I love weddings – everything about them. But I especially love family weddings. There is something so sweet when a family comes together to celebrate it’s growth. I always come away with the sense that these moments of celebration are the moments that make life unique and beautiful and exciting to live.
Last night we were so happy to celebrate my cousin Jeanette’s wedding. Jeanette and I have many memories playing together as children in Oma and Opa’s basement. I remember hearing about all her crazy exciting adventures as she lived overseas as a missionary. She was one of the first people I called at Lake Opeka when Mike proposed. She stood up in my wedding. She’s helped me pack and unpack countless moving boxes . . . and of course we’ve spent lots of time on the phone. To say I was only happy she and Joe were getting married is a slight understatement – thrilled, ecstatic, overjoyed are a little more appropriate.
Jeanette was an absolutely stunning bride. She could not have looked more perfect. The ceremony was incredible. Jet and Joe were married at the Wilder Park Formal Gardens in Elmhurst, IL. Even though it stormed all morning, it was sunny and cool for the wedding . . . an absolute dream. Outdoor weddings can be tricky, but the gardens at Wilder Park have lots of stone pathways and also a white covered tent for the ceremony site. You could hardly tell there had been rain. It was one of the most beautiful ceremony sites I have ever been to.
My favorite part of the ceremony was the Sand Ceremony. Most couples light a unity candle at their wedding to symbolize their individual lives becoming one from that moment forward. Joe and Jet instead chose to symbolize their oneness by pouring different colored sand (white for Jet and blue for Joe to coordinate with the color scheme of the wedding) into a vase that they will display in their home. Ever the creative one, Jet actually used wax crystals so she can insert a wick at a later point and use it as a candle. The picture at right is my attempt to capture the moment creatively (thanks to some advice from lil mama stuart!)
The wedding was followed by an equally fantastic reception at Chama Gaucha a Brazilian steakhouse in Downers Grove. To quote one of the guys at our table . . . “Best. Reception. Ever. Period.” There’s really not much more to say.
Bonus for the day: Elijah and Noah were angels throughout the entire ceremony and reception. We were able to stay out until well past 10, and although we had to leave the reception before it ended, we thoroughly enjoyed the time we were able to spend. Made me feel like this momma is doing something right at home with the boys. 🙂
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Bargiel. Thanks for making the Drachenberg (and Trevino and Kopanke and Brooks) family that much bigger and brighter. We love you and are so excited for what’s to come!