The day was gorgeous, the details were carefully arranged, and the couple could not have been more noticeably perfect for each other. The wedding of my daughter and her groom was near perfect, and we could not have asked for much more. I just want to take a few minutes and thank all of the wonderful people who helped me stay sane and made Heather and Jacob’s dreams finally come true. It takes a village, and I have a pretty incredible one.


IMG_5092I think I should start by thanking the person that held me together through all of the planning and kept my emotions and actions from running away with me. I could not have pulled off the marriage of our daughter without my backbone, my husband. Without Donnie, practically nothing would have gotten done and I would have surely not made it there with my nerves intact. I want to especially thank you, Donnie, for allowing me to use your Jeep’s indoor parking spot to stage this event. I know you think that wearing a suit and dancing with your daughter were the big things, but making your Jeep endure the elements really speaks to your own dedication to the event. I promise I will get her back into the garage just as soon as I am done writing this.

IMG_4871Amidst pulling off an awesomely fantastic rehearsal dinner, the Groom’s parents saved the day by helping me put up all of the Christmas lights that were an essential piece of Heather’s vision, (they didn’t just help, they did it ALL). If Paul and Julie had not come to my rescue, I am certain that we would have had a lot of Christmas lights that would have never seen an outlet. Julie’s attention to detail and experience with the space turned my attempt at layout for the room into something that didn’t make me want to scream. Together, I think we made a halfway decent team.

My Mom was essential in helping me finish the floral arrangements last minute which allowed me to attend to Heather’s most special moments. My Moms-in-law arrived early and jumped in to help with the last minute preparations and even saved the day with our Something Old, the perfect earrings for the day.



At this point, neither Donnie or I could ever imagine doing a wedding without Greg Walker. Not only did he keep me from having to yell at everyone to get here and do that, but he is also a good friend to have around when the going gets tough. I still cannot believe he got Donnie to do the father/daughter dance, but a little girl’s dreams came true when he did. He managed to scrounge up an obscure song to play for my friend Bobby from our high school days, and I didn’t even hear any grumblings about all of the Rascal Flatts he had to play.



Craig Roark never fails to bring it when we ask him to cook up our favorite Barbecue pork. Even though Donnie insisted that we keep the coleslaw on the menu, we did manage to swap out our usual baked beans and potato salad for some green beans and insanely delicious buttered potatoes. Somehow I managed to get home with all of the leftover barbecue and cole slaw, but I don’t know what happened to those potatoes. It is probably for the best that Donnie only kept his favorites, I had enough cake to keep me off the scale for a little bit.


Speaking of cake, anyone who has been to one of my kids’ birthday parties is already a fan of my Mom’s cake, so I may not need to explain the fervor with which we tried to eat this cake before it lost it’s fresh baked appeal. I will tell you we took that entire base tier home, and we REALLY tried to finish it. There have already been orders placed for another one, and there has also been talk about who is going to steal the top tier that is sitting in Heather’s freezer. I mean, it’s not like anyone ever eats that on their anniversary….do they? Not only did that thing taste AMAZING, but just look at that cake that three generations of us designed together. That is a pretty decent collaboration, if I do say so myself. The hard part was all Mom’s doing though, another awesome wedding cake in the books.

IMG_5030It didn’t make sense to have a traditional Groom’s Cake because Jacob is not usually a big fan of cake.  Jacob is a big fan of cheesecake.  While it was easy to know that was the direction I was heading, it wasn’t until a few week’s before the wedding that I stumbled upon a recipe for these Tam Tam Bailey’s Cheesecake Balls.  Anna Pickleseimer of Fancy Pants Bakery came through for me by making these delicacies to order.  We aren’t even going to talk about the Bailey’s Triple Threat cupcakes I devoured in the days leading up to the wedding…

You have seen these pictures throughout this post, and unlike the cake and barbecue you actually get to sample her work. Shelly Baker is an amazing photographic talent, in addition to being the absolute best person to work with. All day long she was reassuring me that everything was going smoothly, that there was plenty of time, and helping keep me in the moment. I knew that I would love working with her because I already love her so much. Even with my bias I can honestly say that there was hardly a moment worth catching that I didn’t get to also see through the lens of her camera. I don’t know where I am to display all of my favorites…wait a minute, yes I do…You can find them at the bottom of this page 🙂  I know someone got a picture of her, and I will bring it back here when I find it.

Never in my life have I been more impressed with total strangers. Being a Yankee myself, I was nervous about the side of the family that traveled the furthest to get here for our big day. I knew that their comfort and enjoyment was one of my daughter’s biggest concerns throughout the planning of the entire wedding. I did not expect to be knocked over by good ole Southern Hospitality by those very guests. So many members of my daughter’s new family sought me out to thank me, to rave about my daughter and how much she means to them, and were so complementary of our tiny event. The only time I got worried about the joining of the two families was when they found out I was from Michigan. I have never seen four faces change so swiftly. I told them to worry not because I come from a Notre Dame family, and NOT a Michigan State family. That doesn’t mean I intend to stop giving my new son-in-law a hard time for being a Buckeye though.IMG_5098

The hardest part of any event is the tear down and clean-up, and the troopers that hung in there with me long after the music and dancing stopped are the unsung heroes. Exhausted from a job well done, my family desperately needed the help from those that stayed. I am terribly afraid I am going to forget someone here, but a very special Thank You goes out to our brothers Stephen and Shawn, Shawn’s wife Jennifer, our Nephews Shawn and Johnathan, my Mom (who should have long since driven home), Heather and Jacob, and Jacob’s groomsmen. Because of you all we made it home in time to slip Braylon into bed at a respectable hour.

Of course, all of the joy I feel over the success of this event is not relevant without the guests of honor, the couple, the bride and groom. Heather did a magnificent job holding back her Bridezilla urges, was surprisingly easy to work with, and knew exactly what she wanted. It was easy to see her vision, and she was decisive when she needed to be. I enjoyed getting to do this with her, and get to know her groom more throughout the process as well. For more about how I feel about my new son-in-law, feel free to check out my little welcome to the family message over HERE. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to know you both, to watch you grow, and to love you as my own.

You guys done good!!


These are just a few of my favorites, for a complete photo album, visit us over HERE.  I would be more than happy to provide contact information for ANYone mentioned above, aside from my family members, you can’t have THEM……..cheaply.