Saturday, August 9, 2014


The word "selfie" is a somewhat new edition to our language, and designates a photo one takes of themSELF, usually with their "mobile electronic device".   However, because my son married a beautiful lady named Stacy SELF, pictured here with her daughter Kaylee SELF, I am calling ALL of the photos in this article "selfies", because ALL of the photos relate to the wedding of Kaylee SELF to Dean Johnson!

I am always thankful for happy occasions where I get to spend time with my son, pictured with me in this photo.

Before the ceremony, there was one section of the wedding venue that was just for the females, as preparations were made to get the bride looking gorgeous for her big day.  Kaylee was glowing, as we had our picture taken together, shortly before the festivities began.

I call this the "Pink Ladies" photo!  My cousin Debbie was my guest to the wedding, and she wore the solid color pink dress.  Kaylee's grandmother Jan wore the floral pink dress, and I wore the pink jacket.  Although we did not plan this color palette in advance, it made for nice photos!

Our rooms at Callahan's Lodge in Ashland, Oregon, ( ) had balconies that overlooked the patio and lawn, which gave us a "bird's eye" view of the guests, as they started arriving,

At the guest sign-in table, there was a military flag, medals, and photo tribute to Kaylee's late father, TSgt Shawn W. Self, USAF.  This photo shows Shawn's sister, April (along with her daughter), signing the guest book.  And this was no ordinary guest book!  It was a custom-designed, coffeetable sized book, full of photos of the bride and groom, along with large blank spaces for the guest to write a comment or memory for the couple to read later.  This was also the location of baskets of fans for the guests to pick up, to keep themselves cool during the evening, as well as tell the names of the bridal party.

One side told the names of the Wedding Party , and the other side told the order of service, along with a personal note from Kaylee and Dean welcoming the guests to their special occasion.

The couple had sent out a "Save the Date" announcement months ago, that resembled a NY Yankees baseball game ticket.  This was a clue for the uninitiated, that Dean is a HUGE New York Yankees fan!  The baseball theme continued with a tree full of baseball souvenir ornaments that also told the seating location of the guests for the post-wedding feast.  Likewise, there was a glass cylinder of baseballs beside the photo of Dean and Kaylee wearing NY Yankees baseball jerseys.  The groom is an NBC News broadcaster in Wyoming ( ), but I don't think he would turn down a job to be the sports broadcaster for the NY Yankees!  ( Considering the bride is completing her training this year to be a Licensed Respiratory Therapist, she will have no trouble finding employment in about any city with a hospital!)

There were SO MANY memorable details about the wedding, that it is impossible to list them all, but since the groom is a graduate of the university that boasts the "Oregon Ducks", along with their famous green and yellow colors, it is not surprising that Oregon-logo socks were on the groomsmen.  Also, the groomsmen had ties on that included the embroidered initials of the bride and groom, along with their wedding date.  In addition, the groom gave each of the groomsmen, custom made cufflinks, that were fashioned from actual baseballs from New York Yankees games!

Everyone at the wedding turned their bodies, so they could see the bride as she made the long journey from inside the lodge, across the patio, down the stone steps, across the lawn, through the topiary-lined aisles between the dozens of guests, and ultimately into the arms of her husband-to-be!

My son was very honored to be the one who walked her down the aisle! 

When they arrived at the gazebo, they were joined by Kaylee's mom, plus Dean's mom and her husband, for the traditional question "Who gives this woman to be wed to this man?"

The next part of the ceremony was especially meaningful to me, because the bride chose a passage from "The Love Chapter", to be read by one of her bridesmaids, from a Bible I had given her for high school graduation:  "Love is patient, Love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.   It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  I  Corinthians 13:4-7

It was also especially meaningful that Pastor Ray performed the wedding ceremony for Kaylee and Dean, because Pastor Ray was also the one who performed the wedding ceremony for my son and Kaylee's mom several years ago.

I was giving thanks to God that there was no rain on this outdoor celebration!  There were some large forest fires in some of the adjacent counties, that made their presence known by a gentle sprinkling of ashes on the all-white tablecloths.  Considering the venue was in a town named "ASHland", it all seemed very appropriate!  The cloth napkins were kept free of ashes, however, because they were each covered with a clear glass, monogrammed coaster, that the guest could take home with them as a souvenir!  (Thank you for such a nice gift that will be a reminder of this fun day!)

The official wedding photographer was a friend of Kaylee and Dean's named Justin, and I had strict orders to stay out of his way!  ( All of the wedding party was aware of my reputation as a "photoholic"!)

After the wedding ceremony and photo sessions, we all enjoyed a delicious buffet.  I especially liked their menu choices, because there were giant bowls of green vegetable salads!

A fun activity the couple planned to get the most out of the dance floor, involved forming a "tunnel of love", made up of the groomsmen and bridesmaids joining their hands high in the air, forming a covered passageway, for the bride and groom to run through, as they stepped onto the dance floor.  Not surprisingly, the Oregon fight song, could be heard echoing through the Ashland mountains as they skipped, trotted, ran, sprinted, and waltzed onto the portable dance floor!

The first dance of the bride and groom after the ceremony is always a highlight, and this was no exception.  They moved together flawlessly!

The bride and groom enjoyed sharing a bite of the GORGEOUS wedding cake, that was topped with their initials.  They are smiling, as was EVERYONE who attended this heart-warming celebration of such a great couple!  As they start their lives together as husband and wife, I am praying they will have "MILES OF SMILES"!!