Wedding Week: Honeymoon

On Monday, June 13 Ben and I left for our honeymoon. We packed the car up and left bright and early in the morning. 

Some fun facts about your honeymoon:
1. Ben planned the whole thing! It was a surprise to me where we were going. I just know how long we were going to be gone for and about what temperature (so I know what to pack).
2. Our hotel room was upgraded because we were newlyweds!
3. Ben planned very little for us to do. He knew what we could do if we wanted to do it but we did not have a schedule. We slept in most mornings, went to be early most evenings, and decided each morning what we felt like doing each day. We didn’t use our cell phones and only spent time on the Internet to update the blog and read all the messages from our family and friends on Facebook. 

After a VERY long car ride we arrived in…

Ely, Minnesota

Let’s first take a look at the beautiful resort we stayed at. It had a cabin feel and it was perfect!!! Totally us!

Our welcome basket.

HUGE BED! I could roll like 5 times before reaching the end! haha!

We loved the cabin feel.
We only turned on the TV to watch the Soccer World Cup and to check the weather.

Our hotel upgrade got us a jacuzzi in the room!

The beautiful adirondak chairs outside our patio door.

Breathtaking view of the lake.

We enjoyed a lot of delicious beverages and food.
Wine we received as a wedding gift from Ben’s parents.

We ordered room service a couple of times.
We figured it might be the only time we do it! 
This was our first meal we had in Ely.
Ben got a wild rice soup. I got chicken alfredo.
We also got brushetta.

One afternoon we ordered sandwiches and onion poppers.

We watched the sunset with wine and Ben’s favorite beer from Marquette.

We also drank the local root beer we received upon our arrival

We stopped at this little Italian place for lunch.
We ate only at local places.

We ate at The Chocolate Moose, it was a very laid back place with a pricey and unique menu.
Ben got a raspberry beer.
We sat outside on stumps!

My delicious meal that consisted of pears over pork!

Ben’s meal consisted of lamb and couscous

We also spent some time in a variety of other activities that didn’t involve food! 
We watched the sunset on the dock at the lake.

We visited the International Wolf Center.

We played with the outside sculptors.

It was cool seeing the wolves up close!

We played in the Kid’s Area and attached wolf tales to our backside.

We also played in the Wolf’s Den

We did  A LOT of Geocaching with our wedding gift, the GPS!
Ben found our first one!

Signing our first cache!

Ben also found the second one at a coffee shop.
Of course we had to stop in and get some coffee too!

Check out all the goodies!

We spent some time canoeing on the lake behind our resort.

So excited to Geocache!

Enjoying our canoe ride.

Showing off my sweet PFD

I found my first one on an island!

Ben found another one on the island.

We spent some time in the town and found more geocaches!

I was on a roll this day!

Ben found this one on our way back to Michigan.

This one was terrible. The coordinates were way off, it was filled with bugs and other nasty things and ugh…
But I found it on our way out.

Some geocaches could not be found. 

Still super stoked to be married!

As a little gift, Ben bought me a new boyfriend. My man Michael Buble

We spent a night camping with my family in Oconto.
We took them on their first geocache adventure!

My dad found the first one!

Tia and Justin spending some quality time together!

The warm campfire, cool drinks, and beautiful scenery.

We spent some time in Menominee after spending a night camping.
We were ALL addicted to geocaching at this point and headed to Henes Park.

We found two at Henes Park.

Then we found two more at the Menominee Marina.
Ben chatted with this man about geocaching.

Tia took the lead on the next cache!

Then Tia got down and dirty looking for one at another nearby park.

Tia found her first geocache in Marinette near Aunty Wendy’s house!

A trip to Menominee isn’t complete with a Bronco ride!

Then we headed to Door County for my cousin’s wedding!
Waiting for the bride and groom!


All the girl cousins (minus Cassie and Tiffany)

We had WAY too much fun at the reception!


Like I said.. too much fun!!

Then we headed back to Marquette where we met up with Groomsmen Rich who came back for a visit! We took a ton of our friends geocaching, cleaned up our apartment and found a home for all our wedding gifts! Before we knew it life was back to normal and we began our new journey as husband and wife!

