The Greenhouse Reception

2017-01-14-joe-hannah1The party reception for Joseph and Hannah was held in a greenhouse on the Orchid Farm property. The greenhouse was transformed with many Turkish touches. Joseph and Hannah became interested in each other during Joe’s second semester in Istanbul as a leader and Hannah’s first semester in Istanbul as a student. I’m adding the long description of the course from Westmont College just to give you context into why Joe and Hannah embraced these Turkish touches on their marriage. (warning…photo overload in this post!)

During this semester you will live in Istanbul, aka Constantinople, a city that is of the past and of the future, of grace and grit, of culture and politics, of faith and skepticism. It is Eastern and Western, a modern megalopolis of 20 million people and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is both cultural capital of a developing Asian country and was chosen as Europe’s “city of culture” in 2010. Istanbul’s skyline is punctuated by medieval mosques and minarets while swish modern cafes and bars dominate its street life.

You will be encouraged to experience another culture from the inside, studying Turkish, navigating your way around the city and interacting with Turks on a daily basis. You will develop relationships with your neighbors and Turkish university students while also engaging with the city’s various minority and refugee communities.You will for a season become an urban person, and learn to be comfortable negotiating a foreign metropolitan landscape.

You will also experience what it means to live in community in a new way. Removed from familiar social, relational and religious support systems, all the while being confronted with some of the most challenging issues facing the world today, you will need to rely on each other.

2017-01-14-joe-hannahThere was assigned seating with place cards tied to a stalk of rosemary and sections of the long tables were assigned names of cities from around the United States and the World. You found your name under a city on the large board outside the greenhouse and then traveled about the tables to find your city and then find your name on the place card. We sat in the Seattle area next to Nuevo and Jerusalem. The head table and Joseph and Hannah’s spot was draped with a Turkish cloth below.

joe-hannah-272The most traditional, and most often consumed beverage in Turkey, Çay (black tea) is a staple upon which the Turkish societal system functions.

These traditional Turkish tea cups and saucers were chosen by Joe and Hannah for the wedding guests to enjoy tea in and then to take  home as a wedding favor. The card in the glass explained, “In Turkey, Çay (tea) is offered when entering a home, after a meal, and over conversations. We wanted to extend this symbol of hospitality to you as you share in our celebration!”



joe-hannah-338Joseph and Hannah’s reception and wedding came about with many helping hands working together and now it was time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening with good food, very good encouragement and glorious acknowledgement on what God has done for them and all of us.

joe-hannah-010My brother Steve, nephew Levi, and brother Leonard.

joe-hannah-279Kelly (mother of the groom) and our son Dan.

joe-hannah-275My dear old pop managed to walk the quarter mile from the wedding ceremony to the reception area with his cane and we sat him down at his spot at the head of the table with a large mason jar of lemonade. What a trooper he was this day.

joe-hannah-277Dear and my pop having good conversation.

joe-hannah-285Our niece Michelle with Jamie and Dan. (Dan is our second born son and Jamie is our DIL)

joe-hannah-283Our niece Debbee with Laura and Josh (Laura is our DIL and Josh is our first born son)

joe-hannah-286My brother (the father of the groom) and our niece Kristin.

joe-hannah-288Kelly, my brother Leonard and my sister Lana.

16114405_10211701285233576_5229568653594931705_nObligatory selfie of the cousins! (not my photo I nabbed it) Several of the photos following were taken by others.

15965559_10211701285353579_3120953096681907957_nNiece Melissa, Michelle and our DIL Laura.

joe-hannah-294My sisters Kathy and Vera with my dear old Pop.




15977618_10212017894588540_3274640038495641845_nFamily, upper right wacky sister with nieces shot, lower left is our Katie and Andrew, lower right niece Hope and grand niece Avery.


joe-hannah-358This Magnolia tree was such a beautiful backdrop for the celebration.



16105611_10212017895668567_7573609330751825348_nMy dear old Pop and his descendants. The sisters are holding our tea glasses and saucers.



joe-hannah-339My siblings with our Pop.

joe-hannah-353Dzeda, my pop, with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.


