Saturday, September 30, 2017

Wedding Prep Day

Our delightful photographers are sending wedding pictures soon but we decided we just had to share some from the Wedding Prep Day! It was a joy every step of the way to work alongside such dedicated friends.
Wedding Tip Number 1536: You cannot stop or slow down time no matter how late you stay up!
Amazing helpers from Idaho arrived in time to spread love and happy fellowship! They excel at making the kitchen cozy, keeping the ovens busy and making SINKS full of dishes disappear. 
Brothers! Ever helpful. And they don't even drink coffee yet! :)
Love our friends from Colorado who sent timely packages with timely reminders like this one about the cord of three strands!!
Dandee and Manee and Chapman. This dish washing is very serious business.
Brave Aunt Pandy took on the daunting task of getting the Bowers' groomsmen clothing ironed...

...and making cute bag tags to welcome out of town family.
More happy dinners than ever this year since Joshua and Carson came along!
Very blessed indeed.
Prep Day Breakfast Something: GF, EF, NF, SF. What on earth is LEFT to bake with?! :)

Pandy has been my Sister-in-Love for almost 30 years. So grateful for her incredible help, faithful prayers and 100% devotion to the girls and this very special wedding.
Behold! The raising of the tent begins. :)
Joshua hunting down the AWOL box of candles. :)

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
 Transforming Carson's mechanic shop into a thing of beauty. :)
Our living room ended up in the driveway. Ha!

Happy smiles all day long.
This nice guy showed up to deliver and unpack jars. :)

1600 water bottles at the Label Removal Center. Sounds very official. :)
Some of our favorite locals (!) and precious friends all the way from Idaho and Washington!
Linen-like napkins, anyone? We seem to have a few. Ha!
Love these dear girls who tied and tied and tied 850 twine bows. :)
Bouquets abounding with love by Aunt Pandy. Yes, folks. She really DOES DO IT ALL!
 Beyond thankful for her planning, preparing and vast experience with weddings of all kinds.
Sweet Molly, also known as Manee, is my amazing Mom! 
Before moving overseas she did incredible wedding flowers and was promptly recruited upon arrival. :)

Daddy's Number One Rule of Cooking can NEVER have too much butter!!
Keep this Southern staple in mind. Always.
Lindsay baked and iced and loved this cake into the most delicious work of art ever served at a wedding! 
Praise the Lord for such a patient friend and encourager.
After great thought and discussion we decided to cut the mics and piano and just SING LOUD! :) 
Once again...from the top!
Talk about gemstones!!  Ironing tablecloths for 70 tables?
So amazed by the love of these girls and other faithful friends. 
And DARK IT IS outside. We started this day at 8 am!
Jars for flowers, jars for candles. Collected by sweet Liz.
Garlands and flower crowns! Beautiful.
Every farm need a good sign and a good sign painter. Here's ours, specially imported from Idaho!
Peaceful quiet time to ponder is a little scarce. 
We figured as long as she came back by Friday at 4:18 it was okay. :)
The flower guy. We told him this was for our blog. Ha! Seemed like he liked the idea. :)
Soo perfect! Beautiful, beautiful everywhere!
These hardworking ladies prepped the (most delicious!) salad. And more salad! 
So many Sister-in-Loves to LOVE around here!
Victorious! Chairs were moved in following the ceremony.
So thankful for such incredibly hard working helpers!!
Calm before the storm.
More calm before the storm. Ha. :)
 We are also SO very grateful to our dear Bontragers...every one of them...for opening their hearts and home and the barn doors (quite literally!) for the most memorable, meaningful, joyful day EVER. We cannot wait to share photos of our Brides and Grooms with you when we get them and we PRAISE THE LORD for these very precious friends and memories.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Thoughts About That Double Wedding!

Every once in a great while there are things so perfect and beautiful that they absolutely take your breath away, and I just need to say....the wedding on Friday was one of those!!
 As Mother of the Brides, I was prepared for tears, but I had no idea there would be so many happy ones. I had no idea we would all feel so incredibly loved, or that when we practiced last week (stand still, exit with grace!), every other moment would be so magnificently choreographed by the Lord, too.

On Saturday morning I woke up with this gigantic need to preserve it ALL! Several notebook pages and leftover napkins full of tears later I realized writing down every mental snapshot was humanly impossible! But I am glad the Lord allowed me to try. :) 

Here are a few thoughts, as our new blog tech Carver continues to gather pictures. 

Friday, around 4:10 pm. Picture this: 
Twenty two reasonably sane people assemble in the dining room to ask the Lord's blessing one more time when someone suddenly realizes it is ABOUT THAT TIME and we need to GET downstairs!! 
Great clattering of heels and cowboy boots begins on the wooden stairs amidst reminders to smile and not fall DOWN those stairs. All momentum halts in unison as we land in the garage and realize we're not late yet. But we do have just enough time for a darling bridesmaid to announce she's lost her bouquet, several young groomsmen to make a dash to the bathroom, and one loving brother who's really getting teary eyed to be comforted. In and out of the garage door go heads and theories about what time it actually is amidst reminders to not be LOUD because over 800 people may be listening. But at 4:18....the first note plays and Grandma Bontrager starts down the aisle. And OH! We are blessed indeed. God is so good. 

As Mother of the Brides, I was given the best seat in the house, which reminded me.... 
I have ALWAYS had the best seat in the house! The privilege of being up close for the precious scenes of life was given to me 22 years ago.

I was stunned by the overwhelming beauty of purity. These dear Brides and Grooms chose to not even hold hands until the wedding. I loved their hearts in wanting to save every delightful thing for this day. 

I also loved the purpose and meaning behind each decision. Not one thing stayed in the works simply because of tradition. 

Nineteen siblings standing together for the wedding of their best lifelong friends was unforgettable. When I think of the immeasurable ways God preserved our families for this moment, I am reduced to a puddle of tears! Every time. 

I never knew until now how much I needed to be a mother in law! The Lord just gave me two brand new sons...incredibly loved their whole lives, amazingly wise beyond their years, and in every way the answer to so many, many prayers. I adore and miss THEM! Not just the girls. :)

In the category of "Blessings all mine...with ten thousand beside":

The most perfect weather we could imagine.
So much peace!
Safety for all travelers.
The wedding colors that came together so amazingly! Hallelujah!!
Praying with my dear friend Becky in her room. Sweet tears.
Happy houseful of family chatting and waiting together.
Energy balls! Coffee! Just what we needed! Or maybe not. :) 
Aunt Pandy...unflappable and faithful sister and friend, especially when it comes to weddings.
Advice requested on the proper way to administer a first kiss. LOVE this one. 
Bridesmaids all at the window watching the groomsmen photos. Priceless. 
The Grandmas meeting each other.
Friends who worked tirelessly to make things so beautiful, timely and delicious.
So much LOVE! Wow! Some of us have decided honeymoons sound pretty great. Ha!

Thank you for your prayers and we look forward to sharing pictures very soon. God did FAR more than we could have asked or even imagined and 

With Love,
Lauren for the Bowers

P.S. If you attended the wedding and took pictures, we would LOVE them! 
Please email them to Carver at:
Huge thanks!