The Official Wedding Blog Post (including pictures)

As I mentioned before, last weekend we traveled to the Charlotte area for my brother Ben and his now wife Lee Ellen’s wedding.

The rehearsal dinner was held Friday night at the YMCA that my brother is the director of. (Sorry no pics of this, my phone was dying and I needed the navigation for the trip to the hotel.) My parents asked Jeff to make shrimp and grits (which we did and are glad we did, but Jeff is officially retired now from catering family events!) and then had Lexington-style barbecue catered.

A brief word on barbecue. North Carolina is officially a state divided when it comes to barbecue. Barbecue is a noun in every part of the state. And it is made, exclusively, of pork. In the eastern (and superior) part of the state, you have pulled pork (occasionally someone will accidently chop the pork, bless his heart) in a vinegar based sauce. In the western (inferior, but still yummy) part of the state (divided by Lexington, NC) the pork is usually chopped and tomato based sauce is used. We were west of Lexington, so to serve anything else would be sacrilege in that land. And my family hails from far north of the Mason-Dixon line, so any kind of NC barbecue is a treat.

Saturday morning, we got up at the hotel and after breakfast, the pool, lunch and the pool…it was wedding time.

The wedding and reception were held at The Laboratory Mill. The building is converted into a venue site from what was an antebellum Cotton factory and briefly a medicinal laboratory. There is tons of history and it has been beautifully restored.

And now, for pictures (all pictures courtesy of my aunt, Donna Beckingham, unless otherwise noted):

My brother Matt escorting my Mom (followed by my dad)

My brother Matt escorting my Mom (followed by my dad)

My mom lighting the unity candle. My mom was just introduced to what a "grill lighter" was the night before and as such, she had some difficulty, Matt had to go up and help her.

My mom lighting the unity candle. My mom was just introduced to what a “grill lighter” was the night before and as such, she had some difficulty, Matt had to go up and help her.

Since Matt had to improvise to help her..he went ahead and helped my mom down

Since Matt had to improvise to help her..he went ahead and helped my mom down

The dress my mom is wearing in these pics is the same dress she wore in my wedding, 12 years earlier. She had it altered (it was floor length at my wedding) and wore it this time without a wrap.

My brother Ben, the groom, on the left and my brother Matt, the best man.

My brother Ben, the groom, on the left and my brother Matt, the best man.

Bros2

This is my brother Mike, who was a groomsman. Cut off but to his right (our left) is Lee Ellen (the bride)’s brother JR.

Lee Ellen and John

Lee Ellen, escorted by her father, John

Lee Ellen and Ben with the charge to the couple

Lee Ellen and Ben with the charge to the couple

Their vows and exchanging of rings

Their vows and exchanging of rings

Lighting the unity candle

Lighting the unity candle

You may kiss your bride!

You may kiss your bride!

This is Ben and Lee Ellen as Mr and Mrs Be Oeser

This is Ben and Lee Ellen as Mr and Mrs Ben Oeser

One of the two identical twin flower girls during the recessional

One of the two identical twin flower girls during the recessional

And the other identical twin flower girl

And the other identical twin flower girl

Matt escorting my Mom and Dad out

Matt escorting my Mom and Dad out

This is my brother Mike escorting my father's mother, my grandmother Ruth out after the ceremony. Mike's daughter, my niece Isabella joined them. Isabella did well during the ceremony  although she did want to "talk to her daddy." lol

This is my brother Mike escorting my father’s mother, my grandmother Ruth out after the ceremony. Mike’s daughter, my niece Isabella joined them. Isabella did well during the ceremony although she did want to “talk to her daddy.” lol

My aunt got this pic of our whole family and my brother Matt's girlfriend Sarah at the reception

My aunt got this pic of our whole family and my brother Matt’s girlfriend Sarah at the reception. Sarah was a God-send for us!

Shelby did awesome at the wedding and reception, have to share this one I took of her!

Shelby did awesome at the wedding and reception, have to share this one I took of her!

This is how you know you're at an NC wedding...Sundrop and Cheerwine are the beverage choices (along with sweet tea, of course)

This is how you know you’re at an NC wedding…Sundrop and Cheerwine are the beverage choices (along with sweet tea, of course) (this is one of my pics)

The wedding cake

The wedding cake

The First Dane

The First Dance

First Dance 2

It was a very lovely day despite wind storms, hot temps and erratic rain showers. Lee Ellen, in case you couldn’t tell, was a beautiful bride. Her dress (it’s hard to see in these pics) was ivory which she (like me) has the skin color to pull off. The reception was fun and relaxed. We were more easily able to visit with family since the kids were busy stuffing their faces eating. The boys all enjoyed dancing at the reception and are quite the dancers. William, however, faded quickly. At one point, I had to carry him and my uncle Ed motioned for me to bring him over and held him while Will curled up and napped. We were all exhausted and glad to get back to the hotel that night.

It was a crazy, stressful weekend. I hope Ben and Lee Ellen are enjoying their Jamaican honeymoon and are getting some relaxation!

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