Friday, August 31, 2007

Our Bride and Groom!

“What therefore God hath joined together,
let not man put asunder”

~ Matthew 10:9

Our brand new "Mr. & Mrs."

We’re back from another whirlwind visit to the West Coast. Over the course of this year a group effort was decided upon with two families at the helm, working together towards the same goal, that of the Sacrament of Matrimony for our daughter to her future loving husband.

Torn between choosing to accompany us on our move to the east and that of leaving the rest of the family in the west, this is the daughter we were very concerned about leaving behind, especially when shortly before the move, she chose to stay in the west with her older siblings, grandparents, and nieces/nephews.

Our bride was having her veil attached to
the headpiece tiara - a something borrowed
from our daughter in law.

Her support system was still large, and became larger when Mike’s family eventually took her under their wing, ensuring us all was well, and keeping the eastern portion of our family in tune with the bigger picture over time. How we appreciated the regular emails from Mike’s mother Carol, knowing too she was overseeing two very precious people on their journey to the altar in person, just as both families were also mentoring them towards the final countdown date, though ours was from a distance.

Hashing over the details together during our last trip west this past March/07, both of the families began to formulate a plan, working to unite in thought and deed, obviously knowing the importance of remaining on the same page. It became the norm to continually offer parental guidance (both requested and unsolicited), and the ripple effect of family continually mentoring the couple, offering an immense loving support system.

He was looking anxiously for the bride and
relieved to see her walking in the doorway.

When necessary we were just a telephone call away when we just “had” to hear one another’s voice, and tears fell within those calls knowing and acknowledging the vast geographical distances between us. Emotions reigned, but the road to marriage luckily wasn’t going to be too terribly long.

It’s amazing what we don’t need in our lives when reviewing past life changing situations, one such of these specifically occurring for me after having to move across the country away from loved ones, and shortly thereafter realizing how ill my hubby had become, necessitating a decision for him to leave work because of it. Moving away left us with deep enduring emotional moments, not only facing concerns as a parent towards the welfare of an older young adult child left alone to support herself, but also having to consequently assimilate passing judgments of others who decided upon the fact we erred by leaving her behind at all. Some felt they never could have, and would not have, but then reality must careen forward when realizing to make such a statement they have not husbands whose career may require a geographical transfer possibility in a married lifetime. Ours didn’t happen for twenty-nine years, and thank goodness for that! Without a transfer, one faces the consequence of a career loss and its benefits, something a large family cannot afford in the first place, thereby having no recourse for other options. Certainly other careers don’t face such decisions so it becomes very easy for someone to discreetly give advice, point a finger where they feel we are erring, or pass judgment.

However, God had other plans for this daughter, better plans actually that we offer prayers of thanksgiving for acknowledging that He does indeed work in mysterious ways, continually disclosing his plans to us along this journey called life when he sees fit to do so.... Thanks be to God!

A very proud father of the bride!

Finally we were back in Vancouver about to witness the beautiful and special day ahead.

All that said, I am thrilled to report a happily-ever-after milestone, the welcomed wedding day we were delighted and so very pleased to attend. We are overjoyed and consumed with great happiness (and confessed relief) knowing our daughter is in great hands with her new husband. We are so proud to be among the two families who literally came together for the good of one young couple we all love dearly.

As another child weds, so too does our family expand. Having experienced several weddings in the family before this one, all of our children’s weddings were unique unto themselves and certainly have blessed our family with continued great joy. We welcome yet another to our fold, and are so very proud to do so on the blog just as we did in person and at the wedding reception. We know Mike will love, honor and cherish Ashley all the days of their lives. It’s a pleasure to have you in the family Mike.

Kneeling for their matrimonial blessings.

As the days moved forward and the wedding day commenced, we were continuously connected and kept in the loop to the whole situation out west with regular emails from our daughter’s new mother in law, our big kids and parents. Assignments had been delegated to all, offering a lighter load to a handful of people. Our family drafted a schedule of where and when to attend functions during the upcoming week, successfully offering us a very smooth visit.

Weddings! You either love them or hate them. Love them because they are so beautiful, and hate them because women find their makeup smearing under their eyes when the joyful tears drip onto their laps, into their tissues or silently down their cheeks.

Blessings of this wedding;

  • For us, it was such a blessing to be able to be present to witness another beautiful daughter making her vows, thusly becoming a married woman. We were teased all evening; Four down, four more to go! (Lord willing)

  • Having the family all together, watching the grandchildren intermingle with our younger ones and their distant cousins, but most of all; getting another family picture with everyone in it this time! Timeless!

