Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Biggest Life Update Ever So Far

Where can I even begin to catch up on what's been going on since I last wrote??


(The gorgeous, gorgeous photography is all thanks to Lauren Schumacher Photography. She is so talented and so much fun!)

Hoooooooolyyyyyyyyy guacamole. I just can't believe it finally happened. The final countdown happened so stinking fast that it would be scary unless you are as sure as I was/am that you were doing the exact right thing. As soon as Darin arrived we were getting our marriage license, packing more things, bachelorette partying, setting up the church, and rehearsal dinner-ing our last single days away. It was so busy but so much fun. Not to mention I have the most helpful friends and family who were all over the place helping get things on the right track and making sure I did not go fruit loops. Which I did not! Success!

First of all, I seriously had the best bachelorette party ever. It was so laid back and fun without being gross in the slightest (NO, I did NOT see Magic Mike, for the last time!). We went to this awesome place in Baldwin Park where you make your own chocolates and had the best time. You can cover all kinds of crazy things with chocolate on a conveyor belt or fill truffles with fun flavors -- I kind of wish I could work there now.

We got to wear some neato paper hats! I look like a 4 year old.

We then headed back to my friend and maid of honor Heather's house for baked potatoes for a great dinner, and then drove out to Universal CityWalk for the night, ending up at a dueling piano bar, which was so fun! They did a great job, and even sang a little "going to the chapel" song for me! :) Lots of crazy drunk college guys there for a 21st birthday congratulated me, haha. We hit up a Latin dancing club there afterwards for a brief bit, before deciding we lacked the skills needed and were tired.

Everything about the wedding experience went so great. The rehearsal dinner at my parents' house was so laid back and fun, and everyone loved the homemade pizza (and Dickeson family recipe drank of course). Slumber partying with my friends before the wedding was so good, especially since those chicas are a little far away now. :( And before I knew it I was downing a yogurt and speeding to my hair appointment. Note to everyone smart: don't forget a button-down shirt. This n00b had to cut off her t-shirt to avoid ruining the hair. Luckily USF lost the game it was from so it isn't a huge tragedy.

As I anticipated from everyone else's wise words, the wedding was a huge blur. Everything happened so fast that it felt fake. Thus, nothing really felt too serious or intense and I never felt the urge to tear up once, even though my sweet groom got a little misty-eyed! I felt bad because I on the other hand had a huge case of nervous giggles and had to hold them in as I walked down the aisle, stood up there and said all my vows -- and then did actually laugh when my dad's phone rang twice while officiating the ceremony and when our cute baby niece/flower girl Drew was babbling away during the wedding -- and before I could blink I was walking back down as a wifey arm-in-arm with my boo! So crazy. We had to hustle to the park for pictures, and then hustle back so everyone could eat Tijuana Flats, and then hustle down to dance and cut the cake, and then after dancing a bit, hustle as my mom pushed us out the door to be sent off through the cloud of bubbles into the getaway car (GO GRANNY CAMRY!) and off!... to finish packing at my house before hitting up the Hilton at Universal.

It was so much fun, and so laid-back. It was the kind of wedding meant for a Lara. Nothing was too serious, little mistakes were funny and not devastating, and I think everyone had fun. I felt like it was a success when my photographer messaged me to say that this was her favorite wedding so far to shoot because everyone was so nice and had a spirit of fun and excitement all day. Yay!

I have to insert my little two cents about the wedding budget. Everything turned out gorgeous and fun and for a lot less than some people will spend. Here were our vendors and stores, which all turned out amazingly!

  • Dress -- JCPenney (yes, it's really a wedding dress, I promise!)
  • Venue -- North Park Baptist Church
  • Catering -- Tijuana Flats
  • Photography -- Lauren Schumacher Photography
  • Florist -- Sheridan Flower Shop
  • Cake -- Sam's Club (haha it was a 15 coconut cake) and a good friend Becca made some delicious cupcakes
  • DJ -- mwahaha my iPod and my brother
  • Officiant -- my pops and Darin's dad
  • Bridesmaids dresses -- Forever21, Nordstrom, Express
  • Groomsmen outfits -- JCPenney, Etsy for the ties
It was a super fun day but I am glad it's over and that we're getting into married life now!

Our honeymoon was also a blast, booked with the gracious help of our friend (and Darin's sister's mother-in-law) Deb, who has some skills with travel agent business. We went to Captiva Island, Florida at the South Seas Plantation Resort for a week and it was just lovely and so fun. Darin and I went on a dolphin cruise and saw tons of cute dolphins jumping around in the wake, ate at some fancy and exorbitantly expensive restaurants, rode a jetski (which was so scary for me... Darin drives fast), kayaked in the Gulf, tanned a lot and beach walked/swam/etc. 

Just the Instagram version of some of our adventures! :) We had a great time but we're happy to be home, especially after this beast of a trip...

But 18 straight hours later (and LOTS of being bored driving through Ohio at 2 a.m. haha), we are home sweet home in Michigan and are happy as ever. It's definitely a task getting our house to be cozy and set up the way that works best for us, and also me unlearning my Florida driving ways to become a true Michigander with the doodly Michigan lefts. But it's worth it for the nights spent so far game night-having and hookah-smoking and ice cream-getting with friends and going to giant family gatherings. And spending some gift cardage at Target and Bed, Bath, & Beyond. 

Life with the D has been the best adventure so far.

More later as stuff goes on! Love, Lara

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