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Erika's Wedding

Way back in May my sister started exploring the possibility of my taking the pictures of my niece's wedding.  I agreed with great fear and trembling....and some nightmares as I shared with you!  As it turned out, it was a fun time and I think the pictures turned out pretty well.

Erika's sister, Alesha, Suzanne, and I went with Erika to a covered bridge and did a photo shoot there.  Erika was brave enough to wear her wedding dress a few days before the wedding.  I was so worried we'd get it dirty or something!  We kept a white sheet under her so every picture took a lot of adjusting the dress and the sheet so the sheet wouldn't show.  Suzanne and Alesha were great dress/sheet arrangers.  At first I was annoyed that people would paint so much graffiti in a historical landmark.  But then the pictures ended up looking really cool.

The wedding was on Saturday, so on Thursday afternoon, right after the photo shoot, we went to their church and decorated for the reception. My sister had bought all sorts of brass mirrors and candle holders at thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales.  Their church used to be a restaurant and when it closed down, they just left all the tablecloths.  So we decorated with white linen cloths and the brass decorations. It was a trick to fit in enough tables for all the people expected.

Friday we decorated the chapel for the wedding.  The chapel was the Collier Chapel at the Legacy Center in Xenia, OH, a popular venue for weddings.  The candle holders were provided, but my sister added the bows.  Erika and Nate had a Scottish theme going on as you will see, hence the plaid ribbons. The chapel is so beautiful it didn't need a lot of extra decorations.

Later that evening, we had the rehearsal. I was so glad to be able to go to the rehearsal because it really helped me work out ahead of time where I needed to be to get some good shots.  We had a nice informal pizza supper and game time after wards.  That was followed by gift-giving from the bride and groom.  This was my Shane got little work boots just like his Uncle Jeremiah's.  We ended the evening with a devotional and singing led by a former fellow missionary from Erika's family's days in The Gambia.

Saturday morning I got to go with the bride, the mothers, and all the bridal party to the salon for the hair-doing, make-up putting on session.  It was a lot of fun to see this jeans/t-shirt crew go from casual to elegant.

When it was time to get dressed, some of the girls were still at the salon and my sister had forgotten her shoes (fortunately just across town) and I was a little nervous about how it
Erika always wears combat boots, so it's no surprise she wore them with her wedding dress!
Erika's bouquet was heather on the Bible her grandmother (my mom), her mother, and her sister had all carried in their weddings.
The bride's hands, her mother's hands, and her grandmother's hands.
would all come together on time.  Thankfully, the schedule wasn't my problem and it did come together and we even had time to breathe deeply and share a prayer with the bride. 

The wedding was beautiful. 

Nate was so calm as he waited for his gorgeous bride.

Erika's dad talked about their purity rings.  
Nate's uncle read a letter from Nate's father, pinned the family tartan on Erika (warning somebody to get ready to call 9-1-1!), and tied Erika and Nate's hands together in a traditional Highland hand-fasting ceremony, tying the bride and groom together (yes, they literally tied the knot).

There were three special numbers, including this one by the bride's mom and dad (my sister and brother-in-law).

Erika's grandfather (my dad) performed the ceremony and preached a wedding message.

The congregation was given a chance to pray silently for Erika and Nate while Non Nomus Dominae played.  Then Erika's grandfather (my dad) prayed a blessing over them.  It was a very solemn and moving moment.

Then, of course, there were the exchange of rings, the vows, the "I do"s, and the kiss, and then they were Mr. and Mrs. 

We took the bridal party pictures behind the chapel where there was a grove of trees and a cemetery.
 From there we went to the reception at their church. They had a delicious lasagna supper.  The cake was a gorgeous creation....a Mexican tres leche (three milk) cake. It was delicious and very unique.  They cut the cake with a sword.  Nah.....that was just for show.  They really cut it with a clean, sanitary cake cutter.

I felt privileged that Erika and Nate and my sister trusted me enough to take their wedding pictures.  And I praise God for the way He gave me ideas, made the lighting good, etc.  And I learned a ton about how to do things better.  Which is a good thing because Erika's brother has asked me to photograph his wedding this coming summer!

Yes, that's right....We're already up to two, maybe three (not sure if it will work to go to the 3rd one) weddings in 2011!  More weddings!!!  Yeah!!!

(I hate all this extra space here, but I can't get rid of it......)