After the vows

After Erin’s wedding, pretty much everyone stayed at the nearby Hampton Inn … which meant Otis Spunkmeyer cookies upon entry!

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Oatmeal raisin and chocolate chocolate chip:

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After the cookies, I followed the pointing scarecrow to my room …

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… and came upon this sight!

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My hotel room turned out to be the handicapped-equipped room … which meant a big bathtub. My roommates had made the obvious cognitive leap from there to convert our room into the after party lounge.

Even more exciting than beer in the tub, however, was this big pumpkin randomly sitting in the middle of the floor:

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I plopped down right next to it and put the pumpkin on my lap 😛

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Everyone went wiiiiiiiiild watching the Yankees win:

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It was a mostly New York-based crowd clumped into a Massachusetts hotel room, so the crowd got rowdy in moments like this:

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And then we got a noise complaint and got rowdier …

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… and another noise complaint and rowdier:

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Pizza made an appearance to much fanfare…

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AK was released from photographer duties:

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The candy apples from the centerpieces made an appearance, and AK modeled appropriate consumption behavior again:

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We got another noise complaint and got appropriately louder. Evidence:

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And then the Sun Chips arrived!

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Hero:

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And the evening continued to spiral further out of control through more noise complaints and threats of an imminent hostile takeover by the Franklin Police Department.

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In the end, however, we survived the fake blood …

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… and the party detritus …

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… with no arrests and love for everyone!

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Survival was especially critical for locking in access to the hotel’s breakfast buffet the next morning!

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I had banana oatmeal with peanut butter, fruit salad, a biscuit with jam, a chocolate muffin, and wayyyyyy too much more!

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I left the hotel with the newlyweds, and we made our way back home to collects some final odds and ends and say good-bye to the parents, and then we hit the road for our journey back down here to NY.

Once again, I looooove other people’s weddings and all the excitement surrounding them 😀

Where do YOU take the party after the party??

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I dooooooooooooo!

Finally, after a ridiculous and over-the-top amount of lead-up, the time came to face my fear of the bridesmaid dress.

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The other ladies slipped into their dresses without flinching (actually, that’s a lie — Catherine was an excellent partner in tight dress misery!) while I worried about what I would do if I ripped the seams of mine while participating in some sort of high-impact sport like breathing.

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Somehow, however, we all found ourselves successfully zipped into beautiful folds of satiny chocolate chocolatey satin:

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PHEW … and thank you to my sister Emily for the loan of her life-saving Spanx!!:-P

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AK, photographer extraordinaire, went to work arranging us for ultimate pre-wedding photogenicity in the Gunn backyard:

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Photography is an action sport, fyi:

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And here we are with our special special bride (because, ummmm, this day was about more than just my dress saga), Erin Gunn Mrs. Brennan-to-be:

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The limo arrived, and we were magically transported to a world of cheese and crackers, aka the bridal suite at the wedding site:

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We did a little bit of prep:

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… and then got ourselves lined up for the big moment!

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I even managed to read my piece and command the new couple to go forth and multiply without splitting any seams!

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And then came the big moment:

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Awwwwwwwwwwww. Once again, totally about more than my dress 😛

More bridal suite apps during photography:

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Cheese, crackers, fruit, sundried tomato tarts, chicken satay, spanakopita:

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Best picture EVER:

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Bustling is apparently a VERY involved project:

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Bridal suite beverage service was lacking, so some of the boys took it upon themselves to release a few beers from behind the bar. I took advantage of the opportunity to drink my first beer ever. I usually hate beer — I don’t know why it tasted so good at that moment!

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After the photos, we went out to join the party. I am so in love with these centerpieces that Erin’s sisters made:

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I ignored my minestrone soup and watched the dancing children instead:

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The bar was open (thanks to Erin and Mike!!), so I asked for a cocktail of Grey Goose, soda water, and a slice of every fruit possible:

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I squeezed and mashed my orange, lemon, lime, and cherry into the drink and ended up with a brilliant fresh fruit concoction. And then I did it again. Three more times 😛

More dancing:

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Salad!

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I went Trick or Treating at Erin and Mike’s table:

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Erin said, We put the candy here for the kids, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing you more often! Oops 😛

And then it was time for cake-cutting!

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How amazing is Siobhan’s cake?????

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Before they wheeled the cake off to cut for the masses …

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… I snagged a prize: the discarded gum paste pumpkin from Erin and Mike’s slice!

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Mmmmmmmmmmmm …

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I also snagged a photo with the Captain himself, aka father of the bride:

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And then the entree of salmon with sundried tomato glaze, rice pilaf, and green beans with almonds:

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QT with the princess of the night:

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(Yes,  I definitely 86’d those straps on the dress as soon as the official photos were done!)

And QT with the prince!

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The cake came around,  and I had my slice … plus the slices of about four other people!

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Pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing must be eaten at all costs (especially when it involves a change in tongue color, and especially when the new color is purple):

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Congratulations to Erin and Mike … aka the Brennans!!! And thanks for throwing the best party ever to celebrate your marriage 😀

Favorite tongue color?

Primpalicious

So, as indicated, I was up at the crack of dawn on Saturday (Halloween!) to launder myself and put the finishing touches on the bridesmaid tea party. I arrived at the Gunn household wedding central at 10am and walked right into the middle of Project Hair.

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Jess was first one under the spray nozzle 😛

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Look how fancy!

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I loved Jess’s curls, so I ordered the same ‘do.

