It was a gorgeous wedding under a canopy of trees.  Dave’s Dad officiated the ceremony.

 Love those smiles.

 (I missed them walking out, but I caught some smiles and clapping following them πŸ™‚

The babies were across the isle from me…one brand new nephew and great-nephew.

After the wedding there was a cocktail hour.  So fun to be gathered, as you can see πŸ™‚

 I know I’m a tad bit biased, but man alive I like this guy.

Dave’s parents, you might remember, have been serving a mission for our church in Ghana.

They worked being back for this wedding into their initial plans before they left, and it was so great to have them back for a few days to join in all the festivities.

(That’s why we crammed a baptism and a baby blessing into the weekend too after the wedding…so fun to have the whole family together.)

Since there are 39 cousins on Dave’s side, and it would be mass-chaos to have them all attend the wedding, only the high school kids were invited.

I loved that these girls of mine got to share in such a special occasion.
…and I’m here to say that my shirt really isn’t that fluorescent in real life πŸ™‚

During the cocktail hour, they were setting up for the actual wedding dinner on the other side of the house.

And as crazy as it sounds, at the end of April in the middle of the desert, it turned a little chilly with some microburst winds coming through.

We don’t usually get monsoon kinds of weather until August or September so it was weird.  And chilly in April??  Doesn’t happen.

We didn’t realize until after the fact that right as we were enjoying one another in the back, the wedding planners were dealing with some catastrophes caused by the wind in the front where the dinner was to be held.  Huge flower arrangements and water pitchers blowing over, table settings getting totally jumbled up.  Craziness!

But as we all entered the dinner area we had no idea…it looked just as beautiful as could be.  Man, my sister-in-law and her “helpers” were miracle workers I tell you!

We enjoyed toasts to the couple and food as dark and ominous clouds started to surround us.

And then it started to sprinkle with rain.


My heart sunk for a minute but luckily it was short-lived and we went on with dinner like nothing happened.

Until suddenly huge blots of water started polka-dotting all those beautifully set tables.

We sat there and tried to will those rainclouds away.  To my knowledge there was no “plan B.”

People started pulling out their umbrellas.

The dance floor was soaked.  And there was still so much partying to do!

But I guess the combined wills of everyone there worked a serious miracle because after a few minutes of pretty good-sized raindrops, the skies cleared once more.

And everyone was ready to dance on that towel-dried dance floor.

Oh boy.

I know I’ve mentioned it before (especially in the last two niece and nephew wedding posts back HERE), but Dave’s family has got the moves.  When someone says “dance” they light up like little lightbulbs and they get to work.  It is seriously one of my favorite things about his family.

Leah’s Dad started us off:

(I just love those faces in the background….in all these dancing pictures.)
And I love this specific dancer right here:

They did one song (like they did at my other nephew’s wedding), where they had all the couples on the dance floor.  They made announcements every few minutes for those married the least amount of time to leave the dance floor.  The ones married one year left first, then five years, then ten.

There were quite a few couples who stayed out there for a long time with long marriages.

(My cousin took that pic of me and Dave, thanks Heather!)

But gradually everyone left the dance floor aside from my in-laws who have been married for fifty-two years now.

Oh man am I ever grateful for those two.  For their love and legacy, and for the nine children they have raised who are all rippling out to create their own kind of strong families.  And for the one, in particular, who I get to be married to.

Leah and Josh got to dance with them…..

And then everyone got crazy on that dance floor once again.

 Dave is the master of selfies.  It’s become his signature move.  Much more on that to come when I write about our big trip we just took, but I love what he catches in his impromptu selfies, because everyone wants to be in them.

So you get some pretty excited faces in there.

People were on and off the dance floor all night, but close to the end, it just so happened that Dave and his siblings had the dance floor all to themselves.

Even though you can only see portions of Annie and Dave in these sibling shots, I adore them.

Sorry, that’s a lot of dancing pictures.  I love Grace’s face in that last one.

Love each of those nine siblings with all my heart.

