BC: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:1,11
FC: April 27, 2013 | Martin & Val Ponce de Leon
1: Introduction: After years of waiting and praying, months of planning, and many hours traveling in airplanes, Martin and I finally got our special day. Although we have lots of pictures to remember the day, this scrapbook is a way to record all our memories and thoughts from that moment in our lives.
2: The day before the wedding, we had to set up the Lake Center. The room was totally empty, it was up to us to add any and all decoration! I was so nervous, I had set up at other weddings and remembered how long it took to decorate! I really wanted to get everything done in time for the rehearsal. Luckily, Virginia, Rahel, Jana, Dad and the boys were all there. The boy took care of hanging the flower puffs, Rahel started wrapping tulle around the garbage can, podium, etc, Virginia and I made bouquets, Jana put out tables and photos, and dad laid out cables for the sound system. When it was all done, the boys put out chairs, we decorated the aisle, and TA-DA! And it wasn't even lunchtime yet! We all went to Subway for lunch and then home to rest (just for a bit!) before the rehearsal.
4: was the wedding!! It was actually exciting and awkward at the same time, | At 6pm all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, and people in the ceremony, were at the center to rehearse. When it was my turn to walk down the aisle with dad, it started to hit me that I was getting married. Tomorrow
5: to be practicing the most important day of my life. We ran through the program two times, no hitches or problems, and then left for dinner. Right as we arrived at Sonny's, all my friends from PBB showed up! I was so ecstatic to see them. They came with us to dinner, and everyone had a huge BBQ dinner, thanks mom and dad! I was loving getting to be with everyone again, but also so tired and preoccupied with other details!
6: The night before the wedding, I was sleeping on an air mattress, and mom came in just to hug me and say she was going to miss me. At 7am, we were all awake, I was actually completely calm. Everyone showered and then the boys went to set up sound and the girls went to Kenny and Steph's house. We took our time getting ready...actually there were a few times where I wished people would hurry up but I didn't want to be a bridezilla...
7: ...so I didn't say anything. We ate a chicken salad wrap for lunch, then Virginia did my make-up (she actually had me lie on the ground and straddled me to get my eyes just right in the light). Danielle did my hair (it took a whole hour!) while Virginia did mom's; and then it was time for the dress and jewelry! Rose helped me zip up. Mom had already left so she didn't see the final bridal product. We got into different cars and drove to the venue. Martin was already there.
8: Dad & Mom's First Look
9: We got to the venue and I stayed in the car while Rahel went to tell Martin to hide! Didn't want him to see me before his First Look! Once the coast was clear, I walked to the venue for dad and mom's first look. Dad was outside waiting for me. "Wooow,"he said, and gave me a hug. Mom came out a second later and instantly started crying. "Stop!" I said "No tears, today is happy!" She hugged me and got it together.
10: After mom and dad's first look, I hid around the corner and Martin came out to wait for me. I came to him from behind. He was speechless when he saw me, and he himself looked great. After a minute together, we called the rest of the wedding party and family for pictures.
12: When it came time to take pictures, the bridezilla did come out a little bit. I was very aware of how much the photographer had cost (a fourth of the wedding budget), and I wanted everyone to take it seriously, not waste time, and smile nice! Luckily everyone started to get the rhythm.
14: An hour before the ceremony, Martin and I left without the wedding party (just Rose to drive us) to take some couple pictures. As we were leaving, we bumped into more family members. It was strange wandering around the park, seeing other people who were just there to fish or have a picnic, and we were all dressed up as bride and groom. Strangers kept congratulating us.
16: Our first photo stop was the shore of Lake Norman. It was cloudy and so peaceful.
17: Carolyn , our photographer, asked Martin to dip me for one of the photos. He started to dip me, then almost dropped me. I didn't fall, but my hair did come a bit undone.
18: After our failed dip attempt, we went to the dock, and then into a woody area.
21: Our last photo stop was the middle of the road. As long as no cars were coming, we would goof and flirt and kiss right in the road. Right before we went back for the ceremony, Carolyn told us to laugh for the pictures. At first it was a fake laugh, but then it turned real...and then we couldn't stop! We couldn't even kiss we were laughing so hard!
