The longer I wait to write this post the more pictures I gather for it, another social media win! Mostly, though, I share this lovely family event from my point of view, which of course is how I alone will remember it. I depend on this blog to support the accuracy of my memory.
Retired people smarter than I would likely choose to spend longer than a weekend to travel to Mexico. But we managed to pack a lot of life and joy into the past few days, so hold on to your hat as I narrow it to some highlights.
I love when a plan comes together! Only a day earlier Taylor and Beth had closed on the sale of their house, storing their possessions and lodging with Beth’s parents for the short transition between homes. Early on Friday morning, sans children, they headed toward Phoenix, arriving within a half hour of Ben (from Michigan) and the two of us (from Oregon).
The five of us packed into a rental car and headed south to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, on the Sea of Cortez, to celebrate the marriage of Bailey Anderson to Sarah Lanzel!
This shows you how easy it is to get there. Of course it requires a passport and a border crossing, but otherwise not much different from US travel.
Two days before our departure I received notification that our condo was double booked and therefore our reservation cancelled! “Don’t worry,” it said, “we’ve refunded your entire payment!” Huh? Don’t worry?
I sent out an SOS to the condo sharers for moral support, then through the help of the owner of the cancelled VRBO, secured a reservation of a bigger condo for just a little more $$. Whew! And here we are, enjoying the warm breeze and a spectacular view.
Mauri and I had no time to lose, as we were invited to enjoy the rehearsal dinner. Here you see Dusty giving his memorable toasts to Bailey and to Sarah. Let’s just say he is grateful to God for this match made in heaven. Both sides of the family have prayed earnestly, as each child was raised, for the spiritual preparation for the spouse of God’s choosing.
Many of my posts have a side story, and this is one. It starts with the groom and bride about to open the card from a gift I requested they open while I wait. They’re used to me, so they were sure I’d be taking pictures of it.
A few months ago I enlisted the help of cousin Hannah to make two sets of cloth flags (a.k.a. bunting) to encourage the continuation of flying the blue and white flags at their family celebrations. This shows Hannah’s process, with the help of her darling twins.
They are such good sports!
This was no surprise to Quinn, who helped me decide the best time to gift them. She comes by her love for traditions naturally. . .
. . . which was evident as she (Quinn) directed me to a different side of the room for a picture with her rehearsal dinner decor.
This iconic camel in particular. It is her way of including her dad, Paul, in the event.
Well, I guess this turned into two side stories. What can I say?
Back to our primary story. And did I mention the most delicious steak dinner?
From our balcony the next morning I snapped the beginnings of set up for the wedding and reception.
We bumped into the Macy clan on our way to tour the penthouse (arrow), rented by the Andersons for several wedding functions and events. You might guess where these guys are headed!
The inside of the penthouse was as fabulous as the outside, but at the time of our visit only the open areas were photographable.
The desert golf course, eyed by two avid golfers.
While Dusty and Taylor dreamed of playing golf, Ben found a more accessible purpose.
Remember that a panorama shot skews the perspective. This takes in three sides of the penthouse.
Here we can see a bit of progress on the wedding set up.
And oh look! there I am all happy and glowy between two sons!
Add a Carlson, some Andersons, and a set of mysterious feet.
Mystery solved—the owner of those feet revealed!
If we were standing on our balcony on the 8th floor straight across, we could wave at ourselves!
Down to sea level once again, we discovered the Macy clan down by the waterfront, taking advantage of the “food cart” offerings.
Will and Lincoln know what’s good!
Friend Heather vouched for its deliciousness.
We know those people!
Having had my fill of sand between the toes, I headed back to our condo, arriving just in time to hear cheering from poolside as Bailey and his wedding party walked past on their way to the pre-wedding photo session. That might signal a need to make myself presentable!
Photographers Taylor and Saile, who would celebrate their first anniversary the following day, are up for the task.
Excuse me while I swoon at these beautiful granddaughters, sisters of the groom.
Mauri provided me with this gem. Yes, I’m wearing a crown of palm branches.
