I love weddings. The way the groom looks at the bride as she is walking down the aisle. The way the bride's face glows, beams with love. The tender looks exchanged between the new husband and wife. The excitement of weddings guests, buzzing around as some haven't seen each other for years and are able to use this moment in time to re-connect. I love the way little girls admire the bride, and can remember the time when I did the same. I enjoy watching the kids storm the dance floor, stealing the show from the bride and groom while the innocently show off their moves.
And my sister's wedding? Well, it was such an honor to be standing at her side. To watch from the front of the church as she walked down the aisle while I held back tears. Tears of pride for the woman she has become. Tears of joy to see her so happy and tears of hope for the lifetime of happiness ahead of her.
First there was the rehearsal. I love rehearsals too. Perhaps because to this day, I can still remember how exciting mine was... and going to others brings back a flood of memories. The long months of anticipation are finally over and you know you are GETTING MARRIED the next day. It is like Christmas Eve times a million. It is also a special time for the closest of family and friends to laugh, talk, reminisce and even get to know each other.
Because most of Jenna's friends live out of town we did a low key bachelorette party after rehearsal.. at an uber cool location, The Urban Wine Company. It will definitely our new go-to this summer. (Thanks for the recommendation Ashley!) Upscale lounge meets laid back neighborhood joint with amazing customer service, wide selection of wine and awesome architecture. An example of their amazing customer service? Being in desperate need of caffeine, I asked the server if they served lattes. His response was a "no" followed by a "but they serve them down the road, I can go get one if you want." Ah-mazing. For the record, I politely declined his offer and sipped on a plain ol' cup of Joe instead.
That night I had a hard time falling asleep because I was so excited for my sister. But soon enough it was time for our hair appointments and for the ladies to do their makeup at our house. That morning was nice... the calm before the storm in a way. (Only a good storm, of course.) It was peaceful and relaxing.
Off we went to the church. Jenna got in her dress, making everything seem all the more real. She looked beautiful, absolutely gorgeous.
The Mr. and Mrs. were introduced and off we went to the reception! You know what I love about receptions? I just know you were wondering. Everything. The sigh of relief from the wedding party that everything went off without a hitch yet with the couple finally being hitched. The grand entrance of the bride and groom and the sheer excitement that radiates through them. I love the music, the tea lights that twinkle on the tables. The guests dressed up, chatting away and catching up with old friends. I love it when everyone clinks their glasses signaling the bride and groom to kiss. Oh, and the cake. Obviously I love, love, love the cake.
Even among all the celebrating, it is hard not to look around the room and remember who is missing. John wasn't there, nor was my brother. And every time I thought about it I got a little sad... until I forced myself to look at who was there and dwell on that instead. This year my grandpa was unable to make it and it just seemed so strange to have my grandma there without him. But, I was thankful she was able to be there. For every special person who isn't there... there are a handful of those who are.
Kaleb was there though... sporting a suit and rocking his headphones.
No family party is complete without Donny. If there was ever an award given to life of the party, it would most certainly go to Donny. He knows how to get a crowd moving, that is for sure.
The wedding day is over, but a new life together is just beginning. It brings a smile to my face every time I think of Jenna and her new life with her husband. Weddings are good for all of us, married or not. For the married ones, it is good to remember our own special days... to cling on to every emotion surrounding it. It is good to use it as yet another opportunity to recount the covenants we have made before God and to refresh the excitement, the passion in our own marriages. For the single ones out there, it is a good reminder to wait for the right one, the one God has designed just for you.
Congratulations once again Matt and Jenna! We love you both.