My brother married an amazing woman 5 yrs ago. She is a dear friend, a great wife, a fun and loving mom and an all around fabulous person. (I like my brother too)
Anyhow, one of the first times I ever decided to write something out and share it with people was about their wedding. It wasn't for a couple more years that I started blogging. I ran across the email I sent today and thought it was perfect timing since I believe it is this week sometime they are celebrating their anniversary. It's long...I was writing it for people who cared about every gory detail. So if you are bored read on! I added a couple pics of their wedding at the end too...so sweet :)
...so for all who are curious about how my brothers wedding went, here is the story.... it's a long one! pictures are at the end if you want to skip ahead:)
Tuesday night, myself, my sister-Jessi and Ira (the groom) all left Minneapolis heading to my parents house in Wisconsin. My sister and I rode together in her truck(we planned to move a couch back with us after the wedding). And Ira drove his car. The car he and Ashley were supposed to ride off into the sunset in after the wedding. I say "were" because on his way home, Ira ran into a deer! He smashed the drivers side front of the car in...still drivable, but not very pretty and over $1000 worth of damages...he killed the deer...mostly...so he had to call the police for an accident report and they had to make sure the deer was all the way dead. good times. So not a very good start to his wedding week but he was fine and my parents let him borrow one of their pick up trucks to take to the wedding instead. So the next morning (Wednesday) Ira took off to Indiana to be with Ashley. My sister and I spent the day at my parents house, I was really sick almost the whole week of the wedding and all I remember about Wednesday was that my pillow was soft:)
oh yeah, and one other thing about Wednesday. While I was napping the phone rang a ton....but I was napping and it never occurred to me to answer. well, my mom finally came home and answered the phone and it was Ira. He had forgotten Ashley's wedding ring in my house in Minneapolis. He was panicked and desperate to get the ring somehow. Wouldn't you know it though...I hadn't left a spare key with anyone! after all, who would need in my house since everyone was leaving for the wedding? well, after failed attempts to reach my land lord and wanting to avoid driving all the way back to Minneapolis for the ring, one of Ira's friends/groomsmen offered to break into our house and get the ring. Apparently it was really easy....between jessi and I, half the windows were unlocked or open. He got right in, locked up for us and brought the ring to the wedding when he came. Between hitting a deer and forgetting his wedding ring we were getting a little worried that something else would go wrong...jessi kept saying "things always happen in 3's"...what could the third thing be???
Thursday we took off for the wedding. Jessi and I drove one of my parents trucks (the one Ira didn't take) and my mom and dad drove in the wrecked car to my grandma's house about an hour away and then they took my grandma's van for the trip. (my grandma came too:) So the trip to Indiana was supposed to be about 5 hours and wouldn't you know it....traffic!!!! so it actually took about 8 hours...jessi and I didn't have AC so we had the windows rolled down and the music up loud! at one point we decided to get off the highway for gas, we filled up, used the bathrooms, wandered around the store...took our time...when we went to get back on the highway....we were literally in the exact same spot...same cars as when we got off the exit twenty minutes before...needless to say, my sisters blood pressure was high since she was the one driving:) we met a lot of nice truck drivers and construction workers though while we were just sitting their.
At another point in the trip when we were at a dead standstill in traffic, jessi and I were both starving and the only food we had was in the back of the truck in Jessi's suitcase...so I attempted to stick my body through the little window in the back of the truck to get to the food....unfortunately I have hips and even though my arms are long, they weren't quite long enough...so we remained hungry and all the people around us in their cars got to see an interesting sight of a hungry, long armed upper body sticking out of a truck in a weird angle....flailing about....good times.
We ended up getting to our hotel at the time we were supposed to be at the rehearsal...and at the rehearsal about an hour after that...but wouldn't you know it??? every one else had also been stuck in traffic...so they decided to cancel the rehearsal and go right to the rehearsal dinner instead. Fine by jessi and I who were still starved:)
The rehearsal dinner was at the Ponderosa...buffet style:) It was really nice and by the end of the night everyone had arrived finally. They spent a little time introducing everyone and then Ira and Ashley thanked everyone for being a part of the wedding. After dinner we all dispersed with directions to arrive the next morning at 10:00 (Ira told the girls 9:30...as if he is ever on time) to hold the rehearsal.
So the morning of the wedding rehearsal came and I arrived a little early because Ashley had asked me a couple days before if I could be the coordinator. I wasn't exactly sure what that meant but it became clear as the day unfolded. But first! Her grandparents house and property were AMAZING. When you drove up their was a very long windy private drive that lead up to the house...you can't see the house from the road...along the drive their were a couple grassy areas, these were the designated parking areas. They had parking attendants that helped people park and then drove them the remaining way up to the wedding on golf carts...through luminary lit pathways...so pretty! once you were delivered up to the house their was a huge yard area with the white tent canopy reception area in the middle...surrounded by trees and beautiful scenery....their were lots of tables set up under the tent as well as a dance floor. Very nice. Just past the tent was where the ceremony took place. They had lots of white chairs set up overlooking a beautiful view of a white gazebo and behind that their was a wooden fence. On the other side of the wooden fence was a rolling beautiful hill...lots of tree's and greenery...nothing but nature! just perfect. What about bugs you ask? well, their were some but they had fogged their property for a couple days ahead of the wedding so that the mosquito's wouldn't be to bad.
