The Wedding, Part 1: Bridesmaids’ Breakfast and Slideshow

For “The Wedding Part 2,” click here. For “The Wedding Part 3,” click here. For “The Wedding Part 4,” click here. For “The Wedding Part 5,” click here. For “The Wedding Part 6,” click here. For “The Wedding Part 7,” click here.

With many, many posts forthcoming covering all the details of Erica and Dave’s wedding this past Saturday, I decided to start with a few pictures of one of my favorite parts: The Bridesmaids’ Breakfast. This little 2-hour gathering Friday morning was an oasis of peace for us girls, which we really needed considering all the craziness. Here are a couple tidbits to give you an idea of the mayhem, in no particular order:

-The pastor made it to the wedding rehearsal only thanks to going standby and managing to catch an earlier flight.

-Erica’s cellphone died.

-The City Hall in Stevens Point rejected Dave’s birth certificate since it was laminated (recent change in laws), and a marriage license was obtained the Friday before the wedding only thanks to an emergency run by Pam, a long-standing and faithful family friend.

-Heidi (my youngest sister) and Mike are having a baby in January and moving to Alaska as we speak, so we crammed in a baby shower for Heidi amidst the festivities. Our wonderful Aunt Jessie pulled it off–and I must share her recipe for marinated mushrooms asap.

-Dave’s flights, designed to get him in Thursday night, were delayed and then canceled. He was up all night in transit (resulting in Erica also being up all night), and he got in at 6am Friday morning. Erica picked him up and they went straight to the City Hall to obtain the marriage license. The bride and groom took a power nap to get through the rehearsal dinner.

-Due to a change in Dave’s work schedule that conflicted with the honeymoon, he and Erica have a mere 4 days of marriage before he has to disappear for 1 month of training.

With an exhausted bride and groom whose time together was at a premium, there was barely a moment to sit down and really soak them up. Hence the beauty of the Bridesmaids’ Breakfast, during which we got to hear from the bride herself, cry together, share about our lives, and eat some delectable pastries.

From left to right we have Mary Beth, Nicole, Heidi, Jen, Erica, and Kelsey. Thankfully I was behind the camera since I was still suffering from the dreaded “morning face.”

I couldn’t make up my mind between the Cheese Danish and the Berry Coffee Cake, so I got both–this was no time to get delayed because of a tough breakfast-fare decision making process. I also had a mean Pike Place Roast with a shot of caramel. It really hit the spot.

Here are Erica and Jen, her maid of honor . . .

Could I please take this moment to point out those 2 spectacular pairs of eyes? And it wasn’t Photoshop that made them that way, let it be known.

Here’s Mary Beth, Erica’s now ex-roommate . . .

Heidi and Nicole, Dave’s sister (soon to be married as well) . . .

Nicole again, looking like a model . . .

. . . and the three of us sisters, with a desaturated effect because my skin was looking a little freaky at the time and this was a way to fix it. Quickly. Using digital trickery.

Who would have thought at Heidi and Mike’s wedding last December that a mere 7 months later we would be crying buckets at Erica’s wedding? But as Erica (Heidi’s Maid of Honor) and Dave (one of Mike’s groomsmen) sat next to each other at the reception and checked each other out anew, the heavenly plans for these two were a-brewin’. Here are the 3 of us sisters at Heidi’s wedding, completely unaware of the love dust floating in the air (I’m on the left, Erica on the right):

I remember praying in the months leading up to Heidi’s wedding “Lord, I know this is bold of me to ask, but I really want Erica to be engaged by next Christmas.” I recorded the following in my journal:


Heidi is getting married in 2 and a half weeks–how crazy. I keep praying that God will send Erica a man asap. It’s got to be hard being single with 2 sisters married. Plus, I’m worried (very selfishly) that I’ll have to start having babies before Erica–which is not the plan! The plan is to be pregnant simultaneously so that we can support each other & so that our progeny can be best friends forever. I kind of feel like whining to God & saying ‘Well don’t you realize my plan is best?’–but I know that’s foolish. I’m trying to be wise & trust God with Erica’s love life, but most of me is saying ‘Let’s go! Let’s get this taken care of!’

Then, this journal entry:


I can’t wait to see that whippersnapper [Erica] again after her exams on January 25th. I am praying she passes so that she can be done with grad school in May. She doesn’t know what to do next with her life–neither would I. How confusing. I’m kind of hoping Dave comes back into the picture & sweeps her off her feet. And has babies with her asap. I’m praying that Erica will be engaged by next Christmas.”

