The ceremony was beautiful. I hadn’t seen either of the rooms finished, so it was neat to walk in and see how beautiful it was. But even more beautiful was the words and gospel-focus of the ceremony. My favorite part was when my dad gave Cait away to Joel. He talked about how when she was 12, Cait had given her heart to my father for him to guard and protect until he gave her away to another man in marriage.
We sang “Come People of the Risen King,” there was a scripture reading, we sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” and then our pastor preached a sermon from Ephesians 5 about how marriage preaches the gospel. My favorite line from that was when he said – “When Joel loves his imperfect bride, he preaches the gospel.” It made me remember that I am a part of the imperfect bride of Christ, who is being made ready for her marriage to the Lamb. I can’t wait for that day. The thought of it fills me with joy unspeakable.
We sang “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and then “Come Thou Fount.” They said their vows (which were written from scratch and saturated with scripture, and reflected the biblical roles of the wife and husband). They exchanged rings (and I was wearing Joel’s ring on my thumb the whole ceremony up till that point – I was supposed to carry it and had no other place to put it!). They shared their first kiss, and then walked out to a jazzed up version of “You Are My Sunshine.”
We took lots of pictures and then went inside for the reception. The food was good, and I enjoyed some good fellowship, over dinner with my brother Nate and honorary brother, Mikhal, who were both groomsmen, and then with my close friend, Sarah. The best man shared about how Joel had pursued Christ above even his pursuit of Cait, how his prayers for Cait glorified God… one of the fathers in the Church spoke about them both, blessing their marriage and encouraging others to follow their example.
Later they had their first dance, Cait danced with my dad (to “Sunrise, Sunset,” from Fiddler on the Roof”, and Joel danced with his mom. They left a while after that. The 4 of us older bridesmaids went with them to the pastor’s house, where Cait changed out of her dress and we saw them off. We went back to the Church to clean up.
I don’t have any of the ceremony, and these are just from cameras of people staying with us (some I took from Joel’s mom as well). I know they’re working on getting the official ones ready, though. 🙂