In a span of just 15 months, all three of our children got married.
Our daughter Molly married Michael in Washington state in July, 2017. Then our youngest son Sam married Nicole in May, 2018, and our oldest son Ben married Amberlee in October, 2018. We traveled to Texas for both our sons’ weddings.
Helping our kids plan their weddings was a wild ride! But each one gave us a mixture of sweet moments, as well as a few inevitable funny mishaps, providing stories we’ll never forget.
At Picture This Organized, our mission is to help our clients preserve their legacies, and I can’t think of many other events that contribute to family legacies the way weddings do.
I speak from experience!
If a family wedding is in your future, let these light-hearted stories from the three Kessler kids’ weddings motivate you to capture your own event to make it part of your family’s legacy.
The Importance of Documenting the Day
With the rising costs of weddings, and the expense of three weddings in 15 months, budgeting was key.
As we prioritized spending, documenting the day with quality photos and videos was the expense we knew we wouldn’t compromise. They have helped us relive each day ten, 20, even 50 years from now.
We shared ideas on how to choose a wedding photographer and videographer in this previous post.
Photos and videos provide evidence of legendary moments. One of our treasured photos is a picture of our son Sam dancing with his sister Molly at her wedding.
This photo tells the story of two siblings celebrating the moment with abandon. We look at it and remember our guests reacting with cheers and laughter.
And we’ll never forget the groomsman-gone-rogue who wore the wrong color pants.
I quickly learned that the Mother of the Bride can’t be in all places at once on the wedding day. The videographer captured a moment I didn’t want to miss, but also didn’t know she was filming. Molly and Michael wrote letters to each other to read before the weddings. Though I missed seeing her face at the moment, I have it preserved on film.
Because the finished video only included short snippets of moments throughout the day, I asked the videographer to give us full, unedited clips of things. For example, I wanted to see the entire bride and groom dance, or our mother and son dances, which after much practice, are now family legends.
If You Want Something Done Right, Do It Yourself
Of course, it’s impossible for the couple and their parents to handle every detail. Some of the funniest memories involved things going a little wrong when we asked for help.
One story featured a breakdown in communication between the venue coordinator and the pastor at Molly and Michael’s wedding. When the coordinator asked the pastor if he wanted the communion bread, he said he didn’t want to hold it, that it should go on the table.
Rather than put it on the table with the cup for the ceremony, she put it on the head table at the reception. Molly and Michael went to take communion during the ceremony, and much giggling ensued when the bread was missing.
A family friend misplaced Ben and Amberlee’s wedding programs. Although it wasn’t funny for the bride and groom in the moment, we all laugh about that memory now. We remember our sweet, blushing bride shouting “Where are the programs?!” She spent a lot of time and money on those and wanted every guest to have one!
We waited to start the ceremony until we found the programs!
To help with the budget, we decided to handle some of the details ourselves. Not all of these turned out to be the best decisions (e.g. hand-making signs or flower girl dresses).
We could have saved ourselves some time and stress by hiring someone to create seating charts and place cards. But looking back at the photos, we remember how beautiful it was, not how stressful.
Forces of Nature Become Part of the Experience
Sam and Nicole’s Texas wedding venue was huge, with long walks to get from the ceremony to the reception location. On a day where temps hit 105 degrees, this was hard on the shade-seeking bride and groom, as well as guests. No one told us bottled water was available.
Ben and Amberlee’s wedding included a downpour. Ben’s friend was helping Amberlee navigate through it with an umbrella, but guests ended up with mud on their clothes.
Molly and Michael’s wedding rehearsal started late because their pastor was stuck in weekday evening traffic for three hours.
Whether barn, clubhouse, or hotel ballroom, every wedding venue has its own set of challenges.
Check the sound system and be willing to invest in this one. If the DJ or band provide it, are they mindful of the venue’s quirks? At one of our venues, rain falling on the tin-roofed barn made it tough to hear the toasts.
Make the Most of Every Wedding Moment
Weddings are notorious for being over before we know it. In fact, we wanted each of our kids’ celebrations to keep on going!
With each wedding, we did all we could to document and savor the moments, including a family picnic the day after the wedding. These were fun events uniting both families before everyone left town.
Our family wedding stories, both sweet and savory, will forever shape our family legacy.
Click here for my list of Wedding Planning Tips I learned in our 15-month wedding spree!