What a whirlwind few days it has been! You know you are having a good time when you don’t have an photos to show for it! The first 24+ hours of the wedding celebration was non-stop conversation, laid-back reception prep, numerous jokes, conversations with new & old friends and an overwhelming sense of excitement and joy for what was to come.
The day before the wedding, Hannah finally saw the beautiful decor for herself. We finally had the ceremony rehearsal. We all made it down the stairs in one piece, and oohed and ahhed over the perfect selection of Mrs. Darcy for the wedding party’s walk down the aisle. I could see my sister’s joy even as my own built in momentum.
Everything was just perfect for her, the excitement tangible, and the memories effortlessly made. After the rehearsal, we had pizza, the greasy kind! We talked, laughed, revisited old times, made new ones and built those relationship bridges that can sometimes only be built during the wedding process.
She went to bed early and left Cheyenne and I to brave the iced coffee making for the reception! After some trial and error, I think it turned out pretty well!
It was past 11 when I sat down to watch some Olympics. It was just me and my dad sitting in the living room. How God gifted us with that quiet time is beyond me! There were so many people in and out of the house, so watching TV with just my Dad was pretty impossible. We made jokes, threw in comments, and marveled at the air Simone Biles was making on some of her jumps and tumbles.
I finally went to bed and Ben stayed up to watch the amazing meteor shower. It’s one of the best days before the wedding I’ve ever experienced.
And then the wedding day came, bright, cheery, promising. I drove to the house that pleasant Friday morning and found my 2 sisters…still in pajamas…just lounging on the couch. I grabbed some coffee from the faithful coffee pot…the one we bought for Mom when she broke her finger almost two years ago.
Hannah was as calm as could be. She was marrying Jacob today and that’s all that mattered. I don’t remember all our conversations that morning only that it was a priceless treasure to be alone with both my sisters.
And so the day moseyed on. We talked, laughed, and visited. The bride and groom saw each other long before the first look nonsense. As much as I joked and eww-ed at Jacob’s kisses and frequent declarations of love to Hannah, it was priceless to watch him love her.
As the bridal party prepared for the ceremony, we listened to music, talked, did our own makeup, mostly succeeded at painting our nails, and exclaimed over Hannah….the most relaxed bride in the world!
All I could see in her eyes was a woman waiting to be with her love. She wanted Jacob and I understood the feeling completely. She finished her makeup and it was beautiful!
The time finally came! Those small handful of moments that shape lovely long-lasting memories made their way to front of the day. The bridal party walked down to Mrs. Darcy as our talented cousins graced us with their musical gift.
And then, I watched as my dad escorted my beautiful sister down the stairs to her anticipating groom.
It was like watching a princess enter a ball room…only it was Hannah, my sister, and this was real. There was laughter throughout the ceremony and that’s only fitting. There was one point in the vow exchange that I saw Jacob mouth “I love you” to Hannah. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to watch my sister love and be loved! And that’s what I got to do all day on August 12th.
So, the reception began and continued celebration followed. More laughter, more joy, more amazing food, and all mixed in with the excitement of a new beginning.
I even found it interesting that I had more love for Ben at my sister’s wedding than I did at our own wedding 15 months ago. But that’s the thing about weddings…it’s just the beginning. It’s exciting, beautiful, and enchanting….but it’s not the best part. The best part takes place when it’s over and your story moves on…deepening with joy, sorrow, tears, and laughter.
Hannah and Jacob had games for people to play and chairs adjusted in all the right places to encourage fellowship. It was a FULL & JOYFUL wedding! Where could you find the Father of the Bride? Playing the games, of course!
The happy couple managed to obliterate the wedding cake when they cut it together. More laughter filled the building!
I hugged my sister close, and I hugged my new brother overwhelmed by gratitude. I watched as she tossed her bouquet into the crowd of girls. I know this photo is fuzzy, but I love this picture, because Hannah is front and center while she takes in everything around her!
And the bouquet is caught by a bridesmaid! Another blurry photo, but this really captures the movement of the moment. I love Hannah’s face here and the joy you can see all around her!
The night was still young when we cheered and blew bubbles as the couple happily, exuberantly, triumphantly escaped the wedding in Dad’s old jeep.
This August 12th was a day to remember. Not only did I watch my sister enjoy her wedding….I also gained a brother.
And in the process of these whirlwind celebrations, I was once again reminded how incredible it is that we can make these full, joyous memories despite this fallen, sinful world. I am convinced that this is a testament of God’s grace and love to us.
August 12, 2016 was full to overflowing with God’s love. It was a wedding and yet more importantly a celebration of love, their love, true love….God’s love.