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Last but definitely not least, day 2 part 2: the wedding reception. This was a day of surprises as everything was set up from a distance. Kinda scary not having a bigger hand in planning our wedding reception, but nice having everything done for us. Good thing I'm not a Bridezilla! The party was held at a family friend's place in rural Pennsylvania. Like our wedding, this was a really casual event. A lot more people but didn't feel like it because of how spread out we were. The surroundings gave this event an intimate, exclusive feel.
About the hostess: Karen aka Mrs. Smith. That woman has a gift for party planning. It was the perfect autumn outdoor reception. She and his family attend the same church, which is interesting because I've attended a handful of times and don't recall being introduced. I definitely would have remembered her. When I hear "Mrs. Smith," the first thing that comes to mind is a little old lady. I typically do not refer to women as "Mrs." unless the person is 50+ years old, or a school teacher. Then there are Granny Smith apples. I wasn't expecting this chic 40-something with a gorgeous estate and talent that rivals Martha Stewart. I knew there were going to be h'ors d'oeuvres, a pulled pork station, cider, a hot dog bar... sounds homely but the way she did it...talk about a pleasant surprise :) James' uncle Mike and older brother Nicholas took care of beverages, the women of the family made desserts. Everything was wonderful, I could not have asked for more.
One interesting coincidence is that James and I were married by a woman with the last name Smith- also very pretty, early 40s, tall, blonde with chin length hair, super (+ genuinely) nice, fashionable, artistic. Smith is a common surname but what are the odds that two women similar in appearance with the same last name would play important parts in our wedding festivities?