congratulations chris and jenna!

the wedding was awesome! the whole weekend just turned out so great, i wish i could've lived in that excitement and happiness for a few more days:) reese was also a trooper. were were up until 10 or 11 both nights and she hung in there with the best of them! the rehearsal was super nice.  here's a pic of all the bridesmaids...
jenna had such a great group of girls surrounding her for her big day.
the wedding day started with all the ladies getting ready at hotel 71 in our suite.  melissa, our hairdresser from home, came with her friend to do everyone's hair.  i didnt' believe her when she said we needed to start at 7, but she was right, we finished just in the nick of time and everyone looked stunning, especially jen...

doesn's she look just divine in this pic:) the golashes were a backup plan for cute photos if it was raining, luckily they were not needed!  here's daddy and reese waiting for a cab to go to the church.

when we arrived at the church the girls were all together putting on the finishing touches.  reese amused herself by tinkering with the piano..
here we are right before jenna walked down the aisle and here's grandma helping reese with her flowers. the thing was stinkin' heavy! they looked gorgeous though and reese surprisingly walked down the aisle by herself holding the flowers..it was a fast walk, but she made it..and then even ventured onto the steps in front of everyone during the ceremony..such a brave one that girl:)

after the ceremony it was onto the trolley for festivities and pictures.  they took us all around town for some amazing shots! can't wait to see what they look like from the photographer!

and then off to the reception at fulton's on the river. there was a cigar bar (requested by chris and a huge hit) on the veranda overlooking the river, yummy yummy food, and dancing the night away of course. here's as close to a family pic as we could get...
despite my prepartion, i was still so nervous to give my speech.  jenna had done such a good job at my wedding, i just wanted it to be really special. it went very well.  i'd like to keep it documented so we can always remember it....
"Jenna and chris, I’m so excited to be here celebrating this moment with you tonight. As I was thinking about what to say tonight I couldn’t help but think of all the memories we’ve shared as sisters over the years. I still remember sitting on our tan flowered couch waiting for you to come home from the hospital, really I think it’s my first memory. Seeing you was much more important than taking a nap. We’ve made big plans over the years, some of which are coming true today and some that have changed and grown along with us. Some of the greatest moments in our life are sprinkled in the smallest moments and were molded when we were young. I know I maybe, just maybe was the one that always had to be in charge, when we were little, at least I thought I was. When we played school I made you be the student while I was always the teacher. When we made cookies I wouldn’t let you measure anything, I told you that you could pour and stir. When we played dead man, I always got to be the dead guy and made you drag me across the floor. When we made up dances I was the choreographer and told you the moves. The only problem now is that if the older person is the one that is in charge, than we’re both in trouble because, if I’m not mistaken, Chris is older than the both of us! But all kidding aside, what you probably didn’t know was, when we got older I was the one that looked up to you. You’ve just always had that spark in your life. You worry less, you wing things and they always seem to work out, and most of all you have that charisma that comes only from God. You show it in your love for people in the way you truly listen. We may both have the bad storytelling gene, but you can listen to someone’s story and show them that you are genuinely concerned about what they’re saying. You’ve done this for me for years and I know that now you will be that person for Chris as well. Chris, I can’t tell you how much God has blessed my sis and our entire family with you. Jenna deserves nothing but the best. All I’ve ever wanted for her was a man that fits your description. Someone that always puts others before himself, looks out for people, and makes sure that she is taken care of. I know you are and will always be, that person for her and I thank you for that. If our lives are sprinkled with these small moments, I know they will continue to be. We can’t always plan the best things in life. Who would’ve ever thought you would marry someone that grew up ten minutes from where we grew up, and even went to Hope college and never crossed paths until just the right moment. God’s funny like that. So if I had to give you some advice, I’d say enjoy the small moments and let God lead your plans. One of Jenna and my favorite books, Cold Tangerines, says it the best. I’d like to read a quote from it.

“My dad used to have one of those cars where you can plug in your destination and the woman’s voice will tell you where to turn and whet to stop to get you there. And when you get there, she says, in this totally dramatic, slightly sexy, slow voice, “You. Have. Arrriiived.” And we burst out laughing at each other the first time we heard it. We wanted her to say it again. We wanted to plug in more places, and then go to them, just so that she would tell us again that We. Have. Arrived. It was the greatest car in the world. You knew, cognitively, that she was a computer, and that she was only talking about arriving at the dry cleaner, but another part of you just melted when she said it, “Me? Me? I’ve arrived?’ Thank you! Say it again!” That’s what I want. I want to arrive. I want to get to wherever I’m going and stay there. That’s why I was such a ferocious planner of my life. But I’m learning to just keep moving, keep walking, keep taking teeny tiny steps. And it’s in those teeny tiny steps and moments that I become, actually who I am. We won’t arrive. But we can become. And that’s the most hopeful thing I can think of.”
So Jenna and Chris, I really do think you’ve arrived, but all of the teeny moments in the future will help you continue to become. I love you both so much. Let’s raise a glass and cheer to this new beginning in becoming."
i am just so happy for those two.  they're perfect for each other!
here are a few more pics from the evening...

i must say, chicago is the perfect place for a wedding and jenna and chris hit it out of the park with this one!

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