The day was cloudy until we approached the wedding site! As Helena readied herself for the wedding, she rejoiced when the sun finally came out!
While we waited for the ceremony to begin, the Flower Girl, Claire, chased bubbles.
The bridesmaids gathered in their beautiful pastel gowns..
...and men in Mexican Wedding Shirts.
Bella was also in attendance in her gown.
The ceremony began. The bride and groom, Helena and Drew, had spent hours designing their wedding.
They chose to have their attendants read cards that they had sent to each other throughout their 3-year courtship during separations, both physical and emotional.
They selected and read poems that reflected their understanding of the love they found with each other and the love they hope for the future.
There was laughter as Drew flubbed a line in his poem ...
...and tears as Helena spoke of the first time she knew she was going to fall in love with Drew..
They gave each other surprise gifts which meant something special to the other.
In these ways, they declared their love for each other and the wedding was unique and enjoyable.
Finally, the couple became Mr & Mrs with the traditional kiss...
...and the untraditional dance off the wedding podium!
Helena and Drew chose to release a group of butterflys after the ceremony, in honor of a patient of Helena's that touched her deeply. The patient's daughter presented the butterflies and participated in the memorium.
A memorium was established in the entrance for the people in both families that would have wanted to be attending the wedding, including Frank and my mother and father. It was a very touching gesture.
There was a yummy banquet; the Flower Girl especially enjoyed the homemade fudge favors placed at every plate.
The young boys conspired at the food table, ignoring the carefully-wrapped chocolate vagina favors in the basket.
The bride and groom danced their dance
This was the most personal and emotional wedding I have ever been to. I don't think there was a dry eye in the crowd as Drew & Helena promised their love to each other.
Tomorrow, my sister Sharon, our friend Marilyn and me will drive to Lake Tahoe. We changed our plans to go to Yellowstone NP because of the distance (1300 miles), limited time available and closure of the major road linking the loops in Yellowstone. Following our Tahoe vacation, I will drive on to Yellowstone NP and scatter Frank's ashes in Madison Valley, his favorite place.