Wedding Recap: The Tailgate Party

Our wedding tailgate was the brainchild of my mother-in-law and one of the most fun parts of our wedding weekend! Many of our guests were going to be coming from out of town and a majority of them wouldn’t know each other yet, so instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner we invited all of our guests from near and far to join us on Friday night for some tailgating fun!

Tailgate4

Ian and I are pretty laid back and not super formal, so this was right up our alley. It also allowed us to incorporate our love for Syracuse sports. Given that Syracuse in October could bring anything from 70-degree weather to snow storms, we decided to hold it inside a ballroom at The Craftsman Inn where most of our guests were staying.

Tailgate5

The decorations were a surprise to us until we walked in after the rehearsal, and boy did it look phenomenal. The room was decorated with Syracuse orange and blue, old Syracuse team posters and memorabilia and pictures showcasing my love of running and Ian’s love of coaching. Completing the room were some fun games – little mini basketball games on each table along with custom-made Syracuse corn hole boards courtesy of Ian’s brother.

Tailgate6

The menu was full of my favorites – burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese (a house special and my absolute favorite), sausage sandwiches, a house salad and a whole lot of booze! Everything was delicious!

Tailgate9

We showed up with the wedding party and family half an hour before things officially kicked off so we could share some thank you gifts with them for all the awesome things they did to make the weekend so special for us. About 90 percent of our guests showed up both nights! It took a lot of pressure off making time to circulate and say hello to everyone at the reception since we had so much time to chat with friends and family on Friday night too.

Tailgate13

I really loved how it brought everyone together as well. One of my favorite parts of the night was looking around at the tables and seeing a group playing some sort of drinking game (that I may have gotten involved with later!) that included family of both mine and Ian’s, friends of mine from DC, friends I went to high school with along with friends Ian met in college and in Minnesota. Such a great group of people and so much fun!!

Tailgate16

 

As the party came to an end and many prepared to head over to the local bar, my brother and sister-in-law came over to collect me and make sure I got home at a decent time! While I was way too excited to sleep before the big day, I’m sure it was for the best that I didn’t join the others at the bar that night! More on the big day coming soon!

 

Advertisements

Wedding Recap: The Rehearsal

The whole day of the rehearsal was so surreal for me. It was hard to believe that the wedding weekend was finally here!

By Friday of wedding week Ian and I had finished up most of the things on our to-do list. Ian took the last few things for me and I had a pretty relaxing and enjoying day leading up to the wedding. My Mom, my bridesmaids and I got manicures and pedicures. They took extra good care of me when they found out I was the bride and it was probably the best manicure I have ever had.

NailSalon

NailSalon2

After manis and pedis, I headed back to my parent’s house with a few of my bridesmaids and hung out until it was time to head to the rehearsal. My friend Sarah did my hair. I have never mastered anything more than using the flat iron, so I let her take over and put in a bunch of loose curls!

rehearsal1

Mom & I on the way up to the rehearsal!

 

All of a sudden it was past time to go and we were rushing to the Church as Ian texted wondering where we were! The ceremony was held at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville, NY where I grew up. It holds a special place in my heart as I went to the neighboring elementary school there. There were many events held up at the Church for us over the years from Kindergarten and Sixth Grade graduations to mine and my brother’s high school graduation parties in the reception hall.

Ian and I rocking our custom chuck taylors at the rehearsal

Ian and I rocking our custom chuck taylors at the rehearsal

Ian and I quickly met with the priest, Father Chris, when we got there. Father Chris was absolutely great. He was our age, very personable and had a great sense of humor. We met with him a couple months before the wedding and he seemed to take a genuine interest in getting to know us and making our ceremony a very personal experience for us. I really appreciated it.

Rehearsal2

We did a whole run-through so we would know when to sit and stand and where to walk. Naturally we still managed to mess a few things up the next day, but I don’t think too many people could tell!

