THE BIG DAY FINALLY ARRIVES

Oct 26, 2013…….Part 3 of a story in 3 parts

 

A photo of all the helpers!  (Tina D, Joy, Tonja, Shirl, Patty…minus Suzanne, who was wrangling Levi)

 

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2:00…..Adam began pictures of the Bride and Groom and Jackson…(All the photos were made on the wooden bridge on the road where I live…just 2 doors down.  The remainder are in my backyard)

 

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4:30  All the troops were back, everyone was taking care of the last minute things they saw.  Time for family pics.  Adam set up camera.  Don didn’t like the background, so Adam moved it.  Someone else didn’t like that. Adam was very patient, but finally he put it where he wanted it and we all got in place.  SMILE!   He had to do them quick before Levi jumped again! We managed to get one or two where everyone was looking in the right direction!.  Then the individuals.  Then a few that I wanted.  And, that’s it!  Adam said we were finished!

 

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5:30…time for food… it should have already been delivered.   All guests were arriving and people were milling around and visiting.  Shirl and Tina D lit all the zillion candles, as dark began to descend.  The minister arrived.  The food still is not here.  Don called the caterer.  No answer.  Must be on their way.  Whew!  Tina and Shirl began to lead everyone to their seats, and the food is not here.  Don was still on the phone.  No answer.  Bro. Billy, our minister, was in the other room with Tina and Ian and Jackson.  Everyone was seated.  They say I have to sit down now!   And, still. no. food. “Lord, what am I going to do?  All the food we have is what Suzanne prepared and some crackers and dip that I prepared.  That and a can of nuts.  You know all about it.  Help!  Fix it for me, Lord.  I want this to be perfect and now it is falling to pieces!  Help me, please!”  I went and sat down with Don.

 

 

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6:00…Brother Billy and Ian walked out the side door and got in place.  And, then came beautiful Tina in her gorgeous dress with sweet Jackson holding her hand.  She walked to stand by Ian and Jackson sat in my lap.  Here we go!

 

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Patty went to join Billy to sing a song that I felt would start the evening off and set the mood for the service….”Surely the Presence”

“Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

I can feel His mighty power and His grace.

I can feel the brush of angel wings, I see glory on each face.

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.”

And friends, even though I intended this to be a duet…everyone there joined in and by the time we sang the words through a second time, there was no doubt the angels were circling round and God, himself, was right in our midst!  I was covered in goose bumps, but not from the cold.  From the fact that with much help from many friends, we had created a little chapel right here on my porch!

“FOR WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME, THERE AM I IN THE MIDST OF THEM.”  Matthew 18:20

Lights twinkling in the trees, with their tall, tall branches silhouetted against a purple sky…candles surrounding the little area and flickering their little wicks…a fire gently burning in the background behind the minister with the coals already beginning to glow a festive orange and red.  And, Ian and Tina standing , surrounded by friends who have loved us and cared for us, and gone through life with us, supporting them with their love.  It was perfect.  It was just the way I wanted everyone to feel…. warm and peaceful and happy…. and they did.  And I did.  And Ian and Tina did.

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The “I Do’s” were said.  And the vows were spoken.  The promises were made and the rings were exchanged.  And the kiss.  Then the pronouncement…Mr and Mrs. Ian David Owens.  And, it was done. They made their way back into the den and I stood up to give further instructions.  I had nothing prepared to say, but I had called on God earlier, so He took over.  I reminded them, as they sat there, that they were invited specifically because of who they were and what they meant to us and that they were an extension of our family.  And, then I told them that since they were family, I felt like they would forgive us for not having more food…because the caterer NEVER SHOWED UP!  So, we would put out what we had and share it and please know that we planned on having a much bigger meal. Suzanne and Joy and Otelida took the extra plates off the table and we replaced them with 2 of everything we had and we had plenty!  Everyone ate and ate and ate.  And then there was cake!  So, it turned out OK…and everyone understood….and we saved a ton of money that would have gone to the caterer!  There’s always something to be grateful for! :).  But, I’ll never use them again…for anything…ever.  (Edited to add:  When Don finally did get in touch with the owner, the excuse they gave was flimsy and not at all acceptable.)  Oh! Well!  Live and learn!  And, besides, it makes for a great story!

 

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We cut the cake and the bride and groom tasted it!  Ian had a few words to say of appreciation and thanks to Don and I and the gathered friends.  Then, to the shock of a few…Shirl started singing (to the tune of “Going To The Chapel”)  “Going to the Creekhouse and we’re gonna get ma-a-a-rried”  I joined in “Going to the Creekhouse and we’re gonna get ma-a-a-rried…”  Joy and Patty and Tina come in with harmony…“Going to the Creekhouse and we’re gonna get ma-a-a-ried…Going to the Creekhouse of Love. Whoa-whoa-whoa… Fa-all is here, The-uh-uh sta-ars will shine. Whoa-whoa-whoa… I’ll be his And he’ll be mine! We’ll love until the end of time, And we’ll never be lonely anymore! Because we’re going to the Creekhouse, And we’re   gonna to get ma-a-a-rried. Going to the Creekhouse, And we’re  gonna get ma-a-a-rried. Gee, I really love you and we’re   gonna get ma-a-a-rried. Going to the Creekhouse of Love … Whoa-a-whoa-a-whoa-whoa Going to the Creekhouse of Love …Whoa-a-whoa-a-whoa-whoa Going to the Creekhouse of Love! And, I tell you, everyone in the room was singing and clapping the beats of the song and having a great time, serenading the newlyweds!  It was the best!  And, I am so glad we did it!  Our little flash mob at the wedding!  (Corny, for sure, but memorable!  And, I don’t think we embarrassed the younger folks too much!)

