I loved starting my trip with wedding festivities and ending the trip doing the same. Both weddings were so gorgeous! Both such different venues, different environment, different people, but were so special in their own way.
The year I was born, 1985, I was lucky enough to have two other GIRL cousins join me. Nicole was born in February, me in May, and Courtney in August. As we grew up, we did a lot together...sleepovers, mall glamour shots (oh yeah!), hung out at every Neilson event together, birthday parties, Academy for Girls...the list really goes on and on because we lived so close. I always loved being so close to my family (one of the hardest parts about living in NC). Right before high school, Nicole moved to Temecula :( and I moved back down to Orange County from Brentwood. Courtney and I started doing a ton of things together, again. We had our fun moments and not so fun moments (let's not even talk about our senior Mammoth trip). We had early morning seminary our freshman year together, went to parties, worked at Wild Rivers Waterpark, stake dances, girls camp, EFY, sleepovers, were Nicole's bridesmaids, and again, the list could go on and on. We hung out all the time!! Then once we went to college, we visited each other (Courtney came to Rexburg and I visited Provo). We have always stayed in touch no matter the distance.
I believe it was her birthday a couple years back that I found out about Josh (her Josh). I called to wish her a happy birthday and she told me there was someone in her life. From that moment, I could tell there was something special about him. Josh was bringing out this giddy school girl. Not in the annoying way, but in the "in love" way. Like what was said at the wedding, he brings out so many smiles in Courtney. In fact, I don't think I have seen her NOT smile since she's been with him. While we were living in Utah, we had the chance to meet Josh a couple times. And we liked him instantly. Courtney is one of the smartest people and I knew she would pick a great person to spend her life with. I know she made a great choice with Josh (maybe it's the name ;)) and I can't wait to see how their future unfolds.
Thursday night kicked off the wedding celebration for the happy couple with Courtney's bridal shower, while all the men went to Dave and Busters with Josh. It was seriously, one of the largest bridal showers I had seen. Josh had a good number of family members come out from Wisconsin, which was so nice of them. Courtney went around the room to introduce all of us and it took a good amount of time. I'm sure she loved having so many friends and family there. Nicole and Heidi put the shower together and did a great job with the game, decorations and food. Everything was great!
We finally took our seats and the wedding started. The grandparents walked down first, then the parents and siblings. The wedding party followed and they all looked great!
When it was time for Courtney and my uncle Rick to walk, we all stood up. Of course I started crying! Courtney was BEAMING and looked fantastic!!
The stake president (of the stake I just moved from) is very good friends with Courtney's family and she asked him to officiate the wedding. It was the perfect length with a lot of beautiful things said. They showed off their rings, kissed for the first time as husband and wife, and were pronounced HUSBAND AND WIFE!
I loved what came next. Both, Josh and Courtney, gave a little toast and thanked everyone for being there. Then they cut the cake. Nobody ever sees the cake being cut and I loved that they did it right there while we were all surrounding them.
The rest of the night was filled with great food, family, good company and lots of dancing!! It was so fun and I am so glad I could be apart of it!!
To wrap up the weekend, they threw us out-of-towners a brunch at Cheesecake Factory!
After brunch, we went down to Balboa Island and watched Courtney open gifts! I was so glad I could be apart of so many events for Courtney and Josh! We are really excited for another member of the family and to get to know Josh better!!