From the beginning, my mom and I had planned and plotted my menu. My goal was to serve appetizers that were unabashedly THEM - foods that they either love, or that really remind me of them. So that's where I started. I ended up adding a few additional items to be crowd-pleasing, but I was really happy with my menu. I served cheesecake stuffed strawberries (tutorial on these to come), sweet bacon wrapped chicken, Florentine cups, tortilla wrap-ups, individual relish trays (pictured below), blue cheese stuffed olives, and a variety of different sweets - my mother brought engagement ring cookies (which Kelly had raved about during my engagement, and my mom promised to make them for her someday), and Kelly's mom also brought sweet treats.
In the end, everything came together perfectly and it was a terrific way to celebrate the newly engaged. And drink some champagne :)
One of my favorite additions to the party were the "K&M" letters. When it was decided that I was hosting the party, I sneakily looked at Kelly's Pinterest and saw that she had pinned these cute letters. I loved them, too, and decided to order them to surprise her :)
The guest list was great - in addition to Scott and me, and our bride and groom, there were Matt's mom and dad (they are my parents too, ha!), our brother Joe, Kelly's parents and two sisters, Matt's Godparents (and my aunt and uncle!), and a couple of close friends of the couple. It was terrific.
And then there was the glowing and happy couple. They were just thrilled. I've never seen my brother act like this before, and it was - to borrow one of his favorite words - phenomenal. Their love was clear.
I had the chance to say a quick toast to the newly engaged (I'll be honest - I made the chance, figuring that I should take the opportunity while I had it) and I got a tad choked up, which is strange because I do a lot of public speaking for my job, and I was well practiced at the words I wanted to say. I'm not sure that I said them exactly, but here is the gist:
"I would like to be among the first to propose a toast to the newly engaged, Matt and Kelly! I think I speak for everyone here in saying that we are thrilled for you, and excited for what's ahead.
Kelly - I stumbled upon a quote the other day, that said 'Love is just a word, until someone comes along and gives it meaning'. Thank you for loving my brother, and for making him so happy. Our family is lucky to have you.
To Matt and Kelly and the adventure ahead - cheers!"
(I just awkwardly got choked up again typing it out).
Anyway, every word of the toast is true. I am thrilled for them, and for myself (a new sister that I'm lucky to be able to call a friend!) and for our families. There is so much excitement ahead, and I can't wait to watch it unfold.