The day dawned early for some and cold for all. We girls arrived at the church about 7:30 to get ready. The single and newlywed bridesmaids got ready first, and then the mommies showed up a little later.
The girls and Cathy Jo sang songs.
They also made sure to practice the whole-walking-down-the-aisle thing.
Coffee also arrived with a very kind brother of ours, so a peppermint mocha with the needed caffeine gave a delightful boost. Mom, Anna, Mary, and I helped with the little kiddos, and then, suddenly, things switched into high gear. All the children needed to be dressed, hair fixed, bridesmaids totally ready for pictures, etc, etc. If you haven’t experienced being IN a wedding, well, I hope you get the opportunity. It’s really such a special thing!
We are grateful for the Lord’s protection. On John’s way into the wedding, his truck hit ice on a bridge, and he slid sideways across it. The oncoming vehicle managed to pull off onto the shoulder, avoiding an accident. Wow! Praise the Lord for His mercy.
Anyway, back to the wedding morning. The photographer did a great job of working with such a huge bridal party. Most of the pictures finished about noon, and then we grabbed a quick lunch in the basement. Although I have to say, at this point, I didn’t have much of an appetite. The day’s excitement and reality of what’s happening hits about this point. At least for me!
John and Chelsy’s goal for the wedding was for the Lord Jesus to be honored and glorified. Another goal they had was for each guest to feel welcomed and loved. As their wedding party, we were their ambassadors, so we enjoyed mingling with the guests and talking. John was also greeting guests. People invested so much to come. They drove through bad weather and traversed many miles.
Ten minutes before 2, it was time for all the bridesmaids, flower girls, and bell ringers to gather in the back room. I figured we had awhile to wait–I knew John was giving a welcome. We talked, and prayed, and talked. And tried to relax.
But suddenly, it was time. The doors swung open, and we quickly became a jumble of trying to get in line. With 14 bridesmaids, and going in the opposite order, well, you have to think quick.
I quickly followed Anna, and stood in the back of the sanctuary. Everything blurred together: the music playing, the wedding coordinator giving instructions for when to begin walking, and realizing the time had come. John stood at the front beaming!
The flower girls and bell ringers made for an adorable group.
The ceremony began with two congregational songs, with Chelsy accompanying. How sweet to have a bride play the piano with her groom sitting next to her!
Mr. Bontrager shared a message, and the most powerful part was when he talked about the blessing of children and allowing the Lord to choose the number a family has. The Lord’s done a mighty work in our family, because I was supposed to be the last child. God changed my parents’ hearts, and they allowed the Lord to plan their family after a seven year gap. Mr. Bontrager said there wouldn’t have been a wedding if that hadn’t been the case. Joseph, Anna, Jesse, and Mary stepped forward, and tears sprang to my eyes at the amazing, beautiful picture of God’s mercy.
John and Chelsy exuded such joy as they became husband and wife. There were two slight issues, though. When it came time for Chelsy’s personalized vows, she said she didn’t have them. So, off she and John ran to go try to find them. They couldn’t locate them, so Chelsy read them on John’s phone. Well, she got part way through, and his phone popped up with a warning that the battery was about to die! Thankfully she did get to finish. She told us later she still doesn’t know where the vows went!
I knew one of the best men was up to something when I saw a pair of scissors in his back pocket. Sure enough, at the ring time, when asked for it, he couldn’t produce the ring. A drone came flying in from the back, with Chelsy’s ring attached! Much laughter followed, and Joseph cut the ring off when the drone flew to the front.
A special part of the ceremony came when John explained to Chelsy that as he’d thought of what he could give her to symbolize giving his earthly goods to her, he wanted to give her a key to his house. It was now their house. A very special moment as he presented her that key.
Some of us in the bridal party dismissed the guests by rows. Then, people headed for the reception site, about 20 minutes away.
When we arrived, the reception bustled with activity. But somehow, everyone fit! Dinner was taco soup and cheesecake for dessert. After eating, people shared memories of John and Chelsy, and then John thanked everyone for coming. Following that, the reception hall turned into a big fellowship event!
These are my amazing sisters: playing games with the little kids at the reception.
The send off!
The guys did an incredible job decorating. The best part was the inflatable.
We are grateful to the Lord for a beautiful day to celebrate John and Chelsy becoming husband and wife.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother,
and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
46 thoughts on “John and Chelsy Maxwell’s Wedding”
Sarah, you did an awesome job recapturing the day! Beautiful work that I know you’ll all cherish for years to come!!
