I’m calling this a “little family dinner” rather than a “wedding dinner” because when I picture a traditional “wedding dinner” it is in a fancy venue with some kind of a big program.  

And that’s not what we did.
We decided to go super informal and very intimate…first of all because it was a crazy time of year, but also because we wanted to keep things simple and we have a LOT of family!:).  It was our opportunity to gather with all the family in town, get to know each other and for each other (each side of the family) to get to know Max and Abby.  It was a fun way to celebrate them.

Since the dinner was the night right before the wedding, so we used some of the pretty stuff I had gathered for the table centerpieces:

 (Plus “pretty stuff” from God’s creations…I love citrus leaves)

We figured we may as well plaster the place with all the pictures we’d be putting up at the reception/celebration the next night….may as well use these puppies as much as possible:


We also put little “facts” about Max and Abby on each table to help people get to know more “little-known-facts” about those two.

Elle, her cousin, and Grace made little name tags for each place and the little girls set up the tables.
(We set it all up so that everyone was intermixed seating-wise so they could have the chance to really get to know each other before the big day the next day.)
There were so many people in town to help us get everything set up, which was pretty awesome, and then everyone else started to join in. 

Here is my sweet niece (below) who helped take care of so many wedding details in the beginning, I’m sure we’re discussing some kind of detail she helped with…or that she didn’t that I wished I had involved her in…:)

Love you Brim!

And here are a couple of my sisters…

See that sister Saren up there and her expression?  That’s pretty much how she’s guided me through life (she’s 18 months older than me).  She’s got a million great ideas and they just spill out and I’m so grateful for her!  I wish she could have been in town to be the wedding coordinator the whole time!  Love you Sar!
So grateful for this sister Charity who came all the way from LONDON with her baby for the big event:
I was thankful over and over and over again that she made the sacrifice to get here at such a crazy time of year with a baby in tow.  Love you Char!
And my third sister, Saydi, took over my camera for me for the whole wedding festivities so of course I can’t find her in any of these pictures, darn it!  SO grateful for her photo skills and that she caught so many moments that I love.  Love you Sayds!

Dave welcomed everyone…

 …and everyone was pretty happy 🙂

 And we got dished up:

And I think Saydi got this shot right here because this might be the first time in her entire life that my mother isn’t the very last person to sit down:

Ha ha!  Good job, Mom!

The siblings got this “place of honor” since we couldn’t fit any more tables in:

 But I think they were A-OK with that situation.

After a little eating we had everyone stand up and introduce themselves:

Saydi got pics of each table and I’m so glad:

The Grandparent’s table:

After the introductions Lance (Abby’s Dad) explained the “question” he had left on each table that we had planned out before.  Each had a different question about marriage advice to discuss.  Then a spokesperson could tell everyone what kind of advice they had come up with for Max and Abby.

The “young adult” table got a pretty specific question about marriage and I love their reactions (since none of them were married…ha!). 

Although I cannot remember the answer they gave, I do remember it was pretty wise.  Loved that.

Dave told some funny stories about Max.

 I love seeing the reaction on these faces that Saydi caught as he talked:

Check out those expressions on those behind the counter down below:

Dave is a pretty great story teller (he told the story about the grenade volleyball challenge, one of our very favorite parenting moments…and of course, he “roasted” a little as well 🙂

I love that man.

Lance told some storied about Abby too:

Loved all that he had to say about that awesome girl who is now my daughter-in-law!:

Sarah and I were pretty blurry with the details of the night, so we let Max and Abby wrap it up.

I wish I had what everyone said recorded, because to be honest my head was swimming a little at this point. 

I don’t remember well what Max said, but I remember the feeling that spread out into my heart as he talked.  He’s a very good speaker. I just love that boy so very much.

Abby talked a little too…just love these guys.

With that, we headed out to let off some sky lanterns.  I explained that these lanterns were representations of us all sending up all the advice shared and love for Max and Abby, sending it all up for blessings on this new union in Heaven.

The night filled up with lanterns and then we headed in for dessert (prepared lovingly by some pretty great friends):

And goodbyes…

…time to get ready for the big day the next day! 

But first: face masks.

Again.  Because that’s of course a very important thing for wedding prep.
And love all around.

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  1. Since thousands of people read this blog and some are likely to copy just wanted to point out that sky lanterns are illegal in a number of states and some cities because of fire hazard.

  2. Looks like a great evening.

    We don't do this at weddings in the UK, so it was interesting to read about them here.

    What does it mean when you said Dave "roasted" the stories?

    1. She was in and out but mostly in her room playing with her Legos. Ha! We gave her and Abby's younger siblings that choice because we wanted to fully concentrate on Max and Abby.

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