The Wedding Weekend And Marrying Into A Huge Catholic Family

This past weekend, we travelled to the great state of Minnesota for JP’s youngest sister’s wedding. There was a lot to look forward to, and the weekend didn’t disappoint.

The Beaming Bride

First, the Sacrament of Marriage. Four of the five of us were able to stand up in the wedding. And, if I may, Lissie and Auggie made a pretty stinking cute pair as flower girl and ring bearer.

And the wedding itself… Marriage is such a beautiful Sacrament. Where two people make the decision to lay down their life for the other, each and every day until death do they part. The homily for Kristy and Joe’s wedding was about the sacraficial nature of marriage, and how it mirrors the sacraficial nature of Christ’s relationship with the Church. Marriage is serious business, and it is so beautiful to be a part of weddings where the Sacrament is appropriately understood.


It is also always a joy to talk to Fr. Nick Nelson, JP’s cousin, who is also a Priest and officiated the ceremony of this and several other family weddings.

The weather was Heaven weather. Like, exactly the temperature you would imagine Heaven would have, if there are temperatures there. Literally perfect. And the reception was held on site at the family winery, Sovereign Estate Wine. Check them out if you are in the Twin Cities area.

There were horse drawn carriage rides, a bonfire, a live band, and a send-off at the end of the evening marked by lanterns floating into the night sky. A beautiful celebration.

The 26th of this month also marks JP and my ten year anniversary as a married couple. We see a lot of ourselves in Kristy and Joe (hope that’s a good thing guys). 🙂


Interestingly, way back then, looong before I desired to become Catholic, we had a Catholic wedding. It was liturgy only, but I didn’t really have a home church at that point, and much of our relationship took place in and around JP’s college, St. Norbert in De Pere, Wisconsin. So we got married there.

Marrying into JP’s huge, super Catholic family was kind of overwhelming at first. I have one brother, and five cousins total.

JP has, siblings and stepsiblings combined, eight brothers and sisters (many of whom are now married, and starting to have children of their own!). And it would take me a while to count all his cousins. But, suffice it to say when the whole family gets together, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins, it’s more than a full house.

And when I met everyone, I remember being weirded out by how Catholic they all were, with their weird Catholic prayers, and their seeming lack of understanding of how strange their Catholic-ness appeared to me. Now I totally laugh about it, but going from pretty low exposure to Catholicism, to getting engaged to a Savaryn… well, culture shock might be putting it lightly. I’m sure, looking back, that the way I practiced my faith was just as foreign to some of them as Catholicism was to me.

Over time, the authenticity of the faith of the family helped me to appreciate it more, and as I got to know the people behind the strong opinions on Truth and the Hail Mary’s, it all became less bizzare. And, eventually, resulted in my openness to give the Catholic Church a second look.

Confirmation Buddies!

And my new brother-in-law, who happens to be my Confirmation buddy, has taken on this huge Catholic Family like a champ.

And the only downside to the enormity of this family I have had the pleasure to join, is we would need several days probably to catch up with everyone appropriately. There’s just so many of us!

Let the Celebration Continue!

Over the course of this particular weekend, the Savaryn family covered 5 of the 7 Sacraments. Amongst us all we had Marriage, Confession, Anointing of the Sick for JP’s dear Oma, The Eucharist and yes, a Baptism!

Welcome to The Church, Baby Elliott!

All in all, it was an honor to stand up for Kristy and Joe’s wedding. And as JP and I look forward to celebrating our 10 year anniversary on the 26th of this month, it was a wonderful reminder of the blessing of the Sacrament of Marriage, as well as the blessing of marrying into a Huge, Super Catholic Family.


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