#DownTheAisleChicagoStyle,  Life

Can you believe?

I can’t.

I seriously cannot. believe.

We have 57 days left in 2019. I am OVERWHELMED!

This year has been so HUGE and I find myself slipping in and out of retrospective staring contests with my bedroom walls as I think about all that’s happened this year.

As y’all already know, the biggest, best thing that happened this year is that I GOT MARRIEDDDD.

I’ll obviously share so many things from that day soon!
I want to gush all about our invitations, our party favors, my wedding party, and just all of the beautiful moments that happened.

But first, I think I need to spend some time gushing about our friends that made the entire wedding experience so wonderful!

My best friend John, the hero and other love of my life, threw me a perfect Bachelorette Day back in June! It was so perfect and wonderful omg.

John came in from Kansas for the weekend and planned a whole day to celebrate me as a bride. We started with mimosas at my apartment and then went to brunch at The Hampton Social (one of my faves in the city). My friend and college roommate, Rachael, came to brunch, at a seafood restaurant, even though she’s ALLERGIC to SHELLFISH.

Like, damn! That is some serious love!!!

On this day, I learned that I have aligned myself with the best kinds of people. The kinds of people who order the fishbowl alcoholic punch at brunch. The! Best! Kinds! Of! People!

After brunch, we all got our nails done and snagged a cocktail at another bar and headed to a booze cruise on the Chicago River.

When we got on the boat, all of the seats were taken on the top level.
We were a little frustrated, until we realized NO ONE was out on the bow of the boat! So we all ran down there and it was literally all ours (until people realized it was a better view down there and tried to invade our space, but my people are badasses and held down the fort!).

We even ended up making friends with a few dudes from Canada.
They were on the boat for a bachelor party for one of their friends.
We drank one too many tropical drinks and took these obnoxious selfies together. Wherever you are, Canadian man, I hope you’re still living your best life!

Look at my beautiful friends!!!! That boat lighting tho!!!

My favorite part of this day was seeing everyone I loved becoming friends with each other. I was overwhelmed then, and whoooaa boy would I be a weeping mess on my wedding day seeing even more of my heart people mingling and laughing together!

My friends are just the most wonderful lil’ flowers.
They totally spoiled me and uplifted me that day (and continuously, duh).

After our cruise, we went to dinner at one of my favorite spots in Andersonville. Somehow, after all of that, we even managed to go dancing for like 30 minutes at a club not too far away.

When I took a moment to step outside for some air, my friend Elyssa went with me and saw that I was exhausted, but trying to rally to keep the party going.
She told me, “This is your day. YOU get to do whatever you want! So, if that’s going home and being in bed by 10pm, that’s what we’ll do. We’ve been going all day and no one is going to be upset if you want to go home…because today is about YOU!”
I hope y’all have friends exactly like Elyssa.
Friends that know what you need to hear and just say it to your face.

I was at home, in my jammies, eating pizza and watching an episode of Frasier with my friends by 11pm.
I woke up the next day with a full heart and no trace of a hangover.
A gift from sweet baby Jesus!

THEN, in early September, Kole, Brittany and Kara (all my now in-laws!!) all planned a D O P E joint party in Wisconsin!
They rented a huge cabin near a lake for us and a bunch of our friends for the weekend.

They decorated the cabin with balloons, made custom cups for the weekend, they planned meals and a fun beer exchange, and supplied an endless amount of film for multiple Instax cameras!

Kara even got us these ADORABLE custom made cookies.
They were delicious AND adorably shaped like the things we love most! Sunflowers, black cats, our venue marquee–and there were two other shapes of a beer and a s’more that I didn’t get a picture of, because I might have drunkenly eaten the ones I was trying to save. Oops!

We went kayaking, played game after game of bags, ate burgers and brats, drank beer, woke up and had coffee and apple cider donuts around the fire pit, took breezy naps in hammocks, and sang “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac for about 12 hours.

It just felt like every little detail was thought out for us.
And all of our friends and family were all in for the weekend, just for us.
It was so beautiful and special.

We are just so damn lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful people, who love us so much.

It’s been about two months since our wedding day, but the memories of the entire month leading up to it are still so fresh with me.
I’m still overwhelmed!
But I’m so grateful that it’s over.
I’ve expressed before that wedding planning is stressful.
It’s kind of the worst thing, haha.
But all of these people, and so many others, made the experience so rewarding and wonderful.

If you’re looking to try and help your friends out who are planning a wedding, it doesn’t have to be big extravagant things. It can be sending them $5 via Venmo for a coffee. It can be offering to bring over dinner one night and to spend time with them in their home. It can be offering to pick things up the day of the wedding, or printing out vows the night before because the bride and the groom forgot to do that (or just didn’t finish them until 2am the night before the wedding??? I am who I am.) It can even be hassling the bartenders AT THE WEDDING to give you a bottle of the red wine so the bride and groom can have it on their first anniversary (something Kyle and I didn’t even THINK about, but one of our friends did!!).

We had friends do ALL of those things for us.
Isn’t that amazing? To be loved like that?

Since we are now in the month of November, gratefulness and thankfulness have both been on my mind a lot. I can’t even begin to express how grateful and thankful I am for the people in our lives.

Tell your people you love them! Tell them thank you! Hug them tight!

You’re cute & I love you,

Emma Smart 🙂

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