Sunday, September 6, 2020

Jeremiah & Allison's Wedding & Weekend Festivities in Iowa!

What fun it is to again go through these pictures and re-live the joy of my dear sister's wedding weekend! It was such a sweet and special time and I will cherish the memories always! Here is a little recap.

The weekend (for our little family) started on Wednesday night with a "drive through the night" trip to Iowa. John thought it might work well for our little men if we left at bedtime and (hopefully) got them to sleep on the way. It was a grand idea and worked like a charm! Both Axton and Elliot slept the whole way (five hours) and we arrived at my grandma's house (she lives one mile from my family's farm, and we stayed with her) around 1:30am Thursday morning. We got a good nights' sleep for the remainder of the night! 

Thursday found us in and out of my family's house--eating, visiting, and helping with wedding prep and projects. 

This was a definite highlight--the bride and groom took this little group of out-of-town friends/family out for coffee! Such a nice time to relax and chat before the weekend activities really hit!


One of the most fun things about the weekend was alllll the friends and family that kept arriving! Such a treat to see so many dear people! With Elliot being so little, this was the first time to introduce him to most people, which was so lovely. 

Allison's dear friend Susy & co arrived from Mexico and did all of the florals for the wedding! It was a huge job and a little challenging with the heat of Friday, but they were incredible.

So many flowers! They resulted in many beautiful bouquets and arrangements.

Friday decorating....

ironing....

arranging....

more arranging (by the talented reception coordinator..)

And smiling!!

The centerpieces for the reception tables were glass bottles spray-painted silver and filled with hydrangeas from my family's prolific hydrangea bushes.

Time for the rehearsal to start! Axton with the bride and groom..to be!

There isn't a whole lot to say about the rehearsal part. What would a rehearsal be without tape, intense expressions, discussing possible options, and trying to keep the bridal party from chatting and not paying attention? =)

Afterwards we all enjoyed a delicious rehearsal dinner downstairs. 

I love it when I get to introduce my babies to my friends! 

You might recognize this same frame and stand from my wedding! 

What can I say, we sisters like to share. =) 

The church, wedding morning, ready to go. Simple and beautiful.

An early morning back rub for the bride...

This sweet friend did hairstyles for the bridesmaids. Again, it took me back to our wedding, because she was part of the hair/makeup crew for my wedding also, almost three years ago.

So many smiles on this very special day!

Almost all ready!

Here are a few "behind the scenes" pictures from my phone, which I had given to one of the personal attendants. The professional pictures are of course WAY better, but sometimes it is fun to see the production from this different angle, too.

My sister was literally the most beautiful bride. I know that is always said about every bride, but seriously...she was absolutely gorgeous!! She had her dress and veil specially designed and sewn from this seamstress on Etsy, and it was a vision! I'm sure she will post more about it herself in the future, but it was amazing. Its not everyday you can find a seamstress who can sew you a dress like this with only three example pictures, and measurements. 

I consider myself a fairly competent seamstress, but that lady is in a WHOLE league of her own to be able to make up a pattern and sew a dress that needed no alterations, with that little information!

Such a fun bride tribe! Three sisters, three sisters in love, and three sisters in love to be.

Some of the bridal party pictures were taken at the beautiful old Victorian home of a friend of ours. (interesting note is that some of John and my wedding pictures were taken here as well, only ours were indoors due to a much different weather climate!)

Sisterhood! We got our own sandals (all either silver or grey) and then Allison bought our dresses from four different online boutiques. 

My sister is getting some ADORABLE nieces and nephews! What a cute little crowd. Right after I took this picture they were all clamoring to see it, so I got down to show them, and the one flower girl gave a little gasp and said, "awww, I look SO CUTE!!" =) 

It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. Quite the charming little lady. 

Prayer right before starting time.

Allison and Rebecca. Such a tender sister moment.

Here we have the tiniest and possibly the cutest itty bitty wedding attendee, Elliot. =) He was good as gold the entire day! He ate and slept lots and smiled in between.

