It was a year ago this past summer that Dawn and Bob met via Match.com and realized early on that they shared something special. When I spent time with them as their relationship evolved, I saw Bob treat Dawn with respect and thoughtfulness. Bob insists on opening doors for Dawn. On one occasion when Dawn was distracted while we talked, she opened the car's passenger door and got out. As Bob came around, she looked up and saw the frown on his face. She turned, opened the door and got back in and he proceeded to open the door so she could exit! All that to say Bob treats her like a queen, not a char woman.
Equally impressive, Brandon and Sophia are not merely her children, they and their well-being are important to Bob. He's been the dad-on-site to Brandon and Sophia for several months. He doesn't replace their dad, but he's willingly stepped forward to provide ongoing guidance and love for them and support for Dawn in their discipline.
It was on Christmas day 2011 that Bob asked Dawn to marry him. Bob's only expressed desire regarding their marriage was that they have a real wedding, one with guests and a reception. So the first of the arrangements to be made was finding a location for the September 22 ceremony. At the same time Dawn searched for and found the perfect wedding dress. And she set about losing weight that she was uncomfortable carrying and would require extensive dress alterations if not lost.
|Rachelle and her children|
Thanks to the help and organizational skills of her good friend, Rachelle, the days leading up to and including wedding day were orderly.
|Michelle and Brett|
Brett and Michelle flew in Thursday and on Friday Brett and Bob picked up their tuxes. Friday evening family members of both Dawn and Bob who had arrived in town for the wedding shared dinner at a local restaurant.
While Dawn did "bridely" things such as having her hair done on Saturday, Bob and I shared responsibility for Brandon and Sophia, getting them to their football games and then dressed for the wedding.
The ceremony was held in the company of fifty guests. Sophia was flower girl and Brandon was Bob's best man.
The ceremony ended with Bob, Dawn, Brandon and Sophia pouring individual vases of four different colors of sand into a larger container, symbolizing the blending of the four individuals into a family.
The guests then moved to a larger room for the reception and dancing that followed. Tim, Rachelle's husband, selected tunes to dance to while Rachelle continued adding to what became over 500 photos of the day's events.
In the days following the wedding, Grandma Sherry (who with her husband Terry are regarded as Dawn's other parents) and I discussed the wedding atmosphere and decorations. We decided that it was 'casually elegant'. I still remember the looks on Bob's and Dawn's faces afterward -- captured so well in this photo.