Life took an incredibly sharp right turn for me this last winter when I met the man who is so special and so supportive and so loving and so kind I can’t imagine spending my life without him.
He’s one of those men who has loved and was loved well in the past…a long and painful tragedy ended his marriage. He was tried and tested, and I watched him love well for the long haul in difficult days. I admired him before I knew him, and respected him long before I loved him.
We focused on the marriage, not the wedding. But we did want the wedding to be a representative sort of launch…to match our values and our style.
So our wedding was:
1. Fun and Informal
We like to laugh and we like people to feel relaxed and comfortable. Folks grabbed beverages before the ceremony, which took place while casually seated around tables. There was no walking down the aisle…he and I just got up from our table near the front to join the ministers when it was time. It felt warm in the room. Not a lot of pomp and circumstance…but a whole lotta love.
Yeah, I’d never been to a sporty wedding either. But this was a wedding of two families, and we wanted our Junior Tribe Members (JTMs) to have a blast. One of my favourite places to be in all of life is sitting on the sidelines or in the bleachers cheering for the kids while visiting with friends.
We had a “basketball wedding”…instead of a dance, folks put on their sneakers and played ball…people of all ages and stages played volleyball, while the younger ones played basketball. There was a riotous game of Dutch Blitz in the middle. It fit us and ours.
And yeah, those pink sneakers? They came in handy. It is a little tricky playing volleyball in a wedding dress, but I can attest personally to the fact that it is indeed, very possible.
Weddings celebrate connection…between husband and wife, but also within a community. Very good friends–both pastors–officiated. There’s something kinda wonderful about having good friends I’ve known for decades, and had coffee with just the week before, marry me and my husband.
I had coffee with a good friend yesterday. She chopped up veggies for the appetizers…that’s a lot of chopping! Her favourite part of the wedding was the set up that occurred in the afternoon before the wedding. Friends of his and friends of mine working happily together setting up tables and chairs and tablecloths–introducing themselves to each other and enjoying the cheerful vibe.
As informal as the wedding was, there was no rehearsal…so the night before we had a rehearsalless dinner with his family and mine at our house…pleasant chaos with little children on the trampoline, a group of young adults in a big circle on the back lawn, and small groups of adults visiting inbetween visits to the kitchen.
I know when I am out of my league, and a big part of the fun of this wedding was accepting the help that was offered. I’m learning that when others offer, it’s often because they love the opportunity to use their gifts. It was great to see people I love do what they do best, outta love for us:
- My shopping/stylist guru friend, J. cheerfully self appointed herself the wedding planner. Two days after engagement she sent me a text: “We are going wedding dress shopping on Saturday. Count on all day. Bring a good attitude. I’ll help you.” She did. And it was beautiful. She loved sending me lists and telling me where to go to get things. Priceless.
- My future daughter in law is crafty and loves Pinterest. She created table numbers, seating chart and prettied things up. She had great ideas and ran with them. Sigh. I am in love…and I get to keep her for a lifetime!
- A whole crew volunteered to show up a couple of hours early and set up the venue. It was beautiful
- Friends and family took pictures, gave speeches, did childcare with a JTM after the wedding, picked up ice, dropped table clothes off after…I could go on.
- Some daughters of friends made all the cupcakes for dessert. Delicious and made with love.
We were surrounded by love and support for weeks before and weeks after. So many people were kind and supportive. Sigh…to be loved with love like all of this.
I wanted the focus of the wedding to be on relationships, not “stuff”. We deliberately kept things simple. A few daisies for centrepieces in borrowed vases. Supper was basic but delicious BarBQ. No string quartet or brass band. Lots of love, tho.
Love is simple, isn’t it? Layered, nuanced, complicated to express, but ultimately, simple.