I’ve had pictures uploaded for several weeks now, but I didn’t know where to start… or stop.
So, with [my sister] Ervina’s assistance, today is the day to write about [my other sister] Claudia’s wedding!
However, be forewarned: this is my last sister to be married and I want to drink every last delicious drop of the day. :)
It all began five-six years ago. A certain man was interested in a particular girl, soooo he asked her dad about her… The dad said, “She’s too young. Forget the idea.”
The certain man didn’t forget. In fact, his love only grew. And in time, the girl grew up. They worked together for several years at the youth center, pouring themselves into the lives and hearts of kids. And the young man asked again, and perhaps even again. And in time, the girl [who said she was never going to get married] fell in love too.
As the time came for their wedding, they wanted it to be a picture of Jesus Christ and His return for His bride, His pure, spotless bride. It’s a death to self, and a living in the life of Christ.
This is the wedding of Christopher & Claudia.
If anyone knows my sister Claudia, they know she is a free-spirited, unforgettable kind of girl. She’s awesome!
The poster-sized invitations were the first sign that this was going to be a unique wedding. The wording is so fun too, and worth reading if you can.
“… rejoice that they are finally getting married…. if you want a spot at the party please rsvp… due to the bride being an avid garage saler and the groom building a small abode, the happy couple would prefer gift cards…”
I requested that she mail one of these colorful hand-sewn envelopes all to way to me just so I’d have the fun of getting it in my mailbox. :) Apparently everyone else loved it too. There were only a few negative responses to the hundreds she sent out!!
There aren’t many brides who would want rain on their wedding day. Especially not when the entire wedding is planned for the outdoors, without even a tent.
The wedding was going to be all out-doors, from the ceremony to the reception, on the beautiful grounds of my parents’ property.
In two days the plans were transformed and yet somehow still the same.
There was so much joy!!
And God was so glorified.
The great Plan A got thrown to the wind and rain, and Plan B began with a very large tent.
The last-minute changes were made possible by the fabulous family and friends that showed up and worked so hard to make it happen! You know you have awesome friends and family when they are willing to be drenched in order to make your dreams come true! :)
// The groom and bride-to-be the morning of the wedding! //
// like I said, awesome friends,
who came to help in rain jackets and boots! //
The Theme of the Day.
// details hand-written by my sister, Ervina, on an old chalkboard //
This scene was designed to
1.) portray a biblical picture of Christ coming for his bride, and
2.) induce large goose bumps on everyone watching.
It accomplished both in a wonderful fashion.
Meet the Groom.
He was coming for his bride, and he would stop at nothing to “gain the desire of his heart”
(thank you Ervin Barkman for the quote).
Chris & Claudia spoke during the ceremony,
sharing their passion for souls and their desire to live pure and holy before the Lord of Heaven.
Getting ready to the tune of rain on the skylight didn’t dampen anyone’s feelings.
How could feelings be dampened when she just. looked. so. beautiful?
The bridesmaids arrived at the First Look location before the groom AND before the photographer! So we had a loads of fun taking a few pictures before the rest of the people arrived. :)
Meet the beautiful bride!
// Who needs professional florists when you can pluck some beauty from a friend’s garden and stick some peacock feathers in the middle? //
The Bride & Groom
One of my favorite things about the wedding was something I did not get on camera due to being in the bridal party, but there was a confetti storm at the First Kiss! It was rigged from the top of the huppah, and was THE most awesome First Kiss I’ve ever seen at a wedding!
The Bridal Party
Maybe it was because I knew all the girls, and most of the guys too, but this bridal party was just so much fun!
I loved the colors and styles in both the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Nothing matched, but everything was coordinated.
// brothers and sister of the groom //
The Sisterhood ♥
They thought they’d be all emotional and stuff but they were too excited and stuff for their little sister.
Claudia and Ervina. Best of Friends since Claudia’s birth. Inseparable sisters. Bride & Matron of Honor.
Claudia & Jana. 4th and 2nd-born sisters.
Claudia and Clarita. I adore her! ♥
Décor & Seating Area
Such fun and creativity!
