Here’s the wedding update. I know it’s three and half weeks late. What can I say – we’ve been sick and busy. Unfortunately too often we’ve been both at the same time. In any case…
Overall October 22 – and the days leading up to it – went very well. It was really, really fun to have James’ friends and family here from England. Most of them arrived Wednesday evening, so we got to spend most of Thursday with them which was so much fun! We just had a great time. Friday the 22nd was cloudy but relatively warm and no rain. Hallelujah! We had fun decorating the barn (for the reception) with my family in the morning.
The ceremony was lovely. The parents and attendants walked down the aisle to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto: Adagio (a piece that appears in the movie Greencard) and James and I walked down the aisle together to the wedding march from the Sound of Music. My brother Jeff and his girlfriend Elyce played trumpet and French Horn respectively on that, and Jeff’s roommate Jeremy played clarinet on the Mozart piece. We had Emily Loeks, James’ sister Susan, and James’ friend Matt do the readings which included Frederick Buechner’s “Grace” from his book Wishful Thinking, Isaiah 61, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and Matthew 5:1-15 (the Beatitudes and “You are the light of the world”). James’ dad gave a great message about marriage being more than a choice that two people make but as those two people are part of a community, it becomes an avenue of grace by which God brings about his shalom. Our friends Sarah Dark, and Julie Lee sang one of my favorite songs, “We Are A Beginning” which Sarah wrote for her own wedding. It gave me chills. After my father introduced us as “Mr. James and Mrs. Kari Stewart”, we walked out to Over the Rhine’s “When You Say Love” (over the sound system).
Immediately after the ceremony, James and I jumped in our “getaway vehicle” – Henry DeMoor’s Ford Explorer, and Henry and Ina brought us over to Celebration Cinema. Our photograher Ben followed us and took some shots of us walking around the lobby, eating popcorn, etc. We got lots of funny looks a few well-wishes. 🙂
After photos at the cinema we headed out to the Post Family Farm in Hudsonville for the reception. It looked so beautiful inside with all of the white lights, tulle, and autumn leaf garlands! My mom called it an Autumn Wonderland. We didn’t even turn on the barn ceiling lights at all – all the strands of white Christmas lights provided enough light and the perfect ambience. The food and drink was great – we had catering by Pita House (gyro sandwiches, hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh and fatoush), dessert bars baked by my mom and grandma, beer from Bell’s and Founder’s, and Charles Shaw wine. I didn’t actually get to eat that much, but we got a lot of compliments on our choice of catering. We didn’t have much of a formal program at the reception. My uncle Ken welcomed people and opened in prayer and then later on got up to give answers to the “James and Kari Quiz” that we had on each table. Our friends Craic Wisely played Irish pub songs late into the night. It was fun to see so many of our friends and family enjoying themselves so much. We’ve gotten lots of comments in the past couple of weeks about what a fun event it was and that it was all very “James and Kari” which, of course, is exactly what we were going for.
Our friend Brandon put up a “review” on his blog which you can read here.
And James’ best man John has some pictures up on his blog.
As soon as we get the “official” photos, we’ll get those up online as well. We’re also planning to put up a page listing all the music from the wedding and reception.
Our honeymoon week was nice but would have been nicer if we hadn’t gotten sick. :-p We had a lovely little cottage in Bellaire. The main disadvantage of it was that it was at least a 45 minute drive to get anywhere else. Monday ended up being the only sunny day all week, and it was the day we went to Mackinac Island, so at least we had a nice day there. We both came down with colds on Monday night. Despite our colds, we still managed to go to Traverse City, Petoskey, Charlevoix and Harbor Springs. Most of the places were pretty deserted already with quite a few shops and restaurants closed for the season. Getting sick actually forced us to slow down more than we might have otherwise, so we spent a lot of time lying around and watching DVDs which ended up being a good thing after all.
We’ve started making plans for a reception in England on March 19 and a few days in Barcelona the following week. We can’t book anything that requires payment until James’ greencard comes through – which could be any day now. You can pray with us that it comes sooner rather than later! But it’s been fun reading up about Barcelona and looking into possible hotels. I can’t wait to go!
Links to more pictures coming soon. Well, as soon as I get around to it…