The long-awaited wedding day has finally arrived, and we were blessed with the coolest weather in a month. God is definitely shining down his blessings on Blake and Claire today!
But we must back up and describe how the day unfolded. Being the parents of the groom, we are used to hanging out with the boys. We took this picture in the afternoon, with our two sons--the groom and his brother--the best man.
Mark was up early the morning of the wedding, helping to transport and unload the things that will turn a park into a wedding cathedral. He was also in charge of picking up the groom's cake while Denisa enjoyed a more leisurely morning. Then we all met at the park a couple hours before pictures were to be taken. The groom's party was kept busy with a game of "Oregon Trail" complete with background banjo music and trail mix for snacks.
After a couple hours on the dusty Oregon Trail, we're glad to see that this group cleans up pretty well for pictures.
Blake and Claire gave all the men in the wedding party new socks that appropriately fit their personalities.
There were socks with bacon and eggs, tacos, flamingos, sharks, space cats . . . Mark appropriately got the socks with bananas on them.
Being the mother of the groom gives Denisa the unique opportunity to hang out in both the bride and groom rooms. The girls are not playing board games. Instead, they are wearing matching silk robes, nibbling on dainty snacks, and having their hair and make-up done by professionals. After a wonderful morning of pampering, the bride looks beautiful!
We got the first picture of our two daughters-in-law together on the wedding day.
There were more pictures throughout the afternoon. We liked this one with Claire's parents. There's nothing quite like getting ready for a wedding to make friendly acquaintances into good friends.
We're proud of Blake, wishing him and Claire a life-time of the marital bliss we enjoy.
We didn't take any pictures during the wedding among the massive oak trees in park. You will have to take our word that it was cool and lovely. Both the bride and groom read the vows they had written, and it was one of the sweetest weddings we have ever attended. Then we all made the trip up the hill to the conservatory, where the new Mr. and Mrs. Engelman had their first dance.
Knowing that Denisa loves to dance, she took advantage of this wedding reception to share the dance floor with the groom. She loves the words to the song, "Long Line of Love" that fit this occasion so beautifully.
We enjoyed a bountiful buffet and drinks, while being entertained with more music and dancing. The sun was going down when the toasts were made. We found out that the best man has the talent to go into motivational speaking if he tires of his career as a doctor. He used the old cliche, "you can pick your friends, but not your family." So even though he couldn't pick Blake as a brother, he's now glad to have him on his team any day. He also pointed out that there's a loop-hole in that old cliche--because when you get married, you are actually picking your closest family member for the rest of your life. We think they both did a great job of picking each other!
It was a delightful evening, and we could bore you with more and more pictures. But we're trying to keep this blog short and sweet (or at least sweet). The happy couple left the park around 9:40 p.m., while the adoring crowd showered them with fairy dust.
That's about the time that the guy working at the conservatory let us know that all of our stuff had to be out of the building, and everything cleaned up by 10:00. That was news to us! We certainly appreciated the crowd of friends pitching in to help with picking up trash, transporting decorations, putting up chairs, folding up tables, and sweeping. We looked like worker ants, running everywhere and cleaning up with the speed of light. There are no pictures of the activity because we were too busy for that!
We had everything sitting on the curb to be loaded into vehicles around 10:30. That's when we realized that the wedding coordinator had failed to get everything from the ceremony site under the trees. In the meantime, all the gates to the park had been locked. What could we do?!? Mark and the bride's father (also named Mark) decided to break into the park. It's probably best that they didn't tell their wives. Still in his wedding clothes, Mark scaled a seven-foot fence--complete with spikes at the top. He made two trips, running into the park in the dark and retrieving the lost items. He thought to take a picture of the other Mark, waiting for him to lift the items over the fence. He barely had enough energy to get himself back over that tall fence.
The good news is that no fathers were arrested for breaking and entering into a public park in the dark. The other good news is that no new pants or shirts were permanently torn in jumping over that very tall spiked fence. The final good news is that the wedding was a splendid success, and we now have a great story to tell. Congratulations to Blake and Claire! We love you both!