Friday, September 14, 2012

blushing bride

Wearing side-swept tresses and a vintage-style gown, Anna Joy beamed on her wedding day.

Months of planning and labor went in to making this event amazing. Her in-laws actually re-designed the landscaping of their property, transforming it in to a grand entrance.  The guests sat on blanket-covered hay bails and watched the ceremony unfold, while the bridal party (almost 30 of us) lined up.

You know how everything seems chaotic before the big moment and then the music starts playing and all is right with the world again? Yeah, that happened.  

Anna's personal shower.

Anna's wedding day.

Anna wore cowboy boots and carried a brooch bouquet (crafted by her sister/matron-of-honor), her groom wore a handsome tuxedo.  It was when she walked down the path, with the sun illuminating her profile, her father proudly holding her up, and her groom seeing her for the first time, that I didn't know who to watch.  As a bridesmaid, it was "all eyes on the bride."  But, I am enchanted by that moment when the man sees his almost-wife in all her radiance, as if he's looking at her for the first time.

In the hours prior to the bridal walk, we got our hair done, did our make-up, zipped up our dresses, took pictures, ate snacks, alternated between the humid outside and the air-conditioned inside (of my car), greeted family, fussed over the bride, took more pictures, told stories, dodged a downpour, laughed, cried, touched up our hair and make-up, prayed for the rain to stop, adjusted our Spanx, and huddled under the porch with our partners.

My groomsman was an absolutely gentleman, and a pro at accompanying bridesmaids.  The ground we walked on was uneven, muddy, gravelled and uncertain, and in 4-inch heels, that could've been disastrous.  Our guys kept us steady.

© photo credit: Hannah Norton

© photo credit: Hannah Norton

© photo credit: Sharayah Harrison

© photo credit: Hannah Norton

The family set up huge dining canopies and draped them in white twinkle lights.  The dinner was provided by extended family and friends who made their signature dishes (the barley stuffed cabbage rolls were divine!) and served them buffet-style.  During the toasts, Ken and Jan Avery (a favorite couple from our church), were given an eruption of applause for celebrating 60 years married on that same day.  I wish I would've caught it on video, it was a gorgeous moment. I did take a video of Anna and Steven giving thanks to their families. You can see it here.  Cute couple, right?  

© photo credit: Sharayah Harrison

Oh, we danced the night away!  My hubby (also looking quite dapper) left before the meal, but I stayed 'til after midnight.  Sweaty and smiling, I shook off every calorie I consumed that evening.

The biggest grin of the night went to Anna Joy.  Congratulations, dear ones!  I pray you always know this kind of happiness.

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