Oh however is this possible? To blog about a day that contained a lifetime of emotion and generated almost one thousand photos?
When I thought of wedding photos the first person who came to my mind was Christy. I met Christy years ago when her husband Steve and I co-taught at Cold Spring Mennonite School. We’ve corresponded off and on through the years and I loved the idea of a friend doing the photos. I also knew that Christy was good and would be able to deliver even if we couldn’t allow as much time as normal for photos and that she would be sensitive to my health needs. I was thrilled when some friends offered to help with the cost as a wedding present so I could afford her services. And so the photo credits in this post go to the talented C.Smucker Photography and her wonderful assistant Jolene.
I’ve had a very hard time deciding which photos to post! *clicking on any photo will bring it up in a larger image*
If you will remember, months ago when Joe & I were first engaged, my desire was to be able to walk down the aisle. We endeavored to plan our day in such a way that allowed for as much rest as possible. We took our wedding photos in about three different sessions rather than everything the morning of the wedding and the wedding began at two in the afternoon.
O U R B R I D A L P A R T Y
The amazing people we’re blessed to have a part of our lives!
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte, “that in itself is a tremendous thing.” -E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
The day of the wedding my walking wasn’t very good. The photo shoot and rehearsal the evening before had maxed me out and I was “pulling”. I had two very amazing personal attendants and my Aunt Marta insisted I stay in my wheelchair. She was conserving my strength and I do believe that played a huge part in my being able to walk down the aisle.
watching guest arrive from the quiet of the bridal suite
O U R C E R E M O N Y
It was important to Joe & I that our ceremony would be a time of honoring God. Throughout our relationship we were keenly aware of God’s leading. Joe & I are committed to this marriage for life. Divorce is not an option for us. The only way this is possible, is for us to keep our focus on God and maintain a relationship with Him. And so we wanted the focus of our ceremony to be on God’s unconditional love for us and our commitment to Him as Christians.
I’m finding that I can understand a little more of God’s love for me when I see how Joe loves me. My diseases don’t deter him. To him my limitations are just another way for him to show his love. Even when I’m upset and don’t know why he just stays calm and works through things with me and makes me laugh. How did I get so blessed?
One of my favorite songs that was sung by my talented cousins at our wedding was My God, I Thank Thee by Adelaide A. Procter
My God, I thank Thee, who hast made
The earth so bright,
So full of splendor and of joy,
Beauty and light;
So many glorious things are here,
Noble and right.
I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made
Joy to abound;
So many gentle thoughts and deeds
Circling us round,
That in the darkest spot of earth
Some love is found.
I thank Thee more that all our joy
Is touched with pain,
That shadows fall on brightest hours,
That thorns remain;
So that earth’s bliss may be our guide,
And not our chain.
For thou who knowest, Lord, how soon
Our weak heart clings,
Hast given us joys, tender and true,
Yet all with wings;
So that we see gleaming on high
I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept
The best in store;
We have enough, yet not too much
To long for more:
A yearning for a deeper peace
Not known before.
I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls
Though amply blessed,
Can never find, although they seek
A perfect rest;
Nor ever shall, until they lean
On Jesus’ breast.
We did not enter the sanctuary until it was time for the vows. Rather our bridal party watched the ceremony with us in another room via live video. It was very special and a lot less nerve wracking than sitting up front the whole time! Our Mennonite wedding ceremonies are a worship service and are typically an hour long.
This was actually OUR wedding!!
And suddenly it was time for the big moment!
…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
and we are… Mr & Mrs Bontrager!
And I WALKED! I needed my back supported so I wouldn’t pull back too far… those of you familiar with dystonia will notice the classic dystonia pull. Just after this photo Joe decided it was enough walking and picked me up. =)
T H E C E L E B R A T I O N
We missed a very important person that day… he tried to come, but health prevented the six hour trip. We kept his seat reserved, cause no one can take Eddie’s place!
Our wedding meal consisted of belizean rice & beans with ricardo chicken. Going back to our roots, you might say, as Joe & I spent 6 simultaneous childhood years in the small country of Belize. And never met! We had wonderful cooks, Ken & Rosie Kratzer. They outdid themselves! The food was amazing!
And the flowers! I can’t forget them! I loved my flowers! A dear lady by the name of Leona Beiler agreed to do my flowers. She had never done flowers for a wedding before, but she is quite talented and really should get into the business! Not only did she do an amazing job with the flowers but she pitched in, doing whatever she saw needed to be done. She took responsibility for printing the cards for the vases of flowers we took to the hospital after the wedding and also made sure the flowers got rearranged in the thrift store vases we’d found for that purpose immediately after the reception. She is a jewel… that one! And of course, Casey, who found the last minute flowers and made the long run to Greenville to pick them up! Bless her dear heart!
There was a small room off the the main reception area where I took several breaks from the crowd. It wasn’t too bad really… at least while people were seated. our table was back and away from the crowd which helped.
T H E P O R T R A I T S
This verse meant a lot to me during our engagement as I thought about marrying my best friend, the man I love!
Another song sung at our wedding:
In His time, In His Time
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord please show me every day
As You’re teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In Your time.
In Your time, In Your Time
You make all things beautiful in Your time.
Lord my life to You I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to you a lovely thing
In Your time.
…you will forever be my always…