best day ever | #bradandgeena

There are actually no words to describe how incredible Brad & Geena’s wedding was… Actually, how perfect & perfectly crazy the whole week was.

~pre wedding~

Let’s start at the very beginning. I took one of the first flights out of Midway on Monday morning to Baltimore and Mrs. Cooley picked me up. The wedding craziness began then! We ran errands, did lots of DIY projects, per Geena’s request, and had lots of wine, per Alex’s & my request! We kept joking that we were going to change the official hashtag from #bradandgeena to #melandmichelle because sweet Geena had to work all the way up till Wednesday so we had to make a lot of decisions with out her approval (luckily we know her very well and she loved everything)!! Mrs. Cooley, Alex, and I had a lot of fun staying up way too late doing wedding things! Alex’s wonderful boyfriend, Jake, even came in from NY to join the wedding fun and hand wrote all 150 place cards. My mom drove in on Thursday and got to join in on all the pre-wedding fun (and DIY)! I’m so, so happy she got to be a part of this special time!

I finally got to meet the WHOLE Harrington family and I love every single one of them, sister-in-laws too! They are the sweetest, most loving family and I’m just going to pretend I get to call them my new family also! The Cooleys & Harringtons mix perfectly and all the kids have new best friends! Saying goodbye to both families was really hard!

~rehearsal and dinner~

Mrs. Harrington threw the rehearsal dinner at the house they rented in Annapolis and the food was fantastic. That woman is awesome. Not only does she have 12 kids, she made TWO beautiful wedding cakes, and cooked a rehearsal dinner for almost 100 people. And she’s the sweetest lady! I now know why Brad is so nice; his parents are amazing!

After dinner on Friday, Liz, Theresa, Alex & I went to reception site to make sure everything was set up! When we finally got home, there were a lot of last minute errands to run and things to do. We didn’t get into bed until 1am or later. It was really cool to spend the last night with Geena as a Cooley! Before going to bed that night, our dear family friend, Mary Maher, lead us in the most beautiful prayer and in the middle of that prayer Mr. Cooley walked downstairs and was able to finish that prayer with us. It was a really sweet moment as we listened to a father pray for his daughter as she was about to enter into the sacrament of marriage.

~wedding day~

Our morning began nice & early. Alex & I had to be in the chair to get our hair done by 6 am! Shortly after that all 14 bridesmaids and 3 flower girls were in & out of hair & makeup chairs and before we knew it, Geena was waking down the stairs in her dress! The Mass was so beautiful, Brad & Geena we’re glowing and never stopped smiling once!

Photos after Mass were a lot of fun! Our photographers, Kimmie & Andrew, were THE BEST! Seriously, they were the most easy-going, fun to work with, and talented people. And what’s even better is that they’re engaged! They were so cute together! I’m currently in the process of convincing Lauren to use them for her wedding next year!

The reception was perfect! It looked absolutely magical in the room. Alex gave her MOH toast which was so lovely and then Brad’s oldest brother & Best Man, Chris, gave his toast which was awesome, too! It was such a fun afternoon of Photo Booth picture taking and dance offs between little Cooleys & Harringtons. After the reception was over, a handful of Brad’s Cal Rugby friends as well as myself and a few of Geena’s other girlfriends sat around a fire with a few bottles of wine & champagne and took turns making toasts to the new Mr. & Mrs. Harrington! Thanks, Cullen, for representing G’s friends! Unfortunately, by the time it was our turn, the guys had already had most of us in tears and Cullen was the only one who could keep herself composed long enough to say a few words. In the Cooley house, we call that a positive focus circle, and it was one of the best ones yet!

We kissed the bride and groom goodbye and headed downtown to continue the celebrations at a few Annapolis bars! I ended my celebrating a little earlier because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I went to bed that night with THE BIGGEST smile on my face, because it truly was the best day ever.

~post wedding~

On Sunday morning, we got up and ran everyone back to their cars and houses. Theresa, Jake, and Alex caught a late train back to NY and the Cooleys and I went to Mass. After Mass, the Harringtons came over for one last get together. It was nice to just have an easy, no fuss dinner. I got to talk to Katrina (Brad & Geena’s beautiful sister-in-law) for a little and of course she had me in tears as she talked about how she knew Chris (her husband, obviously) was the one!

I flew home yesterday afternoon after a nice breakfast with the Cooleys and many, many hugs. While I am happy to be home, I am SO sad that this weekend is over! I’ve been waiting since February, when they got engaged… actually, I’ve been waiting since July 13, 2012, the day they met, for this day. And just like that, its over. I’m still on a wedding high and I’m hoping this lasts forever.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures, most of which I’ve already shared on Instagram or Facebook, and unfortunately I can claim very few as my own. Ms. Alex and Kimmie have the best photos so I’ve been stealing theirs.

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Bradley Harrington! Thank you for allowing me to be a witness to the incredible amount of love you have for each other and for including me in your best day ever. I love you both.

xx, a happy bridesmaid



  1. YOU are an AMAZING gal! Thank You for everything. Words cannot describe the gratitude i feel for what you did this past week.

    I am so glad you were here. I loved reading this from your perspective too. I had no idea there was a prayer by Mary and Pat- Uggg I always miss the good stuff when I go to bed ( the little kids always say that too ;) )

    I want every week to be this much FUN and filled with LOVE and laughing. XOXOXO

  2. Hi Melanie, I found your blog through Katrina Harrington’s instagram—I know her from Notre Dame. I absolutely love your blog!! What a great name, at least in the eyes of this fellow fun-loving Catholic girl! I live in Chicago too and would love to get together some time if you are ever up for it. :)

    1. Hi Tess! Thanks for reading :) I love connecting with fellow Chicagoans, email me your contact info (! And I just scrolled through your blog- I love it, and that babe of yours is adorable! xx, Melanie

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