After getting all ready, I ran into the bridal party (minus the bride) in the lobby. They went back to their holding room and I found a seat on the beach. Shoes optional!
Soon, the processional started. Everyone looked so wonderful, although I was personally partial to a certain groomsman.
Eric and Jeff sharing a handshake
The rest of the bridal party
Soon, it was time for the beautiful bride to make her grand entrance.
Jeff watching Sarah
Her gown was stunning!
The ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt. There were lovely readings and I couldn't help but tear up during the vows. The couple just seemed so happy and in love, which is what really makes it special, isn't it?
The new Mr. & Mrs.!
After the ceremony, it was back to the beach for pictures.
The bridal party
While the bridal party took pictures together, I joined the rest of the guests at the cocktail hour where I drank delicious wine, dined on tasty hors d'oeuvres, and made conversation with new people. It was so refreshing to be out, feeling like my old self again! Before long we were joined by the bridal party, and then the bride and groom themselves.
Jeff and Sarah met/live in Washington, D.C. so I thought these napkins were a nice touch! Many of the guests were also from D.C., and we spent some time at the cocktail hour studying our napkin maps and comparing memorable locations.
With the bride and groom!
Soon we moved into a private dining room at Caretta on the Gulf (the Sandpearl's main restaurant) for dinner. Jeff and Sarah made their grand entrance and looked so happy!
Although we opted to ditch Ellie for the weekend, Jeff and Sarah had planned for her to be in attendance and even had an adorable place set for her at the table. It made me wish we had brought her, although our weekend would have been very different if we had. I think we made the right decision, but I was touched that our friends were so welcoming of our little girl at their big day.
Ellie's spot at the table
The dining room was beautifully decorated with moss table runners and submerged flowers/candles as centerpieces on the two long tables. The lemon meringue wedding cake looked delicious adorned in fruit and the placecards were held by wine corks.
The wedding cake
The sweetheart table (I wish I had taken this picture with Jeff and Sarah there instead of the groomsmen [regardless of how hot the pictured groomsman may be], but what can ya do?)
Love this shot of the room, with the bride and groom in their own world in the back
Before dinner got underway, the Best Man, Maid of Honor, Fathers of the Bride and Groom and Mother of the Bride made lovely toasts.
Toasting the bride and groom
Dinner itself was quite tasty. I had a crab bisque and fish entree, and both chocolate stout dessert (with caramel corn on the side!) and wedding cake. They even served Ellie a dessert, but I handled that.
After dinner, we just did a little mingling and hanging out.
When the whole planned event was over, many of us went across the street to the Brown Boxer for a few more celebratory drinks and cigars. (This is the part of the night where I was especially thankful Ellie was at home, because babies don't generally do well with beers and cigars in a bar hours past bedtime, and I would have hated to miss this extra time to celebrate with our friends!)
Celebrating with the groom!
We had such a wonderful time watching this beautiful couple kick off their new life together. Jeff has been such a great friend to both of us for so long, and he deserves a perfect woman to share his life with. I'm so glad that he found that in Sarah and we can't wait to see what the future holds for them. Congratulations, newlyweds!