The Wedding

Today marks one official month since my brother’s wedding. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I know that our first month of marriage flew by with so many changes and transitions-I know my brother and Stina must be feeling the same way.

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Saturday morning, finally the wedding day: I got up bright and early to curl my hair at the hotel (it’s always odd to me to have to curl curly hair). I got all of my bridesmaid items together and met my parents in the lobby. We headed to Stina’s favorite coffee shop where I filled in a large order for the bridal party’s caffeine wants. With to-go carts in hand, we carefully got into the car and drove to the Moseng house.

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By the time we arrived all the bridesmaids were up and getting ready. The the wedding coordinator was  helping with hair alongside Stina’s hairdresser. I doled out the coffee then my parents picked up one of Matt’s high school friends and drove to Stina’s brother’s house to take pictures of the guys getting ready.

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I joined in getting makeup done and then spent a good deal of time letting the wedding coordinator pin up my long thick hair. The atmosphere was pretty relaxed considering the days events, everyone was excited and enjoying themselves including Stina.

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When the groomsmen and groom arrived around 8:30-9:00ish  Matt and Stina did their first look. I helped watch her lace train as she came down the house steps and around to the bridge over the coy pond.  All the close family and bridal party stood around (but far enough away to not be in pictures).  It was a beautiful moment.

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After this, we started in with the bridal party pictures followed by family pictures around 10:00am.

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Then all of us crowded back into the house for a late breakfast/early lunch before the wedding. We watched from widows of the house as guests began to arrive and fill up the white chairs in the garden.

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During this time Stina was confined to an upstairs bedroom and enjoyed  reading child stories to the flower girls. Right before the wedding was about to start, all of the female relatives and bridesmaids gathered around Stina to pray.

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Then the bridesmaids lined up behind the bushes ready for our musical que. The brick path was covered with a white runner. Shepherds hooks with potted fuchsias hung along the path as well as fresh flowers from our Pikes Place trip were laid on the side of the path.

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By the time I walked down the aisle the garden was crowded with people. So much so that although we had a sign saying there was plenty of room some had to stand along the trees for most of the ceremony.

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The three sibling flower girls came down in a bunch all similes in their matching dresses and hair. The oldest passed the wood ring box my father made onto the best man. Then came Stina in a beautiful lace covered wedding gown smiling all the way.

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My brother’s pastor from his college in Oregon was the officant for the wedding. As usual the giving away, prayer, and a short sermon were done in front of a beautiful gazebo filled with fresh flowers from the garden. Behind Matt and Stina was a table with a large bouquet of flowers, two candles, and the Moseng’s  family Bible where all marriages have been written down for generations.

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The Pastor (whos name is also Matt) shared about how love becomes a choice not only an emotion through the years of marriage and on the importance on choosing love and the behavior of love even when it is not easy. We all were handed hymnal inserts from the program and sang among a very musical audience. (Matt and Stina were heavily involved in the music department at their school) A wonderful chorus rang out with Great is Thy Faithfulness. ( I was happy to get through almost the whole thing without crying).

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The rest you probably know: the exchanging of rings, the vows, the announcement, kiss, and processional (to a surprise Star Wars song for Matt). As we waited for family to exit the bridesmaids, my brother, and Stina waited behind the same bush we had waited behind as we shared tears, smiles, hugs, and looked at their wedding bands.

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Following was an enjoyable time of greeting guests, friends, and family talking together while waiting to see who would leave first for the reception. After some informal photo shots we all started toward the field waiting in line to leave the Moseng house and head to the reception downtown Poulsbo.

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Coming Next: The reception

The Rehearsal

I know I have jumped around a little in sharing about the week at the beginning of last month spent with my brother and his now wife preparing for and celebrating their marriage. But I promise from now on I will be going in a more linear pattern.

To refresh you minds, after Thursday’s activities (see Girls Day (and Night) Out) I got to leave Stina’s home with my husband who had just arrived jet-lagged from the airport and we moved into our own room. It was such a relief to seem him after a week apart although we had little time to ourselves, him just being there was beyond helpful for me.

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Friday  morning (Rehearsal day) I left bright and early with my mother, Stina, and Stina’s father headed to the ferry to pick up flowers from Pike’s Place to use at the ceremony and reception space. For more on this check out: ( Little Norway and The Emerald City). To sum up: on the way back I prepped a sample centerpiece bouquet for the reception tables in the back of the van.

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Straight from the ferry we drove to the crowded Moseng house. The amount of people spending time at the Moseng house had increased gradually as family and bridesmaids/groomsmen came into town. But now the house became full to the rafters with all those involved in the wedding ceremony. We took a moment to regroup, eat, and greet close family and friends, many of whom I’d seen last at Matt’s college graduation (see family time).

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The ceremony space on Thursday in the sun

We all filed out in the rainy weather for the rehearsal. Luke was at the sound board filling in for the sound tech who couldn’t come until later that night. Stina was in one of Matt’s old flannel shirts, hair up, enjoying the rain with her practice bouquet getting soggy as she walked down the brick bath to their wedding gazebo barefoot.