Adding Dusty’s parents, Randee and Neil. In just a little while, they will all have the same last name!
Here’s one with Sarah’s dad, Chuck, and his new wife, Christina. We’ve gotten to know them from two Thanksgiving Juarez build trips. Do you remember that’s where the romance between Bailey and Sarah began?
Higher up, the dynamic Macy cousins all prepped for the festivities!
And then . . . it was time! Mauri and I would be ushered in by Bailey himself. He was cucumber cool, at least by appearance.
After he hugged and seated both sets of grandparents, he returned for his most beloved parents.
Son John provided the music for the event’s processionals.
Marissa on Seth’s arm (Seth is Bailey’s friend and also, by happenstance, Sarah’s brother!)
Then came Cassidy with Booker, his brother and mom smiling too.
Luke Simmons, lead pastor at Redemption Gateway* in Queen Creek, AZ, traveled with his family to perform the ceremony, which I must say was a high-ranking highlight for me. (*Here’s the sermon he preached the next morning!)
The bride is always the focal point in the procession, but I like to turn my attention to the groom as he watches his bride come in. I loved noticing Bailey’s mom with the very same glow and expression as the groom.
Luke’s message included sweet stories of both Bailey and Sarah, starting from birth, leading to where, when, and how they met; how their attraction turned into love. He shared strong testimonies of their Christian upbringing and when faith became their own. Woven in this the strands of the gospel message, the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection and how understanding this will lead to a life of honor and trust between the three of them: Bailey, Sarah, and Christ! Later, on Instagram Luke posted a picture of his family and, referring to Bailey and Sarah, wrote: “These kids have a bright future ahead!”
After promises and a ring exchange, Luke introduced Mr. and Mrs. Bailey Anderson, followed by “You may . . .” Oh, never mind, you know!
“Yep. That’s my wife!” Bailey’s caption as he shared a few pictures on social media.
As the reception got underway, the newlyweds and the photographers snuck down to the beach to catch the late afternoon sun.
Meanwhile, the party gets underway.
Quinn chats with the three younger Simmons kiddos. She and Dusty and all the Andersons kids have served in the “Walkers” class during the church’s 5 o’clock service for five (or more) years, giving them regular up-close-and-personal opportunities to establish loving attachment.
So much blended-family love going on here! That both Macy families traveled all the way down from Oregon to celebrate this marriage demonstrates the remarkable connection established over the past 25 years. I will never stop being grateful.
Here they all are—with Krista, another joyfully established relationship/friendship. She is my niece, daughter of my sister.
Well, OK, this is the right time to include my anticipated “series” shot of Krista with Quinn, a tradition begun when they were teeny tiny and added to every time they’ve been together ever since. Anticipate the next one next month at our family reunion! They probably won’t change a whole lot, but maybe their clothes will.
And now some random reception shots. Here Beth shows family members a video of one of her uncharacteristically bad mothering moments. You can tell it had a happy ending, if not for the baby.
After dinner, time for dancing. Looks like Quinn is embracing her mother/son turn to the specially chosen song (by Bailey) by Sidewalk Prophets, “The Words I Would Say.”
Fun times for all!
Better than dancing for us was a chance to chat with these guys.
A few posed shots, just because we can and there’s that body of water behind us!
These two had to adjust to being “sans children” for a few days. Somehow I think they did OK, though Beth was on her phone quite a bit. <grin>
These two! Until this very moment, I hadn’t noticed their almost matching shirts. No, they aren’t twins! Ha! And those wristbands, everyone at the resort has to wear one at all times. Without it we get kicked off the scene.
Speaking of the resort (Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort), the wedding “window” of four hours meant strict adherence to the schedule, so cake time came at a certain time. You can see the sign for the bubble farewell at 8:45. These two were so much fun to watch throughout the evening. They were just so very happy and cute!
And apparently fully embracing the tradition of smearing each other with stickiness.
And they lived joyfully ever after. This is our prayer for Bailey and Sarah.