help us with the tables. We decided to create a long communal table. ( highly recommend this restaurant!)
Some of the wine bottles were filled with roses and some with candlelabra holders.
Candy plays with the menu card and we finally decide on a simple layout and drape the black napkin over the edge.
Labels of the Italian flag and a thank you from the bride and groom were glued on to the wine bottles.
Then hand dyed silk ribbon and a wax seal were added to the neck of the bottle.
We created a menu in the shape of the Italian flag.
Laurell suggests opening some of the buds and creating a larger flower.
Great idea- they look good just laying on the table.
Can't wait to see all the candles lit!
A few rose petals get scattered along the center.
A fun task complete, Candy, Laurell and I head back to the hotel to have a glass of wine!
It's now the day of the wedding and the weather is glorious.
The wedding vows are complete and the new couple are heading back down the aisle.
And as Christy's son passes his mom, the sweetest smile is on his face.
He grabs her arm and pulls her into the sweetest mother-son hug.
Thank the Lord for water proof eye make-up!
A glance backwards to his mother- as he continues down the aisle.
Now that's a wonderful son! She raised him right!
Red roses, tulips, ranunculus make up the bouquets.
We head back to the hotel for the reception and enjoy cocktails
on an open terrace over looking St. Louis.
And as if the red flowers were not enough red,
mother nature gives us a stunning red sunset to enjoy
Yes - a magical wedding day for sure!
Beautiful wedding cake with red roses.
But what about those shoes?
Lordy me- what a statement!!
This Italian momma has great legs- you go girl!
It's Sunday morning- time to head back to Chicago- driving up I 55 - through that glorious maze of flat corn fields. Ugh!
A little too much partying last night, but I wouldn't give up the memories or the friendship for the world. This had been a fun journey with Christy- truly one of the most fun friends a girl can have.
I hope it was a magical time for her, in spite of all those gut wrenching wardrobe decisions that she was forced to make this year.
By the way, She Looked Fabulous!