Click here to read all the honeymoon posts and to relive our fun game.

Wedding Week: Sunday

Our wedding was wonderful but it was so fast paced so we were looking forward to spending a quiet morning/afternoon with our closest family and friends. We did our best to chat with everyone but we had more time on Sunday and we were very thankful for that!

We opened gifts at the same location as the rehearsal dinner to make it easier for gifts, there was a kitchen, plenty of tables, chairs and couches and because there was air conditioning.

Our family arriving at the gift opening location.

We were welcomed by sidewalk chalk on the ground.

The gifts just waiting to be opened!

Another gift in the corner.

Decorations from my bridal shower were reused for this event. My cousin, Noah made the paper chain!

The newlyweds arrived (carrying pickles and pinwheels!)

My mom and I chatting it up a bit!

Preparing to pray before enjoying all the wonderful food laid out before us.

Everyone lining up!

One of the first gifts we received was from our good friend Andy. Ben’s favorite beer and some household goodies for myself, all wrapped in masking tape and newspaper!

My cousin (and Godfather) own this bar and gave us two shirts as a gift!

Beautifully handmade ornaments from my parents. They even had our wedding date on them.

Our guests watching, I love their smiles!

So much love!

The kids gathered up the ribbon and other decorative goodies and made a necklace for me.

A picture frame, don’t worry we replaced that picture with one of us! HAHA

This was a special card that all the men in my family had signed. This gift was for Ben only.

I giggled so much as he opened it. This was truly a surprise!

Ben’s new gift from all the males in my family! He is strapped to me for life!

A cross stitch from Ben’s Grandma.

One of my favorites gifts was a picture frame that included a picture that I have never seen of Ben dipping me at another wedding. They are our family friends, Mandy and Francis! So cool!


A card from a friend who was unable to make it to our wedding. Another wonderful surprise!

Justin (and maybe Tia…) bought us this Precious Moment Figurine but Justin felt it was incomplete. He added some string to make Ben’s beard! Hilarious!

A painting Ben did and gave to his Aunt was now regifted to us! Another unique gift we love!

Beautiful unique wine glasses from Ben’s siblings

Another fun gift from a friend wrapped in a plastic bag, gardening supplies. Gloves, shovels, seeds, soil, and a gorgeous pot!

Lance watches on as we open his gift!

A bible engraved with our names from Ben’s grandparents.

A cooler filled with goodies to cover an outdoor table.
We received another cooler with food and ice packs that we took along with on our honeymoon.

An AWESOME vacuum! 1 year later and I still love!

EW, kissing! 

Our car was tastefully decorated!

Yeah we are married!

I feel like this is as good of time as any to mention our good friend Andy. I mentioned my brother from another mother, Tim, and how helpful he was during our wedding. Well, Andy was also beyond wonderful!  Andy helped us out in so many ways so this is a big shout out to him! I really don’t know how we would have gotten everything done and our wedding would not have gone smoothly without him! We love you Andy!

After we left our brunch with family and friends we started a mini caravan and headed to our apartment. Everyone’s cars were decorated and a lot of honking occurred! 
We had too much fun!

My parents car was filled with our wedding goodies!

The sidewalk outside of our apartment was filled with sidewalk chalk art.

My tenants got a kick out of it!

Unpacking everything!

So much stuff!

I don’t think you can fit much else in this trunk!

After saying goodbye to my parents, we went on our first adventure as husband and wife to try out one of our wedding gifts, a GPS. This was the start to our new hobby, geocaching! Learn more here

Uncle Jake set up the GPS and it brought us to a park.

We met up with Aunty Wendy, Uncle Jake and Mikayla so they could teach us how to geocache.

I found the first one in a spot I must have walked by dozens of times over the years. I wonder how long it has been there?

Uncle Jake teaching us and giving us some tips.

Where or where could the Geocache be, or where or where could it be?

Uncle Jake found this one!

Taking a break from the fun to enjoy the beautiful Black Rocks.

After saying goodbye to the Vieth’s we had dinner with the DeRuischer’s and Meghan and Hudson’s. This is the only picture I have from this little adventure and it is blurry… 
After saying goodbye to our friends we went HOME!

