Don't worry, we'll get to the wedding. But we need to start at the beginning of the day. My dear cousin Ally got married last month and planned an evening wedding at the beach. My Mom and Dad's house was the halfway point between home and the wedding for many of our relatives. So they hosted an afternoon bbq for a pre-party. Emily and I had a lot of fun making fruit pizza--we pulled from this recipe and that and Emily decorated with an artist's hand, er, eye.
Three brothers working together--with one brother-in-law supervising.
Yummy goodies to feast on. The below picture doesn't do it justice but herbed baguette topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon and roasted pineapple and habanero sauce goes down quite nicely.
My mom made an amazing pasta salad out of pasta butterflies, sauteed garlic, zucchini, summer squash, olive oil and all sorts of cheese goodness. I keep meaning to get that recipe from her...but I probably just better not : )
The weather was true Seattle area perfection. Sunny and slightly warm with blue skies and a bit of a breeze.
Uncle Rob and Dad took charge of grilling the steaks.
Grandma and I had to peace out of the party early and head to the wedding. I was tasked with being a "greeter" and needed to arrive early. And Grandma was tasked with being the Grandma : ) She needed to be there for photos. I had the dubious honor of getting her there on time and unstressed. Failed on both attempts. We got quite lost (because of a direction glitch, not my fault, I swear!) and a bit stressed. But we ended up being right on time because they had told us to be there an hour earlier than we needed to be. All's well that ends well!
I wandered around enjoying the lovely little details while the bride and her party were photographed. It was fun to be there and see the behind the scenes without any sort of stressful task to perform. AND--all three kids were home with Daddy getting ready.
Ally represents the halfway point for Grandma. That is, she was the 10th to get married out of 19 Grandchildren. Ally's Mom is my Dad's only sister. The baby girl in a family who had 4 boys. Aunt Cindi grew up to have two daughters and no sons. She told me it was God's gift to girls who had all brothers. Since I have all brothers, she promised me I would get the same gift. I thought she was wrong after my firstborn was a boy--but lo and behold, here I am with two girls of my own. I get to witness the beauty of sisterhood from a front row seat even if I did not experience it myself (until I got married and gained some sisters).
Ally and Denise are exceptionally close--Ally's marriage and move to Portland is hard for Denise to adjust to. But she put on a beautiful smile and acted as Maid of Honor anyway.
The little flower girl--she's been pictured on this blog before. Two summers ago when we lived in Gig Harbor, Ally was nannying Baby Natalie and would meet me at the park or zoo so the kids could play together.
After the ceremony the kids renewed their friendship on the beach. Natalie ate sand and my kids threw it. It was a beautiful moment.
A beach wedding is my favorite kind to attend. The beauty is the obvious reason. But as a guest with children, I just LOVE how the sand is built in entertainment. It's calm and relaxing, (other than worrying about your children drowning) peaceful and lovely. I have to say that I just loved this wedding. It was simply done. And I know that using the word "simple" and "wedding" together is truly oxymoronous. But I mean that the details did not get in the way of the wedding. They supported the main feature--the joining of two lives. Man and Woman followign God's plan with their closest friends and loved ones as honored witnesses. Ally's good friend and Pastor from when she was young came to officiate the wedding. I so enjoyed what he had to say. He read "the Love chapter" and substituted Ally and Jame's names instead of the word "love". For example, he started with "James is patient, Ally is kind" and continued on from there. Now, I've read that chapter many, many times. I've heard it read at weddings many, many times. I've heard it preached about and explained many times. But it's never hit home so much as it did when he read it that way.
Denise giving her Maid of Honor speech and trying to keep it from getting emotional.
I NEVER get a good shot of the bride and groom. It's tradition.
Wait--they're not married, right?
Father of the Bride giving his speech--without getting toooo emotional. Still can't stand going to weddings and thinking of that whole "giving away" aspect. That's really gonna stink someday.
Another darling detail--s'mores on the beach! So stinkin' cute! And my kids loved it. They pounded marshmallows faster than I could count.
See that driftwood structure back in the distance behind the girls waiting to catch the bouquet? It has a little sign that says "honeymoon shack" and they took a bunch of bridal party photos beside it.
Here comes their boat to take them away.
There were a bunch of pictures involving sparklers and long exposures with the camera. They spelled out "just married" and "love".
And then they were off...if they could only figure out how to get in that boat.
There she is with the correct brother.
Aha! He figured out how to get in. I don't have any shots of it, but as the dingy motored them to the big boat a firecracker display lit up the sky above them. Perfect ending. Sadly, a bunch of the firecrackers fell over before shooting off and came shooting in the water right for them--thankfully their driver steered them away to safety, because, guess what? Firecrackers DO explode under water. Who knew? Not me. Scared the living daylights out of me. But the rest of it was sure fun!