John and Jeannie Stromgren's Wedding

(And related festivities ;-)

NEW!!! The wedding announcement from the Portsmouth Herald. (Only six months later ;-)

So the short version of the story is that back in September of 1999, it occurred to Teddy that her new friend John and her old friend Jeannie might get along. She gave John Jeannie's email address and he wrote to her. And she wrote back. Repeatedly. Around Thanksgiving, John flew to New Hampshire (from his home in Seattle) and they met and spoke to each other for the first time. John and his daughter Ann moved to New Hampshire in late June. The wedding was July 29th, 2000. Theirs is truly an epistolary romance for the computer age.

John, having been a church musician for longer than he's been a UNIX geek, assembled a full concert of music for the wedding and enlisted all of his musical friends and family to take part. That included my sister-in-law Rachel, so the three of us (Rachel, Becky, and me) flew out for the wedding.

Disclaimer: I got a new digital camera hours before we got on the plane for New Hampshire. I read the documentation on the plane. These are the first pictures I took with it, and so they're not as polished as they might have been if I'd had more experience. I'll have to come up with a different excuse for the next batch ;-)

Click on the thumbnails below to get a bigger view with more description. Note that the bigger views are about 200k each so they take a little while to load.

With so much music involved, there were rehearsals scheduled Friday and Saturday before the wedding. The wedding was performed at the church John and Jeannie and Ann attend, Saint John's Episcopal in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The place is rich in history. The first building on the site was constructed in 1763 or thereabouts. The steeple bell was reforged by Paul Revere after it was damaged by fire. George Washington is known to have worshipped there, and the chair he sat in might still be there. (One of the two possible chairs to have supported the presidential posterior was destroyed by fire, the other is still in use.)

St. John's is also home to the oldest working pipe organ in the United States.

the church the organ

Teddy got recruited to wrap the gifts for the wedding party (including her own). The choir rehearsed. Becky and Ann hung out outside the choir loft.

teddy gets recruited choir rehearsal groupies

While the rehearsal was going on I went out and took a couple of pictures of the area.

street scene sailboat

Just as the wedding was about to start, a thunderstorm hit and it got real dark and real noisy and real wet. The lighting wasn't real conducive to pictures and I don't use flash during weddings. I did get a shot of Kate reading the prayers, and one (with flash) of the happy couple making their escape.

kate reads wife and husband

The rain just kept coming down, but it didn't stop the bagpiper from sending everyone off with a fine Scottish flavor (Jeannie was a MacDonald). But the bride and groom had snuck up to the choir loft to schmooze with the musicians. See the big version of that one to see the bubbles that were being handed out downstairs.

damp piper piping schmoozing with the bubbles

The wedding party was subjected to lots of picture taking and body manipulation by the court photographer. I happily mooched off his poses. Jeannie's got the evil red eyes in these from my flash. Oops.

mr. and mrs. kissing John's parents John and Jeannie's parents Wedding Party

The reception was in the back yard of one of Jeannie's neighbors under a big tent (good idea!). John carried Jeannie from the car to the tent. Teddy gave a speech (Best Man's perogative). The cake was cut. Food was eaten (no pictures of that, I was busy eating. Yum.). Dancing happened.

the carrying of the bride Teddy proposes a toast Ann Stromgren Best Man Dances with Groom! Katherine and Dorothy cake

As the party went on, the Washington contingent, still recovering from botched flights and time changes retired across the street to Jeannie's house where we played host to a stream of tour groups. We were also privileged to witness the Groom's brother Steven presenting his gift to the couple (a lovely table runner sewn by his own hand). When everyone finally left we also witnessed Ann's refusal to have any more pictures taken. Ever.

Steven's gift Jeannie accepts Ann refuses

The Washington contingent was charged with seeing the bride's dress to the dry cleaners (a pretty thoroughly grass-stained hem the most obvious need). Jeannie insisted that the dry cleaner was open on Sunday, so we planned to drop the dress off on our way out of town for an overnight trip to Maine. None of us was surprised when we found the cleaner closed. So we decided to take the dress with us as a sort of mascot for our trip. A visit to the Ogunquit Museum of American Art provided a unique opportunity to photograph some art in strange clothing.

before after Rachel pretends not to know us another well-dressed statue

On our way back from Maine we stopped at the beach and did all of the usual beach things like wading in the water, wiggling our toes in the sand, building castles, and reading Harry Potter.

wading wiggling castle constructing reading Harry Potter

There are a few other pictures that aren't linked from this page. You can browse them (if you're that bored) here.

All photos and text copyright &cpyrt; 2000 by Jeff Youngstrom