I love a wedding! Particularly when both the bride and the groom are special to me. And even more so, when it is clear that everything leading up to the wedding day was orchestrated by God.
The groom is like a son to me, a big brother to my own son. I met him almost 10 years ago when his mother was a caretaker for my aging grandmother. While he worked on my computer he shared his dreams of going to The University of Alabama (which he did) and finding a godly woman, someone with whom he could share his life. There were a few young ladies along the way but not the right one. I reassured him that she was out there somewhere and when the time was right, he would know.
The bride is the daughter of a dear friend of mine. She completed nursing school while raising a precious little girl with the support of her family. She is wonderfully creative. My home has been graced by her creative touch for at least 3 Christmases. We often shared conversations about her dreams and plans when she was at my house decorating.
I wish I could take credit for putting these two together but I can’t. I didn’t even see it coming! Once I knew about their relationship, though, I thought to myself “of course”!
So, on a splendid summer morning, I was honored to be among the small group of family and friends assembled on the beach to witness their marriage. The setting, a sky the most brilliant of blues, dotted with cottony clouds, a beach of sugary sand and a backdrop of waves a vivid shade of sea foam green. The bride was beaming as her father walked her and her daughter down the sandy path to meet her waiting groom. It was a holy experience watching them pledge their love to one another.
Our beach house was wedding central for the occasion. The bride and her attendants spent the night there before the early morning nuptials and the wedding party and guests enjoyed a celebratory brunch there after the ceremony.
My husband surprised me by suggesting we stay at our favorite Bed & Breakfast on the beach a mile or so from the house. http://www.harringtonhouse.com/ We stayed there for two or three days every August for ten years beginning in the late 1990’s when our children were in elementary school. It was our “back to school” retreat. We would plan it for that very brief lull between the first day of school and when all of the church and extracurricular activities would resume. It was a time we treasured.
We would talk about the summer just past and plan for the year ahead. Most of our family trips were planned while floating in the gulf or relaxing by the pool. We strategized the movement of each of our children to their various activities. We discussed spiritual and academic concerns. We dreamed.
It has been at least seven years since we visited that quaint inn on the beach. I am happy that we had the opportunity to revisit a place etched in our memory. This time the main topic of our poolside conversation was our daughter’s fast approaching wedding! Wow, surreal! Wasn’t it just a year or two ago that we were talking about family vacations, soccer practice and ballet lessons?!
To my young newlywed friends . . . cherish these days, these years. Before you know it, you will be reminiscing about your lovely beach wedding as you prepare for your sweet girl’s special day.