 

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So much fun! So much love in the room.

 

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The cousins…Ian, Lori, Alex, Tara, Adam

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Everyone visited with each other and caught up on all the news.  But, slowly, it became time for folks to leave and they began to drift away.  First one and then another and another until the only ones left were Don and I, Ian and Tina and Patty and Mike.  I insisted that Joy and Suzanne leave.  They did a lot before they left, but we finished up the rest.  Don was leaving the next morning for a trip to California for the week and I knew that I was going to be sacked out for a day or two…or three.  Mike offered to take all the rentals back, which saved me from loading and returning them.  That was wonderful!  And Otelida washed the last dish.  And we were done.  She and Yazzmine, her granddaughter, left.  Ian and Tina were getting Jackson settled. He was going to stay with us while they went to a quaint little B&B in a neighboring town for the night.    Jackson was on my daybed, watching cartoons.  I got on the couch.  Don and Adam and Alex were watching a ballgame.  When that was over, Alex came and got in the bed with Jackson, because he had promised he would stay right with him all night.  And he did. Good night!  I’m too tired to even dream. Don left early the next morning, and Jackson and Alex and I had breakfast.  He played and watched TV till Ian and Tina came back around noon.  They opened some gifts and said their goodbyes and headed off to Birmingham to begin their lives together!    And, I climbed into bed! It was wonderful!  It was fun!  It was nerve-wracking!  It was blessed!  I am so thankful Ian and Tina decided  to come here and have their wedding.  It popped up out of the blue, but that’s OK.  Surprises are wonderful!  My hope is that when they look back on this night, in years to come…they will remember it as warm and cozy, glowing with good wishes and happiness…and filled with love for those they love and who love them. We felt that God was in our midst and that He blessed their marriage. I was reminded later, as I  pondered the events…we can plan and work and plan and work…and it still may not go according to our plans.  And, so what?  Isn’t life best when the unexpected pops up to surprise us?  That’s when we are our best, really.  Because it’s then that we lean on family and friends and God, most of all.  That’s when we work together and even out the rough spots and laugh about the rest!   “It was a perfect weekend!

“GOD HAS GIVEN US THESE TIMES OF JOY!”  Nehemiah 12:43  To Him go all the thanks and honor and glory!

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9 Comments

  1. What a beautiful, loving, and spiritual beginning for Ian's and Tina's marriage. May they be as happy and blessed as they were that day for the rest of their lives.

  2. Fair-eee TALES can comeTRUE (insert little music notes dancing in the air) It can HAPPPP-en to YOUUUU . . .

    What a dream-come-true gathering! (I swear I didn't pre-think that sentence, but there it is. Your next GATHERING—the union and getting together and gathering-round of loved and loving people, to witness the next step in your family chain.

    I just loved this, and your beautiful, welcoming home and family made it absolutely perfect. And you know—that missing food and that inept caterer—well, they were just another little chapter in the Tonja Book of HMMMMMM—and you didn't have to go to WalMart to find it—you were busy, and the story got delivered right to your door.

    Adam's pictures are absolutely perfect, and I can even HEAR the notes of that beautiful Grace song swirling over your heads and around you. And of course, I'll be humming that catchy song all day, as it snows and we make hot chocolate and snug in for this :"blizzard" that is on its way.

    Best wishes to you and all you love,

    Rachel

    PS I especially love that your Tina came with such a special dowry. I acquired FOUR of those when Chris and I got married, and I cannot tell you the blessings (well, yes I CAN, and have been for five years now) of being awarded these wonderful young folks. They treat me with such great love and respect and kindness—and then, there are those five GRANDS as a bonus.

  3. Everything looked AMAZING! The bride and groom look so happy! I know you must have been exhausted!!!! Can't believe you all pulled that off! You HAVE to tell us what the caterer's excuse was!! (Since we don't know who the caterer was…or do we? Maybe you mentioned it and I don't remember!) That would have stressed me to the max and I am afraid I would NOT have been as nice as you! So glad you didn't let it ruin the awesome ceremony! Best wishes to both of them and their precious little one who shares life with them!

  4. The pictures are all so beautiful. Congratulations to Ian and Tina!

  5. Tonya, thank you for sharing your amazing family wedding – how beautiful! Congrats to all! You have an extraordinary way with words. I have been teary-eyed through the 3 parts of this awesome showing of family love; the Lord has used you and touched my heart. Thank you! God bless, Cyndy

  6. So beautiful. Glad there was enough to eat. Is there ever a wedding that goes off without some sort of hitch? At my son's wedding, my DIL walked down the aisle without her bouquet, her sister forgot to give them to her.
    Congratulations!

  7. I am so in tears, Tonja. Everything, EVERYTHING! is so beautiful. Your absolutely incredible attitude, even toward the meal not showing up, your family's love, your lovely place, these amazing pictures. I am so glad to call you my friend.

  8. What a beautiful wedding! Congratulations!!

  9. So sad I missed this, but thankful I found it tonight! What an amazing wedding! Loved your way of sharing and the pics are all beautiful!

    Hugs,
    Kat

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