A Wedding Weekend in Illinois!

Hey hey!!! I hope you are having a great week. I’m excited to share with you about our first big roadtrip with Quinn in tow! My good friend from college, Kelsey, who you may remember visited me a few years ago in CA, got married a couple weekends ago in Illinois!! It was such an honor to not only go to the wedding, but to be a bridesmaid in it. It was such a wonderful weekend. Naturally, with having a three month old and traveling across state lines, there was a little stress and exhaustion- but it was so worth it & it was extra special we had our Quinnie with us!

Thursday, August 11th, I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off getting packed and ready for the weekend. I made a list of things to pack the day before, which I never usually do, but we had to have our ducks in a row. Hmm, this is quickly becoming a bird heavy post, hah. Anyway, never have I packed so many bags for a short trip- how do people fly with babies and all that pump supplies? Granted, a lot of what I packed included food- I ordered several meals from Piada to have in a cooler through the weekend since I knew I may face limited options traveling with the dairy/soy restrictions. I also packed a ton of snacks.

We slept that evening from 9 pm to midnight, then at midnight hit the road, really embracing our inner night owls! Traveling through the night worked in our favor- she hates the car during the day, but did super well through the night in the car seat. We only made a couple stops for feeds and diaper changes, and then she went right back to sleep!

Neither DJ nor I slept a wink though the entire drive. Thankfully we had a lot of adrenaline (and snacks, I think I mentioned snacks?) on board to keep us alert. I had flashbacks of working night shift when the surreal moment hit of the sun coming back up after not having slept since it went down.

And we made it!! Our plan was to just sleep as much during the day as Quinn would allow us before the rehearsal dinner. Wellll, the hotel was doing tons of construction in the halls- and all we heard for a while was a drill that sounded like it may just drill straight through to our room. I took Quinn out on a walk in my carrier so she would at least get her morning nap in.

I had to readjust my wrap through my walk so I set her down, and she actually enjoyed laying on the grass like that.

When we got back from the walk, thankfully the sound had died down. We all slept from about 1030-2 pm! Then it was time to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. I couldn’t resist matching with my girl! I got her sandals too, but they were too big for her unfortunately.

I ran off to the rehearsal while Quinn and DJ stayed in the hotel. DJ helped sooooo much that weekend, I couldn’t have done it without him!

Once we sufficiently rehearsed, it was time for dinner. The rehearsal dinner was at Baxters American Grille. It was great catching up with old friends and Kelsey’s family – I also sat next to her cousins from Switzerland who were so much fun to chat with!

Family pic! Not sure Quinn was feeling it, lol.

But we still got some sweet smiles walking into the restaurant 🥰.

And then she conked out on DJ’s shoulder 💕.

The next morning, August 13th, we ordered Door Dash for breakfast. I fueled up with an egg sandwich and steel cut oats from Panera.

Time for tummy time! While we brought her tummy time mat, the bed was way more comfy. She was adjusting to the travel life like a pro!

While we were gone, Moose boarded with Marie. She sent tons of updates and pictures, and it looked like he was having a great time!

After some tummy time, I put Quinn in the carrier and set out to walk around the sidewalks near the hotel for her to nap. I also rocked this incredibly fashionable outfit 😂. Quinn really loves napping in the carrier, but I have to be moving for her to stay asleep. I have clocked countless miles walking slowly on the treadmill letting her nap. We’re still working on the crib, and she’s improving. However, to avoid her getting overtired while traveling, I bypassed attempting the pack n’ play & went with the tried and true carrier naps.

Once I returned, I handed Quinn over to DJ and got ready/gathered together everything for the day and evening in a cloud of chaos. Our hotel was embarrassingly messy by the time we left with how quickly I hustled to get out the door on time. We all loaded into the car and drove about 25 mins to the gorgeous venue.

DJ and Quinn hung out with the guys in the reception hall while I got ready with Kels and the bridesmaids in the bridal suite. He brought her to me every couple hours when it was time for her to feed. We brought wayyyyyy too much milk with us since she only needed a few bottles through the weekend. It was a gut punch throwing it all away at the end of the trip, but better to be over than underprepared when it comes to that.

Even the bridal suite itself was magnificent! It was such a chill morning with an amazing group of girls! Kels gifted us these lovely sage robes too for while we got ready 🤍.

This pic was taken by my friend, Morgan, and makes my heart melt. I love that she captured such a candid moment between me and Quinn. This was right after a feed before I gave her back to DJ 🤍. There was one other nursing mom there too. It was fun because I felt like I had a breastfeeding partner in crime there the whole weekend!

My Kels!!

She was just stunning.

Pic of me and Sar!! After not seeing her for years I was so grateful to see her twice this one!! (The other time was the baby shower).

The wedding ceremony took place outdoors tucked among resplendent trees. The couple said their vows against the background landscape of ponds situated among green fields. It was stunning, and the ceremony went off without a hitch. More than the ease and beauty of the ceremony, the love between Kelsey and Wes was so palpable. I’m not much of a wedding crier, but I teared up big time at this one!