Let’s take note of how the in-laws positioned themselves during all this hoopla:

None of them push much to be on the dance floor and I’m so grateful to be one of them.  Ha! I personally can’t dance to save my soul.  But we sure enjoy watching our spouses!

Love this cute nephew holding his cousin’s baby too:

Ok, back to the star couple of the evening:

I think it’s safe to say that they had a pretty magical night, rain and all, surrounded by so many people who adore them and will be there for them at the drop of a hat.

We sent them off with sparklers and all of our love.

Congrats Josh and Leah, we are so happy for you!

Similar Posts


  1. That wedding looked spectacular! Love the fact that the weather ended up cooperating!

    But now, I am UBER confused. Seems the more I look into the LDS faith the more confused I get. This was a beautiful wedding. But a non-LDS wedding, yes? The bride's dress, cocktail hour, bridesmaids with tattoos…

    Question 1: Is Josh LDS. I see he has a beard (and it looks great) – but allowed? Also his parents must be ok with him marrying outside the faith, since his Dad officiated…

    Which brings me to question 2: Can an LDS elder/clergy (sorry I don't know the proper terminology) – officiate at a non LDS wedding? Obviously it was done in this case, but is it common?

    Sorry for all the questions (I asked one a few posts back – maybe you haven't seen it yet….) but this is all so new and different to me and I really am interested.

    1. Hi Maria, No problem on the questions, ask away!

      1) No, Josh is not LDS. But beards are just fine in the LDS faith if he were. Yes, everyone in Dave's family is so happy that Josh and Leah found each other. They build each other and have a great relationship, LDS or not.
      2) Yes, anyone with authority can officiate a wedding. I can't remember exactly what he did to get cleared for that but I can ask again if you want more details. He was the officiator for Josh's older brother's wedding a couple years ago as well.

    2. With Max devoting two full years of his life to converting folks to the LDS church I'm wondering if family members feel compelled to take on the same work much closer to home? The grandparents are missionaries in Ghana, no?why/how come they return home to their own family in AZ and not feel compelled to prosletize to their own loved ones?

    3. Our LDS Bishop officiated my brother's (non-LDS) his wife's (catholic) wedding. It was held in our church, they had champagne at the reception (which was at a different venue). Bishops preachers ministers all have the ability to officiate such events, and it was wonderful sharing that with them. The only draw back was no pictures were inside the sanctuary, but they understood and it was fine.

    4. Our LDS Bishop officiated my brother's (non-LDS) his wife's (catholic) wedding. It was held in our church, they had champagne at the reception (which was at a different venue). Bishops preachers ministers all have the ability to officiate such events, and it was wonderful sharing that with them. The only draw back was no pictures were inside the sanctuary, but they understood and it was fine.

    5. Jenny (also) that's a great question. You can be sure that those loved ones in our extended family who don't practice the same religion we do still know every part of what we believe and how the church works. But they have chosen different religious views for their own reasons. Even though we differ in what we believe religiously, I love that we get along so well and there is so much unconditional love in every relationship going both ways.

  2. Gorgeous wedding! I love when they do the married couples dance and have the shortest marrieds gradually leave. It's such a beautiful way to celebrate, honor, and support long lasting marriage on a day that's all about celebrating that special kind of love and commitment. Also, the twinkling lights are the best!

  3. First, welcome back! And second, I love bright colors and LOVE your shirt and outfit! Third, the lights and orange trees in the backyard – so gorgeous. Fourth, beautiful bride! I love her dress, hair, makeup…love it all. Fifth, I got a little tear in my eye at the dance & 52 years with Dave's parents on the dance floor. I've never been to a wedding where they did that…how lovely and fitting!

  4. Such a beautiful wedding!

    I've heard that if you survive every kind of weather on your wedding day, your marriage will survive every kind of weather. So good for Leah and Josh that they will endure chillyness, rain and wind and will still dance at the end of it all!

  5. So amazing!! What a great event for this terrific family! Gorgeous night. The weather wildness made things perfect! So much life real life!

  6. I'm not sure why but this post brought tears to my eyes! I think it was the 52 years of marriage -what an example. It looked like such an amazing night. Thanks for sharing your beautiful, family event!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *