Part 1 of 2: Reception photos will follow in part 2. You betcha now.
Don’tcha knoooow, my family is from Minnesooota. A small town called Lismore in the southwest corner of the state. Both my maternal grandparents grew up there…but my grandparents were kinda rebellious and moved to California where the weather is much more mellow. While they were growing up, my mom and her siblings would go to Minnesota and visit the big family that still was in Lismore. I went a couple times too, when I was young. But, sadly, the last time I remember being there I was probably only about 6 years old. I have always had fond memories of my visits…I had these older “cousins” that were SO MUCH nicer to me than my brother was back then (technically, they are second cousins to me). They did amazing things like ride farm equipment, sleds, and run in large open fields. My great aunt Esther made these carmel popcorn balls for us that I remember as the best snack EVER. Oh, and they had BASEMENTS! So cool to a California kid.
In preparation for my grandpa’s 90th birthday two years ago, I scanned in a whole bunch of old photographs from our collective family stashes. It really hit home that I was missing out on seeing Lismore. So many photos were of this huge, loving family. BIG bbqs together. Fishing for bullheads. Warm summer nights spent outside. (and some snow photos…but let’s be honest…San Diego people don’t go to Minnesota much in the winter, it works the other direction) Kids on tractors. Pigs…lots of pigs. How had I let it go so long without visiting? I was really worried that if I went back now, nobody would even know me anymore. Well, my second cousin Kevin and his girlfriend Yig came out for my grandpa’s 90th birthday. It was so much fun talking to them. So when Kevin announced they were engaged at the beginning of this year…
I totally invited myself to his wedding. Really. Call the polite police…I broke the rules. I was not going to miss this.
Lucky, Kevin and Yig said yes. Not just to me, but about 375 other people including some of my immediate family (like grandparents, parents, and three sets of aunts and uncles went!) The population of Lismore was 227 people, according to the 2010 census. So yeah…we overtook that town! Some of the adventurous guests stayed in camping tents in the town park (mayor said it was ok, as there are no hotels or stoplights in Lismore). There was a mini-reunion at the town bar the night before. And an open invitation, no RSVP needed, to a brunch the next morning. A pig was roasted (and oh my, it was delicious). Family traditions were upheld, Kevin got a bowling ball chained to his ankle during the reception. My grandparents and Uncle John took me on a driving tour through Nobles County. I saw some amazing country. I saw the houses my grandparents grew up in.
I got hugs. From family. Family that embraced me just as if I’d visited every year since I was six years old. I am so lucky.
First some photos from around Nobles County and Lismore.
Before getting dressed for the wedding, we went to check on the pig roast that was to be part of the dinner that night.
Then, back to the house for some wedding preparations!
When we were just about to go to the church, a friend of Kevin and Yig’s did a fly over for a quick aerial photo of the family and reception tent.
Then it was on to Saint Anthony’s Church, built in 1911. You can see two things of Lismore as you are approaching the town amongst all the flat lands full of corn stalks. Lismore’s water tower and the two steeples of St. Anthony’s Church.
And, not to stereotype…but “small town” wedding vibe as Kevin personally greeted the guests as they came into the church. Tugs at my heart strings so much that I can’t narrow these down any further. Love all the pics of him greeting guests and family.
And then the ceremony began…church was packed with people.