We had other helpers, too. At the top of the list was Tessa's cousin, Amanda, who was designated the bride's "personal attendant." The Lord has given Amanda has such a servant's heart, and she knows our family so well that no one could have filled this posisition better.
During the photo taking, her role often meant holding Tessa's surprisingly heavy bouquet.
The helper with the men's boutineers was Aaron's older sister, Arianna.
As seen below, some of these boutineers took more than one attempt.
Arianna is getting good practice for her own wedding. After being courted by a man named Eric, the two recently became engaged. They will be married in June. Eric is a graphic artist. He kindly designed Aaron and Tessa's invitations and programs. We were both grateful and impressed! They far exceeded our hopes! Thanks, Eric! And God's richest blessings to you and Arianna.
Some of the pre-wedding commotion in the sanctuary came from us being reunited with friends from far away. Here I am with Paul Ponsiglione. He and his mother, Paula, flew in from Virginia. The friendship of our two families dates back to the late 1990s when both our American families lived in England. Paul was only eight when we first met and I was taller than him (for a short time.) It's been almost three years since our families have seen each other.
Here Paula and Paul are surrounded by many of our children. This was Paula and Paul's first chance to meet our three newest family members.
Mother and son together
While we were absorbed in greeting guests, the photographers were gathering groups for the formal photos. Here are Tessa and Aaron with his parents. Mr. Beaver and I feel soooooo blessed that out daughter will have these two loving, lovable people as her in-laws. They already feel like old friends!
The attempt to get a good picture of our nine daughters didn't go nearly so smoothly. First we had the age-old battle between the bride and the maid-of-honor over which of them is a quarter inch taller. It's plain to see that on this particular day, Lissie was certain she'd won.
I'm not sure, but it looks like Lissie was informing her older sister of her conclusion on that all-important quarter-inch here. By this time the rest of the girls had joined in the giggles.
Just when order was about to be restored, Jaynie (left) and Lissie surprised their oldest sister with big, ol' smack-a-roonies on the cheeks. Chaos ensued.
Thankfully, things went more smoothly when only Tessa's youngest three sisters were involved.
Tessa has been every girl's dream for an older sister. She's happily made time to read to them, paint their nails, do their hair, bake cookies, and, most importantly, just listen to them. Mr. Beaver and I are so glad that she wanted to get her four-year degree from home through the program called CollegePlus! so that she could continue to have an impact in the lives of these former orphans.
About this time, the tired Cinderella lost a glass slipper.
So we headed to the basement for some refreshment...but that's the next post.