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Maine Event - Part 4

*heads up - another wedding centric post

But first, if you haven't voted yet, please go do that right now. I'll wait.

Today's topic is going to be photos of us - and our family.

I planned the after ceremony photos meticulously. It was one thing most photographers loved about me back when I was a pro. I could order the photos in a way that we could fly through them in 30 minutes or less and not forget anyone.

It's all about layering. You start with the eldest family members - or whomever needs to be seated more quickly. Then you just add new family members with each photo and then start peeling them away.

Does that make sense?

Think of it like this: first you want the couple with her grandparents. *click* Add mom and dad. *click* Add siblings. *click* Add aunts and uncles and cousins. *click* Now grandparents are done and can go party. *click* Now aunts, uncles, and cousins are done and can go party. *click* Now siblings are done and can go party. *click* then if you want to have just the bride or groom with parents - the other part of the couple steps out. *click* Just mom? OK dad - step away but stay near. *click* switch mom for dad. *click*

Congratulations - you have just done all one side of the family's photos in 10 minutes or less (depending on family size).You now have pictures of the couple with grandparents. Couple with grandparents and parents. Couple with grandparents, parents, and siblings. Couple with grandparents, parents, siblings, and extended family. Couple with parents, siblings, and extended family. Couple with parents, and siblings. And couple with parents.

Repeat for the other side.

What makes this plan work aside from the brilliant organization is having a planner/coordinator there telling people to join the photo, stay put, and dismissed. And you have to go in doesn't work if you are hopping around or go backwards (I'm looking at you Mel ;) ).

I had told my DoCs about the list. I told them I would need one of them there to yell at people to keep everything on track. This is not the time to worry about hurting feelings.

Molly seemed totally into it when we discussed it. I don't know where she was when we were actually doing the photos. I just remember Mel (our main photographer) spending too much time coordinating photos (which was NOT her job) instead of taking them because both of the planners were MIA.

It's all good - we got through them. But it did take much longer than it should have.

Thank goodness we did a first look and were able to knock out a lot of the wedding party photos before the ceremony. Here's some of my favorite photos from the "obligatory" list that I am so happy we have (btw all photos in this post by she-n-he photography):

This was taken before all the others but it's my favorite of the three of us. #besties
Excuse me you have a moment?
My eyes are up here. #firstlook
That smile though. #dappergroom

This isn't the most flattering photo from the day, but I'm including it because it is one of my favorites. This is the exact moment when Rob realized his brother Hal was there. That's also the exact moment of me panicking because (1) where is he going to sit, (2) what is he going to eat, and (3) but we didn't do a thank you card for him!

I mean, you can see the joy and excitement in Rob's smile.

Hal is Rob's oldest brother and they've drifted apart over the years. And while we completely understood why he couldn't come - he's a ship captain and was in the middle of the ocean near Singapore - Rob was really sad that he was not going to be there. So not only were we both excited he was there, but I am forever indebted that these moments were caught on film.

To be honest, just thinking about it tears me up a little.

Ariana, Kecia, Ronita, us, Brian, Mike, and Hal. #siblings
Brian (Rob's stepbrother), his wife Ronita, us, and Mickey (his stepmom).
Kecia and Hal, us, Arianna and Mike
Added in Rob's mom Susan and her partner Sherwin.
#brothers #reunited
The Held boys with their mom.

And now it's my side. That's my sister (for those that don't know) in the purple dress (spot on matching my bridesmaids btw!). Sara is Berlin's new wife. And Sami is the youngest on the end.

Vince, CeCe, Sara, Berlin, Us, Zach, Xander, Savreet, and Sami

If you didn't know, I come from a pretty big family. My mother had a brother and sister and they had pretty big families - 3 children from my uncle and 4 from my aunt. My sister and I were the youngest on that side of the family and I wasn't very close to those cousins (except my cousin Arnold who was closest in age and we drifted apart once I left home). My dad was the oldest of 8 and on that side of the family I was the second oldest of 9 (?) cousins. I say that with a question mark because there are some I've never met but I think that's the correct number. I was closest to my cousin Chuckie growing up because we were closest in age. But I wouldn't say I was particularly close to any of them...through Facebook I've gotten to know some better over the years.

All that's to say it makes me really happy that my boys DO have a close relationship with their cousins. Which is why I had to make sure to get this picture:


I'm going to say it again...Rob and I are so honored that so many people came to our wedding. Particularly because it was a destination wedding for most of our guests. And with the exception of Hal, no one traveled farther than these three beautiful girls.

Now Magan will tease me about this ("every girl you meet is not your daughter!"), but I do think of all three of them as my daughters.

Chrissy stole my heart first. When the boys were in high school they participated in an abbreviated exchange program via their German class. Chrissy was Zach's partner in the exchange and she lived with us for 3 the time it was over, Chrissy was like my own flesh and blood. We were both sobbing when she left.

A couple of years later I'm scrolling on the Hutto Facebook page and there is an urgent need for a host family for a student whose host family had to move unexpectedly. By this time the boys were away at college finishing up their first year. Daniel was traveling a lot for IDDS - and quite probably already cheating on me. The point is, I was home alone a lot. So I talked to Daniel and we decided it couldn't hurt to get more info.

Next thing you know, Jana was moving in with us. She spent 10 months with us and truly became one of us. In fact, I used to say that if Daniel and I had ever had a child together, she probably would have been just like Jana. I could write a whole post about her time with us (note to self, write a post about Jana).

Then the summer Jana left, Chrissy came for a visit and brought Julia with her. How could I not love her too? They stayed with us 3 weeks and I got to know Chrissy better and got to know Julia.

So yes, I have 3 daughters. I usually refer to them as my German daughters. But I love all of them as though they were my own. And I will always be their American mom.

Also Rob likes to say that on September 9th he went from having one kid to having six!

Xander, Jana, Us, Julia, Chrissy, and Zach
Not pictured - the tears that immediately followed. #mygermandaughters

Skipping ahead a bit, after dinner we went down the beach for some photos with the full moon. We may have taken longer than we should have but the results are worth it.

#trueconfession - this pose always feels so awkward to me. But it does make for a lovely photo.
The moon was stunning - and so bright!
This looks like a high fashion shoot - Rob doesn't like this one as much as I do. At Pops Cottage

I'm going to save the bulk of the reception photos for their own post, so here we are skipping to the end and the reflection dance. Its just us while everyone is preparing for the exit.


For our exit, we did a sparkler parade to the beach and the kids set off a few fireworks.

This was so much fun! #sparklerparade

That feels like the right note to end today's post on. I'll be adding more photos to my Facebook album soon too.

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