Posts Tagged ‘weddings’

20th November
written by Michelle

One year ago today. This happened.

Gerber, I would marry you again today and ever day.  Te amo!

28th February
written by Michelle

Let me introduce my sister, Stephanie….more commonly known as Steph. She’s creative, funny and full of wisdom on a variety of topics.

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Part 2 of Tales from the Wedding is told in her in perspective. I guarantee it will make you laugh.

{bonus: inside look into my wonderful, slightly complicated family}

you can read it here.


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14th February
written by Michelle

Like I said here, I am firm believer that a wedding is just one day…


and ours was Just. One. Day.


One Sunday at the end of November.


One beautiful, incredibly significant, slightly stressful day.

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I love the photos that are photographer captured before the wedding started. The getting ready. The setting up. The first look. But photos don’t capture everything. They don’t capture the stress on Friday when Gerber called me to say, “Mi amor, don’t panic, but the wedding site isn’t reserved” { yes, you read that correctly…it was NOT reserved as of the Friday before the wedding! God bless our dear wedding coordinator-  just one minor detail.}

The photos, don’t capture my frustration when I realized that I lost my cell phone 2 days before the wedding, which I should mention had every number I needed for the wedding. { good job, Michelle }

The photos, also fail to capture the frenzy and craziness of hosting, translating and coordinating transportation for 28 dear family and friends. { who I could not have imagined our wedding without…I just failed to anticipate how much time and energy it would take to be the host and the bride. Two roles I did not balance very well. }

But what these photographs do capture is the JOY we both felt, the LOVE and SUPPORT we received, and the sheer ENJOYMENT of that day. Our Wedding Day.

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{ Part 1 }




{ more to come }

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happy valentine’s day

18th October
written by Michelle

{photo credit: ann torrence}

I was not one of those girls who had my entire wedding planned out before the age of 18. I actually hadn’t really thought much about my wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I had definitely thought about other things- like how I wanted to decorate my living room or where I dreamed of spending my honeymoon and how many kids I wanted, but not my wedding. And I certainly never really imagined or thought about being engaged. I think when you’re single throughout most of your twenties you kind of assume that engagement is what what happens to other people, not you.


engagement is a lot of..

There is a lot about being engaged that I had never really thought about. I think engagement takes a lot of work. A lot of conversations. A lot of expectations. And a lot of time unpacking those expectations. Your own. Your fiances’. And your families’. There’s a lot of room for miscommunication. Big arguments about small things. Fun dreams and crazy ideas.  A lot of asking what other people want. And a lot of compromising. A lot to look forward to. And simply, just a lot to do.

And remember all of that begins and ends somewhere between “will you marry me?” and “I do.

Believe me. I am by no means complaining. Engagement is wonderful and exciting, slightly stressful and overwhelming, but its’ not all consuming. Engagement is a season. And I am firm believer that planning a wedding is important, but planning a marriage is so much more significant.


{almost} anti-wedding blogs

I have shied away from too many wedding blogs because they simply overwhelm me and cause me to compare everything and anything. However, there is one that I can’t resist. Let me introduce you to: A Practical Wedding {APW}. Their philosophy is refreshing, wise and straight out helpful:

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See, why I like it. Really, you should check it out. 

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32 days ’till “i do”

One of the best quotes I’ve read about marriage is:

“marriage is an unconditioned commitment to an imperfect person”

and maybe that’s what engagement prepares you for. It forces you to ask, am I ready and willing to commit forever, unconditionally to do life with this other person, a person as imperfect as me?

I am counting down the days until I get to say “yes.” On November 20th I get to marry my best friend. He is definitely not perfect, but he is perfect for me.

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8th October
written by Michelle

•  •  •

For the past few months mine and Gerber’s conversations have gone something like this:

 “hey, did you get a copy of the title of the house?

-oh, yeah in October

 “Hun, we still need to scan and email the lawyer our birth certificates.”

-ok, in October

“Mi amor, we still need to reserve the band, right?

- yep, in October

 “We need to plan for the groups that are coming in January.”

-ok, in October

“Can you send that email to our supporters?

- sure, in October

Do you notice a trend?

 Apparently October is a big month for us. We have made big and lofty plans to be productive, efficient and basically, get everything done.


in. October.


And why, not? October seems like a perfectly acceptable month do tackle wedding planning, legal and visa issues, final exams, school graduations, upcoming travel plans, and ministry projects for next year. Did I mention that it’s already October 8th?

Stay tuned for end of the year graduation photos, a shrinking to-do list, plans for next year and reflections on what they don’t tell you about engagement.

happy {rainy} saturday afternoon!

4th September
written by Michelle

I realize I’ve been absent from the blog world for awhile. Sometimes I think being absent from the blog world may mean I’m actually being more present with the real world. However, I do want to share what’s been happening…especially because there are so many people I miss connecting with. I know pictures and post don’t suffice for long distance friendships, but it’s a start.

So here’s quick update from the past month…


#1 Teaching: We have 5 more weeks (not like I’m counting) until the end of our school year here. I realize SO many of you just started back to school- and it’s still weird for me to be ending school in October. But I will miss my lovely girls from Proximos Pasos (the all girls school in Santa Maria de Jesus) and my mostly, charming students from Vida y Esperanza (the co-ed school in Santa Lucia)


#2 House Hunting: We spent August signing papers, meeting with lawyers, banks, and all those other important people you meet with when you buy a house! Yes, here it is…still a work in progress. We did some painting and cleaning before I moved in a few weeks ago… and it’s slowly starting to feel more homey. Just 10 minutes from Antigua (15 if I am driving : )


#3 Water, Coffee and Graduations: Gerber continues working in Parramos building water filters and working with families and local leaders to plan for what’s next. I have been enjoying some time with new friends and making time for coffee dates here. It’s funny how cultural the idea of a “coffee date” is— definitely not a Guatemalan norm. And many of Gerber’s dad’s students just graduated from Harvest Bible University. For many of them it was their first graduation ever! And we got to join them for the celebration.

