Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ivan & Leah ~ Their Wedding

The wedding day dawned with beautiful weather . . . the busyness of the wedding preparations were complete, and now was the day that Ivan and Leah were to be joined as one before the Lord. The morning was so fun, relaxed and memorable!

Friends and family gathered at the church in the early afternoon to prepare for the ceremony and each moment was precious from setting things up, until we waved goodbye to Ivan and Leah.

The wedding ceremony was beautiful, so intimate, and so centered around the Lord and family. It was a reflection of Ivan and Leah's hearts. There were happy tears, many smiles, and overflowing joy and happiness!

It was very special to hear the comments afterward from friends and family who had come and who had been touched by what they witnessed as Ivan and Leah covenanted their hearts and lives together!

Dad officiated the wedding and throughout this post, I will be sharing portions of the message that he gave. (It will be in a different font)

"Ivan, Leah, the events leading to this special day began as a casual acquaintance shared through a common faith. 

"Over time, with a deepening friendship, you began a journey, an intentional process, a 'period of discovery', to find if the other would make a suitable life-long mate. The period of discovery was first to find if the other was a true child of God, not just a Christian in name only, but one that possessed a genuine saving faith. Was Ivan's faith an obedient faith founded upon a true knowledge of Christ confirmed by the word of God, was Leah's love for Christ not simply words but a love lived out in her day-to-day life."

 The beautiful, radiant bride

"You each confirmed in the other that Christ was not merely something put on from time to time, but found within the heart and soul of the other, a deeply rooted faith. Secondly, you found that there was compatibility between the two of you, you complemented each other . . . and you genuinely just liked the other person. 

"But something else was taking place, like a field well prepared, a seed of honorable, respectful love was planted and gently nurtured deep within your hearts . . . a love not based upon flighty emotions, a love not based merely upon feelings, but a respect and love built and founded upon the other's character and goodness . . . ."

Praying for Leah . . . so thankful the photographer captured this! 

An emotional, impromptu, very special sister moment 

Such a precious, precious time before my sister became a wife!

 Forever sisters, forever friends

"With the soil now well prepared, Ivan, Leah, you are about to fulfill the promise you made to each other upon your engagement."

Mom and Leah . . . what heartwarming and special moments together! 

 Dad, Mom, Leah and I

"It was God who created marriage. It was God who designed marriage. 
Matthew 19:4-6 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female' and said, 'for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?' So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.'"

Father and daughter . . . their relationship is deep and very close, and it was incredibly special to have him not only walk her down the aisle, but to officiate their wedding! 

"The word joined, is often translated from the Greek as 'to cleave', which means: to hold fast, and to be faithful. To truly cleave brings permanence and structure into your marriage." 
"No one cares more about your marriage than the Lord. No one wants it to succeed more than God does. He does not leave you alone to experiment through trial and error, but the Lord has given specific instructions in Scripture to both the husband and the wife for a successful marriage."

"Marriage is so unique that Paul uses this relationship to draw a clear picture with Christ and His church as a model for the marital union between a man and woman
Ephesians 5:22-23 'Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives out to be to their husbands in everything. 
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. 
This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.'"

Ivan's mom pinning on his boutonniere

 The most handsome little ring-bearer ever :)

"In order to have a good marriage, a godly marriage, it is first absolutely necessary to have a right relationship with God. And that only comes by possessing a 'genuine saving faith.'"

 Praying for Ivan

"There is an unbreakable union between faith and its validation through love, and love validated through obedience . . . the three legs of genuine saving faith. 

"No one can be 'good enough' to go to heaven when they die, without first accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. Obedience is then the result of genuine saving faith and not the cause of it.

Tender, heartwarming moments 

 Father and Son

"There will be many joys in the days ahead, but be aware that there are enemies of the Lord in this world who will attempt to steal your attention, your devotion, your energies, your affections, your love. 

"Keep your eyes on the Lord, rooted in His Word, and continue to develop a strong relationship with Him and with each other. As you do this, you will each be blessed, your marriage will be strengthened, and your love for each other will have no limits."

 This sweet couple led everyone in singing one of Ivan and Leah's favorite hymns, 'Be Thou My Vision'

"Rely on God's strength to carry you through difficult times that will come as you go through your life together . . . and they will come. God never promises that everything will always go smoothly with no 'bumps in the road'. But He does promise that He will always be there to help us get through the 'bumps' . . . if we trust in Him."
Isaiah 40:31 'Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.They will mount up with wings like eagles,They will run and not get tired,They will walk and not become weary' 

Praying together moments before exchanging their vows . . . while the song "Take My Hand (The Wedding Song)" was sung and played 

 Sharing their vows . . . they each wrote their own vows to one another
"You have family and friends who are celebrating with you today as they share in your joy. They will also be a ready source of encouragement, counsel, support, and love throughout your marriage.

First picture of just them as husband and wife! 

Our families 

Leah with the sweetest flower girls! (They did amazing!) 

Signing the marriage license 

"Ivan, Leah, your marriage will be an example to the world, an example to your children, and it will be an example to those that see you on the streets or know you personally. It is a wonderful opportunity to 'let your light shine before all men.'

"God has greatly blessed each of you in giving you this gift of marriage, and for this we thank Him."

Guestbooks and Memories 

At the reception 

It was so special when Ivan and Leah arrived as they went table to table spending time with each guest that had come. Ivan had also secretly arranged for everyone to have a rose to give Leah! 

