...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Last week we packed up the kids and headed to Maryland for my sister’s wedding. We spent four days in a hotel celebrating. It was exciting and exhausting all at once. I’m pretty sure the kids now think that people can only get married in “Marryland.”

The venue was Kentlands Mansion in Gaithersburg, MD. It was a breathtaking backdrop.

But not more breathtaking than the bride! My sister is beautiful inside and out, and she managed to look both sweet and sexy on her wedding day.

Originally, my sister didn’t know if she wanted to wear a veil or not. In the end, she opted for a birdcage design that my mom made on a whim the day before the wedding. It was the perfect detail and complemented her dress so well.

The wedding was a family affair. I was one of two matrons of honor. Layne and Everett were ring bearers. Mabrey was the flower girl. I never thought I would get the chance to agonize over what a flower girl should wear! The kids did great. Promises of gum and soda after the ceremony did the trick.

The ceremony and reception were fun and laid back – just like my sister and her fiance, er, husband. One of my sister’s friends had a hand in matchmaking the happy couple years ago and they asked her to officiate the ceremony. She became ordained just for this wedding and wrote the ceremony from scratch. It was personal, funny and heartfelt. So, so good. HH and I read anonymous marriage advice that guests were asked to send in with their RSVP. A lot of it was humorous. I have never heard so much laughter during a wedding ceremony!

After the ceremony, guests hung around the mansion for dinner, drinks and lawn games. My dad made two cornhole games for the after party. They were impeccable. But, then, everything my dad does is.

HH DIY’d a life-sized Jenga game. He even made his first trip to Hobby Lobby to purchase stencils to write “jenga” on the sides of each piece and was out in the hotel parking lot the day before the wedding sanding the pieces smooth so they would slide easily. It was a hit!

Mabrey and I ventured away from the lawn games and walked the adorable neighborhood in which the mansion is nestled. There were so many charming houses that caught my eye and almost made me want to move. Almost.

At 8 o’clock, the party moved to the hotel with desserts, more drinks {!} and dancing. Layne and Everett got their groove on. One of my sister’s friends taught them the fish n’ hook dance and that was their standby for most of the night.

All in all, it was the best wedding I’ve been to in terms of it mirroring the couple’s personality. Rihana and Jack are easygoing, funny and sincere and that’s exactly how their wedding felt. Congrats you two!

This is the only picture of my family I was able to capture amidst all the festivities. I think the photographer got a few. Word is photos of the wedding will be featured in a premier local wedding glossy. I can’t wait to see them and share them with you!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

36 Comments

04.September.2013

I love your sister’s dress! And Mabrey’s is adorable too!

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05.September.2013

Pop and gum are the two biggest motivators for my boys too (ages 6 & 7).

Is that your bridesmaids dress? So lovely!

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replied on September 5th, 2013

Yes, that is what I wore as a bridesmaid. My sister pretty much gave us free reign to wear what we wanted in the nude/blush/ivory color scheme. I wore a skirt + sleeveless top because I felt more comfortable chasing after and picking up the kids that way. The skirt is Club Monaco from a consignment shop. You can’t see it in the picture but the skirt has random light reflecting sequins embroidered on it. The top is Forever 21. My shoes and belt are from Kohl’s. I could totally wear everything again!

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replied on September 5th, 2013

So great! Makes me want to do my wedding all over again (same groom though – I still like him).

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05.September.2013

Your sister’s dress is absolutely amazing! It reminds me of a Claire Pettibone gown..? Little Mabrey is super cute… she even took her strawberry to the wedding : )

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replied on September 5th, 2013

It is Claire Pettibone! And, yes, strawberry goes everywhere. Can’t leave home without it.

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What a gorgeous wedding! Seems like it was so sweet and personal. I love your family shot.

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05.September.2013

I need that life size Jenga game!!!

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05.September.2013

Pretty sister. She looks like Carry Bradshaw (sex in the city)

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replied on September 5th, 2013

I thought so too!! What a lovely wedding – looked like a lot of fun. And the giant Jenga game is such an awesome idea!

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05.September.2013

What a perfect wedding. So casual and easy-going.
I love the boys’ short pants; they remind me of my two boys, now 24 and 26 *sniff*.