// I made the zebra pillow, by special request of the bride :) //
You’re beautiful and an hour or two on you is fine but I count myself most fortunate to not to spend too much time on you.
// a friend of Claudia’s found this floral chair at a yard sale – isn’t she a beauty? //
// button monogram of the surname //
// another button monogram created by Ervina //
My husband and brother-in-law created this wedding huppah, which was a great accent piece.
// layout of the ceremony and reception – the wooden benches were arranged in a half-circle around the huppah. The benches were courtesy of the Amish neighbors! //
The Little Kiddos
The idea was that flower girls and boy would carry little vintage teapots filled with sprinkles and confetti and glitter. :)
The reality is that they all became a little frightened, and plans didn’t go exactly as hoped. But it was okay.
I hardly have any pictures of them at the wedding, but the ones at the rehearsal are so cute!
// nephew and niece of the groom //
// our two little flower girls, perfect at the practice round :) //
// oops. sometimes it’s a little too busy for tired kiddos. //
// fun kiddo time //
// lovely seesters of ours ♥ //
// grandmother of the groom //
// my handsome son //
Other bridal party informals…
// my brother James and I //
“Make a face depicting your relationship as children.”
“Make a face depicting your relationship now.”
// Abigail and Claudia. Best friends. //
// Danielle and Claudia. No longer just good friends: now sisters-in-law as well. //
// Beautiful Beth. Sweetest friend ever. //
Because of the rain there were no longer tables for everyone, but we created a special place for just the bride & groom. It was absolutely beautiful!
My sister Ervina and I put together some vintage plates, goblets, and linens, and my husband hung the chandelier. The vintage gold chairs were absolutely fabulous! Two of them will be lovingly brought to my home now. :)
The caterer was fabulous-
not only in the food but also in the presentation!
She even brought these vintage umbrellas for above the serving areas – perfect décor for the rainy day!
I only wish I would have gotten more pictures of the food presentation, it was SO pretty.
// yogurt parfait bar //
// straws for the iced coffee, sweet tea, and lemonade //
My dad has six brothers, and he had this great idea that they would all fire up grills and make all the hamburgers and grilled chicken – for 400 people! One faraway brother in Thailand and his family were so missed that day…
// Father of the Bride //
There not enough hours in the day for the amount of hours he worked. On top of being up since the crack of dawn and making the property perfect and running around up to the minute the wedding started drenched to the bone from the pouring rain he also was preparing his fatherly speech and pastoral vows for the couple. He’s our hero. And at the end of the day, give him a grill to man, chicken to taste test, and his brothers to laugh at and he just might be in his glory.
There was face painting for the kiddos, by the talented Becca and Deanna.
a few family pictures…
// groom’s family //
// brother of the groom & children //
// friends ♥ //
// cousins! ♥ //
// I just LOVE my family //
// the one poor picture of our little family! at least you can see the adorable dresses my daughters wore! :) //
// my two men //
// my parents ♥ //
// brides can be classy AND fun //
Rainbows of Flowers
Claudia wanted color in the wedding, and the flowers provided and arranged by friends were fabulous and beautiful!
I love wedding details. Here are a few fun colorful shots!
// my mommy’s hands //
One of my very favorites of the whole wedding – the rainbow of flowers.
And that’s the basic gist of it all. :) Forgive my elaborated version, but I simply could not condense it. That will be the real photographer’s job. :)
A lot of people said it was one of the most meaningful weddings they’d ever been to in their lives.
I say I’d never seen a wedding so prayed for in my life. I guess that’s why.
Congratulations, Chris & Claude.
Thank you, Jesus.
dress: Michelle Horst // hair: Gianna Stutzman Sensenig // flowers: Frieda Graber, Rebecca Graber, Deanna Graber, Esther Petersheim, Mim Beiler, Grace Good // wedding huppah: Kenneth Yoder, Benjamin Yoder // caterer and reception design: Kathryn Esh Dienner // bridal party pictures taken at the Cork Factory Hotel, Lancaster, Pennsylvania