My parents and Sarah had to return home, but planned on coming back during Sarah’s spring break in March. Lizzie and I planned a dual Bridal Shower to be held on the 13th of March since most of the people would be the same, with some additional friends of hers. Now it was time to plan the dates of both weddings and start ordering and booking everything.
We sent out invitations for the Bridal Shower right away and “Save the Dates” for both weddings after they were decided. Lizzie and Todd were set for April 10th, while Jake and I set ours for May 1st, which was exactly one year after he saved my life.
Now I know that isn’t that long to plan, but we didn’t want to wait. Besides, Jake had his ways to make sure that the churches were available, the halls, the DJs and everything else we needed.
Lizzie and I planned most things together with Connie assisting us. Sometimes, I would video chat with my Mom or Sarah to get ideas as well. Lizzie and Todd were going with a more classic feel, while Jake and I want a modern theme, with touches of the country, to honor my parents.
During the week, we all worked or had classes, so the weekends were devoted to wedding planning. Even Todd and Jake jumped in with ideas here and there. Their favorite day was cake testing. There were way too many choices, but we settled for a vanilla cake for the main cake and red velvet cupcakes to go along with it.
By the time March rolled around, we were ready to send the invitations out to everyone. We had the church set, the hotel with a large hall booked, a honeymoon suite reserved, a DJ booked and decorations ordered. There was only one thing left to do for each of us and that was to pick out the dresses, shoes and jewelry.
Because I wanted to wait until my Mom, Sarah and my cousin Vicky arrived for the shower to go dress shopping, I went with Lizzie and Connie to look for hers the weekend before the shower. Now I admit I did look around as well and picked out a few that I would like to try on when they get up here and had the sales person put them on hold for me.
Lizzie tried on several dresses and finally said “YES”’ to a classic style gown with a matching veil. Of course, Lizzie had to snap a photo of herself before she could settle on it. She chose blush pink bridesmaid dresses for her four bridesmaids including me.
The morning of the Bridal Shower was here. I woke up feeling slightly under the weather, but as the day went on, I started feeling a little better. “Must have been something I ate last night,” I thought to myself.
Mom, Sarah and Vicky arrived just before noon and I helped them get settled. They each got their own room while they were staying with us for the week. As we were hosting the Shower here, we decorated the living and dining areas with various shower decorations. Jake, Todd and Jordan were going out to do whatever they wanted to while the party was going on.
Connie and Lizzie arrived an hour before the party to help us with the final preparations. Mom and Connie set up the gift tables as Mom brought several with her from my Nana and my aunts back in North Dakota. My grandmother, aunts and cousins from Wisconsin had sent me some gifts as well and a few cards that we put in a card well. Lizzie and I each had our own corners for gifts.
“This looks wonderful Mom,” I said as I hugged her from behind as she was hanging a few balloons up.
“Thank you dear,” she said, “but you did most of the work,” she reminded me.
“I know, but you all helped out and we couldn’t have done without you,” I said to all of them in the room.
As the girls started arriving, our doorman asked for their invitations and let them up to the penthouse. Dina showed up right away, followed by Marcie and Susie from work. There were a few other girls from the office including Darcy, Haley and Jenny that attended as well. Everyone else was friends of Lizzie.
The food was on in the kitchen and several side items were brought along and dropped off on the kitchen island. Mom and Connie were in charge of the food. While we waited on the food to finish up, we played a variety of games. Sarah, being my maid of honor and Megan, Lizzie’s maid of honor led the games and passed out the prizes as people won.
We completed a Famous Couple’s Quiz, Wedding Bingo, Word Scramble and a Bride/Groom Game where something is read off and the participants have to guess if the bride or groom most likely fits the category, for example: Cooking, Make the Most Money, More Emotional, etc. Jake and I had given our answers ahead of time, while Lizzie and Todd did theirs as well. Lastly, everyone was asked to give a piece of advice to the brides regarding the wedding day or night.
Mom and Connie announced the food was ready and everyone walked through the line and grabbed some of everything. We sat around the table or island and ate and talked. It was good to connect with all these girls. I learned a lot about Lizzie from her friends that evening.
We opened our gifts and then gave away a few more door prizes that were left over from the games. Girls started leaving around eight or so, leaving the five of us at the house. Jake and Todd showed up a little while later as we were just finishing cleaning everything up.
“Hey beautiful,” Jake said as he came into the dining room and gave me a kiss. “How was the party?”
“It was great and we had a lot of fun,” I responded as he wrapped his around me.
“Where did you two go tonight?” Lizzie asked.
“We just went to the club, nothing too fun,” Todd replied.
“I’m sure you didn’t,” she teased him and kissed him.
They gathered up all her gifts and things and they headed back home. Sarah, Vicky and Mom turned in for the night leaving Jake and I alone. I showed him some of the gifts and we took the cards to the bedroom to open up. After reading a few of them, I must have started dozing off.
“Baby? Are you still awake?” Jake asked.
“Umm-hmm,” I responded.
“Why don’t we put the rest of these away for now and get some sleep,” he chuckled a little.
“OK,” I yawned.