God’s plans have truly exceeded anything we could have imagined–11 days after this entry, Dave and Erica were dating, and by the “next Christmas” of my prayers, she will have been married for 5 months. I get the chills when I realize that as I was praying this, God was getting ready to say a big “YES!” He must have been so excited for us to see his plan after years of telling us “No” and “Wait,” like a Dad at Christmas who can’t wait for his kids to open the gifts he has lovingly been preparing and saving for them.

After sharing this with the girls over breakfast, I meditated on how even though I so often want to know the future, it brings me much more joy to look back on the fully unfolded story, at the faith required to walk in unknowing, and at the series of threads God has woven together whose pattern we can only see when the whole tapestry has been completed. There is a beautiful moment when we finally see the picture in the tapestry, and we can say “Aaaaah–now I see what He was doing!” And it is good, my friends–unfailingly good.

The Bridemaids’ Breakfast was a beautiful time. But like everything good this side of heaven, it did have to end. Soon enough, 3 punks showed up and completely invaded our little feminine bubble.

I forgave the first punk because he made Erica get all giggly, and he smiled good-naturedly as I attacked them with my rapid-shooting camera.

I do have to ask though–is he allowed to do that to my sister???

The second punk I also forgave, because he is the co-author of the tiny little person inside that baby bump:

And since I was already on the forgiveness train, I also embraced the third punk, who just happens to be my favorite one of all.

This picture was actually taken later that day, but you get the idea.

And since we’re on a roll with matching the ladies to the gentlemen, here is Nicole with her fiancé David:

Models, models, models. And that’s all I have to say about them. It’s a little ridiculous, don’t you think?

OK, fine, they’re actually very sweet people as well. Sweet and good-looking.

Here’s Kelsey with my cousin Luke. Please ignore the freak on the left, who made what was about to be a stellar photograph a blurry mess featuring a frightening psychopath.

. . . and just because I can’t stop once I start, here are Steve and Steph, neither of whom were at the Bridesmaids’ Breakfast. But whatever. You can read a little about their recent wedding here.

Models, models, models. It’s the theme of the week. Disgusting, isn’t it? But I can’t help loving them despite their good looks. Ay me.

Thinking about the chain of life events that God orchestrated to bring Erica and Dave together, I thought this would also be a good time to show you the slideshow that we watched at both the rehearsal dinner and at the reception. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I was in charge of the wedding slideshow depicting their progression from young mites to present. There were so many great pictures of them as wee ones, medium-sized ones, and larger-sized beings that it was hard to cut it down to size. After a careful selection process, the final cut is almost 9 minutes of pictures set to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, “Somebody to Love” by Queen, and “In Your Arms” by Jon Foreman. I’ve uploaded the slideshow to and I present you with the link if you want to take a look. I figure this will be a way for any family/friends who couldn’t make it to get a glimpse of the two in all their happiness.

I tried to change the thumbnail image to show the two lovebirds together, but youtube only gave me 3 thumbnail options, none of which were very representative of the whole. This thumbnail happens to show Dave and a deer he had just killed. Why, youtube? Why are you bent on making this video look like a gory hunting tutorial?

As I slog through the swamp of wedding picture processing, please know this–the posts will slowly trickle out. I promise. Like, I promise the “slowly” part.

Erica and Dave, I couldn’t be happier for you!

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8 Responses to The Wedding, Part 1: Bridesmaids’ Breakfast and Slideshow

  1. Holly says:

    Really good post. It actually made me cry. I am so happy for Erica and you’re so right about the tapestry. It’s a good reminder to me to be patient about the things that I would change if I could.

  2. Jen says:

    Love the pics and the writing! My blog on the license debacle is forthcoming…hopefully by tomorrow.

  3. Vesselina says:

    beautiful, beautiful I tell you, m’dear! I think your choice of music was perfect and I know it most certainly rendered the slide show very much tear-worthy… I can’t wait to see it when I’m off work later today. Love you!

  4. Sarah says:

    I am with Holly…it made me cry as well. Great post!

  5. Beautiful way of sharing the events with us. Thank you for revealing that perfectly laid plan! I loved the slide show…their faces say it all in those photos…you can see the joy. God is amazing :)

  6. Twinky says:

    lovely, wonderful, touching, and …., now I MUST add that you have just confessed publicly and put yourself in the position of acquiescence to the greater forces that are involving you in the progeny process!! You want your chillen’s to grow up being friends; you wanted to be all pregnant together…. Jump on the bandwagon, baby-cakes!!

  7. Erica says:

    just watched the slideshow again- haven’t since the wedding. Jenna….. it’s so good.
    Thank you. I know you put a lot of time, effort, talent and love into this (the slideshow, but also all the pictures and processing, and writing…. not to mention the years of praying…) and I can never thank you enough. You’re the best big sister any girl could hope for. I love you.

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