Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Wedding Dinner

It was a magically gorgeous fall evening when we gathered for Charity’s Wedding Dinner at the Millcreek Inn in Millcreek Canyon. Siblings and their spouses, parents, grandparents and Charity and Ian’s very dearest friends enjoyed a delightful evening to celebrate their marriage. The setting was simply spectacular!

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Eli and Julie did a stellar job with the seating chart and the place cards and table numbers!

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Take a closer look at those tables carefully designed by Charity with the help of Julie, her wonderful friend Josephine and Lindsay Spencer, my sister’s incredible daughter who is a home designer but also does an smashing job with flowers.

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Is there anything more stunning than a Dalia?

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Above: two arches were beautifully decked with flowers and Baby’s breath balls bedecked the stage. Charity was especially excited about the place settings with gold flatware and a flower at every place setting!

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The note you see tucked into the napkin at every place was a heartfelt,handwritten thank you note for everyone person who came to the dinner, from Charity and/or Ian.

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It was such a festive atmosphere with delicious appetizers while people met and mingled:

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Charity’s dear friend from her Wellesley days flew in from California to help with the wedding. Here she is setting up the beautiful tables.

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So many friends and family members flew I from afar:

Sarah( in the middle, drove on her own from Denver. Note the pensive Father of the Bride in the background:

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And we took full advantage of the gorgeous setting to take pictures! Here is Ian’s family being organized by the official photographer. Two brothers and their families came from the Ohio and Pennsylvania,. You won’t see any kids tonight, since we had already had a big party with them, plus 28 kids under 13 tend to be very noisy!  

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And we took several shots of our Eyrealm couples with the flaming background….thanks to Shawni who sent every one of the pictures on this post after she arrived back in China

Julie and Eli came from New York City:

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Saydi and Jeff came from Boston:

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Saren and Jared came from Ogden, Utah. In some ways that was harder than coming from NYC because they had to burn up the roads going back and forth between events!

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We were so glad to have Josh from AZ, who took lots of pictures:

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It was incredible to have all five of our boys together again! Going from right to left…. Jonah (sporting an amazing beard) and Aja flew from Maui, Tal, flew in from the Upper East side of Manhattan,.Josh, flew in from Gilbert,  Noah and Kristi drove their enormous Sprinter from Orange County and Eli and Julie came from the Upper West side of Manhattan.

 

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It was also awesome to have those beautiful women together. They had come from far and wide especially Shawni who flew from China, arrived on Wednesday afternoon and returned to Shanghai on Sunday morning. Talk about jet lag!

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Left to right above: Saydi Saren, Shawni, Aja, Kristi, Julie.

 

And of course, the happy couple who flew in (several times over the last month) from Palo Alto.

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As you can see, we were pretty happy about the whole thing!

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It was an evening that none of us will ever forget! Ian’s Father, walking in the middle of the background there below, was the Master of Ceremonies and did a superb job of introducing the program which included a one minute tribute from each of Charity and Ian’s siblings (that’s a lot) as well as the parents. It was extraordinary that everyone kept to the time limit (the parents had five minutes combined). The couple also each had a friend tribute and gave a warm response. That beautiful, crisp air was so full of love that we could have cut it with one of those beautiful gold knives!

 

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Memorable, Momentous and Marvelous!

Coming next, the Wedding Reception at our home on the following night…..

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breakfast at Ruth’s and The Temple Wedding

Continuing with photos from Shawni’s camera uploaded in a mere six hours, sent from China after she returned….  

Charity, the master of organization, packed everything possible into the festivities of the Wedding Day! MFME (Mothers and Future Mothers of Eyrealm….sisters and sister’s in law along with the Big Mama) who have been a tight knit group now for many years, met at Ruth’s Diner up in Emigration Canyon for breakfast. It was a spectacular ride through the glorious fall foliage and we loved that last hour together with Charity before she became a married woman!

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Right up until midnight the night before she left Boston, Saydi somehow managed to collect the whole group’s favorite quotes and favorite recipes as well as some advice from each of us and memorialized in a stunning book which we read together and presented to Charity. Some of it was pretty funny! It’s a treasure!

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Thanks for making that morning so memorable Saydi. You are amazing!  

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On to a cute hairdresser at the condo and help with makeup from Saydi in preparation for the big day:

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And Charity and I (we had to be there early) were out the door to the Temple!

