The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to get caught up in the spin cycle and let it get us down. Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good.
This week I am going to tell you all about my own Something Good that happened this week. My boy is married and I have another daughter!
Now, I have pictures but they are not great quality and I have none from the ceremony itself, because the bride and groom were emphatic about no devices during the ceremony. (Which I emphatically agreed with.) But, since we are all dear friends, I am going to treat you to what pics I have and you are going to smile politely, as if we are sitting in my living room and I pulled out my phone to show you my million and one grainy, blurry, and beloved pictures from the weekend.
So, the trip down was largely uneventful. Sun, rain, mountains, and Missy.
The day of the wedding was hot, hot, hot but no rain, so that was an answered prayer. The kids got married at a lovely place called Dara’s Garden in Knoxville, Tennessee. As I said, there were no cameras allowed during the ceremony but I got a few of the venue beforehand.
The 7 pm ceremony was in front of a pretty gazebo and topiary bushes with woods as a cool and shaded backdrop.
I have hardly any pics of myself with the kids but I do have this one that my daughter took of the two of us after we were finally ready so I figure I’ll go ahead and share it.
My son and husband escorted me to my seat together, which was a really lovely and unexpected touch.
The ceremony was the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever seen… elegant, sweet, and touching. They wrote their own vows and both cried as they read them. The bride and groom wanted to demonstrate servanthood for each other, so part of the ceremony was them washing one another’s feet. That was followed by the groomsmen and bridesmaids surrounding the couple to pray over them.
That prayer was led by the groom’s best man. The boys – I think of them so, even though four of the five are now married and the fifth will be in May – grew up together and have known each other since they were in Jr High. They’ve all been in each other’s weddings and their friendships made my son’s wedding all the sweeter. The bride’s attendants were equally lovely girls (ladies).
Cocktail hour, next to the reception tent, gave the photographers a chance to finish up pictures after the ceremony. The bride had to be fanned in between shots because it was so hot but she made it through while friends and family entertained themselves with drinks (forget booze, the cold lemonade was so welcome at that point. I cannot even express how welcome!), lawn games, and a photo bus.
Jenga, corn hole, and ladder golf were placed around the lawn. Every once in a while, the giant Jenga set would fall over and scare everyone because it was so loud. But, everyone seemed to have fun with the games and it was a great way for the families and friends to mingle.
The photo bus was just too much fun. It was a VW bus, beautifully restored, complete with a range of props to deck oneself out in to get pics taken like in a photo booth. Much merriment was had and everyone got two printouts of their pics – one as a memento to take home and one to place in a book with a note for the couple. I’ll spare you the pics I had taken.
Also, the bus had a fan in it, which could partially explain its popularity. I’d have stayed there most of the night if I could have, to be honest.
The air conditioned (ish) reception tent was beautifully decorated and a cool reprieve from the heat of the evening.
Before I left for Tennessee, I was asked for a few specific pics and I did my best to oblige. So, Thomas, here you go…
The rather unassuming DJ station:
There were no menus or place settings because it was a buffet, but here is the head table, which was lovely:
My plate, in all its glory, just for you, Thomas. Dinner was stuffed chicken and a really yummy beef brisket, mac and cheese, green beans, and salad. The vinaigrette was delicious. Or I was starved. Or maybe both.
The third photo request was the cake. The kids did something kind of neat – they had several different bundt cakes and little bundt cupcakes instead of an elaborate cake. The lemon, which I finally sampled at around 11:30 pm, was delicious.
Sorry, the pic isn’t great, but you get the idea!
The happy couple’s first dance was to Forever Like That and was just beautiful. It’s my new favorite song.
Funny story: their entrance just prior to the first dance was a little bit foiled by their intrepid Ring Bearer. I have a series of pics, albeit blurry, where my almost three year-old nephew was chugging along parallel to them as the bride and groom were introduced. My brother valiantly tried to grab him but wasn’t fast enough and Ring Bearer gleefully entered the dance floor with them. It was one of those things you saw coming but had no way of stopping. It was all good, though, because the little ones were destined to steal the show all day and everyone knew it.
Here is a short clip of me dancing with my boy. We were supposed to dance to What a Wonderful World (I think?) but instead, he listened to his sister’s advice and went with Van Morrison’s Days Like This which was a perfect choice.
My gift from the groom would have come in handy right about then if I’d had the foresight to have it with me.
The happy couple made their exit on a path lined with guests holding sparklers, which somehow, magically, stopped sparkling after they made it to the end. My niece called the whole day magical and she was right.
We didn’t get to bed until the wee hours and were absolutely wiped the next day. Missy was as exhausted as the rest of us and I found her zonked on the bed. She was unimpressed that I took her picture and disturbed her nap.
I didn’t get too many pics of the airbnb we stayed at but it was great. Perfect and centrally located home base for the family and we were able to keep some of the kids’ wedding stuff for them because we had room. And Missy had a huge fenced in backyard to explore as well as a few comfy chairs to claim as her own.
We got to spend some time with the kids before they headed back to Atlanta to fly out for the honeymoon and we headed back to Ohio, which was an unexpected blessing. The return trip was miserable in the extreme, so I will skip over that in lieu of bragging about my good fortune.
Y’all know Lyin’ Don is a great cookie baker, right? Well, I have now not only met her but she baked me cookies. Chocolate chip. Without nuts for me, with pecans for the rest of the family. She informed me that the ones without nuts were flops. I was skeptical and rightly so. If they were flops, well, I’ll take them every day of the week and twice on Sunday. She told me “pics or it didn’t happen” after I told her they were delicious.
At which point, I obviously had to eat another and record it for posterity.
Lyin’ Don is super duper cool in person and I got to meet her husband as well, who got along great with mine. Missy adored them both and I was thrilled that we had a nice long visit.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Halodoc who filled in for me and did the Note every evening. Knowing that was taken care of and I didn’t need to worry about it was amazing.
As you can see, I experienced an overload of Something Good this past week and I appreciate you making it to the end of this epic post! I wasn’t lying about the million and one pictures blurry pics, was I? But it isn’t every day that one’s firstborn gets married so thank you for indulging this proud mama!
Now it’s your turn… Tell me Something Good!