How one family navigated three unions in 19 months
By Mariah Kline
Photo by Lydia Ruth Photography
Beth Denham is a professional event coordinator and mother of four. Between 2017 and 2019, her three oldest children tied the knot. Her son Robbie married Laura Esselman in September 2017, her daughter Rachel married Alex Mayo in December 2018 and her daughter Ellen married Jon Langley in April 2019.
“My husband and I felt like we were in heaven sitting there watching three of our four children marry the loves of their lives,” Beth said. “What more can a parent ask for?”
Most mothers of the bride(s) and groom would panic at the thought of pulling off a marathon of weddings, but Beth’s background in event planning prepared her for the challenge.
“I do fundraising and special events for a living, so I have always thrived on being busy and multi-tasking,” she said. “My friends tease me and say I have more than 24 hours in my day!”
For daughter Rachel, the wedding marathon was chaotic, but she enjoyed being able to share the planning experience with her family.
“There was definitely no free time to say the least,” she explained. “But it was really nice to bounce off ideas with my sister-in-law and sister of the do’s and don’ts and learn from one another. Each of our weddings were so different – all different seasons, color schemes and details.”
In addition to helping Rachel plan, Beth was able to share a token from her own wedding with her daughter.
“My mom made my wedding veil that I wore 32 years ago, and Rachel wore a piece of it at her wedding ceremony,” she said. “That meant a lot to me. Since Rachel always wanted a winter wedding, I collected fur coats from family and friends for all the bridesmaids and they looked beautiful in the outdoor photos.”
Looking back, Beth says the chaos was absolutely worth the time and effort.
“Having three children get married in 19 months was crazy, but we felt so blessed to celebrate these new beginnings with our children and their new loves,” she said. “We have so many family and friends who complimented us on how beautiful each of the weddings were with so many details that made each one special and truly stand out.”
As for the advice she’d give to other parents, Beth says communication is key.
“I would advise to set a budget so everyone knows who is responsible for what,” she said. “That way there are hopefully no or few surprises. Keep good records and files, and work with vendors that you feel comfortable with. Always be prepared for the unexpected, and don’t panic. Mistakes will happen and things will get out of sorts – it is inevitable!
“The biggest lesson or take away for me was to enjoy every single minute,” she added. “Be in the moment. It will fly by, and you will regret being distracted by silly or unnecessary details that in the end do not matter and no one will remember.”
Though the wedding spree is finished, Beth feels incredibly grateful for the experience and the opportunity to look back on each of the days.
“Now that all three weddings are over, I find myself looking at all the photos and videos constantly,” she said. “Honestly, I would do it all over again if we could.” V