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Ian picked Charity up exactly on time and I followed the ecstatic couple to the temple, though they didn’t know I was there until the end:

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No pictures are allowed in the sacred ceremony in the Temple but they were privileged to be sealed for Time and All Eternity by Elder Tom Perry, one of the Twelve apostles of our church and a long-time friend and almost substitute Grandfather for our kids. The strong spirit of love with a room filled with only immediate family members and dear friends was incredible! The advice from Elder Perry was incredible and the magnificent words of the marriage sealing were deeply moving!

We were so grateful for two wonderful friends who came to watch over the 28 kids, 14 and under in a special room in the temple while their parents were participating in the ceremony! The older kids were helpful and everybody survived!

The long wait for the bride to appear from the traditional doors was worth it. The kids were ready to explode by the time the happy couple appeared to the delight of the crowd:

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See that veil back there?  The joyful couple were simply buried with hugs from all those little people!

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Such joy!

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The entourage walked slowly about 30 feet to the steps of the temple where we started taking pictures….a LOT of them!  One little girl named Poem was very helpful in getting Charity safely delivered to the steps!

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The kids just adore their favorite Aunt Chi Chi and have completely embraced their new Uncle Ian!

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Lyla, on front row adoring Charity and Peter, sitting next to her, wondering when this was going to be over!

Charity sneaked a kiss on the cheek to her second favorite man in the world….one happy guy amongst the chaos.

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Of course, we were overjoyed to have almost everyone in the family there including all nine of our kids!

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We love those crazy people, beautiful people!

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Extraordinary friends made the day especially bright. The four below have been together through thick and thin, from Jerusalem to India to the ends of the earth and back.

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Here’s a candid of all those wonderful friends who have an amazing history with Charity. Each one has a unique story of how they have made Charity’s life so full and rich!

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After every possible combination of family and friends photos, the official photographer took off with the happy couple and it will be a while before we see those pictures! In the meantime, I’m sure Shawni, Saydi, Saren, Kristi, Julie, Aja, Eli, anybody who had a camera or a phone that day will be posting on blogs and Instagram to fill in so much that I’ve missed!

Thanks for these pics Shawni! I stuck in a couple of mine but I got so few that I’d have basically nothing without yours! Even though you may not think the quality is perfect, having transferred from China they look great to me!

On the the exquisite Wedding Dinner next….stay tuned!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Family Send-Off

It’s a tradition to send off our about-to-be-married couples the night before the wedding with an casual family dinner complete with toasts, roasts, songs and a book.  When we had our first wedding, Shawni and Dave’s in 1995, the immediate family, even though the bride and groom each had eight siblings was pretty small. Parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents only added up to about 25-30 people. Almost 20 years later the crowd was a little different.

Although a few of the collective 70 family members couldn’t come it was a pizza dinner for 58 on the night before the wedding. What fun we had getting to know the Wright family which included five of Ian’s siblings and their spouses, his stellar parents and eight grandchildren, nine of our children and their spouses and twenty grandchildren. Times have changed!

Thanks to Shawni who came from China, for four days to honor her sister, we have some great photos of our evening together: 

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Cousins bonded:

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Neices and nephews adored Charity…

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And whenever there was  a spare second….

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Charian (their new combo name)….adored by all the kids!

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“The Boys” were having a great time being together and Josh was, as usual, the “Kid Magnet””

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A couple of months ago, Charity was going through all her old clothing “treasures” and decided it was time to part with some of them. As I was loading them into the car for the Deseret Industries (thrift store) I got an idea. We should have a “THIS WAS YOUR LIFE” fashion show for Charity and Ian at the family dinner, showing some of the clothes they had worn through the adventures of their lives far….just .as the adventures were about to change….big time!

The grandchildren and some of the adults happily donned the clothing and here you go…..

Our newest granddaughter Shelby modeled Charity’s blessing dress. .(Saydi obviously didn’t know this picture was being taken).

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Zara and Po modeled her “little girl dresses”

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Em wore a dress that was one of Charity’s childhood favorites and carried in her flute which she learned to play proficiently and with passion!

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Elsie and Emmeline modeled a couple of her dresses from the Dance Company, which represented the world of dance which Charity immersed herself in, from The Dance Company to East High Dance Company and beyond. Great job on getting these photos Shawni, even though you were dealing with moving targets!

