9.22.2017

That Weekend We Had Three Weddings

We know you've all been waiting for pictures + updates from the weddings! Many of you were able to join us via livestream and we are so grateful for y'all taking the time out of your lives to share in those special days with our family. 
The official posts with professional pictures are coming in the next few weeks, as we get the pictures from the photographers.
For now, here are a few favorites from our phones.
I walked through the living room late morning, the day of the double wedding, and saw this "meeting of the minds", happening. Fathers, grooms, and the legendary Aunt Pandy, who may be one of the worlds greatest wedding planners ever. She made that day run like clockwork!
One of my favorite moments of the "Double Day", when our two families gathered to sing one of our mutual favorite hymns, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness". Last minute, and after approx 1001 different opinions had been given at the rehearsal, we opted to sing to all 800+ guests accapella and without amplification. Mic-ing can be difficult with that many different voices + sizes! From the livestream reports, everyone could still hear! God blessed abundantly and it was a beautiful moment for our families to be able to truly "give back to the Lord" in praise + worship for what He had done.
One of the brides with two wild little indian brothers, enjoying a very happy moment together.
A very informal open mic time was facilitated by the brotherhood, at the end. Such a fun time. =)
Happy times!
The groomsmen took advantage of extra time while the bridesmaids/brides were being photographed, and took a few of their own pictures. This one is one of my absolute favorites from the day.
Little ladies just don't come in cuter packages then these two. =)
Carson's double tractor idea for the getaway vehicles was so so cool! What fun.
The two tractors roared out with much smoke + lights + honking + pizazz. =)
Day two, Saturday, ready to go at it again! Someone snapped this picture in the church auditorium, the morning of the wedding---father of the groom and father of the bride, asking God's blessing on the coming day. 
Grandest of sister parties. =)
Giving that getaway car some love and special attention!
Smiling big! 
One of the things we siblings loved about the weddings was the opportunities to greet guests as they came for the weddings. You can see by Denver's smile in the below photo, that he was having the time of his life!
And then there was the story of the jeans. Somehow on Saturday morning we all managed to be up early and going a million different directions. With lots of extended family in town, those of us at home were all trying to squeeze in breakfast/coffee/chats with different relatives, which resulted in a rather chaotic arrival of all parties to the church. (We will not discuss the parties that did NOT arrive on time OR the parties that somehow landed in the ditch on their way. No, we won't discuss those things-we will blame it on having so many weddings all at once. Or on lack of sleep. Or even possibly on our last name. =)) And somehow, when yours truly forgot to bring Hudson's suit and called another certain anonymous sibling to ask them to bring it, that sibling thought when I said "bring the suit" that I literally meant "bring the suit coat". Or something.
The pants were left in the closet, for some reason.
Thankfully mother came to the rescue and brought the pants when she came.  
And the wedding album collection from the photographer has most of the groomsmen pictures featuring Hudson in the above ensemble-jeans and suit coat, looking slightly unusual. =) 
Makes for a good story!
Mitchell + Bryn's departure...when he swept her off her feet and kissed her and helped her in the car. Cue the happy tears!

Anyway! Hope you enjoyed those few candid photos from the two weddings, and we can't wait to share with you the "real" ones in the coming weeks!

9.20.2017

Meet Mitchell!

Meet Mitchell Joe, the second born in the Bontrager Family! Mitchell's latest and greatest thing going is that he has a WIFE, which he tells us is the greatest thing ever. =) He is doing quite well in his new role as married man and we sure love seeing him enjoying this new stage of life.

