Wedding Chronicles Part II: The Dramatic…………….Pause

brideI had suggested to my daughter that, when her matron of honor and the best man took their places with the wedding party, she pause for a moment  before she began her walk up the aisle.

But this was ridiculous.

Time and my heart ticked away. After a minute had passed, I pivoted in my chair and tried to see over the rows of guests behind me as I told myself not to panic.

Where in the world was the bride?

wedding bells

I cast another questioning glance at the pastor, who stood up front. Since he had an unobstructed view down the aisle, he’d told me he would nod at me when the double doors to the reception hall opened, revealing my waiting daughter and husband. Then, as the mother of the bride, I would stand, which would signal the other guests to also rise, and my husband would escort the bride onto the manicured lawn and up the aisle to the breathless groom.

But instead of a nod, the pastor made a patting motion with his palm to the ground, telling me to remain seated.

I bit my lip and came to a decision. If another minute passed without a trace of the blushing bride, I’d hike up the hem of my floor-length dress, jog down the aisle, and plow through those double doors to see what was wrong. While the instrumental music continued to play and I continued to fidget, my mind raced through possible reasons for the delay.

Runaway bride?

No way. I’d never seen anyone so excited to get married. All day long, my daughter had been bouncing and laughing. Her hair was perfect, her make-up flawless. After the florist delivered her flowers to the bridal suite, I’d watched her finger her bouquet and coo about how lovely the burgundy flowers wrapped in a rose-gold bow would look with her bridal gown. That girl couldn’t wait to walk up the aisle—not only to marry to the man she loved, but also so she could feel like a princess. 

Was it my fault?

Maybe she’d misunderstood what I’d told her at the wedding rehearsal the previous evening. “Remember, you’re the bride,” I’d said. “Everyone’s going to be craning their necks to catch that first glimpse of you walking up the aisle, so don’t be afraid to pause before you open those double doors. You know, to build up the suspense.”

I’d only meant for her to wait ten or fifteen seconds after the matron of honor and best man took their places up front. But maybe she was standing behind those doors, hanging onto my husband’s arm, and telling him, “Wait! Wait! I’m building suspense here!”

I looked at the pastor again. Still no nod.

Then I realized the instrumental music was still playing, and it occurred to me. Could the D.J. be the problem?

“I know exactly what song I want at my wedding,” my daughter had told me a week after her engagement. “I’ve dreamed of going up the aisle to this song. It’s perfect!” She had it all planned out. Her fiancé’s mother, I, and the bridal party, would come up the aisle to the piano-and-strings-instrumental version of her song. Then, the D.J. would segue into the version where the artist sings.

“When the first verse begins, that’s when I start up the aisle.” My daughter pointed a finger at me. “And I’m not moving until I hear the singing begin.” She closed her eyes and sighed. “It’ll be so great.”

Since the instrumental version was still playing, I now imagined my daughter standing behind those double doors and ignoring my husband’s pleas that it was time to go. She’d have her arms crossed and her lips pursed. “I’m supposed to walk up the aisle to the first verse, and I absolutely, positively refuse to budge until I hear some singing!”

But whatever the reason, another minute had come and gone; it was time to do something. I took a deep breath, turned to the pastor to indicate that I was going to check on the bride…

And saw him nod.

I sprang to my feet and spun to face the back. Finally, standing in the open double doors, were my beaming husband and daughter.

Right on cue, the artist began singing. The other guests stood, and we all watched my husband escort my beautiful daughter up the aisle to her patient fiancé. Before God and us, they became man and wife, and we applauded when the new husband kiss his bride.

After my husband and I followed the bridal party down the aisle, he squeezed my arm. “Know what took so long?”

He chuckled and shook his head. “So the last of the wedding party goes out. The doors close, and we’re standing there with the event coordinator. The event coordinator is getting ready to open the double doors again and says, ‘Ready?’ After we both answer ‘Yes!’ the event coordinator smiles at our daughter and then gets this funny look on her face. And she asks, ‘Where is your bouquet?’ “

The princess had forgotten her flowers in the bridal suite.wedding bouquet clipart

While my daughter wrung her hands and my husband kept her calm, the event coordinator took instant action. In a sprint that would have impressed Usain Bolt (particularly because she was wearing a skirt and dress shoes), she raced across the reception room, through the long hallway, and down the stairs to the lower level. At the door to the locked bridal suite, she whipped out keys like an Old-West gunslinger, unlocked the door, and grabbed the bouquet. Then she relocked the door and scampered back up the stairs, through the hallway and reception room, and finally delivered the bouquet to the relieved and grateful bride. Without pausing to catch her breath, the event coordinator yanked open the double doors, gave the bride a panting grin, and watched my daughter begin the journey up the aisle—one hand on her father’s arm, one hand clutching her bouquet—to a new and wonderful life.

wedding couple with heart

What does this story have to do with our big God? Well, we were blessed with a caring (and fast!) event coordinator. Also, thanks to “The Dramatic Pause,” my daughter’s walk up the aisle was definitely memorable. And she did indeed look like a princess. 

