Last Saturday our oldest daughter, my stepdaughter, was the first of our kids to get married! Click here to read part 1 of my post.

I promised more details about the ways the wedding ceremony balanced honor and acceptance. First of all, Brianna’s aunt (who is Brianna’s mom’s sister and was her best friend) attended the wedding. She was the only one of Brianna’s mom’s family physically well enough to fly out from the Northeast, and we are so grateful that she did. The ceremony would just not have been complete without someone who had been close to Brianna’s mom.

We placed her mom’s picture on a high, small table nestled to the right of the wedding arch (Cheers to Earle’s Florist in Loveland, CO for that magnificent arch!). Next to the picture Brianna  placed a candle in a hurricane lamp. When Brianna’s aunt was escorted down the aisle by Brianna’s brother (my stepson), they lit the candle together, and then sat down. It remained lit for the duration of the ceremony.

The chaplain told the story of the influences of love in Brianna’s life. The love story began with Brianna’s mom and dad, and it continued with my arrival on the scene as a new parent. The groom grew up in a more traditional family, and the chaplain commented on his story as well.

The bride and groom designed their wedding’s overall theme around how their love together was a reflection of the love they had each experienced in their families of origin. We were all made a part of that. I had an even better view of the community who supports the couple at the reception — phenomenal! So many walks of life together in one room. Not to mention, the night before at the rehearsal dinner I met many members of the groom’s family, widening the circle of connection that much more.

Although I’m relieved to move ahead now on other projects (like getting back to more regular blogging!), I deeply treasure the opportunity to help Brianna plan her wedding. I had heard from other stepmoms that the wedding can be a natural time of reuniting, and it was, indeed. Very sweet.

Mama J (Diane Fromme) writes about family relationships and dynamics from her bay-window office in Northern Colorado. She is considering offering the office to her husband, however, who somehow manages to run his business from the open spaces of the living room. Stay tuned!

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