Rehearsal6

We wrapped up in less than an hour. This made things really start to feel real! After the rehearsal we were off to our Tailgate Party! More on that later.

Bridal Shower Weekend

My bridal shower weekend was a whole lot of fun packed into a few days this June. Ian and I drove up to Syracuse Thursday night so we could get some wedding stuff done on Friday. When you plan a wedding long distance you have to pack a lot in when you can and also rely on those that are there to help a lot – thanks Mom & Dad.

My Mom and I figured why not kick the weekend off with a practice run for manis and pedis because well, why not?! I also did a trial run for my hair and picked my dress up from the tailor for my final fitting.

Since my brother was also getting married over the summer, my Mom threw a joint shower for my sister-in-law and me, which was perfect. Neither of us are great at being the center of attention so it took a bit of pressure off to be able to share the day! I’m sure our guests who would have been invited to both also appreciated the combined event!

The shower was at the Palace Theatre in Syracuse. A very cool venue that unfortunately is very poorly managed. They realized two days before that they had double-booked the room our shower was in. Seeing as the other event was a wedding reception they asked us to move to a smaller room. My Mom took things in stride though, and while a bit cozier, the front room worked out just great.

DSC01027

To make up for the mistake they did offer us an open bar though, which we did our best to take advantage of and also invited the guys to make an appearance at the end to help out with that. 🙂 Their service day of was also fantastic as well, not to mention the food was great too, easing our frustrations with them. They also put our names on the marquee, which was very cool!

The decorations made the room. My Mom printed off pictures of Dan & Adrienne and Ian & me and spread them around the room. My Mother-in-law came up with an idea for potted gerbera daisies as centerpieces, which we surrounded by homemade jams that she made, which doubled as yummy favors for our guests! (I may have taken several home too!) She also added a few other nice touches to the room including an umbrella raining hearts as a play on the invitation I had designed.

DSC01029

DSC01044

DSC01041

Bridal shower games are not my cup of tea so we passed on those giving us plenty of time to mingle before lunch and presents. I couldn’t believe how generous everyone was. Adrienne made the comment of the day after we finally finished opening up presents and she no longer had to sit in front of everyone. She said after seeing me on several Christmas mornings she was really disappointed in how politely and slowly I opened all the gifts since she was sure we would be done in a few minutes!  I’m a bit of a terror/little kid on Christmas morning and if you don’t go quick enough I will start to help you open your gifts too!!

DSC01053

For dessert, we had half moon cookies from Wegmans. Half were frosted in blue and pink and the other half in blue and orange to match our wedding colors. My sister-in-law Britt also made us S shaped cookies too, which were a hit with everyone! We finished up a great afternoon with a few more drinks and laughs before the guys made their appearance.

DSC01051

 

DSC01103

We wrapped up the weekend the best way we know how – dinner with family and friends at Mulligans. My family has been going to this bar/restaurant for more years than I can remember and my parents make at least one stop there a week still, so it’s pretty much like eating at home! Times like these are also our only chance to get a peak at the menus since they’ve long since stopped giving them to us!

It was such a fun weekend. Can’t beat making great memories with family and friends who feel like family!

Heart & Sole Is Back

Despite my best efforts and my last few promises of being back, the summer just got too busy and keeping up with the blog started to feel like a chore. Since I do this blog for fun, I knew that meant it was a time to take a break for awhile.

Running took a backseat to a lot of travel plans and a busy work schedule, so I never ended up registering for a fall half marathon. I did get to do a handful of shorter races though, and while not my speediest by any means, they reminded me why I love this sport so much and have me chomping at the bit to get back into serious training.

The last few months have been an amazing ride and some of the best times of my life so far. The highlight of the summer was my brother’s wedding. Him and his wife got married in Ithaca, New York and the wedding weekend was an absolute blast! The rehearsal dinner was at a restaurant called the Carriage House that served one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The wedding and reception were held in Six Mile Creek Winery. They had a pig roast, great music and fun games – even giant Jenga! It was awesome. Also, Adrienne – my new sister – looked absolutely beautiful.

