I don't remember the first family event he brought her to. It was probably something at the homestead or maybe a bonfire at our house. Now that I think about it, a birthday party for one of the nieces or nephews is probably the best bet.
It humors me to imagine what must have been running through her mind the first time she saw us all assembled together. Sure she knew a couple of us already: she had gone to school with his younger sister, and her family and mine spent separate yet slightly overlapping vacations at the same small location years ago. I know how overwhelming it was when I was introduced to the family for the first time years ago; however, back then the amount of people was about half of what it is now. (To put the years in perspective, he was just finishing the third grade when I first showed up at the house.) Just the number of young children running - and screaming - through the house might have been enough to send her running in the opposite direction. We wouldn't have held it against her. But still, she stayed.
Then there was her introduction to the true competitive spirit of his family. It was a warm summer night, and very late in the evening someone decided it would be a good idea to teach her how to play Euchre. Learning this game is a daunting task for any rookie, but learning while sitting at a table with him and his brother? Forget about it. She was a trooper though (I like to think I really pulled her through that dark time with my supportive nature and encouraging words), and now she's force to be reckoned with.
Early in their courtship she accompanied the family on our first adults-only weekend getaway. Surely this was going to be the true trial for their relationship. It's one thing to put up with him on an ongoing basis, but she was going to be witness to the the full level of crazy his siblings and in-laws could generate over multiple days. And like those of us before her, she only fell more in love with this group of wonderful people.
Three years later, on another family vacation, he finally asked her the question many of us had been waiting for. She, of course, said yes. And tomorrow, on their wedding day, you will be hard pressed to find anyone happier than the seventeen of us as we officially welcome her as part of our own.
Drmmr, you have had some well documented moments of questionable decision making in your lifetime, but when it comes down to picking a wife? Well done, my friend.
And to you, The Bride, we welcome you with open arms and promises of years filled with fun and laughter.
Congratulations to you both!