05.18.17

{Rewind} Wedding Festivities: V4

Posted in Anthony, Family, Friends, Grace, Nicholas at 9:00 am by elagreca

Above: These six poses (photos from the professional photographer that I will get in high quality to print) are quite possibly the cutest shots of Grace to date.  These 6 rank up there with the 12 shots of Nicholas in the Idaho sprinkler (some of you may know the frame that I am talking about, that has been hanging in our bedroom for 8+ years now).  Grace is standing in Auntie Dani’s boots with her hand-made (also, Auntie Dani) baby’s breathe crown and her little white flower girl dress.  I love ALL six poses – this girl!!!

*The Wedding and Reception*


Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a cuter set of 3 kids. Wow!! They pulled it together and REALLY came through on their duties & their looks!! I thought their outfits really were perfect (and I wasn’t 100% sure how it would all turn out. You know me — and fashion. We don’t really mingle, all that well).

 

 

The groom was all smiles before and after 🙂  I can truly say that he was READY to get married. And even better, he was EXCITED about it.  What a great day it was.

Sisters and boots – I love both of these pictures.

Below: Auntie Dani and her sweet little flower girl, in full skirt attire and basket. Again, Be Still, My Heart.

The next few are screen shots from the professional pictures. Obviously, the actual photos are WAY more impressive than my lame screen shots – but they were so good, I just HAD to have them on my phone at that VERY minute.  *Link to the Photographers Blog HERE* Lots of amazing shots on his blog (but there are more to come)

Above: The LaGreca Family (we have a few family shots from the day).  Note: Grace was SO, SO tired at this point – she couldn’t even muster a smile :/

Time for the wedding to get started….the big boys went in. The big girls walked down and then…it was time for the 3 kiddos to make an entrance and prepare everyone for the BRIDE’s big entrance.


I was watching Neal’s face when he could finally read the words on the sign – it was so sweet.

Little Miss didn’t throw any flowers while she jogged/zig-zagged down the aisle (Kudos to Anthony for keeping her on track…herding her down the isle in the right direction).  Then…she stopped at the very end of the isle, right in front of the wedding party (below, on the stones) and everyone in the audience was saying “Grace, throw the flowers!” — she finally grabbed a little hand full and put them on the ground. The entire group cheered and clapped….

And then…she looked up and had the BIGGEST smile on her face. She was SO excited that people were clapping and cheering. So, she grabbed all the rest of the flowers and threw them all down on the stones.

She was super proud of her work (and I can’t even tell you how proud I was of her work. When you add a 2 year old into wedding, you do NOT know what you are going to get). The picture below says it all….Smiles 🙂

The bride and grown share their vows (below) — my favorite, favorite, favorite part on a wedding day.  This is THE moment you plan for, THE moment you wait for, THE most important moment from the whole day.  I think people forget about this…and the days and years go on, you don’t really think about those words that you spoke and PROMISED to each other.  I never forget that moment from my wedding. And I try to remind my friends and family of it.  It’s THE moment that makes your special day THE best.

Below: the photographer caught a shot of me talking to my sister and brother-in-law during their ceremony.  Y’all – there are NOT enough words of thanks and gratitude in my vocabulary to give to Dani & Neal for letting me honor them in this way.

Back story: Months ago, Jo Cunningham (Neal’s mom) asked if someone could do a reading at the wedding.  She had recently heard 1 Corinthians at church and of course, that is the perfect (most well known) scripture reading done at a wedding ceremony. She also had the idea of doing some kind of a blessing for their wedding. Dani and Neal agreed with the scripture reading and it was decided (I can’t remember how, but I think I volunteered? because Jo said she wouldn’t be able to read anything during the ceremony) that I would read both the scripture and a blessing for them.

I looked online for some poems and blessings….liked a few…but then asked what everyone thought about me writing something from scratch (I really wanted it to be something personal). Dani and Neal both said it was fine; I could write something and then they could read/review it and I would read it on their wedding day, during the ceremony.

After a few months went by and I was researching things, brainstorming ideas, writing down my thoughts….I asked Dani if it would be ok to keep the Blessing a secret and surprise them AT the wedding.  Dani loves surprises and both were ok with my plan (yay!)

