Friday, January 18, 2013

Wedding Party...


It's true! Not only have my bridesmaids lavished me with amazing bridal showers and a bachelorette party and words of encouragement, support, laughter, wisdom, distractions, and excitement throughout this wedding process, but they also made my wedding day so much fun! The groomsmen too loved my husband so well through this wedding planning process. They too offered Aaron wisdom, support, distractions, encouragement, and laughter and memories - if I could post pictures of the bachelor party at a cabin up north complete with guns and boys being boys, I would and you would have a picture of how close these boys are.

The pictures of our wedding party give but a glimpse of how much fun this group was!

This picture is awesome - Elsie is starting to fall apart, Shawn's face, Jack's face... excellent

If you'll notice, my brother and sister-in-law took the opportunity to make-out

From left to right: Nicole, Ashley, Kendra, me, Jeannette & Elisabeth

From left to right: Tyler, Shawn, Jeremy, Aaron, Andy & Bruce

Andy: Aaron and I have known Andy for YEARS! Over a decade! I have known him my entire life as our families have been at the same church our entire lives. He is an amazing servant! So willing to help, to listen, to relate to wedding stress and offer to do anything to help us. He and his wife are so fun and we love them so much! So thankful for Andy!

Shawn: I'm going to write a TON of stuff about Shawn in my post about our families part in this wedding, but I'll say it here too, my big brother is amazing! I think he was as excited about Aaron and I dating as we were. He was talking about our wedding before Aaron and I had actually gone out on an official first date! I think the fact that I made his best friend is ACTUAL brother gave him more joy than anything.

Jeremy:He has been in my life from the time I was born. He and his sister Kendra (also a bridesmaid) were Shawn and my closest friends from the time we could speak. Aaron and Jeremy share a relationship that involves the deep things on their hearts and minds. He and his wife are such a sweet couple and we are so excited to meet their little Leah here shortly!

Bruce: When Aaron talks about Bruce, there is a deep respect and so much appreciation in his voice for this man. Bruce is an amazing man... once of those men who does and knows and remembers everything. He is a man of great influence and I am incredibly grateful for his influence on our marriage. Bruce and his wife Janet did our premarital counseling. They are wise, patient, understanding, fun to laugh with, refreshingly candid and open about their marriage the things God has taught them through their man years. We love and appreciate them beyond words!

Tyler: Again, I will gush and gush about Tyler in the family post tomorrow, but I will say here that I saw something stir in Tyler throughout this wedding planning and celebrating that makes my heart so happy! It was so incredibly awesome to see him be apart of this group of groomsmen and no longer be mine or Shawn's little brother, but to be one of the men. He was so sweet to listen to my yammering on about Wedding planning when I would visit him where he works at Target. He was so excited for all the guy events! I love that Aaron and Tyler have developed a real friendship and brotherhood.

 Kendra: Kendra and I have known each other our entire lives. Most of the major events in my life, Kendra was there. It is such a blessing that we ended up getting married in the same year and being each other's maid/matron of honor. Kendra is solely responsible for the flowers being so beautiful! She did all the bouquets, boutonnieres, and did the mock up for the centerpieces that our helpers executed beautifully! I loved that she was standing next to me, with me all day, and that our friendship will continue!

Nicole: My sister in law as always is one of the wisest people I know. She is so incredibly confident and gives awesome advice. I will talk about her too on my family post, but I just can't say enough how much I love and respect her. I love that she was excited all day! Every time I had a thought, she was always 2 steps ahead of me. She continually was watching me an anticipating my needs and moods and was the constant servant. Since I have been married, she is the person I sit and talk with. She listens to my thoughts and funny stories about learning to be a wife and loves me and protects me and challenges me with such wisdom.

Elisabeth: Elisabeth is one of the most fun people I know. We were in Kendra's wedding together earlier in the year and while as one of my very best friends, I already knew she was a blast, but at a wedding she is awesome! She kept everyone laughing and that was exactly what I needed! I love having her friendship! I love that she was apart of my day. I am so thankful with her being so present with me on this journey and welcoming Aaron into some of our hang out times. She is amazing!

Jeannette: Jeannette knows about weddings! She took a lot of questions from me about anything and everything for planning this wedding and when it came to the big day she was the one reminding me what the most important thing of the day was - becoming Aaron's wife. She was level headed and focused and she even helped me in the bathroom with my dress. She is a good friend. She also was the person keeping us on point during the reception. Her and Dave, our MC, were an amazing team! They created an amazing flow to the reception, allowing flexibility for making sure it wasn't too rushed or drag too much. She also was always a few steps ahead of me checking whether we were ready to cut the cake or to leave the reception. I would not have made it through my reception without her!
Ashley: I LOVED having Ashley in my wedding party. She fit so well with the rest of the girls and I am so glad that the friendships have continued passed my wedding. She was on the dance floor laughing with my bridesmaids. Some of the most fun pictures of my wedding were of all of them having a blast together. She is funny and sarcastic and makes me laugh so much with her refreshing straight forward humor. I just think she is incredible and strong and so much fun!

Then there were our Flower Girls and our Ring Bearer! I have come to LOVE the unpredictability of kids in a wedding party... and my Flower Girls and Ring Bearer did not disappoint.
Me, Emolyn & Elsie - my beautiful nieces

Aaron & Jack - a family friend

This picture is hilarious!
Let's start with Emolyn... she was BORN FOR THIS! The consummate professional, it was as if her whole life had led to this day and being a flower girl. I loved the way she stayed close to my side and wanted to look at my dress and my wedding rings. I love that she got manicures and pedicured with us the Thursday before the wedding and came to the family bridal shower like a real lady. She is the sweetest, funniest, smartest, and diarmingly wise little girl I know!

Next is Elsie - She is the wildcard! I was not sure if at 2 years old she was going to be able to focus long enough to get down the aisle, but I so much wanted her to be apart of my day. Other people warned me the unpredictability of a 2 year old flower girl, but I figured that other than tears and a tantrum, I didn't care how she got down the aisle. If she wanted to yell and laugh and run the whole way down it would make a good story and a cute photo op! She was amazing though! Aside from the melt downs during some of the group photos (the girl doesn't like to stay still too long), she was the joyful, funny Elsie I know! She was such a ham most of the time too. She walked down the aisle perfectly (mainly because she just follows whatever Emolyn does) and during the ceremony she stuck to the corner of the yard with her other Aunt Michelle and played with toys and ate goldfish crackers.

Lastly is Jack - who made for one of the best moments of our wedding! Such a shy boy, I was so thankful that he even made it down the aisle at all with all those people! What a handsome little boy huh?! Those shoes! The look on his face! The fact that he held the Bible in front of his face whenever he could... it was priceless. Also if you scroll up to the funny group shot at the top, his face is my favorite part! Such a little boy who doesn't know what to do with kissing. He was AWESOME!

I should also take this time to point out the Bible that Jack held down the aisle. Aaron and I weren't wild about a ring (with no rings on it) or a sign... so we were undecided about what Jack would carry until my mom suggested my Aunt Patty's childhood Bible that she has had. My Aunt Patty was my dad's only sister and she was killed in a car accident when she was 18 years old. I have had her Bible since I was little and it is the sweetest white Bible!
The sweeter part of the story is when my mom found it and opened it up, we discovered it was a gift to Patty from her older brother, my Uncle Barry who passed away several years ago from cancer. It was like they were both represented at the wedding in that little Bible.

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