The entire wedding party disappeared with the photographer immediately after the ceremony and I followed the crowd to begin that (often much too long) break where wedding guests mill around the reception hall munching on mixed nuts and making small talk until the bride and groom return with their attendants to get the party started. But then something great happened - something I had never experienced before.
The lights dimmed and a larger-than-life image of my niece joscelyn and fiancé-now-husband Wade appeared on the huge video screen behind the head table. The casually dressed couple extended a pre-recorded video welcome, an explanation of what they were up to at the moment, and an explanation of how the evening would unfold.
After the opening comments, an entertaining and well produced video clip chronicled the high (and low) points of their entire relationship – from their first date on through a number of romantic milestones and comical episodes in their growing love story. The grand finale was a complete video reenactment of Wades very romantic and highly creative proposal to my niece, complete with commentary from the happy couple as to what they were thinking and feeling as events unfolded.
As the video played, I was impressed with the sincerity of my new nephew’s love for my beautiful niece. Much time, thought, and effort went into making their engagement day special and memorable for both of them. This theme of fun and creativity continued up to and throughout the day of their wedding, which was filled to the brim with much love and laughter.
The deep and growing love these two young people share for each other and for God was obvious and ever present throughout the entire wedding celebration.
o From the words spoken by the bride and groom about their abiding love for each other to their joyful and solemn vows of commitment to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives…
o From the meaningful and powerful counsel of the groom’s older brother who officiated the ceremony to the spoken blessings from both of the happy couple’s fathers…
o From the countless endearing and heartfelt comments of family and friends – especially a particularly poignant toast by the bride’s younger sister Allison.
God was honored, Christ was central, and true love was celebrated.
The wedding was incredible. The reception was full of fun and memorable moments. Late in the evening, while my niece and new nephew changed their clothes, hundreds of guests were handed sparklers (instead of rice) and asked to form two long lines - from the reception hall to the double doors leading outside. As the happy couple paraded their way down the sparkler-illumined pathway through the dark night air that was filled with encouraging shouts and cheers from the human hallway, they ran to a waiting helicopter that had just landed nearby – a helicopter my niece knew nothing about until that moment. As they flew off into the night sky, I realized that in every way possible, the “how to do a wedding” bar was raised to new heights that day (literally).
Congratulations, Wade and Joscelyn. May the love, beauty, fun, creativity, and adventure of your wedding day be a fitting prelude to married life. May God richly bless you both as you begin your new life together. Here’s to a future of unlimited possibilities and God-sized dreams. The best is yet to come!