Then in what felt like a dream… our wedding weekend was suddenly over… 
It felt like only moments had passed since our family arrived on Thursday and before we know it, we were married and everyone had gone home. 
We were alone for the first time in days…

And we got home to this….

I fought the urge to clean everything immediately and instead just hung out with Ben.

There was no where to sit in our apartment so Ben grabbed our new chairs, pushed everything over on the floor to make space and set them up. We then spent the evening opening cards and reading the mad libs/”guest book”.

We laughed, we cried and we cherished the moment. 

On Monday we set off for our honeymoon!!

Here is my final post as a set off to get married.

Tomorrow is our first anniversary and wedding week will conclude, until next year!

Wedding Week: Reception Part II

After all the scheduled events were completed; grand entrance, dinner, speeches, first dances, cake cutting, etc., it was time for the real party to begin!

Some fun facts about the rest of our reception:
1. I don’t know if more than 30 seconds that went by that the dance floor didn’t have someone on it! There were times that I feel like there were more people on the dance floor then anywhere else! 
2. Ben and I had not had one moment alone all day so we found our chance during the reception. The back part of the reception was empty so we both laid on the floor and just enjoyed the moment!
3. We stayed until the very end of our reception. Then we snuck off to our hotel room. By the time we left most of the decorations were already down. 

Now here are some pictures of everyone showing off their best dance moves throughout the even; including a dance performance by cop, Mark and my brother, Justin to Elton John’s, “Tiny Dancer.”

Ben and I rocked out early in our reception to Journey!
Thanks Taj to probably my favorite picture ever!

Jonah, Noah and Logan each had a special request during the reception.
This was Jonah’s song by Black Eyed Peas, “Imma Be.”

Aunty Jodi and Aunty Sandy break it down!

The cousins take over the dance floor!

Bust a move!

My family loves to polka! So at least one polka song was a must!
Roll out the barrel

The Gangs All Here!!

Boots with the Fur! Low Low Low Low

The dancing got a little intense so an inhaler was necessary

Uncle Bob enjoyed the decorations on our table!

I was shocked to see so many people enjoying each others company…

Dance it out!

Even the youngest kids got in some polka

Even Grandma busted a dance move

Then of course we had to play the Cha Cha Slide, a crowd favorite

Clap clap clap your hands

Family dance time

Justin and my mother in law

Taking it down a notch. 

Teaching everyone the cupid shuffle

As the evening wore on, the dancing continued
Grandma Judy and Taj still going strong

Dance circle!

This was when Justin stole the party! 🙂

We had SO much fun!

The night wasn’t over. More adventures were to be had as the evening continued. We left the reception around 11pm then headed to the hotel. 

Some fun facts about after the reception:
1. We snuck away from the reception to spend a relaxing evening in a hotel room paid for by my parents. We love our family but were thankful to sneak away from them for a bit but when we got into the hotel room we were greeted by most of our wedding guests… awkward…
2.  Tia (Justin’s girlfriend), Tim (brother from another mother!) and my mom got into our hotel room before we did and left a few of our favorite adult beverages in the fridge, some flowers, rose petals on the floor and bed and filled our bath tub up with water and stuck a bride and groom rubber duck in the water! It was so cute and made us feel more at home!
3. On our wedding night, Ben ran downstairs to the lobby soaking wet and half dressed. For more on this story read below! 🙂

Tia placing flower petals all over the room.

Tim putting the rubber bride and groom ducks in the tub!

Gerbera daisies, beef jerky (our favorite snack!) and some of our favorite drinks (the rest were in the fridge!)

This maybe a little too much information but it is a funny story that must be shared. 
Read at your own risk. 

After a long day and a sweat-filled evening of dancing, we decided to take a shower. The bathroom door was left open and the steam from the shower set off the smoke detector outside the bathroom. We freaked out! Ben threw on some clothes over his wet body and ran downstairs. Of course, some wedding guests witnessed Ben, half dressed, drenched and panicking speaking to the front desk. A hotel employee had to come into our room and wanted to change out the smoke detector but when he realized it was our wedding night he just took that one down and let us be. Where was I? Hiding in the bathroom! haha

So the bottom line…
Ben and I are ONE HOT COUPLE! 
Our love is so hot that we set off the smoke detector! 

