I hope you have enjoyed hearing all the wedding details this week as much as I have enjoyed sharing them. The paper, the decorations, the bridal wardrobe, the attendants’ attire…it all has led up to right now! Today we are going wrap it up by walking through the actual wedding day events. The pictures do a great job of telling most of the story, so I am going to keep my words to a minimum (or at least try to), and invite you to take a peek…
Before we start, I have to show this picture of Rachel and Patrick’s “rehearsal.”
That’s Timm, the day before the wedding, pausing for a moment from making the outside of our house look as pretty as possible, to do a quick walk through with the bride and groom. Nice and simple. And then Timm went back to moving furniture and mulching the flower beds.
The downstairs was transformed for the ceremony. The the upstairs master suite was transformed into a bridal dressing room where Rachel and our kids got dressed.
When all four of our kids were dressed and ready, they took their place on the black bench, underneath the mirror. Rachel was sitting on that bench, almost in that exact location, when Patrick asked her to marry him. It seemed a fitting spot for four special little people.
The guests began arriving about thirty minutes before the ceremony began.
With my babies all dressed, I got myself ready, hugged Rachel, and headed downstairs.
Rachel put on her finishing touches, and waited for Timm to come get her. Timm had purposefully chosen not to see Rachel in her dress until the moment right before he walked her down the aisle.
Patrick began the service by welcoming everyone and thanking them for being present for such a special occasion.
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song…
I almost made it through the entire song without crying, but alas, at the end, the swell of emotion proved too great for me to quell, and I cried tears through the final chorus while the congregation sang “Alleluia” in unison. What can I say? My heart was very full.
Mark and Charles began playing “The Love of God.” They sang the first verse as a solo. Then, on the second verse, Rachel and Timm began walking down the stairs. Then we, as a body, sang the final verse together.
Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, would drain the oceans dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
Timm is a great dad. He loves his children passionately, and he extends that fatherly love to those who aren’t biologically his own children, and loves them as though they are…as he did with Rachel. I guess you could say he has the gift of fathering. Our children are blessed to call him Daddy.
Cocktail hour began, and everyone had their picture taken with Rachel and Patrick. Lillian wants to know when she can take off her party clothes.
When the photographs had all been taken, and the champagne was gone, it was time to go to dinner. The guests lined up on our sidewalk, confetti cones in hand, and showered the newlyweds on their way to the street.
The confetti on our lawn made me smile for months after. Little paper reminders of such a happy evening.
All the guests loaded up in cars and drove to Ellerbe Fine Foods, which was less than a mile away. Rachel and Patrick walked to dinner, which gave them a few sweet moments to spend together, and allowed everyone else to be at the restaurant waiting for them when they arrived.
The song they chose was “January Wedding” by the Avett Brothers.
I understand because my heart and hers are the same…
Patrick and his mom went to town on the dance floor to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
And, of course, those giant homemade marshmallows, which made one certain someone very happy.
When I look back and remember this day, I feel a few different things.
I feel a sense of accomplishment at how lovely everything turned out, and a feeling of satisfaction at seeing all the hard work pay off in the end.
I feel honored that Rachel and Patrick chose to include our family in their wedding on such an intimate level.
I feel delighted knowing two of my three daughters will remember this event and hopefully want to replicate some of it when it is time for their weddings, and that my son watched his father love others well.
Mostly, I feel a sense of awe. I saw simple places become sacred. A living room. A kitchen. A staircase. A hallway. They became holy, hallowed, filled with glimpses of eternity. A picture of the bride of Christ arriving to meet her beloved. A picture of family, gathered around a table to celebrate. A picture of how the Father calls us, orphaned and abandoned sinners, his own and loves us as His sons and daughters. All of it, extravagantly beautiful and filled with wonder and truth.
Thank you for coming along with me this week. It has been nothing but a delight.