Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wedding Planning

Today marks 8 MONTHS until the big day. The Baker/Benjamin Wedding!! These almost 2 mths. have FLOWN by since the engagement and makes me see how quick the next 8 mths. will pass! The planning is in FULL SWING!! The date has been set - NOVEMBER 6th 2010. That came with many challenges but FINALLY it is set in stone. Because we had a very specific time that would work for a lot of Austin's family to come from out of the country - we had to pick a time that would work for all. We are pushing the weather to the limit...Hannah is fasting 1 day a week, just for her "wedding weather"! All parties have decided on "the place"! YAY! That was a doozy! Hannah has had her heart set on an outside wedding. Nature is where she strongly feels the presence of the Lord. She really does see things through the Father's eyes. She has always been my child that sees things in the clouds, things in the way the leaves dance before the Lord. Her quiet time has always been outside, under the great big sky! That's 1 of the reasons why Austin proposed outside in Israel. YAY, an outside wedding.

Her Aunt Toni & Uncle Mike's house is the specific place of the wedding/reception. Toni is my sister and she has a beautiful home & property that is just gorgeous. Their home is a gift from God for my sister's family but it's been a gift for our WHOLE family. It's the 1 home that we can all still get together and actually have room - since we are over 50 peeps to date. I think I have written before about how sentimental my Hannah is - she is beyond sentimental. If you give her a gum wrapper that has some meaning she will remember what it was, save it & NEVER probably throw it away. For her to get married at someone's home that's in her family - that's the BEST. This home will in all likelihood be in our family for generations. It will be a special place that the 2 of them can always go back to and remember their day. Hannah really believes that the Lord gave it to them for HER wedding, ha! Then Austin comes into the family & I believe his 1st time to meet the whole gang was at Aunt Toni's house. The 1st time he saw it, he feel in love with it!! At Thanksgiving this year he stood on the back patio looking out with Ray & at that time he had already asked Ray to marry Hannah. We knew it was coming & they had already discussed that Aunt Toni's was where they would love to get married. He looked out & said to Ray - "my Dad's gonna love this place, I can't wait for him to see it". He could never wrap his thoughts around another place that would be more perfect to marry Hannah. So for both of them to think of having it in any ole place outside - doesn't have the meaning that this place has. The peace of God dwells there - you can feel it. It has been declared God's property & I believe the birds in the air even know it.

Toni & Mike are the biggest givers I know. They give IT ALL!! You name it, they give it. The time that they so graciously give to their children, their extended family & ANYBODY that God brings to them - it's a TRUE reflection of Jesus. SO, we are going to bombarde their home with over 200 people. Well not their home because it will all take place outside, well not all because there will be plenty going on inside - OK wait, she is a SAINT for saying yes to us, HA! I WILL owe her for the REST OF MY LIFE!!! Many of us in our family feel we owe them for the rest of our lives. Of course she doesn't keep score but I will owe her!

The biggest, biggest challenge with this wedding is the SIZE of the guest list. Hannah comes from a BIG, BIG, BIG family. Just Hannah alone has over 120 family members that are aunts, uncles, 1st cousins & 2nd cousins. WOW, my children have almost 50 immediate cousins, 50!! Austin has a few, as in he can count them on 1 HAND!! BUT, Austin has a HUGE, BIGGER, GIGANTIC church family! YIKES!!! This is a challenge. Our number that will fit under a tent - have a parking spot, will be 230. Boy oh BOY! The fair way is 115 each. BOY OH BOY!!! So the lists begin. And of course in our family unit most EVERYONE has an opinion. I began Hannah's list and started with 216 people on the list -- REALLY? That's a short list in my mind....ha! I went over it with Hannah and she added 13 people that I forgot. So we were looking at a list of 243 and don't see WHERE we can possibly cut it. It's unrealistic to think that EVERYONE that she would LOVE to be there to share in her day, can come. The "issue" with her list and really Austin's list is that they will probably have 95% of the people invited, come. So it's not like we can over invite knowing we can go by the 70% will come rule. We 1st have to make some hard decisions. It takes us probably 3 sit down times to do it because each time she leaves the table upset. We finally got our list down to 118 people. 118 PEOPLE!!! She says thats it, she's not going through it 1 more time to cut 3. Then comes Austin's list. He had a whole different set of challenges. He got his to 125 and he also had to leave out people that mean a lot to his family and to him. The more I talk to other Mothers of the Bride or MOB, ha - I hear the same thing - there isn't anything wrong with your children wanting an intimate wedding with family & close, close friends. There are things that Hannah wanted - a sit down dinner, which we couldn't have done for 400+ people. So, sacrifices had to be made & in the end we all PRAY that everyone will understand & support the happy couple. But we are all learning we just have to give and take. Austin has been precious as usual. He would probably give Han 50 of his people if he could. He is ALL about everything being perfect for his bride. What a wonderful way to plan a wedding. SO, I think we are close to having a firm list after some tweaking is done to it. It will be a magical night that is SO Hannah and Austin. We are loving the planning and looking forward to the big day. Can I just say that I truly love my new son that I already feel is my son. He is just so precious in so many ways. Ray and I just love him. He's so perfect for Hannah, so protecting and caring. I couldn't have asked God to pick a more perfect man for Hannah or our whole family. I can hardly wait to see their lives unfold together.

There is so much to update on wedding stuff. They had their engagement pictures taken last week. Can you repeat after me - perfect, gorgeous, most precious couple!! Brad Shull from Shull Photography took them. He is a family friend of Austin's and now our family friend. Also he spent the afternoon at the place taking other pictures and a photography friend of his came to and she took their pictures also. Vanessa is from - they both took such beautiful pictures and I was quite surprised that I had enough restraint to leave my camera equipment at home. Brad told me I was welcome to but I wanted to be the Mom and be there for Hannah. It was loads of fun and it was beyond strange to be on that end of an engagement shoot after me being the 1 to take the pictures for dozens of engaged couples. Of course it doesn't hurt when you trust the photographers. Here are a few...

These are some that Vanessa from CPCamera took.

Here are just a few of the many that Brad took from Shull Photography.

Such a precious couple. So that is my update on some of the specifics of the wedding. Lots of wonderful changes at our house that I will share later but God has turned us upside down and inside out. He is so faithful to us all and AMAZING things are ahead. If I would blog more often I wouldn't have to be so general but soon I will share more!!

Love to all!!