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Somehow I managed to focus on finishing the semester before heading home for a whirlwind couple months of wedding planning. I was never one of those girls who dreamt about my wedding day and cut out pictures and had all the details planned out years in advance. In fact, I don’t think I ever bought a wedding magazine, not even after I was engaged.
My mom and I had picked out fabric and a pattern for my dress. It was simple and pretty. We were trying to figure out what to do for a veil when I asked Mom to pull out her dress. She wasn’t sure her veil would work with the pattern I had picked out because her veil was long and more like a mini train. I urged her to pull it out anyway. As we laid the dress out on her bed I got an idea. “I wonder if your dress fits me?” Mom sized me up, “Oh I’m not sure that it would, you’re several inches taller than me!” I decided it was worth the try. And it fit. Almost perfectly. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. “I want to wear it, please?!” And so it was set. We determined that by removing the ruffles from the sleeves and the neckline and replacing the pearl beads on the bodice that the dress would be completely up-to-date style wise.
A few days later Mom returned the pattern and fabric to the fabric store and the clerks (who all knew her by name) were shocked and wanted to know if everything was ok. “Oh yes,” Mom beamed. “She’s decided to wear my dress!”
With the dress decided and patterns and fabric ordered for my four bridesmaids, I really didn’t care much about the rest. I wasn’t set on decorating the church or reception hall much. His Grandma had done wedding cakes as a business for years and she’d offered to make our cake as her gift. We weren’t having a meal. I had picked out the music and my band director and choir director from school were set to play the piano and organ. My high school youth pastor was going to do the ceremony.
I was ready to get the show on the road and just be married already. My fairytale wasn’t about the wedding ceremony. It was how God had brought two families together years ago and prepared us for each other in so many ways.
As the weekend approached and our family, friends and wedding party arrived, I realized how incredibly blessed I was. My wedding party was a collection of charming ladies who had entered my life at various stages, each one of them a precious gem. There was Shelley – my childhood best friend since early elementary school and one of my first friends to meet Ked. There was Karen – a friend from the FCM conferences whose family mine met about the same time they met Ked’s family. She and I had written letters from the time we were old enough to write. There was Karon – my future sister-in-law, and Jennifer – a college friend I met in the first weeks of our freshman year and roommate my sophomore year.
The dress rehearsal was a riot. Our parents sat on the front row cracking jokes the whole time. At one point my youth pastor turned around and chastised them, “This is serious!! Behave!” Oh my. How embarrassing! He wouldn’t let us kiss, much to everyone’s disappointment, “You may NOT YET kiss the bride!”
My Dad had him quite scared that something magical would happen – that the candles would turn into doves or the rings would disappear or some other mysterious phenomenon. I didn’t blame him for being scared. I was too. You never knew with this crowd. The Dads were known for juggling sink plungers at the hardware store, and everything was a potential magic trick.
I figured they had a few surprises up their sleeves. And I was right.