From start to finish– Emalee + Mark’s day was marked by such a calm + beautiful peace.
This day was long awaited for + I’m so grateful to have photographed it.
Congratulations, you two!!!
Posted in multiple places at their venue, Celebrations at the Gables, was what the bride + groom called a Gratitude Epistle. It was so thoughtful + thorough– so I thought…what a perfect thing to include in their blog!
Guests: We are so glad you are all here! We are honored by your presence on this joyous day, and grateful for the myriad ways you have loved, encouraged, supported, prayed for, and ministered to us throughout our lives. You have helped make us who we are and we treasure this time with you.
Our parents deserve a special thank you for their love, hard work, generosity, and patience. They have contributed so much to us personally and to the beauty of this celebration and, we believe, to the foundation of our marriage. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.
To our officiant, Pastor Ron: We could not have done this without you. Thank you for your leadership, your godly and perceptive counsel, your friendship–and for officially marrying us! You mean a great deal to us.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Kelly Jennings, who has been our (human) saving grace in pulling this day off! Kelly has worn numerous hats and kept countless plates spinning. She is a very talented Jill-of-all-trades and we are beginning to wonder if she has magical powers! Case in point: She is our wedding planner, vendor consultant, florist, decorator, worship leader, tech guru and all-around Emotional Support Human. She is also our graphic designer (yes, those lovely invitations and ceremony programs are thanks to her, as well as the jam jar labels and MANY other touches). Through it all, she has managed to always smile and maintain her sense of humor…and ours, as well. What an immense blessing! Our hats are off. Kudos to Kelly!!
We are grateful for our fabulous musicians: Randy & Kelly Jennings, Brittany Gormong, and Andrew Buchmann. Their support has been instrumental. (Heehee. See what we did there?) They have generously shared their time and talent with us. Not to mention they are just awesome people. A special shout-out to Burt Groenheim: We salute you, Live-Streamer & Videographer Extraordinaire! Thank you all so much!
Thank you to Georgeina O’Connell, our venue coordinator and caterer. She has imbued our wedding with many personal touches and been so gracious from the beginning. Her advice and experience has been invaluable. She and her staff have done a magnificent job preparing and presenting our wedding dinner, and we are so grateful! We love the venue and have had so much fun!
We are indebted to all of our wedding party VIPs!!!Thank you, Bethany and Shawna, for being such wonderful friends and for standing by Emalee’s side on this momentous day! Many thanks to David and Bryan for being true blue friends and standing by Mark’s side through thick and thin.Kids and kidlets: You totally stole the show! Which is exactly as it should be, in our humble opinion.To our beautiful flower girls, Olivia and Rylee: Thank you for doing a wonderful job. You are treasures beyond measure!To our handsome ring bearers, Philip and Emmitt: You had an extremely important job, and you did your job magnificently. Way to go, superheroes!To our sweet sign girls, Kayla and Emilia: You did such a wonderful job and we are so happy you could be in Uncle Mark & Auntie Em’s wedding! We love you.Thank you to the parents of all the children in the wedding party: Ben & Bethany Kunselman, Aaron & Jenni Hughes, Jim & Krisha Ekenstedt, and Steve & Lydia Ekenstedt. Thank you for all you have done. Those are some great kids you’re raising!!!Last, but not least, thank you to our ushers–The Bro Squad–Jim, Steve, Chris, and Seth. Thank you for playing this integral role in our wedding and enabling it to go much more smoothly. But mostly thank you for being our brothers…for making us laugh, sincerely caring, and having our backs.VIPs: We are thankful for all you have done, but even more thankful for who you are. May God richly bless you!
Thank you to those serving in so many ways behind the scenes–from creating decorations to wrangling little ones to transporting needed items. So many people have contributed to the wonder, fun, and success of this day. In no particular order:
Thank you to Pam Olson for making favors and to Amy Knox, Donna Flodin, and Joanne Lechnir for adding finishing touches. Thank you to Leah Foss of Foss Woodworking (Shell Lake, WI) for making the beautiful sign used in the ceremony. Thank you to Krisha Ekenstedt & Hannah Olson for serving desserts. Thank you to Lydia Ekenstedt for overseeing the guest book. Thank you to Dorie Simpson for moral support and always being ready with supplies we might need or a helping hand. Thank you to Bethany Kunselman, Jenni Hughes, and Stu & Pam Olson for helping Mark and me (shout out to Mark!) stamp and stuff envelopes. Thank you to Seth & Hannah Olson, assisted by Stu & Pam Olson and Jeni Kunselman for making the maypole and its accoutrements, and thank you to Shawna Greunke for researching and organizing maypole dances. (Yay for May Day!) Thank you to David & Rebecca Ekenstedt for letting us borrow their cornhole game. Thank you to Christopher Olson for his geological expertise and consultation. Thank you to Lasker Jewelers (Eau Claire, WI) and Savas Designers & Jewelers (Spooner, WI) for bride’s and groom’s jewelry. Thank you to Darci Chido of In Style Salon (Spooner, WI) and Joanne Lechnir for hair and makeup prowess. Thank you to David’s Bridal (Eau Claire, WI) for dresses, veil, and lots and lots of swatches. Thank you to Marlene Zegarowicz of MarZ Alterations (Rice Lake WI) for crafty skills, generosity, and thoughtfulness. Thank you to Kelly J. and her brother, Ben Lindner, of Tender Shoots Gardens and Greenhouse (Greenwood, WI) and also Krueger’s Wholesale Flowers for providing the gorgeous flowers. Thank you to our parents for extra potted plants and hanging baskets. Thank you to Ash Williams of swallow.sweet.cupcakes (Spooner, WI) for creating the amazing cake and cupcakes (lipsmacking yumminess!); O & H Danish Bakery (Racine, WI) for making authentic, spectacular kringles; and The Taste of Scandinavia Bakery and Cafe (Little Canada, MN) for providing the kransekake, a Norwegian wreath cake. Thank you to Joanne Lechnir and the awesome ladies in her small group for providing snack food to keep the wedding party alive and kicking. Thanks to Karen Gormong and everybody who helped with setup, decorating, and teardown. You are incredible and we thank you!! Thank you to Kelsey Jonas of Availeth Photography (Chippewa Falls, WI), and her assistant, Saige Lindow, for storytelling as we made memories. You have been exquisite to work with. Thank you so, so much!
We hope we have not forgotten to mention anyone, and if we have, we are truly sorry! We are running on not enough sleep and our brains are mashed potatoes. Please know that we very much appreciate each one of you.
We are deeply grateful to God for His love and faithfulness throughout our lives and for bringing us together. God gave Himself away for us in sending His own Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and give us new life through His resurrection and power over death. Each day He breathes His breath in us, rejoices over us with singing, and offers rich gifts that only He could design. He never changes and His love never fails. It is our prayer that our love would emulate His. He is the Beginning and the End–both of His love story to mankind and the love story unfolding here today.
Enjoy this peak into their day!