Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Step Into My Week - Seattle + Sophia's Wedding

It feels so good to be back! I missed y’all during my unintended hiatus from blogging while in Seattle. I had every intention of having posts scheduled to go live while I was gone but between how busy work has been, packing to go out of town, and last-minute wedding preparations that sadly didn’t happen. Fortunately, those posts will be coming to your computer screen this week and next so you won’t be missing much. As much as I didn’t want to take a week off from posting, it was the best way to recharge and fully enjoy the time I had with friends celebrating Sophia and Judson. Even with all of the wedding festivities, it still felt like a vacation, and I’m grateful for that. 

I’m going to go ahead and warn you now that this post will be a long one filled with lots of photos. I even tried to get this post up yesterday but had too much to share and it didn't feel quite finished! I’ve done my best to outline what we did each day, and I look forward to coming back to this post to relive the weekend. Many of the photos are ones from friends or even screenshotted from Sophia’s wedding vendors’ Instagram stories. So while they may not be the best quality, they should still depict how much of a blast was had by everyone. Once Sophia gets her photos and videos back from the teams she worked with, you can count on an even more photo-heavy wedding post like I shared for Kate’s wedding. For now, this will do, and given how sad I was for the week and weekend to end I think there’s no question about whether or not we had fun celebrating the newlyweds. 

Tuesday morning, I was all packed up and ready to go before I left for work. I worked until 2:00 and then headed home to grab my bags before Nell drove me to the airport. From there it was off to Atlanta and then to Seattle. The flights were long especially after having worked during the day but thanks to my Ostrich travel pillow I was able to sleep for about two of the four hours on the way to Seattle (even though I should have been working on my maid of honor speech then). I arrived in Seattle around 11:50, and Sophia and Judson were kind enough to pick me up from the airport. Sophia and I were staying with her mom at an Airbnb so we were dropped off there and I was beyond ready for bed. Fortunately being so tired helped me to quickly adjust to the time change and Sophia and I were both able to sleep until around 9:00 Seattle time.

There were six of us there on Wednesday, so we made the most of the time we had, and Sophia and Judson planned a hike for us. Once we were dressed, and ready Sophia and I headed to Judson’s family’s home to pick up the rest of the crew before going to grab a coffee and finish out the drive to where we were hiking. I don’t know the exact area we were in, but the hike we did was to the top of Rattlesnake Ledge. It was about 2 miles up, and Judson kept the pace brisk. It was completely worthwhile when we made it to the top to see the incredible view of the mountains, trees, and bright blue water below. Getting close to the edge was not my thing given how long the drop was down, but even from where Sophia and I cautiously stood, it was pretty breathtaking. As you can imagine, we worked up quite the appetite by the time our hike was over, so we headed to a delicious sandwich place called Deru in Bellevue. From there, it was back to Judson’s family’s house to hang out and have dinner as a group in his backyard. I could not get over how gracious and welcoming his family was to all of us, and being able to spend that time together as a smaller group before everyone else arrived felt pretty special. We took a walk down memory lane, looking at old pictures of Sophia and Judson and got to chat with their families as they began to arrive. We ended the night with dessert and a drink around their firepit before turning in for the night!  



Thursday was when most of the rest of the wedding party and other Furman friends were getting in and was definitely the most eventful of the weekdays we were there. Sophia and I started the day by dropping off our luggage at Judson’s house before getting coffee and going to get our nails done for the wedding. The alone time just the two of us was really sweet, and it was an excellent time for us to start narrowing down what may have been left to do. I’ve never had someone do my nails more meticulously, which was nice given the occasion. The place we went to was in Bellevue, so we went to the Bellevue mall food court (which was much more upscale than the name would suggest) to meet up with the rest of our group and our friends who had just arrived. After a quick bite to eat, we went to the Capitol Hill area of Seattle for ice cream at Sophia’s favorite spot, Molly Moons. I’m not usually a cone person but after smelling them being made opted for one with a scoop of cookie dough and a scoop of coffee. We walked from there to the Starbucks Roastery where we explored, got coffee, and sat down to soak it all in. The group split up after that sending most people to the hotel to check-in and Judson, some of his groomsmen, and me back to Judson’s house to get the luggage, welcome baskets, and Sophia’s dress to take to the hotel. We freshened up quickly and were all back down in the lobby to go back to Judson’s parents’ house soon after for a drink before the night’s festivities. We spent that evening at the Mariner’s game in some pretty amazing seats. We had three rows filled with their family, friends, and the bridal party, and it was such a fun, laid-back way to all get to hang out together. The Mariner’s won and even hit a grand slam, which was exciting. From the game, we went back to the hotel and stayed up for a while by the hotel bar before eventually turning in for another busy day.


