Friday, June 27, 2014

The Wedding of the Year

(If this is TL:DR, please go to the bottom and watch the videos -- they're so worth it.)

Finally, I get to blog about the most beautiful, amazing wedding held on May 24th of my stepson, Ryan, and his beautiful, charming, sweet fiancee Jessica.  We adored Jessica from the very beginning and just KNEW she was The One.  Apparently, from the homily and the Best Man's speech, Ryan knew, too.

I was terrified I wouldn't be able to attend the wedding because I'd been so sick but nothing rest and and an IV couldn't fix!  My dress actually had gotten looser (when does that ever happen?) but I'm still packing the weight from illness and just life.  I hate that, but I learned from reading a wonderful article that it's FAR more important that I am IN THE PICTURES for my family than worrying about how I look.  And after all, this wedding is about Ryan and Jessica, not me!

I love his cuff links, laid on his tie, and his yellow and blue socks he chose to match their colors.

I have to share a funny story.  I have never been more glad there wasn't a videographer because of ... gum.

Zack and I were both thirsty but we couldn't find water and instead accepted gum from my sister-in-law.  The family was hanging out in the vestibule, and Zack and I were sitting calmly alone, resting and chatting, when all of a sudden the wedding coordinator says, "YOU'RE UP!" and whips her hand at me and Zack and the aisle.

GORGEOUS church with a pipe organ in the balcony and beautiful stained glass everywhere.

Well, I rather freaked.  I had no idea we were THAT close to ready and I must have missed the warning but all of a sudden I realized I was probably going to be the first person down that aisle in the wedding party and I was still a little unsure as to what pew to sit in.  During rehearsal, we left the front pew open for the groomsmen and bridesmaids, but I saw CHAIRS up there for them now -- what the heck to do?  I finally decided to just do what they told me to the day before and made it down the aisle on steady feet on Zack's arm.  (A big fear I had was stumbling since I haven't worn heels in a long time).

As we're walking down the aisle, I was only conscious of hitting the middle of the marble floor, not wobbling, and getting to the right pew without falling on my tuckus.  And when I sat down, I realized.... oh my dear Lord.  Was I chewing gum down the aisle?

Zack had the presence of mind to swallow his, because when the wedding coordinator said, "GO!" there was no thought other than that aisle, not finding a trash can to spit out the gum.  I, however, had totally forgotten about the darned gum until I sat down.  I have no idea if I was chomping down the aisle, but I think I was smiling too much to have done that.  

We'll pretend that never happened, shall we?

About the jewelry -- I made all of the bridesmaids necklaces and earrings, sitting with Jessica one afternoon with every bit of clear and pale crystal and pearls I had and we designed together.  I was so afraid I'd never get it done, because there were a LOT of little crystals to be wound on 26 gauge wire, and my hands were shaking, but I think they turned out quite well.

I wanted to make something special for myself, and it was literally put off until the night before the wedding.  In the week before the wedding, I was not only laid up in bed but had broken my glasses.  Instead of being an easy fix, I was told my eyes had drastically changed and I needed bifocals.  All I could think of was trying to get used to bifocals while walking down an aisle in high heels and not falling on my face.  So I ended up getting one pair of distance glasses, which I was able to get immediately (they're purple, naturally), and then ordered the close-work glasses, which would arrive in a week.  

I quickly realized that without the close-work glasses, I was making my necklace in the blind.  I could NOT see a single wrap I made, so I'm lucky I've made a million.  

I made the necklace with sentiment in mind.  The heart was for the wedding, two intricate silver beads, both similar but different, to represent Ryan and Jessica, and then lots of crystal and pearls. I also wore the friendship necklace that had been made for me years ago.  

I originally made another pearl necklace to go with the long necklace, but Zack, who is my personal stylist, said the simpler friendship necklace necklace worked much better, and I had to agree.  

The wedding was incredibly lovely, and the photos were equally amazing, taken by David Abel Photography (as is the last video I'll post).

Ryan walking down the aisle.

Colin walking down the aisle.

(Being a stepmother rather rocks).

The bride and groom joyously left the church in a vintage Bentley....

... which completely enamored Zack.  Then the bridal party had photos taken in historic Richmond, VA.

(I have to admit something -- I was weepy during the entire wedding, but when I saw the ring on Ryan's hand, it just hit me, hard, and it was just THAT moment, you know?)

Beautiful, stunning Jessica.  Could she be any prettier?  I think not.

