Earlier this week, I was in a car accident. My little Ford Focus was totaled, but I was incredibly lucky to walk away with only a few bumps and bruises. No broken bones. No concussion. Just a few days of sore muscles and stiff joints. When I was standing outside my smashed car, watching the fire trucks, police cars, and ambulance pull up, all I could think of was who I wanted there with me at that very moment. When things like that happen, you realize the most important things in life are the people you care about. They're the ones you want by your side, through difficult and happy times. And when it comes to our wedding, those people are our wedding party, the ones standing up at the altar on the biggest day of our lives: our parents, our siblings and siblings-in-law, our closest friends, and our little ring bearer. [caption id="attachment_663" align="alignright" width="300" caption="My brother-in-law, future mother-in-law, and me at Gasthof's."]
[/caption] As we've moved through the wedding planning process, I've been amazed at how people have reached out to help Jack and me with everything from wedding dress shopping to making phone calls to planning showers to attending meetings with our vendors. Our parents have been very supportive and continue to offer advice and help as we get closer to October. My future in-laws even made a trip up to blustery Minnesota in January to meet my family, experience Minneapolis, and scout out rehearsal dinner locations. The most memorable part of that trip was our combined family dinner at Northeast Minneapolis's famous German pub, Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit. Let's just say the night was full of good conversation with great people, boots of beer, and polka dancing. How could you not have a good time? [caption id="attachment_661" align="alignleft" width="231" caption="Nothing better than sisters."]
[/caption] My sisters, who are my matron-of-honor and maid-of-honor, have been especially involved with wedding planning from the beginning . . . never complaining when I email them 16 times a day with links to bridesmaids dresses, shoes, bouquets, ring bearer pillows, invitations, you name it. When I was little, I don’t think I fully appreciated how lucky I was to have not one, but two amazing sisters. Like any siblings, we fought over silly things (stealing each others clothes, bossing each other around, playing pranks on one another), but I truly can’t imagine growing up without them. Despite the fact that we now live in three different cities, my sisters are two of the most important people in my life. In addition to my sisters, I have four other bridesmaids that represent such important times in my life (my childhood friend, my college roommate, my friend from my first after-college job, and my future sister-in-law). I'm so honored to have all these lovely ladies there for me on October 20. [caption id="attachment_668" align="alignright" width="151" caption="The ring bearer book for Aidan."]
[/caption] And then there's our ring bearer, my four-year-old nephew, Aidan. He's talkative, energetic, and friendly, and as the only grandchild in my family, he loves being the center of attention. I'm so excited to incorporate him into the wedding, but I'm fairly certain he has no idea what being a ring bearer involves. (I recently purchased a children's book that explains his responsibilities—walk slowly, smile, hold the pillow, make it to the end of the aisle, etc. I've heard great things about the book, so we'll see how he likes it!) Lastly, there are the dozens of friends and family members who are making the trip to our wedding—traveling to Minneapolis from near and far (Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Texas, and Arizona to name a few). When you're planning a wedding, it's easy to get caught up in little details and materialistic things. But lately, I've started thinking more about the big picture, and I'm looking forward to having an awesome party with all of our favorite people in the world.