My brother is the most amazing person on the face of the planet.
This weekend, he married his true soulmate, the only person I've ever met who was truly worthy of him. Ever looked at a perfect couple and felt the bond between them even from a distance? That's how every moment is for these two. And the wedding was every bit as perfect, elegant, fun, and heartwarming as their relationship.
We traveled to New Jersey, where Meredith's family lives, and from the moment we simply drove by the reception hall, I knew this would be one heck of a classy affair! The church, near the Princeton campus, only confirmed the splendor we'd be enjoying all weekend. My family has never been excessively classy, but the bride's side welcomed us with open arms regardless, and we definitely stepped up our game to match, at least for a few days!
I had the honor of attending as a bridesmaid, which was a first for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not exactly a dressy, elegant, proper type of gal - but anyone who saw me this past weekend would be stunned. In fact, literally my entire family actually was stunned! I heard variations on "wow you clean up REALLY well!" all weekend. Meredith's taste is impeccable, so the bridesmaids' dresses and the jewelry she gave us as a gift were not only gorgeous but flattering on every one of us. We also had our hair done together, and the woman hired was a true artist. Quick and efficient, but producing glamourous results for each girl. Just as she does with Matt, Meredith brought out the best in each of us this weekend - not only with our appearance, but also our smiles and our souls.
The bride most likely inherited her eye for detail and refinement from her mother, who was instrumental in the planning and execution of an event so magical I almost can't describe it properly. Nothing was left unprepared, and everything was done to the highest of standards. I was impressed from start to finish - from the stunningly beautiful wedding dress, to the majesty and intimacy of the ceremony, to the unbridled splendor of the reception, to all the little details the photographer always managed to capture perfectly.
I'm going to take a second here to apologize for the structure of this post. This wedding was beyond description, and I'm struggling to figure out how best to talk about it. I know I'm bouncing around all over the place, and my writing today (or rather, all week, as I've been working on this for days) isn't my most coherent, but I'm trying to make sharable sense out of sheer magic. Never before have I had so much trouble putting things into words, but almost every bit of this entire weekend took my breath away. I'm overwhelmed with pride and love for these two, I just hope that is coming across in this post!
My favorite part, by far, of the entire event was watching my brother's face as she started down the aisle. His eyes welled up, and though he managed not to actually cry, I sure couldn't hold back! Every glance they shared was full of unbridled love, and it radiated through every person in attendance. The people that surround this couple are some of the most sincerely good people I've ever met. The bridal party was just super. Though I didn't really know any of them prior to this weekend (even Matt's local friends had never really been my acquaintances) I was welcomed into the fold as if I'd been part of the group all along. Family and friends from both sides came together and celebrated with genuine excitement. I must admit I'm a little jealous of the community those two have built - but then again, no one in the world deserves it (or has earned it) more than they do (and have)!
While the church part was definitely classy and beautiful, the ceremony was pretty standard. The REAL magic was at the reception, and this is the part I know I'm not able to do justice through words. I also don't have the photos yet - anything posted here so far came from before the reception, because the photographer busted her butt to put together a slideshow of the day's events BEFORE the reception started, which was crazy impressive. In fact... now that I think about it, maybe I'll save the reception for another day, when I have photos to properly illustrate the sheer scale and splendor we experienced! That'll wrap this post up here before I get too much more rambly, and will let me refocus around my visual aids, so perhaps the next post will be a little better written! For now, let me leave you with one last photo - my best "I look like Anna Kendrick" shot from the wedding photos!
All photo credits go to the amazing Janet Lanza Photography. After years of event planning and execution, I can honestly say I've never seen such incredible work done with a camera. Janet did not overlook a single detail. She has a fabulous eye for locations and arrangements, and she and her daughters were both professional and delightful! THANK YOU AGAIN for capturing my brother's love so perfectly!