Post Wedding Crash: Behind the Scenes

As Esther, the baby of the family, got married, we thought it fitting to post our reflections in opposite birth order. So take it away, Jewel!

Jewel here: Well, that wedding weekend certainly flew by. I think I might have emotional whiplash! The festivities began for me on Thursday morning with Esther as we drove to Newark to get fellow bridesmaid Amanda. From the time we left to the time I got back after the wedding I felt like I was on a walking escalator thing. There were plenty of moments of down time, but I still always felt responsible for things, and like Janna and Mom, I would often get up to go make sure something was being taken care of. Some of my favorite memories are times with the nieces and nephew. Watching Era walk around the garden contentedly and smile at me every time she walked up and down the steps. Archer pulling his dress shirt out of his pants 30 seconds after we had tucked it back, including right before walking down the aisle. When I scolded him and told him he had to keep it tucked in til he walked down the aisle he said mournfully: “I just keep doing it!” Watching Miriam dance with such joy and abandon. I think my very favorite-est memory is that of Esther walking down the aisle. She looked so beautiful and happy. It was an amazing, very full of “acts of service-style” love weekend that left me exhausted but very very content. Here is a photobooth picture of Miriam that makes me smile.

Martha here:  The wedding was busy for our family – Archer and Era were in the ceremony as flower children, I had to walk Era down the aisle because she refused to hold Archer’s hand, I was reading Psalm 8 during the ceremony, and of course Bradley was the OFFICIAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER(tm). Bradley took, oh, about 24 gigabytes of photos that I’m not yet at liberty to share. He would want me to lower your expectations, so from what I’ve seen so far, they all suck (IN OPPOSITE LAND).

the photographer at work

My little mental snapshots when I remember the day are: Esther flipping her hair back after she diffused it, and her curls were so incredible that it made me gasp. Era walking behind Archer and Miriam as they scattered the petals down the aisle, trying to pick them back up. The hilarious and touching wedding toasts from Jewel, Esther’s friend Amanda, and two of Marcus’s best friends.

I loved dancing and watching the dancing at Esther’s wedding.  It took half a lifetime for me to overcome my upbringing and feel uninhibited on the dance floor, and I don’t get the opportunity to dance often enough. I also loved not parenting as much, knowing that my sisters and parents and family and friends were there to pick up the slack. I miss that when I’m in Ireland!

Archer transformed into a little beast during the dancing. He robbed the photobooth costumes and took over the dance floor in armor and wig and brandishing a sword! Sometimes I had to reign in his enthusiasm for being in the middle of it all, but I love to see his nerdy and goofy personality emerge. If you ask him what his favorite part of the wedding was, he says ‘bubbles, costumes, and dancing’.  He can talk to anyone.

adorable weirdo

Rachel here: I think my favorite part of the wedding weekend was seeing all the little touches that made it unique to Esther and Marcus! I enjoyed seeing the Latin dancing at the reception–Esther and Marcus’s dance and the LASA ladies dance. The homemade wine on the tables from the Wachs was really fun also (I only had a sip, of course). The pie for dessert and the paper roses and wreaths made from hymnals made me think of the Mennonite connection from Dad’s side (also I like that those were mostly made by my sisters, Jewel and Janna!). The photobooth was a huge success–it was fun to see how everyone enjoyed that. I loved hearing more about Esther and Marcus from their friends and family during the toasts at the reception. Esther was a very serene bride–maybe she was internally more stressed but she seemed so calm and collected on her wedding day which was beautiful to see! It was a great day of celebration and I’m glad to have a new brother-in-law in the family.

my little flower girl, before she got grumpy
my little flower girl, before she got grumpy
wedding bouquet
close up of a bridesmaid bouquet

 Janna‘s turn! It was a busy, fun weekend. There was a lot to be done before the wedding and after the reception:

making pies for the reception and food for our meals before and afterwards,

Grandma making her potato salad, the rest of us working on pies.
Grandma making her potato salad for the rehearsal dinner while the rest of us worked on 17 pies.

decorating,

Many hands make light work in setting up the reception hall.
Many hands make light work in setting up the reception hall.
Mom working on flower arrangements.
Mom working on flower arrangements.

rehearsing,

Scouting out the rose garden for pictures the next day.
and scouting out the rose garden for pictures the next day.

meeting people coming in for the wedding and reception, cleaning up.

Kevin picking up the flower petals Archer and Miriam so carefully spread.
Kevin picking up the flower petals Archer and Miriam so carefully spread.
Important flower balancing break. It had been a long day.
Important flower balancing break. It had been a long day.

Our family is incredibly capable, and pretty good at putting on events, I think. In my oh-so-unbiased opinion. There was time, especially but not just during the reception, where I could turn off my brain/busyness and dance, be with my family,

Mom, Grandma and Jewel
Mom, Grandma and Jewel
This was a pictures of curly hair, and then Kevin and Bradley noticed the camera.
This was a pictures of curly hair, and then Kevin and Bradley noticed the camera.
Fun times at the rental.
Fun times at the rental.

cuddle kids,

Faces
Faces
with
with
Archer,
Archer,
Miriam,
Miriam,
and Era.
and Era.

watch everyone having fun, see some of Esther’s world that I don’t know in her friends, and learn some more about Marcus watching him interact with his people and my sister.

Marcus and Trinis jamming on playground equipment.
Marcus and Trinis jamming on playground equipment
Marcus and his niece, Toni
Marcus and Toni
Clapping games with Toni and Anhen
Clapping games with Toni and Anhel

Those times were really nice. I’m so very glad for this party celebrating Esther and Marcus–I enjoy these fun and meaningful events that mark important important–and welcoming Marcus to the family. He’s a good one. I enjoy the men you’ve brought to the family, sisters. Looking through the 175ish (!) pictures I took over the weekend, a lot of my other favorites include the kids. Surprise, surprise.

Fun with photo booth props.
Fun with photobooth props.
Little bit of rain during the garden picture session.
Little bit of rain during the garden picture session.

There are lots of things I didn’t get good pictures of–all the different dancing, the rehearsal, the ceremony, any of the bride and groom. I look forward to seeing Bradley and Krestia’s pictures, and the pictures from the photobooth. There were plenty of things I couldn’t get good pictures of either–tears in Mom’s eyes as she and Dad walked Esther down the aisle, the looks between Esther and Marcus during the ceremony, making music with my family during the ceremony, the feelings of love and satisfaction of time with my family and seeing my sister and brother-in-law surrounded by so many people that love them. Good stuff.

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