Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Our Family Wedding Weekend in Charleston

Mr. Lovebird and I returned with the kids late Monday night from the perfect mix of family, fun and food celebrating the wedding of my sister Ariane and now-brother-in-law Lawrence's wedding in Charleston, SC on Sunday! 

The irony of the most recent hurricane to sweep through the region having the same name as my father and brother wasn't lost on us! Thankfully Hurricane Michael mostly left us alone save for a few delays, but the actual wedding day went off beautifully. 

Mr. Lovebird's plate - I opted for shrimp and grits!
We arrived Friday evening with a stop at Ms. Rose's before bed and were up early for Nia's wedding hair appointment - she was a good little thespian studying her lines for her role as Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

We made our way to Bertha's Kitchen afterwards for lunch arriving before it opened which turned out to be a smart move because the line is something else! I would be perfectly satisfied eating a bowl of Bertha's rice and lima beans daily. 

At the wedding rehearsal, Grayson gave us a preview of potential wedding-day shenanigans as he flipped and break-dance-spun down the aisle.
LORDT! From that point he had several talking-tos and reminders about what he was actually supposed to do when he walked down the aisle on the big day. 

The bridal party!

That night we enjoyed a catered affair at my parent's house while surrounded by friends and family. Jerk chicken, rice and peas, mac and cheese, plantains... It was all so good that I didn't even stop to get any pictures! The young-uns went out that night, and all I could muster was a quick jaunt out with my BFF from NYC and his wedding date who I was thrilled made it to Charleston for the wedding. 

The Francis Marion Hotel was an absolutely stunning venue for my sister's wedding, and we stayed there the duration of our visit. The views were gorgeous extending out to the port, and each morning I loved spending time just gazing out the window. The wedding day was no exception as we made our way to the top floor in a lovely suite - adjoining rooms connected by a sitting room and kitchen.

Mary Virginia and Virginia Adanna
Nia especially indulged in all the wedding prep feeling fancy in flower girl robe my mom personalized for her. To see Virginia and her namesake sitting together getting dolled up had to have been one of my favorite pre-wedding moments. Grayson ended up joining us in the suite as he worked out some of his energy in between being bribed with lollipops. 

Grayson and Lawrence ready to head down! 
Once everyone was stunning and in position we made our way down to the Colonial ballroom. We had a babysitter (my other sister Lauren's local BFF who the kids had met before) specially positioned near the exit in the event my husband needed to scoop up Grayson and remove him quickly. Gotta be prepared, right?!

My sister Lauren and me - my mom made all the bridesmaids dresses
When Ariane made her way through the doors accompanied by my dad I thought back to how before she was born I used to pray so hard for a little sister. My mom had secondary infertility, and I remember crying and asking God for a sister with my mom who desperately wanted more children. Ariane really is an answered prayer and I loved seeing her groom's beaming smile as she walked down the aisle. 

The best part of course was the reception! I saw so many family and friends who hadn't been together in years - some since my wedding 9 years ago. It was such a fleeting reunion but we made the most of it. I wish it could've continued on into the wee hours! 

Thankfully we got a bit of extra time Monday with the farewell brunch before the newlyweds headed to Mexico for their honeymoon today. I told my sister she better be on airplane mode! 

Nia chatting with mine (and my siblings') 6th grade teacher was another favorite moment; she drove from Ohio!
Now that we're back I'm longing for those 80 degree temperatures and thankful that my family and I got to be a part of Ariane and Lawrence's beautiful wedding. I'm thankful to see how they've built their relationship on faith and am excited to see them continue on their journey. 

And of course, we couldn't leave before indulging in one more soul food meat at Nigel's Good Food! The fried whiting, mac and cheese, and greens were the perfect send-off and their $8 lunch special is priced right. 

With my parents in Charleston for the foreseeable future we're so thrilled for many return trips with our new brother-in-law/uncle and all the memories we'll make. 

Congratulations Ariane and Lawrence! 


P.S. For more from our trip check out my #LovellEverAfter Highlight button on my Instagram Stories