Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weekend Wedding Celebrations - Part Three - The People

This is the third in a series of multiple posts about our family celebrations this past weekend. Please prepare yourselves for a whole lot of scrolling and tons of pictures in each one! I'm joining with Emily W at canvaschild, with Bonnie G at FaithBarista and with Ann V at AHolyExperience for their weekly invitation to share about our faith walk:

 The transformation in the gathering space seemed almost miraculous to us as we worked together to create a place of welcome and warmth. And by the time we had done all that we could do, we were feeling more than a little bit fried around the edges. Fortunately, there are places called 'beauty salons' available to the female of the species and hot showers, fancy attire and small-spaces-for putting-feet-up available to all! Gracie joined us for hair-do time and watching her curls come together was a highlight of the whole day.

 Our middle daughter getting a sleek up-do to show off that lovely long neck...
My beautiful mama got even lovelier after 45 minutes in the magic chair...
 Gracie's mama radiating her usual beautiful self...
 pink sparkly nail polish to go with those curls...
 ...and a group shot with a breathless, tired bride who was the last to arrive for her makeover.
 The ring-bearer looking spiffy just before we left for the church...
 Among the jewels in our family crown - these two have been such a source of life and hope for our entire circle, arriving as they did during the beginning of Lisa's first husband's long, slow decline. They are exactly one month and one day apart in age and most of the time, they are bestest friends.
 Griffin getting a last minute touch-up from dad.
 And Gracie, looking lovely from the back as well as the front.
 I just love the crossed ankles and hands in the pockets here...
 Poppy bringing our littlest girl up for some pictures...
 She was not a huge fan of this slightly-too-large dress that matched her sister's, but I was lucky enough to get a few cute shots before she shed it!

 Dick and I cleaned up pretty well, too...
 ...and our baker boy was just too handsome for words.
 I don't think I've ever seen our daughter looking more radiant than she did that afternoon before, during and after the ceremony. There is the scent of miracle in this whole story and her face reflected that all day long. (Her eldest son is behind her - he was the official portrait photographer for the day, renting a fabulous lens and some lighting help for outdoor shooting. This kid is a pro at this and if I ever get any of those shots, I'll post a couple, I promise.)

 A quiet moment before the service - we pulled all the wooden benches on the church campus around the eating area and Lisa brought pillows and blankets from home to help create a welcoming, casually elegant ambience.

Just a couple of shots from the more private part of the day, the worship service in which these two became one in the Lord. But take a gander at what was going on in the seat beside me: Gracie was drawing what she saw while we watched the marriage happen.  Pretty good eye for detail for a 5-year-old, don't you think?? She got the lacing on Lisa's dress, the candelabra to the side, the flowers behind and Karl's long hair (although he is more roughly drawn :>)

The family lighting the candle together.
 A sweet kiss.
 The presentation to the congregation...
 ...and the exit to the waiting world.
 And then it was time to eat! Lisa bought all the ingredients for a fabulous platter of antipasto appetizers on each table and her dad and brother assembled them earlier in the day. The weather was so gloriously beautiful, however, that folks took a while to meander to their tables and actually enjoy it!
 The food was fun and fabulous - a transportable wood-burning pizza oven churned out five varieties of vegetarian pizzas for about 2 hours.  Our favorites were the eggplant parmigiana and the Yukon gold potato/dill.
 Our amazingly gifted worship pastor provided mellow music the entire evening.
 Lisa and Karl cut the cake, homemade by a long-time friend of ours and just part of a wonderful dessert buffet:
Joel's cupcakes, three kinds of pies from a wonderful house-shop nearby, an ice cream bar with 10 kinds of toppings and personalized candy kisses.
 As the evening deepened, the light from the lanterns added an almost magical, soft glow to everything, the fireplace of our church gazebo crackled invitingly and everyone felt glad and grateful to be there.

 We give thanks and glory to God for this - and for every - part of our family story. In the valley of despair, we clung with all our might to the presence of God, grateful for any small bursts of light and hope along the road. There were moments along that way when darkness seemed to cover the entire earth, and I will admit to some real doubt that we would ever see the dawn again. Yet here we are, on this side of that particular valley, blinded by the light of this hopeful season of renewal. May God grant them a long, fruitful life together with many rich memories of this weekend of love and celebration.