Happy is the bride with friends and family

Our second granddaughter’s wedding ceremony demonstrates the component of family sacrifice necessary for any couple to succeed in sharing their lives together.

It began when a friend gave the bride an new formal gown with a chapel length train and the bride’s mother committed her time and talents to make seven gowns for the bridal party. Peach silk fabric overwhelmed the seamstress during the ensuing months until the final fitting sent all the dresses home to await the big day.

A week or two before the wedding the groom’s mother assembled huge pans of lasagna for the reception. Other relatives provided pasta salads, vegetables trays and fried chicken. An aunt baked, decorated and assembled the cake.
The day of the wedding, bridesmaids, friends and relatives converged on the church and the reception site. Helping hands pulled folding chairs off the rack. Rolls of paper flowed across a couple dozen tables to be taped down and enhanced with table decorations. An aunt and friend grabbed stacks of silverware and tucked them into napkins for the evening’s party.

A persistent bridesmaid ignored pleas to skip details. She focused on precisely preparing the head table, the archway and food tables and gracefully draped soft green silk over a permanent wall decoration threatening to ruin the wedding pictures.

At the last minute the friend with the wedding dress, stepped in to supervise the food preparation and presentation for the reception. She triaged last minute crises, dropped time-consuming, frivolous details and plowed into the foray to have all the food on hand and in place for the bridal supper.
In the church foyer, the bride’s uncle snapped shots of the wedding party, hauled in a ladder for the large group shots and assessed the situation.

In the bride’s preparation room, relatives and friends lined up to tease, curl and pin the hair of six bridesmaids, one junior bridesmaid, four flower girls – and one bride.
Primly prepared in white dresses, with an hour to go, the flower girls discovered the plastic slide in the nursery and the toy cupboard.

Hair ready, make-up on, the bride refused to put on her wedding dress without her mother being there. Mom came and held up the dress while her daughter slid into it. Then, as her uncle snapped away on his digital camera, she primped in front of the mirror before going to the silent sanctuary to meet her groom.

And then the pictures began. Line up, smile, don’t move. Don’t go away, we have more pictures to take. Bride with groom, couple with attendants. Bride with attendants. Groom with attendants. Groom with his parents. Bride with hers. Grab a quick shot of the aunts, uncles and cousins who just arrived. Snap happy shots until the wedding coordinators demanded they retreat and allow the guests to be seated.

A friend sang a flawless ‘Ava Maria.’ Bridesmaids and groomsmen confidently stepped into place. The children approached with trepidation. The couple’s former youth pastor greeted the couple at the altar and talked of times they had shared together.

Vows taken, the reception line dwindled and the food line formed. Servers dashed about replenishing supplies until the couple left. The reception room emptied and the clean-up volunteers tidied up at the close of the wedding day showered with the loving labor, time and talents of many.