Where do I even start? Chelsy and John’s wedding day was perfect in every way! I (Allison) don’t think I can adequately describe it in mere words. This day was such a culmination of years of prayers and hope. John and Chelsy were faithful, living their single years with intention, waiting tirelessly when they were mocked for being “too picky”, joyfully cheering on friends who got married, knowing that God was capable of writing a love story beyond what they could dream. December 30th, they pledged themselves to each other in a beautiful covenant of love. It was a day in which a bit of heaven came to earth. Join me as I relieve John and Chelsy’s Wedding Day.
“A symbol of eternal love, the humble wedding ring has been about for years…..an emblem of love through time, a symbol of devotion and an agreement between two parties to love and cherish one another for the rest of their days. Wedding rings are, of course, circular in shape….a circle has no beginning or end and is therefore a symbol of infinity.  It is endless, eternal, just the way love should be.” -PortfolioOfFineDiamonds.com
Chelsy has always been classy, her tastes elegant yet simple. Her choices of details and colors on this day matched that style perfectly.
“…..prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” -Revelation 21:2
I love the symbolism in weddings. Even the early morning getting ready, the painstaking attention to every detail of herself as Chelsy anticipated seeing her beloved…….so much more we as Christ’s church should be consumed with preparing ourselves for His coming.
…..every detail had to be perfect……
….and finally she was ready!
Chelsy and John planned a first look with just their photographer. The setting was perfect.
“….whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.” Ruth 1:16
“If I could have anyone in the world, it would still be you.”
We couldn’t be happier with John as Chelsy’s husband! He is absolutely perfect for her, and such a strong yet sensitive man. He loves and cares for her very, very well. And John fits SO good with our family! From the beginning, we have all loved him. When Chelsy and John were getting to know each other, John spent many weekends at our house, and we all looked forward to having him around. We couldn’t have been more thrilled when he officially joined the family!
Our beautiful Chelsy.
The dashing groomsmen: John chose his brothers, brothers-to-be, and best friend.
Since we were little girls, Chels told me I would be her maid of honor. The reality was way better than our little girl plans! Being her right hand lady, right by her side for her wedding day, was incredible!
This photo of Chelsy and Elizabeth is so beautiful!
Chelsy asked her sisters, sister-to-be, childhood best friend/cousin, and our pastor’s wife (who she is very close friends with) to be her bridesmaids.
The entire Bridal Party.
The whole Bontrager Family. We’ve grown by six in the past year (counting the two babies on the way!).  
All the Bontrager girls (left to right): Carolina (married to Carson), Rebecca, Cassidy (married to Joshua), Chelsy, Elizabeth, Allison, and Bryn (married to Mitchell)
Chelsy with her Brothers.
John, Chelsy, Mother, and Father
mother and daughter
Chelsy has a very special relationship with Grandma Bontrager. 
Chelsy and John planned for some of the bridal party to help with ushering/greeting the wedding guests. 
John gave a sweet welcome to all the guests. His (and Chelsy’s) heart for all the guests to feel loved and special was evident from the moment the ceremony started.
John walking Mother in.
These little guys (John’s nephews) rang bells to begin the bridal procession.
The girls (John’s nieces) sprinkled flower petals.
John’s face says it all! Total anticipation, complete joy……….his bride was coming!
Entrance of the bride…….
…..on her father’s arm. It was a perfect moment.
a few tears mixed with utter happiness.
Giving their firstborn away.
Chelsy and John started the ceremony by leading in worship. It was beautiful.
Dad shared during the ceremony.
So many family and friends came to celebrate with us.
John and Chelsy shared their gratitude for their parents’ investment in their lives.
The parents prayed over the couple.
I will let Chelsy tell the full drone story (because she is a much better storyteller than me)…..but suffice to say it was hilarious! You’ll have to watch her blog for the whole scoop! I’m really glad my sis married into a family with some really quality humor.:)  Are you curious yet?
And then the vows……oh my! Chels made made her wedding ceremony memorable and hilarious by FORGETTING her vows! Again, I am sure she will be telling the whole story, but it was certainly another unforgettable moment when the pastor said, “And now you may say your vows to John” and she gasped, “I don’t have them!”
After a hurried run (from which we weren’t sure they would return!) to retrieve the vows, they were back!
This picture is classic Chelsy + John- free spirited, enthusiastic, and quick to laugh!
“Together is a beautiful place to be.”
Signing the marriage license……it was getting real!
While John and Chelsy prayed together….
….we sang “Battle Hymn of Love.
First Kiss!!!!!!
And they’re married!!!!! Our pastor announced the “New Mr. and Mrs. John Maxwell” amidst loud cheering and applause!
And he carried her out!
Allison + Jesse (maid of honor and best man)
Carson + Carolina
Mitchell + Bryn
Joshua + Cassidy
Elizabeth + Denver + Rebecca
Sarah + Taylor
Mary + Hudson + Anna
Chelsy and John had couple portraits taken at a few different locations, including our friend’s beautiful Victorian home in Washington.
“A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other.”
Chelsy prayed for snow on her wedding day, and snow it did! The Winter Wonderland was all she had dreamed of and more.
So many friends helped make the reception happen. It was a big, beautiful party- just what John and Chels wanted.
The coffee bar was amazing!
The menu was fun, simple, and filling.
We were overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of countless people who stepped in to serve and make the day happen! To all of you reading this, THANKS! We were humbled and blessed by your kindness.
Dessert: Cheesecake and Cupcakes
Mocha Cheesecake (Chelsy’s Favorite)
Vanilla Berry Cheesecake
Salted Caramel Cheesecake (John’s favorite)
The bride and groom made their entrance shortly after the reception commenced.
The open mic time was sweet, with special words from various members of the bridal party, family, and friends.
     It was so special to have many out of state family + friends make the effort to be at the wedding. 
Cake Cutting! (with white cake for John and chocolate cake for Chelsy:)
This picture captures John and Chelsy so well- they are all about relationships. People mean more than anything to them, and they stayed at their reception for hours to talk with their guests. 
And they’re off!!!!
Chelsy and John came back about 10 minutes after their “official” departure to say a private goodbye to their families.
The last goodbyes were incredibly special, and a bit emotional. We all felt so loved that Chelsy and John wanted to tell each of us goodbye. 
And there you have it! Chelsy and John’s wedding day. The first day of a lifetime together! 
“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” -Matthew 19:6

ps. For more pictures from the wedding day, along with Chelsy’s perspective + stories, visit Chelsy’s Blog. You can also find links for the bridal party outfits here.


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  1. Thanks so much for the pictures!! We didn't get to watch all of the wedding live stream, but what we did see was God-honoring, as were all the other weddings! That was super sweet of John and Chelsy to come back and tell the family goodbye! I love that idea.

  2. Absolutely stunning photos! The touching goodbyes to siblings reminded me so of leaving my family back in IA also after I married! May God bless you in your new lives! Enjoyed watching your family blog over the past several years; especially the farming end of it.

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