Hugs from Uncle Jim 

At the wedding party table right before speeches . . . mine was briefly outlined and shared from my heart. And I barely made it through as it quickly turned emotional! My sister was a bride and is a wife! What an honor and a joy to stand beside her as she married the man she so deeply loves and to witness their lives becoming one. Their marriage already has been beautiful to see and a testimony of the great things that God has done and is doing in their lives!


Photos by Katherine F Blake Photography


  1. Oh my, Sarah, that was just beautiful! God bless their life together. Wishing them many years of happiness,
    With love,
    Anne ♡

  2. Beautiful!!! Thanks so much for sharing. xx

  3. Sarah, I've been waiting for this post, and how lovely it is to see such happy and beautiful photos. The love shines through. You and your family look so very pretty, all the dresses are just beautiful.
    I have to confess to a tear or two just reading your father's words and seeing the love of the Lord shining through every picture.


  5. Are you the type to tear up at weddings? I felt myself tearing up just looking at your pictures!
    The photographer did an amazing job! Wow! So beautiful! I can see Leah's personality and heart come out through her wedding. The green she picked is such a lovely color.
    Your parents are so adorable. Your father put together a wonderful service. That must have been such a treasure to be able to do that for his daughter.

    This must be a bittersweet change for you -- so much joy in gaining a brother and seeing your sister blessed in marriage, but I imagine there must be a little sadness two. You won't be able to see your best friend in Leah as much. I hope they don't live very far away so that you may see them often.

    Thanks so much for sharing. I love seeing Christian weddings so much; they encourage me so much in reminding me of Christ and the church.

    God bless you!

  6. Absolutely beautiful Sarah! I love weddings where the Lord is glorified through the couple's lives and the ceremony! Thanks so much for sharing your sister's special day!

  7. Wonderful post, Sarah. I love how you set it up, focusing on the message of Christ spoken by your Dad, with the pictures telling the story as well. Gospel-centered ceremonies are my favorite, and so meaningful!

    That's really special that your Dad was able to officiate! I did not realize he was an ordained minister. Has he officiated many other ceremonies?

    I loved scrolling through and seeing the simple, lovely decorations. Brought back many wonderful memories of our Bianca's wedding. I remember Leah had planned to grow the flowers for the wedding--did she make the arrangements as well?

    You are already realizing this, but it is a big change, having a sibling leave home. Especially if you are close to her. Time does help make it easier. It will be interesting to see how you regroup and reorganize to continue managing your little farm.:-) Leah's busy hands will be missed, I'm sure, and that gap will need to be filled.

    Thanks again, Sarah, for allowing us a peek into this beautiful wedding.


  8. like the others who have commented I too became a little teary
    What a beautiful ceremony your Father's words were so special

    Thank you for sharing Sarah and to Leah and Ivan for allowing us to see the photos
    I truly felt as though I was there with you all

    Fiona x x

  9. Waiting for this post for a long time
    Such a great encouragement to see how Ivan and Leah trusted every movement on God in there marriage ..
    God is good all the time..
    Thank you so much Sarah for sharing with us such a lovely photographs
    With love
    -Bunny (India)

  10. Congratulations to the beautiful bride and handsome groom. It was a very precious day indeed. Thank you for sharing such and emotional and intimate event.

  11. Congratulations from France. With all my friendship. 🕊👰🤵🙏. Marlène

  12. What a sweet and beautiful wedding! It is touching to see even in the pictures their love for one another and to see how they and your family desired to honor the Lord with that special day. Thank you for sharing this post. I am very happy for Leah and Ivan, and pray for the Lord's blessing upon them and their marriage.

  13. Really miss you.....Hope and pray we hear from you soon.

  14. You are missed. Hope all is well and that we see an update from you soon. Have a blessed week. :)

  15. Like Terry and Angela I miss you too and hope to hear from you soon Sarah
    Hope you are all well-you are probably very busy with your business and helping on the farm you must have more to do if Leah is not there to help
    Take care
    Thinking of you and your family

    Fiona x

  16. We miss you! We would love to know how you are.
    Praying for you!

  17. I hope all is well with you and your family. I miss your sweet posts and your lovely photos.

    Kay (in UK)

  18. Checking often to see if all is well with you. Julianne

  19. Thank you all so much for your very kind comments on the wedding post! I am glad you all enjoyed seeing this glimpse into their very special day!!! We enjoyed and appreciated each and every comment and your thoughtfulness! (And I am sorry for the very long delay in saying 'thank you'!)

  20. Thank you, Terry, Angela, Fiona, Anonymous, Kay, and Julianne, for your kindness in checking on me, hoping all is well, and letting me know my posts are missed! I appreciated your thoughtfulness a lot. Thank you! My blogging break was unintended as life got busier and didn't really slow down so I had needed to step away from blogging for a bit. I feel like I am finally catching up and getting more into a routine so I hope to be back to posting again soon! Thank you again!

  21. So glad Sarah that all is well with you. I know this must be a time of huge adjustment in your life and probably a lot more of the work is falling on you. Happy you are adjusting well.

    1. Thank you, Julianne! It has been a season of adjustment . . . it has been good, though!

  22. Happy to see your reply Sarah
    Look forward to you posting again when you are ready

    All good wishes

    Fiona x

    1. Thank you, Fiona! I am hoping to be back in the next week or so!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)