The reception was absolutely beautiful. It was held in the town square which was just a few blocks from the church. There was a light breeze and lots of shade and it was SO PERFECT. 
Send off time! 
My friend Emily was the wedding photographer and it was such a treat to see her again! Way back in the day, we used to travel with a girls ministry together, and a group of my friends and I even took a road trip to South Dakota to attend her wedding back in 2013.
Now we are both married and each have two boys. Time flies! 
She did an absolutely incredible job with photographing the wedding. You can view her post of the wedding and lots of the professional pictures, here at this link
I didn't get a picture with my little family, sadly. But at least I got one with this hot usher who happens to be my favorite person! =)
Quick outfit details, also: 
Bracelet: I got it off of Amazon, but unfortunately it is no longer available. This one is very similar, however. There were so many cute styles!
Earrings: Walmart (can't find them online)
This is one of my very favorites of the professional pictures, because it is such an example of God's goodness to my family! Only five years ago we were a tribe of twelve--two parents and ten very single singles. =) At the beginning of 2016, my parents began to very seriously fast and pray for marriages in our family. And what do you know, as my dad would say, "they started dropping like flies". =) 
Four of us got married in 2017, making our number 16.
Two grandbabies arrived in 2018, making our number 18.
Two more grandbabies in 2019, making our number 20.
Another marriage and three more grand babies in 2020, at the time of this post, with granddbaby #8 arriving, Lord willing, in early December.
By the end of 2020, our clan of original 12 will have just over doubled to the number of 25! Wow!

God is so good and faithful and I am in awe continually of all He has done in our lives. We are so blessed!

And I am so grateful for the incredible and godly husband that God provided for my dear sister. It was a beautiful wedding, truly, and such a special day!

Hope you enjoyed this post!
-Chels

Note: all of the items linked in this post are ones I own and love! The amazon items are affiliate links. Please read my affiliate disclosure here.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Allison’s Bachelorette Party & Iowa Trip

Two weeks ago we traveled to Iowa for the weekend so that I could host Allison's bachelorette party. We rented a VRBO and all of the bridesmaids and the two mothers were invited. It was lovely time filled with food, fun, and relaxation! 


Allison requested homemade pizza and GF SF brownies for dinner on Friday night. We added in tossed salad and Izzies to round out the menu. It was delicious!
If you haven't experienced Izzie drinks, you need to try them! They are delicious and a very fun healthier alternative to soda!
After dinner we had a pantry shower for Allison. She got so many fun gifts---canned things, spices, snack type foods, sparkling juices, and tons of chocolate. =)

Next up, Elizabeth planned a very fun "how well do you know Allison" game. There were all sorts of questions-everything from "what was Allison's first job?" to "which word describes her reaction when she found out Jeremiah was interested in her?" (and then three word options were given) It was a hilarious game and I think everyone learned some new things! I was pretty excited that I won-as the matron of honor, it seemed quite fitting that I would hopefully know her best! 


Winston and Elliot were the only two men in attendance. =)
People have been saying lately that Liz and I look alike. What do y'all think, yes or no?
Saturday morning breakfast was yogurt, granola, and fruit. All of the bridesmaids and the mothers pitched in and helped make the meals!
The whole crew! Bride, mothers, and bridesmaids-comprised of three sisters, three sisters in law, and three sisters in law to be! (also we can't forget those two tiny babes!)

Allison and I had one last coffee date "pre-wedding". Little man got to come along and get lots of snuggles from his auntie. =)
Fur-wheeler rides with daddy!
Uncle Hudson and Elliot. 
Elliot met Great-Grandma Bontrager for the first time. 
Very solemn, sweet, and matching cousins. These two are seven weeks apart and they like each other much more than it might appear in this picture. =)


It is always such a treat to go back to my previous home church, Marion Avenue Baptist. How I love all of my dear friends there!
After church we got to go out to lunch with my former pastor and his wife. Some of you may recognize them from our wedding-my pastor was the one who married us, and his wife was one of my bridesmaids! It was such a special time with them!
It really blows my mind to think that my brother Josh and I have FOUR BOYS between our two little families! How time has flown and God has multiplied our blessings! 
Budding musician buddies. How's that for a mouthful? =)
On the way home, Sunday evening, we stopped south of Des Moines to attend the lovely outdoor wedding of a friend of mine! It was a beautiful celebration. 
Family selfies are less and less perfect these days but it is the memories that count, not a perfect pose!
So wonderful to celebrate my beautiful sister throughout the weekend! Can't wait to post about her lovely wedding day next! 

Have you ever been a bridesmaid and/or helped throw a bachelorette party? Would love to hear your experiences in the comments below!
-Chels