Erin’s niece Gretchen became a fairy:

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We all helped Siobhan with some last-minute cake tasks …

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… because you can never have enough pumpkin cake …

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… with cream cheese frosting:

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And then we got the tea underway:

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We started with these scrumptious scones that Jess had brought from Whole Foods:

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Once again, I tried to remember that I had to stuff myself into a dress in mere hours …

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… but I obviously had to try every single scone, too. And no dress is worth missing out on deliciousness!

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The bride was a vision of calm collection and popped a seat for a cup also:

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Finally, 1:00 rolled around and it was time for the entree!

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We worked on our nails while nibbling.

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And the sandwiches were delicious, if I do say so myself 😀 I made cucumber and cream cheese on German Wheat bread, smoked turkey and Earl Grey honey butter on pumpernickel, and spicy bacon and cheddar on seeded rye:

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Dessert was dark chocolate-covered strawberries, special request of the bride:

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In our last bout of manual labor as bridesmaids, we whipped up some slamming bouquets.

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Yayyyyyyyyy fall colors:

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And then we were off to the dresses!

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What is your favorite part of primping for a fancy event?

Monster Mash

In lieu of a regular rehearsal dinner, Erin opted to throw a giant party for all wedding attendees in town already at Cole’s Tavern, a bar and function location right down the road from the hotel. I had no idea that this place even existed … and minutes away from where I grew up!

 

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How cool would this “patio” be in the summer??!

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Jess and her little sister had taken on organizing Halloween games for the kids, and you know I was all over the candy!

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I was really trying to remember that I had to fit into the bridesmaid dress the next day, but it was SO HARD with all of this edible brilliance everywhere I looked.

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The buffet dinner consisted of salad, pasta with mushrooms and chicken, baked ziti, and sausage with peppers and onions:

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I had some of everything on my plate … plus the obvious seconds.

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After dinner, it was time to return to the candy. Jess demonstrated:

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The Monster Mash was also apparently an excellent excuse for breaking out some rockin’ legwear couture:

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(Erin’s niece Gwyneth and Erin!)

The open bar was on a time limit, and the boys decided to be super clever and make sure they were well-stocked for the rest of the night:

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It was all for nought, though, since Erin ended up extending the open bar for the entire party …

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… and so the boys started to get all sorts of crazy ideas into their heads. Hamilton, AK, and Ralph got a candy corn toss off the ground …

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… while Joey worked the receiving end:

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Next up was some sort of heated political football debate between Joey and Allan:

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I needed to distract my hands from the candy corn jar, so I enlisted D-Lo and James in the procurement of a hot tea. I didn’t think that the bar would be able to accommodate my designated-driver-appropriate needs, but the guys summoned me a moment later with the goods in hand:

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Next up: Who can drink the jar of candy corn and keep it down for 10 minutes?

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Joey was tempted (and so was I!) but, ultimately, Hamilton was the only one man enough for the challenge:

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The aftermath:

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No crying over spilled candy corn allowed 🙂

At the end of the night, I delivered the bride safely back to her home. She had the leftover buffet trays of food on her lap for the drive and alternated between drunkenly shoveling it into her mouth with her hands and passing out. Once she was inside and solidly upright, I headed back to mom’s house to get a few hours of sleep before my 10:00 call to bridesmaid duty the next morning!

Is Erin Gunn the most fun bride ever, or what?!

Fill ‘er up!

Friday morning, I took a brief break from wedding ministrations for breakfast with Vinny at Cafe on the Common.

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Vinny and I enjoyed people-watching. This spot was surprisingly hopping for 8:00 on a weekday morning.

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Vin ordered the combo breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, and blueberry pancakes. I sampled, obviously.

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I had been debating between the large and small oatmeal and asked the server for her opinion. I am glad she advised me to go for the small — it was bigger than my head! Let’s take another look at my yummy yummy banana walnut oats with brown sugar on the side:

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After breakfast, it was back to the Gunns. Centerpieces under construction:

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And Siobhan continued her work on the cake. Bottom tier:

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Middle tier:

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Top tier:

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Siobhan also undertook this crazy ambitious pumpkin cage cake-topper that involved drizzling caramelized sugar over foil wrapped pumpkin molds:

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The concept blew me away. Look how cool:

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Jess jumped in for the assist to piece the halves together:

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Sadly, the cage ended up melting 😦 We had been not been expecting 70 degree temps for October 31! It was fun while it lasted, though.

In the late morning, Erin, Catherine, and I went to the wedding site for the “official drop” of centerpieces and other wedding party accessories. After the drop, I borrowed Erin’s car for a grocery store run and then headed to my mom’s house to make use of the kitchen … and her assistance!

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Erin wanted an afternoon tea for Saturday to fuel all of us ladies while we got ready for the wedding, and she put me in charge. I spent the majority of Friday afternoon creating the menu and doing the legwork (or directing my mom in doing the legwork :-P).

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While mom sliced and de-crusted the bread, I mixed up all the fillings and got started on the dessert …

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… of dark chocolate covered strawberries, special request of the bride!

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Once the tea menu was under control, I threw together scraps from my various projects for a quick snack with mom: cucumber, granny smith apple, almond butter, and melted dark chocolate.

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From there, I swept back up to the Gunns to collect Erin and make our way to the official rehearsal dinner Monster Mash!

Top three tea sandwich fillings? See if you can guess which ones I made 🙂