The story of my wedding day begins where so many other stories in my life have begun–in the red brick house on a farm in out-back Juniata County where I lived all my life–barring 6 months in Asia.
Despite earlier assertions that I would sleep in on my wedding day, I woke up quietly at 6 am, independently of an alarm clock. I stretched and lay still in my soft bed as the morning light shining in around the curtains accented the familiar arrangement of the furniture, soft pink walls, nursing school books lined on my bookshelf, and pictures of my friends hanging on the walls. Bubbles of excitement and nostalgia rose inside of me at the same time, and I took a minute to process my last time waking up as Alison Martin, before finding my sisters so we could drink our morning coffee together, and thus begin right this important day of my life.
After getting ready with my mom and sisters, Ben and I met outside our house on the walk. My mom handed me my flowers carefully. She had spent hours the day before, carefully arranging and rearranging the bridal bouquets. The results were flawless and holding that much beauty filled my heart with warmth–not only because they were gorgeous, but also because my mom had made them just for me–with Queen Anne’s lace, wild foxtails, and a few white roses… As wild, free, and feminine as I could wish.
We took pictures in some of the most beautiful locations in our little neighborhood. That whole morning was covered with a rosy glow and excitement.
Our wedding started at 4, although much picture-taking and smiling preceded that. The whole day, though, from the morning coffee, the brunch, and to the wedding itself, we were surrounded with the love, support, and presence of all the people we loved best. And that’s what I remember the most about my wedding–that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes in smaller portions on birthdays and family celebrations. It was warmer and more fuzzy than ever before. It was about Ben and how much we loved each other and wanted to be together for the rest of our lives, but it was also about an even broader, more all-encompassing love that enabled us to love each other and commit ourselves to each other–because so many other people have showed us about love and commitment. And that day, they were all there with us.
From the flowers that my mom arranged, to the goldfish that my mom and sisters helped me carefully select for my table… From the canoe that was set up to hold our gifts because Ben loves canoeing, to the wooden platters that my sister and brother-in-law helped us make for our appetizer trays, to the bouquets arranged by both our sisters for our tables out of wild-flowers my nieces and nephews helped us pick… From everyone’s presence that day–from the gifts, and the beautiful sunset created by God alone just for us… From the group that joined us back at our place to send us off with sparklers and sky lanterns, from the hugs and the honeymoon baskets, from the special look Ben gave me as he said “I do,” to the glass of water my best friend got when I started coughing in the middle of my own wedding… From all the people that reached in and touched our wedding day in ways I haven’t mentioned… I felt so much love.
And that’s what a wedding is all about. It’s about love and commitment, about being there in the good times and the bad, about weathering the arguments and planning and headaches that life and planning weddings brings so that we can rejoice together in the beauty and love that surrounds us in the best times.
It lifted us up and carried us off, that day, into a misty kind of married love…
And it was all because of One bigger and greater, the One who is Love and created Love, the One who will one day carry His bride away in a burst of fireworks. He will carry us away, and we will live in the happily ever-after, in a love richer, sweeter, and stronger, even, than the love we felt that night, under the full moon…
All photo credits to Michelle Martin at higherfocusimages.com! I’m so grateful for the beautiful pictures of our day.