Besides, I think we made God laugh.

wedding bouquet

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Wedding Chronicles Part I: The Wedding Decorator

IMG_4111 - Copy - CopyAll summer, people have asked, “I haven’t seen a new post in ages—did you quit blogging?”

No, dear readers, I haven’t stopped blogging. I just couldn’t find my computer under the reams of deco mesh, miles of glitter ribbon and wire, umpteen flowers and vases and beads, stacks of sparkly paper, cans of spray paint, bottles of glitter, and sequined table cloths and table runners.

You see, two weeks ago, my only daughter got married.

And I was her wedding decorator.

When my daughter got engaged last July, I rubbed my hands together and announced, “I’ll do all the decorations!” After all, I’m a creative sort, and with a little ingenuity and a lot of Pinterest scoping, I was certain I could custom make exactly what my daughter wanted for center pieces, table numbers, head table decorations, etc…

But before we decided on colors, we hit the bridal shops. At one, she tried on a champagne gown with rose gold embroidery.

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“This is it!” My daughter twirled and beamed into the mirror. “This is my wedding dress.”Wedding dress

She was right. The dress was unique. Breathtaking. And my daughter looked gorgeous in it.

I hugged her and examined the dress. “We could decorate in champagne. Oh, and rose gold!” I was getting even more excited now. I love rose gold and couldn’t wait to see my daughter and her new husband surrounded by glittering rose gold decorations.

When my daughter decided that her bridesmaids should wear burgundy, we had her colors.

Champagne. Rose gold. Burgundy. 

From October to May, I stuffed my storage space with box after box of champagne, rose gold, and burgundy decorating items. I fiddled with decorating ideas for the ceremony; table centerpieces; table numbers; head, cake, gift, and afterglow table decorations; bathroom decorations. In mid June, after my daughter’s bridal shower, I spent the next two-and-a-half months assembling the decorations, praying that my efforts would help make her wedding even lovelier.

But even with my decorations, for the wedding to be everything we’d dreamed it would be, we also needed to pray for a rain-free day.

Because the marriage ceremony and the first hour of the reception were outside.

I’d envisioned it a thousand times. Guests seated on pristine white chair and gawking at the  gorgeous scenery around them. Then my daughter, escorted by my husband, would walk up the aisle between the bows I’d tied to each ceremony end chair, facing the center wedding bow 2aisle. They were double bows—a large bow made of rose gold deco mesh overlaid with a smaller bow made of rose gold glitter ribbon. The ends brushed the ground, and in the center I’d placed a single flower. In the shining sun, they would sparkle with brilliance, their radiance second only to the beautiful young woman gliding past, champagne train trailing behind her, her smiling eyes focused on her breathless fiancé ahead.

She and her fiancé would then say their vows to each other while the sun’s reflection twinkled on the lake behind them. When the ceremony finished, the photographer would lead  the wedding party through the grounds and take pictures while guests mingled on the manicured lawn and helped themselves to drinks from the outdoor bar and h’ours derves served by white-gloved waiters. After the photographer took a sunset picture of the new bride and groom, the indoor reception would begin. 

I could plan beautiful decorations for my daughter’s wedding. But I couldn’t plan the weather.

That was God’s territory.

A mid-September day in Michigan could mean anything—excessive heat, freezing rain, biting wind, hair-curling humidity. At first, I prayed simply for a rain-free day. God, please, just a nice day, so my daughter can have that dream outdoor wedding. If you want it to be ninety-five degrees or thirty-five degrees, that’s okay. Just no rain, Lord. No rain.

Then it dawned on me.

What a wimpy prayer.

Our big God isn’t a wimpy God, so why was I praying like he was? Like He wasn’t capable of bestowing an all-around glorious day, or that His love for me was so shallow that I could only ask Him for the bare minimum instead of the desire of my heart? His word did say:

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

I didn’t want a thirty-five degree rain-free day or a ninety-five degree rain-free day. I wanted a soft, warm, gentle rain-free day. Not for selfish reasons, but for my family and guests and future son-in-law. And mostly for my daughter. I wanted my bows to shimmer for her pleasure as she took that once-in-a-lifetime walk up the aisle. I wanted her to be comfortable and happy, basking in the warmth of family and friends and the love shining from the eyes of the young man in front of her. 

So I went boldly to the throne and prayed for a gorgeous day.

And guess what?IMG_5223

It was.

My prayer for my lovely daughter and her new husband,IMG_5215 - Copy

May you have the confident assurance and trust in our mighty and loving God to always go boldly to his throne of grace. And may your marriage be like the weather He gave you on your wedding day—warm, soft, sweet, and free of rain, His face shining upon you like the sun.

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