Without further excuses, here's the post about the wedding!
When we finally got to Southbury, CT, which is where our hotel was, it was basically time to meet the Hine family. The only one (besides John, of course) who had met Sarah's family was Betty - John and Grant's mom. So everyone met at a restaurant for dinner, and it was lots of fun finally putting faces to names!
The next day was Saturday. The wedding party had a pretty intense Anthropologie-esque photo shoot, so while they were out modeling, I took the kids to go meet up with some of my friends - Marybeth and Cheri. Here's a small world story. The three of us all went to the same college, but I didn't know them while I was a student. I met them on a message board after college, and have been online friends with them for years. As the wedding got closer, Marybeth noticed Sarah's name in some posts I had mentioned on Facebook, and told me that she grew up with a girl in Connecticut named Sarah Hine, but they lost touch during college, and surely it's not the same Sarah Hine. Well, guess what...it was! So that was kind of fun! Anyways, I met up with Cheri and MB at an Apple Festival, followed by shopping at Target - something the three of us love. Amazingly, we didn't take pictures at all, until we were about to leave Target, and that was with someone's cell phone. And it wasn't mine, so I don't have it. Oh well. We had fun!
That night was the rehearsal dinner. Good food...good people...good times. Betty put together a really nice video that everyone really enjoyed.
The next day was Sunday, which was a pretty laid-back day. We went to church in the morning. Wanna hear another small world story? The pastor of the church we went to was Grant and John's youth pastor growing up, and he was also one of the pastors that married Grant and I. He moved to Connecticut a while back, and has a church in Danbury, which is very close to Southbury. So Sarah had been attending his church. It was so nice to be able to worship with a pastor we already knew and loved!
Finally, the day of the wedding came. Columbus Day. Monday. I'm all for non-weekend weddings, since Grant and I got married on a Thursday. Love it! It was such a perfect day, I need to figure out how to condense it all.
The wedding was going to be held at Sleeping Giant State Park. This was a park that the Hine family had spent lots of time at, so it was special for Sarah. At the top of one of the mountains in the park is a beautiful castle, and that's where the ceremony was. But you had to actually get to the top of the mountain. That meant hiking 1.6 miles. Let me just back up for a second and say that I packed for the family. And I packed according to what I thought Fall in New England would feel like. Chilly. The day of the wedding, it was in the 80s - totally crazy! Perfect weather for a wedding, but a little crazy! Hiking in 80 degree weather can get rather hot. Especially when you're 6 months pregnant, wearing a long dress and boots, pushing a double stroller with two kids in it. I'll just cut that part of the story short by saying they had to delay the start of the wedding a bit until a substantial part of the groom's family made it to the castle (me and the kids, plus John and Grant's parents).
The ceremony was beautiful. You seriously could not have asked for better weather! Sunny, warm, gorgeous!
The girls met some of their cousins, and they hit it off right away!
That's the mother of the bride. I love this picture of her in her dress with her hiking boots!
After the ceremony, we had to hike back down the mountain, which wasn't nearly as strenuous as hiking up. Especially since Grant was able to walk with me and push the stroller. We met Sarah's dad on the way down, so we ended up walking and talking with him, and he told us stories about when he was growing up, and all the times he used to visit this park. I loved that Sarah chose such a special location for her wedding!
Once we made it down the mountain, we headed to the reception, which was at a sailing center. Once again, the location and weather could not have been more perfect! It was absolutely gorgeous! There was much eating, drinking, dancing, talking and laughing going on for hours. I am being completely honest when I say, this was the best wedding and reception I've ever been to - and I'm including my own! Everything was perfect. It was everything a wedding reception should be. Cami was kind of the star of the show when it came to the dancing. That girl did not want to leave the dance floor! At one point, she was even falling asleep while Sarah's sister-in-law was holding her. So I tried to take her to go sit with her somewhere quiet. She immediately woke up and said, "Dance, Mama! I wanna dance!" She danced her little heart out that night!
Well, all good things must come to an end, and the reception was no exception. The next day, though, we went back to the same location to help Sarah's mom clean it all up. She prepared a nice brunch for us there, so we enjoyed that while looking out over the beautiful scenery.
We were able to see John and Sarah for a bit before they headed out on their honeymoon.
Once we left Southbury, it was time to start our journey home, too. We were flying out the next day from Hartford, but we had one more trip to make - the Mark Twain House and Museum. Besides our tour guide having some issues, we really enjoyed it! Definitely worth going to, if you're in the area.
Well that's it! I finally finished blogging about this epic trip of ours! John and Sarah have been married for well over a year now, and they're expecting their first child in June! We're so happy for them, and can't wait to meet the new little Spear.