Saturday, May 19, 2012

3 Days in Denver for a Wedding

This one is my very favorite

One of my dearest friends got married today. Her name is Stephanie (aka Lil' Steph) and we've been friends for a long time. We initally bonded over Black Friday shopping and haven't looked back since. Steph lives in Denver so I caught a flight out of Salt Lake on May 17th with Kate and Mindee Jo and their babies, Ayla Mae and Charlie Jo, respectively. The three of us decided to make the trip for several important reasons:
1. We all love and adore Lil' Steph and wanted to be there for her wedding
2. Since she left Salt Lake in '05 we don't get to see her very often
3. We wanted/needed to throw her a bachelorette party
And most importantly
4. This wedding has been a decade in the making

Lil' Steph at our (unexpected) first Bachelorette Party stop
WARNING: there are a lot of pictures to follow. Not something I normally do, but this was a special occasion.

After the 5 of us made it through Salt Lake International, the 57 minute flight to Denver, off the tiny aircraft, through Denver International, picked up our bags, on the rental car shuttle, to the rental car place, picked up our sweet Dodge minivan (yeah buddy!!), used iPhone GPS to get us to our hotel, and checked in, it was nearly 3:30. We called Steph and she drove the short 2.3 miles from her apartment to the hotel with her hilarious and amazing sister Jessica. In the minivan we went for pedicures and manicures, then dinner. You know, bachelorettey stuff.

This is all significant because I'd had a kidney transplant a mere 9 weeks before, Kate had a 2 month-old baby, Mindee had a 15 month-old toddler, Jess has 5 kids and Steph was getting married in 2 days. The salon treatment was nice.

The real Bachelorette Party started the next day with a trip to the Naughty Lingerie Store- which actually made me and Steph slightly uncomfortable, then Costco (naturally), and a nearby fabulous mall for a Victoria's Secret stop and some cupcakes for our nighttime festivities. Mindee Jo and Kate are better at bachelorette party planning than I am- I just wrack my brain to figure out who I can pay to come be a stripper-, so I regulated while they did most of the work. The real goal of the night was to make sure Steph had the best last night of virginity of her life. I think we succeeded.

Kate, Minde Jo, Lil' Steph, & Tara. Urgent Care, yeah buddy!

First stop, Urgent Care. Steph had been dianosed with strep on Wednesday and wasn't feeling better so we made a quick detour. Tara joined us at this point. Steph was okay. She got a remedy.

There may be several types of penis shaped candy on this table

The sign Kate and I made. It went to several locations with us

Cupcakes from Gigi's in Littleton. Chocolate Salted Caramel = HEAVEN

So we took Lil' Steph to Urgent Care. She didn't want to be sick for her week in Maui. I went back with her because of my "vast medical knowledge about kidneys". It actually did come in handy when the (extremely talkative) doctor started warning her about Prednisone side effects, none of which I've ever had. Then we met Jessica & her youngest daughter and Angela (Steph's sister-in-law) and her infant son for dinner. Claimjumper is apparently out of business, at least the one in Highland Ranch is, so we went to TGI Friday's, where the waitress saw our bachelorettey things and immediately gave us drink menus. She was a little disappointed when our order was something like 2 Diet Cokes with lime, a smoothie, and 7 waters.

Kate & me with our bachelorette masks.

After dinner we went back to our hotel for the real fun. I, unfortunately, never did find anyone to come be a stripper for us. Instead, I made a playlist of the most raunchy music on my laptop (Thank you Britney and Justin) and we played Mindee's very well executed games.

Drinking Game (Mindee Jo, Jessica, Steph, Tara, Kate) "E'rebody in the club hotel room with babies getting tipsy!"

Truth or Dare (Steph getting a face lick from Tara)
Roxie, Steph & Jessica's mom, came in just at the end of Truth or Dare, which may have included someone flashing the window, someone getting spanked by someone else, and... other things of that "nature". All in good fun. (We're all recommend holding Mormon girls but we know how to have bachelorette fun). Then it was time for the best part: presents. 

