A fall weekend in Michigan

A friend from high school got married near our hometown in October 2016, so I flew home to attend. Luckily, I was also able to be part of two special engagements, and I even made time to try on and find a wedding dress. What a productive, wedding-themed weekend — and an efficient use of airline miles for the ticket!

My friends Caitlin and Brandon got engaged on the Friday of that weekend. They have been together about as long as Grant and I have, and they’ve grown up together, through high school, college, and half a decade post-college. It was time for them to get engaged.

I knew both through the band / choir group in high school and stayed in touch while we were at Michigan State. During college, I lived in Caitlin’s family-owned apartment — her dad and uncle were my landlords — and Brandon lived in the apartment below mine. We became closer during those years, and Brandon ended up introducing me to the company that moved me to California in 2012. They’ve both visited me a few times out here, and I try to make time to see them when I’m in Michigan. We’ve been able to work on fun things together, like the Michigan Beer Show podcast and blog.

Brandon told me in early 2016 that he was going to propose during the Michigan State homecoming parade and I knew I had to make the trip back in October. Prior to the parade, Brandon and I met up at our old stomping grounds, the Peanut Barrel on Grand River in downtown East Lansing, for beers and burgers. I admired the beautiful ring he’d picked out to give Caitlin, and when we parted ways, I met up with Caitlin and walked through campus with her. We “randomly decided” (ahem, Brandon and I had been planning for months) to check out her old dorm in the West Circle neighborhood of campus, where Brandon was waiting with a photographer and the ring. He proposed, I (sort of) got it on video — sorry, too excited! — and we spent the rest of the evening celebrating.

I attended a wedding the following day with my parents and sister, Melissa. My longtime friend Isadora’s boyfriend Reuben texted me during the reception that he was going to propose that night, so we headed back to East Lansing to celebrate with them. On the last day of my trip, my sisters Melissa and Olivia took me wedding dress shopping before I flew back to California. I’ve been engaged since Thanksgiving 2015, but we’re taking wedding planning slow and are going to get married in an intimate Northern Michigan getaway with our siblings and parents as our witnesses in September 2017.

I am so happy and excited that so many (10 couples that include cousins, siblings, and good friends from childhood, high school, college) are saying “I do” this year. It will be interesting trying to manage travel for all of those events, but I’m happy that we decided to keep our guest list small (16 people) and our wedding plans low-key.

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