Our friends, Bill and Marianne, invited us to their lovely vacation home in Eastern Washington. Only this time, they made a point of saying that is would mean a lot to them if we could make sure we could be there this particular weekend.
Ok. Sounds great. So what's going on?
They wouldn't tell anyone what was going on, they just let it be known they would like everyone there.
So, the speculation begins. Maybe a wedding announcement? (They've been together for 16 years) Perhaps a party to celebrate Shannon and Connor's birthdays? Maybe they've won the lotto and want to let us know we've all been given a share? Hmmmmm..... So the story goes.....
It all started out like any other weekend at the lake. The house was filled to the brim with lots of people, laughter, good food, and yummy drinks.
(Love this view from their back patio)
Here's our friend, Don. We don't get to see this guy nearly enough so when we do, we are thoroughly grateful!
(Relaxation is a big part of lake weekend fun!)
Here's Marianne's daughter, Jenne... She's clearly under the impression that all child labor laws don't apply to her. Hence the five year old, Jay, is giving her a massage...
More relaxation under the mid-day sunshine...
Marianne's other daughter, Stephanie, is on the left side of this picture and that is Marianne lounging with her arms above her head. Gotta love Summer
Boating is another bonus of being at this amazing lake. We spend a good portion of each day cruising on the lake...
This is Connor using Nolan's ankles as a steering wheel. Hold on Nolan!!! At one point they both ended up in the drink.
As you can see the patio is a popular hang out. Here is Shannon and Claude hamming it up for the camera. Look at those lovebirds!
Then as the day turned into the evening, everyone in the house was told to go onto the patio...
Before we knew it, Marianne and Bill came walking out onto the deck. Bill was sporting a boutonniere on his button up shirt and Marianne was lovely from head to toe holding a bouquet!
Hmmmm....Looks to me as if a wedding might be brewing.
Then out of the corner of my eye I see Connor emerge behind them...He was also looking quite dapper in his nice pants and shirt. WHAT IS GOING ON???
Next thing we know Connor starts talking about how Bill and Marianne had told him a couple months ago that they were thinking about tying the knot and would like to know if he could be a special part of their big day.
He was flattered and assumed the next question out of their mouth's would be if he'd be their best man at the wedding. Except that is not what they said. They said they wanted to get married at the lake house and there aren't any judges within 100 mile radius of that locale. They had done some research and found a church that will ordain normal citizens to be able to conduct marriage ceremonies... They wanted Connor to become an ordained minister and to conduct their marriage ceremony!!
Can you believe that?!
Long story short... He did a lot of research himself to make sure everything was on the up and up. He didn't want to have to do anything he felt went against his own beliefs, and wanted to make sure this wedding would be legally recognized by the state of Washington....
So, lo and behold here we are gathered on their patio in the delightful sun rays of an August evening watching two of our closest friends tie the knot as Connor leads the ceremony! It was so wonderful!
Marianne's children and Connor were the only people that knew what was going to happen this weekend! So that meant that the patio was full of surprised guests...even Bill's mother didn't know! She was beyond surprised.
Bill's mom stood up for Bill and Marianne's son, Toby, stood up for her. It was a sweet and heartfelt ceremony. Very simple, private, and touching. I loved every minute of it.
Connor did great! He said he was so nervous and had been all week long. He said it was killing him not being able to tell me what was going to happen.
Here's a little snippet of video I took of some of their vows. Her kid's prepared a cute skit towards the end that I thought was really fun! take a look!!
The rest of the evening was comprised of dancing, eating, cake smashing, toasting, and a late evening boat ride in their "just married" decorated boat!
Congratulations Bill and Marianne! We're so happy for you both and hope you continue your journey of love and happiness far into the future.We love you guys.