On Saturday, June 21, the first day of summer, my parents and other members of my family traveled to the Twin Cities to attend the wedding of my cousin's daughter, Jade, and her now husband, Keaton. I love weddings because they celebrate not only the love between the couple getting married, but also the love of friends and family who come to support them and celebrate with them.

The day was beautiful - from the weather to the flowers to the lovely dresses. Most of all, the beauty of the day came from all the smiles that could be found on everyone's faces.

I love getting dressed up for a wedding and this time was no exception. I got a new dress, dug out some sparkly jewelry and borrowed a little black handbag to complete my outfit. I picked out a headband with the most sparkle and I was ready to go. The bride, Jade, even joked she should have borrowed my hair accessory. Perhaps I went too big in my hair bling?

Jade, however, didn't need the extra sparkle. As one can see in the photo below, her eyes and her smile sparkle without any help. She truly made a beautiful bride, not only because she is a beautiful young woman, but she has a beautiful spirit and the love she has for her new husband was evident.

I don't know Keaton yet, but I am looking forward to getting to know him soon. If Jade loves him, I know he must be a good man.

The wedding itself was held in a lovely church in Inver Grove Heights and the reception was held at Pinstripes in Edina. The reception venue was lovely, with lots of fresh flowers adorning the tables and candles and sequins making the tables sparkle. And I think we've already established the fact that I LOVE sparkle!

Before we gathered in the ballroom for the reception, we enjoyed snacks and drinks on the patio overlooking a lovely pond and greenspace. The afternoon was warm, but it was cool and comfortable sitting under an awning in the shade. We were able to visit with other cousins and my aunt and uncle from Wisconsin.

Their wedding menu was a fun one - small sandwiches of various kinds, fries, chicken wings and wood-fired pizzas. The kids had their own smaller buffet with chicken tenders and pizzas as well. I thought that was a great idea!

Instead of cake, dessert consisted of cookies and milk, which the bridal couple prefers over cake. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were definitely a treat. Joshua, my 7-year-old nephew, really enjoyed the candy buffet where he found small Kit Kat bars that he deemed to be his "favorite" though he tried many other kinds as well!

I love attending weddings and am looking forward to another next spring as my niece, Katelyn, will be getting married in April. It is fun to hear about her plans as well, though much of what she is planning will remain a surprise until the day.

Some of my favorite "trash" TV shows are the ones that feature brides shopping for their perfect dresses. I would love to share that experience with Katelyn, but I know, from watching these shows, that it is best to limit the number of people you bring to dress appointments, so I will just wait and be surprised to see her dress at the wedding.

Weddings are wonderful events and I was so honored to be included on Jade and Keaton's guest list. Jade has had a special place in my heart since I spent a couple of weeks at her home babysitting for her when she was a baby.

To see her so grown up and so happy in her new marriage was such a wonderful gift to celebrate on a beautiful June day.

It will be just as fun next April to celebrate the love my niece, Katelyn, has found with her soon-to-be groom, Chris. I can hardly wait.