This is a family group photo taken on our wedding day and is possibly the only photo in existence with my DH, myself, and each of our siblings. Included are also our parents, several aunts and an uncle, several cousins, and a friend. DH is the eldest child in his family with 3 younger sisters. I am the second to youngest in my family with 3 sisters and two brothers. DH was the first child in his family to marry, and I was the last child in my family to marry. Needless to say, our siblings were quite a big part of our courtship.
My younger sister and I lived together in the same apartment for most of the summer of 1981 just after DH and I first met and started dating. She was engaged to be married, attending her very first semester of college classes, and planning her wedding. We did do things all together once or twice, but she spent a lot of time with her fiance' that summer. One of my brothers and his wife lived in their own apartment nearby as my brother was also attending school. Their first little girl was born that summer, and DH and I volunteered to babysit my new little niece a time or two. I believe that DH was even called upon to babysit on other occasions after I left for my missionary service. I believe that my other three siblings were living out of state that summer, but my family did keep in touch with DH while I was gone and invited him to various family functions. After I returned home, the strong suggestion of my dear sister-in-law, we chose our wedding date based on when all of my siblings were planning to be home for a visit, August 11, 1983.
DH's sisters also played an important part in our courtship. One Friday evening in late July 1981, DH and I drove to his parents home where his sisters had prepared a fancy gourmet dinner for us, served up in a romantic setting on his mother's best china dishes. We spent several pleasant evenings with them playing board games or on the trampoline in the backyard. DH's sisters also played a big part in our wedding planning, helping their mother with both a family dinner after the ceremony and a very fabulous open house held in our honor in their own backyard several weeks after our actual wedding day.
All of our siblings still play an important part in our lives, welcoming us into their homes often and to celebrate special occasions or to enjoy each other's company.