a beautiful day, part 1


The bride and groom—
May their joys be as bright as the morning,
and their sorrows but shadows that fade in the sunlight of love.
A Book of Toasts, 1902


It’s almost 7:30 in the morning.  I am sitting cross legged on my bed in my pajamas, hoping to get this blog done before the majority of my children are awake.  A cartoon is playing on the TV for the first one up (Caleb), and the dog is lying on the floor by my bed, happy that his family is back home from a weekend away in NY.  A mug of hot coffee is on the bedside table, sun is streaming through the windows.  It will be a beautiful day.

Rich and I packed the children into the vehicle Friday afternoon and headed back home for the happiest of occasions.  My youngest brother Isaac was getting married to a lovely woman, someone that he grew up with in the church, and fell in love with over these last few golden years.  The two of them are the pride and joy of their parents, family, and friends and are richly blessed with many prayers and good wishes at this beginning of a new life as man and wife.

The wedding was at 1 pm on Saturday.  Rich and I slept until about 8:30 and then woke the children up for breakfast at the hotel.   Thus began several hours of ironing, fixing hair, getting small children properly dressed, hearing complaints about new shoes hurting, fingers getting pinched, getting ourselves put together, and so on.  It was a pretty amazing morning of chaos for my family of nine, in two rooms at the hotel, with a connecting door.  At one point I saw Grace in front of the mirror with David holding up her braids so she could put in the bobby pins.

However, after a stop to buy socks for Ethan and a new memory card for the camera, we made it to the church an entire HOUR early.  The first person we saw was Pastor Chris, Cassandra’s Dad.  He was buzzing about, getting ready to put the tux on……we chatted, and I asked him where Isaac was…..and this is where the day began for me as “sister of the groom photographer”…

Dear Isaac was sitting at a table with his groomsmen and my Dad, already dressed and waiting for the ceremony.  I hugged them all, and we visited for a little while, happy to help them get through some of the anxious time of waiting.   Rich eventually left with the children and I stayed behind for a few minutes to pin the boutonnieres on my Dad and brothers…….I took a few pictures and then left to go upstairs and watch people arrive.




My sister Amanda arrived with Abbie, Naomi, and Weston.  Her husband Jason was in the wedding.


My handsome brother Nathan was also in the wedding.   He and his wife Melissa have two children; Gregory and Makayla.

After saying hello, I went inside the sanctuary to sit with my family.  Rich and the children were in the row behind me.


Growing up in church means forming close relationships with people; everywhere I turned I saw people we love……


My handsome boys.


Aunt Mary, Elisha, Megan.

It’s funny how little things can make you cry on wedding days….one of these moments for me came when Mom was walked down the aisle by my brother Nathan.  As soon as she was seated, she asked Amanda and I where her sisters were.  Grandma and Grandpa are gone now, and her sisters are her closest and dearest family from childhood…..she needed to know they were there and I thought it was so sweet.


We noticed Dave peeking through the side door, getting an idea of how full the church was….


My mother, looking on at her beloved husband, sons, and son in law….as we wait for the bride to appear!


Mother of the bride…..and one of the bridesmaids….looking back at Cassandra.


Cassandra’s two sisters are on the right.

Here comes the bride!



As Pastor Chris was giving his daughter to be married, Dad opened up the ceremony with words, Scripture, and prayer.


In the very small town in which this wedding took place, just at this moment, a string of loud motorcycles zoomed by.


And then, Pastor Chris opened the wedding with the words of the Princess Bride “marriage” scene, complete with “the funny voice”.


Every wedding ceremony should contain laughter……..


and a sentimental tear or two.


It was fun to sit behind my parents and imagine their thoughts and feelings as they watched their youngest get married.  How they prayed for this happy day!


The ring ceremony.


The kiss, THE KISS of kisses~  to seal the vows as husband and wife~


Prayer with the parents~




And then, we moved outside for the receiving line.


Isaac and Jacob




Gracie and her new Aunt Cassandra (notice Isaac touching his ring=so precious)


With the receiving line behind them, (cool) Nate and Jason posed for my camera.

I love how in the background Dawn is taking a picture of the sisters.

And Dave is peeking at me, too.  🙂


My husband Rich, talking to old beloved friends.  Rich and I were married in this same church, 19 years ago…and these friends were at our wedding, too.


This is the last picture I took at the church before heading up to the hill with Joanna to take pictures of Isaac and Cassandra in the woods.

Perhaps one day these two little girls will be beautiful brides.  Stay tuned!

TOMORROW I will post the Wedding Forest Pictures.



“Who, being loved, is poor?”  Oscar Wilde

“Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.”  Robert Browning


Have a delightful day, my friends!  Remember that God loves you so very much and has poured out His abundant blessings.  If we but open our eyes to them we will be overwhelmed by his goodness.  My heart gives thankful praise.

((You are loved.))


8 thoughts on “a beautiful day, part 1

  1. There are SO SO many beautiful pictures you captured!!!! They will love these!!! I love the one where your brother is peeking behind the door! Perfect PERFECT of her walking down the aisle! YAY!!! So fun seeing what you noticed! I love that we experienced this together!

  2. So incredibly beautiful! Congratulations to Isaac and his beautiful bride, and to your family. Ioved seeing how all.the children have grown. What a special day! I look forward for the next post!!

  3. How beautiful! I love weddings.
    My sister will be married in just three weeks…I’m so excited for her, but she’s moving far, far away, so I’m also a little sad. I’m going to miss her and so are my kids.
    Your pictures are beautiful and I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s installment!!!
    Happy Monday Shanda.

  4. Oh such joy. A blessing I am sure, to be with family at a family wedding! Such fun to see and hear about all the moments. Love to you my friend!

  5. I love seeing wedding pictures! Doesn’t matter if I know the people or not. ;)) Look forward to more.

    Your sis is so pretty- always think that when I see her.. and wow! her oldest looks just like her.

    Such a great family you have – the closeness. Truly a gift!

Leave a Reply to Kara Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s