My 2nd to last post as a single lady was written 365 days ago. I described our plans for the day here

Wedding Week: Reception, Part I

After the beach photos were complete, the bridal party headed to Marquette Mountain for the Reception. By this time the rain that had come down earlier was long gone and the sun and heat had begun to take over. 

Some fun facts about our reception:
1. We were surprised to see two ice sculptures near the food. We had no idea that they would be there and weren’t quite sure what they were suppose to be, haha. 
2. I created a kid’s table so the kids would not get bored and it was barely touched. I wasn’t upset though because that just meant they were either out on the dance floor or playing with their new friends! 🙂 Yeah!
3. Even though I was part of the planning team of the garter retrieval super secret plan, I had NO clue what Ben was going to pull out. The photos show my genuine surprise! 

Mr. and Mrs. 

Upon arriving we spent a few minutes mingling with everyone. 

It was nice to see so many people have traveled so far to celebrate with us!

The BHJs!
Bruce and Joanne Hannink
Ben and Jessica Hannink
They came all the way from California for our wedding!

 After mingling we sat down for a delicious meal!
Enjoying our first meal together as husband and wife.


Going in for a….. 


My beautiful sisters adding a little fun to our dinner!

The handsome men who we love so very much!

After dinner our bridal party provided us with advice, shared memories, and toasted to our happiness.

After quickly eating we headed to the dance floor!


Our song didn’t start right away so we improvised!

Our first dance as husband and wife.

Michael Buble, “Hold On”

Our bridal party joined us!

My parents looked on with tears in their eyes!

Ben danced with his mom!

Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Simple Man”

I danced with my daddy!

Steven Curtis Chapman, “Cinderella”

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms

Then we played the song by Five For Fighting, “100 Years.” All married couples got on the dance floor and the DJ called off all couples who had been married a day, month, year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc. until only one couple was left. 
Uncle Bob and Aunty Sandy were the last ones standing!

The newest bride and groom hugging the ones with the most experience! 

We didn’t want to keep our guests from dessert so we dove in shortly after the first few dances.
Ben doesn’t like cake so we opted for strawberry short cake!
We frosted one shortcake to use as a cake to cut then enjoyed strawberry short cake!
Ben picked out the cake topper! 

Cutting the cake to Cake, “Love You Madly”
Ben picked out that song! 🙂 How perfect!

I was so worried Ben would smash it in my face and ruin my make-up! 

We prepared for battle…

Going in for the hit…. 

But we were both nice…

The damage!

Time for the bouquet toss!

Now that is some intense tossing!

My cousin Mikayla caught it!!! 

 Now time for one of my favorite parts of our wedding…
retrieving the garter!
First I tried to convince Ben to come over by me but he wouldn’t. 
His groomsmen all pushed him towards me.

Thanks for getting him to me boys!

Oh la la

Wait? Where are you going?

WHAT? That isn’t my garter? That is a flower!

Now what are you doing?

AH! It is a baster! (family joke! haha)

This is too funny!

You’ve got to be kidding! Goggles?

Good thing Ben put the goggles on, Never know what will come out next.
A frisbee? Ben’s favorite sport!

Oh, could this be it?

YEAH!! Ben found my garter!!!

 Time to toss the garter to all the unsuspecting males….
Ben in the ready position.

Mom helping make Ben super dizzy!

The boys were so excited!
Taj caught the garter!

Taj and Mikayla took to the dance floor to celebrate their win! 

One year ago today our family was arriving and our wedding weekend had officially begun. Read more about it here.