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05.September.2013

This summer was my first “wedding season” so I have been getting a taste for wedding venues and all the different things you can do with them. This mansion is absolutely gorgeous!! What a fun and unique place to have a wedding. I am sure all the guests left thinking “this was one for the books!”

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05.September.2013

What a lovely wedding, your sister looks a little like Sarah Jessica Parker in those first 2 photos.

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replied on September 5th, 2013

She gets SJP a lot.

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05.September.2013

Wow, your sister is an absolutely stunning bride!!!

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05.September.2013

so pretty! your sister looks radiant! is she your only sister? I have three brothers and no sisters so I probably won’t get to enjoy that “sisterly” wedding butterflies but I’m so glad you were able to share that moment with her.

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replied on September 5th, 2013

I’m actually the oldest of four! I have two sisters and one brother.

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05.September.2013

Marryland !! LOL! such little cuties- congrats to your sister and the whole family

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05.September.2013

Gorgeous! All of it and all of you! Love the boys’ outfits! Thank you for sharing with all of us!

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05.September.2013

Absolutely gorgeous wedding! So glad you posted where the wedding was, cause when you posted it on Instagram I though “hm, that looks a lot like a place near my home…” (grew up in Gaithersburg). Nice to know I wasn’t imagining it!

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05.September.2013

Oh goodness! We lived in Gaithersburg for 5 years. So glad you got to see what a cute fun town it is. Just curious, where did you stay, the bed looks so swank!

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06.September.2013

gorgeous wedding! and i was tickled to hear you all were in gaithersburg! i live in maryland on the other side of the beltway (nearer to redskins’ stadium aka fedex field). so glad you got to see some of the beauty that is maryland – and kentlands mansion is a big help! you do such a great job of letting your kids be kids and still pull off “great looking” and “well-mannered” (‘course i’m guessing a smidge but that’s what it seems like…), and completely admire how you pay attention to your kids, knowing what works & what doesn’t for each of them individually. awesome. thx for sharing such a beautiful, joyous family event. congrats to rihana and jack, too! :)

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replied on September 6th, 2013

Thank you for such a lovely compliment!

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06.September.2013

HH needs to stop by with a life-size Jenga tutorial. Seriously awesome :)

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06.September.2013

OMG! I was scanning the pics and thought gee that looks like the Kentlands Mansion and it is the Kentlands Mansion – I live very close to it! The mansion is where every high school kid goes to take their prom and home coming pics. Looks like a beautiful affair!

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06.September.2013

lovely pictures. I’d love for you to share the marriage advice!

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replied on September 6th, 2013

My favorite…”The key to marriage is just like any other key. You have to put it in the right hole.” HAHA! Lots more where that came from.

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06.September.2013

Where is Mabrey’s dress from? I love it!

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replied on September 6th, 2013

Baby GAP! On sale for less than $20 at the time of purchase and she could totally wear again. I can see it paired with leggings and a cardigan come fall.

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06.September.2013

You sister looks beautiful and a lovely couple. She looks so much like Sarah Jessica Parker. For a moment, I thought it was her. Mabrey is very adorable. Thanks for sharing the pics.

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10.September.2013

pretty wedding! and the life size jenga looks like fun. any plans on posting details on how to make it?

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10.September.2013

Funny, I actually looked at that place for our wedding, but didn’t quite work with the size we needed. I didn’t grow up in that neighborhood but close enough. Looks like it was a beautiful wedding! I like the boys’ short plus tie combo!

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11.September.2013

I can’t see any of the pictures on this post even though the rest of the blog loads just fine. Is it just me?

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Amber
replied on September 12th, 2013

No! I’ve actually come back to this post several times, because I want to see the pictures SO BADLY, but they don’t load. I can’t see them on my phone either! Very odd.

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replied on September 12th, 2013

No worries. I won’t be embedding images directly from Instagram anymore. You can view the images via my Instagram feed by clicking the icon under my picture on the sidebar.

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replied on September 12th, 2013

It’s because I embedded them directly from Instagram. From now on, I will save them to my computer and add them to the posts from there to avoid anymore problems. Sorry for the inconvenience but you can see all of the images on my Instagram feed by clicking the icon under my picture on the sidebar.

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