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The wedding coordinator helped us practice the walk-in/walk out timing to music with queues and the pastor summed up the actual ceremony. It only took about an hour to get all the family and bridal party on the same page.

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Following this, I was in charge of getting 20 bouquets put together for the reception space.  The problem was I had less than an hour to do get it done. Fortunately I had the whole bridal party and a few extra hands ready and willing to help. I showed everyone the sample bouquet and gave some generic instructions based on color and shape. The next thing I know clippers, flowers, stems, and leaves are flying as everyone pitched in.  In less than thirty minutes we had more than 20 bouquets filled and ready to be taken to the Sons of Norway. This is my way of saying-thank you!! to everyone who helped!!

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Rushing back to the hotel, we changed and then we were off again to the rehearsal dinner. Dinner was at Tap Rock in Poulsbo a Northwest Grill with local food. We arrived as everyone was being seated in the back room. The tables had been decorated with flowers in Matt and Stina’s wedding colors and ypre-planned menus with a custom congratulations to Matt and Stina were placed at every seat. Instead of sitting with family, Luke and I chose to sit my brother’s friends and some others from the bridal party. Before dinner my brother thanked everyone for coming and announced to those who didn’t know that Stina and himself would be taking a job with the Army Cor of Engineers in Memphis TN. We then enjoyed a good steak dinner and local beer and wine as we caught up with family and friends.

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Afterward we all piled into the cars and headed to the reception site, the Sons of Norway in Poulsbo to decorate. Once we arrived we changed into our working clothes and got started. From fixing the rafter lighting, to decorating tables, placing bouquets, to labeling favor jars, everyone pitched in.

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It was at this point that we had dessert of coffee, cookies, brownies, and homemade blackberry pies made by my wonderful mother-in-law !

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Luke and his father John enjoying some guy time

I rounded the tables carrying a bucket of spare flowers and with the help of my grandmother perked up the bouquets everyone had done earlier in the day. I also filled in silk flowers and extra vases in those random open spots.

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Everything worked out so well. A table dedicated to photos of married couples dating as far back as great-grandparents was all set up with labels, a wall of strung photos from Matt and Stina’s childhoods were placed along a back lattice wall. The head table was decorated with bunting, the favor table set up with crates, signs, and labeled homemade apple jam.

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The dinning tables were prepped with blue table runners, yellow monogramed napkins, crocheted doilies (of my moms) mirrors, and bouquets. The entrance table was prepared with the guest book, a dating memory book, and a decorated mail box prepped for advice cards and wedding cards from guests. (More pictures of all of this to come).

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In no time the place was prepped and looking beautiful. You could tell everyone was excited and ready for the next’s days festivities! Stayed tuned pics and details from the big day are coming soon!!

Wedding Season has Begun!

I choice to take a mini-spring-break from blogging because I haven’t felt much like writing about our real-life stuff right now. Were are in the middle of some car drama and I’m in the up’s and downs of job searching. (And yes I’ll share that all with you . . . eventually).

But let’s change topics shall we?

A week ago when I was in the middle of a hectic run-around I received a very anticipated phone call. So I pulled my Walmart grocery cart to a traffic free zone and answering my phone. It was my brother  sharing the good news that he and his girlfriend had just gotten engaged!  Everyone knew it would happen very soon and we are all thrilled.

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Pacific City OR

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Thinking about their wedding plans I began to look back on some of the details of my own wedding almost 6 months ago. I didn’t pintrest my way through my engagement or blog it out. But knowing at least 8 (probably closer to 10) couples who got engaged so far this year I thought: maybe I should take sometime to share advice and details from my wedding? Maybe it will spark some creativity for those planning their weddings?

As we head into this wedding season I’ll be dispersing some details and advice blogs from a bride who has been there done that. (I think 6 months is long enough to reflect back but not so long ago that I’ve forgotten the little things.)

So for all of my engaged couples-enjoy! And for my single friends these blogs may be good to ear-mark for that future special day down the road. Or if you are not one of those single “one day, day-dreamer” types remember you’ll probably be involved in a friend or family member’s wedding in the next 5 years. Even if you were at my wedding you may be surprised by some of the sentimental small details you probably didn’t know about.

Here are some topics to look forward to:

Who to choose for the bridal party?

Special Guests: how to care for kids, grandparents, and those with allergies

4 month engagement- a timeline and some big helps

Favors from friends :a great way to $ave

The Sentimental Personal details

No ring bearer? No problem

Things to double check with DJ/MC/Video/photographer

Advice for the Bride on her big day

Tips for Bridal Party including: when planning a bridal shower/ Bachelor(ette) party

Invitations, Thank you cards, and Gratuity

And that is not all! (Yes I went on a brainstorming craze). What do you think? And don’t worry tons of pics from my wedding and updates on the bro’s wedding plans will be shared along the way!

Wedding Season had Begun!