Wedding Week: Ceremony

After doing the cupid shuffle with my dad and watching our bridal party disappear, I stepped into the view of all our family and friends. I met the eyes of Ben’s Uncle who I have never met, my 2nd grade teacher, the family I spent three summers as their nanny, college friends, and then realized I needed to make eye contact with Ben! I avoided his eyes until I was half way down the aisle because I worried he would cry and he did. Ben eyes were bursting with love and my eyes instantly filled with the tears I promised myself would not fall! I again looked around and took in the moment, watching all our family and friends with huge smiles and watery eyes. I have never felt so much love in such a small space. All I wanted to do was run and leap into Ben’s arms but I refrained myself and tried to display that much love through my eye contact with my future husband. 

Some fun facts about our Ceremony:
1. Our bridesmaid, Lauren, was newly pregnant and did not feel well during our ceremony. Thankfully there was a bench nearby that she could sit on and still see us get married! After sitting down for a few minutes, she was as good as new! 🙂
2. The Pastor, was my Pastor throughout my childhood and the husband of my 2nd grade teacher. He was just as emotional through our ceremony as we were. 
3. My poor dress was stepped on by so many people at our wedding. haha. I was so afraid I was going to try and walk as they were stepping on my dress and fall flat on my face! But I didn’t!

Ben was filled with love!

I was so proud to walk with my dad!

Saying our vows!

Ben saying his vows!

I didn’t remember doing this until I saw the evidence. 

My Pastor blessing us.

I love our faces at the moment we were declared husband and wife. 

*Deep sigh* We are married!

One big smile for my mom!

Hugs for my daddy!

Mommy hugs!

So proud to have them as my in-laws!

So many hugs!! My cheeks ached from smiling!

One of my favorite pictures!

Then everyone headed out and had some fun with the bubbles we provided!
They were waiting for…

My Uncle Tom caught some incredible moments, better than our photographers! 🙂

I love the bubbles!

I was giddy!

Going in for the big kiss!!!

Another magical moment!!! 

Then we took pictures… many pictures….

Some pictures were totally typical of my family!

This was a great day to take pictures of those nearest and dearest to us!

And of course, some humorous moments were caught on camera as well!

You know it’s true love when we both make the same silly face in a photo! haha

A shot of the back of my dress, veil and hair.

My family including my brother from another mother, Tim!

All of the kids who played a special role!

Lydia, the flower girl!

It’s blurry but such a cute picture!

The bridal party!

While we took pictures, everyone else kept busy by taking some fun pictures too!
Logan and YaYa

Justin and Tia! 

Aunty Lisa and Mandy

Little Miss Addison

Aunty Ju

(Another blurry one) Complete Happiness!!

After the pictures were taken at the church, we went off to our favorite spot. The spot were Ben and I first fell for one another and where he proposed, Little Presque Isle, to take pictures with the bridal party. We then headed to our reception to dance the night away!

One year ago today, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of our family, eating mass amounts of chocolate, and recapping my first week at my new job. Read more here.

Wedding Week: Preparing to say "I Do"

The big morning had finally arrived. I spent the evening with my bridesmaids; chitchatting, painting nails, and drifted off to sleep next to my soon to be sister-in-laws. 

Ben spent the evening with the guys in our apartment eating leftover wings from the rehearsal dinner, playing video game and introducing the guys to the local brewing company. 

The next morning was very calm. I was surprised how stress-free I was. I guess I just knew that whatever happened (or didn’t happen) during the day didn’t matter. I just knew that at the end of the day I would be married to my one and only. 

Some fun facts about preparing to say “I Do”:
1. It was raining/sprinkling moments leading up to our wedding but not a drop fell after. 
2. While my morning was calm – Ben and the boys had to rush clean up our apartment from their fun evening! 
3. The last thing I did before walking down the aisle was to dance out the jitters with my dad. We did the cupid shuffle! Thankfully our photographer caught this moment! 

Mom H making the final alterations on the flowers. 

A goofy picture for Groomsmen, Lance

Justin and Tia taking a break and having some lunch; subs and chips!

Aunty Tracy, a Mary Kay Consultant, did my make-up! We spent a few sessions planning my make-up!

New Friends, beautiful and ready for the wedding! Both in dresses made by their grandmother!

The boys are looking sharp! They had to bring all their belongings out to the car before the wedding. 

Mom and Son! Pictures were taken before the wedding and it was fun to look back and what was happening while I was getting ready!

