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my big sister, hollywood glamour, and covid catastrophes.

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

My older sister is one of my favorite people. She loves the little things in life. I mean this metaphorically, like she loves having picnic lunches at the park and running to the bakery for treats, but I also mean it literally. She loves tiny things. Tiny staplers, mini tubes of m&ms, itsy bitsy jars of jam. She also loves celebrations. She decorates her apartment, buys themed cereal, and loves parades. She loves being with her family, hates missing out on fun, and 100% believes in soul mates.

She found her soulmate at the end of 2019, which set her wedding date in April of 2020. This in between time was when no one really knew what Covid 19 was. I remember my dad telling all of us to prepare to work from home and to have adequate food storage because of some virus in China and I thought he was crazy. When mandatory lock downs and quarantines began, I was pretty frustrated with myself for not listening and a little panicked when I only had three rolls of toilet paper left.

We first thought lockdown would come and go, and Maddy’s wedding would still take place in April. Oh, blessed little babies, we were so oblivious. None of us knew that Covid 19 would mean YEARS of travel restrictions, quarantines, work closures, and production disruptions. Poor Maddy was so stressed as her wedding got closer and there was no prediction of what the next few weeks would look like. In the end, she canceled the big wedding and reception, and was married in the Provo Canyon with just immediate family present. I made her bouquet from Trader Joes's greenery and an azalea plant. My dad had the pleasure of marrying her, and we all ate Winco sandwiches and Crumbl cookies after the ceremony.

In the fall of 2021, Maddy finally got to have her big wedding and reception. The night before her sealing in the Sacramento temple, she told my parents and siblings that her and her husband were expecting. The next day, the officiant made multiple comments about the couple’s future children which was heartwarming and awe inspiring to the few of us who knew she already had a baby in her belly.

She had a backyard reception in cool October, and she chose rich jewel tones with accents of gold. Us sisters wore velvet dresses in various shades of green, and family members wore deep blue and burgundy. There were lights strung everywhere, deep wood candle holders with navy taper candles, gold chargers, and purple goblets holding tea lights. Very moody, very magnificent. We ate Winco sandwiches, just like at her small elopement, and she had a cookie bar with 100s of homemade cookies of every variety.

Her florals were to die for. Deep red roses, burgundy dahlias and scabiosa, pops of lighter peach roses and hypericum berries, bronze amaranthus, and per her request, some funky blooms, like blue thistle, purple astrantia, and pink ice proteas. And of course, plenty of greens. Maddy made gold compotes for the table arrangements and purchased glass vases in different shapes and jewel tones to scatter about. My favorite floral moment was the two glass stands we filled with blooms that held up the wood board the sandwiches were set on.

The night was magical and especially sweet knowing this was the party Maddy didn’t get to have in 2020. It was also freezing cold. Because a lot of the wedding party was visiting from out of town and I lived in California at the time, everyone wore my coats and jackets. Maddy wore a white feather jacket over her wedding dress, which felt Hollywood glamorous. At one point, Maddy gave a short toast to my parents, congratulating them on their 25 year anniversary, and dedicated a dance to them. My parents danced to Celine Dion's "The Power of Love", which was their wedding song so many years ago.

My family loves to dance, and we all had a blast on the dancefloor, being silly and cheering on my dad’s stellar moves. Maddy put on a pair of tennis shoes and we partied. I shivered a lot, ate way too many cookies, and had such a happy heart being able to help put on this celebration for the sister who loves to celebrate and hates missing out. Covid really ruined her plans, but in the end, I think we made up for it.

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