It’s been a wonderful few days of celebration.
Being a part of the festivities for one of my closest friend’s wedding was such a blessing.
The minister reminded me of that yesterday.
What a privilege it is to be included in the inner circle of a wedding.
Witness to the covenant.
Participants in the covenant, really–
charged with encouraging the marriage,
keeping the couple accountable.
Those are high callings.
After work Thursday I hurried to transform myself from “camp worker” to “girls’ night out girl.”
Brooke’s sister, Bree, threw her a “Little Black Dress” bachelorette party,
and I was honored to be invited.
I was so thankful my office hours coincided and that,
20 minutes before leaving for Lansing,
Debbie let me borrow the most perfect Audrey Hepburn-esque little black dress.
When I arrived for the party, the girls were passing out gorgeous strands of pearls as well as beautiful feathers and flower hair accents.
We were really glamorous.
(It was a nice change from sandy flip flops and tshirts, boy, was it ever.)
I met some of Brooke’s beautiful friends from high school who had traveled (literally) across the country for the festivities.
We snapped a few photos,
ate a few slices of cheese and some crackers,
and headed to PF Chang’s.
Brooke was kind enough to ride along with me as I was not able to stay for the whole evening’s lineup of events.
We had a wonderful conversation
(despite the blinding rain),
and made it to the restaurant right on time.
The hostess led the 12 of us to a private dining room
and we spent the next 2 hours laughing,
and eating the most amazing food.
The waiter even brought us dessert on him!
I had Friday off, (thanks to Debbie’s willingness to trade days with me!),
and we spent the first part of the day at the doctor’s–
discovering Kevin’s knee issues* were caused by a spider bite-turned-skin-infection.
*six inch long area of redness on his inner thigh above the knee…
with a central area more red and inflamed than the rest…
tender to touch…
stiff, hard muscle tissue under the surface…
hot to the touch.
Thankful the (free of charge!) antibiotics have done their job!
At four pm I hit the road again, and warmed up my voice.
Brooke had asked me to sing in her wedding.
Well, more specifically I would leading the congregation in a time of worship along with one of our mutual friends–who happens to be a worship pastor.
The two of us never practiced a note together before we ran it at the rehearsal.
It wasn’t half bad.
(Of course we stuck around afterwards and tightened the loose ends.)
I was invited to attend the rehearsal dinner,
but Kevin had been ordered to rest his leg,
so I really wanted to get home to him.
I drove back to camp in MORE downpours resulting in limited (NO) visibility
and tromped into the camper dripping wet,
and irritated that my cute heals were now soaked and filled with mud.
Saturday dawned beautifully storm ridden for the wedding ceremony.
Surprisingly, the rains moved out of the area just before Kevin and I arrived at the chapel in the woods–
an hour before the service.
Ephram and I warmed up together,
I helped guys pin their boutonnières,
we caught up on the lives of some college friends,
joked about the length of the service being led by one of the most dramatic and winded men ever
(not to mention inspiring and filled with the Spirit),
and Brooke’s mother even pulled me into the girls’ dressing room to sneak a peak at the bride and bridesmaids.
I was so. honored.
Every minute of the weekend made me realize how blessed I am.
The service went off without a hitch.
Every moment was beautiful, sacred.
The bride was stunningly beautiful.
Which, if you know how gorgeous Brooke is, you would understand.
I even told Kevin, “Man, I felt quite beautiful today, but after seeing her looking like that, I feel like I look like a pile of dirt.”
No, I wasn’t putting myself down.
That’s just how STUNNING Brooke was.
Steve, her groom, surprised her with a song he had written for the occasion.
It was so moving, so romantic, so heartfelt.
The two of them never stopped glowing at any moment during the service.
After showering the newlyweds with orange rose petals,
Kevin and I headed to the reception.
With time to spare we stopped at Starbucks
We arrived fashionably late to the hall and were invited to sit with some friends–new and old.
We had such a refreshing time talking to the couples at our table.
There were hilarious stories and plenty of shared experiences.
And living with little interaction with people our age in our stage of life made the evening that much more enjoyable.
There was a photo booth
(Kevin would love to explain to you how terrible I am at photo booths),
and amazing cake and chocolate cheesecake,
delicious popcorn balls and chocolates,
and an all around beautiful evening.
Thank you, Brooke and Steve, for giving me the honor of participating in your ceremony.
Leading worship during your wedding was the greatest blessing for me.
And besides that, I thank you for your friendship,
As individuals and now as a united couple, we are blessed to call you friends.
Our love and prayers go with you as you embark on this beautiful journey of marriage.