Wheww! Thank God it's February. I'm exhausted and couldn't take another day of January.
January this year brought more weddings to our church than any June I’ve ever seen. We had three weddings and one bridal shower. Every weekend offered some sort of wedding festivities, sometimes two in one day. We might have burned out and been ready to have the whole thing over except we were having too much fun. Each wedding offered some unique reason for rejoicing.
We had one wedding between two veterans of the center aisle who were just so happy to have found each other that they didn’t even need a big hoopla. They popped into the small chapel and tied the knot with very little ceremony. It was bitter-sweet because the groom had buried his father only a couple of days before. It was a very grown up real-life scenario that made a wedding even more precious.
Another of our weddings last month was quite the opposite. Two kids who had grown up in the church finally saw each other with new eyes. The sanctuary was packed for this one and it was everything we all expected it to be. I popped in the brides room to take a picture.
Here you’ll see the bride and her attendants. Of these girls, four of them had grown up in our congregation. It was a real church family celebration.
But the best wedding was saved for last. Our pastor tied the knot. As her friend, India, posted for all to read on facebook, Anne married her "sour mate.” I have to wonder if this was just a really bad typo or if she knows something about David that I don’t know.
It was such a unique occasion that it was just full of once-in-a-lifetime touches.
They met in church, of all places. David teaches an adult Sunday School class but is also great friends to the elementary school children. So everyone came to their shower. It had a "Patio" theme and Anne and David opened gifts seated there on their new patio furniture. The elementary school-aged girls had a front row seat and knelt at their feet leaning on the new coffee table like small courtesans, mesmerized the whole time.
This was as close to a fairy tale wedding as these little girls will probably ever get to in their lifetimes. And they were just enthralled by it all. And Anne and David were very generous in including the kids. They even had Kazoos at the wedding reception.
The bride was beautiful, the groom beamed, our Parrish Associate was beside himself with glee. The organist pulled out all the stops (literally) and the music was never better. We even had the Angel Band singing a couple of songs at the wedding then for the reception they sang, "Love Changes Everything."
It’s not often the minister gets to use the Brides Room of the church. And it’s just about the most exciting room in the building. It doubles as the Acolyte room so it gets its share of energy no matter who’s in there. But, either way, the minister of the church never has a reason to go in there. Unless she gets married at the church where she’s serving. Come on--how often does that happen?
So we gathered up photos of women who had used the room and decorated the mirror with their pictures and words of welcome. We couldn’t use Cindy Larsen’s picture since she never set foot in the brides room. She got dressed at home and spent all her time before the ceremony out in the parking lot greeting guests. Some brides are just a little more relaxed than others.
You may have a little trouble reading the notes on the mirror. I found out that it's just really hard to take a picture of a mirror without getting yourself and the camera in the shot. The arrangement says, "Welcome Anne! From the brides who have gone before you. We hope this room will make you as happy as it did us."
When it came time to throw the bouquet that night the same little girls who had sat fascinated at the shower all lined up to catch the bouquet. Fortunately for them, all the high school girls were at a gigantic youth event and they didn’t have to deal with tall girls with long arms reaching out to snatch the flowers away from them. However, it presented a drama all its own: three girls ended up holding the bouquet and none of them would let go. It was tense there for a second until the Matron of Honor gently unwound fingers to see which hand was underneath the rest. I was proud to see that my granddaughter, Essie, came up the winner until one of the losers burst into tears and the other one was close to bawling herself and everyone just felt bad for them. But then they discovered the kazoos and everyone was happy again.
A good time was had by all.