c, j, and i started the morning off early. i woke up at about 530 and decided to adventure out to the porch to take in some of the breathtaking mountain views while all was quiet. the clouds were ominous and heavy, but the sun was peeking through trying so hard to shine. i knew that h wanted to have an outdoor wedding so i said a little prayer while i sat in the silence that the weather would be lovely for her day.
when everyone woke up, we went downstairs to find ms. jm preparing biscuits and gravy for the cabin. as it turns out, biscuits and gravy are d’s favorite and most requested breakfast. as ms. jm was cooking she taught h how to make it as well. i found it special and poignant that on her wedding day, h learned how to make d’s favorite home cooked breakfast from his mom.
h and d needed to go and pick up their marriage license after breakfast and run a few other errands. they arrived back to the cabin and it was time to start getting ready. i arrived to the master suite in time to see h getting her hair done by her (very soon to be) sister-in-law. i sat down on the floor and started doing my make-up and just sort-of watched, in awe, at how beautiful my best friend looked on her wedding day.
after h finished with her hair and makeup, we all started zipping around in a frenzy of activity trying to ensure we were out of the cabin on time. i joked that i felt like kevin mcallister’s family before they left to go on vacation only there couldn’t be anyone left behind. there was a chorus of toilets flushing, shouting, stair climbing, and a less than faint buzz of excitement in the air. we were given a go time of 410 and i my clock said 412 when we left out. i am pretty impressed that 17 people were able to make it out of the cabin only 2 minutes behind schedule.
the drive to the ceremony site was scenic and everything was just a mesmerizing green. green trees and fields and grass are a definite bright side of the preceding days of drizzling rain. we arrived at the ceremony site and were greeted by 5 horses and a few donkeys to our left and a lush field with a ceremony site and wooden bridge tucked away in the back corner.
h left to go upstairs to begin getting dressed immediately. she must have been as excited to get in her wedding gown as we all were to see her in it. she came out of the restroom in her dress, but unzipped, and we all watched as she went from a beautiful girl in a white dress to a gorgeous bride with the last inch of zipper.
the photographer came in quickly after h was dressed to take pictures of her. we handed h her gorgeous bouquet of roses in a variety of pinks. the photographer got a few pictures of h with her mom and a few with baby j and one or two with me and baby j and c. i am sure the photographer tells every bride that she looks lovely, but i know that even she, who sees brides everyday, thought that h looked breathtaking.
after the few pictures in the dressing room we were ushered out to a nearly secret set of stairs to the ceremony site. we waited to be told when to go and went in order. the kids and i walked with the best man and we took our turn after both sets of parents. ms. jm was escorted by her husband t, and h’s mom was escorted by h’s brother. as the best man, the kids and i were walking out, i happened to glance behind me and i caught a glimpse of h in a 2nd story window beaming down at me. we made eye contact and she gave me a sort of half wave. i turned around to keep on walking, but i smiled even bigger knowing that we shared a special little moment between the two of us.
the kids portion didn’t exactly go as planned. c had a little crush on one of the teenagers at the wedding, so instead of walking down the aisle she ran to him. it was just as well because the ring bearer was easily sidetracked and had just been bribed with ice cream. moments after we took our places at the outdoor alter, h’s processional music started and she started the journey to the alter too.
even though she looked captivating, i forced myself to look away and to focus on d’s reaction to seeing her for the last time as his fiance’ before she became his wife. i do hope someone was photographing his face because his smile went global in a blink of an eye. he leaned over to say something to his best man and they exchanged a look and both grinned as big as i have ever seen either of them.
heather took her place at the alter and i was handed the boutique. the ceremony began and my favorite part was when d said his vows to h. the minister asked them to look into each other’s eyes for the repeating of the vows. d looked directly at her and it was obvious that he meant every word. as someone who loves h, it felt important that all of us know that he will love her and cherish her and protect her. he left no doubt in my mind.
when it came time to do the rings, h and d had them passed around to the pews and everyone got to say a special blessing or happy thought over the rings. it was the first time i had ever seen that done at a ceremony and i really loved it. i can’t speak for everyone but i suspect that most prayed for a long, happy life for them and i do hope that their wedding bands carry those well-wishes with them every day of their lives.
d and h exchanged the rings and sealed their marriage with kiss. we were introduced to the new mr. and mrs. w and were led over to a weeping willow tree where we were able to hug the newlyweds and where they posed for a few pictures:
once all of the pictures were done, we headed off to a lovely dinner at a local steakhouse. the food was absolutely divine, but the company was even better. while we ate, h dawned d’s suit jacket and just looked the most at ease i have seen her in years. there is something about her that’s magnetic and h is simply radiant when she is happy.
as an only child, i have never known what it is like to have a sister by birth. however, i picked long ago to have h be my sister by choice. we have a long history of life behind us and a long history of life before us. i am so thankful that i was able to be there for her on her special day. i am positively thrilled to have a new “brother” and elated just thinking about all of the many wonderful blessings that are before them on life’s journey.