Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jessica & John's Wedding Day

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
I can confirm that after three years it's still the hardest to get through as an expat.
And that's about all I can say about that through this turkey-sized lump in my throat.

Instead, I'm going to show you some photos from the girl-child's wedding day.
It may seem from the photos that there were only a few people there.
That's not the case, there were probably 80 people there.  It was a lovely crowd.

These are not professional or posed photographs.
These were taken by me, Matt and some by my mom.
There were professional photographers there and I can't wait to see what they came up with.

But, this is the wedding through my eyes and the last thing I was worried about
was capturing that perfect shot.

I simply wanted to experience this beautiful day.  Every sweet moment of it.

And like now, these faces were all usually seen through the blur of tears.

But, aren't they beautiful?


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


There are few things as precious as seeing your daughter in a wedding dress.
Jessica has only ever wanted to be a wife and mother.
For 18 years I tried to convince her of her calling...
to be a teacher, a nurse, a chef.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


She will make a wonderful teacher, nurse or cook.
But, from the age of about three, no matter how much I pressed her,
she has only ever wanted to be a wife and mother.
She is now 26 and making her dreams come true.
To see this happen is an absolute joy.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


I'm so proud of how she's gone about fulfilling her life's dream.
She waited until she knew she had the perfect partner for her.
We met John just days before the wedding, but we all fell in love with him immediately.
He's easy going with a huge heart and is madly in love with Jessica.
My mom has already claimed him as her grandson.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


I'm also proud of the celebration that Jessica and John planned.
It was always about their future together and surrounding themselves with family and friends.

Typical Jessica, honest and straightforward.  No fuss or drama.
They weren't worried about a fancy party.  They just wanted to be married.
The ceremony and reception were at this old general store in Pleasanton, Texas.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Her bridesmaid was her cousin Rebecca, my brother's daughter.
She is as smart as she is beautiful.  You can see she gets it from my sweet sister-in-law Donna.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


My momma, Linda.  I have great genes.  You should have seen her and my step-dad Bob on the dance floor.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


I guess it was what you'd call a country wedding complete with boots and a branding iron.
Apparently, it's quite the thing.  Michaels and Hobby Lobby both have wedding sections
dedicated to burlap and mason jars.  It was adorable and perfect for Jessie & Johnny.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


It's not a Texas wedding without some barbecue and iced tea.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Jessica did all of the flowers herself.  She would also make a fabulous florist.
She gets that skill honestly from her Grandpa Tom, her dad's dad who helped her with the flowers.
The cake was so good.  A friend of the groom's family did a wonderful job.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Jessica tragically lost her aunt Michelle just a few months ago.
Michelle was just 10 when Jess was born and they were always so close.  Unconditional love.
It was so bittersweet for her not to be there in person.  She was so excited for Jessica to get married.
Jessica found several ways to pay tribute to her aunt, including blue toenail polish.
Michelle's daughter, Carissa was at the wedding which was so special.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


You'll have to excuse my puffy face, but I think I started crying on Sunday and carried through until the wedding on Wednesday.  But, they were absolutely tears of joy.
I could not have been happier for my sweet baby girl.
She deserves every happiness.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


There were a few glitches.   Jessica and I were shopping (for wedding lingerie mind you)
when John texted a photo of his face with a big gash under his eye.

He'd run into some machinery at work.  Those wedding nerves.
Luckily, he was okay.  Then the day before the wedding as we were rushing around
decorating, Jessica dislocated her knee cap!

She's always had wonky joints and it had happened before about 10 years ago.
She spent most of her wedding day on crutches with an ice pack on her knee.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


But, she didn't let it slow her down too much.
Her dress was so pretty, lacy and white, knee length so as to show of the boots.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Out behind the general store is this sprawling old live oak tree, which Texas is known for.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Also known as an evergreen oak it's the perfect guardian for sacred vows.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Under this live oak is where Jessica and John pledged to be Mr & Mrs Brymer.



Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Her dad gave her away, of course.  They've talked about this day since she was just a little thing.
That walk down the aisle was very long, but Jessica was determined not to use crutches.
Then it was all about John and Jessica.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding




Our family friend, Cassandra, conducted the loveliest wedding ceremony for them.
Simple, sweet and meaningful.  It was exactly what they wanted to say to each other.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


As the sun set, Jessica wed John under that big oak tree.
It was one of the most beautiful and moving things I've every experienced.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Later on when we had a quiet minute together, I asked Jessica "What was your favorite moment?"
Her quick and easy answer.  "The ceremony.  Saying our vows."
I only had eyes for her.  She only had eyes for him.
Just as it should be.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


You may now kiss your bride and let those dreams start coming true.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Then they danced.  And sang softly to each other.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


They kissed again and again.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Family and friends celebrated all of the love.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Momma watched and cried and savored every second.
I was so very thankful to have Matthew there by my side through it all.
Jess even wore penguin socks under her boots because she knows Matt loves 'em.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


This is the rest of my brother's family. My wonderful nephew Connor and cuddly niece Morgan.
My dad Gene was there which meant the world to all of us.
My dear friend Leann was there, as well as my sweet friend Paige with her mom, Karen and her boys.
I can't tell you how special it was to see Jess surrounded with such love.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


John's family were terrific.  Jessica is an only child and now she's married into this great big family.  She now has three sisters & three brothers in law, five nieces and nephews (with one more on the way) not to mention John's parents and extended family and friends.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


I love you, Sugar Bear.  You make the most beautiful bride.
You're going to be an incredible wife.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


What's that you ask?  What was my favorite part of the day?
Seeing this look on your face. You've never looked more beautiful, Jessica.


Jessica & John Brymer Wedding


Later in the evening, as everything was being cleared away,
my new son in law asked me to dance.

He said to me "She's the best thing that's ever happened to me."
All I could think was "me, too."

Happy Thanksgiving.  Cheers to love, light, family and friends.




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