The reception was held at a country club, and we had so much fun.  The table numbers were maps of all the places Jessica and Ryan have traveled together, a classy touch, and unique just like them. The wedding party was introduced to everyone to the infectiously fun song "Happy" - you MUST click and watch it and you'll catch the joy and fun that song brings out in so many people -- certainly the wedding party!

Then Jessica, who had just gotten her medical degree two weeks before the wedding, and Ryan, who has a Ph.D., walked out to the very apt Robert Palmer song "Doctor Doctor".  Totally awesome.  In fact, I think there were more doctors in that place, both of the tongue depressor type and the dissertation type, than my local hospital.  Introducing people could sound a lot like the movie "Spies Like Us".  Hilarity.

Ah, and then to beauty.  Ryan and Jessica had taken dancing lessons, and while this is from a cell phone, it's still beautiful, choreographed to "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.  (I hope you're clicking on all these links, or you're missing out!)

I cried, of course.

Then toasts and food and cake and dancing.  I stuck to bopping in my chair, but oh I wanted to be on the dance floor.  I just knew better, because, high heels. But I had a blast!

It was the most beautiful night.  I'll never forget it.

And now, a beautiful ending to a what I hope you agree is a beautiful post
 for two amazing people.

Thank you for joining me for one of the most important days of our lives.  Love to all.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.


  1. What a gorgeous wedding!! Love your dress, and look at them "gams!" ;) I don't care how bad you were feeling you look AMAZING!!! Were the pictures taken on Monument Ave?

  2. What a wonderful day! Lori, you look absolutely stunning. Seriously beautiful! Love your hair and dress too. The jewelry that you created for the wedding party is gorgeous and very special. Thank you for sharing such beautiful moments with us. Wishing the bride and groom a lifetime of love and happiness!

    p.s. I got a kick out of your gum story. ;)

  3. Wow Lori! What a proud mama you must be! God bless them with many wonderful years. Such a lovely wedding. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and special occasion! God's peace to you.

  4. Great post, everyone looks so happy I love it. Congratulations to you and Rick and to the happy couple and to their brothers.

  5. what a beautiful wedding ! I hope they have a joyful life together Even though I don't know your son and his bride, I had tears running down my cheeks, it was beautiful ! My daughter and her partner are getting married on Halloween, they met on Halloween, four years ago....I am so excited and happy for them, I never thought my little girl could be this happy, its amazing what being with the right person can do!

  6. What a beautiful wedding! Congratulations to the newly weds - Wishing them a life time of happiness!

  7. So many beautiful details. I love your dress and think you look fantastic. Also, I agree that being a stepmom is rather awesome.

  8. What a beautiful post! I clicked on every single link! Truly a beautiful congratulations to them both!

    And your slide show in the end was beautiful!

    Hoping you are feeling better, soon!

  9. Just beautiful. I loved your necklaces.

  10. What a great great writeup.. Well done!

  11. I LOVE this post! :) SO beautiful! You look wonderful! Everyone does! :)

  12. What a gorgeous wedding! You looked lovely as did your jewelry.

  13. Absolutely beautiful!

  14. It's all so beautiful.

  15. Thank you for sharing all of this. There is nothing so special in a world than a wedding and it's like we have these front row seeks. You're an angel and I'm sure your family knows that. AND, despite what you might think - you looked stunning, and proud, and happy, it showed in every photo. Congratulations on adding such a lovely bride to an already wonderful family.

  16. What a gorgeous wedding! I do have to say my favorite pic/video of all is of you and Zach walking down the aisle. He looks so proud and you so beautiful.

    (And you definitely have some handsome men in your family.)

  17. Absolutely stunning. The clothes, the jewelry, the pictures and the videos! Love watching! Thanks for letting us in to see a bit of your wonderful life!

  18. Congratulations to Ryan and Jessica! What a stunning couple on their big day. The photographer did an amazing job capturing the special moments and all the details. You looked beautiful walking down the aisle, Lori! Thanks for sharing - can't believe the wedding has already come and gone.

  19. The gum was funny :) Everything else - romantic, eye-watering,, beautiful!

  20. What a lovely story! I can imagine you are one proud mama! Such lovely and beautiful newly weds. They look so in love and happy. You look beautiful in your dress and jewelry (yes lady, you are!) and Zack looks so proud and responsible walking next to you. I'm so happy for you that you could be there that day and enjoyed yourself. Thank you so much for sharing this important day with us

  21. What a wonderful wedding - so glad you be in it and report on how beautiful it was.

  22. Lori, what a beautiful wedding, so glad you were able to make it and they look such a happy couple may they ever remain so.


I appreciate comments! Thank you for contributing to the conversation.