  • Having very special family members and cherished friends coming together for the sole purpose of sharing in the occasion of the couple’s “Sacrament of Matrimony”.
  • Seeing the little great nieces/nephews again! The power of “The Family” is immeasurable, precious and irreplaceable. It was a delight to see cousins again, inlaws, siblings and special friends. These are what memories are made of – family and friends who come together celebrating pivotal moments in one another’s lives. We love you!
Guest book attendants!

  • Meeting so many wonderful people in Mike’s family, and viewing the abundance of smiling faces, obviously they were happy people - also happy to be present! Finding out all the boys paths had already crossed long ago with hockey the evening before, those in the wedding party, Mike and our boys. Very funny, small world. Welcome to our extended family Wayne, Carol and Bryan!

  • Thrilled with the way two families merged together, emotions were shared, and a plethora of plentiful hugging offered over and over again. As our other children's marriages - THIS is how a marriage should be! THIS is how both families should come together. We are blessed to be in unison with all our children’s in laws!

  • Another amazing experience was attending the dinner at Wayne & Carol’s after the rehearsal the evening before the wedding, with all the immediate family members present and the bridal party, coming together in a very unique and tremendously emotional evening. LOVED it! Thanks again!

  • Watching the continued and ongoing efforts of some pretty special people in action, taking over details of a wedding planner’s position to assure all was smooth and easy. Many thanks to Carolyn and Jackie for being there, both have allowed me to be their “second mothers”. Love you!

  • Taking a few photos myself in the front pews before realizing we had a photographer there, and then observing the multitudes of other photographers in our midst, snapping photos to offer even more still life memories to cherish forever. We’re only a postage stamp away, please send us some. We’ll pay you back! (smile) Until the photographer sends the photos, you'll have to put up with the few I've included here.

  • So many more blessings continue to pour in, thank you to everyone! I'll be back with a second part to this writing as the photos pour in. We have many more memories to share from our week there in the west, too many for this blog writing!

Unexpected curves;

Crisis for the mother of the bride;
The family heirloom pillow...
forgotten at home in the east!

  • Forgetting the family’s heirloom sewn ring pillow at home, discovering this was so when catching our connector plane half way to Vancouver! Mortified I realized we would have to purchase one instead of having this child follow in it’s use as her older siblings all have. Ugh
  • The wrong size of wedding dress was ordered into the store necessitating five inches of excess fabric on the side seams. The seamstress changed the entire look of the bodice piece, and I had a very emotional telephone call from the bride to be from the shock of the new dress look. Not a pleasant thing to also be charged with a whopping alteration bill! The dress was NOT the same, less modest and more difficult to wear properly. All was well though, it's in the past.
The dress before the alterations...much
higher in the bodice and not such a deep cut.

  • Our granddaughter who would be the young flower girl was bitten by her puppy the evening before during the rehearsal dinner and had a deep cut over her lip to contend with. The butterfly band-aid was removed shortly before the wedding and luckily it held together.

  • The best man was in a car accident the morning of the wedding and it looks as though his vehicle is a write off. He was most nervous about his speech that day, and after the wedding had to tend to the car.

  • Losing the piano accompaniment suddenly for my sister in law, who has become the vocal soloist in a family tradition, always gracing us with her rendition of “Ave Maria” at most family functions when she is able and in town. She was forced to make a quick decision to change the version of the song so she could play the music herself and not have to encounter those high note pitches, requiring her to stand to attain them.

  • Big billowy black clouds appearing out of nowhere from behind blue skies, threatening to ruin the day, but on the bright side our great photographer had big black umbrellas to protect the wedding party when taking photos outdoors.

  • Not able to spend a lot of time with good friends, but grabbing hugs and what we could during the time together.

  • The acoustics in the building were terrible for some reason, not as good as those offered for our son’s wedding day in the same venue. The Master of Ceremonies spent much time attempting to change the microphones, and obtain better visibilities to the video performance without proper equipment present as we had hoped for. Kudos to him though, he did a great job!

Emotions play a funny part when a couple proceeds to the altar, vowing to one another those special faith and moral issues, plus their promised fidelities a marriage must have to succeed with down the road. Once the promises are uttered and a multitude of invited guests have witnessed the scene before them, it is the couple’s duty to live up to their promises. It is the guest’s duty to assist when able as well during the years ahead into their married lives together.

During our daughter’s walk up the aisle, it was once again a reminder of the journey our newlyweds encountered to the final stage of their forever commitments. Each couple is guaranteed to have their very own story, featuring pivotal and timely moments when everything comes together. In our family we tend to celebrate the ordinary, feast over the milestones for each individual and certainly when a young couple is in the midst of marriage preparations, it is an emotion like no other for the parents, let alone the bride and groom. The entire family has been touched tenderly in one or more ways with this wedding. May we never forget it.


You either love them or hate them!

We love them!

Congratulations to our newlyweds!

We love you!

to be continued with other photos in the future...