Mitchell is the peacemaker, the listener, and the level-headed older one of the family. Whenever we need someone to listen to a problem, give advice, or give clarity + peace to an argument, Mitch is the man. We're still not quite sure how we are going to manage without him! He quit touring with the family band in the spring, so we had the summer on tour to learn to adjust a little to him not being there. His even-keel personality and desire to keep the peace and have everyone happy, was a much-needed balancing effect in our big rowdy bunch. He is the perfect brother for the eldest son position, and he has given so much good counsel and advice to his siblings over the years. He is very social and outgoing and wherever there is a party, he loves being right in the middle, talking to people and joining right in 100%. He is one of our most athletic family members and when he was little, his dream jobs were to be either a sports announcer or a football player in the NFL. He always has loved kids, and dreamed of having a big family, and so when mom would ask him, "how will that plan work out if you end up in the NFL?" Mitchell would always respond that he planned to take his wife and ten kids with him to his games. His dreams have adapted a bit over the years, for sure! It wouldn't surprise me a bit though if he ended up starting his own little sports league someday with his own kids and nieces/nephews.

Mitchell + his wife Bryn are the brand-new managers at the Dutch Country Inn. When the position became available earlier this year, they decided to take it after they were married. They live in a sweet little apartment adjacent to the hotel. They are just several days in with this position and are already doing a fabulous job. Mitchell also still owns (along with Carson + our father) a custom manure hauling business, and he + Bryn will be traveling with that this fall. They also enjoy being involved with music and the kids ministry at our church. Mitchell loves every opportunity to mentor and encourage other young people to live for Jesus. God has blessed him with a lovely wife and we can't wait to see what God is going to do with the two of them as they are beginning their lives together!

9.08.2017

After the Weddings...

It was, truly, the most beautiful weekend I have ever experienced in my entire life. Such an abundance of answer prayers, happy tears, and special moments. I can't even tell you what an amazing time it was for our family.

There are many pictures + reflections to be shared, in the upcoming days! But for now we are returning/sorting the last remnants of the happy days, cleaning house, canning garden produce, and packing/preparing sessions for our family camp which starts this Sunday.

The boys and their wives (WIVES!!) are scattered throughout Colorado, Wisconsin, + Nova Scotia, respectively, and, we assume, are having the time of their lives. =) We miss them but couldn't possibly be happier!

GOD IS SO GOOD!!

9.02.2017

Wedding Livestream Again Today!

And here we go again! What fun to get to do this whole wedding business thing AGAIN! =)

So Mitchell + Bryn's wedding is today, and it will be live streamed as well! The wedding begins at 2:00pm and the livestream will start at 1:50pm. (approx) Click this link to watch! (same format as yesterday's streaming)

Can't wait to have y'all join us again! Remember to follow us on instagram @bontragerfamilysingers for our instagram stories throughout the day!

9.01.2017

LIVESTREAMING TODAY!!

Today is THE DAY!! 
We've got just under two hours left until this big double wedding is gonna happen!

Here's the lowdown on the livestream! We are streaming on YouTube and the link will "go live" at 4pm today. The wedding starts at 4:18pm. To watch, all you need to do is click this link here. It will take you straight to our YouTube channel. At 4:18pm, you will need to refresh your link, and the live streaming video will pop up. 
Note: Please bear with us as we've never done this before; we are praying it works! =)

Also, remember we have our instagram stories running today as well! Head on over there and catch a few sneak peak previews! @bontragerfamilysingers

We'd love your comments and participation on the streaming as you watch! There is SURE to be laughter, tears, smiles, and probably a blooper or two. Or fifty. =) Enjoy! 

May JESUS CHRIST receive all the honor and glory!

8.31.2017

Tonight's Rehearsal + Wedding Details + Livestream Link!

Today was a full day. Set up was in full swing for BOTH weddings, so we had people at church working on Mitchell + Bryn's wedding AND crews at home setting up for the double! Lots and lots of action. If you follow us on instagram then you got a little snapshot of the day from our instagram stories. (if you want to get "insider info" and morning-of details tomorrow + Saturday, head on over and follow us @bontragerfamilysingers to watch our stories)
Such a fun rehearsal tonight! Totally different from the double rehearsal---indoors vs outdoors alone makes a huge difference! But there were still lots of details to figure out and work through, as happens with any rehearsal. The bridal party is also a big one (made up of siblings + friends) and we had a grand time together! I think we are all agreed that the cutest part is Rebecca (junior bridesmaid) walking down the aisle pulling wagon that is carrying Logan (Bryn's nephew). SO ADORABLE! Sadly I hardly got any pictures and this post needs to be short and sweet in order to get to bed soon and catch a few hours before the big day tomorrow! But these are a few pictures!
We made the rehearsal dinner---an italian feast of lasagna, garlic bread, green beans, salad, and cheesecakes.
 Delicious!
The church sign says this and it is definitely getting real now!!