#4 Birthday parties, Soccer and Wedding Planning: I’ve always wanted to be a tia and now I have five (soon-to-be) nieces and nephews thanks to Gerber’s wonderful family. Now none of them will probably call me tia, but that’s ok. I’ll accept la gringa. We celebrated one of his nieces birthday’s with a piñata, churasco (bbq) and firecrackers! Wedding planning is underway and so are lots of emails, skype calls and details. But we still make time for some fun- Gerber’s fun is any form of soccer and since I can’t play very well, we settle for foosball. My form of fun usually involves walking to the park with coffee or chocolate in hand, especially when someone else buys it for me : ) We’re thinking of having all three at the wedding: coffee, chocolate, and maybe foosball. why not?!?

(totally kidding about the foosball….although I bet a certain mr. someone might actually like that idea)

23rd June
written by Michelle

Santa Barbara is a small town and it’s not uncommon to run into someone you know nearly everywhere you go. Last year I was sitting by myself in one of my favorite coffee shops with big windows and oversized chairs. I was quite content with my book, journal and large latte when one of my students. Sulleyma, a friendly, bright-eyed latina girl who looked like she was 14-going-on-24, walked by and waved to me through the window. She and her 3 other friends strolled inside, in a single file line, one girl behind the other.

And I’ll never forget what Sulleyma asked me:

“Ms. Acker, why do always roll solo?

I laughed to myself at her creative slang (to roll solo means to go out or be by yourself) and then I tried to explain to four teenage girls that this introvert at heart actually enjoys sitting in coffee shops all by herself. Regardless if they got it or not, I realized there are a number of things that I do enjoy doing by myself. I like rollin’ solo to a coffee shop for hours and strolling through the farmers market by myself. And I’ll roll solo for an afternoon at the beach or a run to the park. I’ve even become quite accustomed to rollin’ solo while traveling in other countries, but there is one place that I do not like (in fact, probably hate) rollin’ solo to…

yes, weddings.

I don’t think anyone really likes going to weddings alone. It’s one thing if you know lots of people and have a group of friends who will be there- those situations can be fun for sure. But if you’ve ever been to one of those weddings where you know all of three people, and one person is the usher who you escorted you to your seat, and the other two are the bride and groom, well, then that’s just recipe for a rollin’ solo disaster.

I went to a beautiful wedding for a friend from high school last weekend. It was the kind of wedding that had the perfect balance between simplicity and eloquence and yet just enough creative personal touches to make it feel like you were a part of the wedding, not merely distant observers. I walked in and gave my best effort at making awkward small talk with friends I haven’t seen since high school graduation. I was introduced to everyone’s boyfriends and husbands and…yes, KIDS. My friends from high school have children! Feeling more out of place then ever, I squeezed passed two couples and sat on the end with an open seat next to me. (fyi: I have come to realize that wedding industry likes even numbers. Have you ever noticed that most rows have an EVEN number of chairs and most tables seat 8 or 10…also even numbers. I have nothing against even numbers in general, but when you’re at a wedding alone it makes you feel like you’re the odd one out.)

Already feeling like I was the odd one out, I intentionally dug through my purse, checked my cell phone and scanned through old pictures on my camera trying hard not to also look like the odd one out. Thankfully, the music started and with it began one of the most beautiful weddings I have been to in a long time. The whole ceremony was sweet and personable and just different. And I tend to like things that are a little different. Ya know, not always abiding by the status quo just because it’s the way it’s supposed to be done.

The gentleman who officiated their wedding had a grandfather voice and a tall, lean body the hunched over, ever so slightly. With his words and presence came a wave of emotions: encouragement. hope. freedom.

He began describing how our society often talks and jokes about marriage being restrictive. We speak of “tying the knot”, settling down and the tender trap of making this permanent and binding commitment. But he went on to explain that we can actually find marriage to be a source of tremendous freedom:

“Within marriage, you are free to fail without being rejected. You are free to succeed without causing jealousy. You are free to journey through one stage of growth to another, while drawing strength and support from your partner. You are free to face huge problems knowing that each problem will be less intimidating and more manageable because you will face it together. Marriage also allows the freedom to exchange hopes and fears and the whole gamut of feelings with one another. Such intimacy requires hard work and courage, but it is a kind of hallowed journey and, ultimately, a source of fulfillment and freedom

This isn’t to say that all of this is impossible outside of marriage. This is to say that the marriage commitment especially lends itself to such freedom because it provides a secure framework within which such risk and creativity are possible.”

I just love this.

He named something that is so true and so beautiful and sometimes I fear, so forgotten. His heartfelt words brought encouragement to the rollin’ solo feelings that had crept into my heart and mind that cloudy afternoon. I was reminded why marriage is worth waiting for. And regardless of the wedding or the dress or the rings or the flowers or the countless other things that consume a young bride’s mind, this lifelong commitment is the essence. The day-to-day freedom to grow and serve and learn how to do life together-that is what marriage is about.

And that truth left me with a renewed ability to hope. and trust. and pray. and wait.

This is a season of weddings. And any single person in their twenties or thirties or forties can probably agree that weddings have this uncanny way of bringing a truth and hope that reminds you what love can look like, but they can just as quickly bring a lonely, heart-ache that makes you doubt and question, Why am I still here by myself?

My advice: 1) Don’t roll solo to weddings. And 2) Take time to ask the hard questions, but don’t lose the ability to hope and trust and pray and wait.