At the beginning of October my little sister Charity got married.

It was one of the most glorious celebrations, but let me back up for a minute.

We got back to Shanghai late on a Tuesday night from Vietnam.  We finished the last of the lingering homework and tucked the kids in bed and then I unpacked and repacked to leave for Utah the next morning.

It was not an easy feat to figure this trip out by any stretch of the imagination, and I won’t go into the gory details.  I will just say that I am ever grateful for a supportive family on both sides of the world that wouldn’t let me miss it even if I tried.

It was so strange to fly back to the states.  During my layover in Portland it was so weird to use American money to buy an American snack surrounded by American people speaking English.  I had only been gone for a month and a half but still, there was something so comfortable about it all.  I loved this view of Mt. Ranier out my window in route to Salt Lake:

And then those ever familiar Rockies:

Followed by the Salt Lake valley:

I got there just in time to meet up with all the girls for a little bachelorette get-together and then head to the family party to honor these two.
We had a little dinner and a program with just our family and Ian’s.

My mom came up with the idea to have the grandkids dress up in all of Charity’s significant “growing-up” clothes which I thought was pretty clever.

Here they are all decked out:

Ian’s family did the same thing for him.  Kind of fun to know more about his history and how he grew up.  He is a fabulous boy.

I love this picture of my Dad:

A little prayer of gratitude that these two found each other…even though the road has been rocky at times.

The brothers:

(My Dad is filling in for my brother Josh who was busy showing the kids some pretty funny stuff on youtube.)

Now, we can’t just glance over that last picture without taking note of my brother Jonah’s beard.

Yowzas, that boy can produce facial hair like nobody’s business!  Had to keep getting used to that one but I loved it.  Oh man, I love this family!

The sisters:

We went on a little walk for Charity’s last night of being single and found the best backdrop we could to take a picture of such a sacred occasion.  Ha!

The next morning (the wedding day) all of us sister’s met up at a little breakfast cafe and presented her with a book of pictures and wedding advice and recipes.

Parts of it are pretty funny as you can tell…

So grateful for the influence of these lovely ladies in my life.

Then it was off to help Char get ready for the big event.

The ceremony in the temple was so beautiful.  So full of smiles and light and beauty.  
Then we came out to join this beautiful crowd to wait for the brand-spanking-new husband and wife.

I don’t know why, but this is one of my very favorite pictures.  To me it depicts that love for a Dad as she goes off to cleave to that new husband of hers.

I loved getting to snuggle up little baby Shelby who’s heart that gave us all such a scare is doing so well.

The adults:

Everyone minus my family (who I wished were with me every second) and my brother’s wife and toddler who sadly couldn’t make it from NYC:

The nine siblings:

The boys…and a beauty and a beard šŸ™‚

The girls:

The Wedding Dinner was one of the most magical evenings, made that way by Charity’s meticulous planning and attention to detail, as well as my cousin Lindsay’s remarkable talents with flowers.

I’m telling you, it was breathtaking!   Every little detail had been thought out and planned.

Charity, after watching most of her siblings get married as well as multiple friends, had some ideas I tell you!

And she knew how to make them come to fruition.

Everything even down to the seating arrangement was so beautifully done (thanks to Charity’s great delegation skills…E & J, great job on this one!)

I am so incredibly grateful for these two:

…and these girls:

…and these boys:

Oh boy.

Charity and Ian were so booked with the photographer and videographer that I didn’t even get any shots of them!  If you look close up above on the right you can see them if you get out a magnifying glass though…ha!

Check out these gorgeous flowers:

They wanted to keep the dinner as intimate as possible so only immediate family and the closest of friends were there (but with two big families that still made a lot of people!).  
After everyone left the dinner we all worked together to transport all the “gear” and flowers to my parent’s house where the big reception party would be held the next night..

The actual Reception was pretty fabulous too.

Once again, Lindsay did not disappoint with the flowers.

We all (along with the bridesmaids) hustled to get the wreaths flower crowns ready for the flower girls as the food was delivered and we scrambled to get everything organized and ready to go.

They sure turned out pretty.

…or is that just Ana who’s so pretty?  (Love you Ana!)

We helped Lindsay string these clear bottles with flowers up around the ceiling…can you see them in this picture?

It was all so beautiful with the sun streaming through.

Charity’s friend made this beauty cake.

My favorite kind of light.

Everyone minus nine:

My favorite part of any big extended family pictures are the parents trying to make the kids smile behind the camera:

My dear cousins who I love so much:

My best friend from growing up and I sat and watched from above as the dancing began (love you Mo Mo!)

And then they were off.

What a celebration that was.

Living in China made me appreciate so very much the fact that I got to be there to witness the whole thing.  So grateful those two found each other and for the power couple they make.  They are going to go places in life and I love them so much!

When the crowds cleared out some people were very tired šŸ™‚

Love that Dad of mine.  We sent he and my Mom up to bed so that we could put back all the furniture and get things set up for the big 70th surprise party we were throwing for him the next day.
How grateful I am for marriage.  For temples.  For family.  For true love.  
It’s a beautiful world.

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  1. I just found your blog through a friend. I've loved reading through your posts. Thank you for sharing your talent of writing and your beautiful family with us all. <3 <3

  2. I've been waiting for this post ever since your sister said that you made it in for the wedding! (I did a BIG happy dance for you when I heard that!). So beautiful! And inspiring to see two people so in love surrounded by people who will support them on this crazy journey of life and inspire them to grow in their marriage! Awesome pictures! I especially love the one of your dad asleep! LOL!

  3. I left a comment on Charity's blog about the home where she had her Palo Alto reception being so reminiscent of "Father of the Bride". Now, seeing this photo of your dad, I am once again reminded of the movie. He is George! I love it.

  4. Thank you for sharing! It brought joy to my heart and took my mind off of some of my troubles. It reminded me how important family and friends are.

  5. I am so glad you were able to go! I am the "baby" of a large family and I know it wouldn't have been my perfect wedding day without all 6 of my siblings there, especially my sisters!

  6. So here is the great thing for a dad: I keep getting to enjoy the wedding over and over as my daughters blog about it! And its not nearly as tiring now as it was then!
    –Shawni's Dad Rick

  7. So fun to relive this again! That was a celebration to remember forever (as was your wedding all those years ago). So glad that you brought your big camera, since you couldn't bring your kids. These photos are simply spectacular. Thanks for sharing!

  8. It was a glorious celebration. We were so glad to meet all of the Eyres and be a part of it. You have a beautiful talent, Shawni. The picture are gorgeous.

  9. That picture of your sister with your dad right outside of the temple is the sweetest ever! And man, the flowers that were used for the celebrations are glorious!

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