In other news. We are so honored that hundreds of friends and family from out-of-state AND out-of-country are taking time out of their lives to travel hundreds of miles to join our family this weekend as we celebrate the beginnings of three new families! Many of you will be here for both wedding days, and many of you are planning to stay the weekend. We wanted to give you a little "visitors guide" to our area, in the chance that you want something to do Saturday morning, in between the weddings, or if you wish to stay over Sunday. Our church is Marion Avenue Baptist Church and is located at 215 S Marion Avenue, Washington, IA. (This is the same church that will host Mitchell and Bryn's wedding on Saturday) Sunday morning fellowship classes are at 10am and the main service starts at 11am. All are welcome + invited to join us! Evening service is at 6pm

This is Iowa, but in spite of being known for hogs + cornfields, there is lots to do! Kalona, our town, is a little tourist community in between Iowa City/Coralville, and Washington. There is lots of fun shopping + Amish stores/bakery located in Kalona, as well as a number of different restaurants. This wkend is a big weekend for our area because Saturday is the opening day of football season, and the home game is that day in Iowa City. (Hence the full hotels everywhere!!) For those of you staying in Iowa City/Coralville, we would recommend not driving around in that area much Saturday morning before 11am. (when the game starts) Town will be crazy before then!

The livestream link for the weddings will be available tomorrow @ 2pm. Please return here to the blog tomorrow afternoon at that time (or a few minutes later) for the link! For your point of reference, you will also be able to find it by following/visiting our youtube channel.

Reminder that the wedding is at 4:18PM tomorrow, September 1st, and the livestream will be beginning at 4pm!! We hope many of you can follow along!

8.30.2017

Rehearsal for the Double

Last evening was set as the rehearsal for the Bontrager Bowers Double. 
It was quite the evening. I had the thought that maybe we should've live streamed THAT, for amusement of people all over. What a riot it was! Siblings everywhere! Opinions in abundance! =) An amazing wedding coordinator and our dear pastor who worked together so well to keep things flowing, or at least attempting to flow. 
Instructions.
And here we go! 
It is a little more complicated to attempt a rehearsal without the tent and chairs. But those don't arrive until tomorrow, and the lawn needed to be mowed today, so. We did our best!

This whole double wedding business is so unique in every way. It was discovered even more as the rehearsal got underway. 
"Who gives these women to be married to these men?"
No, no , no...that sounds bad! Start over. 
"Who gives this woman to be married to this man and this woman to be married to THIS man?"
Too wordy. Start over.
So finally each couple gets their own little "getting + giving" of the bride with the father of the brides.
Yes, success. =)
Ten brothers and five sisters make up the bridal party. It is perfect. Two guys per girl. 
And just to mix it up and have fun? They put little boys with big girls and little girls with big boys. 
Opposite of what you would think. =) You'll have to watch the livestream to see. =)
Sweetest sight----the brother grooms walking our dear grandmother down the "aisle".
Smiles everywhere. And lots of laughter!
Need to get new steps yet-we don't want anyone wiping out! 
And then, Mexican Fiesta + cheesecakes afterwards!
Carson + Carolina
Joshua + Cassidy

Perfect ending to a beautiful night!

Note: Regarding the livestream-we will be posting that tomorrow night after Mitchell + Bryn's rehearsal. Please check back then to get the links! Also, for daily updates and even sneak peaks the morning of the weddings...follow @bontragerfamilysingers on instagram