It started with a burst of laughter and ended with skipping.
And somehow in the midst of funny stories, non-traditional music, and forgotten bouquets, we knew IT was there.
You know, LOVE.
And with so much love flooding the airspace JOY had to follow.
It floated on the sound waves of their laughter. It bounced from the couple to the bridal party, onto the preacher, and then broke into a million tiny shimmering bubbles and covered us all.
The ceremony began as the family was seated,
Continued with the arrival of the preacher and the groom
Then bounced in on Converse clad groomsmen
And bridesmaids who flitted down the sidewalk, pretty in purple and lavender.
Handsome nephews entered in green vests and ties,
followed by the angelic flower girl and the handsome ring bearer who carried a sign proclaiming, “Stay tuned for the kiss!”
Finally everyone was in place.
Suddenly the wedding coordinator nodded at me, and I remembered it was my job to stand, a silent announcement that the bride was soon to appear.
I stood, family and friends stood. The big moment had come.
When Sarah first stepped through the farmhouse door and onto the deck, David’s face grew tender. Then she stopped in her tracks and disappeared back into the house.
“You worried, David?” someone yelled.
He shook his head.
Sarah reappeared waving her forgotten bouquet. The audience roared.
David shrugged, joining in the laughter. “That’s just Sarah.”
All around me people turned, facing backward, cell phones in the air, snapping pictures of the bride’s grand entrance.
I glanced back at David. His laughter sobered as he watched her drawing near. I shouted. “Somebody get a picture of David!!”
And my brother did. In fact, he took what may be my very favorite wedding picture. It’s at least the one that will be forever etched in my heart and memory as it shows how much my new son-in-law loves my girl.
When Jerry and Sarah reached the preacher, the pastor asked, “Who gives this woman to this man?”
My husband replied, “Her mother and I . . . have been giving this a lot of thought.”
Sarah looked at her daddy like, “seriously???”
Jerry made more funny remarks, and soon everyone was laughing again.
Then Jerry launched into this speech about how he could never give his girl away, but that he could welcome David into the family and whole-heartedly support the marriage union the kids were entering in. He talked about how he knew the Grundy parents felt the same. When he hugged his new son, the expression on both of their faces was priceless. There was hardly a dry eye in the place.
There was a lot of that teary thing in this wedding. My tall, strong boys stood sniffling and wiping swollen eyes. It showed most on Stephen due to his light coloring, poor kid.
David and Jerry were falling apart.
I, however, mostly beamed in joy. I mean with the guys all heaps of emotion, someone had to stay strong, right? And honestly, I got no help from David’s sisters or the other bridesmaids who pretty much started crying when the tune of “Come What May” played upon the speakers, and Sarah began her walk. Or they may have started earlier as they entered themselves to the strains of, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
All I want to know is with all this crying why my nephew handed me a package of tissue as the wedding began?
But back to the story.
After David and Jerry hugged, David’s dad, Steve, gave a beautiful invocation, (which didn’t exactly slow the flow of the tears.)
Neither did the sweet hug Sarah and her father-in-law to be shared.
Pastor Whaid said, “The crying has started way too early in this wedding. I think I need to skip down in my notes!”
He then took us to the antics of Sarah’s daddy back in the days before I tamed him, and the audience was set aright. Of course when he turned to Scripture and quoted that the man and wife were naked and unashamed the giggles started again because my daughter shamelessly waggled her eyebrows at her unsuspecting groom!
Whew! It was getting steamy, and the air wasn’t even that warm! (My girl later told me that the little look was only for David, and she didn’t expect everyone else to notice. Uh . . . sweetie . . . you WERE the bride. People WATCH the bride and groom at a wedding.)
As the service continued the flower girl placed blossoms on her pretty lavender dress.
And the ring bearer stood firm, despite the burden of his heavy sign.
Family watched as a new life began for two young people very much in love.
Soon the couple stood drinking in a melody as Arvella sang, “Only Hope.”
Her amazing voice enveloped the audience, the sun warmed us, and just then tiny sprinkles of rain dusted our cheeks.
“Uh, Lord,” I said. “We’ve been talking about this!” (Visions of my own flood of a wedding had kept me a little off balance about this whole outdoor celebration plan.)
I felt rather than heard His response, “Allow me this, okay? Just a tiny nod to YOUR special day. Trust me.”
I grinned and looked at my daughter. Her eyes were closed and her face aglow. One of her favorite things is feeling a little rain in sunshine. I knew then she was soaking in the blessings, not worried for an instant about the droplets, just receiving them as a gift.
We cried and laughed again as Sarah and David exchanged both traditional vows and vows they had written themselves. (Okay, so David did start the whole tear thing as he got about two words into his vows and his voice cracked.)
As they made promises we knew they intend to keep, we chuckled at the similarities of the vows, which they had not shown each other before the ceremony. Both promised to love the other even on the “days I don’t like you very much.” Both promised to age without growing old, always holding onto a childlike ability to play. David touched us all deep inside when he promised to ask forgiveness for the times he couldn’t live up to everything he had just promised, and there was a collective “ahhhh” when Sarah said, “I can’t wait to start saying goodnight instead of good-bye.”
As they shared their hearts it was obvious they each entered into the experience, allowing the other person’s words and love penetrate past the day, the crowded lawn, the brief moment. They welcomed the declarations to settle deep inside, treasured, alive for eternity.
They meant every word.
They received every word.
Then they exchanged their rings.
Then they stepped back to grasp decanters of sand. As my brother, Curtis, and his wife, Anne, sang, “I Will be There,” David and Sarah blended their lives and talents into a work of art.
Whaid offered the wedding prayer
and pronounced them man and wife.
As David kissed his bride her nephews threw buckets of sprinkles into the sky and her brother set off fire crackers. (They were sure Sarah had always wanted to experience fireworks when she kissed her man!)
There was a brief nod to the whole Disney princess thing when Sarah and David gave the prince and princess wave.
Then hearts full, we celebrated with the Mr. and Mrs. Grundy as they skipped down the sidewalk to “Come Dance With me.
And THEN it was time for the party to begin! Tune in next time to dance under the stars!
(Special thanks to Kim at the Creative Pixel Photography for allowing me to use several professional shots in this blog post. A few of these shots are also from my sister-in-law, Darlene.)