In November the whole family flew to Minnesota to celebrate the marriage of my niece and her groom! We had SO. MUCH. FUN! It was the first wedding for any of the cousins and it set the bar high not only for a gorgeous wedding - but how much fun it will be as each cousin gets married and all the family gets to come together to celebrate! I was the photographer for the wedding so you can catch a highlight reel of the wedding day by clicking here to hop over to my professional blog. On this post you will find mostly pictures taken with our iPhones but we had such a great time I want to be sure to preserve all the memories here on my blog!
We took a super early morning flight and met up with these two college kiddos in Chicago - then continued on to Minnesota.
The college kids were all home for Thanksgiving break and the cousins were all so excited to see each other. Punkins boyfriend came along and got a chance to meet the whole extended family for the first time. We put him right to work helping with all the wedding festivities - he fit right in!
We soon got to work hauling all the boxes from my sisters basement into trucks to be taken to the venue site. She had every detail planned out - it was like a perfectly orchestrated event full of a million details.
Work and fun together!
A couple of crazy family photos - it's so rare to have so many of us together all at once. Thanks to the neighbor who jumped out to help snap this picture so we could all be in it! Just after we snapped this picture we all went our separate ways into different cars - some heading to the airport to pick up a few more family members and some heading out to the reception location to start decorating. As we were all heading out - the groom-to-be yells "We forgot Kevin!!". It became a standing joke throughout the weekend anytime things got a little crazy.
The bride and groom just 24 hours before the wedding!
My sister had thought of EVERYTHING! She even had gift baskets waiting in the hotel rooms for out of town guests with the most thoughtful items inside that we really needed but didn't even know it yet! Things like chapstick (it's so dry in the tundra!), a flashlight for sneaking around hotel rooms when others are sleeping, snacks, water bottles and so much more!
Grandma Marion got a fresh new do thanks to Punkin and her curling iron!
Cousin Austin continued his tradition of beating up on and annoying all the girl cousins - poor Austin is the only boy cousin - this time a protective boyfriend was looking on. Austin and Tim became quick friends though.
Hanging out and having a bit of downtime before the festivities!
We had one of the tastiest dinners ever in the hotel restaurant. Poor Aunt B has resolved that she may never graduate from the kids table. I think she prefers it there.
Cousins and boyfriend fun hanging out at the hotel!
We just had to re-enact a moment that still gets talked about today - anytime Nicole had to put on a snowsuit as a toddler (and maybe even into her teens, but who's counting?) she had an all out tantrum on the floor. We were all slightly concerned that if she decided her wedding dress was too hot or too itchy we might all be in trouble! But alas - she was the perfect bride full of poise and elegance. But we still had fun re-enacting the snowsuit tantrum picture!
While we were taking pictures of the wedding gown in the foyer of the chapel - my sister saw another bride getting ready to walk down the aisle and the tears started!! Her long time best friend from childhood was there ready to wipe her tears for her. What a treasure it was to have my sisters close friends by her side throughout the day - doing anything they saw that needed doing. Friends are such a gift.
And then the stunning wedding day unfolded - you can see the highlight of the wedding pictures HERE.
My sister's good friend and neighbor even voluntarily started rubbing my feet for me after I crashed on the floor once the reception was over - now that is a TRUE friend! Rubbing your friends sisters weary feet?!! WOW! I think I was on my feet shooting for about 15 hours straight! It was worth every moment. :)
Haha - what an embarrassing picture!
The day after - we were all pretty tired but we still had time together so we were going to make the most of it!
Pictures of mom with the sisters and our dad with the sisters. The brides parents (my sister) with their longtime friends David and Toinia.
Shea and Hannah-Banana really clicked this year. I think they have quite a bit in common. Toinia was determined to get my husband on the dance floor more than he had been - maybe next time Toinia!
That night we all went to downtown St. Paul and went ice skating. The guys kept us very entertained!
We might have had just a little too much fun :)
Do you like Boo's hand warmers placed so thoughtfully behind her eye glasses?
I just might possibly have woken up at 5 am the next day in a panic that somehow all the wedding pictures could get deleted. So I sat on the hotel bathroom floor for many hours while the rest of the family was sleeping and uploaded them to my photo sharing website to make sure they were safe. Maybe. Or in case of a plane crash. Cause gosh darn it those pictures better be top priority! :)
Before our flight later that day we squeezed in a quick trip to the Mall of America for some shopping, to see Santa and a delicious lunch!
Boo sure does love her cousin Casey. She is her mini-me.
I just love Santa's expression towards Tim when he realized he was the boyfriend!
Punkin tasted some VERY spicy hot sauce!
LOVE this picture of my sisters and I with Santa! That was the very first time we ever all had a picture together with Santa. Reliving our childhood apparently.
After a very delicious lunch (a grilled chicken sandwich on a gluten free bun that I can't stop thinking about), we headed back home. It was so sad to say good-bye.
I was seriously so tired I couldn't even see straight. But we had SO much fun in a such a short time.
We had a several hour layover in Chicago - which was not fun - but we made the best of it.
This pictures just cracks me up. It perfectly describes each of their personalities.
Thank you Karen and Cary for throwing such a fun wedding weekend - we all had a BLAST and we will all remember how beautiful not only the wedding was - but the love and fun and laughter that was shared the whole wedding weekend!
You can see the wedding pictures by clicking HERE!