Last Saturday was the big day. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been waiting for it. Of course Annie and Steve were excited. But I know us bridesmaids were excited. We’ve been planning and getting ready for this event for well over a year! Saturday morning I woke up pretty early in my hotel room (the pillows kind of sucked), and jumped right into all the prep work I had to do. The pedicure, shower, hair drying, hair curling, hair fixing, makeup, packing up all my prep stuff to continue even more work at Annie’s old house, etc. It’s quite time consuming. But I did find the movie Clueless on TBS to keep me entertained as I was getting ready (surprisingly, there’s not much to watch on a Saturday morning). As if!
After everyone was done getting ready, we took pictures and jumped into the party bus that would take us to the church. Annie was doing well- I kind of expected a few tears here and there (she’s a big fan of crying- happy or sad). But she was very calm and had planned everything so well that everything surprisingly ran smoothly (it hardly ever does from my experience). We got to the church ten minutes before the ceremony. It was hot. Very hot. And I’m pretty sure Annie and Steve paid extra to have them turn the AC down the night before to get it to a somewhat comfortable temperature. Apparently the church thought leaving it at 70 would be comfortable for everyone packed into a tiny church in the middle of July. I’m aware Jesus didn’t have AC, but if he did, he wouldn’t have been impressed, either.
Adam had texted me that morning to see what time they should get there. I told him at least 20 minutes early because of the size of the church vs. the size of the wedding. Steph sat with my while I got my pedi that morning and said I should probably tell them earlier. So I did. After I walked down the aisle to my spot, I turned around just in time to see them walk in. Sounds about right…
The wedding was perfect. Annie got a little choked up during the vows, but us bridesmaids got a good view of Steve giving her comforting little smiles and telling her to breath. It was kind of adorable. I’m not a big crier at weddings, but if I were, that’s what would have done me in. But I had a plan. Jaime told me she heard if you feel like you’re going to cry to clench your butt a few times to get your mind off of it. Odd. But I probably would have tried it.
It took all of five minutes to get the champagne open on bus on the way to the reception. We got there just in time for cocktail hour. Good thing I had stuff with me- they carded me at the bar. That never happens. Firstly because there’s no way I look 21, and secondly, I was in the wedding party. I’ve never seen a member of the party get carded before. A couple of the other bridesmaids had left their purses with their husbands. I offered to get them a drink before their husband got there. Flashback to when I had to buy beer for my brother… (I swear mom, I only did it a couple times)
One of my favorite parts of the night was the toast by the best men (he had two). Before we walked in, I asked my partner Peter (one of the best men) if he was ready for the toast. He said sure and that he and brad were just going to wing it. Annie told me a while ago that group of friends had made a tradition of making videos for the groom- but it’s alot of work and they had been told this year it might not happen because of scheduling. What a lie. Peter and Brad opened with how Steve had asked them to be best men by letter and played the video- a parody of Andy Samberg and T-Pain’s “On a Boat” video. It was fantastic! You could tell how much work they put into it. I’m not sure what I liked more- the lyrics or the video of them in tuxes rapping on rooftops in Chicago. Either way, hats off to them!
Steve and Annie’s first dance was to a song off of the Enchanted soundtrack. Classic Annie. Steve really is a good sport. I don’t think he’s so much into the whole dancing thing, but he knows how much she is and what it means to her. So naturally it was choreographed. Lots of spinning on Annie’s part- which was great because her dress glistened from a million places when she did it.
Dancing and socializing went on until about 11:30. The guys had taken my key earlier between the ceremony and reception to chill out for awhile in the hotel, so we just went back there for a minute. Then we caught the shuttle to Ameristar across the street. I was ready to go there- even though gambling isn’t really my thing (I’m sure that makes me a huge disappointment to my mom- her and my dad LOVE the slots). I was hoping to hit up one of the multiple bars inside Ameristar, but we mostly just stuck around the casino floor. Adam and Jeff were big on the roulette. We found Steph and Anna there as well. I wandered off with them for a while and sat to watch Steph play penny slots. Then, I was kinda bored so I pulled out a few dollars and started pushing buttons. I was under the influence, so I wasn’t really concentrating. But my machine started getting pretty loud and Anna came over. I was like, “what’s going on? what does that mean?” “Amy! You just won $50!” “Oh!”
After that, I cashed out pretty quickly. I had drank too much to play anymore without losing it all. So we went and found the boys. I sat with one of the girlfriends (who’s like me- more there for atmosphere and drinks than the actual gambling).
The next day was rough. I woke up after only a few hours of sleep. But I knew I had to get up if I wanted to make it in time for the Embassy’s yummy breakfast. And I wanted to catch Annie and Steve while they were down there to say goodbye before they left for their honeymoon. Even after I showered and had been getting ready, my eyes were red. I blame the exhaustion and allowance of smoking in public (us kids in Illinois aren’t used to that anymore). My parents laughed at me when they came to meet up. It’s ok. I’m glad they don’t freak out as much about their children being hungover as they used to.
We originally planned to walk around at the Landing since it was All Star Weekend in St. Louis and alot of things were planned to be going on in that area. But rain was in the air and it looked like we were going to get poured on. So we went to the mall. My mom was looking for a new dress for a few weddings coming up, so she wanted me to help her out with that. And as soon as we got into the parking garage, it POURED. We made a good choice.
I revisited Central West End to take them to dinner. And then I revisited the casino scene because, as stated earlier, my parents love it. And we had free rooms at Harrah’s. Over All Star Weekend, this would normally be impossible. But my parents are there that often, they worked it out. Sad. I hung out for a little while. But I was almost a zombie at that point and couldn’t keep up with my mom’s excitement over the flashing lights. So I snuck away to the hotel room and passed out during the second Cards/Cubs game that was being played. I woke up to catch the last inning and did a mini cheer when the Cards won. Then I went back to sleep.
The drive back wasn’t nearly as exciting just because the weekend was completely over and I was dreading work the next day. And we were both tired still. As soon as someone else took over driving, I closed my eyes and rested while listening to his own version of the classic rock playing on the radio. Only good station we found in the middle of Illinois. I got home and didn’t unpack. Didn’t really do anything. I was just kind of “around” until it was time for bed. aaahhh…. back to my own bed with my fantastic pillows (that didn’t suck) and sheets and covers. Lovely.
Filed under: Places to Go, Things to Do | Tagged: Ameristar, Annie's Wedding, casino, Central West End, Chicago, family time, Road Trip, SNL, St. Louis, summer weather, vacation | Leave a comment »