My brother Mitchell married his fiancé Karen this past weekend. The wedding was held in Estero, FL and was lovely!
We started the weekend with a rehearsal and dinner at the home of my parent’s (Jenny and David). My Dad cooked up a feast! He is amazing in the kitchen and we all ate too much, but it was delicious! The kids swam in my parent’s pool after dinner. We did a quick rehearsal with the wedding party and finalized the wedding “script” too. It was a productive, fun, and lovely time.
Prep Time at Rachel’s
My sister Rachel moved into her newly built home less than a month ago. No pressure to get settled like having a house full of guests in town for a wedding! She was so gracious in letting me take over her formal living room (and many other rooms) for the wedding preparations. I helped the bride and groom coordinate their wedding, so I was in charge of the prep work. The bride and groom shopped for everything the months leading up to the wedding and the day before my arrival they dropped everything at Rachel’s home so everything would be there for me to work on when I arrived.
I enjoyed making up the centerpieces and floral arrangements. I also made the wedding bouquet, the boutonnieres, and corsages. I enjoy decorating, so this is right up my alley. The bride and groom had all the supplies ready for the wedding before I arrived into town. All I did was assemble while watching some Netflix after I got the kids to bed. My kind of night! It was truly my pleasure to do all of this, as it is enjoyable and was done for people I love and care about.
The Day of the Wedding- Getting the Venue Ready
My family knows how to work together and make it fun too. We all spent the day of the wedding preparing the venue. The kids came along, and thankfully they had a playground right outside for them to play. We hired a babysitter along with one of my nephews to watch our gaggle of kids (7 kids ages 9, 6, 5, 4, 4, 2, and 1).
We transformed the clubhouse in my parent’s community for the wedding. Folding tables and chairs became beautiful with white chair covers and white table clothes. It did require some work though. The bride’s brother Richard and cousin Kimberly joined our family in the decorating. I love the before and after photos of the venue. It is amazing the difference that fabrics and decorating can make!
The transformation in progress:
The clubhouse ready for the guests to arrive:
The wedding was beautiful. The officiant was my sister Jessica, who is the eldest sibling in our family. She is also a notary, so she was qualified to perform the wedding in the state of Florida. She did a great job. She was a pastor’s wife for many years and took part in helping with many weddings over the years. My sister Rachel read a poem during the ceremony, as did the maid of honor, Itzel. I sang a solo to the song “A Moment Like This”, which is a Kelly Clarkson song. I sang with a string quartet soundtrack. The bride’s brother, Richard did a wonderful job with the music for the wedding and reception. He had professional equipment from a family friend and had all of the music ready on his laptop. It made the evening perfect to have the right ambiance with music. My nieces Lydia and Piper (Rachel and Matthew’s girls) were the flower girls. My twins were the ring bearers, but Charlie refused to walk down the aisle at the last second, so Alex filled the role alone. The bride’s Mom walked her down the aisle. It all went pretty smoothly and was a lovely ceremony.
Dinner and Dancing at the Reception
The dinner was incredible! As was the dance. It was so neat to see two very different family backgrounds come together. The bride comes from an Hispanic background. Her Mom and family cooked a feast for the wedding dinner. It was amazing and so delicious! I know that they must have worked very hard because even the tortillas were homemade.
The dancing at the wedding was so much fun! There was Hispanic music and then typical American wedding reception music (“The Electric Slide”, “YMCA”, etc). We all danced to all of the music. The meshing together of both cultures made the wedding even more special and memorable. I should mention my brother was adopted from Peru as a baby. His culture is the Midwest (Wisconsin raised), just like the rest of my family. I love that he married an Hispanic woman and maybe she can teach Mitchell and the rest of the family to speak Spanish since she is fluent.
We realized it was the first time in about 6 years that all of the Licht siblings were together. We took some photos at the reception of just the six of us, in age order too (youngest to oldest). I wish our spouses were present as well, but that didn’t happen for any of us for one reason or another. My husband was on his way to India for business, so was unable to attend the wedding. He did help me get to Florida with the kids and stayed for the first two nights we were there. Then he had to leave for his business trip. I was just glad all of the siblings could be there to support Mitchell and Karen on their special day, even if our spouses were unable to attend (they were all missed thought!).
The cleanup after the event took less than an hour because Karen’s family and our family worked together to get the job done quickly. It went by so fast that no photos were even taken during the quick cleanup. It is amazing that it can take a full day to set up, but clean up can happen in under and hour! It was truly because of the help of so many, for which I am grateful!
The day after the wedding was Mother’s Day. We had a family beach day planned, but got rained out. I don’t think any of us minded, even the kids, because we were all in need of some down time. We hung out at Rachel’s house (I should be referring to it as Rachel and Matthew’s, but he was out of town for work during the wedding) until mid-afternoon and then we had gift opening for our Mom first (to celebrate Mother’s Day) and then the bride and groom opened all of their wedding gifts. We then feasted again!! I think I ate enough in three days to last at least a full week. It was all so good.
After the gift opening I went with the bride and groom to their home to help put away their gifts and decorate their home with their wedding décor gifts. I wrote about that previously: The Newlyweds Home- Before and After
I am so happy for Mitchell and Karen. They found love and commitment in one another which makes them both very blessed. They make a great couple and I wish them many years of wedded bliss. I love them both very much! Welcome to the family Karen!