As I mentioned to you the other day, the day after graduation I flew to Tampa, FL for a Wedding. And boy, oh boy, was it something. Wedding season is here and it’s in full swing, ladies and gentlemen.
We arrived in Tampa on Wednesday and the weather could not have been more welcoming. Especially after moving out of my dorm and graduating college in the pouring rain the day before, I was welcoming the heat and even the humidity with open arms. It felt good to feel the sun again.
We were the first couple to arrive for the wedding giving us the chance to explore the beautiful home we had rented. I wish I had taken more pictures because it was so absolutely gorgeous. As friends trickled in that day, my heart grew warmer and larger. It was so nice to be in such great company.
By Thursday, everyone had arrived, which meant, of course, the Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. I won’t go into too many (read: any) details, but I am sure that a good time was had by all. I am really grateful that Jess, the bride, invited myself and the other lady-dates to the groomsmen out as well.
Friday, the boys went paintball-ing in the morning (read: destroyed their clothes). The day ended with a quiet rehearsal dinner on the beach.
Saturday was finally the big day. We left the beautiful house we were staying in in Tampa to head to Dade City, where the Lange Farm, the wedding venue, was. I snuck in a quick mani/pedi while the groomsmen all went to go get ready for the photographer.
The Ceremony itself was outside. And we really lucked out with the weather too! You see, earlier that morning it had rained and the forecast called for it all day long. Good thing there was no need for a back up plan because the day could not have been more beautiful!
This was my first military wedding. The groomsmen, except for the groom’s two brothers, were all in uniform, and they all looked really good. The Officiant was a long-time family friend and pastor of the bride’s family, so the Ceremony was intensely personal. Jess and Casey wrote promises to each, in addition to their vows. Throughout the Ceremony you could really feel and see the love between the two of them.
The Ceremony concluded with the Saber Arch, pictured above. The final person uses his saber to tap the bride on the butt and welcome her to the Army. It just so happened that this responsibility fell onto my Casey! Yes, that’s him in the far back left, just barely in the frame.
The Reception that followed hit me right in the core of my happiness- my stomach. The cocktail hour was sausage and fruit. The dinner was barbecue. The desert was cupcakes and cookies. So much happy food in one meal.
The Company was perfect too.
It was so nice to get to see all of Casey’s wonderful buddies again. We probably won’t get this gang together for another year at the Eckstrom Wedding and who knows where we’ll be by then?! One thing I’m coming to understand is that there certainly is no planning when it comes to the Army.
On Sunday, we got the chance to get back with the bride and groom at the beach before they had to skedaddle off to get ready for their honeymoon. We were at a loss for where to stay but were able to find a great last minute deal through Hotels.com. (If you’re interested in a $40 coupon on your next purchase through Hotels.com, let me know here and I’ll share it with you!) Casey and I joined with our friends Erin and Pete to head out to Crabby Bills in Tampa for a delicious seafood dinner.
It was such a perfect way to end our trip- great friends and great company!
I really enjoyed our entire trip to Tampa! It was such the perfect way to start the summer! I can’t wait to see what else this summer will have in store!
If you want to see other pictures from the wedding, you can follow the wedding hashtag #CheerstotheChilders on both Facebook and Instagram.
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She is a contributor to many open source projects including dbt, Meltano, and GitLab. She lives with her husband Casey, their son RJ, and their pup Bo in Columbus, GA.