I know some families, maybe you do too, for whom it’s impossible to get along as a wedding approaches. It takes everything they have to remain civil. Even with good chemistry there’s always the potential for high drama, especially just before the wedding itself. Last night I realized again just how blessed I am –how blessed we are— as Karl & Bethany’s day approaches. With the wedding but 30-some days away, the two leading characters and four in supporting roles met at a Chinese restaurant. Their goals for the evening: Review over dinner the bride and groom’s draft of the ceremony order of service, finalize who’s doing what in which order, and confirm the details so the program can go to press.

The Cast:

Bride: Has been dealing with the pre-wedding pressure and overwhelming details, plus managerial pressures and responsibilities. She just wants to get married (would have been tempted to elope on the spot had either dad offered). Had a great sales day at work, but is more-than-a-little-ready for the ceremony to be her favorite memory while she enjoys warm beaches and beautiful sunsets the week after.

Groom: Anticipating beginning a completely new job/promotion at work in a few days. Making arrangements to move into the apartment that will be theirs. Furniture and belongings are in three locations. The apartment becomes available Sunday – but friends and family are committed to church activity/ministry so it will be 1 PM or later before anything can really get moving. Nothing like a little transitional tension in the wings just waiting for its cue, is there?

Mothers of the Bride and Groom: Both in education, both organized, both leaders in their own right. Both in love with their kids and their husbands. Both with really good ideas. Both reminding themselves (more often than they’d ever admit to out-loud) “this is their day – this is their day”. Either could turn things with a genius stroke of first-class selfishness if they wanted to – which they don’t.

Fathers of the Bride and Groom: Both dads who want the best for their kids. Both used to being in charge (or pretending they are). Both ministers pleased to have been asked to officiate. One the senior pastor of the church where the wedding is being held, the other the father of the bride. Both innovative and creative, both accustomed to leading the way. Both aware that this is the the first and only wedding they’ll be asked to share together in.

I won’t reprint the script here (I forgot to get signed releases from members of the cast.) but you can take my word for it; the evening was amazing.

There were no tug-of-wars. None.
The moms asked questions instead of giving directives.
The dads offered insight, help and ideas instead of staking out their territories. The groom’s dad helped with logistic decisions that needed to be made about facility use and timing.
The bride-to-be asked for opinions and input from both sets of ‘rents sitting around the table. (Bold, isn’t she?!)
The groom helped her pick when two options seemed equally appealing and reminded her of things they’d already discussed.
Details slipped into place efficiently and made sense where they landed.
The cast laughed easily; wandered down rabbit-trails of discussion and then hustled back whenever anyone said “OK – back to the wedding.”
When the cast imagined touching moments of the ceremony, quiet tears appeared but no one was embarrassed. This will BE a touching ceremony, the bride and groom both want it to be so and their parents have the wherewithal to help make that happen.

As the curtain began to fall at the end of what seemed a bit like Act I the six cast-members made their gracious exits; two that way, two that way, and two that way in separate cars —for now— in just a little over a month that won’t be necessary anymore.

We’re blessed. Truly, wonderfully blessed. I’ve told the Lord so many times, but thought I’d share a glimpse of it — in case you’re interested. 😀

Living Joyfully,

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