Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Weekend of Family and Lessons: Part 2

My dear cousin, Lois has a son Steve, who contacted me earlier this year. He had found his special someone, Kim, and wondered if I would be available to marry them. I, of course, was honored to do this for them and said YES! I even blocked out the entire day for just them; turning away three other inquiries later, so that I could enjoy being a guest at a family wedding, once the ceremony was finished.

I arrived at Engel Farms for their rehearsal at 10:30 am on Friday. We had intermittent showers that day, but nothing too heavy. Our rehearsal only received a few sprinkles. We walked through the plan twice and everyone felt comfortable.

The location is quite roomy and the wedding would take place in the stairway to the barn entrance with the congregation on the lawn in front of that. The barn was also set up with tables and lights, as the dance reception area, and the tents behind the barn were set up for dinner. This is not the first time I have been at this location, as Lois' daughter Abby had been married here, as well. However, I had booked a wedding before knowing about hers last year, and showed up later as a guest to the reception.

We expected the next day would be breezy and cool, but if there was rain, it would be like Friday. We were so wrong. It rained hard then would stop for awhile, begin to mist, and then start pouring again. This went on all day. It began to clear and the chairs were wiped down before the wedding was to begin Saturday at 4 pm.

Kim made her entrance in the horse-drawn carriage and looked amazing! We welcomed the sun and the guests and began the ceremony. I got about one-fourth of the way into the ceremony, when the heavy mist began and a few umbrellas went up. I looked at Lois in the front row, and she indicated to move. I asked everyone to quickly and carefully come into the barn, so we could finish in there.

I wish we had rehearsed what we would do, but a plan had been put into place just before the wedding, in case the rain didn't let up. We really didn't go through all the logistics, but knew where we would stand and put the crowd. The barn had a loft that would look down to the dance floor area, and it made a perfect extra viewing area for the overflow. The DJ and I quickly got the crowd in and the wedding party in their places. The ceremony resumed and went off without a hitch.

It was definitely a different experience for me this time. I have never officiated the wedding of a family member before. It was much more emotional; having a personal attachment to the person, as well as having so many family members there watching me "work". I wouldn't have traded it for anything, though. I was so happy to be their wedding minister! They are such a sweet couple and I was pleased to give them this "gift." Steve's father, Mark, stood up for him, and when Steve's sister, Abby and her hubby walked up the aisle as attendants, and she smiled and whispered, "I love you!", to her brother, the huge tear that ran down Mark's cheek was impossible to miss. I looked down at Lois tearing up, as well, and was glad I still had two more attendants, some children and the bride's entrance to recover from the lump that just took residence in my throat.

I am sure their pictures will be beautiful, and they had both an outdoor and indoor ceremony! How unique is that! And, though this went smoothly, I have learned for all my outdoor weddings, let's do one "quick run through" of inclement weather procedure and not just talk about it. Even after all the weddings I've officiated, I still am learning new things. That's one of the many great things about what I wedding work day is never a "same thing - different day"! Each one is so unique and special.

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