Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wedding Party

Each anniversary I highlight an aspect of our wedding - you can click here to browse through videos, pictures, kisses, music and more!

This year, I thought I would highlight our Wedding Party. If you were involved in our wedding, well, here you are!

The wedding party decisions were quite the conversation! I thought it would be best to have groomsmen (4 or 5 of them - his friends), and ushers (my brothers). He didn't want anyone to be "second class" as an usher. LOL. My efforts to explain that being an usher is not a second rate position were futile. And Brian has a LOT of friends. And I have a LOT of brothers! So our wedding party was based around the number of guys, mainly. I feel like most weddings it would be opposite with the girls, right?!

(Honourable mention goes to the "nineth guy" Keith - he was living in Alaska and unable to come to the wedding, though, he was asked to be a groomsman too. He was a good friend of Brian's from Indy/Chicago)

Here are pictures of the guys, in no particular order
Dan was Brian's childhood friend, and our Best Man. The decision of who to make the Best Man was extremely difficult for him/us - basically he just decided to pick based on years of knowing the person. Is that the best way to do it? In his heart, he had 8 best men.
Brian was Dan's groomsman also - and actually I can't remember the details, because Dan has many brothers, but I believe Brian was his Best Man too, if memory serves. Maybe because he couldn't pick between his brothers:-)
Ben. He's been a good friend to us, and was with us for just about every major milestone of our relationship, from first family visits, to ski trips, to our engagement. A wonderful, adventurous person. We love him! Brian was Ben's groomsman when he got married.

David was one of Brian's best friends in Chicago, and was one of my friends too. Such a fun person, and so kind and generous. After my work permit came through, I worked for Dave as my very first job as an American Permanent Resident - in recruiting for insurance actuaries. I had to take a few trips to Atlanta and got to train and hang out with Dave and his family which was really fun! 

Jared is my brother, and one of my best friends, and naturally Brian became pretty good friends with him over the course of our courtship. Brian was a groomsman in Jay's wedding two years later.

Brent is another one of my brothers, and always game for a good time! He and Brian also became good friends during our courtship, and Brent came with me on trips to ski, and to NYC for our engagement. Brian was a groomsman in Brent's wedding too.

Aaron is Dan's brother, and these boys all grew up together in the Catskills. They have great stories! Brian was also in Aaron's wedding as a groomsman.

Josh. These two met as young boys and will be best friends until the day they die. "Fearless Prediction" :-). Josh wrote and performed a song at our wedding for us, and he was also our Emcee at the reception. Brian was in Josh's wedding as a groomsman too (notice a theme here?!)

Luc - another good friend made during our time in Indy/Chicago. He's a remarkable person. Friendly, kind, and hospitable. He's the reason we moved to Virginia and started our life here in 2004. We'll always be grateful for his friendship. And of course, Brian was his groomsman too:-)

Davis, Logan and Kaden - they are all married now with kids, but look at them here! Just cute little boys!

The Groomsmen

The Bridesmaids - This pic will have to double for Meghan, Janessa and Jillaine. I don't seem to have a picture of me with just them. But how cute were they?! So hard to believe they are all grown up now. My mom and grandma made all the dresses  for the "juniors" and the Flowergirl (with very minimal help from me). 
And now for the girls!!! The decision for a Maid of Honour was not as difficult for me, as it was for Brian (since he has no brothers) - I rounded out my "eight people" to match his besties/groomsmen with my friends and family. Having family involved was very important to me.
Lauryn. My Maid of Honour and sister. She helped out SO MUCH for our big day, and I was so proud of the young lady she was becoming (being nearly 5 years younger than me). All these years later, and she has surpassed all expectation by far, and is a wonderful, giving, and hard working wife and mother. I couldn't be prouder! 

Audra was my best friend from the ol' Chicago days. For those that know our troubled beginnings, she was the one who wanted to go to Moody church, and forced me to ask the new guy, Brian to take us. This Moody church going event ended up being a pivotal moment in history - for all the wrong reasons:-) Audra was always there for me, through thick and thin.

Caralyn is my Aunt, married to my Uncle, and she was always the one I looked up to as being the most fun and beautiful. I have learned (and continue to learn) much from her over the years! To have a good friend in family is a rare blessing!

Lauren is Brian's sister. At the time of our wedding, we didn't know each other very well, as she had been in Russia while Brian and I were dating. She has become a very good friend, and is the only family member on either side to live near us. So she pretty much gets favourite Aunt status and everything by default. She is generous, and tenderhearted, and we love her so much! 

Lisa is a trooper! She consented to be in my wedding, knowing that she'd have to wear this bridesmaid gown shortly after having her 5th baby! Now 12 years later, and she's just had #11!!! She, and her husband, were such an inspiration to both Brian and I, of a great relationship, great parents - great people to follow after, learn from, and get advice from. She's the "super mom" that I look up to, and I am so grateful for the friendship that we shared.

Elizabeth is my "oldest" friend - we've been friends since we were about 11 years old or so. She is a true friend, strong and steady. I can always count on her to be "just the same" - which is a very desirable thing, in my estimation. And she invited "that new guy from church" to our wedding...little did we know how much we'd love James - though, not as much as she does;-)

Ann is Brian's younger sister, and again, at the time I didn't know her well, since they'd been in Russia. She has grown into a beautiful woman. She has faced incredible hardship and loss in her life, and yet she's strong, graceful and kind - not a bitter complainer as you might expect, but one who sees hope and has strength in adversity.

Liana - my friend, and at the time, my brothers girlfriend. A few years later, Brian and I stood up for Jared and Liana as they said their vows. She asked me to be in her wedding - and forced the news to come out - I was pregnant with Kenna, and didn't want to say yes, in case that changed her mind about asking me (preggo dresses are not always the best, haha). We broke the news a little earlier than intended to all our family - A baby was on the way! She was very kind to let a chubby 21 week preggo me be in her wedding anyway:-) She's pretty much a perfect person, and I couldn't imagine a better match for my brother!

Lehman and Maryn - they are teenagers now, and it's amazing to think about how much they've grown since the babies pictured here. They brought quite a bit of joy to us and our wedding, and have continued to do so over the course of their lives. We can't wait to see what life has in store for them. It's gonna be great!

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