For those of us who weren’t able to watch the live streaming, is there any way of us viewing a video of the wedding … pretty, please? 🙂
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! We didn’t do the video, and I saw it wasn’t available anymore.
What a beautiful couple! Thanks for sharing Sarah. How special. 😀
So glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you very much for sharing this lovely day with us.
You’re so welcome!
How sweet congratulations
Love the colors they used! All of you girls looked beautiful!
Chelsy did an amazing job with the colors!
Love, love, love this post!!! Thank you so much for sharing with us! Awesome pictures and great narration =) That is scary and horrible about John’s accident. So thankful the Lord protected him. John and Chelsy are a gorgeous couple!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Oh, this is just so beautiful. Such a sweet, pure, God honoring wedding. I wish I could have been there. Best wishes to John and Chelsy as they start they’re life together.
Ps – I thought it was so cool how Chelsy played the piano with John by her instead of coming down the isle. How sweet! I can really feel how special that must have been – piano is something I play and love. 🙂
So glad you enjoyed the pictures. Actually, Chelsy did walk down the aisle! Soon after that is when she and John went to the piano. 🙂
Oh. I must’ve misunderstood. I think I’ll do the piano thing when I get married some day. 🙂
What an exciting way to wrap up the holiday season! John looks smitten with Chelsy. I hope they have a wonderful honeymoon and a blessed life together.
Happy New Year –
They were both quite smitten! Yep, they are having a great honeymoon!
This is such a fun post!! Loved seeing all the photos and reading your wedding day outline. 🙂 So fun!
Thank you! You are always my encouragement!
Wow, these photos are beautiful! What an amazing day. Praising the Lord for His protection over John!! That is so crazy! Everyone looks so lovely for the wedding day. Chelsy’s dress is so pretty!
A neat thing to do with your vows is to print them out and frame them in a nice frame for your home. We did that with ours 🙂
Thank you! Yes, Chelsy’s dress was beautiful. Good idea on the vows!
Thanks for your recap and the pictures! It was just a wonderful ceremony. I did love that Mr. Bontrager included your family’s testimony and had Mary and Anna join John, Joseph, and Jesse as a visual reminder of the reward of following the Lord’s will. Such a special moment. And how fun to have a drone deliver the ring! Everything was just wonderful, it was cute and funny when Chelsy and John ran out to find her vows..thank heavens she was able to read them in time from the phone! The picture of their first kiss as man and wife is so sweet. The reception looks like tons of food, fun, and fellowship. And the inflatable is just about the cutest idea I’ve seen for the getaway car!
Thanks! Yes, that moment when all five were on stage together was so special. God has been very gracious.
I love the picture of the groom with his victorious fist pump! So cute! Sounds like it was a wonderful day!
Yes! They were really happy!
Enjoyed seeing the beautiful wedding photos, and wedding recap. Everyone looked amazing, and the colors looked so lovely together ? ?. Did John, and Chelsy save their first kiss for their wedding day? May God bless them with many many happy years.
Yes, they saved their first kiss!
Oh, how sweet. That is amazing. I bet that made the wedding all the more special. How old are John and Chelsy?
They are about 2 weeks apart! John just turned 27, and Chelsy is about to!
Did Chelsy make her dress?
She made her dress? That is awesome. She must be a talented seamstress. Sorry I keep commenting but john and chelsy just continue to amaze me!
Wonderful recap Sarah! Attending this wedding was definitely a highlight of the year for our family! Thank you for the sweet reminder of Mr. Bontrager’s words about leaving family planning to God. When he called your Brothers and Sisters to line up and reminded us they wouldn’t have been there…I cried. Such an awesome testimony!
Thank you, Maureen! We were blessed you would come!
Sarah, what a lovely post about John and Chelsy’s very special day. So glad we could share this time together as families.
Thank you! 🙂 So enjoyed our talking time Thursday evening!!! Was so blessed.
wedding is always fun. even if certain things doesn’t go as plan it always work out and in the future they will laugh about it… congratulations to mr & mrs.
Yes, so true!
I was not able to watch the wedding, so thank you for the description. It seems like it was a lovely wedding. Did the bride and groom know that a drone was going to deliver the rings or was that a surprise to them?
They did not know! 🙂
I enjoyed watching the livestream, it was a Christ honoring, and beautiful wedding!
So glad you enjoyed it!
What a beautiful wedding! I love the colors and the brides maid dresses! Where did you find them?
Congrats on expanding your family! Always room for one more, right?
Chelsy found the dresses on Amazon. Yes! Always room for more! 🙂
Beautiful! Congratulations & blessings!
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