Jess and Mike Tie the Knot

Last month, in early October, one of my dear friends got married at the Guy Harvey Outpost Islander Resort in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys.  You’ve seen Jess in several of my running posts and if you’ve been reading for a while, you may have even heard us chatting with the Another Mother Runner ladies on their podcast last year.  Jess was friends with my husband in college and she’s one of the many wonderful people that came into my life when we got together.

Michelle, Aleisha, Me

Jess and Mike were married on a Thursday night, so we all headed down on Wednesday to start the celbration early. Since everyone was an out of town guest, they had a Welcome Bash in leiu of a Rehearsal Dinner the night before the wedding. It was so nice to see everyone, take in the beautiful view, and just relax together!

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a picky eater. I’m pretty good about trying new things, if they’re not too weird. I have issues with thinking too much about what I’m eating, which grosses me out, then makes it hard to enjoy. I know, I’m weird. I was so proud of myself this night. Since we were in the Keys, the majority of the food options were seafood, which I typically do not eat. I tried it though and actually liked the Conch Fritters, so yay for more seafood options in my diet.. even if they are deep fried! 🙂

Me, The Bride-to-Be & Aleisha

Shortly after we got there, I noticed a sign for stand up paddleboarding, which is something I’ve been wanting to try. I quickly started trying to sell my friends on doing it the next day before the wedding.

Colby, Jess, Mike, Aleisha, Me, Michelle, Jenn

We were up bright and early the next morning for a Wedding Day 5K! Jess and Mike actually met through running. She had a list of things she wanted to accomplish before she turned 30, and one of those was running a marathon. She joined Team in Training, where Mike was one of the running coaches. She finished her first marathon with Mike by her side and he’s pretty much been by her side ever since.

In the days leading up to the wedding, Jess and Mike kept telling us about this amazing breakfast place in Islamorada, Bobs Bunz. They were talking about it at the Welcome Bash and commented that it was along the 5K course. Adam and Michelle ran the first half mile, then bolted across the street to Bobs Bunz while the rest of us ran. Cheaters! 🙂

They “finished” the race (after massively cutting the course! ha!) with their coffee from Bobs in hand. After the 5K, a big group of us followed Adam and Michelle back to Bobs for breakfast.

If you’re ever in Islamorada, you should definitely stop there for breakfast and get this:

It was french toast made from banana bread, layered with strawberries and bananas, then topped with blueberries.  SO, SO GOOD!  Worth every calorie, and then some.

I forgot to mention – we all got wedding coozies, a bottle of wine, and a finishers medal for participating in the race.  Nice swag, for sure.  It’s like Mike knows how to be a Race Director or something.. 😉

I did a pretty good job of convinving everyone that stand-up paddleboarding was a good idea, so we went back to our rooms to change and then walked over to the resort next store to give it a try. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be, so I got brave and decided I’d try to do some of the yoga poses I’d seen other friends doing on them.. yeah, I found out rather quickly that these free boards are not exactly the most stable.

I totally fell in and screamed like a baby. Like, so loud that the poeple on the shore stopped what they were doing to look and see what happened. For some reason I decided to try to do a tree pose when I was in like two feet of water, so when I fell I landed in the marshy stuff on the bottom. So, so gross!

We finished paddleboarding and headed back to our resort for lunch and to hang out in the pool for a bit. We chatted with the best man, some of Jessi’s family, and even Michelle’s dad. After an hour or so, it was time to get ready for the wedding!

Once tbe bridal party was finished with their pictures, we met Jess in her room to oooh and ahhh over her and her beautiful dress! She’s a beautiful person, inside and out, but I’ve never seen her look more gorgeous, or more happy! <3

Michelle, Adam, Me, Aleisha, Keith, Jenn

The ceremony location was beautiful and I was thankful for the allergy attack I had the day before, because that meant I had a packet of tissues in my purse to pass around. Watching one of your friends commit her life to a wonderful guy.. well, it brings on the tears.

After the newlywed left the ceremony site, the minister asked us to sit tight because they had a surprise for us. A few moments later a.. well, I’m not sure what they are called, but a group of people playing all sorts of instruments and blowing whistles came walking toward us. They led the entire group of us away from the cermony site, through the resort, and to the reception site.

I forgot to mention earlier, Adam had three dates and we kept joking with him that we were his sister wives. He’s lucky to have so many pretty ladies around him all night, am I right?? 🙂

Marianne, Michelle, Me, Aleisha, Jenn

After the cocktail hour (I ate more conch!) we settled into our table for the first dance. I wish I had a picture of the tables because they were beautiful! They were rustic, farmhouse style tables with a dark stain and topped with light driftwood with beautiful pink, orange, and lime green flowers. Jess really outdid herself with the table decor.

The First Dance

After the speeches, where Mike’s son amazed us all with his (he’s 13!), we had dinner and then dancing..

em>It’s a good thing I love and trust my friends/sister wives 😉

We had a wonderful time – it was so nice to be able to get away for a few days with our friends and to celebrate Jess and Mike. We definitely need to make it a point to plan trips like this with our friends at least once a year! We planned to stay through the weekend, but we had to get back early on Friday to go camping with Braden’s Cub Scout pack. We were up before the sun on Friday and on the road. I want to go back!!

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