Lance arrived, he rode his bike!

Lauren, bridesmaid, brought Meghan to help with her daughter, Addison. Meghan kept Addison busy so Mom and Dad could do their wedding duties. 🙂

The dress is ready!!! 

Hair and Make-up done and ready for the dress!

My beautiful bridesmaids all helped me and so did Mandy. 
It was so special to me that so many people played a role in our wedding!

Lauren helped me with the final touches; garter and shoes. Lydia, flowergirl, helped me with my shoes too!

Tim has been like another brother to me. He also played a big role on our wedding day. In this picture Tim carried all our purses to the cars! What a trooper!

 Church is ready for us!!

The ring bearers are ready too! Their mom, Mandy, picked out their outfits! I thought they were super adorable!

Deep breath… Preparing to walk into the church!

Moments before I walked down the aisle I remembered something important,
WE FORGOT TO PUT ON MY VEIL! No one was in the room with me except for the photographer. The photographer ran out and got my mom. We quickly put on the veil, slowing only a moment to take a picture. Then my mom ran out to head down the aisle!
Now I am finally ready! ❤

I started to panic about the weather a year ago today, to read about it, click here

Wedding Week: Rehearsal Dinner and Into the Evening

After the bridal party showed up the rehearsal went well. Almost all the decorations for the church and reception location were complete. Then Ben and I spent a few more hours together before saying goodbye until I met him at the alter. 

Some fun facts about the rehearsal dinner:
1. We had Aubrees, a local restaurant where Ben and I shared many meals and memories together. It is our favorite place to eat and we wanted our family to experience the deliciousness! 
2. For most of our family members this was the first time they had met so I loved just taking a seat and looking around as our families collided! Our cousins became friends instantly and that was one of my favorite memories from our wedding.
3. I had on a cute little dress but I FROZE in the air conditioning and wore a jacket the whole night. 

The location. One of the apartments on Campus has a big Multi-Purpose Room. 

We spent our last few hours together surrounded by all the people we love so much!

Families collide! 

The boys playing with their Groomsmen gifts!

There were some precious moments. Like this one when Ben gave Justin his gift. 

This is one of my favorite moments, although it is quite blurry. 

New friends were made! 

Logan found a creative way to play with his gift!

Raena, Lydia and Erin reading Lydia’s Flowergirl present. 

It was quite chilly in the room but I was thankful for the AC!

After the rehearsal and dinner Ben and I said goodbye for the evening. Ben and the boys (groomsmen and even his Uncle from California) went off for a night of bachelorhood at our apartment. I went back with my parents to the hotel to spend my last night as a bachlorette with my bridesmaids. 

Some fun facts about the rest of the evening:
1. I was a bit shocked entering the hotel to find almost my entire family was there. Everywhere you looked I found more of my family. They took over the pool, lobby and breakfast room. Family who had not seen each other for a while were catching up with quiet conversations, games were being played, and a lot of swimming was also done! 
2. I made a poor decision and ended up with a funny tale to tell….. (picture can be found below)
3. We had arranged the table place settings before the wedding weekend but due to some issues (crammed tables that couldn’t fit as many as we were told…), my mom and aunts had to make more table runners and label all the place cards the night before the wedding!!! YIKES! It was a big job but they pulled it off!

Great Grandma and one of her many Great Grandchildren, Kaitlyn

Riopelle, Vieth, and Cole Pool Party! 

Candy, Drinks and Games!

Family catching up after not seeing each for a while.

Mini Hotel Room Parties were occurring with family members doing super secret wedding surprises. 

More fun with games! 

My Aunt bought me a scrapbook and many items to use in it! 
I am hoping to get started on it this summer!!
The book is beautiful!

And the mishap……..
My soon-to-be-sisters-in-law and I used tanning wipes the night before our wedding. We were told, read the directions and don’t miss anything! Well…. as you can see… we did! We were streaky and pretty orange. By morning you couldn’t tell too much expect if you looked at my hands, they were pretty nasty looking! lol. It wasn’t that big a deal, how many of you even noticed? 🙂

To read about what I was blogging about one year ago today, visit here