After the wedding, I beelined it back to the bridal suite to pump since DJ already had given Quinn a bottle. I was just so grateful I didn’t leak at the alter 🤣. Can you imagine?! Once done pumping, I met up with Quinn and DJ at the reception, a short walk away.

For Quinn’s outfit, I had this whole formal pink tutu dress & bow complete with shoes, but unfortunately it was also too big! I really should have tried those clothes on her before hand. We changed her instead to this backup navy romper with two bows in the front (I’ve learned to always have a back up!). I forgot the head bow in the hotel & socks, but it was so warm, she seemed totally comfortable. It was kinda fun because she matched me for the rehearsal and DJ for the wedding!

The reception took place at the grand Hesed House. The wedding decor was ‘elegant rustic’ in every way. 🤩

After introducing the bridal party and Mr. and Mrs., we all indulged in a spectacularly delicious Mexican buffet. The bar even served margaritas named after the bride & groom. I wish I had taken more pics, but I was a bit preoccupied keeping Quinn content 🙃.

Side note: I love weddings so much & am always honored to be in a bridal party- but I think the most stressful part is planning out a the two second entrance into the reception 🤣. Anyone else? For this one, the groomsman I was paired with pretended to “forget” me when we were announced- he ran out, bowed/waved/really played it up then “remembered” me & came running back to bring me out. People seemed to get a kick out of it, so there’s an idea if you need one different than the electric guitar 😂.

In order to protect Quinn’s ears at the reception, we brought along these noise cancelling ear muffs. It took about five of us and a YouTube video to figure these things out, but as soon as we got them on she settled right down.

I stepped outside with Quinn when she started to fuss and walked around with her in my carrier during the dances and speeches. I hated to miss them, but I could tell Quinn was overtired. I didn’t mind the quiet cuddles after being away from her a chunk of the day too.

After the dances, the DJ turned up the dance music. Many people hit the dance floor and others made their way outside to chat, take in the beautiful evening and maybe even play some cornhole. When we stepped out of the back of the hall, the scenery was just breathtaking. Not only was there a warm and inviting patio to lounge on, but the views were just serene.

More dear friends from college. 💕 It was such a special reunion!

Congrats Kelsey & Wes!! 🤍.

We headed back to the hotel around 830, packed up the car, slept for a couple hours then hit the road again at midnight! Quinn did absolutely amazing this trip, and we could not have been more proud of her!

Questions for you:

– What’s your go-to bridal party reception entrance?

– Favorite snacks to travel with?

– Are you a crier at weddings?



16 thoughts on “A Wedding Weekend in Illinois!

  1. Yes I am a crier, always pretzels or bagged popcorn in car and I am in love with every photo of this fabulous wedding, gorgeous you, so so so adorable Quinn and handsome DJ. Love all of you and a huge congrats to Kelsey!!! So fun seeing all the gals, miss those days. Love, Gigi

  2. I’m actually with my husband now driving to a wedding for his best friend this weekend! He’s a groomsman so I shared your entrance idea. He said if he needs to come up with anything, he’ll totally use that one so big thanks! 🙂

    1. Aw how fun! You’re so welcome!! Hope you guys had a great time- also I’m so happy to see you’re posting again- can’t wait to catch up on your posts. I always love reading your writing!

      1. You’re too sweet! I’ve just been making some life update posts. I hope to get back into a more regular posting rhythm, but you never know when inspiration will strike.

  3. I haven’t had a chance to read this whole post yet but wanted to pop on really quick and tell you there are companies that you can rent all that baby stuff from when you travel so you don’t have to drag it with you!!!! I remember reading someone’s blog and they went to Santa Barbara and all the baby stuff was waiting for them when they got to wherever they were staying!!! It was so convenient for her! Playpens and car seats and whatever. If I ever remember who the heck it was I’ll link you up but in the meantime maybe Google “baby equipment rental vacation” or something. LOL

    I’ll be back later to read the rest of this post.

      1. I finally found the blog post!

        So she rented a car that has car seats ALREADY INSTALLED so you don’t have to schlep a car seat on the plane.

        And then she rented the baby equipment from Baby Quip. “high chair, baby bouncer, double stroller, pack n’ play, and toys DELIVERED TO THE HOUSE”!!!!

        Here is her blog: https://theautumngirl.com/2022/07/02/santa-barbara-with-kids/

        Here is Baby Quip: https://www.babyquip.com

        The #1 thing *I* would want to know is how do they clean this stuff: https://www.babyquip.com/cleaning-standards

        And they have insurance, etc.

        Anyway, the Mom who used Baby Quip for her Santa Barbara trip said she WISHES she had known about the services when her kids were babies so, worth checking out?

      2. This is SO so amazing and helpful!!! Thank you tons, Jinjer! I’m amazed this exists and so excited!!! We will definitely be keeping this in mind for our travels 🤩.

  4. What a stunning wedding! So romantic and whimsical. You looked phenomenal! Gorgeous hair and makeup, and I love the dress. Kudos to you both for traveling with Quinn, staying in a hotel, nursing and pumping, and being there for your friend. You are utterly incredible!! I’m in awe of you, and I hope you gave yourself so much credit for all this took to coordinate. I loved reading your recap!

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