Saturday, February 18, 2006

Gloria's Wedding

Gloria and Okon’s wedding (from my view as Big Sister and Coordinator of Glamour)

The wedding was so Beautiful. Gloria was glowing beautiful and it was beautiful how so many family members and friends go to be involved in making the day special from start to finish. Lots of work, but it made it really special and meaningful to all of us. Our mom made Gloria’s dress and veil and worked hard to get a custom fit and the design even evolved as she went. All us girls got to join Gloria on shopping trips (yeah Christmas clearance!) and every time we got together we were updating her on the perfect candle holders we got at the goodwill, or the sugar calla lilies Beca found for the cake, the hunt for more Michael’s coupons, lace and cranberries. We soon realized a small wedding doesn’t necessarily mean a simple one, but then again, who in our family has ever kept anything simple (ok, maybe Dad, once when we let him). At our house, we took Gloria’s decorating ideas and for a couple weeks, we had tulle and lights and cranberries in glasses and candles all “practicing” around our house(my kids are creative, but opinionated!) we got free samples whenever Beca tested a new cake (3 decadent flavors-chocolate-hazelnut, lemon and chai) and Peace was thrilled to spend a morning as cake helper. Then whirlwind picked up pace when the 3 J’s arrived form Alaska—more shopping and a fun shower for Gloria, all fueled by coffee and chocolate, of course Jacob and Dad labored over carnitas and enchiladas (the best) for the Mexican dinner. Gabriel painted a painting that we turned in to a card. That was special because he loves to paint with Gloria. Peace also got to help Gloria make favors and Gloria was remembering how she had done that with me for my wedding when she was Peace’s age. So we all got as ready as we could and the big day arrived, the first non-rainy day in a long time. We shared a breakfast and presentaion of gifts (evolution of the toolbox) and words of encouragement and blessing. Then it was a rush of activity, Beca had the most beautiful cake ever to assemble, we needed to create a breathtaking atmosphere in the cottage (thankful for the women who beautified and the men who engineered the lights, etc) and there were 3 year olds needing naps and everyone needing showers and mirrors….

Between our family and Okon’s and friends we pulled it all together by 3:00, candles lit along the fireplace, lights all around and overhead, quiet music by Margaret and Natalie, a very handsome groom… and then we waited.. and waited… ( well, she had said it would be her Moment of Drama) and waited, then there they were, teary parents, beaming Gloria, with her Spanish lace veil and bouquet of dark callas and peacock feathers. And the wedding began. It was short and simple. I like when people write their own vows. Everyone cheered as they had the first kiss as husband and wife and then they went off to take pictures by the river (great photos by Erik) and the rest of us made coffee , set tables, heated up dinner and visited, and took family pictures. The dinner was delicious—how can you beat home cooked by the 2 families? The atmosphere was so magically pretty, and they looked so happy. There were toasts (especially meaningful was hearing Okon talk about when he met Gloria and also what his sister said about our two families) and laughter and celebration and kisses and gifts and CAKE.

When it was time for them to leave, we lined up on each side of the side walk and help up lit sparklers for them to walk through (Scott was in his element as head of pyrotechnics) and we sent them on their way (in their “glass slipper” with Just Married sign by Jessamyn in the back window and baskets of goodies for feasting on their honeymoon) We started cleaning up and though we were tired, the feeling of celebration continues with dancing ( Okon’s taught the girls the Electric Slide) Gabriel drove JoJo around on the cart and we blew out the candles.
It was emotional for me. I remember when Gloria was born. I remember helping pick her name and how the northern lights danced for her that night. I remember her love of purple and changing her clothes fifty times a day and her homemade cabbage patch doll and her being a wild and strong little girl in her white nightgown and her long hair. I remember braiding her hair and creating some great 80’s choreography with her! How she thought I was just too lucky to be real and she was my great excuse –to watch her instead of sitting in church or gardening or (Lord help us) cutting up a deer. I hope that as she starts her family, time will only bring all of us sisters even closer.

It was a special day for everyone and I think we’re all glad to have been a part of it. It was really a beautiful , perfect day and I love my sister and welcome Okon to our family and wish them a long and happy life together!
pictures by Erik Groomer 2-5-06


Rebeca said...

You captured the day beautifully Alyssa! It was so special, just like our little wista. And a wonderful time was had by all.

Mama and Papa said...

I found your Daddy crying by the computer and couldn't imagine what was the matter. Through his tears he told me about your wedding blog. And now I am crying, too! What wonderful memories of Gloria Grace! We love all of our children so much. Each one is our favorite and each one is so special.

Autumn Terrill said...

I love this so much. Thank you for being the family I could be there too!

Shawna said...

Alyssa, your writing about Gloria's wedding is so beautiful. I can't believe Gloria, the little girl that clung to me at your wedding and at Salem, is married now. I love that you have started this blog and I look forward to peeking at it every few days to see what new entries you've made. Although I am in Canada it provides a window into the life of someone special to me.