We woke up in Peoria, Illinois this morning, ready to celebrate a special wedding!
While the bride and groom had their "first looks", and the wedding party took their photos, we enjoyed a sunny morning in what feels like the heart of the midwest! This is where my dear friend, Amy, the mother of the groom, grew up. I loved being here in "her" town!
After lunch and coffee with Dave and Claire, we headed to the church.
And who should I see first but Amy!! What a precious moment to share with her - the wedding of her son in the same city where she was married twenty five years ago!
I also happened to see these three together - grandpa, dad and son, the groom!
Also ran into most of the groomsmen. From left to right: Jacob, a childhood friend who grew up in Poland serving with his family in JV; Brandon, a friend and mentor from Peoria; Brian, on staff with JV and living in Czech; Caleb, our son and also childhood friend of Noah; Nate, served with JV in Czech, now living in Arizona. The best man, Tomas, was not there at the moment, but he is a Czech friend of Noah's.
Instead of a guest book, Noah and Jill had one of the sweetest ideas: underline your favorite verse in their new family Bible, and write you name beside it!
We arrived early so got to see them take family pictures in the sanctuary of Grace Presbyterian, where they were being married.
I captured a sweet picture of Mel's side of the family: his mom, dad and sister.
And then, alongside the photographer, captured Amy's family!
It was ever so fun to see all the JV family who came from great distances to be at the wedding too!
Below you'll see Lauree Austin, the bright smiling woman in the picture, who lived with the Ellenwoods as she served with JV years ago. Next to her is Johnny Stevens and his wife Brooke (looking to the back to see if any of the bridal party are coming in!) who are from Slovenia; and then our nephew Blake, who is currently at student at Wheaton College. And there are more! Those were just the ones who happened to be across the aisle from me!
As the harpist played, we all took our seats and prepared to witness the marriage of Noah Ellenwood to Jill Sidler!