Not only did I write The Blessing from scratch – I made it very personal to their lives, their relationship and their future.  I also had the thought to use a more contemporary/modern translation of the Bible reading – which made a MILLION times more sense (especially for Dani & Neal) than the traditional NIV version.  I have included both the scripture reading and the final version of The Blessing at the end of this post, for any that would like to read it.

To Dani & Neal: Thank you SO much for entrusting me with such a HUGE, special and meaningful task.  It really was enough that my whole family was a part of your special day — but to give me the honor of blessing you and your marriage — I am forever grateful.

To Jo & Kevin Cunningham: THANK YOU for the idea, the trust and the editing help!  Also, thanks so much for letting me practice in person (I know it wasn’t easy to hold back the tears while I was reading, but that was ALSO very good practice for me).

Below: Our two CT Aunt’s with the 3 LG kiddos. Love this picture!


Below: Neal and his sweet Mama, aren’t they the cutest?

I successfully got at least 1 picture with each of my family members (and the bride and groom) throughout the afternoon/night.  Here is my #1 handsome boy….with a REAL smile!

Boy #2 has such a great natural smile. I just love those brown eyes.

We totally bribed them with {WAY TOO MUCH} phone time on the wedding day. But – they did all that they were told, they smiled in all the pictures and the poor kids were the only ones there – so most of the time, they were bored (little boys don’t really ‘like’ weddings all that much, in case you didn’t know)

Below (Nicholas took this picture) My husband and I.  We have dated for 19+ years and married for 13 1/2 years.  I love him more today that I did on our wedding day (isn’t that crazy?!)

Grampy and Della enjoying a drink in the shade (it was a HOT day up in San Marcos!)

Below: quick blurry selfie of me and Kevin (father of the groom)

The 1st dance – was so good. They did a great job on their moves.  It was magical and elegant.  I loved every minute.

The dessert table (DONUTS!) Sooooo yummy!

*I also need to take a second to give KUDOS where kudos are due.  Neal’s speech/toast was amazing.  I wish I had the video (I am hoping it was captured somewhere because I want to see and hear it again).  It was the most heart-felt, sweet and perfect toast that I have ever heard from a groom.

Another super FUN part about this wedding…the PHOTO BOOTH.  So many fun pictures throughout the night.


We had ONE chance to do the photo booth as a family (not easy to coral all 5 of us in one place).  I LOVED every picture.  Especially the one where Joe and I are kissing..and Grace is hitting her forehead (“ugh, there they go again, my parents KISSING!”)

And of course, singing and dancing….lots of it. I was on the dance floor most of the night…

The new Mr. & Mrs. Cunningham….adorable. April 21, 2017…what a great day….or…..as the ‘Boov’ say “BEST. DAY. EVER!!

_________________________________________________

*Scripture Reading*

The Message (translation)

4 Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always, “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

Love Never dies…

13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

_________________________________________________

A Blessing for your Marriage – Neal & Dani

–Written by Elizabeth LaGreca, Read 4/21/17

  • May the light of everyday shine bright into your future
  • May each morning start with a tender touch and a sweet kiss
  • May the mountains you climb offer continuous challenges & elevate you to a lifetime of rewards
  • May the trails you ride build up your strength and endurance for the road ahead
  • May the rocks you scale be the firm stepping stones you will continue to build upon
  • May the hikes you go on teach you the value of hard work, even when the path is flat
  • May the snow you ride and the cool wind on your face, provide years of exhilaration and inspiration
  • May your hand-holding be ‘the norm’ and always send sparks
  • May your ears listen and your words be humble & kind
  • May you speak of each other with gratitude, respect, and love
  • May your conversations be honest, thoughtful and forgiving
  • May the trips you take, near and far, provide new adventures and lasting memories
  • May your desires be known and supported by each other
  • May you smile often and laugh more
  • May your friends surround you with encouragement and wisdom
  • May your family, near and far, blanket you with love & support, any and all the time
  • May you each be a best friend to the other
  • May the love you share carry you through life’s challenges and rejoice in life’s blessings
  • May God provide you the daily grace you will need, individually and for each other

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