First off, their wedding estate which was both their ceremony venue and hotel for guests, cancelled on the Wednesday before guests arrived! But they are both overly smart and capable and managed to nab a beautiful venue last minute, and the guests were all redirected in time. Not only that, but the new venue was gorgeous. It's basically impossible that the original place was more beautiful.
Marc and Brooke find a new wedding venue with two days to go!
We were invited to spend time with family and friends on Friday night, and we learned immediately that they have awesome Southern family and top-notch friends. Even though they found each other in LA, Marc is from Louisiana and Brooke is from Alabama, so their families blended so well that sometimes we weren't sure which family was which. And everyone was awesome, though that's not only a Southerner trait, it probably helps. Oh, but they're also both Irish, so their awesomeness might actually stem from that. Or maybe both.
Relaxing with family and friends on Friday night
Also, we were all blessed with record-breaking 120-degree temperatures the day of their wedding. But since they are considerate, they encouraged everyone to dress comfortably, had the ceremony early to take advantage of cooler temperatures, kept our time outside to a minimum, and had the entire reception in a swimming pool.
Brooke hiding out from Marc before the ceremony
Marc feeling the heat a little before the ceremony- but noticeably happy
It is worth repeating how wonderful their family and friends were. Before arriving, we knew almost no one. Their families were extremely hospitable. And their friends were both great to talk to and very focused on helping the wedding weekend go well. People worked together to direct others to the new venture, assign rooms, cook food, make drinks, and generally do anything for Marc, Brooke, and each other. Numerous people commented that they felt like they were on some awesome family vacation together. We felt that way too.
Marc and Brooke's friend playing the violin at the ceremony
John, Allison, and Palmer whom we hit it off with so well that we are visiting in NY
Brooke's beautiful mother Alice
Larry is a super-involved father, and he's pretty funny too
Their ceremony was very personal. Marc's vows were both touching and funny. Brooke's vows were romantic and expressed her deep commitment to Marc. They incorporated the tradition of Irish hand-fasting into the ceremony. And I since this is my 38th wedding, and I can safely say I am an expert in this topic, the officiant gave the best service I have ever heard. It gave a lot of very useful advice on how to love each other and how limited our time is to do so. I seriously want to copy the service and put it up on my wall at home to remind me. Their ceremony also incorporated their love and dedication to Marc's (and now Brooke's) daughter Kenzie. She is a lucky little girl to be enveloped in their love.
Looks like they're going to have a lot of laughter and happiness in their lives
A huge lizard wedding crasher watched the whole ceremony.
Their new family of three!
After the ceremony, Brooke and Marc waled out to "The Best is Yet to Come," which I loved. Then we all went back inside to cool off and have some lunch. We had cake pops that looked like perfect version of Brooke's wedding flowers calla lilies. Actually, they looked so realistic that I was confused about which parts were edible. It was all edible. And shortly after the bride and groom returned we all changed into bathing suits and hit the pool for about 8 hours of chatting, drinking, snacking, and laughing.
Brooke with some pre-LA era girlfriends: me, Kristy, Brooke, Allison, and Nikki
Some of my wedding buddies hanging out after the ceremony
Kevin and me with a wedding cake pop
One of the best parts of the pool party reception was that there was a high comedian ratio and a high Irish ratio. At various different times the comedian ratio was higher or the Irish ratio was higher but it was always good. Even at over 100 degrees, I was never hot in the pool, and Kevin and my new buddies kept delivering cold drinks. Also, since we were there for such a long time, and the gathering was quite small, I got to spend oodles of time with Brooke which made the big trip so much better.
Hanging out with Brooke in the pool
Brooke and Marc in the ultimate wedding reception photo (first piggy back ride?)
Congratulations Marc and Brooke! We're excited to see you guys again soon!