This Labor Day weekend, I had the privilege and honor of witnessing my beautiful sister-in-law's wedding. If you are a praying person, I hope you will share your blessings and prayers for this lovely couple's future together.
Soft violin and guitar music waft through the late morning air—gentle strains of classical music with just a hint of folk performed flawlessly by the two cousins. Natural beauty and talent merge in the midst of the beautiful garden setting. Sounds of family and loved ones gathering fill the air: children laughing, a newborn crying, grandparents marveling at the sight of their offspring.
The day is sunny and warm. Summer is waning, but fall has not quite arrived. The wedding goers in their finery cross paths briefly with the tourists clad in shorts and tennis shoes as they enter the botanic gardens. It is a beautifully amazing day but none is prepared for the absolute stunning brilliance of the bride herself.
She is radiant and glowing. I am not sure there has ever been a bride more lovely. She is a woman of confidence and surety. She has waited a lifetime for this moment. The day has been planned with care and perfection for there is no doubt in her mind that this is where and with who she wants to be. There is no hesitation as she enters the garden on the arm of her father.
Breathtaking is the only appropriate word. There seems to be an audible sense of awe as she walks down the short stone pathway toward her groom. He is the handsome equal to her glowing beauty. All eyes are on them.
The female minister, a cousin to the bride, reminds us of what we already know, this is a day that has been thought through with great love and care. We are asked to take a moment and be present to our surroundings; to be witnesses and participants of this joyous and solemn occasion.
As the vows are exchanged, the groom’s voice catches as he speaks to his bride of her beauty and his love and honor for her. There is not a dry eye in the party and all can sense this is a moment that has been ordained by God. Sanctity and beauty resonate throughout the gardens.
Following the vows, the new family is united and honored—bride, groom and grown daughter of the bride. The maid of honor is standing tall and beautiful beside her mother. For me, she is eternally three—a little girl with flowers in her hair. But in this moment, she is a grown woman rejoicing that her mother has finally found the happiness she so richly deserves.
The new family takes communion as the witnesses pray blessings for their future. The earth seems to rejoice along with them. The clouds have offered a bit of shade from the midday sun. The grass gleams greenly around us. A slight breeze blows. God has consecrated this union. Softly, the violin and guitar usher the newlyweds into the beginning of their life together.