Thursday, November 22, 2012

{Carmen's Wedding}

My BFF from high school got married in November!  Life has taken us both on crazy adventures since high school.  After finishing college, I was married and had babies.  Carmen was traveling everywhere from Europe to Zambia (where she lived for year!).  She's spent time at various jobs as a Presbyterian minister in NYC and Philadelphia and recently, in South Carolina. 
She found her perfect match in Clark Scalera.  After a couple years of dating...they have tied the knot!  They got married at the church that she works for in Charleston. 
I wasn't going to miss it!  I traveled solo across the country and met up with 4 other ladies also traveling sans husband. 
 
I loved the solo flight.  I haven't flown by myself in years...maybe 5. Yes. 5. years.  I thought I would sleep the whole way, but instead I loved the alone time to read and watch the entire Season 2 of Downton Abbey.  I didn't sleep a wink.  It was awesome.

We stayed in an amazing house on Daniel Island, hosted by a wonderful couple. All accommodations set up by the bride herself. 
 
This is a view from the trail in the neighborhood. We stayed in the house on the far right, hidden behind the trees.  Their backyard view was amazing!!
 
 
First up was brunch with the bride at a condo on the beach hosted by some friends from college.  It was lovely and fun to meet so many of her friends from different time periods of her life.  We worked our way out to the beach in the lovely 70 degree weather in November.  Gorgeous. 
 
 
 
 
The bride headed out for last minute wedding to-do's, and I headed off with a few girls to do some site seeing in lovely Charleston.  I haven't spent much time in the South.  It is unique, beautiful, and charming. 
 
We toured one of the oldest working plantations in the United States: Boone Hall Plantation.  It dates back to the 1600's.  The lovely oak trees that line the 'avenue' to the home were planted in the mid 1700s.  Incredible to think how much the world has changed since then.  There are several original slave cabins on site.  A humbling experience to walk through. 
 
 
*photo credit: Boone Hall official website. 
 
Afterwards we headed to downtown Charleston to walk around.  It was so beautiful!  There is a church on every corner.  Literally.  Hundreds of churches in the area.  Church definitely felt more integrated into the general community ... more so than out West. 
 
 
 Almost every church has their own cemetery.  Right in down town.  Just tiny square plots of land crammed with gravestones.  We walked through a couple of them...just in awe at the history that exists in the area.
 
We came across this gravestone of John Rutledge; one of the signers of the US constitution. 
Some of the cobblestone streets were preserved. 
 
 
And most porches had staircases covered in this ivy.  I loved it!
 
 
 
The next day was wedding day!  We helped set up the reception hall in the morning. Carmen planned her entire wedding by herself...and everything was so well executed.  She had a huge crew of friends who gladly set up while she was busy hair, make-up, and pictures.   
 
After a quick change, we headed to the church.  Another completely adorable white church. 
 
The wedding was beautiful and lovely.  She was beaming walking down the aisle.  She just glowed with happiness. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We hurried over to the reception to help with last minute set-up and enjoyed the evening in celebration. 
 
Gorgeous sunset from the balcony of the reception center.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The fabulous group of girls I stayed with.
 
 
It was a fun-filled day and such a treat to be there. Carmen is a life-long friend...I love her to death!  Even though life has been so different for us the last decade, we always pick up right where we left off when we are together.  I truly treasure her friendship.
 
The bride and groom were off, but I still had a half day left. My flight didn't leave until 3pm, so I booked a guided kayaking tour with Kristin along the coast. I'm so glad I fit this in before heading home! Our tour guide was awesome and took us around the various swamps and marshes as well as along some huge shrimping boats. We saw a dolphin jump a few feet in front of us. The scenery and the wild life were amazing.   
 

 
 

It was such a fun getaway for me!  I loved every minute of it, but I was really ready to get get back to my kiddos who were in good hands with my husband and awesome mother-in-law who came over to help out.  Thank you!

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