Beautiful Day

The title of this post was also the theme song (from U2) for the bride and groom as they walked down the isle as husband and wife. It really was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, birds were chirping, babies were sleeping, and there was a radiant, smiling bride! Welcome to the family Tony! Lisa and Tony are now officially husband and wife!

Mom walked Lisa down the isle. I was surprised that Mom did not noticeably cry the whole way down, as many of us expected. They both looked gorgeous. Lisa was beaming! As soon as I have had my first glimpse of the bride I always like to turn back to watch the grooms face. He is, generally, either glowing with happiness and excitement, nervous or crying. Surprisingly, I’ve been to more weddings where the groom cries and not the bride. I think Tony was a mixture of glowing and nervous.

Jon did great too. I was so proud of him. If you didn’t read my last post, Jon officiated his sister’s wedding yesterday. It was a little bittersweet to see him up there. I couldn’t help but think that Dad should have been here to do the ceremony and celebrate with us. It would have been a very different meditation from what Jon did, but still with the same passion, love and expertise. Jon used the parable of Moulin Rouge to illustrate how the choice to love is a choice against oppression. Here is a brief excerpt from his meditation:

“Satine, when faced with the foolish idealism of love, tries to offer a dose of this cold reality. ‘You, you will be mean. And I, I’ll drink all the time.’ What she is expressing is the fear that love is hopeless, because it will never match up to the ideal. If you cannot have perfect love, why have it at all? Christian’s response is almost astonishing: ‘We could be heroes, just for one day!’ Heroes? Heroes are people who fight evil creatures, who stand against tyrants. But he goes on, and now Satine joins him in singing, ‘…. though nothing could keep us together / we can beat them / just for one day / we could heroes / forever and ever.’ You see, every choice to love is a choice against tyranny and oppression. ‘Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins,’ writes Peter in the New Testament. Love is a choice for life against the darkness of selfishness, depression, self-absorption, hatred, apathy, against all of the things that contribute negatively to our world. Your choice to love each other reaches not only into each others lives, but the lives of your friends and family, into the lives of the children you might have, and their children.

Love will change your life – it already has. And every day that you let your love for each other be seen by those around you, it will change the lives of other. And that is a choice you will have to make again and again in your marriage. Enjoy the days like today, where that choice is easy; savor these memories, and hold them close on the days when the choice is hard. Don’t let cynicism steal the joy from your life. As corny and cheesy as it sounds, be heroes for each other. Do what you can to help each other choose love.”

I love listening to my husband give sermons, of lectures, or thoughtful insights publicly. (I could live with out them on a day-to-day basis, though.) He doesn’t do them very often any more so when he does he puts a lot of energy and thought in to them, consequently, making them good.

Although Jon did such a good job at reminding us all that he IS his father’s son up there on the stage, Dad being here would have warded off some of the pre-wedding drama. Every wedding has its share of drama. It is expected, almost a rite of passage, but nonetheless annoying and unnecessary. We sure had our share of drama over out wedding and not signing the papers. (See the previous post here) It was unfortunate for Lisa and Tony because it seemed that numerous people thought, because Dad was gone, they had a right and a duty to step in where her father would have. I am sure Dad wouldn’t have tried to step in and sway his adult daughters decisions to fit in to his own box of morality, and I am POSITIVE that if he did have any concerns with any of her choices, he would not have waited until the weeks to before the wedding to voice them. Who does that?

I thought it was very fitting that Jon spoke to the half-assed spectators who may have come to the wedding. Jon opened the ceremony with a brief look at what makes a marriage and these words:

“I welcome you not as spectators or observers, but as participants in this ceremony. You are here because you believe that Tony and Lisa are right for each other; by your presence you are giving your approval and delight in their relationship. Your presence here tells Tony and Lisa that they are making the right choice, and that the difficult road of marriage is worth walking. So I thank you for coming.”

His words hopefully made people think about why they attend certain weddings at all. If a guest is in attendance, they are essentially saying they support the couple’s decision to marry and are willing to walk alongside them on their journey, assisting them however they are needed and able. Wedding guests are not invited just to watch, speculate and gossip about the order of the ceremony, what every one is wearing, the decorations or food, but they are invited to be a part of the couple’s community. For thousands of years, there was no registry to govern who was married and who was not. There is no judge to decide who was marriageable and who did not make a good match. It was and should be the community who witnesses the union who holds them accountable to their promises to each other. It is rather hypocritical to attend a wedding, eat the food that the couple has paid for and not be willing to participate freely in their wedding or lives. It would do these types of guests good to remember, “Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God…for God is love.”- 1 John 4:7b-8

Lisa and Tony added some beautiful touches to their wedding ceremony that I just loved. Amongst my favorites were when both mothers held and gave the rings to Jon at the start of the vows. It was lovely and fun. Both mothers have been widowed and I thought the symbolism of the act was both unique and organic. My most favorite moment of the ceremony was listening to the reading they had chosen to remember Dad. They used the closing prayer that Dad had said at our wedding, five years earlier. I could hear his voice in my head, with all his unique tones and inflections. I could remember and imagine him standing up there smiling. Here is his powerful call to God, from a Christian parent, on his child’s wedding day:

“Heavenly Father, we lift up (Tony and Lisa/Jon and Katie) to you, You have been listening. You have been hearing them make these promises to each other, these commitments. You know, better than they do, how difficult it will be for them to keep them. Father, we know that you know all that will happen to (Tony and Lisa/Jon and Katie). You know the beginning from the end. You know everything in between. And so, together this evening, we lift up (Tony and Lisa/Jon and Katie) to you. We ask you, Heavenly Father, that you remind them in the days ahead of the commitments they’ve made. We ask that you will strengthen them by the presents of your Holy Spirit. We ask, Heavenly Father, that each day you would remind them of the love that they need to exercise that day, that they’ve promised to exercise. And Father, on those days, those days that will come when they fail, remind them to be gracious to each other. Father we life this couple up to you. We ask you to bless them. We ask that they will always hold Your presence and Your blessing in their lives, no matter what trials or struggles may come. Bind them together. And then, use them to glorify Yourself in our world. Thank you, Heavenly Father. They need You. Thank you for wanting to help. We commit them to you, in the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Dad

The whole day worked out quite well. Although the wedding started a little late, like most weddings do, the scheduling was great. Livi’s schedule couldn’t have been more perfect for this day either. She woke up around 7:30 and had her bottle. We went for a swim in the pool, breakfast and then napped for nearly an hour and half before wedding. She had and early bottle during the ceremony (to keep her happy and quiet), then another hour nap as soon as we got back to the hotel, before the reception. This child is a dream! The trip home today went fabulously as well. We made the ferry we wanted, just barely though!

I’ll leave you with some pictures of our angel. Seriously, could she be any more adorable? I think I need more places for her to wear this dress before she outgrows it!

 
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