Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Part 3...The celebration

This will be the wrap up of the whirlwind of events that surrounded Marisa and Jon's wedding! You can read about the rehearsal dinner and wedding here if you missed it. :)

After the wedding, we headed on the trolley to take pictures. There were lots(!), but here are a few....

I love that Jon's holding the bouquet lol

Kate made a very pretty flower girl:)

Marisa was a beautiful bride:)

Jon is ALWAYS teasing Marisa's sister Bridget! Turnaround if fair play...and made for a fun pic!

After pictures, it was time to celebrate. I owe an incredible about of thanks and appreciation to my friends, Carol and Mary, who helped me to design, decorate and pull off an amazing party! I wanted to create something really special to help make up for the disappointment of not being able to have a "real reception" with dancing and everyone we had hoped to celebrate with. Carol and Mary far exceeded anything I could have come up with on my own! 

A little side story before I get to the pics.....

During the pictures after the wedding, the skies looked pretty dark and ominous. I was nervous....we had done so much to create a beautiful backyard and our house couldn't really hold all the people waiting to celebrate. While Marisa's dad gave a toast before dinner, I heard a distant clap of thunder. Yet, the weather stayed clear despite the dark clouds. Later, we saw on the weather channel that all around us were bands of thunderstorms all evening, yet the clouds seem to part right over our town until they continued to the east of us.

There were so many struggles with planning a wedding during a pandemic. The several months leading up to the wedding were filled with discouragement, unwanted changes and tears. After lots of rescheduling and replanning, I gave everything over to Mary. I spent several weeks praying to Mary and thinking about the wedding feast at Cana. Mary interceded when there was a need, and her Son provided something better than the couple could have ever planned!

I didn't realize it, but Jon and Marisa had chosen the Wedding Feast at Cana as their Gospel reading for the wedding. When it was being read, I got a little teary eyed and felt very grateful for all the ways Mary helped us to pull everything together despite all the obstacles we had to face. She even provided for us to the very end of the celebration by giving us a summer night we could all enjoy!

And now onto the pictures.....:)

Here's what our guests experienced as they arrived at our home....

Even the septic cover got a pretty makeover!

The hearts were from the bridal shower and had advice from the guests for a happy marriage:)

After one of the tents was destroyed in the rain storm after the rehearsal dinner, I sent out an SOS text
to the company we rented our chairs and tables from. Thankfully they had a tent available last minute
and were willing to come by early Sunday morning to set it up! 

Our cool "lounge area" by the bar:)

The triumphant entrance!!!

I didn't get pictures of the food, but we had the event catered by On the Go. We enjoyed the food very much! Jon does not love cake, so we settled on ice cream sandwiches....bc Jon is an ice cream fanatic! Jon's close friend Amber, who he has known since tball when they were four!, recently purchased a local ice cream shop named Captain Bonney's. She gave us a very generous discount and we ordered three different ice cream sandwiches: vanilla, coffee oreo(Jon and Marisa's favorite), and cookie dough. They were enthusiastically enjoyed by everyone! Check out the cute labels Amber made!


We strung lots of lights...which looked amazing after dark! The pictures don't really do it justice.

I should have shut off the spotlight before I took the picture...but it was the end of the night and I was tired! lol

Even the tomato stakes got lights:)

Since we couldn't have dancing, Andrew ran a marriage themed trivia game after dinner that was so much fun! Everyone got really into it and the friendly bantering between teams made the night extra special!

Jon and Marisa were supposed to go to Hawaii for their honeymoon, but, again, plans had to be changed. They ended up in California for 10 days, starting in San Diego and driving up some of the coast to visit many of the mission towns as far as San Jose. After everything they went through with the wedding, one more change didn't phase them. I sense a theme for their married life.....but God's plans tend to work out better than our's anyway.

Just ask the married couple from Cana;)


Monday, August 24, 2020

Part 2...The Rehearsal Dinner and the Wedding

This post is long overdue but continues Jon and Marisa's journey to their wedding!
Thankfully we had always planned to have the rehearsal dinner catered in our backyard since a restaurant would not have been possible because of Covid!

I had my design team dream team of my friends, Mary and Carol, helping me with design and decorations. The rehearsal dinner was actually a rehearsal luncheon. We planned it that way so that Jon and Marisa would have some time to relax and socialize in the later afternoon with their out of town friends. (And I'm SO glad we planned it that way because the weather in the late afternoon was horrible! More on that later!)

The rehearsal at the church went great and then we headed back to our house to celebrate. The rehearsal luncheon was laid back and fun. We enjoyed good food and each other's company. Jon's friends from New Hampshire played bartenders and helped to make some fun specialty drinks and made sure we had ice and drinks all set up for the party. (Which was super helpful and I appreciated so much!) Jay made a custom bar for the party that will double in the future as a generator cover. Jay had also made a special corn hole game and Marisa's parents bought a big Jenga game which was a lot of fun. The plan was for Jon, Marisa and the bridal party and NH friends to hang out for the afternoon; swim in the pool, enjoy the yard, and have smores later in the day. Unfortunately, by mid afternoon it started to rain a little so they decided to hang out at the apartment that Jon and Marisa would live in once they were married.

I got the special sticker off of Etsy and the beanbags from Amazon:)

The custom bar..Sarah painted the "H" for us.

That light rain turned into torrential downpours for hours and ended up collapsing and breaking one of the tents we had borrowed! I consulted my design crew and we came up with a couple of back up plans! Ironically, we had been in a drought and hadn't had rain in weeks!

Thankfully, the wedding day was filled with sunshine! The time passed quickly with the usual busyness of makeup, hair styling, and food to keep everyone going. Having the "after wedding party" at our house meant that there was lots(!) to do in the backyard. Because of Covid restrictions, Jon and Marisa moved the real reception to next year, and we hosted a legal outdoor gathering of less than 100 people.
Thankfully, my design team was in full swing with the help of Jon's NH friends and Jon's groomsmen. The to do list was long, but it all got done!(stay tuned for pictures in Part 3!)

the bridal party enjoying breakfast
the bridal party enjoying breakfast

Marisa and her sister, Bridget, facetiming their sister Ali and adorable niece, Zoe, 
who were unable to travel bc her husband is serving in the Air Force in Italy. :(

Kate being silly 

Sarah and my dil, Liz, sporting similar hairstyles:)

The bride revealing her dress for the first time!

The Bride's bouquet

The bridesmaid's bouquet

Marisa's parents rented a trolley to drive everyone to the church and then pictures afterwards. It was a lot of fun!

And then it was "go" time! Since I'm the mother of the groom, I snapped some pics of Jon watching Marisa come up the aisle.

Jon started smiling because Marisa started crying:)

The ceremony was beautiful. There was lots of emotion for a moment that had been in the planning stage for over two years and postponed briefly because of Coronavirus. The day might not have happened on the date they originally planned or in the way it originally planned, but it happened! And that was the most important thing. 

The newest Mr. and Mrs. Hamel