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Hazel Eliza and Ana even did a little cheer for the crowd using Charity Cheerleader and Songleader uniforms!

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This crew below modeled shirts from Charity’s travels…from left to right: Oliver, her summer studying at Oxford after her Junior year in High School, Camden showed off a sweat shirt from her years at Wellesley College, McKay her study abroad in Jerusalem, Charilie (sorry Charilie) her visit to Palestine and Isaac, her grand time with Eli at Anghor Wat. This represents only a few of the myriads of countries Charity was blessed to visit in our wild travels across the earth.

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Lyla modeled the boots from her mission that walked hundreds of miles in England as she served the people there tirelessly as a missionary. Also a football Jersey sponsored by Waitrose, one of the most popular grocery stores there.

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And last, her favorite nightgown, worn for years because it was handmade by one of her sisters, modeled by Eliza. Aja,( who had prepared the clothing and the order of the show) joked that this was also a vision of the new outfit of the future Smile 

 

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“THIS WAS YOUR LIFE CHARITY as you launch into your NEW LIFE AHEAD!

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And on to “THIS WAS YOUR LIFE IAN” modeled by Ian’s nieces, nephews and brothers.

First, and my favorite:  His Joy School Shirt, modeled by Charlotte….who was just not feeling at all joyful at the moment. So sorry Charlotte!  (Fashion show narrated by Ian’s mother Lynette):

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Ian’s favorite childhood team….the Rangers, T shirt modeled by Jonathan.

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And his Scout uniform which include his badges earned for his Eagle Scout Award was proudly modeled by Jonathon.

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Ian became an avid Jazz fan, for which we Eyres are all grateful….as, being from Dallas, could have gone another way.

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And Caleb modeled his mission T shirt (Washington DC), complete with Metro Map!

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Here is a Family Reunion shirt from Yellowstone where Ian’s Mother’s Family gathers every other summer.

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We were delighted to know that Ian took a cooking class at BYU!  Here is his apron modeled by Hannah.

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Ian was fabulous at Cross Country in High School. Josh wore his Letterman Jacket, even though it was just a titch too big….

 

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How proud we are of Ian’s educational skills. After graduating from BYU he applied and was accepted at Stanford. After plus long years of hard work, he has just defended his dissertaion and has earned his PHD in Economics from Stanford University  He will be formally graduating in June. His accomplishments in that field are a mile long but here’s a shout out to Ian for his dedication to education!  But wait!  At the same time he was working on his PHD, he balanced his life with his religious faith and spent time also working at the LDS Temple in Los Angeles and recently as a member of the Bishopric in his LDS Ward. 

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Brothers Nathan and Hyrum along with baby Samuel….are wearing clothes that represent those beautiful years!  

Ian has developed his own style, which his brother Brigham displays below! It has sort of a patriotic/Hawaiian flare, don’t you think Smile   We LOVE it!

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Hooray for Ian’s clothing contributions to THIS WAS YOUR LIFE (with multiple clothes changes for the kids because there are only six nieces and nephews old enough to participate). Here are the participants of Ian’s  “fashion show” although without many of the “costumes”. Charlotte is definitely looks happier!

 

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Family members then volunteered memorable stories about the lives of Ian and Charity. It was fun to hear those great stories. 

And as per tradition, Charity’s Dad sang a song for Charity and Ian accompanied by 14 year old Ashton on the guitar to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. It was an audience participation song so we all  joined in the chorus:

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This will be a great memory!

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The Wright Family presented Ian and Charity with a beautiful painting of the Salt Lake Temple where they would be married on the following morning.

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And I handed over “The Book” to our baby girl. For each of our children I have kept a handwritten record of their life as they grew up in our family from the time they were babies. Charity’s book had stories of her life growing up and also included many delightful notes that she had written and precious letters from friends through the years. One little essay written for a Reflections Contest when she was in the 5th grade was titled “The Perfect Man.” The astonishing description of the perfect man she was looking forward to finding as an 11-year-old was sitting right beside her! What a delight! 

So glad to have “The Book” safely in her hands after all these years! From day one we knew Charity was a very special child, full of passion for life and unique gifts. and now we are so delighted for her to be living her dream as she steps into her new life as a married woman within hours! 

It was a memorable send-off!