congratulations, cate & chad!

this past saturday was one of my best friend's weddings.  cate grew up across the street from me, and we've been friends for over 20 years now!

the festivities began on friday.  i was lucky enough to have the bride-to-be all to myself for part of the day.  we dropped off items at the rehearsal dinner restaurant, vine & fig tree bistro, in doylestown and then grabbed some delicious, gourmet pizza at jule's thin crust.

after that, we met up with her mom for a mani-pedi appointment.  fire engine red on my toes, french on my hands.  the bride opted for french on both : )

cate & chad enjoying pre-rehearsal cocktails at bobby simone's

friday night we ran through the ceremony at the mercer museum and then enjoyed al fresco hors d'oeuvres at the rehearsal dinner before sitting down to a fabulous garden-fresh meal.

saturday morning began bright and early with an 8:15am meeting of the bridesmaids at cate's parents' house.  we then drove to the salon for hair & makeup.  it's a good thing we got an early start because by the time we all got back to cate's parents' for lunch and to get dressed it was almost 1pm.  (they say the time before your wedding flies, and this really proved it!) 

the bride getting her hair done

me in mirror, post-hair up-do
the bride getting her makeup done

following a delicious lunch of roasted veggie wraps and tomato, pesto, mozzarella paninis, we got into our apple red satin dresses and toasted the bride after she got into her gorgeous gown.  her mom presented her with a lovely surprise gift from the groom - a delicate diamond necklace - which completed her ensemble (red shoes and all) just perfectly.

cate's red shoes, surrounded by the bridemaids' shoes

her dress!!!

pictures around the property were followed by a short ride to the ceremony & reception location - the mercer museum in doylestown, pa.  pictures and prepping filled what little time remained before their 4:30pm ceremony.  (did i mention the day was spectacularly gorgeous weather-wise.  they truly lucked out for their lovely outdoor ceremony.)

bridesmaids before the ceremony

when the harpist was cued, it was hard to believe it was already time to begin.  walking down the grassy aisle, my shoe stuck just once, and the bride glided down effortlessly with a beaming smile.

the words and readings they chose for their ceremony were just perfect.  it reflected them and communicated their thoughts on love and marriage, family, friends and community eloquently.  before we knew it, they were pronounced "husband & wife", and it was time for the party to begin.

the happy couple
megan s, megan h, me, erin

cocktail hour was held in a lovely tent just outside the double doors of the elkins gallery where the sit-down dinner and dancing was to be held.  the passed hors d'oeuvres were delicious, and i sipped my prosecco with fresh berries with a smile.

my sister, hannah & me

me & craig

after another round of pictures, cocktail hour drew to a close, and it was time to be announced into the ceremony.  after dancing in with my groomsman escort, i took my seat beside craig and my fellow bridesmaids to watch the first dance.  they surprised us all with a choreographed routine to michael buble.

first dance

following cate's dad's speech, it was time for me to toast the bride and groom.  i thought i would be able to hold it together, but my voice caught as i recounted our 20+ years of friendship, reading a passage from a letter i wrote to cate almost 10 years ago when she was going to college.

toasts were followed by dinner - a duet of lump crab cake and marinated chicken accompanied by roasted potatoes and green beans.  the food was delicious and by the time we watched the cake cutting, everyone was ready to dance!  and dance we did!

my sister, hannah, was a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor.  her inspired moves put us all to shame and honestly i just laughed & danced for hours...and hours...  it was a blast!

before we knew it, 10:30pm was drawing near, and we boarded the shuttle back to the hotel to change for the after party.

the newly weds at the after party

an intimate group gathered at t.j. smith's for drinks and snacks.  the bartender took good care of us and i can't even remember how many drinks and shots were ordered.  luckily, it was just a short walk back to the hotel for a good night's rest.

sunday found us back at cate's parents' for a fabulous post-wedding brunch.  the spread was phenomenal.  4 kinds of egg strata, smoked salmon, homemade muffins, mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, sticky buns (made from scratch), mimosas and more!  it was the perfect cap to a perfect weekend.  and the new mr. & mrs. couldn't have looked happier : ).