Saturday, September 12, 2015

Florida, Day 1: a practice-run and a rehearsal dinner

Well, it's official: the Jackson clan has grown from 7 to 8 members. We are delighted to introduce Jaime Lee Jackson, Marc Andrew Jackson's bride:

Sister Rebecca on the left and Sister Jaime in the Middle

Isn't she just beautiful? Unfortunately, I don't have a great photo of the bride and groom since I left my camera at the rental house the day of the wedding, but I'm going to round up some iPhone photos to give y'all a sneak peek of the wedding in my next post. But first, here's a look at festivities leading up to the wedding.

Friday evening and Saturday morning my siblings attended bachelor and bachelorette parties at beachfront hotels. I flew in Friday night and needed to rest, so I didn't attend, but word on the street is that the two groups of young folk had a smashing time swimming, strolling the beach, and engaging in late-night hotel shenanigans.

Side note: my body did fairly well on my flights from Orange County to south Florida. So many of you were praying throughout the week, and my body pulled out of crisis mode just in time to fly. For months I'd feared my health wouldn't let me attend the wedding, but I made it to the wedding destination safe and sound! Thank you for praying.

Daddy-o picked me up from the Fort Myers airport

My dad and I spent Saturday morning lounging with my dad in our rental home's pool. Florida is hot and HUMID this time of year, so the water was our favorite place to be.

Backyard pools in south Florida have bug nets. I think they may also function as alligator nets...

While Dad and I swam, Mom and our dear friend, Mrs. D., worked inside to finalize details for that evening's rehearsal dinner.

I didn't snag a photo of the ladies while they were working because I was in the pool, so when I got out of the pool I asked them to reenact their work. Within seconds they were in action mode, brainstorming solutions for seating charts and re-organizing name-tags.

"Um, ladies?" I said. "Are you acting? Because you don't have to be this convincing; I'm just snapping still shots." They didn't answer. They were too busy solving problems. Sometimes, pretending to take care of business turns into some seriously real taking care of business. 

We've known Mrs. D. for almost three decades. She, her husband and two girls lived three doors down from us for most of our lives. We home schooled, attended church, baked scones, threw slumber parties, built forts, played house, rode bikes, and weathered high school and community college together. They are like family to us. We love them very much.

Saturday afternoon we all migrated to the wedding venue for the rehearsal.

Sister and I ready to rehearse!

The ceremony space hadn't been converted for the wedding yet, but was still quite lovely and comfortable. We enjoyed chatting before and after our rehearsal. The air hummed with our excitement.

The venue was situated on a lake encircled by palms. The ceremony would take place in a front lounge room the staff would convert into a space fit for a wedding ceremony. Just beyond the ceremony space was the reception area with floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping lake views. It had a central dance floor under a sparkling chandelier. It boasted the primest of prime lake views.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of the venue's grounds, with the exception of a drive-by photo:

The venue isn't pictured here but was situated on the far left side of this lake

My dad would officiate the wedding, so he guided the rehearsal.

You can see a sliver of the dining room through the arched entryway. The lake is just yards beyond the dining room.

Have you ever seen a handsomer couple?

After the rehearsal the wedding party, extended family, and out-of-town guests enjoyed dinner together. The room swirled with conversation between new friends, old friends, and family.

Picured: Mrs. D's girls, Elizabeth and Anne (on left and right) and our dear friend, Jena -- three of my most favorite girls

Upper left: dad and lifelong friend, Phil; upper right: sister Rebecca and friend of the groom, Corey; lower left: life long friend Dirk (son of Phil) and wife, Brittany; lower right: brother Aaron and his wife, Natasha

These four ladies. They've been friends for years upon years. Everyone needs ladies like this in their lives.

Throughout the evening we celebrated Marc and Jaime's lives with a slide show, a surprise music video, and words of affirmation from the bridal party.

 The slide show chronicled Marc and Jaime's growing up years. It was striking to see how many loyal, loving friends both the bride and groom have grown up with.

Pictured: my mom and dad, brother and Jaime, and Jaime's sister, Jill, who made the slide show

Toward the end of the night the groomsmen and bridesmaids lined up to express their value for the bride and groom, highlighting particularly admirable aspects of their respective characters.

Upper left: Marc's former roommate; lower right: sister of the bride

Upper right: brother of the bride and his wife; lower right: sister flanked by twin friends of the groom

The night closed with a bang — claps of thunder, flashes of lightening, and a tropical downpour. It's monsoon season in south Florida right now, so this sort of weather isn't unusual. It was a dramatic end to a wonderful evening.

Coming up: the wedddinnnng! Stay tuned.

Happy weekend, my friends!

Cheering for ya, Skillets.


P.S. I've gotten photos from so many different sources, it will be hard to give photo credit where credit is due throughout this series of Florida posts. Thanks to everyone who contributed their photos to my collection!

© by scj

1 comment:

  1. Truly lovely pictures of your party and seems you had a great event. Few months ago, arranged a dance party with my friends at one of lovely venues in the city. Hired a top party DJ and had a pretty awesome time there.