Weddings All Around

Just when you’ve sworn off Pinterest in favor of keeping your sanity when it comes to wedding planning, it’s time to attend multiple family and friends’ weddings where you can’t help but notice how they decorated and orchestrated their ceremony, and start revising your ideas for your day all. over. again. We have six weddings to attend in 2014, including our own.

The first wedding of the year was for Kelly’s cousin and maid (now matron!) of honor Stefani. She and Nick married in Lake Worth on April 26 in an intimate and heartfelt ceremony. We then danced the night away at the Atlantis Country Club. Stefani’s love of hot pink and country life showed through her colors of navy blue and hot pink, and her choice of cowboy boots for reception footwear.

I had a blast taking lots of detail photos and getting-ready photos before the ceremony:

flowers and cowboy boot

This is one of my favorite photos. I plan to take a photo like this for our wedding using running shoes.



Flower girl Bella wore a dress sewn by Stefani’s mom Susie, and ran around the dance floor yelling “I’m a princess!”


Mr. and Mrs. Nick Bradley's first dance

Mr. and Mrs. Nick Bradley’s first dance


Stefani and her dad, Paul.

Stefani and her dad, Paul.

The original 8

Every time the Donovan cousins are together, we take a height picture. The order has constantly changed over the years. The last time we took this photo, at Betsy’s wedding in 2010, Kelly held the No. 2 spot! Tim has since surpassed her. We’ll do this again at our wedding.

The next wedding came just three weeks later for Kelly’s cousin Ben and his wife Jessie. They held a small ceremony on St. Pete Beach, FL, during one of the most gorgeous sunsets Pinellas County has seen:

Ben and Jessie's bridal party

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Donovan!

After the ceremony we caravaned to Jackie’s Bistro in the Boca Ciega area of St. Petersburg for a wonderful three-course dinner, jazz music, and the joy of watching Ben dance with his and Jessie’s 18-month-old daughter Olive. She was a sweetie and a trooper who made it through the entire ceremony and reception without a fuss. You can tell Ben and Jessie love her dearly!

For Memorial Day, Jason and I attended wedding No. 3 of 2014. This one, on Saturday, was for Jason’s roommate Ben and his lovely bride, Rebecca, in Wilmington, N.C. After a lovely ceremony at the Fifth Street United Methodist Church in the historic district, we walked a few blocks to the reception at the Upper Room 1871, which is the auditorium for a Catholic school!

Like Jason, Ben is in the Army, and requested a sword arch for his and Becca’s exit from the church. Jason is in the front left position (in glasses):

Ben and Becca Sheppard

Welcome to the Army, Mrs. Sheppard!

We enjoyed visiting with one of our groomsmen, Javer, and his fiance Kim at the reception, and made some new friends at our table, too.

Clowning around at Ben and Becca's wedding reception.

Clowning around at Ben and Becca’s wedding reception.

Kelly enjoyed taking in all the details of the wedding and reception, from how the bride wore her jeweled belt to the reception flowers to the numerous picture frames holding snapshots of Ben and Becca together that decorated the stairwell leading up to the reception room.

We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying our North Carolina vacation. We walked along the Wilmington River Walk, lunched at a sidewalk cafe downtown, paddleboarded around the marshes surrounding Wrightsville Beach, and watched the SEC baseball tournament (Gators! You were so close to the title!).

Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach


Atlantic Coast Line Caboose

Wilmington has a rich railroad history. The Atlantic Coast Line headquartered their operations in Wilmington from the 1880s through 1959 before moving their headquarters to Jacksonville, FL. We toured the ACL railroad museum next to our hotel one afternoon.


On Monday morning, we took our dogs to the dog beach on Oak Island, which we agreed was one of the best parts of the trip:

What are dis? Moving water?

What are dis? Moving water?


Whoa! Run away run away!

Whoa! Run away run away!


Canon at the beach

Seriously? You expect me to swim in that?

Poor Zipper and Canon. They were not fans of the surf, though by the end of our beach time, they tolerated standing in a couple inches of water. They loved sitting in the sand while we read the newspaper, especially Zipper. He loves sunshine.

As long as we don't have to go back in those scary waves, we're okay with this.

As long as we don’t have to go back in those scary waves, we’re okay with this.

We didn’t want to leave Wilmington and drive back to reality in Atlanta. But we’re looking forward to wedding No. 4 – OURS, in two short months!


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