Glitter and Gowns

We are knee deep in an eventful spring, so I wanted to give a little progress report on our festivities through this point in May. I mentioned my fascination with the Royal Wedding that took place in London last month, and wedding fever hit California, too, although not before our senior attended her prom here out west,

and our junior enjoyed her first prom in Minnesota:

Each of the girls loved their end-of-school festivities, and then as a family, we shifted our focus to our own Windsor Wedding. Our daughter, Jill, married Oshiomogho (OJ) Atogwe, of Nigerian roots, but hails from Windsor, Canada. Family and friends arrived from all parts of North America, and OJ was adamant about not seeing Jill for the entire week before the wedding. We manipulated and maneuvered our activities between two hotels, and pulled off ‘operation avoid’ without a hitch. The rehearsal took some fancy planning on OJ’s behalf, so he sent his childhood buddy as a stand-in.

The next morning, we awoke to the usual frenzy of hair and make-up application for 15 women and girls, while the guys visited points around San Francisco in hopes of capturing candid photos before the ceremony. And then the hour arrived, and the bride looked beautiful:

A few extra bonus shots of the family, beginning with Dad and his girls:

And the proud parents:

Jill and her brothers:

And the lovely bride and groom:

And as part of OJ’s Nigerian heritage, his family made special outfits for Mike and I. We were honored to slip away during the reception and don our beautiful Nigerian apparel and hit the floor for some exciting dance traditions, one of which involved the showering of the bride and her parents with money!

But at the heart of it all, two sets of parents from two opposite ends of the earth, relished the fact that their children found true love in each other and in God. As I stood at the back of the church, preparing to be escorted down the aisle by my youngest son, I knew that all of the frustration, sacrifice, laughter, and training in Jill’s first 21 years of life had prepared her for this very moment. And when the minister asked, ‘who gives this bride?’ we could confidently respond without hesitation or reluctance that we both joyfully surrendered her to become Mrs. Jill Atogwe.

The final guests have departed, the house is back in order, the prom gowns are hung up, the bridal gown is draped across the chair until the honeymooners return, and the mortar board and gown are in need of pressing for the graduation festivities for Jackie. A few short days after that, we’ll head out to Minnesota for good as we ready Kristen and Cooper’s new midwest residence for the birth of baby Brooklynne. You can bet there will be photos!





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