On October 17th, I had the absolute pleasure of attending my dear friend Morgan's wedding to the love of her life Cory at Nickajack Farms. It was a beautiful day, with a slight chill in the air, and as it was a farm, we were surrounded by a lovely fall aesthetic. The trees were full of color, and there were corn fields and horses everywhere. The farm even had two cats on the property, Pumpkin and Claire, both which were sweet as could be, and I fell in love with them instantly. But, I'm getting ahead of myself, the weekend actually started on the 15th.
So, on the morning of the 15th, I had two flights to make it to Ohio. When I was booking my trip, there were unfortunately no direct flights from New York so I did the best I could and found one that only had me at an hour and a half layover in Atlanta. My first flight was at 8:30am so I woke up at around 5:30 to make sure I had something to eat and gave myself enough time to wake up and prepare for the long day ahead. My dad drove me to the airport, we left at 20 after 6 and I got there right around 7:30am. Thankfully, security was easy to get through that day although they did stop to check my suitcase. When I finally made it to my gate, I noticed there were a decent amount of people there, but all separated in every other seat wearing masks. I chose to fly Delta and the airline was diligent in enforcing the rule of masking wearing and keeping a safe distance of 6 feet between passengers. While I waited to board, I listened to a little bit of one of my favorite podcasts, "This Might Get Weird," with Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart. Listening to those two discuss their lives, everyday adventures, and how they've been dealing with it all these past few months, has been a real comfort recently. It feels like I'm sitting down enjoying the company of friends when I listen.
On the flight, passengers were separated, with empty middle seats, which made me more comfortable to be flying. I only brought wireless headphones with me, so I spent the flight catching up on reading for my book club. We ended up skipping the meeting for September because we were all busy and struggling to focus on the book. So, I was excited to finally have to force myself to read, I tend to get distracted, but when I travel I have no choice but to read. Therefore, I was able to dive into the story easily and it was a cheesy romance so I had no trouble at all staying interested in plot or the characters. My first flight wasn't too bad. I did find that by the time I received my snack, handed out in individual plastic baggies, I was rather hungry. The water and Cheeze-It's were just what I didn't know I needed.
When I got to Atlanta, I discovered I was at terminal F and my next flight was in terminal B. We landed in Atlanta at around 10:45am and I had to board my next one by 11:45. I figured I had plenty of time to walk from one terminal to the next, but I underestimated just how big the airport was. After walking through two terminals, I decided to hop on the train. It was getting closer to my boarding time and I was stressing. On the way back I would be taking the train, no matter how far they were from each other. When I got the the terminal I quickly stopped in the restroom and I made it to my gate with a good 20 mins until we boarded.
The second flight's aircraft seemed to be newer and definitely roomier. I enjoyed the flight, as I read my book and got more excited for my landing. Sarah and her boyfriend, Jesse, planned their drive to make it to Ohio by the time I landed. Thankfully, that worked out. I called her when got to baggage claim and I think I waited at most 10 mins before she texted and told me she was there. I hopped in the car and could not stop talking. I hadn't seen her since last October when she visited me in New York and we saw Sara Bareilles together. (I wrote a post about that here!) Plus, I had been alone since 7:30 that morning, so it was nice to finally see someone I knew. We decided to head to the hotel first, to get ready for the rehearsal dinner that evening. I hadn't been able to get coffee that morning so I inquired if we could stop and Sarah was in agreement. So, we found a Starbucks on the way and her boyfriend went inside for us to pick it up. I wasn't tired, but I knew I would be so I figured a caffeine boost would help to get me through the rest of the day. When we got to the hotel we were a half hour early for check-in, but they let us check-in and we headed up. The rehearsal was at 5pm, and we were at least a half hour from the venue, so we only had a half hour to get ready. Unfortunately, that meant no time for a nap. We did our best to get ready in a timely manner, but we ended up being 10 mins late.
It was a dreary day, drizzling and cloudy, so we rehearsed the ceremony inside the venue and then quickly did a run through of it outside before we left for dinner. We learned what the day would be like leading up to the ceremony, who'd we be walking down the aisle with along with little details necessary for the day. By the time we got to the dinner, Sarah, Jesse and I were famished. I hadn't eaten an actual meal since that morning and they had lunch earlier in the day. We ended up sitting with Cory's side of the family, his sister, brother and grandmother, and it was nice having a chance to get to know them.
Dinner consisted of your choice, of chicken, beef, mac and cheese, a corn chowder and coleslaw. It was slightly disappointing to say the least, but we were hungry so we ate what we could. We were given two drink tickets for the night and since I was tired already I only had one cup of wine, which was enough. We also learned that the caterer for that evening was also catering the wedding (thankfully the food was much better Saturday), so we at least had room to raise the bar. We hung out at our own table for most of the evening, and when people started clearing out we decided it was time to head back to the hotel.