Since Sophia didn’t have a bridesmaid luncheon, we instead were able to use Friday to continue exploring. The bridal party started the day with brunch at Portage Bay complete with the most delicious oatmeal crusted French toast I’ve ever had. Next on the itinerary was exploring Pike Place Market, seeing the original Starbucks, and grabbing a cup of coffee at Storyville. We stayed in downtown Seattle until around one before heading back to the hotel for a bit of downtime to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner took place at the golf club Judson’s family is a member at even though that was a different venue than the reception and wedding. I spent most of the 40-minute uber ride there working on my speech which I was asked to give at the reception as opposed to the rehearsal which made it so that there were no nerves on Friday. After rehearsing, we all headed to grab a drink and mingle before the rehearsal dinner began (given the number of photos in this post we will consider it lucky that I only have one from that event). The food was delicious, and everyone who chose to speak did a stellar job. We continued to enjoy the signature drinks after those toasts were over and Judson’s parents even had us doing a shot or two before the night was done which had us all excited for the fun we’d have the next day as well. We stayed at the rehearsal dinner for a bit longer before heading back to the hotel. Judson’s best friend and I both had to finish writing the speeches we were giving the next day, so we did that once we got back and practiced them to some of our friends before calling it a night. 



Saturday was the big day and Ellison (my roommate from last year!), and I had the first hair and makeup appointments of the day. We put on the adorable lake pajamas from our welcome gifts and headed up to the bridal suite. Y’all, the view was unreal. We had a huge terrace overlooking the lake the hotel was on, and it was the most serene place to start celebrating. Once my hair and makeup was done I gathered people’s Starbucks orders and made a few trips down to the lobby of the hotel (in pajamas with full hair and makeup before 9:30) to get our coffee. Everything went so smoothly and seeing how relaxed Sophia was made us all realize just how well the day would go. As we were enjoying mimosas and chatting, Sophia’s planner was in contact with me about a surprise her photographer had planned. If there’s one thing Sophia gushed about leading up to her wedding day, it was how excited she was about her photographer and meeting her in person. Well, I guess the photographer couldn’t wait either given that she surprised Sophia at our suite with some getting ready photos. Talk about a happy bride! After she left, it was officially time to finish our drinks and breakfast and head to the venue. 

The venue was about 40 minutes away, and we unashamedly went still in our pajamas. When we arrived and put everything in the getting ready room Sophia and I had some downtime together as I steamed her dress. Then she got ready with her mom and Judson’s mom while the rest of the group ate chickfila together downstairs. While Sophia and Judson had their first look, the bridesmaids got ready for the photos to follow. Group photos went really well, and her photography team was all about capturing the moments that came about organically instead of having us pose the whole time. From then it was a waiting game while guests got settled and we all prepared to walk down the aisle. I practiced my speech in front of Ellison, which left both of us tearing up, which I did not expect from myself. The planner then lined us up, and it was time for the ceremony to begin. Even though they had already seen one another Judson and Sophia were both in tears as she walked down the aisle (looking breathtaking might I add) which caused the rest of us to do our best to keep it together. The ceremony was so well done complete with laughter that eased everyone a bit. Before we knew it, they were officially married, and the ceremony ended without anyone tripping or passing out! 




Cocktail hour followed the ceremony, so we all mingled for a bit as Sophia and Judson finished up photos with their families. We were able to get a Furman photo and take in the beautiful surrounding before it was time for the seated dinner. One special moment that I’m glad to have had was getting to take Sophia around the venue showing her all of the beautiful things she had so meticulously planned and put together. I was so worried she wasn’t going to take a moment to soak it all in, and it was extraordinary to see her excitement over how beautiful it all turned out. Dinner was delicious, although I was a bit nervous since I knew I still had to give my speech. Once everyone had finished, we headed out to the dance floor area for Sophia and Judson to cut their cake and for speeches to begin. I followed Sophia’s mom and was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t that nervous when it came time to give mine finally. People laughed when they were supposed to, Sophia cried, and everyone told me it was great although I’ve already blocked it out of my mind due to nerves. I guess we will know for sure if they were serious once the wedding videos come back. Judson’s best friend followed me and did an incredible job as did Judson’s sister. We ended speeches with Judson’s parents, which left us all trying not to cry. And then, the fun began. I ate all of one bite of cake while first dances occurred and then it was time to hit the dance floor! We had the BEST time dancing and singing as a group, and so many guests came up to us to say how impressed they were at the amount of fun us Furman friends could bring to an event.

When the DJ announced the last song, we were all in disbelief since we could’ve danced for hours longer. Sophia had a surprise for Judson, so we went out to the back of the venue to watch fireworks with the couple. They had the whole bridal party up there with them hugging and taking it all in which was a fun way to wrap up the celebration before they left for the night. We may have even sung our Furman chant (which you can see in one of the last photos) which had the crowd laughing pretty hard. From there, it was back to the reception area to gather our belongings before leaving to head back to the hotel. Once we got back, a big group of us ended up gathering in one of the hotel rooms to play cards and catch up. We ended up staying up past two, and I was pretty exhausted when it came time to finally head to sleep. 



Sunday morning, we all were feeling a little tired but got ready and packed up before heading to the send-off brunch being hosted that morning. I wish I had remembered to get more photos from that as well, but the coffee, food, and mimosas we had were a fun way to end our time in Seattle. There were four of us on the same flight to Atlanta, so we ubered straight from the brunch to the airport and made it from the car to our gate in under 20 minutes when we were told security could take 2 hours. The couple that had TSA pre-check took longer to get through security than the guy and I who did not, which was equally as shocking. I slept for most of the plane ride back and finally got back to Birmingham just before midnight on Sunday night. 

I hope that y’all enjoyed this recap and I can’t wait to share more about this most fun wedding I’ve been to soon! 

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