16105856_10211701285713588_7074594332899156528_nPop saying his goodbyes to the bride, his newest granddaughter.

16106022_10211701286513608_2480623135349194194_nThe bride, groom with Josh and Laura.

joe-hannah-334The cake was gluten free and so delicious. After cake we took our leave and the party continued into the night. There were other desserts made by friends for the party, too. This next photo was taken by Joseph’s cousin Kyle Nessen who is an amazing photographer. It was a sparkling send off for the newlyweds!

15977708_10154924007857329_8473684698993926088_nMay this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

And I am our of words to describe what a glorious day this was from the weather to the location, the food, the dancing and all the beautiful thought out details. May God bless you both with many good years on this earth Joseph and Hannah!


The Wedding of Joseph and Hannah


By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm is located in Goleta just north of Santa Barbara. It is a venue that can be rented for many different types of gatherings and it turned out perfect for a wedding.


Our nephew Joseph married Hannah last Saturday the 14th of January. Joseph is the youngest of four brothers. My brother Steve and SIL Kelly are his parents.


The majority of the guests rode a shuttle bus to the venue from a nearby elementary school. The walk to the wedding ceremony site was about a quarter mile from the reception area. After several days of rain and clouds in southern California Saturday’s weather was clear and warm with beautiful blue skies.


Our Washington Family really enjoyed soaking up the sunshine since we left Seattle in 20 degree weather. Dan and Jamie’s home in eastern Washington varied from 8 below to 15 degrees before they flew south.


Our dear old pop was so happy he could manage the trip and the time spent at the wedding. He got a special ride to the ceremony stage.



Before the Processional there was a reading of “The Marriage” by Rumi.

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.


The procession began with Joseph walking to his parents and on to the platform.



Now the attendants (all 28 of them) two by two made their way to the platform.


Joe’s three brothers and their wives were part of the wedding party. Levi and Timothy with their wives in the upper photos and Caleb in the lower right photo. Caleb’s wife is in the lower left photo. Caleb was one of the best men so he is walking with one of the maid’s of honor. Two of Hannah’s sisters shared the maid of honor roll. Caleb and Joe’s best friend growing up shared the Best Man role.


It was now time for the cutest flower girl there ever was! Eleanor is Joe’s first niece and belongs to Tim and Jessica. She is our grandniece.


Here Comes the Bride! Hannah was escorted by her mother and father. When Hannah and Joe were hand in hand the families declared their support and the Officient asked everyone to refrain from taking photos. The Officient, Jim Wright led a semester in Istanbul from Westmont college that Joe was a part of as a student first and later as a leader.  I’ll write more about that in my post about the reception. A Prayer began the ceremony, O Come, Oh Come Emmanuel and For the Beauty of the Earth were the unique songs that were sung and scripture readings from Numbers 13. That’s not a typo for those of you who are familiar with the book of Numbers in the Old Testament. The personal Homily, vows, and exchanging of rings and declaration of marriage wrapped things up!


Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bagdanov were introduced and the recessional signaled the time I could turn my camera on again.


My brother’s family.


Dzeda Bagdanov with Joe and Hannah.

16142708_10155070822573029_160087478280951245_nI didn’t take this photo and I’m not sure who to give credit to but it is a gorgeous shot!

I’ll be sharing the reception photos soon and all the unique details that Joseph and Hannah chose and why.

Congratulations Joseph and Hannah! Your wedding was a joy to attend and one that will not be forgotten!

Dear is home now and I’m still in California for another week. I’m staying with my sister Vera. She’s getting a new internet company on Friday with speedier connections so it should be easier for me to post. This post has taken me a very long time. Besides the beautiful wedding that will take another post or two my nieces had a baby shower for Jamie on Sunday which was so much fun. Our Addy was showered with love and gifts and delicious food. I have the beach house and beach time to share and now I’m getting in sister time and more time with my dear old pop. On Monday I’ll be attending a memorial service for a friend’s mother from the Russian Baptist church we were part of in the 60’s and 70’s. Dear says it’s raining in the Seattle area.