The next morning I was jolted awake at 7:45am by our phone ringing. I'm not sure why it happened but it woke me sooner than I planned on being up. I did my best to try and go back to sleep, but I lost that battle. So, I stayed in bed for as long as I could and then I got up with Sarah and we headed downstairs to check out the complimentary breakfast. Sarah's a vegan, so her options were limited. She ended up with oatmeal. I went with eggs, bacon and a biscuit. The eggs were definitely powder, the texture gave them away, so I only ate what I could bring myself to digest. I did enjoy the bacon, but I regretted not adding gravy to the dry biscuit. After breakfast we had some time to kill before we were to meet Morgan and Steph to get our nails done, so Sarah and I decided to head to Target for snacks for the following day. We were going to be at the venue the entire day, so the bridal party figured we should bring provisions to snack on as we got ready and prepped for the ceremony and night ahead. Sarah and I also grabbed microwaveable lunches to heat up back at the hotel since we didn't know when we'd be eating again that day. When we got back to the hotel we had lunch and then headed to get our nails done. When we arrived, Morgan and Steph had already started. We sat in our own chairs, and it was so relaxing to be pampered. Wearing masks and separated by plexiglass made it feel less normal, but for now we have to go about these things safely,
Morgan had some setting up to do at the venue, so we headed out that way, but not before making a Starbucks run, of course. We spent time helping set up which included: refolding the napkins, opening and placing the candles in their respective vases and on each table, and placing the table number signs on the tables. Morgan's Mom, grandma and Dad arrived to help us out as well. I helped Morgan's Mom hang the banner Morgan had ordered from Etsy, and soon enough we did all that we could with what we had. Sarah had to go to an urgent care for something for work so I headed to a few stores with Steph and Morgan to find remaining supplies for the centerpieces that were missing. Unfortunately, we weren't too successful and Morgan was hungry so we headed back to her house. Steph started doing some more research and ended up having her boyfriend get more of what we needed.
Sarah met us at Morgans where we had Jimmy Johns for dinner. Steph had brought this delicious wine from Nashville that I will probably be raving about for all of eternity. It was from Beach Haven Vineyards located in Nashville. It was Blackberry flavored and I kid you not did not taste like wine in the slightest, which was probably why I loved it so much. I will definitely be recruiting Steph to send me a bottle. Morgan's friend Michaela stopped by as well, and it was nice to get to know another bridesmaid since I had been unable to attend both the bridal shower and bachelorette due to Covid travel restrictions and the distance.We spent the night sitting around, talking and enjoying each other's company as Morgan did some last minute touches on DIY signs that she would have at the wedding. Steph stayed the night with Morgan since Cory would be staying elsewhere, and Sarah and I headed back to the hotel to turn in for the evening in preparation for the following days events.
In the morning, Jesse dropped Sarah and I off at the venue, and for the first time that weekend we were the first one's to arrive. The bridal suite was locked, but it wasn't long before everyone else got there and we got ourselves settled and helped Morgan with some last minute touches around the venue. The florist arrived as we were finishing so as the others helped bring Morgan's things to the suite, I helped bring the flowers up. I also then helped her hang the banner and moved the signs she made outside where the ceremony would be taking place.
When we got back it was time to start getting our hair done and while I waited I ate some snacks that we brought along for the day. Steph made a charcuterie board, which I was most excited for, and we also had hummus and chips and veggies galore. I hadn't eaten breakfast so I was definitely enjoying the spread of snacks. While we spent the morning getting dolled up, the groomsmen and Cory went to a brewery for brunch. Eventually I got my makeup and hair done. It was fun watching everyone transform for the evening ahead. I had been to a few weddings so I had an idea of the hairstyle I wanted. I was going for a curly updo, with a braid and some curls framing my face. It was one I'd seen done before and finally decided I wanted to try it. I had been looking forward to getting my makeup done, this would be my first time and I was excited to see how it would work out. I have blue eyes so whenever I do my own makeup I always try to do what I can to make them pop. So that was kind of the look I was going for. I found some inspiration for both my hair and makeup to give the ladies a visual idea of what I wanted, and I think it worked out very well. (Unfortunately I didn't think to get a close up of my hair but you get the idea.)
We had ordered these cute sage green personalized pajamas from Etsy to lounge around in before it was time to get dressed. So, we took cute pictures in those and then started to get dressed and ready for pictures. The last to be ready was Morgan and we all had a moment as we she walked out, and the feeling around the day got real.
