I began teaching Child and Family Sciences (CFS) at Fresno State in 1998. Before this past weekend, in all that time, I'd been to one wedding for a department colleague -- the wedding of our former chair, Nina Dilbeck, who is still happily married to Brian (they met on a cruise!).
This past weekend, though, along with Bob, I attended the weddings of TWO CFS colleagues, and it was terrific fun.
Dr. Amber Hammons got married on Saturday at a country club in her hometown of Arnold.
This is her dad walking her down a lovely green hill to where her beau awaited.
Doesn't she look gorgeous? Don't let the fluffy dress fool you...she plays roller derby. Seriously.
She married Dr. Ryan Robart.
Thankfully, they did have a professional photographer,
so are not reliant on any of my very amateur iPhone photos.
The reception was on the second floor of the club house,
and this beautiful picture and hanging was above their cake.
And these were atop the cake. Note the egg between the bridal penguins...
Amber and Ryan announced at the reception that they are expecting
Baby-Boy-Hammons-Robart on New Year's Eve!
So excited to have a baby in the department again!
And though the cake looked inconspicuously white on the outside,
THIS is what it looked like once cut -- complete with chocolate icing
and bits of fresh fruit in between the layers. Fun AND delicious!
Amber and Ryan's wedding was Saturday evening, so we spent the night in Angel's Camp, just down the road from Arnold. The tricky part of the weekend was making it back to Fresno in time on Sunday to change, and then make the 2 1/2 hour drive up to Courtright Reservoir in time to witness the second wedding at this gorgeous spot at 8,170 feet elevation in the Sierra National Forest: the wedding of Dr. Katie Dyer and Dr. Ray Hall.
We made it by 1:30 actually, with plenty of time to
watch the clouds darken all around us...
...gotta love the grandeur of a High Sierra storm gathering.
Not a problem for this hardy lot, though, as assembled guests began building shelter.
Bob helped put up a bug-screen-type-tent
just in case the couple needed to take cover during the vows.
The anxious but happy groom, Ray, with his brother, awaiting the arrival of his intended.
The wind began picking up as a cold rain started, and since I was in a summer dress,
I retired to the car to stay warm, and watched the ongoing creation of the shelters.
The wedding was scheduled for 2:00.
This was taken -- from the car -- at about 2:18.
After helping put up all the shelter available,
Bob wisely joined me in the car.
A former colleague, Gary Malone, and his lovely bride, Laura,
were in the car next to us, and while I tried to take their picture through the rainy window,
the camera wouldn't focus through the water!
Being the seasoned Eastern Sierra traveler that I am, of course, my car
is outfitted with cold weather gear.
Anticipating that I should be ready at a moment's notice to hop back out of the car
and attend the wedding, I put on these very stylish and sexy rain-proof pants
under my dress. Not only were they warm, but they'd negate the need
to be sure a wild gust of wind didn't provide a disturbing distraction
from the nuptials.
Thus outfitted, we settled in to watch through the wet windshield for Katie's arrival.
And, just as the skies began to clear
(as they will in the Sierras after 20 minutes or so of downpour)
the beautiful bride and her lovely daughters-in-waiting arrived in their all-terrain vehicle.
Sophie, Ellie, Katie, Letty, and Gabby --
While my gorgeous man looked on.
As you can see, Ray was thrilled Katie had arrived, and stood
waiting expectantly with Katie's college friend, Steve, who would marry them,
and his oldest son, Max.
With guests dutifully humming the wedding march,
the glowing bride was escorted to her waiting groom
by her five daughters, as Ray's lovely daughter, Kendall, joined.
Now, mind you, I realize these are not professional photos.
However, Katie and Ray went a little more informal than Amber and Ryan,
and instead of hiring a photographer,
simply asked friends to share any photos they took on a wedding website.
So, we snapped away, hoping we captured at least a few they can use.
And the long awaited kiss, reflected in the puddle from the rain
that had miraculously stopped for the ceremony.
It's official --
they're a family!
So very happy for them all!
I had to steal a shot with Katie.
Well, and a selfie with my groom-to-be, too!
There was a delicious meal that included tri-tip, roasted corn-on-the-cob,
salad, and incredibly sweet watermelon,
followed by just about the BEST carrot cake, EVER.
Which the Dyer-Hall girls were more than happy to share!
Katie and Ray had said no gifts...
but I saw this while shopping last week.
How could I resist?
Two fellow CFS professors.
Two beautiful and personalized wedding ceremonies in very special places,
surrounded by the people who love them.
Now, that's a great weekend.