There was love shooting around everywhere this weekend- and I loved it, of course. Family love, wedding love, nephew love, sister-in-law love, puppy love. All sorts of love, and it was magical.
Matt’s cousin was getting married to an Illinois lady. An Illinoian. An Illinoisan. An Illinoisian. And it was the prettiest wedding I think I have ever been to. Filled with a sense of family, long hours putting center pieces together, making decisions, rain plans (the wedding was mostly outside), building things together, decorating the barn, food decisions. A sort of wedding where everyone pulls together and creates things.
Since Illinois is about six hours away from our house, we made it a road trip with my in-laws. Just adding to the fun here, guys. And fun it was. My nephew, who graces almost every picture I have of the weekend, is 8 months old and makes traveling a little more, shall we say, full of spice. Our six hour road trip turned into almost the whole day. Not only because of the baby, but because we had six other adults caravanning who were all hungry at different times, had to go to the bathroom at different times, were thirsty at different times. What fun we had. All our pit stops actually made the trip that much more exciting.
The night before the wedding we went out on the town. Downtown Peoria is super fun. There is a river walk, restaurants with live music, ice cream shops, playgrounds on the river, interesting people to watch, boats bobbing along. We walked around, pushing our youngest passenger, stopping to look at things, play on the playground, see boats float by.
Then of course the main event- the wedding. All festivities were on the lake house property of the bride’s family. So the ceremony was outside on a hill, under an arch that was hand-made by family members. The reception in their barn (think clean, non-smelly barn) decorated with twinkling lights and soft white poufs hanging from the banisters. And our favors were our super-cool mason jar cups: WITH OUR NAMES ON THEM. I know, I know. Classy stuff folks.
This is where the picture documentation dropped off. There was DANCING to do! And boy did we dance the night away. Literally. I know ladies always say they don’t sweat, they glisten. But that night I sweated from all the dancing. (Sorry Meredith. I know I borrowed your dress. I washed it before I returned it.) What a blast. The bride and groom weren’t shy at all and were right out there with everyone shaking it, jumping, and twisting. I did catch the magic at the end, though. Ready for this? We released paper lanterns, which is only something I’ve seen on Tangled. Once they were released, everyone got really quiet and just watched them float away lazily through the night sky. Prefect ending if you ask me.