Then it was time for pictures before the ceremony started. We took a few group ones and then each bridesmaid took some individual pictures with Morgan. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining brightly but there was a slight chill in the air. I was glad to know the ceremony would be at most 20 mins so we didn't have to be out in the cold for too long. When it was time to head up to the venue, we went around the back so as not to be seen. I'd say we waited for maybe 10-15mins. I was slightly anxious, not one who likes attention, or to be noticed, but I knew Morgan was probably more stressed than I was. While we waited Morgan said to her dad that she wished she had taken a shot beforehand, and luckily he had a flask in his suit. That made us all laugh, and helped with the nerves. It was then time to start walking, I went right after Steph and before Sarah. I was grateful I didn't trip, and tried not to look directly at Cory. I didn't want to cry before anything happened! When I got up there I double checked with Sarah and Steph that I didn't walk too fast (I didn't). Then the doors closed, and the music stopped. We waited a few seconds and then it was time. "Tenerife Sea," by Ed Sheeran began playing through the speakers and the doors opened. I heard someone say look at Cory and I turned and heard him gasp and say "Wow." I don't know if it was the wind or I was overwhelmed, but the tears started and wouldn't stop. I had tears streaming down my cheeks the entire length of the ceremony. Morgan and Cory's friend who presided over the ceremony spoke beautifully and that did not help stop the flow of tears either. Morgan and Cory were saying their own vows and I didn't know about Cory, but Morgan was nervous. She went first and I was proud of how well she did getting through it. She told us later it was easier than she thought it would be. Everyone else melted away. It was amazing to witness one of my dear friends find love and then marry a man who I know will support her for the rest of their lives.
When the ceremony ended each bridesmaid had a groom walk them down the aisle, and then we waited off to the side until it was time for more pictures. I had forgotten we needed something fun for our entrance into the reception so Adam and I did our best to think of something. My feet were bothering me because apparently everyone but me made the smart decision to wear flats. So, I asked if Adam would be willing to give me a piggyback ride and he agreed (success!). We took some pictures with the bride groom in a cornfield just off to the side of the ceremony space. I am excited to see how those turned out. They gave off a spooky vibe that I was intrigued by. Plus, the photographer said she'd never done anything like it before so I'm sure it'll turn out better than I can imagine.
After the pictures we headed towards the venue, which we couldn't go into until our entrance. So we went around back to the groomsmen suite. Which was much smaller, but it was warmer than outside and there was somewhere to sit. At this point I was exhausted. If there was a bed, I could have taken a nap. We hung in there until the cocktail hour was ending and Morgan and Cory came back from taking pictures. Everyone's entrance's were cute and fun to watch, and then it was time for the bride and groom. We watched as they had their first dance and subsequent dances with family, Morgan's dad and Cory's grandma. My favorite part was Morgan having beers for her and her dad to enjoy in the middle of their dance. It was sweet and fun and very on brand for them. He was pleasantly surprised and it was adorable to watch. Then there was the cutting of the cake and speeches from the Maid of Honor and Best Man. It was heartwarming hearing friends talk about two very special people, I always look forward to those speeches. To hear something I may not know or learn a funny tidbit from their lives. Sarah delivered her speech very well, she practiced for me and Jesse the night before a few times so I think that helped ease her nerves a little bit.
Dinner was served shortly after, not too different from what we had the night of the rehearsal dinner. We had salad and some cheese and crackers first. Then it was chicken, potatoes, mixed vegetables and beef with gravy. It was definitely better the second time around. After we ate, Sarah and Steph went to see their boyfriends and I felt left out so I joined them. When everyone was finished with dinner, we helped clear the head table so they could make room for a dance floor for the evening. The night was full of Taylor Swift songs, naturally, as well as a ton of throwbacks we all enjoyed. There wasn't supposed to be any slow songs, or so they said, but a few were scattered in there. I was completely fine being on my own, but Morgan saw me sitting during one of them so she dragged me to the dance floor to dance with her brother, Kyle. Not entirely unexpected, it was a wedding after all, but nice to have a dance partner.
Overall, it was a really fun weekend. With the state of the world being how it is, it was really nice to see my friends whom I hadn't seen in over a year and celebrate Morgan starting a new chapter in her life. We've been friends for years, and it's kind of wild to think about how we met and that I ended up being in her bridal party (thanks T. Swift!). I remember when Morgan was starting to see Cory, and then Cory messaging Sarah and I and wanting to surprise her for her birthday by having us visit. It was the kind of gesture I would want someone to do for me, and I knew then that he was a keeper. Plus, when he picked me up from the airport with Morgan we sang Glee songs together, despite Morgan's lack of enthusiasm. When he was planning to propose to Morgan he messaged Sarah and I asking if he had our blessing. And that's something that embodies the kind of person Cory is. Morgan has been his number one since the day they met. I just hope I find someone as generous and thoughtful someday. I am thrilled I was able to be a part of their special day and I can't wait to see what's in store for them next.