“Why are you always visiting random states in the Midwest?” / by Vanessa Larkey

“Why are you always visiting random states in the Midwest?”

Weddings, of course! 

There’s a Larkey contingent in America, and they’ve all found wonderful people to marry (yay!). But! Before I get into that, let me give you some great reasons to visit the Midwest: 

1)    CHEESE (on EVERYTHING!) 

2)    Stunning State Parks 

  If you find yourself in Minneapolis, visit Minnehaha Park. There's a great waterfall that you can't see because of our super sweet selfie skills. 

If you find yourself in Minneapolis, visit Minnehaha Park. There's a great waterfall that you can't see because of our super sweet selfie skills. 

3)    Highway systems that put the 401 to shame

4)    Trader Joe’s*

5)    Friendly people that are curious about your accent

We drove 14 hours to Minneapolis to celebrate the marriage of my cousin Leigh-Ann to her now husband Dean. Now that Leigh-Ann is hitched, there are no more single Larkeys in the USA. Sorry America! 

Leigh-Ann and Dean’s wedding may have been the last American Larkey wedding, but it was the first wedding Peter and I attended as an engaged couple.  We heard, “You’re next!” quite a few times, which made me go into, “OMG WE ARE ACTUALLY GETTING MARRIED. WE NEED TO START PLANNING THIS THING PRONTO” mode. What happens when I go into that mode? I start drinking martinis the night before the wedding at a lovely party thrown by Dean’s family, and encourage my extended family to do the same (sorry not sorry about that hangover, Uncle Jim!).

After a big breakfast that soaked up all the booze, Peter and I were able to enjoy the nuptials with a newfound appreciation of all the planning that went into that day. We also picked up a few ideas that we are going to “borrow” (read: steal) at our own wedding. Maybe you’ll want to “borrow” some of these as well. 

1)    Photo wall of parents/grandparents/great-grandparents on their wedding day. I LOVE looking at old photos. It’s fun to try and find resemblances between family members, and check out the fashion and beauty trends of yore. On a more sentimental note, it’s a great way to pay respects to the people that brought you into this world.  

2)    Serve wine and beer (no hard liquor). When there’s harder stuff around, people (like myself) start ordering shots and it can get real messy real quick.  

3)    A pre-wedding day dinner for all out-of-town guests. The actual wedding day is very busy, and you don’t always get a chance to catch-up with everyone. A rehearsal/family dinner remedies that. Just stay away from dirty martinis.  

4)    Marriage advice for the newlyweds. I might go one step further and give guests a piece of fabric to write their advice on so that I can make a wedding quilt (ambitious, but I’m up for the challenge.)  

 Marriage advice! 

Marriage advice! 

5)    Epic dance off. I wish I had video of Leigh-Ann and Dean’s. Those two have some sweet dance moves. I think Peter and I will have to take a dance class or two if we’re going to compete with that. 

 Sweet dance moves! 

Sweet dance moves! 

6)    Photo booth! Sure, they’ve become a wedding staple, but Leigh-Ann and Dean’s wedding reminded me just how much fun a photo booth can be. 

I’m kinda bummed that there are no more American weddings. Like I mentioned earlier, I love travelling to the US, and I have a great time hanging out with my cousins and their partners. I wish they lived a bit closer so that we could see each other more often. That being said, I can’t wait to show them how Canadians party in 2016. 

 Squad goals. My Dad got in trouble by the photographer for taking this pic. He was cramping her style. 

Squad goals. My Dad got in trouble by the photographer for taking this pic. He was cramping her style. 

 Me and the bride! 

Me and the bride! 

*I think my cousins think our Trader Joe's obsession is weird. I mean, if someone visited Canada and was obsessed with Loblaws I'd think it was weird. That being said, if you find yourself at a Trader Joe's in America, please pick me up some half popped popcorn.