It's the most fun...

If you try them allll on...

At the same time

Then we had cupcakes and called it a night. Saturday was coming early for all of us, especially Steph.

The wedding was at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Littleton. After 2+ days of 80 degree weather, it was 46 and raining when we left, in dresses and heels with makeup done and hair curled, for the Gardens to be with Lil' Steph while she got ready. Sadly for us, we did not know about the parking lot right next to the house where she was getting ready inside the Gardens. Rather, we parked, no umbrellas in sight, and essentially wandered around the Gardens, trying to follow her instructions and the signs that said "VOWS" to the prep house. Kate was carrying Ayla in her car seat, Mindee was carrying Charlie. After a frantic call to Steph, we eventually found the house, and the parking lot. My dress was quite wet, so were my sandaled feet. Wet and dirty. 

Hot mama Mindee Jo with little miss Charlie Jo

It didn't matter, though, because we made it and Steph was looking beautiful and everyone was in high spirits. The ceremony was moved into the barn where the reception was to take place afterwards. It really was a shame about the weather because the Gardens were beautiful- lush and green, with trees and bushes and flowers and little dirt mud paths throughout. But the barn was beautiful too, and drier than outside. When Lil' Steph opened the door to her dressing room with her dress and veil on... I literally can't think of a word to describe the feeling I had. She looked gorgeous. Radiant and beautiful and so so happy.

Steph and Scott met their freshman year of college and have basically been together ever since. Steph is Mormon, Scott was not. She wanted to marry someone who held the same beliefs as she did, she wanted to be sealed in the temple for eternity. Scott tried, but he just couldn't join the church. But they really, truly, undeniably loved each other so they persevered, through distance and difference, for a decade. Until it just couldn't go forward and they broke up. Scott came to Stephanie months later with the news of his baptism. We all cried when she told us. In October they were engaged, today they were married, and in a year they can be sealed.

Scott & Steph after they cut the cake. That's Kate's shoulder 
The ceremony was beautiful. I teared up when Allen and Steph walked down the aisle. Tara sang "When You Say Nothing At All" and the bishop gave a lovely message. Always wear your wedding rings, folks. Then Scott and Steph exchanged rings and vows, which also made me cry(ish). I guess it was more like tearing up, and it happened pretty much all day. Then they were pronounced as husband and wife and shared their first kiss. And the ten year wait was over.

First dance

Lil' Steph & me.
This is why coming to this wedding was so monumental. It's a union a decade in the making, surviving so many obstacles and differences and hardships and tribulations. When I saw Scott for the first time since Steph left Salt Lake 7 years ago, he looked the happiest I've ever seen him. The love he has for her, and the love she has for him, is evident in the way they look at each other. Steph & Scott are a testament to the adaage that nothing worth having comes easily. I've noticed that, especially, this trip with my married friends. They all have really fantastic, amazing marriages to men who truly love and deserve these girls. Neither of those marriages were a simple boy-meets-girl... story. They worked and fought, and won more heartily in the end. 

This sign was in the bathroom of the house

Wedding cake made by the incredible Jessica Peterson

Groom's Cake... "I Dew"... love it

This was a legit farm once

Barn of Love

Pretty spectacular views around here

In sum: It was a fabulous trip. Worth every second, even those that made me feel a little heartbreak. Good times with great friends I don't get to see often enough, the wedding of the decade, one of the most gorgeous brides I've ever seen, and one of the most genuinely happy & deserving couples I've ever seen wed. Congratulations Stephanie & Scott. Love you guys forever.

Kate, Mindee Jo, Stephanie, Tara, & Me "sexing" it up for the camera

And as a parting gift, me looking goofy next to an old-tyme car. Really, I look one legged. I get what they're talking about now on America's Next Top Model.


  1. Awesome awesome. I don't know these people, but wow. Great story and I don't now the 1/20th of it.

  2. One-legged Sarah is HOT!

    And that place, bride, you, everything.. is beautiful! Wow. Sounds like fun. Love the penis sprinkles, ha ha!