On Saturday, Jason and I attended/ran one of our friend’s weddings. She’s not a close friend, although we love her dearly. She’s a rather new friend–having moved to town in just the last couple of years. She has two children, he has one and they both have one on the way.
When she set her wedding date for December, I congratulated her on choosing the best time of the year to have a wedding. The church is always decorated beautifully, so there’s no need to buy flowers or decorate. She excitedly told me about her dress and the planning along the way. She told me sadly that her dad wasn’t going to be able to get a ride to Kentucky to attend. She informed me that she planned to be at work on the morning after the wedding (she works in our church nursery on Sunday mornings).
She innocently, sincerely told me she was picking up her cake on the way to the wedding. I immediately vetoed. “Let us pick up your cake,” I told her. I couldn’t stand the thought of a bride picking up her cake on the way to the church.
And that’s when we went from being invited guests to amateur wedding coordinators.
When her photographer fell through, Jason and I volunteered to take pictures as well as picking up the cake. Rev. John, Jason and I became a trio of wedding coordinators–transporting cakes, setting up sound systems. shuttling the bride and groom around the building, welcoming guests, taking pictures, participating in the ceremony, advising on what happens next, cutting the cake (Rev. John ended up with that job), serving the punch, doing dishes, packing up supplies, cleaning up the sanctuary…
It’s one of my favorite kind of weddings. Oh, sure, it’s beautiful to attend weddings that cost thousands of dollars and are planned and coordinated and planned for months or years in advance–Every hair in place, every social grace observed, every step choreographed and practiced…Yet, it’s even more beautiful to participate in a wedding like Saturday’s event. Every moment is grace-filled and we are only there because of the love between the bride and the groom and the family becoming. It was beautiful to see the joy on the bride’s face, the smile on the groom’s, the joy in the room as the three children made their way down the aisle with baskets of flowers and a pillow, the sweetness of the vows and rings and candles, the excitment at the pronouncement of marriage.
I was honored to be part of their day. It was a fun, exhausting experience that was filled with life, love, kindness and joy.