It’s been a perfect weekend, from beginning to end, with lots of tender moments, wonderful memories, and love. As I look back over everything that’s happened the past few days, I wouldn’t change a single thing (except that I might wear flats instead of heels when we walked around to take photos!)
I expected that Friday I’d be at home, getting ready for Shanna’s shower, while Shanna ran a few last-minute errands getting ready for her wedding. I was pleasantly surprised when she ended up spending all day at home. (Jared’s family had flown in from Florida and were staying in downtown Salt Lake City, about 30 minutes from where we live, so he spent most of the day with them.)
Mom Pat and Shalae came and went throughout the day, and together we all finished up the favors (Sage had done much of the work for the favors and invites, and we pitched in to finish), did a little decorating (in Elegant Eggplant, of course—Shanna’s wedding color), and wrapped up some loose ends. But, for maybe the first time ever, we weren’t rushing around like mad right before an event started—everything was done on time! The day was so peaceful and fun!
The shower itself was also loads of fun. We had box dinners (catered by Dear Lizzie), played a game (choose a ribbon and then introduce yourself and talk about Shanna and Jared while you wrapped the ribbon around your finger—most everyone talked much longer than the ribbon lasted!), and opened presents.
You can tell by the photos (and I only posted a few) that it was definitely a bridal shower! It was fun to be together with family and to get to know some of Shanna’s friends a little better. Many of her mission companions came, and they told some great stories!
After the shower ended, things quieted down, and by the end of the evening, it was just Shanna and me. I will cherish forever the entire day, but especially those last few minutes while I hemmed Jared’s pants and ironed her clothes, she packed, and we shared the last few minutes of Shanna’s last day of being single.
We got up about 3 a.m. Saturday morning (well, some of us never slept!) to do hair and make-up and final preparations. We giggled together as we worked on her hair and got ready. We had to be at the temple around 6 a.m.; the ceremony was scheduled for 7! It was a sweet experience to spend those moments in the temple, helping her get dressed, touching up make-up, just the two of us together.
When she walked into the sealing room with Jared (as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe couples are sealed together not just for time, but for eternity, so we call weddings performed in a temple “sealings”), I didn’t start crying right away. (Aren’t you proud of me?) It took me a few minutes, but it was a very special moment to be there with all our family. What a tremendous blessing!
After the ceremony, we took lots of photos around the temple and on the temple grounds, and then we had a brunch at 10 a.m., and everything was finished by noon! And it’s a good thing, too—we were all exhausted because the day had started so early! I think everyone who wanted to headed home to take a long nap!
I haven’t shown you the announcement, and I wanted to do that—Jon took the photos for it (I think I mentioned that on an earlier post), and Sean designed it. It was beautiful!
I don’t have a lot of photos of the wedding; my mind was on other things. . . . but the photographer took hundreds of photos, I’m sure. I’ll try to get a link to his site when he posts those, so you can check them out if you’d like.
We did get a couple of snapshots that I've posted here so you can at least get an idea of how beautiful the bride was and handsome the groom was!
The Gardner family (girls, sons-in-law, and grandchildren—minus the Brown grandchildren, who stayed in Savannah because it was such a quick trip) and the Bridegan family (Jared’s parents, two brothers and one sister, and their spouses and grandchildren) came over last night for dinner. We’d only seen each other briefly during the past two days, and it was fun getting to know each other a little better. The kids ran around indoors and out, and the adults chatted and laughed. It was a perfect way to end a perfect weekend!
Last night, after everyone left and I headed to bed, I almost didn’t turn off the lights downstairs. I found myself automatically thinking, “Oh, Shanna will turn them off when she gets home.” And then this morning, I tiptoed quietly when I got out of bed, because her bedroom is. . . .was. . . . right under ours, and I didn’t want to wake her up.
I’m sure there will be moments like those in the coming days, moments when I remember that my baby girl is now married, starting off on a new adventure, one that I won’t be as much a part of as I have been in the past. Tears will, of course, be shed, but more often I’m sure I’ll feel a sense of pride and happiness that she’s in love and happy and moving forward, hand in hand with Jared. I love you, Shanna. . . .