Jake put the cards in a pile and moved them to the nightstand. He helped me out of my clothes and we cuddled up together and I fell asleep almost immediately.
The next day, Mom, Sarah, Vicky, Lizzie and I went to the same dress shop that Lizzie and I went to the weekend before. I showed them some of the dresses that I picked out and after tying them on, I really didn’t like any of them, so we looked around for more. After about twenty dresses, I finally found the one and it looked perfect on me. We found a veil to go with it and shoes to match.
I then had the girls try on various styles of dresses and we settled on a red that had loose fitting short sleeves, tight at the top and flowed outward at the bottom. We then went to look at flowers and stayed with the red and white color scheme.
After all that was done, we went for a late lunch and talked more about the weddings and plans for after.
“So Lizzie, where are you and Todd going on your honeymoon?” Sarah asked.
“We are going to Jamaica. Jake bought us a resort package for Christmas and we thought this would be a great time to use it,” she said with a smile.
“What about you and Jake?” Vicky asked me.
“We are planning on going to Hawaii,” I replied.
“You both need to take us with you,” Sarah sighed and we both laughed.
That Friday night, we decided to hold our Bachelorette Parties while my family was still in town. They were probably not going to be back until just before my wedding and I wanted them to be here for it. Jake and Todd are going to be celebrating their Bachelor Parties as well, hopefully, at a different club.
All week I’ve been waking up feeling nauseous, but felt better as the day went on, so I didn’t think much of it. I thought it most likely related to the stress of the wedding planning and all these parties we’ve been having. Still, I planned on drinking very little tonight as I didn’t want to get sick at the party.
We all met up at one of Jake’s clubs where he holds a VIP and we were ushered to a private room. Most of the girls from the Bridal Shower were there celebrating with us. We were given our first shot of the night not long after we arrived. It was strong and I wasn’t sure I could do it again. I settled for a daiquiri and water most of the evening.
We danced most of the night as a group in the middle of the dance floor. At one point while Lizzie and I were dancing in the middle of our friendship circle, the spotlight was turned on us and the DJ announced the two bride-to-bes in the house. We danced some more and I finally had to take a breather and went back to our table. “I am so tired and it’s still early,” I thought to myself. “I hope I’m not coming down with anything major.”
Around midnight we all headed home and I crashed as soon as I hit the bed. Jake wasn’t home yet and I don’t even think I heard him come to bed.
Mom, Sarah and Vicky left Sunday morning after breakfast. Before they left, Mom pulled me aside to ask me how I was feeling as she noticed over the last several days that I woke up pale and not like myself. I told her I thought I maybe had the flu, and I assured her that if I wasn’t feeling better by mid-week I would go to the doctor to get checked out.
Jake and I just hung out around the house all day Sunday and I ended up taking a nice long nap most of the afternoon. I woke up to Jake making dinner and joined him in the kitchen.
“Hey beautiful,” he said. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m tired, but otherwise I’m feeling OK. I think all the excitement from the past couple of weeks is catching up with me.”
“You had me worried a little there,” he said as he came over for a kiss.
“I’ll be fine, nothing to worry about.” I said and kissed him back.
We ate dinner, watched a movie and then I took a nice, warm bath before getting ready for bed. Jake joined me and I cuddled up next to him and fell asleep as he kissed the top of my head.
April 10, 2021
Today was the day that Lizzie and Todd were tying the knot. I met up with Lizzie at Connie’s place, while Jake went to Todd’s to get ready. We got our hair styled and mani/pedis done before lunch and ate a simple meal before getting dressed. Us bridesmaids got dressed first while Connie helped Lizzie with her dress. She looked gorgeous.
The weather was sunny, but very windy and still a little chilly. We headed over to the church and met up in a small room to wait for the service to begin. The church was filling up with friends and family of Lizzie and Todd and the clock was ticking down.
Knock, knock, knock…
“Who is it?” Connie asked.
“It’s me, Jake,” he replied and she let him in the room. “The ceremony is about to start and I was sent to have you girls take your places.” He came up to me and gave me a kiss. “You look beautiful baby,” he whispered and then looked at his sister. “Lizzie, you are absolutely gorgeous and I thank you for allowing me to be part of your special day,” he said while giving her a hug.
“Of course I would Jake, you’re my big brother. I love you,” she said trying not to tear up.
“Love you too sis,” he responded.
We walked to the entrance to the church and one by one we walked down the aisle. The bridesmaids were walking alone to the front of the church and moving to their places while the groomsmen waited up front behind the groom.
The music changed and everyone stood up as Jake walked his sister down the aisle to meet Todd waiting for her. He gave her a hug and placed her hand in Todd’s before taking his place with the other groomsmen.
The ceremony was perfect and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place as they shared their vows and exchanged rings. I kept sneaking glances at Jake thinking that this will be us in a few weeks. He would look at me and smile from time to time as well.
After the ceremony, we took pictures and then headed to the reception hall where we had dinner, listened to some speeches and danced the night away. As we danced the last slow dance of the night, Jake said to me, “Just think baby, in a few weeks that will be us in the center of the dance floor, celebrating our first evening as husband and wife.”
“I can’t wait,” I replied and gave him a kiss.