Monday, July 15, 2013

{Life}: Elise's Girls Getaway in Gatlinburg.

So my best friend is getting married - I blogged about the engagement here. And I'm ridiculously excited. One of the "matron of honor" duties is the bachelorette party. I got super lucky because I have a partner in crime for this wedding, a maid of honor that is Elise's best friend from college and friend soul mate, Jackie. Jackie is awesome. And so Jackie and I got to plan Elise's bachelorette party!

When planning, we knew we needed to do something destination because so many of Elise's friends live outside of TN. Elise mentioned that her dad had a cabin in Gatlinburg with 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, a pool table, a mini-movie theatre, a hot tub, and two balconies and we were sold.

(mini theater room...)

Elise invited her closest girl-friends, which consisted of a crew from camp/church, a crew from St. Mary's, and a crew from graduate school. We ended up with 15 awesome girls and honestly it was a great mix of humans.

I left Thursday after work for Nashville, where I met up with Elise. The next morning bright and early we picked up Jackie (who Elise calls "Teamie") at the airport. Here they are, reunited!

After breakfast we hit up Kroger for all our cabin food needs...

We got a bit silly.

Then it was on the road to Gatlinburg. On the way in we stopped at the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce to get some brochures. And pose.

And then it was time to climb this beast of a hill to get to the cabin. But once we got to the top, it was totally worth it:

Since it was a bachelorette weekend, we had to have some fun decorations for the bride-to-be. I made this door hanger from a wooden letter from Hobby Lobby and some burlap ribbon. Elise got to take it home at the end of the weekend.

We also got cups made - everyone got one to drink from and then we had one with some goodies inside. The cups were very useful for the weekend and really worked well.

We got Elise a bride hanger with her new name to use for her wedding dress the day of (perfect for pictures). It matched the theme of the invitation we used:

I also brought my IKEA metal vases from home and they worked perfectly for holding Elise's favorite flowers, hydrangeas.

After a few hours everyone started arriving and it was time for the fun! We had a really pretty moment with the sun and clouds that happened when Grace, Ellen, and Christy showed up. A total God moment.

Once everyone convened, Jackie and I cooked dinner - spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. I used my favorite spaghetti sauce recipe, the 3-ingredient sauce.

That night we hung out and caught up with each other. Later the last four joined us and we had Elise's shower, which was tons of fun but not photographable for obvious reasons ;)

The next morning the other bridesmaids were in charge of breakfast and made an insane spread of brunch food:

After brunch we bummed around for a while. I sat on the porch with some friends and talked, which was so good for the soul. We finally got our act together and went outlet mall shopping, which was super successful. I got some great work outfits. For dinner we went into Gatlinburg and went to the Cherokee Grill. I called ahead and made a reservation and let me tell you - they hooked us up. We had this private room and it was so ideal for the party.

The dinner was really nice and the food was delicious. We even got to witness this amazing sunset:

After dinner we headed back up the mountain to the cabin. We made a special drink called the Blushing Bride (champagne, jumex peach juice, and grenadine) and toasted Elise Marie before heading to the hot tub:

We ended the night with cheese dip, a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, and a lot of laughter.

The next morning we had to say goodbye to our friends and this view:

Throughout the weekend we were instagramming with the hashtag #verafest2013, which was a reference to the fact that almost every single one of us brought our Vera Bradley for the weekend. This was a picture taken after everyone had left and yet we still got this many veras in the pic:

The funny thing about the weekend was it was such a stereotype for the mid-20's white chick. Vera, Rainbows, iPhones, big sunglasses, stadium cups...Gotta love it:)

And with that, a ridiculously fabulous weekend came to an end. We had so much fun celebrating Elise Marie. She's a special one.

On the way home we were treated to some of the prettiest cloud formations and blue skies... an ideal way to end an ideal weekend.

In best friends, cabins, and cheese dip,

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