So the rehearsal came and I coordinated...well, after I figured out what all of Ashley's notes meant....I had people walking down the aisle at the wrong time at first, but once I made heads of all her instructions things ran smoothly. Their were 7 guys and 8 girls in their wedding party. So what they did was have all the guys go up together...in like two lines, at the same time as the groom and the pastors...so they were in place right away. then they had each bridesmaid walk down on her own and take her place. It was very nice and went smoothly considering their were so many attendants. after the girls were all in place, next came two little girls ringing bells...very cute. after them was the ring bearer...he was so serious! and then after him was the flower girl...then...dumdumdadum (that's email for the wedding march) Ashley's dad walked her down the aisle. Her grandfather started off the wedding, then her dad took over and then Ira's pastor from WI finished off...so three pastors officiated...it was good.
So the rehearsal went well...off everyone went to get ready for the wedding! hair appointments, nail appointments...all that good stuff...I think the guys went swimming...they didn't have as much to do apparently:)
I was at the house when Ashley first arrived in her dress and with her hair done, etc. She looked so pretty! just perfect. And then Ira got their...handsome in a tux! They were doing pics before the wedding so Ashley joined Ira on the front porch of the beautiful house for the first time they would see each other before everything really got going. The photographer ended up getting stuck in traffic but once he arrived, everything flowed just great...probably one of the nicest photographers I've seen at a wedding....did such a great job! he even brought an assistant who was also taking pictures...it went really smooth. I have to add that Ira is probably the only groom I have ever known who wanted more pictures taken...every time the photographer said they were done with some part of the pics he would pose for another...something cheesy...what a dork! I blame it on Jessi who was always making him be her model when she was practicing photography while he was growing up...he loves it though:)
So once all the guests began arriving...driven up on the golf carts, the wedding party headed inside the house. After a while they seated the parents and grandparents and then all the guys went up and took their places...the wedding was about to begin! and the girls were still inside the house...so they made a mad dash up to the tent and started down the aisle. it was so pretty! the sun was setting off to the side...so that just added to how nice everything looked.
As Ashley and her dad started walking down the aisle...the runner kept getting caught on her dad's foot...so since I was standing in the back anyways, telling people when to go down the aisle, I had to grab onto it to keep it from tripping him...only I was in the way of all the photographers of course...so I tried to hide and as soon as he wasn't tripping anymore I got out of the way fast! Apparently during this time, Ira was fighting off tears as his bride was coming towards him...ahh, isn't that sweet? The wedding was great. Ashley surprised Ira by singing him a song..."Fly" by Sara Groves. She was so funny after when she was talking to Ira...she said "if my walking down the aisle didn't make you cry, then I was going to sing to you. If singing didn't make you cry then I was going to punch you..." she cracks me up!
So everything was going along very nicely...when all of a sudden during the exchange of rings...after Ira put Ashley's ring on and Ashley went to get Ira's...wouldn't you know it!!! but Ashley's maid of honor (her sis) didn't have the ring! considering how Ira had forgotten the ring the day before and everything it was quite a comical moment. luckily someone went and got it and they put it on him a little later in the ceremony. It was to funny though that they both had ring problems... I guess that was number 3!!!
Jessi and I sang a song during communion. It was a song jessi had written especially for them. We did a pretty good job considering the next little story I will tell.
So jessi and I knew we were going to be singing together and even though we had checked ahead of time with the DJ and everything, the DJ didn't end up having the right equipment for jessi's guitar and two microphones...so we had to share a microphone...anyone who knows me knows I have space issues...don't get to close! and well, jessi is pretty much the same...so us having to have our heads that close together was a little much. During our sound check...I lost it...I could not stop laughing...she was so darn close and we were practically kissing! then after I would finally get myself together jessi started laughing...needless to say we were a little worried about making it through the wedding with out laughing...but I am happy to report that we both kept our eyes closed and that helped so their were no giggles added into the very nice song jessi wrote.
So the wedding ended...they were man and wife! (and may I add, somehow Ira got to kiss the bride twice...once after the vows and once at the end of the wedding...not sure how that worked! to many pastors involved I think:)
Their had been someone hiding the entire time behind the fence waiting and as each couple left their were fireworks set off...so that was pretty cool.
Ira and Ashley headed inside to take a little break and get ready for the reception. Once all the guests were under the tent they joined the party and greeted people at their tables. Two of the groomsmen and one of the bridesmaids made a toast to get things started and then Ira and Ashley had their first dance...pretty soon, everyone was either dancing or eating...very nice. Eventually they cut the cake and did the chicken dance and threw the bouquet and garter...all that fun stuff...but mostly their was a lot of dancing. During the reception it rained a little bit but not much and it was still a perfect temperature so that was really nice. After the night began to wind down they passed out sparklers to all the guests and after Ira and Ashley got changed they were put on a golf cart and everyone sent them off with sparklers and well wishes....very pretty! I only caught a glimpse though because I was helping Willow (one of Ira's groomsmen) carry all of their luggage down the really long winding path to their truck that was waiting at the other end. It was funny though because I had a couple sparklers and Willow had a lighter so we greeted them by the truck with more fireworks:) then we hugged them and off they rode into the sunset! a beautiful wedding!
So that was the really really really long version of the wedding story. I hope you enjoyed reading this...it has taken me forever to type it:) I am attaching a picture so you can see how pretty Ashley looked and how handsome Ira was...funfun!