When my mom's parents moved to California 50 years ago, they bought a house in Fullerton. It's where my grandma raised seven children as a single mom. It's where my dad pulled up on his moped to pick up my mom for Sadie Hawkins. It's where my uncles put ketchup on their faces in the bathroom to scare their sisters during a game of "Bloody Mary".
In more recent years, it was pretty much run by the grandkids - all thirteen of us. Marching through the family room and kitchen in a parade, practicing piano in the den, going out in the garden to pick fruits and make juice with grandma, or sitting in Papa's chair when he wasn't looking - stealing tootsie rolls and sips of his iced tea when he returned.
This house and all of it's memories are sacred to me.
When my Papa passed away, my grandma moved into the house next door and my uncle moved in to her house, and we were all happy to be keeping it in our family. One day, many years ago, I mentioned to my aunt that I'd love to have a wedding reception in that backyard. When Weston and I got engaged her first words to me were, "The backyard is yours!"
So, a week after our wedding ceremony, after returning from our honeymoon, we had our reception.
^ When I asked my mom to make our wedding cake she initially said no way, but I'm so glad she gave in. Gorgeous and delicious!
My dad is the jack of all trades and helped us SO much with his DIY contributions. He made those giant wooden initials, our table numbers, and the entire bar out of old pallets! It was seriously insane watching all of his work come together!
We got to be outside, greeting our guests as everyone arrived which we loved. My friend, Jodi, was tending the bar and she came up with this insanely good "lovers punch" that was to die for. When I asked what was in it she said, "a little bit of whiskey… and a whole lot of love." Down. ;)
As everyone finished their meals, Weston and I said a quick thank you to our guests and I actually got really emotional, looking out seeing all of the people we love, realizing this is probably the only time in our lives that every important person to us will be in the same place at the same time. It's a really incredible thing.
Then, we showed a little video of clips from the last seven years of me and Weston dating, before we got to share our wedding video. Lots of teary eyes in the audience. :)
Then, we cut our delicious cake and my dad's band made their way onto the stage. Having them play at my wedding reception has been my dream since I was about 4 years old! So thankful that they all got together to play sweet, soul music for us to dance to all night long!
The very first song they played was All My Loving, which was a surprise for me from my dad since I love The Beatles and it was also the first song he and my mom danced to at THEIR wedding reception. He also played the same bass that he had played at their wedding. (Yep - my dad played in his own wedding band. Gotta love it.)
They also had a few other surprises up their sleeve. My dad had secretly asked his friend, Paul, to stand-in on bass for a couple songs so that he could dance with me to My Girl. When I was only about a week old, my dad held me up on stage and sang that song to me in front of an audience and during the chorus instead of saying "My Girl", the band sang my name. That night they did it again, "Kelle… Kelle… Kelle… Talkin' bout…. Kelle…." Are you kidding me with that cuteness!?
And we happily danced the night away until the cops came haha. #backyardweddingproblems
So unbelievably thankful for everyone who made this night possible.
It was the best night of our lives, by far.