Well, it's been a wonderful - and TIRING - few days. But the pictures have been edited and tonight and tomorrow I'm posting in pieces about our weekend celebrations. First, a look at day one - Friday's preparations and Rehearsal Dinner. Because we snuck some fun things into that day, I'm joining with Laura B at TheWellspring for her Playdates meme and also with LLBarkat at SeedlingsinStone, because we worked to create a sense of welcoming place at our home that evening.
Four generations asleep under our roof on Thursday,
gathered to help make dreams come true.
Three carloads pulled in on Friday morning,
piled high with hope and happy spirits,
cupcakes and folding chairs and miles of blue ribbon.
The morning was overcast,
making the physical work of the early day easier,
so we set up tables and chairs across the yard,
spreading small votive cubes and large pillars in hurricanes across the tops
of blue and yellow Provence print tablecloths.
And then the female cohort took a couple of hours for spa time.
Mani-pedi spa time, that is...followed by a quick lunch together.
Assorted errands, a change of clothes, setting up more tables - this time on the church patio - brought us to the rehearsal.
Our five-year-olds practiced bearing rings and dropping petals, the bride's sons (the only attendants) learned the ropes, I figured out where to stand for my small part in the service, the bride and groom-to-be looked radiant and amazingly calm.
Dinner had arrived when we returned home,
and forty friends and family gathered to ask God's blessing
on the food and the festivities.
The summer fog had cleared,
leaving a beautiful blue sky that slowly turned to navy
as the evening wound down.
The bride's father and brother started the fire in plenty of time to let the coals settle down into just the right temperature for S'Mores later in the evening.
Friends and family from as far away as upstate New York, Arizona, and Seattle settled in for some story telling and laughter as the twilight deepened.
The younger crowd preferred to dine on the blanket, picnic style.
And the coals ripened to the perfect degree of doneness.
As the sky turned rosy, the sticks went into the fire, loaded with gooey goodness, and everyone under the age of 10 enjoyed concoctions of their own design - with dark chocolate Reese's being the favorite of most.
These gorgeous boots, polished to a high gloss, adorned the feet of the groom's step-dad - age 91! - who regaled us with jokes and stories all night long.
Our littlest one, sweet Lilly, enjoyed meeting cousins from across the country and almost drifted off as her mom gave her a fun ride across the lawn.
It was a fun and productive day
followed by a lovely and relaxed evening -
a good start to a memorable weekend.