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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A December Wedding

Photo by Katharyne Dunn Photography
My son got married on December 10, 2011! This year I have been the Mother of the Bride AND the Mother of the Groom with in three months of each other. Quite the year of strong emotions, crazy busyness and happy times. There were times the year flew at the speed of light and times I thought it would never be done. I honestly tried at one point to talk Josh and Caitlin into having their wedding in January or February, just to have a little more time between the two. They had their hearts set on December 10, two days after Josh's birthday and two days before Caitlin's, (something I think they will one day live to regret what with Christmas being in December as well. Ah, but they knew what they were doing.)

Photo by Katharyn Dunn Photography
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photos in the Des Moines Area
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Caitlin had hoped for a snow storm a day or two before the wedding for pictures. A storm didn't happen, but we did have a little bit of snow on the ground, she had to have been freezing in this picture!

Josh and Caitlin's wedding was different than Alyssa and Shane's. Caitlin had always wanted to get married in her grandparents' church. With a church wedding comes a little longer ceremony, a little more tradition, and a bit more formality. As different as the two weddings were, both were so perfect.

The church was decorated for Christmas with large wreaths on the walls and very tall Christmas trees at the front. The colors used on the trees and wreaths were the same as the colors chosen by Caitlin for here bridal party. A happy coincidence, not planned in anyway. The church was beautiful, ready and waiting for a storybook December wedding.

The rehearsal the night before was a strange experience, I think in some ways all wedding rehearsals are. It was being run by two wedding coordinators from the church. One was a strange little man who was a bit of a control freak. And when I say bit, I mean complete and overwhelming, and when I say control freak, I mean ego maniacal dictator. That said, he did know his stuff. He just wanted things a little more formal perfect than the bride and groom. For instance, he told the groom, best man, groomsmen to stand up at the front like little soldiers with their hands at their sides, practically at attention. He barked his orders at them, "Ok, now, men, you are to stand up their, hands at your sides. No, Adam and Eve (he demonstrated by holding his hands together in front of him), no hands behind the back, no folded arms." They looked uncomfortable, and awkward, so Caitlin told them to practice the way he told them, then they all decided to hold their hands in front of them for the ceremony. They looked more comfortable, but I heard the wedding coordinator was not amused.

Mr. Coordinator also wanted Willie to follow Josh and I down the isle as he escorted me down to my seat. Willie didn't like that, so we decided to have him walk down with us with me in the middle. (Not the worst thing ever, I was wearing heels after all. )

The wedding the next day was beautiful. Josh looked every bit the grown up man about to be married. He was glowing as much as the bride. His tux fit him perfect, and as he stood up on the alter waiting for his bride to walk down the isle I was so proud of him, a tear welled up in my eye. His happiness filled the room.

The Mother of the Bride was escorted to her seat. Once there she and I went up to the alter and lit the candles that would be used by the bride and groom to light their unity candle. The candles that we were to light had the family names, Bair and Berry on them . As we got up to the candles we noticed that the candles were backwards. So, we quickly and quietly switched them, lit them and returned to our seats.  The bride's maids, Alyssa being one, and matron of honor entered and took their places. Alyssa looked very beautiful in her long burgundy dress and champagne colored sash. Her hair was up and to the side. It was curled in a way that framed her beautiful face, just so. Kahlen, the flower girl, wearing a champagne dress with a burgundy sash, and the ring bearer came marching down the isle, big toothy grins on both faces. Each bursting with pride, knowing that they were stealing the show. After all, Kahlen was an old pro at this sort of thing. She knew exactly what to do and how to do it. They both cooperated grandly, especially for being two year olds.

The intro to the wedding march signaled the arrival of the bride. Everyone stood up and watched as Caitlin, with her father at her side came down the isle. The lights on the wreaths, which had been dark, came on one by one as the bride and her father passed each one. She looked stunning. Her long veil flowing  gently behind her. Her dress sparkling but not as brightly as her eyes. Each step she took her smile grew wider as she looked at her groom waiting for her.  His eyes fixated on her, until finally she reached the alter.

The ceremony went well, their vows spoken, rings put on each of their fingers. Friends and family smiled and weeped tears of joy as the new bride and groom committed their lives to each other. Josh's sisters quietly watched and wiped their eyes as their only brother became a husband. Willie and I held hands, with Kahlen on my lap, as we witnessed another milestone in our only son's life.
I'm not sure who took this one...

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