As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Wedding Bliss {Part 4: The Celebration}

We've had some busy days (including some grand sleepovers, some gatherings with friends, a great-nephew's wedding, and a crazy-howeek of VBS), and now I am back with a final wedding post. 

But before I tell you all about the wedding reception, I want to share this photograph of the photographer! Here she is with the bride and groom! As I have told you before, she has taken many photos for our family through the years. About the wedding photos, Frances made this remark, " . . . when you are photographing people you love, it is very easy to see the moments through the lens of your heart." We are so very grateful that she loves us and gave us this gift of beautiful recorded memories!

Andrew and Kati's wedding reception , like the ceremony, had their own personal stamp: a combination of tradition and unique touches that reflected their loves. 

Tables were decorated with vases of hydrangeas, old books, votive candles, succulents, and paper hearts cut from book pages. Each guest received a "library card" bookmark with thanks for being a part of their story. 

There were two guest books. At the church, there was a section in the back of a Bible for guests to sign their names. That same Bible was brought to the reception for guests to highlight verses of Scripture and/or leave a note about those verses to the bride and groom. 

And then there was this guest book ↓, a virtual one in which guests could put on the headset and leave a virtual message. This group looks calm, but there was some rollicking fun as other guests tried to leave their messages!

We had no DJ or live music, simply some beautiful instrumental arrangements of hymns.

Funny story: Kati and Andrew almost missed their own reception! 

Andrew's Uncle Rick was serving as the announcer. He welcomed everyone, introduced the parents and the wedding party, gave a few instructions, and then asked Ron to pray a blessing on the food. Ron questioned, "The bride and groom?" Rick answered, "Yes, the bride and groom," thinking that Ron wanted to pray a blessing on them too. Then . . . "Oh! The bride and groom!"

We all laughed as Kati and Andrew were invited to join the rest of us! 

(This group had a clear view of Kati and Andrew as they waited for their entrance. 😄)

There were only three dances:

the bride and groom's first dance ("Heaven Knows" by the Hunts),

the father-daughter dance ("The Sunrise of Your Smile" by Michael Card),

and the mother-son dance ("Find Your Wings" by Mark Harris).

Such sweet moments.

Kati and Andrew chose to have not one cake, not two cakes, but TEN cakes for their wedding! The idea sprang from their desire to use lots of cake toppers to represent parts of their courtship. So they asked special people in their lives to bake cakes! The bakers could choose their own flavor, as long as the frosting was white. 

They made a sign with all of the cake toppers and their significance. Guests were asked to vote for their favorite topper. 

The best man, Andrew's brother David, made a toast that was both hilarious (reading an essay he had written about Andrew when he was in grade school, and telling us how little had changed since then!) and tender as he honored his brother and welcomed Kati to the family. 

Matron of Honor Kristin told the story of the bride and groom's courtship from her own viewpoint. (Remember, Kristin is the friend of Andrew's cousin Melinda who introduced them in the first place, so she was there from the beginning. Or before the beginning!) And like a good big sister, she gave the couple some wise advice, reminding them of the Gospel story . . . that we all are sinners who need a Savior, and that we need God's great grace to walk through the difficulties of life. 

As a surprise, our family sang a special song for Andrew. 

I am so thankful that our sweet friend Deanna recorded it! 

After the song, a big group hug happened. 💗

Instead of the bouquet toss, Kati asked all of the single ladies to come to the center as she shared words of encouragement and then prayed for them, that each one would wait for God's perfect timing in their lives. 

Andrew did the same for the single men.

Then we all sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." 

This hymn was sung at Kati's bridal shower. It was also the hymn that played as Andrew entered the church for the wedding ceremony, and that played as Kati walked down the aisle towards her groom. It is a powerful song with a testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of our great God, and it was beautiful and appropriate to sing it together at the wedding reception. 

Ron's brother Michael led our singing.

When the votes were tallied, the octopus cake topper had won! (Are you surprised? Probably not.)

Andrew, as (strongly) requested, carefully directed that bite of wedding cake straight into Kati's mouth. No smeared make-up or sticky hair for his bride! 

~ three generations ~

All too quickly, the evening came to an end. 

Frances relayed this moment to me:
Sarah comes up to hug Kati and then in sudden surprise, she says ... "Is this goodbye?" And Kati says, "This is goodbye." 
(And my own heart catches in my throat as I type the words . . . )

Where typically a bride and groom dash to their car to make their getaway, Kati and Andrew meandered slowly through the crowd and the wedding bubbles, taking time to hug and say their goodbyes. 

Here is the story of Kati and Andrew's wedding . . . 

Wedding Bliss {Part 4: The Celebration}

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wedding Bliss {Part 3: The People}

I know you are wondering if I'll ever stop talking about Kati and Andrew's wedding! But I have this post and one more lined up, and then I will stop. (At least, after that I won't have any more whole posts about the wedding. Deal?)

In this post, I am going to show you the people . . . so many people who are near to Kati's and Andrew's hearts! 

(You may will see some tousled hair in these shots as the weather was beautiful, but breezy!) 

The entire wedding party

Bridal Party

Bridal Party with Flower Girls

Groom and Groomsmen

Groom, Groomsmen, and Ring Bearers

Andrew and Kati with their nieces and nephews

It was important to Andrew and Kati that every single one of their nieces and nephews (including the children of Andrew's cousin who have always called him "Uncle Andrew") would have a special role to play in their special day.
So this group consists of two guest book attendants, two ushers, three singers, one Scripture reader, three flower girls, and three ring bearers! (Kati's nine-month-old nephew Judah and Andrew's six-week-old nephew Maddox were named the "official criers," although thankfully, they did not fulfill those roles during the wedding! Baby Maddox is not in this photo, but he is seen in a couple below.)

With their parents' wedding photos

Kati's Family

(Now Andrew's too!)

Andrew's Family

(Now Kati's too!)

Again, we thank our friends Frances and Gary for recording these moments so beautifully! 

If you've missed any that you'd like to see, click the links below.

Wedding Bliss {Part 3: The People}

Coming soon . . . 

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