Thursday, October 27, 2011

anna jo and jeff got married!

On September 4, 2011, Anna Jo and Jeffrey Karp got married! I got to be a bridesmaid and witness all the wedding awesomeness firsthand (and really, it was all awesome, which, knowing those two, I had no misconceptions that it would be otherwise).

The night before the wedding, I got to visit with some of my dearest friends and remembered why I became friends with them in the first place 14 years ago. Jeff's mom created the most magical atmosphere under an outdoor tent with twinkly lights and delicious food and rootbeer floats (!!!!) for dessert.

My mom was nice enough to come out and manage the kids with Sam so I got to spend a luxurious day being pampered and enjoying time with some wonderful women. First, we went to the spa and got all dolled up. (These are a mix of my own pictures and those pilfered from facebook. Thanks to everyone else for documenting the day!)

Then we went back to hotel and got dressed, ate lunch (Panera- which never disappoints) and hopped in the limo (with a driver that looked like Santa) to head to Hiram House Camp where Anna Jo and Jeff first met.

(why yes, I am the palest one here...)

Here's where Jeff got his first glimpse of Anna Jo, and the scene was definitely tender. They are so so in love and one of the best parts of the day was just seeing them look at each other.

We hiked all over the camp. I lost an earring, which of course, Anna Jo's dad found, because, well, he's indispensable like that. The incredible photographer kept us all in good humor with his ninja like skills of scaling anything to get just the right shot. I can't wait to see his photos (although I know Anna Jo is nearly dying with anticipation for them).

After pictures, we went to the club where the wedding was and re-primped after the rain at camp. Then Anna Jo and Jeff signed the ketubah, which was really beautiful to witness and hear the blessings given to them as husband and wife.

Next came the coming down the aisle part. This is probably the only time in my life I'll walk down an aisle at a wedding. :)

Don't you just love Jenifer's dress? She looked amazing in all that flowing silver and was just beaming with happiness the whole day.

Anna was a flower girl and hadn't successfully walked down the aisle in any of the rehearsals, so I was nervous about what would happen at the real event. She made it several feet and I was feeling so hopeful when she made a last minute veer towards my mom. With a little prodding and quite a bit of laughter, I coaxed her down the aisle where Sam was waiting off to the side to get her. The girls weren't allowed to drop flower petals in the hall, so they each had flower cookies in their baskets and Sam told me Anna kept whispering to him through the whole ceremony that she wanted to eat them since she'd made it down the aisle, according to our bargain.

The wedding itself was beautiful and moving. I've never been to a Jewish wedding before, but there were definitely some elements of it that reminded me of some of the wording in an LDS ceremony. The Rabbi spoke about some of the things Anna Jo and Jeff had told him they loved about the other person and listening to him, I thought, "It's all true." We love Anna Jo and Jeff for all the same reasons they love each other, for their kindness and humor and trust.

They look happy :)

I got to visit with lots of old friends from Ohio. Here I'm talking with my cross country coach's wife Laura. It was wonderful to see her, though we missed Terry who had an unexpected heart attack the month before. He had a congenital heart defect that had never been detected and his doctor told him his running had kept him alive all those years. He's been an incredible positive influence for so many young women, myself included and he was missed.

Sam and mom really deserve a prize for dealing with the kids all day, including swimming, short naps in the hotel rooms, all while trying to do homework or get double stick tape to fix a bridesmaid dress.

Anna promptly ate all five of the cookies in her basket. Levi and my mom may have had a bite. She looked adorable, but I tried to keep it under control and only included five pictures of her eating cookies here :)

Anna had fun dancing with the other flower girls and their siblings, while Levi hung out in front of the band. At one point, the drummer gave him a brush to play with and he was in heaven.

Here's the beautiful Sara giving a loving toast, and a beautiful Anna Jo basking in sisterly love with a barely visible Justin a few seats down. What an amazing family!

My favorite part of the reception was sitting next to Christine and just talking and relaxing after a long day. We laughed a lot, cried some, hugged, and watched Anna Jo and Jeff greet all their guests instead of eating :)
Hava Nagila!!

cross country girls

The bride and groom!

Thank you so much Anna Jo for letting me be a part of your day! I had such a wonderful day. I love you both so much! Congratulations!!!!


Cath and co. said...

How awesome to be with all your old high school buds. You all looked beautiful! :)

Alice-Anne said...

Hi Heather, when I saw your comment on Kristy's, I had to stop by and say hi! What a beautiful family you have and what a beautiful wedding! sounds like you've had a big move. I enjoyed reading your "changing" thoughts.hope you're doing great! --Alice-Anne (from FRAC)

jgosses said...

Heather- I enjoyed this so much. Thank you. The pictures of Anna are priceless! I have printed them and can't wait to share with my boss,who's daughter made the cookie baskets. It was so much fun to see and hear the wedding from another perspective. I love knowing about Levi and the band. I knew I loved the band but now have another reason. You left us hanging after the last "changing" blog.I'm waiting for the next installment. Thanks for sharing. love, Jenifer

Tiffany said...

Soo fun that you got to go and be a part of that and see all of your really did have great friends and I appreciated your sharing them with me every once and awhile! Tell Ann Jo I said hi and congrats!