View More: http://aliciaraft.pass.us/lerrowedding

Ian and I traveled for two more weddings for some good friends over the next few weeks. The first was a blast with the beautiful Cazenovia Lake as a backdrop followed by another great time in Minneapolis at a wedding that featured an after-party on a boat with a mac and cheese bar and soft pretzels…be still my beating my heart. (Those may just be two of my favorite things!)

Oh while all this was going on, we were planning our own wedding and amazing honeymoon adventure. On October 18, I got to marry the love of my life! The day was everything I hoped it would be and more. I’ll share recaps on the wedding in posts to come so I don’t turn this one into a novel. Spoiler Alert: Otto the Orange crashed my Syracuse-themed reception! (If you’re not from the ‘Cuse that might not make much sense now, but more details and pictures to come soon.)

I_C_Teaser-3

We started planning our honeymoon more than a year in advance. We saved up money and vacation days all year for it and it was worth every sacrifice. We were also fortunate enough to have a lot of friends and family gift us amazing experiences along the trip through our honeymoon registry.

We started the trip in Dublin then made our way to Rome before setting sail on a Mediterranean cruise that would take us from Italy to France and Spain. It was the trip of a lifetime and the most surreal experience. I had so much fun! I’ll have more detailed recaps coming soon for this too, but here are some of the highlights of our two-week adventure if you prefer the Cliff’s notes version:

• Became certified whiskey taste testers at the Jameson Distillery

• Closed down a bar in Ireland

• Battled the wind to see the Cliffs of Moher

• Climbed to the top of St. Peter’s Dome at the Vatican

• Saw the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum

• Snapped pics of us holding up and pushing over the leaning tower of Pisa

image

• Took selfies in front of the statue of David in Florence

• Walked the beachfront in Nice

• Won money at the Casino Royale in Monte Carlo

• Saw Napoleon’s birthplace in Corsica

• Drank wine on our private balcony as we watched the sunset over the Blood Islands

image (1)

• Spent an entire day at sea

• Toured a castle in Palma de Mallorca

• Walked in a bull fighting ring in Valencia before boating in Europe’s largest underground navigable river at the Caves of St. Joseph

• Let the waves of the Mediterranean wash over our feet in Barcelona

image (2)

And now it’s back to reality with the best memories and a chance to make many more over the coming years!

Anniversary Fun & Wedding Planning

Last Friday, Ian and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary. We’ve been friends since college though, so we’ve spent even more fun years together as friends, and I’m so thankful for every second of that time!

We kicked the night off with some champagne my parents had brought down to D.C. the weekend after we got engaged. Then we took advantage of the new UberX service to take us to and from dinner at Kora in Crystal City. UberX also happened to be offering free rides that night – lucky us. I’ll definitely being using that in place of cabs in the future – SO much better. I haven’t been to Kora in years and it was Ian’s first time eating there. Our meals were both delicious and the cheesecake dessert topped it off perfectly!

champagne

Next year on our anniversary we’ll be getting married!! I can hardly believe it’s less than a year away and have a feeling it’ll be here in no time. We chose a venue up in our hometown of Syracuse and my Dad drove over and put the deposit down on Friday making it official.

My parents did the investigative work, so Ian and I haven’t seen more than what’s on the website, but it looks and sounds like the perfect place. We didn’t want to risk missing out and waiting until Christmas for our next trip to Syracuse to check it out. My Dad also took a bunch of pictures for us on Friday, so we have a pretty good idea of what it will look like on October 18th of next year! Hopefully, the weather will be just as nice then too!

Here are some of the pics from the Whitetail at Woodcrest Golf Club

Whitetail1

 

whitetail2

 

whitetail3

 

whitetail4

 

whitetail5

 

I’m so incredibly excited to celebrate there next year!!

Anyone have any good wedding planning tips now that we’re beyond the date, church and venue?