22: While we were out taking pictures, the guests had arrived. We parked at the far end of the parking lot, away from where people were entering the center, and Carolyn and Rose left to get ready. Martin and I were in the car alone for a second, just taking deep breaths. Rose came to get Martin so he could enter with the officiants, and then it was just me, alone in the car. I noticed the train on my dress was a little dirty from wandering around the park, so I started brushing of dirt, and thinking about what was about to happen...I was about to get married. I was totally calm, and not nervous at all, but at the same time very reminiscent of all the steps that had brought me to that moment. Dad came to the car to escort me to the center...it was time! Grandparents and mom had been seated, the wedding party was in a line...here we go! I waited with dad out of site as the wedding party entered (I wished I could have seen them going in). And all of a sudden...tears. I swallowed hard, because I did NOT want to be crying down the aisle! "Dad don't let me cry," I said. I paused a moment, collected myself, and then the music started and we entered.
24: Martin saw me and began to get emotional. Dad gave me a kiss, and gave me away.
25: M | V
26: When we were at the front, I glanced out the corner of my eye at the guests. The room was full of people. I glanced the other direction, out the open door, and saw the cake and cupcakes all set up outside. It looked so great! Juan Lopez opened in prayer (Federico translated everything), and then Daniel Francia
27: gave a message about marriage. One of his points was about giving and receiving, which made me smirk (but I held in a laugh), remembering Joey on Friends. He talked about love and forgiveness, and finished by asking us if we accepted one another as husband and wife, to which we both said, I do!
28: Juan came back to have us repeat the vows. Martin began to cry as I said my vow. Then we exchanged rings (Martin's almost didn't fit, but I shoved it on!)
29: Having said our vows, we did a unity ceremony with water. We chose water because unlike candles, which can be blown out, and sand which can be pieced apart over time, you can never separate two colors of water.
30: As one of the groomsmen, Santiago, played his guitar, we came back from mixing the water, and knelt to pray together for the first time as a married couple. We asked others in the room to pray for us too - our marriage, our ministry, and our future.
33: Once we had prayed together, there was nothing left to do but kiss! And we made it a good one! | Then Juan announced us as Mr and Mrs Ponce de Leon! We began to walk down the aisle as a married couple. I almost forgot my bouquet but mom reminded me.
34: We walked down the aisle, out the door, and before we could even kiss again, everyone came to congratulate us! First the wedding party, then family, then immediately we began the receiving line. I didn't realize how many guests had come until they were all in line waiting to greet us!
35: We greeted the guests for about 20 minutes. It was so incredible to have all our family, loved ones, best friends, classmates, childhood chums and coworkers there with us. By far the worst part of the day was not being able to spend more than 5 minutes with anyone...how I wish we could have spent at least an hour with each person that came! But because there were almost 100 people, we only got a few seconds to hug and chat.
36: We finished the receiving line, and went back into the center. They announced us as we walked through the room, out the front door to where the cake was. As Martin and I began to cut the cake, suddenly I felt a little self-conscious. It's fine to have 100 people watch you make a vow or walk down the aisle as bride and groom, but 100 people watching you cut a slice of cake is a little awkward! Martin and I exchanged pieces of red velvet cake (I debated in my | head whether to smash it in his face or not, but decided not to), and then we had a frosting-full kiss. With that the reception started and everyone began to eat and fellowship.
38: We served cupcakes, cookies (sugar, macademia,and peanut butter), lemon bars, fruit salad, bon o bons, and Montemar pepas. We also had strawberry-peach punch (which I drank probably 5 glasses of!)
40: Martin and I munched on some sweets as we sat with our Apthorp grandparents. Every minute or so, someone would come by to chat with us. Towards the end of the reception, we started going around and taking pictures with friends/family, and also saying goodbye. I went to change out of my wedding dress (I didn't want to drive/arrive at the hotel in a wedding dress!), and things started to wrap up.
42: When it was time to leave, our guests lined the side walk with fists full of birdseed. They pelted us with it!
43: We had one more kiss, then waved goodbye and left for our honeymoon! (But not before shaking off a TON of seeds!)
45: April 27 was one of the best days of our lives! We were so thankful for all the people who traveled to share the day with us, and also we praise God for the generosity of our friends, who gifted us enough to start our lives in Argentina as missionaries. The Sunday morning after the wedding, | we drove to Myrtle Beach for our honeymoon, and spent an amazing week together. (That's a story for another scrapbook!) Praise God that He makes everything beautiful in its time, and we were privileged to enjoy a beautiful wedding after years of anticipation.