It seems like I was just barely planning a birthday party with a headband craft and girls were putting balloons down their shirt.  But now my oldest daughter Corinne is actually grown up and has chosen a man to spend her life with.  All of a sudden I’m the mother of the bride, planning a wedding reception.  The most emotional I got during this huge life event was several months before the wedding when I realized that Sam is her person now.  They are a unit, the most important little family unit, and we will be secondary in her life from this point on.  And that’s exactly how it should be!  But still…sniff.

It was a beautiful day at the Oakland, CA temple.

Corinne was sweet to include her two little sisters and Ashleigh’s daughter Jenna as “junior bridesmaids.”  They were very pleased with the role.  Ashleigh’s daughter Lindsey got to be a bridesmaid for the first time.

Corinne was perhaps the most easy going bride in history which is ironic because she was a stinker of a toddler! (We’ve forgiven her).  She made planning really easy and she thought I was crazy when I worried about details like where the trash cans would go.  The most important wedding planning lesson I learned is that the relationship with my daughter is more important than any and all details concerning food, flowers and especially trash cans.

Planning involved no less than nine thousand, fifty five screen shots of websites, FaceTime calls from JoAnn’s Fabrics and consultations with Ashleigh.  We bought and planned and I had no idea if it would look good when it was all said and done, but another life lesson is coming.  It was lovely but greatly overshadowed by the beauty of the love and support I felt from nearly all the people I love being in one place.

Even though we’ve established that details aren’t everything, details are fun.  So let’s discuss…

Ashleigh and I had round one of wedding planning when our brother got married in 2010.  Since our mom passed away when he was 13, we planned and cooked and made sure his party was as awesome as he is.
We called those posts Project Wedding:The cookies
Now it was my turn to plan a wedding for my own baby girl!   We had the reception in our backyard.  In July.  And we all melted.  And the candles melted without actually lighting them.  But the newlyweds are in love and we had a fantastic celebration of their new beginning.
The crazy thing about putting together a wedding is that you buy things and order things and craft things and really don’t know if they are going to look good!  I found these mercury glass jars on clearance at Joann and swooped up all they had.  My florist,  On Pointe Floral Design made amazing things happen in those jars.  I added some candlesticks etc around the centerpieces.  I painted these wooden candlesticks and bought some taper candles lots of places.
I rented some super awesome pieces from Sweet Life Vintage Rentals near my home.  It was kind of a cave of wonders and I didn’t know which pieces to choose but I’m glad I picked these beauties.


I’m so glad we decided to line my ugly side entrance with pictures of the kids when they were growing up and when they were dating.   In case there was a line at the sign in table there was something to look at.


I researched lots of punch recipes in the pink family and I made so many friends taste and vote.  The winners were Raspberry Lemonade and Sparkling Red Party Punch.  In addition we had strawberry lime basil infused water and peach mango pineapple infused water, and regular water for people who are scared of things floating in their water.  It was hot and we went through lots of drinks.  The most popular was the Party Punch!

I found this fantastic roll of gossamer/tobacco cloth that measures 144″ by 100′  for $158 and used it both for draping this area to highlight the bride and groom as well as the food table.

What wedding in 2016 would be complete without sparklers and a naked cake.  (We will probably laugh about those one day).  I chose the 3 foot sparklers for longer burn time and they were loooong.  Like I’m shocked no one got their eyes poked out long.  And I forgot to have buckets for when they were done burning.  Make sure you do that.


But seriously they’re cute.  It was all worth it!



I have to give a shout out to Shelby Garret who did all the beautiful flowers for the day.  And also to my niece Shandi who stepped out of photography retirement to capture this day beautifully.

Looking back at all of this makes me sentimental.  But then I realize I have 5 other kids so then I feel tired.  I’m sure by wedding number six, I’ll have more life lessons to share.  Until then, I’ll treasure the memories.