She was fluttering around the room arranging flowers, putting out food, and setting the table. Its hard work planning a wedding, and all the details had to be finished before guests arrived. But she wasn’t too busy to remember why she was working so hard. In the middle of one project or another, she’d stop, grab her phone, and text a quick message…and then move on to the next task until her phone beeped with an incoming message.
Her mom yelled across the room to ask what we were all wondering: “Are you talking to your groom?”
She looked up from her phone, her fingers poised to begin the next message. It was the cutest smile that bubbled out of her very soul. She sighed happily. Gloriously happily.
It was only one word. Just a quick answer. But her smile, her sigh, her sparkle: it said so much more than words ever could. Her groom. Not just her boyfriend. Not just her man. Not just her fiance. So much more than that. Today, he was her groom.
And soon — o so soon – she’d be his wife.
I loved this wedding more than words can describe. It was so real, so genuine, so raw, so poignantly full of love. I’m not sure I even saw half the love that was brimming over during our afternoon together. Not just Randall’s love for Cassie or Cassie’s love for Randall. But the love of all the family members who gathered at Woodland Hall to celebrate with their two favorite people. I just stood back in awe and felt the love.
Cassie was locked in her room, waiting for the guests to get seated. Randall arrived and was pacing back and forth. He would say hi to a guest. Then walk to the next friend. He looked at me and groaned: “I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do!” Oh, he was so excited. All that joy and love…he couldn’t just sit still. So he didn’t. He flitted from guest to guest. Trying to not look at the clock…yet willing the time to go a little faster.
Finally, everyone was sitting outside and Randall stood ready to see his Cassie. He took a few deep breaths. Still grinning, but maybe a little nervous.
Then, there she was. Walking out the door with her Mom and Dad. And boy o boy. His smile got even bigger. (If that’s even possible!) His Cassie, his bride. So beautiful! (And he told her so, too. Whispered it before they started walking down the aisle.)
Cassie wanted Randall to actually walk her down the aisle. She wanted her man by her side so she wouldn’t be as nervous. Now if that’s not just perfectly sweet, I don’t know what is! A picture of what a perfectly matched team they are. I’m pretty sure I saw more than one set of tears among their family. (But I’m not telling who.)
And then they were married. And he got to kiss his bride.
And she just beamed. Her husband.
She gave him a hug.
And I swooned. The joy. O me o my. Can you see it?
While at the wedding, one of Cassie’s friends asked me about my favorite wedding: “Do you have one that you just automatically think of as your favorite?” Now, I’m not sure that’s a fair question because every wedding is special and unique and fun and perfect in its own way. I tried to list through some of my favorites…but then I stopped and had a starting revelation: my favorite weddings are not the over-the-top fabulous venues, or the incredibly-amazing-locations, or the to-die-for flowers, or the designer dresses. My favorite weddings are the ones where I not only see the love between Bride and Groom, but I also feel it radiating from every smile, every hug, every kiss, every laugh. A beautiful wedding isn’t a wedding where all the details are perfect and all the moments are scripted. That’s all beautiful, yes. But my favorite wedding? Its the one where the bride loves the groom, the groom loves the bride, and the families love the bride and groom. Its a day that isn’t just a party…its a celebration of two people who have decided to commit their lives to each other and who do so with a gentleness and integrity and joy and raw happiness that makes the world go ’round.
And that is why Randall and Cassie’s wedding will always be on the very top of my “favorites” list.